Copyright © 2002 Chris Gonnerman. All Rights Reserved.
I fought many battles in that time, but two in particular are
important, as they led to important increases in my capabilities.
Specifically, from each I acquired a ring of mystic power.
The first such was, in fact, my first battle after leaving Ket's service. I was
told, in a small town on the eastern coast of Africa, about a wild and dangerous
creature known simply as the Madman. He attacked farms, killing all
he found using his clawed hands.
I spoke with a warrior named Gar who had been one of a group sent to kill the
Madman; only Gar returned. He described the Madman as short and wizened, but
very strong and fast. Perhaps the most horrific thing about the Madman was the
fact that any wound inflicted on him healed very quickly.
I prepared my spells, and the next morning I left in search of the Madman. He
was said to attack only by night, so I assumed he slept by day. The townspeople
advanced many theories about where he might be found, but based on the pattern
of his attacks I deduced that he lived in the farm house where he performed his
first murders. I was right.
At first it seemed no battle; I became invisible, and crept into the house. He
was asleep on the floor, sleeping beside a perfectly serviceable bed. Had I not
been trained as a necromancer the human body parts strewn about the two-room
shack would have made me retch, or weep, or both. It was obvious that he was a
Before he had time to awaken I cast a Paralysis spell on him. I had expected
to thus make him helpless, and then to drag him back to town.
To my surprise, as soon as I spoke he leapt to his feet and charged at me.
The Paralysis spell seemed only to slow him, and he shook like a wet dog to rid
himself of it.
I didn't have time to cast a spell; so I raised my staff and fought. Round and
round the small room we went; I nearly slipped on a puddle of blood, and he came
at me at that sign of weakness. I struck forward with my staff, catching him in
the forehead, and he reeled backward into the wall.
Several more times we feinted and parried like that, and then I saw an opening
and struck with the tip of my staff into his chest. It caved in with a
sickening sound, and he fell backward.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I took a step back. Why I stepped away from a
downed foe I don't know, but it saved me... for as I watched his collapsed chest
rose back into place, and he lifted his head slowly to show me an evil grin.
As he charged again I was prepared for him, and with a word I released a
powerful spell of Sleep on him. He fought it, tried to shake it off, but I had
prepared another just like it, and I used it.
I bound him with all the rope and cloth I could find. This gave me time
to study him, and a simple spell of Mystic Vision revealed that he wore a magic
ring. This, it turned out, was the source of his rapid healing: a Ring of
I took it from him, put it on, and then, as he was helpless, I dragged him back
to the town. By then the spells had passed, and he was gibbering and
screaming. The chieftain pronounced sentence on him quickly, and the next day
they hung him. Perhaps in these latter days, he would be committed to an
institution instead, but in those days that's how it was done. I accepted my
payment and moved on.
The second ring came from a corrupt king of a seaside nation at the
southern tip of Africa. I have by now forgotten the name of the
nation, but the king was named Elmarin.
I did not intend to slay him; his nation was too powerful, and I was
just one man. I was, in fact, just passing through.
As I walked down a street in a merchant district, I heard a cry of
pain from down a narrow alley. There I saw two scruffy-looking men
wrestling with a young boy. Ordinarily I would not pay much attention
to such things (as children often overact to draw sympathetic attention),
but this boy was much better dressed and cleaner than his opponents.
I stepped into the end of the alleyway and said, "What are you doing
with that boy?" In answer, one of them turned and charged at me,
brandishing a dagger. I stopped him with a Paralysis spell, and he
fell on the dagger. By the time I turned him over I could see he was
The other assailant released his young captive, and said "You're in
big trouble, friend. Tigris will have your hide for interfering with
Now, I had heard of this Tigris. He was the mage-in-residence at
Elmarin's castle, and had created (I was told) many powerful
enchantments to protect the castle. I had also heard that he had
unsavory appetites, but I really hadn't wanted to know any more.
So be it. "My friend, you will take me to this Tigris," I said, and
then with three words and a gesture I compelled him to obey.
I am no great master of illusion, and I know it, so I chose a simple
one: I impersonated the other thug. I instructed the thug under my
control, whose name I have since forgotten, to take me to Tigris and
to do all the talking, allowing me to avoid giving myself away.
We entered the palace of Elmarin by the rear entrance, as servants do.
My guide spoke to some of the people we met, but I just grunted,
feigning a cold. Presently we entered the private chambers of Tigris.
"I thought I sent you for a boy! Have you failed me, then?" yelled
the tall, dark-skinned mage. He wore a light robe such as rich men
wore when resting at home.
The thug began to sputter, unable to think clearly under the
control of the Domination spell. I waved my hand at Tigris, saying a
single word, and released a Paralysis spell.
Tigris was made of sterner stuff than the thug, though, and I could
see he was going to resist the spell, so I quickly followed with a
spell of Lightning. The bolt turned out not to be fatal to him, but
he was made unconscious. I cast Sleep upon the thug, who was showing
signs of overcoming the Domination; then I bound and gagged them both,
and went to work looking for Tigris' spell books.
I had just found them, hidden under his huge bed, when I heard a noise
from behind me. I turned and found Tigris standing up, no longer
bound. "How," I began, and he interrupted with a spell of Paralysis.
"You fool. This perhaps is a bad time for you to learn this, but it
is possible to cast spells without speaking. It is not the sound of
the words but the mental act of forming them that makes the magic
work. If you had time to read my books you might have learned the
spell of Freedom which I used to overcome your bonds." He walked up
beside the bed, which I had fallen upon when my muscles had failed me,
and drew his dagger. "Now, I'd like to interrogate you, but you are
much too dangerous, so goodbye." With that, he stabbed me in the
chest. I died.
Well, I did, just as anyone in the modern world might die on the
operating table, only to be brought back by doctors using advanced
medical knowledge. Tigris did not know of the ring on my hand, and he
turned away too quickly after removing the knife, so he did not see
the flow of blood cease. The Ring of Regeneration repaired my
ruptured heart, and I lay there, worrying that he would turn back and
notice I was no longer dead before the spell of Paralysis wore off.
He didn't. I stood up quietly, and saw that he was trying to counter my spell
on the thug. I decided to keep it simple, and released a Force Bolt spell of
twofold power. He was transfixed, and as he turned and saw me I could see his
shock and confusion. Then he died.
I always hated pedophiles, and I always will.
Unfortunately the scuffle had not gone unnoticed. The door burst
open, and no less than five spearmen rushed in, menacing me. I was
surprised, but even as I tried to cast my spell of Kinetic Shield they
I awoke in a cell, bound and gagged. Outside the cell stood a man of
regal bearing in fine clothes with a leering grin. Elmarin, I supposed
to myself. Behind him stood several guards. "You have killed Tigris,
my chief mage, and so you must die. I have learned you are called
Solomoriah. I have come here, Solomoriah, to thank you kindly for
this fine ring, which saved your life. As you will not be needing it
anymore I will wear it instead."
I remembered what Tigris had said about casting spells; he hadn't
known that I also knew the spell of Freedom, though I didn't have it
prepared. I began to cast it, forming the words in my mind as if I
were speaking them, and I felt the mystic energies flowing into me.
Fortunately kings love to talk, and Elmarin was no exception. He
continued in the same vein long enough for me to complete the spell,
and as my bonds fell away I quickly spoke the word to activate my
Kinetic Shield. I was just in time, as the guards rushed forward to
stab at me through the bars with their spears. Elmarin stepped back
behind them, toward the exit, as I released my Force Bolts one by one
against the spearmen.
When the last guard fell, Elmarin turned tail and ran. The Freedom spell
was already exhausted, so I used a simple Spirit Servant spell to
retrieve the keys from the jailer's desk. I assume one of the fallen
spearmen was the jailer, but frankly I don't know.
I was behind Elmarin by some seconds, but I still had spells left. I used a
spell of Speed first. Then, Invisibility seemed prudent, and I cast it as I ran
after him. I easily reached the corrupt King as he fled up the stairs and into
a servant's hallway. I was nearly out of spells by this point, so I grabbed a
nearby lampstand and struck him over the head with it. The bronze pole bent
with the force of my strike, and he fell. Invisibility is a fragile spell, but
I kept my mind calm even as I struck at him, and it did not fail me. I took all
the rings he was wearing (for there were several) and fled the palace. I didn't
slow down until I was outside the city.
Later I had time to study my "booty" and discovered one of his rings
(besides the one he had taken from me) was enchanted. It took a while
to puzzle it out, but I discovered that the ring served to detect
scrying. Scrying refers to any spell or device which allows one to
spy on a person or place remotely; a crystal ball, for instance, which
incidentally are worthless for telling the future but quite handy for
watching one's enemies.
The ring had a large blue sapphire in it, which I discovered turned
orange when I was being scryed upon. The change was so fast that no
one scrying upon me would be able to see it.
As I wore my Ring of Regeneration on my left hand, I put the Ring of
the King (as I called it) on my right. It proved to be nearly as
useful as the Ring of Regeneration in my battles against evil mages.
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