Dignity was on the field training, and in most circumstances it was the same routine I had watched week after week. Royalty was working with the catchers, throwing long bombs to Eccentric, Funny, and the new catcher Swift. Lithe got a few catches in early, before moved to work on his leap and strip ball skills.
The Lion, still untrained in the basics of block, was training Physique and Fortress in the fighting style of the Bretonnians, going over the differences in fighting style between the knights and peasants.
In the center of the field Tenacity took a defensive stance. His clothes were burned, revealing taught muscles and blistering flesh beneath gaps of burnt cloth. And for the fourth time this morning, he looked over to the High Mage twins and gave them the signal with a simple nod of his head.
In seconds, the skies grew dark. The sky cracked. And a bolt of lightning struck down from the sky, hitting Tenacity where he stood, forcing him down on one knee.
The darkened clouds thinned out, disappearing into blue skies just as a fireball swept above like a meteorite, striking Tenacity square in the chest, and exploding all around him.
When the smoke cleared. Tenacity was still down on one knee, hair somewhat shortened and standing on end, clothes and skin smoldering. He looked down at a small flame that managed to take hold of his shirt on the shoulder, and patted it down. Slowly, wobbly, he made his way back to his feet. “I think that’s enough of that for one day,” he called out to them.
Across the field, standing outside of their Magician’s Shop, the High Mage twins nodded and went back to work preparing their store for the next match. I wondered what they sold to the Blood Bowl fans that caused such a deep line of both children and adults. So I made a mental note to visit during the next match.
They noticed me approaching and drew a cover over the table they were working on, keeping it secret from me.
“Good morning, young Alan.” Teloran said.
“How can we help you today?” Kelowan said.
I shook hands with both of them. They looked so much alike that the only way I could tell them apart was from the heavy medallions they wore about their necks. Teloran’s was gold and red, Kelowan’s silver and blue.
“I was hoping to get an interview with you two.”
“With us?” The two High Mages said in unison, and both of them drew up to their full height and smoothed their robes as if I was recording for Cabal Vision.
I pulled out my notebook. “Of course. Wizards have been very effective in the MML of late. You yourselves performed very impressively in Dignity’s match with Nuffle’s Holy Rollers.”
“You mean the fireball?” Teloran coughed, blushing. “That was me. I couldn’t believe my eyes when a High Elf Coach ordered his team to foul the first chance he had. Sure, the referee caught the player, that was good. But just the very act of High Elves fouling disturbed me deeply. When Coach Sestonn finally called for my aid, I was ready to punish them for sundering the good name of our people. I might have went a little overboard.”
“He can be somewhat temperamental.” Kelowan said plainly.
“I am glad that no one was seriously hurt,” Teloran said. “I perform my duties, sometimes with some emotion, but I’m not here to end lives.” He eyed his brother, turning a simple statement into a fight.
“Nor am I,” Kelowan said. “But neither am I going to hold back. Grandiose Majesty pays us to fulfill our duty to the most of our ability, no matter which team we must support. And I for one am not afraid to step up and accept that responsibility.”
Teloran said. “Are you saying I’ve been going soft on them?”
“Brother…” Kelowan said. “There was a game last season where you didn’t even hit Eccentric with your lightning bolt.”
“I did everything in my power to hit him, Brother. You know I did.” Teloran said.
Kelowan looked at me and said, “So you see. Every wizard out there has their own personality. We try to do our best for the teams we serve, but some of us have favorite teams and favorite players. It takes a strong mind to accept your duty and lay waste to your Blood Bowl heroes. This is a job that few wizards have the mental fortitude to accept.” Kelowan snapped his fingers. Light and air swirled around his hand, crystallizing into Dignity’s symbolic lion and handed it to me. It was cold. Ice, sparkling in the rising sun. “My brother and I do our best to help the teams we are assigned to.”
Teloran said, “Just as all Blood Bowl wizards must do, even if you have to break our own hearts to do it.” Light and air swirled around Teloran’s hand, and when he opened his palm, face up, the symbol of the Mousillon Morningstars hovered over it, burning in bright fire.