Corrupted Magic is the second book in the Grimoire Society of Dark Acts series. Episode 20 is already published on my Patreon—it’s pay-what-you-like—and it’ll go up three days later on Kindle Vella. Here’s an excerpt from this latest episode.
What Corrupted Magic is about:
Grimoire Society of Dark Acts’s hard-won defeat of the brutal Harpe brothers should have been a relief… But through a forced double blood-binding, Gertrude disappears right in front of their eyes. The Ruin Rats, a vicious magical street gang, is out for Dark Acts’s blood. Knox calls on the deadly gang from his past for help, but is the physical cost too high to pay? As if that’s not enough, a new corrupt form of magic is throwing the entire magical universe off balance.
Episode 20: Preparing for the Worst
“We can’t wait until morning to save Gertrude, although I’d prefer it,” Carmichael said, looking weary. “It could be too late—we’ve wasted enough time already. And perhaps they won’t expect an attack from us at night. I’ll take us all into the Vale of Galdur to refresh us.” He put down the Grimoire on one of the tete-a-tete’s cushions. “But first…Florence, I don’t want to keep you here and put you in any danger in case the Dead Rabbits show up. But our rune maven, Miss Anne Albers, is upstairs in her room lying down. I think what she could use now is…a friend. Another lady to talk to. Would you—”
“Certainly,” Florence said, her expression soft. “I want to help in any way I can.” Her eyes shone with caring and devotion. Did Carmichael notice the way she looked at him? “May I ask what’s happened?”
Carmichael rubbed his forehead. “That’s probably best discussed between you ladies. I thought it was just disappointment in…someone’s behavior earlier, but now I’m unsure just how deep that disappointment goes. Or if it’s something more. Perhaps one of your magical flowers could help?”
Florence smiled gently. “An ear to listen will most likely be best. Magic cannot heal a broken heart.”
Wincing, Carmichael looked away. “I certainly hope it isn’t that bad. I don’t see why it would be. In any case, Miss Albers’s room is upstairs on the second floor, all the way to the left. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t make introductions. We have too much to accomplish in the meantime.”
“Of course not. Good luck to you all. I do hope I’ll be of more help in the future.”
“Thank you, dear.”
Florence blushed and smiled at Carmichael—and Carmichael alone—before leaving the room.
Without another word, Carmichael strode to the library’s small alcove and pulled out books that spelled Dark Acts. Clearly he trusts everyone here enough to do this right in front of them. I hope he isn’t becoming sloppy because of our circumstances. He does look tired.
The alcove’s bookcase split in half and both sides recessed into the wall to the sound of stone grinding against stone.
“I always wished I could have been of a high magic society,” Morton said, admiration in his voice. “What I wouldn’t give…” He retrieved his jacket from the arm of the tete-a-tete and put it back on.
“Finnegan, take Mr. Morton to get his choice of weapon—if he’s coming with us to Grimoire Assassins to retrieve Gertrude.” Carmichael turned around to face Morton, the short stone hall to the Vale of Galdur behind him. “Remember, Mr. Morton, both our society and Grimoire Assassins are high magic. You’ll be at a distinct disadvantage; your own pragmatic magic isn’t usable here.”
High magic? Pragmatic magic? Nobody told me about these distinctions…
Morton stood straighter. “I have great respect for Miss Oakley. I wish I knew her personally—her reputation as a talented potion mistress precedes her. I don’t know much about the situation other than that she’s been kidnapped, but I do want to be part of her rescue.”
“Then come with me and we’ll get you a weapon,” Finnegan said, grabbing the scalping knife off of its cushion on the tete-a-tete.
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© Christie Stratos 2022