Chapter 3 Part 2b
When he came in the door, Ardinia immediately knew there was something terribly, horribly wrong based only on her husband’s demeanor. She rushed to him, her heart racing,
“What is wrong?!” she was near frantic. He looked down at her, a strange expression crossing his face. She realized that he was trying to read her. After a moment,
“So, you have not been to Ryventhal?” he asked.
“No. Why?” She answered and asked.
A few minutes later, she understood the source of his concern, for almost immediately upon hearing the news of the human paladin and his quest, she wanted to ride to the cathedral and make sure they did not leave without her. Her husband fell into silence and she didn’t know what to say. After a very long time, he finally spoke,
“There is no way that I will be able to talk you out of this, is there?” When he looked up, there were tears streaming down his face and Ardinia was shocked, stunned. Here was the guardian of the western court, weeping.
For the next several hours they discussed…argued…cried…
Siam in a rage tells Ardinia “What if I just forbid you to go?”
Ardinia responded, “Then you really do not love me as much as you say you do, dear. When you leave on your trips I worry myself sick and pray you are ok but I know this are things you must do for our future, for the forest’s future and for yourself. My love, this is something that affects my future and where I can and can not learn from. I have an opportunity to solve a centuries old riddle to get into a library that no one has been in that could benefit me and who knows maybe all of us, and this is your response to me?”
Siam responds “please never question my love again that is going way too far you know I would die for you! That is exactly what I am afraid of: what may happen if you go into that cursed city. I understand your need to go, my love. “
Let us see what Maiaryum has to say when we go see him tomorrow. If he is willing to go or even help out then I would feel much better about the situation”
As Ardinia and Siam head out it is silent for most of the ride there as both feel uncomfortable to speak. Fighting was not part of their routine in fact as Ardinia thinks back this is the first time they had not seen eye to eye. But even with that it changes nothing Ardinia would do the same for Siam as he said he would do for her.
As they get within range of the tower, Ardinia gives Lei a little whisper and a kiss and with that she flies off, yes it is their ritual to let Maiaryum know they are coming and besides he gets a kick out of seeing how much Ardinia has come with Lei.
As they approach the usual happens the doors fling open before they can knock and there stands the elder elf with his robes and all, laughing, for the first time since they left, Siam walks up to (name) and shakes his hand backed with a hug and says
“Never, never will that trick get to old for me”. Siam just loved that the elder elf loved to put on a show for them with little magic tricks like they where some kind of kids, when in reality compared to him they were. Ardinia rushes in pushes her husband to the side and gives him the usual great big hug that he deserves, after all he has done so much for them let alone what he has just done for her.
“Dear dear stop you are going to squeeze what life is left in this old body out, please come in let us sit and discuss why you came to see me, after all Myth Drannor is an awfully scary place and besides Ardinia do you not want me to look at those items you have brought?”
Ardinia knowing that he is the wisest elf left, was still puzzeled they had just gotten the news on Myth Drannor and how did he know she investigated the ship, she turns and looks at Siam who just shrugs his broad shoulders in just as much disbelief. As usual he pours them tea, with out touching a thing,
“So Ardinia were are these items you have?” Ardinia reaches in her bag and pulls out a staff, crown, and ring.
She tells him “I know little about the ring and nothing about the crown or staff can you fill me in?”
After studying the items he begins to speak, “I will have to spend some time looking at these.” he says placing the rod, ring and book to the side, “This, however,” he continues holding the crown up and squinting closely at it, “is a Spelljammers…” he looks off, thinking, “I forget what they call them, but we can see it’s a crown, can’t we?” He smiles as the younger mage nods, hanging on his every word. If she only knew what she has done for him, she would not feel nearly as guilty with these visits, he was reminded that he was alive. “My understanding is that this thing somehow amplifies magical energies in some way. A Spelljammer will wear this and then will sit on this huge contraption they call ‘a helm’ but is really just a snazzy, fancy chair. Together, they enable the Spelljammer to pilot a Spelljamming ship and navigate most of the stars and heavens.”
“So,” Ardinia realizes in amazement, “the ship did come from the sky…”
“In deed, it did.” he places the crown gently on the table, “but the…’space’ I think is what they have termed the heavens, such a curious name, the space around our sun and stars is somehow incompatible with the magics employed in Spelljamming. In fact, it was likely no more than entering our heavens that doomed the ship. This is why our world does not Spelljam, nor do we have the resources required. Mostly, we are completely ignorant of and forgotten by all that goes on up there.”he points at the ceiling as he leans back and rumages for his pipe.
“As for the other items, we can get back to those.” He looks at Siam, “Now, onto more important matters. What in the nine hells could be causing such pain and anguish between the two of you who, up until now, have had what I thought was the purest and truest love in this world?”
They discussed Myth Drannor and undead. While the elder mage had little to no interest in adventure this late in his life, he was compelled by both the prospect of investigating ‘the city of magic’ as Myth Drannor had once been called, as well as the pleading of Siam. He agreed that he would like to join the quest. Ardinia was beside herself with joy and Siam seemed slightly…very slightly…more at ease with the whole thing.
Several weeks passed, Maiaryum researched the items Ardinia had brought.
“The ring,” he said one night as he poured them an after dinner drink, “is what we call a Ring of Wizardry. It enhances the spell memorizing abilities of the mage who wears it. The one you have found is tuned to second level spells. As such, when you are wearing this ring, you will be able to memorize more second level spells that without it.” He smiled at the look on the young mage’s face. “Yes, they are very handy little trinkets for the aspiring wizard.”
He handed a glass to Ardinia and then another to Siam before taking the last and settling into his favorite warn-leather chair. “The rod,” he continued after taking a long, slow sip of the syrpy brown liquor in his glass, “is fascinating. You would have likely found such an item anywhere other than a Spelljamming ship. When the button on the end of the rod is pushed, the magical properties of it are activated and for all rights and purposes, it changes from a rod and into an item fixed at that specific location in space. Meaning, that if I click the button, the rod will stay precisely where it is and will not move under anything less than several tons of pressure.”
He took another drink and let the young mage consider this strange item. “And then there is your new book of spells. It has seen some serious damage, and over half of it is ruined beyond recognition. The other half, however, contains numerous spells of varying power that are in really good shape and you should have no issue copying these over to a less fragile media.”
“What kinds of spells?” Ardinia asked.
“Quite a variety.” He answered, “I have read very little of the book, mostly confirming that the magical writings are in tact in the unburned sections, but what have had read seems to be a mix of mostly familiar, with a few more exotic things.” He smiles, “It is part of being a wizard my dear. It would be very wrong for me to spoil the excitement and joy of discovering the secrets within that book. It is something that you should look forward to. If you become stuck or unable to decipher something in particular, I would be more than happy to help. But for the most part, this is something that you should covet and embark on by yourself.”
And then more weeks passed. Maiaryum found several refences to Myth Drannor in several different books he had, as well as did a fair amount of research on undead in general. He and Ardinia sat up late numerous evenings, long after her husband had retired, and discussed strategies and spells that would be the most effective against these adversaries.
As the time to leave for Ryventhal drew near, during one of their late night conversations, the elder mage produced a wand ethced with magical symbols. It was made of a dark wood, and had been given a shiney, polished finish. One end was left thicker, and had been wrapped with thin strips of leather to make a handle, and the other end was set with a fairly good-sized ruby.
“Take this, my dear, you are welcome to borrow it.” He handed it to her, “It is a wand of missiles. Our profesion is one most often not involved with undead, with the exception of necromancers. For you and I, however, we must mostly rely on the likes of your brother and his fellows to wage the most damage to the unliving.” he pointed to the wand that the younger mage was inspecting intently, “But that is not to say that a few dozen magic missiles are not going to ruin the day for some unlucky zombie!” He smiled widely.
“Do not concern yourself with ‘charges’ or anything like that. Use that as you need, it should free you up to memorize something else having this to provide magic missiles for you.”