It was a sad moment in Magnus Bane’s life when he was banned from Peru by the High Council of Peruvian warlocks. It was not just because the posters with a picture of him that were passed around Downworld in Peru were so wildly unflattering. It was because Peru was one of his favorite places. He had had many adventures there, and had many wonderful memories, starting with the time in 1791 when he had invited Ragnor Fell to join him for a festive sightseeing escape in Lima.
Magnus awoke in his roadside inn just outside Lima, and once he had arrayed himself in an embroidered waistcoat, breeches, and shining buckled shoes, he went in search of breakfast. Instead he found his hostess, a plump woman whose long hair was covered with a black mantilla, in a deep, troubled conference with one of the serving girls about a recent arrival to the inn.
“I think it’s a sea monster,” he heard his hostess whisper. “Or a merman. Can they survive on land?”
“Good morning, ladies,” Magnus called out. “Sounds like my guest has arrived.”
Both women blinked twice. Magnus put the first blink down to his vivid attire, and the second, slower blink down to what he had just said. He gave them both a cheery wave and wandered out through wide wooden doors and across the courtyard into the common room, where he found his fellow warlock Ragnor Fell skulking in the back of the room with a mug of chicha de molle.
“I’ll have what he’s having,” Magnus said to the serving lady. “No, wait a moment. I’ll have three of what he’s having.”
“Tell them I’ll have the same,” said Ragnor. “I achieved this drink only through some very determined pointing.”
Magnus did, and when he returned his gaze to Ragnor, he saw that his old friend was looking his usual self: hideously dressed, deeply gloomy, and deeply green of skin. Magnus often gave thanks that his own warlock’s mark was not so obvious. It was sometimes inconvenient to have the gold-green, slit-pupilled eyes of a cat, but this was usually easily hidden with a small glamour, and if not, well, there were quite a few ladies—and men—who didn’t find it a drawback.
“No glamour?” Magnus inquired.
“You said that you wanted me to join you on travels that would be a ceaseless round of debauchery,” Ragnor told him.
Magnus beamed. “I did!” He paused. “Forgive me. I do not see the connection.”
“I have found I have better luck with the ladies in my natural state,” Ragnor told him. “Ladies enjoy a bit of variety. There was a woman in the court of Louis the Sun King who said none could compare to her ‘dear little cabbage.’ I hear it’s become quite a popular term of endearment in France. All thanks to me.”
He spoke in the same glum tones as usual. When the six drinks arrived, Magnus seized on them.
“I’ll be needing all of these. Please bring more for my friend.”
“There was also a woman who referred to me as her sweet peapod of love,” Ragnor continued.
Magnus took a deep restorative swallow, looked at the sunshine outside and the drinks before him, and felt better about the entire situation. “Congratulations. And welcome to Lima, the City of Kings, my sweet peapod.”
After breakfast, which was five drinks for Ragnor and seventeen for"Only for series completists and fans of Magnus Bane—but who isn't a fan of Magnus Bane?"