Dojo Darelir, the School of Xenograg the Sorcerer

Elmö’s Obligation


One evening about a week after Xenograg takes Elmö into his service, the story of the young elf’s very short adventuring career is told. The party foolishly broke into a sealed tomb and encountered its restless dead. One person died fighting skeletons even before the true threat appeared: a raging spirit. One member broke and fled immediately upon seeing it. The party leader, who described himself as a Templar, threw himself at the apparition but was obviously overmatched. His horrid death scream drove the remaining three adventurers to flight. The party disbanded the moment it arrived back in town–ridiculously named Bravetown. Elmö headed home to Eldicor the next day.

Something about Elmö’s story leaves Xenograg uneasy for some reason. It is late, and the two men seek their beds. Xenograg will sleep on it, in Barsi.

Xenograg starts awake two hours before dawn with a revelation. After telling Amaltea to go back to sleep, he dresses in the dark and strides to his secret sanctum in Nestrian Palace. Passing through the magic mirror to Dojo Darelir in Rhydin City, he rushes up to Elmö’s apartment. Xenograg pounds on the door to wake his equerry.

“My Lord?” Elmö asks after opening the door.

“The tomb, Elmö!” Xenograg growls. “You said the interior was defiled. Are you sure?!” Elmö blinks at the suddenness of the inquiry.

“Yes, we pointed it out to each other before the skeletons moved. Deliberate damage to statues and murals.”

“But the tomb was also sealed from the outside!”

“Yes, My Lord.” Xenograg takes a deep breath. His face was tense and grim.

“Then we have a problem, Elmö. A serious one.” Xenograg starts cutting orders.

“Get dressed. Wake the household. Prepare a travel party. We are going to Bravetown.” Xenograg turns and walks away without waiting for any reply.

Standing in his doorway, Elmö struggles to to mentally catch up to the situation. ‘Get dressed, idiot!’ he thinks to himself. He can think while doing that. He closes the door.

Xenograg returns to Barsi to wake Amaltea and inform her of the expedition. There is no question that she is coming along. His next destination is Xenodar. This trip is twofold: inform Amanda (who will not be allowed to come) and retrieve three items from the tower armory.

Amanda cannot object to her exclusion. While her pregnancy is not a physical limit, the danger is simply too great to risk.

“You are taking Wyheree and Toby with you,” she says in her question-actually-command manner.

“Yes, Beya,” is his patronizing answer. They both chuckle.

Amanda accompanies Xenograg down to the armory. The items he seeks are hanging together in the center of the room’s main wall. Xenograg reverently takes down each item. First is a quiver of arrows which he belts on. He adjusts the quiver to hang across his buttocks. The second is a wing-shaped shield with a plain verdant field. He settles his left arm into its straps. The last is a primitive club: a stone ball bound, offset, to a slightly-curved wooden shaft. Its form is intentionally archaic, an unchanging centuries-only tradition.

“Would the blessings have faded over the years?” Amanda asks.

“Just the question I was asking myself,” he replies.

“You should go the Rellugai winter encampment and have them checked.”

“That will cost me a day.”

“If the tomb was unsealed three weeks ago, what is another day?”

“It might matter very much, but I need to be sure of these implements. I will go to the encampment.”

“Good.” Amanda walks with him back to the magic mirror. She embraces her father.

“Do not take any foolish risks, Old Man. I mean it!”

“Who, me?” Xenograg replies, feigning innocence.

“I love you, Father.”

“I love you, too. I will see you again in a few days.” With that, Xenograg returns to Dojo Darelir.

(to be continued….)