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First Day of Flamerule, 1372 DR

Burning Hands (evocation). Material components: none. A cone of flames shoots from your fingertip, enveloping the area in front of you in an approximately 90 degree arc.

One of the most basic, and one of the most popular spells in Silverymoon, in my experience. I make and sell the scrolls, some to people sympathetic to Azuth's desire to spread knowledge, and plenty to visitors who reside on the outskirts of the city, out in the Marshes, who are looking for a little bit of self-defense. Oh, and there's the young buyers, or, as my instructor Vihuel would say, "miscreants". I don't usually sell them something that can do a lot of damage, like this one can, unless they've got a very good or very funny reason for having it. But most of them are satisfied with watered down Ray of Frost wands or something like that: you know, aim it at the back of a cute girl's neck when class starts to get too dull.

And don't start chanting that whole "You can't cast magic in Silverymoon" business. Of course I know about the spell wards. And yes, they can be bypassed. At least, usually they can be bypassed. If you tweak things right. But don't tell anybody I mentioned it. I only learned about it three months into university and that was after I had to procure a very expensive supply of elven wine in return. And don't ask how I got the elven wine. The sacrifices I make in Azuth's name border on the heroic, I tell you.

Anyhow, I do a brisk trade in scrolls, and not just in Burning Hands and Magic Missile. As you might expect, Charm Person and Disguise Self are popular around here, especially in the weeks leading up to the holidays. And I think that Father would be pleased, if he knew the details of my little gold-earning ventures. He wouldn't show it, of course. He'd probably bluster about how things were much better back in his day, and start re-telling that old story of how he convinced his village that he was the god of virginity-taking, back during the Time of Troubles. Problem being, for one, he tells that story each and every time I tell him how well I'm doing, and two, I've heard the villagers' version of the story, and they weren't so impressed as he made them out to be. And she wasn't a virgin. And she might not have been a she.

But I make a decent amount of gold when I've the time to devote to the business. Enough to keep my mug filled when I have a break from the books. I am, after all, here for my studies. And speaking of studies and burning hands, I got to speaking to Susan Drake, of the Ladies College, just the other day, which is a large improvement from "staring at". Her father's some kind of bigshot over in Waterdeep, and his little girl has an aptitude for magic and shrinking the trousers of any male in the vicinity, simply by standing in the same room. And despite all the stereotypes about sorcerers, you know, thicker than week-old stew and slower than a stone-turned dwarf, she's quick on the uptake, and almost as good with magic as I am.

However, this was the first time she spoke to me beyond the normal pleasantries one exchanges in the hallways in between destinations. Oh yes. This was an actual conversation, complete with a goodly share of witty banter from yours truly, and a gratifying amount of laughter, and dare I say, giggling, from her. In affairs of the hearts and the bedsheets, I normally try to shy away from classmates and people who may end up being competitors and colleagues in the future. My enviable talent, after all, has a way of producing its share of jealousy and enmity. However, for young miss Drake, exceptions must be made. And we agreed to make such an exception, that is to say, she agreed to join me for an enjoyable afternoon at an upcoming summer festival late this week. And I look forward to it.