Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kar: The Mage of Nague

Kar sailed in his small vessel towards a small island no bigger than his home village. After being robbed of his amulet, Kar had been chasing the thief for six days. Even with the summoning of a magic wind, Kar could not catch up, for the thief himself was also skilled in magic. From the great port city of Basque they had begun their conflict, and on this small island their differences would finally be settled.

Almost regretfully Kar thought back to his training days as an apprentice. If only he had not left so soon he would have learned more ways to make the wind bend to his will, more ways to manipulate the waves to vanquish his foe. As it stood, Kar was a pathetic excuse for a mage. With 8 years of teaching, he was no better than when he started out. He could never get many of those spells to work correctly. Only the minor spells worked and always with difficulty.

But, of course, Kar did not care. He was the son of a blacksmith, and his strength showed it. Many times he had to pay passage aboard a ship not by selling his craft of magic but by being one of those who rowed. And now, his strength exhausted by the constant draining of his magic, Kar decided to let the boat drift to the island by itself. It was making fast time, and the thief had only been on the island for a mere hour, waiting for him. Just the day before, Kar received a message from that mage in the form of a magic bird. The message read: As two great mages, we must not waste our skill in such a pitiful way. We shall duel as the mages of old did to settle our problem. Signed, the Mage of Nague.

At last, Kar stepped onto the island. Waiting in plain sight was the Mage of Nague. No one would be there to help Kar this time. No, this time, if Kar was defeated, he would die. Kar and the mage stepped forward, closing the gap between the two of them.

"Mage of Nague, you are?" Kar asked.

"Indeed. And you are Kar, renowned for recovering the Amulet of Moria. The very same amulet that I now wear. Pity that you are such a weak mage, though. You slept longer than the dead that night."

With only a meter between them, Kar swung and connected a fast strike to the enemy face. The Mage of Nague, expecting the usual formalities of a duel, did not anticipate such action from Kar. In an intense beatdown, Kar knocked the mage onto the ground and delivered fist after fist, not giving the Mage of Nague any time to speak, for it is with words that mages tap into their magic. Finally, in a barely audible whisper, the Mage of Nague made a spell. Kar was flung away onto his back, and the Mage of Nague had time to recover.

"Disgusting swine! I'll rend the flesh from your body so fast that you'll wish you were dead!"

The Mage of Nague summoned in his hand a fireball. One of the most difficult spells to do is to create something from nothing. Summoning light is a basic task. Summoning fire, though, requires great power. And with that fireball, the Mage of Nague showed the difference between their powers. One, a poor excuse for a practitioner of magic. The other, a master of spells.

The launched fireball engulfed Kar in flames, creating a nasty stench that the barbarians of the north themselves would not go near. Kar ran towards the nearby water, but the Mage of Nague flung Kar back to where he was before. Then Kar exploded into an array of black crows speeding in all directions. Those crows, darker than the night itself, covered the sky and brought despair upon the Mage of Nague, for how could one simply feel nothing from such a sight?

"A spell of illusion. Are you so dumb that you can't recognize one?" Kar taunted.

The look on the Mage of Nague's face had been one of disbelief. His greatest skill had been completely useless in the fight. The cunning Kar was using child's magic, illusions. Every mage knew that illusions are playthings only, never to be used in a real fight. And in a moment of overconfidence, the Mage of Nague had been tricked.

"Avert," the Mage of Nague said hastily, and the illusion disappeared. Kar himself was inches away from the mage.

In a second beatdown, Kar left nothing to chance. With elbows he slammed down. With heatbutts, he rammed against the mage's mouth. No more would he let the mage say any spell. In a frenzy similar to the warlike barbarians, Kar left the Mage of Nague close to death. Kar took back his amulet as well as valuables from the Mage of Nague. Many say that the Mage of Nague did not survive the encounter. A few claimed to have seen him years later, seeking Kar for revenge. And others still refused to accept the tale as true, not wanting to believe that such a powerful mage could be defeated so easily. However, that island is now gone, vanished from the eyes of mortals.

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