The Northwild: Manifest Destiny
Saza's Journal Entry 2
I met the druid that the guards have been telling us to contact. They mention it a lot. I think Harris has a crush. He seems a little bit tall and a little bit quiet, but he’s also pretty touchy. I ran the theory of that big tree by him and he got all offended. It seems logical to me that if there’s bad nature stuff going on, it might be a druid but he doesn’t like that label.
Squib saved me from more of that awful conversation. He said that there was a wizard in town and that his apprentice had wandered off the day before and was lost. I don’t know if it was because I slept terribly the night before, but I had a terrible vision of the boy dying in the dark alone. The apprentice is named Tyrel and his master is Threll, who is a transmuter. Threll sells all kinds of good wizard supplies and the like, and he sells hats. I am ashamed to say I got a bit distracted by a bright blue hat when I should have focused on the apprentice, but we found what he was after, generally and set out.
Tyrel had read in a book about a general who had made a bunker to besiege the castle, I guess? The bunker had to be close by and had some kind of legendary treasure. Squib, Tobbar, Iskandar, and I all headed out to find him. I assumed Squib would lead us right there, but Iskandar turned into a great big bear with this brown jowly face and he just snuffled at a scarf we got from Threll and pointed us in the right direction.
Squib did end out sorting out the rest of the puzzle. As Tyrel headed North, his tracks showed some things trailing him. The things had boots, that’s all I could decipher, but Squib assured us it was orcs. Great.
I thought bunker was going to be like a pile of rocks with a hole at the top of it, I mean this stuff is really old, but this was a for real bunker like they have on the dwarven borders. There weren’t any emplacements or anything like that, but the place looked solid. As we got closer, Squib started getting uneasy and we heard a snuffling and clanking of chains. The biggest owlbear I had ever seen was inside, but I had a memory of Tobbar singing that nightmare song he says is a resonant illusion and terrifying the beast. It was that de ja vu thing that has been happening to me constantly since I came up here. It feels like little bits of my dreams are playing out in front of me. I just wish I could remember more of the bits so I can see what we can possibly do to change it.
We slipped past the owlbear as it rolled around the ground in a daze chasing after some phantom Tobbar incited in its head. I’m glad I can’t see the nightmares Tobbar gives them. Unfortunately, just past the owlbear was a room full of orcs and we just walked face-first into them. They were all gathered around the apprentice and yelling at him to destroy a magic door. Squib didn’t even hesitate and one was down immediately. The rest was a blur. The group I have with me at Castle Dauntless is efficient.
The boy was mostly unharmed, and only a little bruised. He seemed more scared than anything else. The orcs had had the right of it though, the door was magical and was sealing off some kind of treasure within. I don’t have a way to unweave the seal yet, but it’s just a simple abjuration in the grand scheme. If possible, I’ll calculate a way to clear it, but worst case, we can dig around it. Maybe Iskandar can turn into a mole to make it go faster.
The others were searching around and Iskandar found a door that was just letting out the worst screams and howls behind it. I thought it might have been an illusion spell, but it was very convincing. We eased the door open a little bit to peek inside and it was just terrible. I saw fire and bones and a screaming figure pointing at us. We tried to shut the door, but one of the things slipped out. Tobbar shattered it into a million burning pieces but the rest didn’t chase. I wanted to inspect the door to see what was holding those terrible forces back, but Tyrel was screaming up where we left him.
The university prepared me for a lot of this journey. I know how to bend magic and I know what salves will make my butt hurt after a long cart ride, but some of it I thought was a little silly and frivolous. It didn’t sink in until I saw it, but some of the silly things in the world may also be terrifying. A gigantic humanoid treasure chest was trying to eat Tyrel. It was literally trying to seal him away in a steamer trunk. I have no words.
I think we ran most of the way back to Castle Dauntless.
Threll rewarded us for saving his apprentice, but Tobbar had plans. Usually I like Tobbar’s plans, but this time it involves me looking after a boy who wants to learn evocation and offended the only Wizard I’ve seen in months. I now have an apprentice mage. I have an apprentice mage who can’t weave a lick of power yet but still risked his life on a rumor of great treasure. This is the start of a fable about how an evoker gets himself in trouble.