Hellllo, everyone! This is a story that will be written by Saché8 and me. It's posted under my screenname, but you will be told whenever I'm writing, or she's writing. First of all, I would like to say right off that this IS a Sandry/Briar fic, so there's no need to ask that it be a S/B story or a T/B story...we already have the story planned out. ;-)

Secondly, neither Saché or I own the Circle of Magic/Circle Opens characters or any of the lands therein. .

As it stands now, we will be alternating chapters--Saché will be writing chapter one, I will do chapter two, and so on. The author will still be noted before each chapter, though. While the prologue is very short (only a page long) the other chapters are all pretty lengthy. :-)


by Qwi-Xux

In a large house set in the upper class section of Emelan, not far from the Duke's palace, a meeting was taking place. There was a private study in the back of the room. Piles of books were neatly arranged on bookshelves and a large desk. Papers were set in order beside the books on the desk.

Maps of Emelan hung on the wall. There was a detailed layout of Summersea near it, and an even more detailed graph of Winding Circle, the resident home for mages and mages-in-training. There were clippings from the local gazette that showed the feats of some of the mages of Winding Circle--and particularly, articles of the doings of a quartet of young mages that had become quite well known throughout Emelan, and indeed, far beyond its borders.

A tall, stately man sat behind the desk. While the curtains behind him were open, letting the bright sunshine in, there was a coldness to the room that had nothing to do with the temperature, but everything to do with the man sitting behind the desk.

"Of all the times for this to happen," Haman, the man at the desk, said tightly. "Just as we're about to put our plan into action, we suffer this interference."

The merchant sitting on one of the extra chairs in the room nodded. "We can't afford to change the day. The alliance of merchants will be causing the distraction three days hence."

"And they suspect nothing?" Haman demanded.

"Of course not. They think it's a simple strike against the trade laws in Emelan. They believe they're fighting for more rights for the merchants."

Haman tapped his chin thoughtfully. "This changes everything. Our priorities will have to change. Rosethorn and that infernal boy she trained are much more a threat than the dancer. Especially the boy--Briar," he spat out the name as if it had an unpleasant taste. "That they're returning now is extremely unfortunate. His relationship with Lady Sandrilene fa Toren could cause a huge problem." Fortunately, using Briar instead of the dancer wouldn't be a problem, at least as far as the magic was concerned. He had come into contact with Briar, and his magic, several years earlier, when the boy still lived at Discipline.

"What are you suggesting?" the merchant asked.

"I believe we are going to have to switch players. We will use Briar instead of the dancer," Haman stated.

"What of the dancer?" the merchant wondered.

"I have an idea for him. For now, though--the plant mages are due to arrive home tomorrow."

Blast these accursed mages. They're always ruining everything. Yet another reason this plan must be carried out.