Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wizard's Task

The beast stood three feet taller than the wizard, who was tall among his colleagues, and weighed on the order of 800 or mayhap 900 pounds. The air surrounding the creature did not originate from it; the odor came instead from the company the creature often kept as they are often in the service of fiends and other more terrible lower planar entities.

The wizard was cautious of the extra planar guardian and its powers of inducing memory loss with an exhalation of its dangerous breath; just its normal breathing vibrated against the wizard’s chest. The beast’s carapace was plated in areas to that formed a natural shell that looked scarred from many battles; obscenely large hands ended in rending claws; and atop its sloping shoulders is a head like that of a smallish pachyderm- coined a maelephant

The wizard had prepared for many months and had nearly bankrupted his family for this day to be realized. The maelephant had to come by its own will, the wizard tricked it; the beast understood it was here to guard over a ship in Waterdeep harbor…

The maelephant stood hulking over the wizard; together they palavered in the reinforced and remodeled cargo hold of the ship, the creature awaited instructions.

Beast,” the wizard began. His tone even and measured to pass as believable; he motioned toward the object in the hold, hoping the creature knew nothing of maritime operations. If the maelephant suspected treachery, the wizard would simply prompt the sea zombies that awaited his command to attack. “This engine will propel the ship efficiently without the reliance of wind or sea currents. Many of my adversaries as well as some colleagues covet my invention and would have it as their own.” He added a bit of tension at the end of this statement to add realism.

There is a cost as you know.” The maelephant stated deeply and flatly.

I offer a Harp of Charming. It allows the performer to plant suggestions within the minds of those treated to its beautiful notes. I know you may not find it useful,” gesturing at his large claws. “but I am sure you know of an enchanter who would make your simple task for me seem trivial.” The wizard felt the maelephant fall deeper into his plan.

What would you have me do?” The trunk of the beast writhed and lashed in excitement.

Guard my device for 24 hours whilst I enjoy the Higharvestide festivities.” The wizard smiled. “That’s it.”

The maelephant considered, while it did the creature began to grunt and fart; the wizard assumed this was normal albeit unpleasant behavior.

Very well; 24 hours for the harp.” The beast agreed.

Very good.” The wizard handed over the harp and produced a festival hat to show that for the wizard, the party was about to begin. The wizard led the maelephant to the William Device and indicated where locate, “I just need you to be ready ‘here’ if anyone but me enters the hold until tomorrow. Well enough?

24 hours,” the beast corrected as he assumed a posture as directed.

You will not be here for another 24 minutes; the wizard thought and flashed the maelephant another smile.

It must have sensed treachery; the wizard thought later, because just as he activated the William Device the beast suddenly reacted. The wizard was just about to call the sea zombies when the maelephant began to slowly settle from spastic fits to mild convulsions then dead stillness.

Time passed as the machine removed what the wizard hoped would be essentia; the material needed to bind spells to one’s self. What the machine gleaned from the maelephant was not essentia, but a planar substance; from creature of neutral morals and laws, exhumed by an intricate and complex machine, materializes the planar aspect of Mechanus.

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