Cold Hands On My Bare Back

…married men know what I mean
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Gentle Readers,

The entry below was written scant hours before I was admitted to the local hospital due to another bout of cellulitis that is proving to be tougher than any of the others. Pretty sure I won’t be writing much for a few days.

Doc

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The Doclopedia #1,574

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Restoration
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Ah, thank you, my love. This tea smells delicious. And thank you for allowing me to sleep in while you got yesterday’s story to that money grubbing yitz, Theramachus, and picked up the payment. I needed the extra rest after last night. Heh heh.

Now, while we await our late breakfast…or is it an early lunch? Well, regardless, I shall tell you the rather short and admittedly dull tale of the Wand of Restoration.

A Wand of Restoration is most often used to heal or repair a small area of perhaps a few acres, such as a woods damaged by fire or part of a village destroyed by flood. Such wands are very expensive and take a month or more to construct. Still, they are unparallelled in returning a plot of ground to it’s former natural state.

Now, when the Saviors came to me, I already had a fine Wand of Restoration in stock. It could have restored as much as 20 acres in under a minute. But, of course, they needed a wand of far greater power. They needed to restore the very worst of the damage the giants and their leader had done to the land, an area of nearly half a million acres. Add into that the fact that the damage was nearly complete, with entire areas reduced to bare earth, and you can see the enormity of my problem.

Except that there was no real problem. You see, while I was in the far past, consulting with Deron, he asked me many questions about the various wands I needed. When he heard about the Wand of Restoration, he offered to me what he called a “hypercrystal”. This egg sized crystal would, he assured me, boost the power of my wand by more than enough to get the job done. I could not thank him enough.

And so it did! I bound it to the finished wand and when it was later used, after the final battle, nearly a million acres of land was restored. I toured the area some months later and was amazed at the results. Great forests stood where they had for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of years. Rivers of mud ran clear again. Wildlife was plentiful. To this day, I consider that wand the best and finest wand I have ever made.

And so my stories end, sweet one. After we finish lunch, we can plan out our coming months together. I was thinking that perhaps we could travel a bit. I have been confined to this city for too long

What? The Grand River Tour? Yes, that would be excellent. I hear that they spare no expense on making the two month trip elegant and comfortable. We shall look into it!

Now, let us tuck into this fine meal before you go and conclude our business with Theramachus. After that, we can relax with massages at the Maroton spa over on Lake Street, then do a bit of shopping for travel clothes.

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The Doclopedia #1,575

Hello There!: The Innkeeper
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Hello there, friends! Welcome to the Restful Maiden Inn. Looks like you’ve been up in the Dimwood. They still trying to kill that Kelf? Well, don’t feel bad. We get a group like yours coming and going every few months. Been that way for years. It’s gonna take more than an adventuring team to get that Kelf.

Now, will you be wanting separate rooms, or just one big one?

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Dudley Was A Buysexual

…mostly because it was just easier that way.

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The Doclopedia #1,572

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Seeking
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Good morning once again, dear Tenna. When I was told that you had left early to take yesterday’s story to a no doubt panicked Theramachus, I took the liberty of heading out on yet more errands of my own.

He did? Hahahaha! I would have given a tenmoon to see his face. But he did send the proper bag of money, so everything is right.

I trust the room provided for you was satisfactory? Oh, really, you praise my humble household too much. It was the least I could do, since the hour was so late and Foxnight is often a less than safe time to be about. Now, let us have tea and begin today’s tale. I believe Prindeep has brewed us up some of the lovely Red Mountain Black today.

I would love for this tale to be about how complex and difficult it is to create a Wand of Seeking, but the fact is they are utterly common and made in batches of up to 30 at a time. Only a Wand of Light is more common.


As you perhaps know, Wands of Seeking are most commonly used by adventurers for locating everything from loot to monsters to traps. They are also a common item among city guards and rural patrols, most often to locate a guilty party or a lost child. The wands have long lasting charges and are quite versatile. Of course, versatility means a reduction in effective distance, so most such wands seldom reach out more than about 90 feet.

However, the Wand of Seeking I was asked to make needed to be very specific indeed. It also needed a very great range, as much as 20 miles. Why? Because the Six Saviors knew that somebody was behind the expansion of the Ostugar Giant Lands. Somebody not a Giant, whom we know now to be a fellow called Histeen the Mad, an outcast from the far Al’Anak’a Islands. Praise the gods he was utterly destroyed, and by the hand of the very Giants he had whipped into a frenzy of hate and bloodlust.

The components of the wand were of the usual type, but the construction process was slower and more intense. In addition, the breath of 100 hounds and the eyes of a Great Eagle (taken from a corpse that died of old age) were infused into it. Certain oils and bindings made of rare metals were used to limit the wand to 5 charges. Finally, it was rested in the crypt of Duliman the Explorer for a fortnight. Then, it was ready.

Activated, the wand would produce a line of red light visible only to the user. That line would extend out 20 miles in a straight line toward the objective. I am told that it took all five charges to finally locate Histeen, who was 150 miles behind enemy lines in a small castle, now completely gone and replaced by a meadow.

And that is all to that story, Tenna. Tomorrow’s story, I assure you, will be quite different, since it involves the creation of the single most dangerous wand anyone of my profession has ever made.

Until then, let us enjoy lunch and then, once you have dropped the story off with Theramachus and gotten payment, perhaps you would care to join me on a boat ride along the Border Canal? It will take a few hours, after which we could have dinner at a wonderful Syballan restaurant I know of. After that, perhaps a visit to the Royal Night Garden?

You will? My heart swells with joy! Now, let us see what tasty delights Prindeep has for us.
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The Doclopedia #1,573

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Wild Magic
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Oh…oh my. I…I… Oh, please do excuse me if I stumble on my apology. I mean, it has been many years since something like this has happened and I assure you it was not my intention to…

Seduced me? I…what? I…did you? I must admit that I drank a bit too much guarit last night, so things are hazy, but…seduced? You seduced me? Yes, yes, I admit that I have never been seduced before. My life these last 150 years have been mostly about my work and business. When feminine companionship was needed, I simply went to the red lantern street. True, I was married when I was young. We had fifty years together, but…seduced? Why?

I, well, yes, you are beautiful and young and your body is delightfully formed, but that is my point. You are young and even though I look a fraction of my actual age, I am still an old man. Surely you could find…

Well, of course I find you interesting beyond your physical beauty. You are at the very least my intellectual equal, if not possessed of the same amount of lifetime learning. Indeed, you have taught me much about the arts, recent politics and the life of ordinary people. I find myself missing you when you are not…well, there we have it then. It has been so very long that I forgot what it was like and how it might happen.

You do? Are you sure? I am truthfully nearing the end of this life, so our years together would be few. My business has been sold these last 5 years to Murgin and Ranoe, and while I am well of, we would…

No? None of that matters to you? I…oh my, I find myself bereft of words.

Thank you, Prindeep. Yes, it has been a most interesting morning. Tell me, old friend, do you think us foolish? Love so late for me and early for her? She is but 25 and I, well, we both know I am near unto worn out. Yes, one cannot argue with love, though people often do. Yes, as always, you are right. Accept the path we are on and enjoy the view. Wise words.

Ah, there is the bell! Go admit her and bring in that bag of gold.

So, my dear, let me tell you the tale of the fifth Wand of Glory. It is indeed a strange one.

First of all, you need to know that creating a Wand of Wild Magic is both an insane undertaking and, as anyone who studies magic now will tell you, impossible. Naturally, my much younger self took this as a personal challenge.

Wands of Time Travel are incredibly tricky to construct, highly unstable and given to a limited amount of power. A person successfully using one might go back as far as a century, stay for an hour, then be jerked back into their proper time, most likely to be sick to their stomach for an hour or so. I needed to go back 4,000 years. You can see the problem.

Fortunately, there lived in Jal a member of my profession who was quite obsessed with time travel. Kaneera Lal lived some miles outside the city of Sotsomo, her nearest neighbors wisely living more than a mile from her. Her estate boundaries were easy to spot, being covered in a light early winter snow when the rest of this part of the world was sweating through mid-summer.

At first, she was highly suspicious of me, but once I told her of what I needed, she became quite eager to help me. As we walked into what she called the “Deep Basement”, I was slightly unnerved by the fact that she was slowly becoming younger. Despite the fact that she had appeared at least 80 when she had answered my knock on her door, she looked no more than 16 by the time we reached our destination.

Said destination was no less that a constantly shifting sphere of multicolored lights that Kaneera informed me was a “time warp portal”. As she puttered about looking for a Wand of Destination, she laid out the rules for time travel.

1: Each layer of colored light I would go through represented a century. Stopping for anything over 5 seconds would reset the color bands to decades, then months, then days, then hours.

2: I would have up to 10 hours in the past before popping back into the present.

3: Don’t worry about changing history, because you can’t.

4: Avoid all other time travelers. She was most insistent about this one.

After using the Wand of Destination to show me a clear path to the city of Peskandar, some 4,200 years in the past, I stepped into the portal and began my journey of 42 steps.

Oh, no, the actual walk through the portal was quite easily done. I was surprised by that. Like you, I felt that there would be enormous forces assaulting me, but such was not the case. It was no different that walking across an empty street.

I stopped in the 42nd band of light, a pleasant light orange, and waited a few seconds until it split into 10 decades. Not being picky, I stopped in the third decade, awaited the years, then went for the fifth year, sixth month, tenth day.

I emerged into the very busy market of a large city on a warm spring day. Seeing a merchant dealing in magical charms, I went over to him and inquired where I might find the most powerful wizard in the city. He merely pointed to a tower that rose above all else, including the grand castle on the hill. I thanked him and tossed him a silver piece.

The tower proved to be over two miles distant, but still well within the city walls. At least 500 feet tall, the tower seemed to be made of a single piece of stone, the exact type of which I could not determine. The base was about 200 feet across and surrounded by a low wall and a beautiful little garden. There was no gate under the entry arch.

No sooner had I walked through from the street to the garden, than a small being, perhaps 3 feet high, stepped out the front door of the tower. He looked like a vastly more civilized version of the Forest Kobits one sees in the Western Lands.

“Greetings, Vanderas of Geshpar. The Master has been expecting you. Please, follow me.”

Stunned though I was by being known to these people, I followed him into the first floor room, which seemed to be half waiting room and half indoor garden. My companion, whose name was Dolbo, showed me to a large round red carpet in the very center of the room, above which was a shaft that looked to run all the way to the top. He instructed me to stand in the center and enjoy the ride. A moment later, I was racing upward at a very high speed.

The carpet slowed and then stopped in a finely appointed room that had four large open arches leading out to a balcony that encircled the room. In a large and comfortable looking chair sat a man whom I supposed was my host. He looked no more than 30, but then, I do not look 345, do I? If I were to describe his looks, I would call them handsome, in a rugged way.

It is now time for me to be somewhat vague about our conversation, which took up most of my remaining hours. His name was Deron and he was the High Wizard for a vast empire. Of course, I knew this because his legend lives on today, albeit only to a very few scholars of magic and ancient history.

He poured tea and let me know that he knew of me simply because the entire city was ensorceled to let him know if a new mage or purveyor of magic entered it. When I told him what I needed, he nodded and said he would fetch everything and have it ready before I left.

From there on, we spoke of the past, the future and many things that probably should not be spoken of at all. He seemed quite unconcerned by the coming loss of magic as he knew it, telling me only that magic comes and goes over time, so it does naught to worry. He also told me that wands were not a bad way to go, magicwise, since they could make anyone a user of magic without “interminable years of serving under a Master Wizard with delusions of grandeur”.

Shortly before my 10 hours were up, we were brought a long thin crystal of pure wild magic, as well as a few other things. I thanked him and then, just a few seconds later, appeared in Kaneera’s Deep Basement. The old girl herself was asleep on a sofa, snoring loudly and unable to be awakened by my best efforts. I scribbled a note to her and then left.

Five days later, I was standing in a cow pasture just two miles outside the walls of Geshpar. It was quite late at night and both moons were full. After a short wait, I saw a shooting star hurtling toward me. It slowed and slowed again until a black and pitted steel cylinder came to rest gently on the ground a few yards from me. A quick wave of a Wand of Opening caused a door to open and allowed me to retrieve the package containing the wild magic and other items. I then mounted my horse and rode home. The cylinder was found by the farmer the next day and is still on display at the Geshparan Museum of Oddities.

The rest of the story is barely…what? Oh, I am sorry. Let me explain. You see, I could not bring anything back through time that I did not take with me. Hiding the package away for over 4,000 years was also out of the question, since all the magic would be drained. Therefore, Deron simply sent the steel cylinder to the Small Moon, since nothing beyond our world was affected by the magic leaving. A timing spell brought it back to me at the appointed date and time. Quite a tidy solution, if you ask me.

Anyway, the rest of the story is quick to tell. I constructed the wand easily, it was used in the Great Battle to devastating effect and the rest truly is history.

Now, my love, what say you to a long hot bath together before dinner? Excellent!

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Good Times At The Cabin On The Lake

…Until it caught on fire and sank.
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The Doclopedia #1,570

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Blasting
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Good Morning, Tenna! Let me take that bag of gold from you. You look most lovely today. Come along, the breakfast is all laid out.

Prindeep, that was a breakfast fit for the gods. If you would assemble a selection of fruits and cheeses for lunch later, along with a bottle of that Sherinkan wine, you can then go about your errands, and take your time, old friend. We shall be quite fine here.

Now, concerning the Wand of Blasting, I can tell you that it took an entire two months to make after we collected all of the pieces. One such piece was the under tongue muscle from a recently killed dragon. Fortunately, my assistant Raloe, was able to join a large military effort against a Black Dragon in the Yellow Marshes of Jal. Despite losing half their forces, the military prevailed and Ranoe returned unscathed with the muscle.

During that same time, I myself went far up on Mount Drestox to obtain a squink. They are a common enough animal up there, but the musk they can emit is among the most noxious things you could ever smell. I used a sleep wand to knock out a big male the size of a small cat, then carefully moved him into a glass vessel with a stopper that allows air in and out, but not smells.

The final hard to get piece was a piece of solidified lightning. Oh, yes, I assure you that such a thing exists. It is incredibly rare and very expensive, but we managed to locate a piece about 6 inches long in far Banagalanda. Even using a Wand of Distant Teleportation, it took a week to get there and another week to return. No doubt that is why my other assistant, Murgin, now avoids teleportation if she can.

Once those and other components were assembled, I began my work. The basis of the wand needed strength, so I naturally used a 17 inch rod if steel. That rod was prepared over the course of a few days to receive the other items, no small feat, I assure you. Just keeping the steel hot and at a very high pressure is fraught with danger.

Once the steel was ready, the lightning and squink musk were introduced to the vessel and the pressure was increased. Two days later, we released the pressure and removed the steel. After dipping it into a bath of rare herbs and minerals for several minutes. Finally, we wrapped it with thins strips of the dragon tongue muscle before curing the whole thing in heated sand. Five days later, the Wand of Blasting was ready.

History tells us how effective it was, with clouds of noxious gas causing the giants to flee or collapse with sickness, while great blasts of lightning shattered their defenses. To this day, the last remaining giants, now living in the far north, tremble in fear when the Wand of Blasting is mentioned.

My greatest offensive wand? Well, perhaps, although I did once create a Wand of Storms that was terrifying in it’s destructive power. I often wonder what happened to it.

But now today’s tale is done and I find myself eager to continue our discussion from yesterday concerning Third Dynasty High Elven art. If you could perhaps fetch the fruit and cheese, I will uncork the wine and we shall while away a pleasant afternoon.

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The Doclopedia #1,571

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Deception
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Welcome, Tenna. I must apologize for keeping you so late yesterday, but our conversation was delightful and I must thnk you for dancing with an old man. It had been many years since my last dance.

Oh, please, you flatter me too much. It was easy to regain my dancing skills with so lovely a partner. Now, since we both slept in this morning, I shall take that bag and we can, if you wish, have a light snack. Once again, Prindeep must be off on errands, but his nephew Ranja will be here to serve our lunch.

The third Wand of Glory was a Wand of Deception. Now, such wands are most often used by thieves, spies, and one can only assume, politicians. They can give power to lies or help one avoid the notice of the weak minded. They are, if truth be known, always in the top 10% of wands sold. Such is human nature, I suppose.

Making such a wand is normally a fairly quick and easy thing. One gathers the components, none of which are particularly exotic, then builds the wand in under three days. After that it is merely a question of pricing it to meet the local demand. Oh, no. We seldom price them under 500 moons. It tends to get us the better sort of lying deceiver.

The Wand of Deception, however, needed to be vastly stronger that the ordinary type. Additionally, it needed to be oriented toward the clouding of weak and not so weak minds, rather than aiding in outright falsehoods. For this, a few very rare components were needed.

That is why I sent Murgin and a squad of Forest Women elite warriors into the Cursed City of Walnak, some 500 miles northeast of here. There, after no few harrowing adventures involving assorted creatures and the undead, she retrieved the vessel containing the ashes of one Fillarn the Trickster, a true king, and later demi-god, among thieves.

I sent Ranoe on a mission no less dangerous, but not to his physical self. He had to travel to far southern Jal and convince the Great Seductress to give up just a few of her tears. Her price was far too high at first, but he had something from her innocent girlhood to trade along with a small fortune in gold. This softened her heart enough to allow him to collect her tears. I suspect there was also some sexual offering he had to make, but he has never spoken of it and it is none of my business.

My own quest took me first to the wretched city of Valoski, a true hive of scum and villainy. After four miserable days of searching, during which I purposely started a massive gang war to keep all the criminals occupied, I found the heart of the Old Dark One. Amazingly, the shopkeeper sold it to me at a very good price. Possibly he did not know what it was, but more likely he was getting ready to flee the increasingly deadly city, as so many were.

On my return from Veloski, I stopped in the Forest of the Gnomes to purchase a solid silver tube that looked as though it was made of lead. While there, I was invited to watch the testing of several gnomish inventions, which I did from a safe distance. Talented, if oft overreaching, those Gnomish inventors.

Once all the components were gathered, we prepared my workshop for the final assembly. A Freezing Fire was prepared and the silver tube was put into it standing upright. Into that went the heart, now ground fine and mixed with certain rare herbs. A short time later, the ashes went in, along with the tears that had been mixed with unclean water.

Five days passed, during which at least two of us watched over it, but never looked directly at it. On the morning of the sixth dat, we replaced the Freezing Fire with Hot Ice and began another five day watch. When that ended, the Wand of Deception was finished. It looked like nothing so much as a dented old bit of lead pipe. Of course, the fact that it allowed General Bexallin to lead 1,000 warriors 200 miles behind enemy lines attests to the power of it’s enchantment. The Giants never knew what hit them.

Ah, lunch is ready! Let us enjoy it, for I am afraid I have errands of my own to tend to this afternoon. Still, I will miss our chats, so I wonder if you might do me the honor of coming to dinner tonight? You mentioned liking lamb pockets, and Prindeep is a master of all lamb dishes.

You will? I am filled with joy. Well then, a bite of lunch now and dinner at, shall we say, seventh bell tonight? Lovely! Now, do try that smoked whitefish, my dear.

Alas, I Am Too Sick To Write

…UGGH!
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Gentle Readers, yesterday I came down cellulitis in my left leg and I am aching, sick to my stomach and feverish, even though I have been stuffed full of pain pills and antibiotics.

This means that writing is out of the question for today and maybe tomorrow. I shall make it up to you, I promise.

Doc, who is heading to bed in about 5 minutes.

Note From 3 weeks later: Shuffling Doclopedia entries, so here.

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The Doclopedia #1,568

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Introduction

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You ask about wands, young scribe, for this “history” you say you are writing. Let us stop your falsehoods right there. You’ve come to find out about the Six Wands of Glory, and you were sent by Theramachus, that old bastard. I don’t suppose he told you that you were the sixth…no, wait, there was the old Norokkan woman, so, seventh person he has sent in these last 40 years? No? What, might I ask, has he offered to pay you? 100 golden moons? Really? Great Gods, the old tightfist has not changed a bit in all this time. You should be earning five times that, at least. After all, you risk being transformed into a pig or cat for a week. No, no, don’t run. I won’t be doing that. In fact, I have a mutually beneficial arrangement that I think you’ll agree to.

Now, Theramachus has plenty of money, as you probably have figured. Lives quite well, doesn’t he? Yes, I’m sure of that. I’ll tell you, lass, I am older than I ought to be and I know death is not overly far in my future. The truth is, I have not made a wand in just over two years and my stock is all but sold off. Now, I have plenty to last me out, but I would really like to bleed that son of a goat dry. So you do this, you go tell him that I will tell you the tale of each wand on consecutive days, and he need only pay me 2,000 gold moons each, payable when you arrive. Tell him he has my word on it. You may also tell him that if he tries to negotiate, I shall turn him into a pigeon for a full year. I have not sold all of my wand. As for your part of the bargain, I shall split the money evenly with you.

Oh, don’t worry, he’ll pay it, even if it empties his coffers. The tales of all 6 wands creation will help him finish his book “The True Story of the Wands of Glory”. He’ll first sell 100 or so copies to the very wealthy at upwards of 1,000 moons apiece. Then, once the demand from the less wealthy is intense, he’ll sell another edition for the “bargain price” of perhaps 700 moons. He will do this until he’s sold as many high priced editions as possible, then he’ll license it off to the highest bidding mass publisher for several thousand moons and retire.

Now you run back to that old wretch and give him the news that Vanderas will finally tell his tale of wand creation. I will see you here tomorrow for breakfast.

Ahh, good morning, young lady. You look ready to face the day, but let’s have a bite to eat before we get down to business. Oh, and look, you’ve brought along a bag full of golden moons. Let me take that from you. My, it is rather heavy, isn’t it? I’ll assume Theramachus gave you a long list of threats to impart to me, most having to do with vigorous litigation. All duly noted, for all that such threats will do him. Now, please do sit and try the goat cheese with apricots on toast.

My, that was an excellent breakfast. Prindeep outdid himself once again. And you are delightful company for an old man such as myself. Now, please do have another cup of tea and I shall tell you what went into creating the Wand of Defense. I think that you will enjoy it.

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The Doclopedia #1,569

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Defense

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My tale of the Wand of Defense, and indeed, all of the Wands of Glory, begins 280 years ago. I should point out that I hand no hand in calling them Wands of Glory. It was the name given them by the people of our great land, many months after the establishment of this, our great kingdom. Still, as names for great items go, it certainly beats out things like the Almighty Ax of the Great King Sarr and the Wonderful Robes of the Queen of Goodness and Purity.

At any rate, as we all know, back then, all of this lane, and a good deal to the north and west, was ruled by the Ostugar Giants, huge ugly brutes who stood 15 feet tall and were hellbent on conquering the rest of the way south to the Southern Sea. The thought that 4 million people and two kingdoms, Werit and Jal, lay in their way no doubt made them drool.

So it was that the kings of those two kingdoms, the queen of the Forest Women to the west, the queen of Kessika formerly of the north and the two kings of Maroto and Syballa to the east, came to my humble home in the Weritian city of Geshpar. They were armed with a plan and needed just the right magic to carry it off.

Did you…may I call you by your name? Thank you. It is an old custom of my people to ask such things. So, Tenna, did you know that once, 4,000 years ago, people with magical talent did not need wands to cast spells? No? Well, I’m not surprised. Few now really know of those days. It is the truth, though, and remained so until a great draining of magical energy happened all over the world. While it did not affect magical plants or creatures, well, with the exception of dragons, it did affect every single wizard, sorcerer, witch, warlock, shaman, whatever they called themselves. All of them left without the ability to cast spells. Worse yet, it drained every speck of magic from every magical device. By 3,900 years ago, magic was gone and stayed gone for 2,000 years. Then it began to return, but not as a single power one could tap into, but as a part of many things, some animal, some vegetable, some mineral. Slowly, over the course of a few centuries, certain people who were born with the gift of identifying such things started experimenting with combining them. Potions did not work out, nor did many other creations, until one day, somebody thought to try making a wand.

Back in ancient days, wands merely stored raw power, but these new wands combined to create generators of very specific power. It is believed by we Wandmasters, that the first one was a Wand of Light, a simple, yet useful wand. That would have been around 1,100 years ago. It lead to magic as we know and use it today, strictly wand based.

But, I once again get sidetracked. Excuse an old man. Oh, you compliment me too graciously. I know my age.

So, these 6 kings and queens came to me wanting 6 very specific and very powerful wands, which they would use to defeat and banish the Ostugar Giants. Being as how this would be of great benefit to millions of people in general and myself in particular, I agreed to the job and told them I would waive my usual fees, as part of the coming war effort. The price of ingredients, however, could not be waived. Many would require myself or my assistants to travel great distances, purchase or find rare items, and endure much hardship.

This was of no worry to them, as they came bearing a very large wagon full of gold, jewels and, most importantly, items that might be useful in wand making.

I never thought to ask them how they came by the tail bone of a Stinking Swamp Dog, but I’m glad they did, because it almost certainly saved myself and others the trip 5,000 miles south to the Alochian jungles and the stinking, dangerous swamp at it’s center, to say nothing of killing a 1,200 pound canine while avoiding death at the teeth of it’s pack.

The tail bone, along with some Death Nut powder that also had, told me that my first wand need to be that of Defense. So, while my assistants gathered a few ingredients I still needed, I set about creating what I consider to be the finest and most powerful general defensive wand ever made.

At about this point in the story, I am certain old Theramachus hopes I will go into great detail about the process by which the wand was created, thus letting him sell such secrets to other Wandmasters. Sadly, he will be disappointed. I will only say that the tail bone was sanded and filed to be 24 inched long and ¼ inch thick. It was then wrapped tightly in several layers of horse hair taken from a breed popular with a particular Eastern nation.

The death nut powder went into a brew with powdered Slangit scales, a good amount of a very specific grave dust and quite a lot of specially processed sugar. I boiled it for a day and a night to get a thick syrup that hardened into a protective coating once the entire wand was dipped into it and then kiln dried.

After that, a wrapping of Sun Raven feathers was applied along with a sprinkling of powdered diamond. One more dip in the syrup and another kiln drying and the wand was set aside to age for a week. At that point, it was complete and after testing far out in the Weritian desert, it was deemed powerful beyond expectation.

And then I went to work on the next wand, which while rather simpler to create, was just as powerful. But that story awaits more gold from Theramachus and a new dawn. Instead, perhaps you would enjoy a few hours having lunch and tea with me. I would enjoy hearing more about you.