Rem and his wife left today. They left Zeneak and I with the prisoner. I am not even sure she is that anymore, she says her name is Major Victoria Black, but major or minor, she should not be allowed to walk around with a weapon.
Zeneak smirked at me when he saw me staring at her majorship. I am not sure why, but I decided to go for a walk so that she would stop staring at me, expecting something from me. Zeneak seems to like her, Rem thinks she is useful if he doesn’t respect her. I don’t know what to do though.
Staring at Rivenwood bothers me almost as much as her eyes on my back. But at least here I can do something. I do not think any of them saw the bead or where it came from. The fireball hit right where I wanted it. From this distance I could not tell how much damage was done, so I followed up with a second one, again aiming for the largest grouping. Whatever weapons they use, they may be powerful but they are also noisy. I heard them coming, firing into the forest, long before they could have seen me. Casting a spell of invisibility allowed me to get away clean. I saw from a distance that at least 4 would never move again. I can not be sure but I think I injured several times that many.
I know enough from Sleina not to go directly back to our hidden spot. I did find a nice cool stream that let me wash up first. There must be a wind from Rivenwood because I can still smell charred flesh. I can even smell it when I finally make it back to our haven. I am sure by the scowl on Prisoner Black’s face that she smells it as well.
I waited a day before going back, to let them be confused. Even waiting half the afternoon in the forest for the perfect time netted me only a couple that I am sure did not get back up, especially after I dropped the second fireball on top of the first. This time though I was prepared for more. And when they came running out to find me a third flew into their midst. They flew apart in confusion, long enough for me to disappear.
They learned quickly it seems. After the first two, they did not come out in groups anymore. The best I could do was to catch two at a time, once more I caught three, but even then I would not confirm more then one dead at a time. It seemed such a waste of a fireball for so few, but it was so very effective.
Early into the second week I learned I was not so far away that they could not reach me. From then on I followed up every fireball with invisibility. After the tree I was hiding behind exploded, sending me flying, piercing me with splinters. Zeneak was not impressed with me that night, having to pull splinters from my body before he would consider bandaging me.
Prisoner Black smiled when she saw me that night, even commented that I was lucky the bull that was let at me hit the tree instead of me. Her grin made me frown. It was nice to see even she makes mistakes when she stepped on a sharp stone that caused her to jump.
I gave it a few days after that to let them think I had been scared away, though I did not spend that time idly, I began working with stones Lapideus found for me. I have some ideas if I can find the time to see them through, stone soldiers. First though I began working on my staff. Lapideus found me something special for it. But it will take time to sculpt. Even longer with my outings.
After the tree I brought more spells to bear. When I came to Rivenwood, I cast a disguise upon myself. Only this disguise was not to look like some other creature. It was to disguise me from site, changing the colors of my skin and my clothing to better match the forest around me. Combining this with my spell of invisibility I was able to do even more damage to those holding the outpost.
When they stopped showing themselves, I had Lapideus find what buildings they were hiding in so that I could send my fireballs directly into those buildings. If I had Sleina’s ability with stealth I would have been able to do more. At such a distance I could only see so much. But it would have to be enough. Even as I waited hours for a chance at one person, if I was lucky, a chance at 2, they made it hard for me. Barring themselves inside of buildings. Fortifying themselves against my blasts, staying in the few stone buildings.
They may think they hold Rivenwood, but it is not their’s!
I did not forget about Rydell Taranis during all of this, I was able to find time between outings to join him inside his memory stone, learning from him, sharing from my own experiences. Wanting to bring him out of the stone again into a body I will create for him, I must learn the flows of this magic. It is much like using my own memory stone. High Magus Taranis is patient with me, though this a first for either of us, his experience far shines my own. So I must practice to reach where High Magus Taranis is waiting for me only to find him waiting farther still.
I enjoy the moments when I can surprise the High Magus, when I understand a concept before he expects me to, or when my mind takes a leap he does not expect. It brings me great joy to think that the idea to bring the High Magus back into the world was my own. And that I might see it through.
Rem and Sleina returned today, they were there after one of my outings. They brought the skull of some large creature with them and enough meat to feed the outpost. The looks on their faces was unexpected. They wasted no time before telling me why.
My Master is a TRAITOR?!?!?!
There could be no way, but the proof is in his own hand! I held the book, one of many they tell me, that damn him! I felt the magic surrounding me and wanted to burn the foul thing to ashes then scatter them with wind! But I read every word, recognizing each sweep of the pen for his own. Old though the book may be, I had studied my master’s hand for years and knew it as well as I knew my own, better maybe.
What could I possibly say? He who taught me to build was tearing down. He who taught me how to live as a Magus of honor had none!
I feel tired, I feel empty and drained. And I feel her eyes on me, watching, waiting, expecting. And I can still smell them burning, maybe after they are gone from Rivenwood, it will finally go away.