A Magic Compass
Xenograg opens his eyes, smiling triumphantly. After almost of fortnight of long days he has finally located the portal to Middle-earth! It was literally under his feet—deep below Rhydin City itself. That was why it was so hard to find; the many magical fields in the vicinity masked the portal’s otherwise obvious energy signature.
Xenograg stands and strides over to his worktable. There lie the components for his next spell: an etching knife; a small stone mortar filled with crushed diamond powder; and a special arrow made with his own hands, with a head of pure gold and rare feathers for fletching. Xenograg picks them up and returns to the magic circle. Sitting down again, he rearranges his items as needed. With the etching knife Xenograg slowly begins to carve an exact sequence of symbols into the delicate wood of the arrow’s shaft. The work is difficult only because of the thin diameter of the wood.
It takes half an hour to carve the two rows of runes. Xenograg now takes the knife and deliberately cuts a short line into his left palm. He anoints the runes with his own blood before carefully sprinkling the diamond powder into them. Lastly he grips the shaft tightly in his left hand, sealing the spell with spoken incantations. One, two, three drops of blood run down over the gold arrowhead to drip onto the floor. The spell is complete.
Xenograg now opens his hand, the red arrow across his palm. Focusing his eyes and mind upon the arrow, he easily levitates it above his palm. The arrow begins to twist in mid-air through all three dimensions, quickly orienting itself to point down and slightly to one side. Xenograg nods with satisfaction; the ‘compass’ works. Now he can find the portal precisely.
After bandaging his hand and putting his tools away, Xenograg activates the magic mirror that is his portal home. He steps through.