This week’s teaser is from Bloodlust: A Gladiator’s Tale, my very first book.
Ravius is an attempt to inject a little humour into the series and also act as a counterpoint to Gavin. Gavin is often dour and serious, while Ravius turns everything into a joke, at least as they are first presented.
“I’m telling you Ravius: it was luck.”
“No, it was instinct Gavin. We’ve been drilling since we were six years old, little brother. We’ve fought hundreds of training duels with live weapons; moves like that are second nature to us, little brother.” Ravius’s voice dripped cheerful self-assurance; an annoying trait in Gavin’s view. “Your body and subconscious knew how to position the spear even if your conscious mind did not command it.”
“Ravius, I’m pretty certain the Spike Hound impaled itself on my spear accidentally,” responded Gavin, trying to show his exasperation.
Ravius Vergerus was one of Gavin’s classmates from the Campus Gladius, where young gifted were trained in magic and where they both had decided to become Gladiators. He was slightly shorter than Gavin, with a wide tangle of blond hair, dark blue eyes, and always smiling as if the world was one big joke, at least in Gavin’s mind.
This next quote gives a bit more insight into Ravius — his humour could be a kind of coping mechanism, or even a stab at how ridiculous the life a Gladiator can be.
Gavin was starting to regret his decision to learn the spell, not liking the idea of killing the helpless animal tethered before him. A bored young Grey-Robe shared the small private training room with them. She seemed more interested in her book than watching the two Gladiators.
“HAHA! Oh sweet Ezuis, did you see that last one little brother?” Ravius’ face lit up as he doubled over with laughter. “BOOM! Who says Cogimancy is boring? The crowds are going to sing our names when we pull this one off!” Ravius had managed to weave and cast the difficult spell twice already; each time causing a disgusting eruption of bone, blood, and smoking, stinking grey matter. The smiling skirmisher was enjoying himself greatly and failed to notice that Gavin had not even cast the spell a single time.
Ignoring Ravius, Gavin focused intently on the goat in front of him. He could channel the raw power required to fuel the spell with little difficulty. Weaving the spell-pattern, however, to translate all that raw magic power into a proper Brain Buster was where it all fell apart. He tried it again and again, following the instructions carefully, but the weave collapsed each time, just before he could complete it. Truth be told, he was unsure he wanted to complete the weave; he did not like the idea of killing an animal just to learn a spell. Yet, although he was more than ready to give up, he did not wish to explain to his friend that he really just didn’t want to blow up an innocent animal. What would Ravius think of him then?