Welcome to wizardry, where people with awful ideas and no social skills invoke supernatural forces to gain power and respect. Almost makes you want to tap out and start a little shop selling healing potions, huh? -- Anon Guest
They say that anyone could be a wizard. They never say whether or not anyone should be a wizard. This was zipping through Lady Anthe's mind as she raced after Melvin and the phantasm he had conjured. She was the fastest of the group and Melvin had Wraithvine's wand.
The good news was that a phantasmal steed was only good for one hour. The bad news was that that might not be the spell that Melvin had accidentally managed to cast. The magic within him had truly erupted in a spectacular way.
Anthe sprang between trees that the... whatever... had had to go around, carrying a screaming Melvin with it. In a handful of leaps, she was on him and screaming, "Tell it to stop! It's yours! Tell it to stop!"
It took another handful of minutes, but it eventually worked, and steered back to the campsite that contained a sleeping Rumtum and a pissed-off Wraithvine. The phantasmal beast vanished the instant that Wraithvine got their wand back.
"It looked easy when you did it," Melvin complained.
"Because I studied for years to make it look easy, you great hairy dolt," sniped Wraithvine. "If you want lessons, I could plausibly teach..."
Melvin toed at the ground, turning redder by the second. "...didn't wanna impose..."
"Really?" said Anthe. "It's not like that with us. You should know that by now."
"...didn' wanna make a fuss," Melvin mumbled.
"So instead," said Wraithvine, "You stole my wand and tried out a sixth-level spell without any of the training, preparation, or mental fortitude."
Melvin shrank on himself and mumbled something unintelligible, but could plausibly pass for, "When you say it like that..."
Wraithvine hugged him. "Breathe easy, Humanman. I'll teach you some easier things the instant we get you a starter wand. Or any other kind of focus."
"You're still gonna--?" he fumbled for the next words, and failed.
"Dear boy," sighed Wraithvine. "I'd rather teach than have you learn by making such epic mistakes."
Rumtum woke from his bedroll. "...'d I miss somethin'?"
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / paulfleet]
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