Squire selection… is that today? Was I supposed to attend that ceremony? It won’t matter. Tea. I’ll have to prepare tea. I’m going to forget something. Oh dear. They’ll have 41 minutes to remove the child from his home. Kobolds are vicious. I’m going to forget their badges. Oh well, there’ll be time for that later.
The pages are assembled for the squire selection ceremony. Twenty-eight are invited to this one. The pages chatter among themselves. Number 1 among the pages, Izo Falun, is expected to finally be selected. It’ll be his fourth ceremony as the number 1 spot without being promoted. He’s growing irritated. Morgan Willows, the second spot, is finally willing to move forward and become a squire. He’s turned down assignment before, claiming that his studies weren’t finished. Olvid the Resurrect, ranked number 3, is also expected to move forward. Olvid’s only been a page for two weeks, since his resurrection. His progress is astounding.
Grand Mistress Ivozea Carnesir delivers her normal speech. She introduces me. She is nicer about me than she should be.
Madam Adastra stands near the Grand Mistress. I always feel like she can see me, even when I’m viewing the past.
Ivozea reads off the list I’ve prepared for her. She didn’t even know who was being selected.
Number 2, Morgan Willows, is selected. He finally accepts assignment.
Number 10, Dorathy Pheonix, is selected. Ivozea doesn’t trust her, is skeptical about the assignment, but Dorothy accepts and the ceremony continues.
Number 16, Galdor Arklind, is selected.
Number 19, Charlie Cackleback.
Number 25, Vannah. She’s so surprised and excited that she runs up and joins the squires before Ivozea has a chance to ask if she accepts the assignment. Ivozea compliments her on her enthusiasm.
There is a sixth member. He will join them soon.
Ivozea knocks on my door. “Come in,” I think I say. They enter. Sit. I serve tea.
They talk and I hand Vannah the second crystal ball. I will keep the first ball, I tell them, and they the second. We can communicate through it. Keep it safe.
41 minutes, it becomes clear again. Yes, they must go find Cadwyr Turner, take him from his home, and deliver him to the Old Tower. They have 41 minutes to remove him from the Turner household.
They leave quickly. Some of them stop for refreshments.
I forgot the badges.
They arrive at the Turner household. Mister Turner is a cooper. He makes barrels. His son, Rhun Turner, has applied to the Helix. They’re excited to see the Helix members arrive and ask about Turner’s son. The Turners are confused when the squires want Cadwyr Turner and not Rhun. Rhun has the magic, he’s the one that applied, they try to explain. It doesn’t matter. Cadwyr’s the one they want.
Cadwyr’s willing to go with them. They’re making good time.
As they leave, Rhun tries to cast a charm person on Morgan. Morgan confuses Rhun, Rhun loses focus, and the spell is lost. Charlie leans over and tells the kid, “We’re trained to stop people like you, kid. Don’t try that again.” Rhun can’t focus, doesn’t respond.
Oh, Rhun. I forgot about him. I should have said something.
My squires take him to the old Helix tower. They stop for bread, where Vannah destroys the bread-seller’s stand, clubs a kobold with her hammer, and then drags the kobold off (gagged, blinded, and manacled). Charlie mends the bread-seller’s stand and Vannah leaves a couple coins behind, for the bread.
The kobold is a page named Vlak. He was charmed this morning to come ambush my squires… no, to ambush Cadwyr. They take Vlak and Cadwyr to the dungeons of the old tower, where they meet Felder. Sir White and his son have always bothered me. I see less around them. Later I will see that Felder was charmed. But I don’t see that right now. Thankfully Felder is a strong-willed boy. He’ll brush off the charm before it causes him to do anything problematic.
The dungeon is an anti-magic field and the area around it is silenced. Cadwyr should be safe inside (and will be, since Felder is able to overcome his charm). My squires are attacked by a 13-year-old ruffian and an 11-year-old girl who can just barely cast a sleep spell. Charlie dazes the girl and Galdor knocks the boy unconscious. No problems, no real injuries. (Charlie was a bit surprised by the power behind the boy’s punch.)
Cadwyr’s going to start choking. I ask Vannah to go check on him. Her over-eagerness causes him to start choking. Charlie helps; Cadwyr spits out a golden triangular prism. That’s it! That’s what we’re looking for. It looks similar to Felder’s Blackgate Prism, but the effects are different. The golden prism was sucking power out of Cadwyr, marinating inside him. I write a document and Cadwyr Turner is now a page in the Helix.
My squires converse. Vlak had told them that it was a couple kobolds from the Golds that infiltrated the old tower and charmed him, specifically one named Garkuuk. They’ve decided to see if they can lure the Golds out into the open. Charlie holds up the golden prism and says, “Time to go fishing.”
I don’t believe kobolds are fish. Perhaps the golden ones are. I’ll need to look into this.