…mostly because it was just easier that way.
The Doclopedia #1,572
A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Seeking
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.
The Doclopedia #1,573
A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Wild Magic
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!