Smendric pulled the thin cloak as far around him as he could manage. Although he was hiking up a mountain trail he wasn’t dressed for the frigid cold. The magic he was relying on to stay warm had been stripped away leaving him ill prepared for the harshness of the winter winds. If he were in a younger body he could have tolerated the cold a bit better, but this one had long since passed its prime. The onset of cold & stiffness had begun to affect him more than years past, a sure indication it was time for this form to be replaced. He was running out of time and could ill afford another dead end like his previous investigations.
Smedric had arrived on this world over 50 winters ago. It was an alternate prime material similar to his home, but with slightly different rules regarding magic. After visiting various libraries and speaking with a variety of sages he discovered that arcane spells were cast a bit differently in this realm. He realized the majority of their spells were variances of what he had collected over the past few centuries. Some of these variances were just semantics, with no notable difference what so ever. However some rewrote the spells completely with components, durations, or even the spells affects being radically altered. It was these differences that caused him to enroll in an apprentice program at Maven’s Universal School for Incantations & Conjurations.
Once there he relearned the basics of spell formula and was able to merge his arcane flair, with some of the more common gestures found in this realm. The result was a more versatile style of spell casting that would allow him to cast more efficiently regardless of what plane he found himself. When he finished not only was he the top graduate in his class, but he was the youngest wizard in school history to earn the BCA (Brewers Caldron Accolade) for alchemy. Smendric spent several decades researching not only his new foundation of spell casting but trying to identify any master mages of this world who had perfected their art.
Most worlds had very few gifted spell casters. One that could reach a level of magical talent only dreamed of by the common arcanist. Remembering Blackstaff & Mascar he needed a true master of magic, surely this world must have their equivalents somewhere. If he could track them down and offer to further their studies. He had collected a lot of knowledge in his travels, rare magics any wizard would be eager to possess. His hope was to find a skilled colleague with something valuable to offer him in return.
As he trudged up the mountain Smendric scoffed at the thought of his past disappointments. A couple of devils pretending to be humans, an ancient Druid who wouldn't recognize a spell book if it bit him in the arse, and a mediocre illusionist that built up a reputation far greater than his talents deserved. The masters of magic in this world were beyond disappointing. Not one of them had anything useful to offer him and he was about to run out of names. In fact after his run in with the illusionist this world had one less master of magic to grandstand for it.
Images of his friends slipped into his mind, they did not share his burden in this endeavor. So trivial to them, the topic of mortality was never even discussed in their presence. He was certain they would help him if he were to ask. But he knew they would lecture him on “the cycle of life” or something, that’s the way elves were. And the thought of a pact made him shiver more than the biting winds he now faced. Besides he knew they would need his help one day they were far from immortal after all. When they hit that venerable age and faced the reality of their own mortality I will be the one they turn to he thought. I will be the only one prepared for their inevitable fall from grace, and then it will be my turn to say….
Lost in his delusion of grandeur Smendric failed to notice the second dispelling wall. The first only stripped him of his weather protection, but this one took everything else. All his item effects, as well as his spell like abilities were all gone. At once he felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach. His knees buckled and pain wracked his body. The pilgrim behind him was able to keep him upright else he would have been laid prone on the mountain side.
“Thank you” he whispered looking over his shoulder after collecting himself. The man while similar in age was far superior physically. Having lived in this environment his entire life the weather only seemed to cause him minor discomfort.
“No problem, keeping the line as tight as possible will help reduce the wind. Here take my walking stick this part of the trail can get pretty slick. If it gets to bad put your head down and keep your eyes on the boots in front of you”.
Smendric nodded taking the old walking stick in his off hand. The man oblivious to the dispelling field assumed he had slipped on the ice. Looking around no one else had notice the field either. How did it hit him so hard while no one else had a clue? Most of the villagers had no magic to speak of, those that did had minor trinkets passed down as family air looms or won in games of chance. They probably wouldn’t have noticed even if he hit them on the head with their non-functioning items. There was a dozen or so that wore enchanted weaponry; surely they would have been affected. But no reactions came from the group, either they weren’t affected or more likely they were to dim witted to know it.
He began to think of the power necessary to generate that type & size of field. To dispel active item affects as well as spell like ability’s. An anti-magic field would work, but that spell is typically centered on a caster. And now that he had regained his sense he could see the faint shimmering of the field well over 50’ in radius. A smile crept across his cracking lips. Perhaps this pilgrimage to the Eonian would put an end to his searching.