The Apprentice, Issue #1-Dorian The Beardless

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Peregrine hovered over my shoulder while I gathered dirt and tree bark samples for testing.
“Actually yes.” I answered. Might as well speed up the process. “The wizard injected a whole lot of potion into this ground to kill these orchards. Take some of the Vlatz and search for where he did it. It might look like an oddly shaped well or crater but report anything abnormal looking.”

“Yes sir.” Peregrine saluted sharply and ran off on his mission. Some of the Vlatz went with him. I worked steadily, separating the component of the poison in search of an antidote. For once, I found myself wishing Uncle Alvar was there. Potions were his speciality. I persevered though and eventually gained the poison’s formula, from which an antidote could be concocted. I made a list and sent another troupe of Vlatz in search of what I needed. Just then Peregrine returned.

“I found an old well, toward the center of the orchard.” He told me. “It smelled horrible and the water was black and gooey. The Vlatz said that the well used to be good.”
Of course! He used the water source. Simple but effective and very thorough.
“Let’s go.” I said, gathering my stuff. “That’s where I need to administer the cure. The others can catch up later.” As we marched to the spot, I called the purple Vlatz. “Your friend said you guys make trees grow. Do you?”
“Oh yes, Wizard.” The Vlatz said. “Will you need this assistance?”
“Yes.” I responded, pleased. “I’m going to have to invent a new spell to purge the field. If you and your friends can also work your growth magic on the trees, there’s a better chance it’ll be successful.”
“Our help is yours, Wizard.” The little purple Vlatz flitted around my head. We reached the reeking well and I started a fire. My runners returned with the supplies. The antidote took an hour to brew.

When ready, I ladled it down into the well, hoping I made enough. The well bubbled and the water level rose. The stench of the poison filled the air. I ignored it and took a deep breath. Drawing power into myself, I recited a growth spell, keeping my voice rhythmic and steady despite the horrible smell around me. The bubbling, frothing water turned green. Jumping onto the side of the well, I then directed the energy down the well, singing a powerful water movement spell in the deep, rich notes of a poison purge. The song built in intensity and speed as I neared the end. The last note ended loud, powerfully and suddenly as I “pushed” the magic down the well. I signaled the Vlatz to work their growth magic on the trees. The well drained of the frothy, green liquid as it went forth through the orchards to purge the poison.

A soft keening built and grew stronger in the orchard. Peregrine watched in wonder as the Vlatz worked their own, natural magic on the orchard. I kept my focus on feeding energy to the spell. Slowly the orchard began to show signs of life. Small bits of grass poked through the barren ground and green buds appeared at the ends of the branches. The grey bark faded into a more healthy brown. The foul smell still hung on the air, so I remained frozen on the edge of the well. I couldn’t stop until every last bit of the poison had been purged.
After a few moments I started to feel tired and drained. The field was larger then I had anticipated and I didn’t know if I had enough energy to finish, but I couldn’t stop or who knew what would happen to the orchard. I struggled to hang onto the spell when a light flared in front of my eyes. The purple Vlatz hovered in front of me, keening in a high-pitched voice. I felt my energy levels rise. Apparently the Vlatz could also supplement the magic of others. Taking advantage, I drank the power in and shoved it down the well with all my might. The orchard surged to life around me, strong and healthy as ever. The smell faded and the water in the well went from frothy green to normal clear. The keening died down and I knew the orchard had been restored.

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