|#1zombiegleemaxApr 03, 2004 16:24:42||“The Unlikely Apprentice”|
Kerevanos was infuriated. The gully dwarf standing before him had a habit of causing the renegade wizard no end of trouble. Normally he would never have entertained the thought of allowing an aghar anywhere near his laboratory, but Gloopmub had an unusual respect for the caution and delicacy that the Art required. But this time he had gone too far. He had brought other wizards into Kerevanos’ inner sanctum. And to top it off, they were Tower magi!
Gloopmub stood there innocently, twisting his tangled beard and smiling as the three Tower magi read the charges of being a renegade wizard to Kerevanos. All the while Kerevanos ran through his mind what had brought him to this, the worst off all punishments for trusting a gully dwarf to his secrets.
Kerevanos had always had a talent for necromancy. The magic ran through and through him. His masters, ranking black robed archmagi within the Conclave had all seen the potential in him. “You will be extremely powerful”, they told him, “A testament to the teachings of the Conclave and a true disciple of the power of Nuitari.” Kerevanos merely nodded to these grand compliments. He knew he had the gift, but he had no intention on joining the Conclave. He found them all to be a washed up, stuffy group of withered old men who prided themselves on governing the lives of others from the comfort of their Tower. He simply accepted the compliments as testament to the power he knew he was capable of, and one day he would tell the Tower magi to stuff their Test where the moons dare not shine.
Time went by and Kerevanos left the school of magic, having leeched all the knowledge he could from his masters. He traveled to Abanasinia, and settled in the mountains went of Crystalmir Lake, eventually making the lost Citadel of Gader and making it his home.
Kerevanos occasionally raided the cemeteries in the surrounding areas by night, acquiring corpses for his necromantic experiments. After several years he had quite a large number of mindless undead populating his citadel. He would occasionally take a group of them with him by the dark of night to raid Pax Tharkas, hoping to acquire a few living servants to attend to his more mundane needs, such as cooking and upkeep of the citadel. It was on one such raid that he encountered Gloopmub.
Gloopmub was an exceptional aghar, all the clans in Pax Tharkas agreed. He had mastered all forms of aghar magic, from the lizard cures, to cockroach topical cream. He also mystified his peers by learning the concept of the number three, and made mention of numbers that even followed that, which caused some of the Bulp clan to think him crazy.
Gloopmub was overjoyed at the opportunity that presented itself when Kerevanos raided his home. When he heard that the wizard was hiring servants, he actually ran home to pack a few bags for the trip, which caused him to miss out entirely. Kerevanos departed before Gloopmub could return, as it takes quite a long time to stuff sixteen dead and stiffened lizards into an old worn spell component pouch. But Gloopmub was not disappointed, he just simply followed his nose and tracked Kerevanos’ caravan back to Gader’s Citadel.
Presenting himself boldly before Kerevanos, Gloopmub explained how he desired to serve the wizard, attending to his every need. Kerevanos briefly considered simply killing the pathetic creature, but was amused by Gloopmub’s creative ways of groveling and resigned to giving the aghar a chance.
Gloopmub served his master well, scraping and bowing, making sure there was nothing that Kerevanos could want for. One day Gloopmub heard what he believed to be his master screaming and went dashing into his laboratory to see what was the matter.
Kerevanos had been attempting a fairly difficult spell, one that he was not ready for. It fizzled and the backlash had burned his hands painfully. His screech that brought Gloopmub running was truly terrible. When Gloopmub entered into the laboratory, Kerevanos was furious, “How dare you enter my sanctum, worm!”, he shouted, rushing over to punish the pathetic creature. He stopped short and widened his eyes. Gloopmub hadn’t flinched at all when he shouted, nor cringed when he raised his hand to strike the aghar. Instead the dwarf simply began to clean up, taking great care with the magical supplies, and muttering something that could only be mimicry of the spidery magical language that Kerevanos had used so much in front of the aghar himself! Suddenly, at the other end of the laboratory, a small whirlwind appeared, cleaning up the broken glass and spilled water on the floor. Kerevanos was amazed.
Over time Gloopmub proved to be quite the apprentice to Kerevanos. The aghar seemed to take to the practice of magic very easily and never ceased to amaze the renegade wizard. Kerevanos began to treat Gloopmub to every comfort that he could accommodate him with, to ease his learning.
Gloopmub took full advantage of this and snuck into his master’s laboratory by night. Occasionally pilfering a few minor items that Kerevanos had left aside. Whenever Gloopmub wore these stolen items he found that he could think more clearly, and the thoughts running through his mind were profound. He took to reading a few of the texts that Kerevanos had not shown him. He was simply amazed by the concept of the Wizard’s Conclave, and very much wanted to take the Test and prove himself as an example to his beleaguered people and eventually left Gader’s Citadel behind, leaving his master to wonder what had happened to the apprentice that he had kept to himself.
“Kerevanos, you have been charged with the crime of renegade magic. You are aware of the reasons that the Conclave are the only ones who lawfully practice the Art.”, a red robed minotaur bellowed at him.
“Yes, and you know the choice you must make, we cannot allow you to continue to practice magic outside the jurisdiction of the Conclave. You must take the Test.”, a white robed elven female stated quite plainly.
“What is your reply Kerevanos? Will you come with us and take your Test?” a black robed human asked, the sneer on his face making his disdain quite evident.
A long silence fell over the laboratory. Kerevanos stood there, his face contorting in anger. He cried out, “Be damned all of you, and take your test with you!”
Kerevanos began to chant quickly, aiming the fan of his outspread fingers directly at Gloopmub, who furiously began to chant the same words back to him in reverse. Kerevanos felt the magic slipping away from him. The gully dwarf was countering his spell! The three Tower magi began to chant as well, launching many missiles of magical energy into the quickly crumpling form of Kerevanos.
When the smoke cleared, the wizards were already departing. Gloopmub stood there and stared at the body of his former master. One of the wizards, the black robe, turned and spoke, “Aghar you have done well, We grudgingly accept you into our orders.” Taking a small homespun white robe out of his pack, he tossed it onto the floor before Gloopmub. “Do try and bathe before you join us in the Tower, will you?” he sneered, and left Gloopmub to ponder how this had all happened to him.
|#2alphaloupApr 03, 2004 18:50:49||Thank you so much Serena, although I will still spend nights awake thinking about Aghar heroes, it will most likely be focused on one little amazing fellow, Gloopmub. Never again will I underestimate Gully Dwarves, and their amazing ability to always beat the odds.|