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said. "She'll get a swelled head. And who knows what item of my clothing she'll make disappear next time."

"Now there's an idea," Carvin said.

"Have you trained yet, Galen?" Alwyn asked.

Galen shook his head.

"I need to get some of that delicious local brew. I'll try to get back to see you."

"Don't rush on my account," Galen said.

Alwyn smiled. "You'll do fine. Elric wouldn't allow any less." He turned to Carvin. "Think you can keep up with me all the way to the tents?"

Carvin ran for the door, and Alwyn followed.

On the other side of the shield, Fed levitated himself and Herazade off the floor with a flying platform. From the slight distortion, Galen could tell it was a rectangle of typical size, about two feet by three feet. Fed was already notorious for his platform stunts, which, it was said, had once landed Herazade flat on her back in a mud puddle. Since the platform was, in a sense, an extension of the mage who generated it, he had an instinctive ability to keep his balance through various maneuvers. Those instincts could also be improved by practice, as he commanded different accelerations and decelerations and learned to compensate for them, the way an experienced tube rider could.

Of course a platform could be conjured in shapes that were more secure, such as a chair, a chariot, or a scooter, but the tradition of the plain rectangular platform was strong. Any passenger on the platform, though, had to either hold tight to the mage or hope for a gentle ride. Herazade had one hand on Fed's chrysalis. As the platform began to spin, she clamped her free arm about his waist.

Galen admired Fed's talent, but he felt fairly confident in using a platform and wanted to see who else was in the hall. So he turned toward the gallery. Elric had taught
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