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A note from TK523

Shout out today is for Mark of the Fool, the story about a young man destined to be the sidekick of the real heroes, who wants none of that nonsense. Follow him as he learns how to harness the "gift" fate has given him to pursue his dreams of being a wizard. 

Entry 7 Part 2: Riloth 19th the 7th

I'm back. Can you even tell that time has passed? I ran down to Levar's. It's about an hour past midnight, so he was not happy to see me. Also, I forgot to bring my coin purse.

Needless to say, waking him up in the middle of the night to buy something, and then not having the money to buy it didn't endear him to me. Good thing the whole world is going to reset in an hour. Well, maybe not the whole world. Is there a way I can look into that?

I counted my coins and I’m about thirteen gold short of that potion. I am going to have to think of something. I have more wealth than I’ve ever had in my life and I’m not even halfway there. Luckily, I'm trapped in a gambling parlor in an endlessly repeating temporal anomaly. Well, not luckily, but in this specific circumstance it should make it easy to make up the difference.

Anyway, the reset must be soon. The nap helped but I need to write to ensure I stay awake. Back to the first, more pleasant time, I interacted with Levar.


Riloth 18th

The stupid moron, who fancied himself an intellectual but forgot the solution to his problems was just down the road replied, "No thanks, that's a bit steep for a hangover cure.” After a thought, I added, “besides I hardly ever drink that much."

I hate myself.

I can feel how ridiculous I thought the idea of a twenty-gold hangover cure was.

This guy really thinks someone would pay twenty gold to cure a hangover. Would that pitch work on an adventurer? They must be insane.

I pulled you out of my satchel and turning away from him ripped out the page with the strange script.

"Here’s the text I am looking to translate."

"Hmm," He muttered, "Fascinating. I don’t recognize it, but it must be the script of an unblessed sapient race. I have some contacts in the world of adventurers, I can see if anyone has any ideas. Do you mind if I make a copy?"

I assented, and he took the sheet to a wooden box behind the counter. He placed a piece of paper on top of the one I’d given him, and ran a polished black stone over them both. When he lifted the sheets up, a perfect copy of the text was present on the sheet that had been blank a moment before. He handed the original back to me, and I slid it into your pages where you reobsorbed it.

Having come in here to pass the time before the scheduled rendezvous, I asked Levar what it meant to be a “scholar of adventure” and he explained it to me, and it was exactly what the name implied. History, monsters, magic, Blessings, enchantments, alchemy, you name it; if it was tangentially related to the exploits of adventurers, Levar likely studied it in some depth. He mainly focused on the areas that touch on alchemy, but seeing as the ingredients come from such a wide variety of sources, he has a remarkable breadth of knowledge. We talked for a long time, the topics ranging from medicinal uses for oozes to the art of restoring books which have been submerged since the flood and recovered by the Seafolk.

Time got away from me, and I looked outside to see the sun setting over the town. I made excuses and ran to the Parlor to meet with the group for our planned dinner. I found them in the dining hall, already into the second course of their meal. A plate of giant crab steak sat waiting for me at the empty seat, the round slice of the crustaceans limb filling the entire plate. Accompanying the enormous dish came a bowl of seasoned, melted, butter, and a cabbage and beet salad.

“Where have you been?” Trish asked, as I hurried to my seat.

“I’m sorry I’m late. I got distracted talking to Levar, the alchemist in town.”

“Ha!” Roland shouted. Jumping to his feet, he stuck out his hand to Trish palm up. “I win, you said he’d be holed up surrounded by books.”

Trish ignored Roland’s declaration, and continued eating, slowly lifting a piece of crab to her mouth while looking at me expectantly.

“Actually,” I started, rubbing the back of my head and looking away from Roland. “I was at Levar’s Books and Alchemy.”

Daulf broke out in laughter, and Trish joined in as Roland returned to his seat slouching. He fished out a silver coin and flicked towards Trish. The coin flew over her shoulder, but she snatched it out of the air as it passed.

When I finally sat down, Trish leaned over and whispered, “I saw you in there on my way back to the Parlor.”

The meal was great—as always—and we updated each other on our collective lack of leads on Bearskin while we ate. When that was done, Roland started on one of his heavily embellished stories only for our meal to be interrupted

“It is you!” A voice broke through Roland’s tale. “Daulf, I’d heard you were in the area, but I didn’t expect to find you here.”

The Seeker I had seen in the company of the Tower wizard stood at our table, looking at Daulf with a mix of adoration and awe. He had forgone his armor, emblazoned with the symbols of the Tower and Illunia, in exchange for a brilliant white tunic of tightly spun fabric—emblazoned with the symbols of the Tower and Illunia. The symbols were embroidered with threads of silver and gold. Daulf had worn similar clothing when we’d met, but it hadn’t survived the journey’s battles, and any money he could have put towards a new set, went instead to helping those we encountered. He now wore simple homespun clothes with an embroidered symbol of Illunia’s eye stitched into the corner, which he’d added himself in plain white thread. If either by choice or lack of time, he neglected to include the vertical rectangle inscribed in a circle that represented the Tower.

The Seeker continued. “The Tower has been looking everywhere for you. They were not pleased with your last report.”

Daulf looked up at the man, and returned his awe with a friendly smile. “Fanos! It's been, what? Two years? How have you been? Still trying for a boy? How's your wife?

As he spoke, Daulf stood from his seat and walked towards the other Seeker. They clasped wrists, and Daulf brought the man in for a hug.

“Aye, about that long. We did finally get that boy, but he came along with another girl. Twins! It’s alright though, Shannon always wanted a full house.” The man’s awe faded, and he seemed to relax, but then he caught himself. “Don’t change the topic. The council is furious with you. They wanted to reassign you when your last charge fell to that dragon. Is this the Stormcaller you are using to shirk your duty?”

He gestured to me at the last. Though his face wasn’t hostile, I suddenly felt as if I were naked in front of a room of Seekers who knew my secret.

Daulf answered softly, “Faron, you know I answer to a higher power than the council. I’m acting in accordance to Illunia’s will in this matter. What about my request?”

With a sigh, Fanos said, “They fulfilled it, partially. They paid for a caravan of supplies to embark from Lakeside. Along with the basics, they included some basic educational materials. No wizards were sent to aid the people, but some of the temples of Lakeside heard about the disaster and sent their own Blessed to assist. They also sent a letter to that new mayor, and the ranking Landing officer, instructing them to send you back to the Tower should you show up again. ”

“Well, that's great news.” Daulf replied, as if Fanos hadn’t spoken the last part.

“Seeker Daulf.” A stern voice cut through the happy mood. “You have been quite the difficult man to track down.”

We all turned to see a Tower wizard coming towards our table. He was an average sized man in his early forties, with dark black hair and a thick, but manicured beard. His robes marked him as a wizard of the Tower, with the symbol of the Tower on one shoulder, and an insignia of his rank on the other, both more opulent and grand than even that of his Seeker’s—not that an insignia or symbol was needed to mark oneself as being a wizard of the Tower. No one but they would wear those ridiculous robes on all occasions.

At the sight of the wizard, terror coarsed through every inch of my body, and when faced with fear, my mind escaped to strange places.

I should ask Levar why they wear those robes. He would know. They’re so impractical.

The wizard stopped next to his Seeker companion and gestured at me with a dismissive wave. “Is this that barnacle storm brat you’ve been galavanting around with?”

Daulf’s face set into a blank expression I’d not seen on his usually jovial man.

In a neutral tone he said, “This is Apprentice Stormcaller Theral, and as you well know, the Tower charter allows Seekers to take apprentice wizards under their protection in order to escort them back to their masters.”

The smug look on the wizard’s face turned to a sneer. “You know very well that clause was meant for real wizards. Not these blood tainted bilge mongrels.”

Daulf maintained his stony visage, and simply said, “I think it best you leave. I may be a Seeker, but I am also Illunia’s Chosen, and we both know that grants me certain latitude to deal with problems as I see fit. Any problem.”

At the last statement, the man’s sneer softened

“Come Fanos, let us go eat elsewhere. It smells like rotting fish in here,” he said, looking at me and not the crab.

Fanos walked away, and snuck Daulf a wave goodbye, mouthing “Sorry” as they went.

Before he left our earshot, the wizard, whose name I hadn’t learned, shouted, “When you see the mongrel's master, make sure to give them my best.”

The terror began to fade, but was quickly replaced with anger. My mother had been my master, and her death was still fresh enough that it took little to rip off the scab. I left my meal, and rose from the table without a word.

“Theral,” Daulf said. “I am so sorry about that.”

I didn’t stop, and walked to my room to be alone. A few minutes after reaching it, I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to find Trish with a bottle of some brown liquor and two glasses. She came in and we drank in silence. We did this often, each remembering our pasts but not sharing. We drank the bottle she’d brought, and she produced another from one of her mysterious pockets. I don’t know how she hid it. This bottle was smaller, and had no label. She filled my glass with a dark and thick liquid that poured like syrup. We clinked our glasses and I took a swig—Oh, that was terrible. Disgusting. I can taste it now. It was dwarven ale. We drank dwarven ale!? That at least explains the state of my body each morning. That toxic sludge is not fit for human consumption.

We drank a lot—somehow. I still don't know what I was thinking or how I stomached it—and talked very little. Sitting in companionable silence had become a regular activity for us after the night we’d first met. She had some tragedies in her past, but that night we sat, quietly looking out the window at the moon-lit square. Maybe it would be good for me to recount my own past here, but not tonight.


-To do-

  1. Find a way out of these resets
  2. Find out if I am alone here
  3. Find a way to wake up earlier
  4. Cure this hangover
  5. Learn the capabilities of this book
  6. Learn the language of the spellforms
  7. Learn how to read spellforms
  8. Discover the secret protected art of spellform writing
  9. Figure out time of reset
  10. Look into House Barion
  11. Look into the giant up north
  12. Check out the outlaws in the forest ruins
  13. Investigate the runes in the library
  14. Take more baths
  15. Track down the boy from the bakery
  16. Find a way to make some coin.
  17. Track down the dwarven caravan.

I didn’t expect to find a lead on Bearskin while trapped here, but I can't let this opportunity to possibly find him pass by. I won't be in this forever—I hope. I must plan for life after, or I will go mad. If I haven’t already.

The dwarves are an oddity, though I have not seen them since the resets occurred. They must have left before I’m able to wake. I'll need to prioritize waking up earlier. After securing those potions of clarity.

But most importantly, I need to find a way to make some coin and buy those potions.

It's pretty late, I’m going to try to stay up for the reset and see if I can figure out when it occurs. I will plan Operation Cure tomorrow.

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About the author

TK523

  • United States

Bio: Aim for perfection, but don't try too hard.

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