In a dingy tavern near the crossroad of the North Way and the Forest Course, Aalof sat across the table from the hardened veteran Thall. For seven years Aalof had watched parties of adventurers and mercenaries pass through the tavern, and for seven years he had served them meat and ale; and been yelled at by Uncle Harnor, the proprietor for being too slow at his tasks. Today will be different, he thought. I am going to leave this lousy tavern behind, and really have a life.
“So what skills can you offer me?” the mighty warrior asked as he reached out a scarred hand the grab a tankard.
“I do magic,” Aalof said confidently. He then picked up two iron rings from an adjoining table and muttered a couple of mystical sounding words before slamming the rings together. The two iron hoops were instantly interlocked.
The huge warrior nodded as if impressed, and then chugged down the rest of his ale.
“I can always find use for a wizard,” Thall said reaching for another tankard. “There are five of us. You will be the sixth. Food for the journey, and fifteen percent of the booty will be your share.”
“Great,” Aalof said with an excited squeal. “Great,” he said again after clearing his throat, in a slightly deeper voice.
“We leave when I finish my ale,” the warrior said matter of factly.
Aalof excused himself from the table, and ran to his room to grab his meagre belongings and then checking that his uncle was not looking, he dodged out a side door to wait for the adventurers near the stable.
Once the party had gathered, they set out along the Forest Course, and then took a side trail into the deep wood. After a short while they came to a clearing.
“I don’t like the feel of this,” Anson, the woodsman said. “The ground is too tidy. Look no fallen sticks or other debris. It’s been recently cleared. Be careful of traps.”
The party took a more defensive formation and stepped cautiously into the clearing.
Suddenly an arrow shot out from the opposite tree-line and caught Noor, the healer in the thigh. A second slammed into Thall’s shield, almost immediately. Anson let loose a shaft of his own in response, and the party backed slowly to their own tree-line.
As Noor began tending her own wound, six Goblins and a decrepit looking old mage came into sight. The wizened figure loosed a fireball which narrowly missed the Dwarf, Bjin and torched a nearby pine.
Thall turned to young Aalaf. “Do something,” he demanded.
The youth stood dumbfounded for a moment, and then asked, “Like what?”
“Magic, you idiot!” the warrior roared.
Fiddling in his shoulder bag, Aalof fished out a small box. Opening it he said “Pick a card, any card.”
Tale Weaver – #261 – Tale Weaver/Fairy Tale – Wizard