It was late, and Elemix had spent several hours – first cleaning, and then later adding new spells to his spell book. He had been standing now for many hours carefully scripting away, but at last he was finished and his legs told him he needed to rest. He poured some tea and sat down on the roughly crafted chair in his room at the inn. Now that he had finished with his spell book, he couldn’t help but reflect on the events of the past couple of days.
He had to admit that he had simply been too overconfident that the wizard’s tower was a place of safety. Upon entering the wizard’s guild tower, he had felt a sense of relief and of safety similar to that of the guild back home. Similar also he thought of the safety he knew in the Grand Library. In reality though, no place was safe – especially out here on the fringes of society.
Some may have held ill will toward the master of the tower, or the effectiveness of the guards, but Elemix knew none of what had happened was their fault. He bore them no ill will. In fact, the circumstance had allowed him the opportunity to meet and work with a great illusionist. Illusion magic had always intrigued Elemix – as most magic had.
Elemix looked around his tiny room. Dust covered the clothing stand that he had made use as a podium for his work. The small table he sat next to had seen many years of hard use. It was covered in deeply warn scratches, and was heavily chipped from every angle. He had no window but instead a wooden wall that also had its share of scratches and stains of all manners. And the bed was more a cot with an old stained mattress, the sight of which surprised him. He hadn’t actually noticed it had a mattress until now and sad as it looked, it was better than no mattress.
In terms of comfort and safety even tonight he would have felt more at home within the walls of the wizards tower. Indeed, he half expected the assassin to break in through the meager door at any moment and try again to take the Aquila. His table came with two chairs and the one he wasn’t presently sitting in he had pinned against the door in case that thought actually came to fruition. It wouldn’t be much protection, but at least he may have a moment to prepare himself.
This inn was far less defended than the tower. But then his companions had clearly decided they would not stay in the tower and to be a good team player Elemix had agreed to stay here near them. Still, Elemix was fairly certain they hadn’t seen the last of that assassin.
Elemix stopped himself. His mind had been wandering.
Taking a sip of his tea he reminded himself that choosing to chase down information on the Aquila had been his choice ever since completing his trial, and his companions had supported him in that decision. Elemix had simply wanted to understand what the artifact was and why this sect was trying to acquire it. The fact that his company had been attacked so frequently was evidence that this artifact in particular must be important, and that only made Elemix want to discover its nature that much more.
It had power – even for a magic item as evidenced by its ability to rebuild itself. His discussions with the others had at least identified it as an Aquila which was likely atop a war banner that led an army. Surely Dr Bruin would be able to tell him more about this, and the other items they had found – the javlin and the dagger. He looked forward to seeing the Dr again. Now that he was officially a wizard with a mission of his own.
His thoughts turned then to Emmiline and the brief discussion he had held with her patron – the fey. He was skeptical that this creature had granted power to Emmiline and asked nothing in return for doing so. That did not jive with his understanding of how the world worked. To gain power you must work for it, either through study or practice and time, or through service to another.
Elemix himself had studied for years just to be proven worthy of learning limited magic and going on his trial to gain the ability to learn more. All power comes with a price. Emmiline’s was given her power – but what was the price she had to pay for it?
It wasn’t that he mistrusted Emmiline; he just didn’t fully trust Mara. She seemed kind, but he also got a sense of her darker side when Mara had taken offense to the use of the term sorcerer. If Emmeline’s magic had been passed to her via her blood, then in fact she was a sorcerer of some kind. Witch or Warlock it made no difference. Elemix sighed. He hoped that Emmiline would not slip up and that word of her powers would not reach the wrong people. Though Elemix was fond of Emmiline, he still wasn’t willing to risk his reputation or status in the guild for her. He sincerely hoped it would never come to that.
As he leaned over to remove his boots, El’s thoughts turned to Tiffany. If she was ever successful in becoming a “he” again, El thought it would be most odd. After all, El had only ever known Tiffany as a woman. The axe and the damage it caused when Tiffany attuned to it were hard to forget. Still though, it seemed an appropriate weapon for such a fierce warrior. She was easily the strongest of his group, and he was very thankful to have her around.
In a way he thought, Elemix was the most normal of his group. He wasn’t hiding anything. He didn’t have some odd life altering transformation, and he didn’t have anyone out to kidnap or kill him. He thought about that for a moment and wondered how he had wound up in such an odd lot. This was the first group he had ever been involved with as far as he could recall that was so diverse. Regardless though, he was pleased that he had come to know them and be associated with them. They were all of positive character and he knew he could trust them.
Though he had come close to death many times already, Elemix knew he had fared better than many other would be wizards and his success was due largely to those he now considered his friends. He made a point to remember that much.
Dusk had long past and he knew morning was nearing. El closed his spell book and with it, moved from the chair to his meager bed. He rolled out his blanket and felt his muscles tense as he laid his back down, taking care to hide his prized book under him in the process. All that running after the assassin had strained him. Having his throat cut and being knocked out by poison probably had something to do with his exhaustion as well.
Tomorrow at least he would be able to sleep in a bit – assuming he wasn’t assassinated during his sleep. Now, there’s a pleasant thought to end the day he said to himself. Within moments Elemix was asleep.