Now let’s see if you survive this wizard’s duel.
Set Up…Help Ezekiel
Lightening strikes the road between you and the dueling wizards. In the brief moment of perfect brightness, Ezekiel’s tall form is outlined on the left with his hands upraised, creating a sort of shield around him. A moment later, you understand why he’s holding the shield.
The hair along your arms stands to attention and a buzzing pierces your ears. You jump from the rocks and land on the road just as a bolt of electricity shatters the boulders where you stood. Sharp splinters of stone ricochet off trees and rocks and hard packed dirt. Dozens of stings hit your skin.
A bubble, seconds too late, turns the chaos into a muffled mess around you. It stretches only a few feet in all directions with you at its exact center. Another lightening strike hits the top of the bubble directly above your head. The flash sizzles along the shield and dies in the hard dirt of the road.
A couple smaller flashes strike aimlessly into the nearby trees like the other wizard built up too much and realized he needed to discharge some before he lost control.
Those flashes reveal two things.
One, Wizard Ezekiel is only holding one shield. Perhaps he can’t control two at a time.
Two, the other wizard noticed Ezekiel is vulnerable and has turned to attack him.
“ZEK!” you shout a warning but can’t be sure in the storm if he hears you. You race for the other wizard and Zek’s bubble stays with you.
Bounding over a boulder, you land in the rocks where the attacker was standing. A sizzling tells you he’s near. You trust the bubble and the sound and charge towards that tell tale hiss.
Two blobs of faint light give a heads up that you’re slightly off and you correct your direction just as those two blobs turn into bright, hissing sphere’s of electricity. The wizard’s eyes widen as he sees you barreling toward him.
He tosses the two spheres he prepared for Ezekiel into your face. They hit Zek’s bubble and sizzle along the shield’s outline.
The timing is perfect. Just before the electricity dissipates into the ground, you reach the attacker with the outside edge of the bubble. It pops with a piercing zap that jolts the wizard off his feet. He flies backward and lands with a thud.
It’s like the gavel hitting the podium.
Just like that, the storm vanishes. Fog, lightening, sound and all, disappear. Your ears ring with the silence.
A rumbling laugh breaks it a moment later. Wizard Ezekiel ambles up beside you to stare at the downed wizard. His huge frame shakes as he continues to chuckle.
“Zek?” he asks.
You shrug. “Needed something short.”
He snorts another chuckle. “You charged a lightening wizard. Guess you earned the right to Zek.”
He lifts the now senseless lightening wizard over a shoulder and motions for you to walk with him.
You check for the other downed man, Sam, but he must have regained consciousness at some point and ran.
“What about the others?” you ask.
“They’re pawns,” Zek says. “This one’s the mind behind the attacks. Give him to the King and let the King settle out the rest.”
You sit at a rough wood table in an inn that Zek recommended. It’s a small establishment that doesn’t seem to balk at the presence of a large wizard.
Across the table sits Zek. His large hands are wrapped around a clay mug of strong tea.
“Going to pay for that?” you ask.
“Going to share?”
He grins and a second mug appears. You pull it toward you and sniff the contents.
“King arrested the innkeeper, the castle cook, and one of the stable hands last night,” Zek informs you. “The lightening wizard implicated them in his plans to kidnap the princess.”
“Why did he want the princess?” you ask.
Zek shrugs and takes a sip before answering. “No official statement,” he says. “My guess, they wanted to blackmail the King for some reason.”
“Hmm,” you grumble. It’s not a satisfying answer but it’s probably all you’ll ever know. You sip from the mug. “Gah!” You set it back down with a frown.
“Not cider,” you grumble.
“Not cider,” Zek agrees. With the innkeeper’s arrest, his cider is no longer available and not even Zek can make it appear.
You resign yourself to tea and take contentment in having your name cleared and gaining a wizard for a friend.
Thank you for joining this adventure. I look forward to seeing you next time.
Until then, many blessings,