As the physician bustled about his chambers, he heaved a weary sigh. He hadn’t chosen this profession, but his father before him had also been a healer, and so apprenticeship was the obvious choice. “Potions go here, charms over there…” he muttered to himself as he rearranged his shelves, but he gave a start when he heard a sharp knock at the door.
“May I help you?” he asked, inching the door open to peer cautiously at the visitor.
“I’m afraid I am in dire need of healing,” replied the aging man. “May I come in?”
“Of course,” the physician beckoned, pulling the door open to allow his guest to enter. “Seat yourself; I’ll be there in a moment. Oh, and don’t mind the cadaver on the table…”
The visitor hobbled over to a chair to sit. “Always good to have a court physician,” he remarked gratefully. “You have my gratitude!”
“Actually, I once dreamt of becoming a court wizard,” the physician admitted with a chuckle. “Thought I’d learn the ways of the mages, but my father had other plans for me.”
The wounded man eyed him curiously as he worked. “A wizard, you say? Well, that sounds rather fun.”
A wistful smile played at the healer’s lips. “Indeed,” he agreed, “but it’s too late for that now.”
Leaning in closer, the old man lowered his voice as he spoke. “It’s never too late to become a wizard, my friend. I believe I can help you…”
The night passed quickly with good conversation, and by the dawn, the physician found himself uttering the names of the gods who promised him a glorious existence beyond a lost childhood dream. At the break of day, his visitor stood to leave. “Farewell, my ritualist. We’ll meet again under the cover of darkness.”
The converted physician returned a grin. “You have my eternal gratitude, sir. May the blessings of Corax and Mithras be with you!”