The Mirror

Kerzi had taken the quest as a solo act. She had a team that she relied on but they were several days’ travel away and she could not wait while some other party of adventurers swooped in. She was territorial about this region of Gallia. She was building her own legend and it was necessary to be on everybody’s lips if you wanted to be a legend. She had crept into the old castle quickly enough, avoiding the front door. She never used the front door if she could help it. The window was convenient enough. She made her way through the dusty, moldy place which had formerly been home to Count Edgewater. It had since been claimed by the wizard Ilin. The wizard apparently did not like visitors as there were plenty of traps to get through. Still, she was an expert dungeoneer. She made her way toward what felt like the wizard’s study which she had been told was in the undercroft.

 Even though the legends called it the Cursed Mirror of Ilin, Kerzi had been surprised when she opened a door in the old castle and came face to face with her own image. She instinctively straightened her hair and wiped some oil from her cheek. The mirror had been briefly mentioned in her briefing, emphasis on brief. It had not been very important at the time since it was not her target. She shrugged and headed over to a trunk and quickly picked the lock. Once it was open, she started rummaging. She only stopped when she thought she heard a sound behind her. Had she missed some hidden, deadly trap? She scanned the room and saw no danger. She slowly stood up and walked back to the center of the room. Something was off. It took her a few moments to realize what it was. The mirror no longer held her reflection.

“What were you looking for in that trunk?” a familiar voice asked.

Kenzi whirled around and once again came face to face with herself. This time, it was not a mirror. It was an exact doppelganger.

“Who are you?” Kerzi asked. She pulled her twin knives and spun them both into a reverse grip. She was a scrapper in a fight but she usually preferred the element of surprise. She did not believe in fair fights. 

The other Kerzi laughed heartily but drew no weapon. “Who am I, she asks,” she said. “I’m obviously you.”

“You can’t be me,” Kerzi said. “I’m me. There’s only one Kerzi Graybluff, acquisition artist extraordinaire.” She could tell that she was nervous. She had not meant to spout her tagline but it had come tumbling out of her.

The other Kerzi laughed again. “But I am you also,” she said. “See with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Know with your head and heart. I am also Kerzi Graybluff and we are gorgeous.”

“Impossible!” Kerzi said, narrowing her eyes.

“Magic,” Other Kerzi said as if that explained things. It unfortunately did. Mostly.

“Wait,” Kerzi said. “If you’re me, then why did you ask what I’m looking for?”

“You’ve got me there,” Other Kerzi said with a shrug. “I must not be a perfect copy. I can only guess at the mechanics of my creation. Magic can be very tricky.”

“I don’t mess with magic if I can help it,” Kerzi said. “Too many complications.”

“Oh but magic is so much fun,” Other Kerzi said. “It led to my creation so I must say that I’m in favor of it. Maybe you should give it a chance.”

Kerzi shook her head. “No thank you,” she said. “You should go back inside of the mirror and stay there. I’ll grab what I came for and get out of here. I then drink to forget this ever happened.”

“I cannot simply fade from existence,” Other Kerzi said indignantly. “I have been born and it would be a waste for this much glory to be tossed aside.”

“And people say that *I’m* conceited,” Kerzi said. 

“I can’t guess why,” Other Kerzi said with a smirk. “How about I catch you unaware, knock you out, lock you up here, and return to town as you. It could be the start of brand new Kerzi, a new legend.”

“No way,” Kerzi said. “Not going to happen.”

“Then we must work something out,” Other Kerzi said. “Let’s make a deal.”

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