Hmm, how about…magic is like a stream of bat’s piss. When all around is dark, it shines out like a shaft of gold.
Still not getting it?
All right then, magic is like a dose of the clap. It starts as something quite pleasureable, but afterwards, it’s just a huge pain in the dong.
Yes, that’s it. Magic is like THAT! (Of course, this refers only to Arcane magic; Divine magic is bestowed by the grace of the goddess, Myn the Traveller; praise her perfect name.)
Which leads me to this chapter in my journal…trapped inside a place that is not.
Zyf had a nightmare, a terrible dream about the demise of his beloved Talons (not Claws, because Talons flows so much better over the tongue and lips).Emma: gone.
Dannis and Frik: gone.
Smuj and Chuck: gone.
Tears of sadness coursed down the mighty cleric’s face and froze in his perfectly coiffed beard. Wrestling with the visions in his head, Zyf came awake in a frozen cage stacked upon other frozen cages. In front of him was yet another cage, this one occupied by a serene human male. In the middle of the floor of this great room stood several of the milky-eyed Norns; they were divvying up a cache of loot. “Wait a moment!” thought Zyf, “That’s MY gear!” Burning with the flames of a thousand righteous suns, Zyf cast a spell that not only released him, but defeated these pesky nuisances, alas, one particularly fell Norn escaped, and during the aftermath slipped out the door to this perplexing prison. Zyf soon realized that he was being carried in a Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. And though all his base needs were met, there would be no escape until the spell ended.
Zyf returned from exploring the mansion and found more cages containing others from the battle (see Part 2), Zyf released these new folk and began tending their wounds. Here was a quintet of humans, one female and four males; here a gnome fellow that had been performing at the lodge just a few nights ago, and here FLANN! Flann was alive and for this, Zyf was heartened. Because although Flann is a trying companion, he has been a boon to Zyf and has served the Talons (again, Talons not Claws, because Claws are for grasping and Talons are for rending) well. So, though his heart was heavy for his missing comrades, he was secretly happy to have Flann at his side and these new people, too.
As the newcomers recovered under the care of the powerful cleric, Zyf struck up a conversation with the serene fellow in the cage separate from the rest. “Shall I release you, too, good sir?” asked the humble cleric. “Nay interloper!” responded the man in the cage, “Be gone from me and take your sniveling companions with you or I will surely destroy you all!” Zyf stared down at the angry man, but did not reply. Calling upon his dwarven heritage and clerical studies, he realized that this man was no longer a man, but rather, a host for a heathen spirit that would soon consume him. “It is against my goddess’ code to strike down this creature when all it does is bluster and threat,” thought Zyf, “however, I will be forever vigilant for any sign of treachery.”
More days passed.
Still more days passed.
Finally, the spell began to waver. “Now is the time,” said Zyf, “for us to be prepared. Soon the last vestiges of this foul arcane magic will disperse and we will be on the battlefield with our captors, be ready!” Suddenly, a scream from inside the room containing the caged man! Zyf rushed forward and found that the serene man was dead. His body consumed by the spirit that lived within, but there was one of the pike-men from the battle and his eyes glowed with an unholy light! “No! I am too late!” For once, Zyf had failed to arrive in time. Moving with an inhuman speed, the pike-man bounded out of the open door and was gone! The magic of the mansion prevented the party from leaving, but soon enough, the spell would be at an end.
Zyf arranged his companions into a fighting wedge and prepared them as best he could. Down came the spell and winter’s frigid wind engulfed them all. In the driving snow there was little to be seen, but on one end of the battlefield, the pike-man, on the other, a wizard, between them stood Zyf, Flann and the others.
The pike-man moved toward the group and began to change, his body growing and stretching and changing into a huge man-wolf. Zyf focused his attention on the mage and cast a spell of silence, rendering him impotent in the upcoming battle. Turning to the hulking brute, Zyf charged into the fray.
The beast was strong. Zyf was strong.
The beast was powerful. Zyf was powerful.
The beast was infused with dire magicks. Zyf was infused with the blessings of Myn!
The fight lasted mere moments. The beast was destroyed, it’s terrible
spirit released to the wintry moon above the battlefield. Hastening
toward the wizard, Zyf saw tracks running away from the fight, typical
really of a wizard.
The new group searched for a place to spend the night. Outside of the magical mansion, the northern climate was not very comfortable to the others in the party; Zyf found it invigorating. But tonight, he slept well. And his dreams were of finding his old friends, Zyf’s Talons (because Claws is for fornicators of animals).