The three boys stood in the center of the room. They supposed it could have been called a library once. There were books, though so heavy in dust they could barely make out the edges, much less the titles. Tattered wall hangings were mostly hidden by ropey cobweb drapes.
The room smelt damp and moldy. No air moved, yet dust motes danced about in the light of a flickering candle
The old man, who claimed to be a sorcerer stood behind a wooden lectern, his face eerily lit by the same candle. The four foot candlestick it sat atop was intricately carved with leaves and beasts that twitched with each flicker of the flame.
He looked the boys over. Young street toughs, more full of themselves than sense. They chuckled loudly with false bravado. Sadly they were all he had for the task at hand.
Finally he addressed them. “You believe you can take on this quest? You are certain you can complete this task I ask of you? You understand, once you accept, there is no failure.”
One of the boys stepped forward, “We’re here, ain’t we. You said we get paid up front for this.” He looked at his friends for support, their nods urged him on. “Well, show us the money, then we’ll get the job done.”
“Will you now. Then you won't object to signing an agreement?”
The boy rolled his eyes, “Whatever, yeah, we can sign ,you just pay up front, like you said.”
“Very well, we shall proceed.” The sorcerer opened the book that lay on the podium and read the details of the contract aloud.
When he finished, one by one the young toughs stepped forward to sign. Each surprised by the prick of the pen and the scarlet ink that forged the geas and bound them to their fate.