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Entry 11: Riloth 19th the 10th

Dear Spellbook,

Today would have been Riloth 28th, my birthday, had time not ground to a halt. I would have turned 20. Fate it seems has decreed that, despite this small temporal misstep, it shall still be a day to celebrate.

I woke up today, feeling as terrible as previously described. I ran down to the front desk, grabbed the clock from a confused Simon, and then sat in the lobby for five minutes because I had gotten down there much too early.

As the clock struck 9:15 I walked straight to the roulette table, trying to mimic my previous behavior as close as possible. Any small change could alter the roll of the dealer. Or is it throw of the clerk? What’s the name of the person who runs a roulette table? Both those seem wrong.

Not important.

Anyway, after noting the time of this bet the other today, I spent some time watching the table to get a feel for how to place a bet in the most unobtrusive way. The answer showed itself when I saw a man place a bet after the baller-thrower had thrown the ball. The man placed his bet while the ball was in motion and announced his bet. He lost, but the dealer had no objection to this late bet. So long as I don’t jostle the table, all should work out.

Once the ball was in motion, I placed the bet down as gently as possible.

Copying the man from before, I announced, “Eight gold on twelve!”

The dealer looked up, eyes wide in shock, and the other gamblers around me gasped in surprise at the large bet. The dealer affirmed my bet with a nod once the surprise faded, and we all watched in suspense as the ball spun. While my fellow gamblers were fixed on the ball’s progress around the ring, my own eyes stared at the people standing around the table. They huddled close, and each time someone moved to touch it, my anxiety built, fearing any nudge could alter the fate of the ball.

Finally, the ball slowed and began to skip over the numbers. The table grew quiet and all that could be heard was the as the ball bounced from number to number. A woman grabbed my arm nervously, at which point I realized I was still dressed in my courtesy Crystal Dragon Gambling Parlor sleepwear. Which is to say, a bathrobe. The ball finally slowed and landed in twelve, and the table erupted into celebration. Those standing around me embrace me in a spontaneous group hug.

Who needs Riloth’s luck?

Despite the hug, my body relaxed upon seeing the ball land on twelve, releasing tension I hadn’t realized I was holding. If I truly am Blessed by Riloth, his Blessing has not been working for me these last dozen todays, but it seems at least that I can manufacture my own luck with enough preparation.

The crowd started to disperse as two security staff, armed with truncheons and swords and garbed in the livery of the Parlor walked up to me. Fearing that I’d somehow been caught out in my exploit, I glanced around for an escape route. As they grew closer I saw that they were relaxed and smiling, not preparing for a confrontation, and my panic faded.

The taller of the two spoke, "Congratulations on your big win Mage Theral! Would you like to keep playing on the floor or would you like us to escort you to the cashier to collect your prize. At thirty five to one odds you are set to collect a hefty sum."

Relieved, I said "I think I’d like to collect a small portion now."

We walked over to the cashier.

“Congratulations on your win Mage Theral.” the cashier said warmly. “Would you like to withdraw your winnings now in full, partially, or receive a credit voucher for one of our partner halfling house banks?”

“I’ll just take forty gold for now.” I answered. “On second thought, can you count it all out for me. I just want to see it.”

Don’t judge, it’s not every day you win a fortune. Well, I suppose it will be for me, but I allowed myself this indulgence. For that much gold I could buy a ship, I could build a castle out in the wilds or hire a private army for a year. The fact that the Parlor not only had that much gold on hand, but had it in this tiny cashier stand spoke volumes about the power the proprietors wielded.

The cashier gave a knowing smile and said, “Of course,” as she counted out the coins in front of me. Once she was done counting—I was done ogling it—she handed me a purse with forty coins, and put the rest in a lock box which one of the guards hoisted into a locked cubby behind the counter.

After allowing me some time to stand there gawking, the clerk coughed to get my attention and asked, "How much would you like to take with you today sir?"

I took only forty coins.

Wow, look at me already blinded by my wealth, “only forty gold,” like that's a pittance.

I took the gold and ran to Levar’s. Well, hobbled, I still felt terrible. The guard shouted something as I left about an escort, but I paid them no heed. At the alchemy shop, I burst through the front door. The bell on top broke off and flew into a pile of ridiculously expensive powder with a dull clink and the sound of breaking glass. Levar had been carefully gathering ingredients onto a cart, and my arrival caused him to jump up in alarm, kicking the cart away into a pile of scrolls. The cart tipped over, spilling more ingredients, and the scrolls fell into the mess on the floor, becoming stained with a dozen colors.

When he recovered he turned to me with a quiet anger in his eyes, that softened slightly when he recognized me. I cut him off before he could begin to voice his displeasure, "I would like one clarity potion and something to help with sleep deprivation.” I dropped my coin purse, allowing its contents to spill out.

Then I added, “please.”

At the sight of the coins that spread from the purse, his demeanor changed from restrained fury to composed salesman "That was quite the, erm, entrance. I may have to charge you for some of the damage, but I think you will be able to afford it.”

I looked around, taking in the mess I made finally, and my face grew red in embarrassment

“Sorry, I just really could use these potions, and just came into some coin at the Parlor,” I said.

“Ha, some coin indeed,” he laughed. “I have just the thing, I still have the clarity potions from the other day. As for sleep deprivation I have a few options. You could take a potion of forgone sleep, made from the brain of a dire owl and stabilized with the bark of a dryad’s tree. This concoction will forgo the need to sleep, and remove the effects of any ongoing effects of sleep deprivation for up to twenty four hours, depending on the dose, your weight, and your resistance to toxins. When it wears off you will immediately fall into a deep slumber that lasts twice the time spent awake. The other option is a potion of vigor made from the essence of a pixie dissolved in the blood of a blitz hawk. This will give you the energy to ignore sleep for a day, but you will feel—" he paused, choosing his words carefully "—very energetic."

My curiosity got the better of me despite my excitement for the cure to my ailments.

I asked, "What is the essence of a pixie?"

Levar replied with embarrassment, "Well, that's a bit of positive marketing from the alchemy guild. If it were up to me I’d call it pixie powder, or pixie dust, but most people know what that is. It’s dried, crushed, and ground pixies. But please don’t let that get around. I’ll admit that essence of pixie sounds better, but I don’t like the misdirection.”

He walked behind the counter as he spoke and grabbed two vials from the rack.

“I don’t know what you need this for, but I recommend the first option.” he said, holding a yellow liquid up for me to see. “If you can arrange to be taken care of when it wears off, the time you gain is much more productive. The energy potion makes you a bit manic and prone to making poor choices. It's a favorite amongst adventurers, but I don't recommend it to my more civilized clients."

While he spoke, I continued to survey the damage my entrance had made and eventually looked myself over. It was then that I remembered that I still hadn't bothered to dress that morning in all the excitement. I stood barefoot in his store wearing what amounted to a bathrobe. I could only imagine what the staff and patrons of the Parlor must have thought of my morning activities. Now Levar stood brokering a very expensive transaction after I’d destroyed some of his ingredients.

A sack of gold will do wonders to change how people see you.

“I’ll take them.” I said, pushing the whole pouch towards him. “Please, keep it all. I’m sorry about the damages.“

He handed me the potions, and took the gold, not bothering to count it. “Thank you for your patronage. But please, do try to be a little more careful next time.”

With a promise that I would, I left the store, prizes in hand. Outside, I immediately downed both vials. The potions looked beautiful in their glass tubes. The clarity potion was the clear blue of the Ocean reflecting a cloudless sky, and the foregone sleep was a pleasant foggy yellow liquid, like the center of a daisy.

Their pleasant appearance hid their true nature. The taste was foul, and I'm not going to describe it in your pages and be subjected to tasting it once more. Suffice to say, I can see why someone would suspect that dirt could cure a hangover if the real cures tasted this bad.

And a cure it was. Despite the taste, that would lead to wretching in other circumstances, the effects were immediate. The fog lifted from my mind, as if I had been carrying a burden I had not realized—no that's bad. It was as if I’d grown accustomed to a heavy travel pack and finally could put it down. No, those are both so cliche.

It was as if a colony of goblins had been living inside my head, slowly eating my skull from the inside, and defecating on my brain. And now that's not happening anymore, my mind feels clear and I feel completely rested as if I just woke up from a good midday nap. An instant recovery, as if the previous state of misery never was.

My stomach still felt unsettled, but compared to how I had felt, it wasn't even a concern.

When I left Levar’s it was just past ten, and I headed back to the Parlor. Amazing, this whole day I walked through in a blissful cloud, not a care in the world. I didn't consider the time for even a moment, yet writing here I can estimate the time almost as well as if I had that gnomish clock before me.

I now sit in the baths writing. If you didn’t know, you’re waterproof. It seems the only thing your pages absorb is ink. You are also coffee proof, but admittedly I’ve known that for some time.

Sorry.

I have spent the last few hours lounging and basking in my pain free existence. I plan to spend the rest of the day doing the same. I deserve a vacation, so I am taking one, plus it's sort of my birthday. The afternoon wasn’t a total waste either, I learned one very important fact.

The best food to eat while floating in a bath is grapes.

Tomorrow I will get back to work, but tonight I am going to enjoy myself.

I almost forgot.

-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. Trackdown the boy from the bakery
  16. Find a way to make some coin.
  17. Track down the dwarven caravan.

It feels good to cross some items off. Spellbook, remove crossed off items from the list the next time you copy it.

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About the author

TK523

  • United States

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

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