He wrapped the bandages tightly around the fingertips of his left hand. Burnt blood flaked away and and the thumbnail had come clean off. Pus was building up under scorched nailbed. His entire forearm throbbed with each heartbeat.
He’d never had much luck with incendiary work. Yes, he had spoken the words of invocation correctly. Yes, sheets of flame had leapt from his outstretched hand. And yes, enough of the band of Gorlians had been incinerated so that the others could mop up the rest with hatchet and sword. But he’d lost his second-favorite thumbnail in the process and would have to put on his robe one-handed for a week.
This is what he got for not sticking to his sphere of specialization. Wind and water, clouds and rain – he was a weatherworker at heart. But calling down lightning is a tricky proposition at best, more so when half of your comrades are armored from tip to toe. Underground it was out of the question. The thought of it reminded him of the booth at the harvest fair where men tried to drop a penny into a thimble at the bottom of a bucket of water. There was no way of knowing how lightning would fork through the earth, no matter how much effort you put into it.
So it was pyrotechnics. Fireballs, walls of fire, disembodied fists of flame, etc., etc. Each one with its nasty aftereffects. He’d barely grown back his eyelashes after he’d cast Searing Gaze of Forlank the Lesser. But that’s what you get when you pledge your staff to a bunch of graverobbers.