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Mendacious Materials: Musings of the Mage

The old mage gestures for Justahn to continue, not at all distracted by the task of meticulously preparing an ornate arcane ritual on the floor of the old theater’s stage. “Well that’s about it, really,” the dwarf mumbles, slightly in awe at Jesker’s cavalier attitude while working magic far beyond the stout sorcerer’s talents. “Oh, and the dream. It was strange, right enough, a shared sort of thing. Everyone but Mykhail and Nehpets had it, but it nobody had quite the same experience.”

“Dreams!,” the old man scoffs, “I’ve never taken any stock in all of that and I’ve of the mind you shouldn’t either. There are rumors of a deity of dreams somewhere in Aventyr, but our world is vast indeed—stories of all types of gods exist, but you won’t see me trust in the existence of one because of a tavern tale!” With a sigh of satisfaction, Jesker raises up from where he was floating just above the floor and onto his feet, arching his back. “Looks easy, but trying to keep stable enough to do this correctly isn’t an easy task.”

Musings of the MageThe dwarf looked down onto the stage with interest; painted in blue blood (liberally mixed with some sort of reptilian creature’s crushed scales) across nearly the whole of the theater’s floor was a complex arcane diagram, filled with intricate symbols of power. Most of it was far beyond his understanding, but Justahn couldn’t help but venture a guess as to what its purpose was, asking, “this is for undead, right? Does this have anything to do with the blood thralls?”

Jesker grinned, stroking his beard and nodding, “yes, yes it does. For a sorcerer you’re remarkably astute, sir dwarf! When all’s said and done, this ritual will painlessly remove every one of those freakish creatures from Mohkba. That’s to say, rather, that it should do that—I must admit it’s been many decades since the last time I attempted something like this.”

“Decades?,” the much younger sorcerer asked. “Just how old are you?”

The old mage only offered up a wink and a smile before dropping his head back and swallowing a bit of liquor before spitting a glob of fire onto the diagram, setting it aflame. With a sickening lurch a nexus of violet power appears above the floor for just a moment. Then it explodes outward to the psychic cry of something out in the metropolis, followed by identical screams increasing in frequency.

“Oh my,” Jesker stutters, “that’s...that’s not good.”
Then the room erupts in a kaleidoscopic array of light that shines through flesh, stone, and wood alike.
Despite his ancient frame the mage is spry as he rapidly collects his alchemy kit, haphazardly checking to make sure each container is fastened. “That is definitely not good! Collect the Shlyappa ore! Now, quickly! Quickly!”

Musings of the Mage 2Sure enough the sound of ringing bells—a callsign of the superstitious guards of Mohkba—can be heard from every direction and when the adventurers rush onto the stage with their belongings, Jesker is surrounded by three opsjena and awash with magic. He looks at them incredulously and yells, “what in the backbone of the Dracoprime are you still doing here!?”

Just then the door thumps loudly—once, twice—before going silent. The old wizard rushes the party backstage just as an explosion blows the entrance to the theater into wooden shrapnel, followed by the enthusiastic cry of scores of voices. A fusilade of crossbow bolts and arrows fly towards them all, blocked just in time as Jesker throws up a field of force. “Stop dallying about! Fly, you fools!

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