tranquil streamside glen was suddenly transformed into a battle field.
The hungry Troll's crazed, blood-curdling howl served as a counterpoint
to the quiet, calculated mumble of the old Wizard preparing a defensive
An audible hiss sliced through the morning
air as the glowing green orb of magical energy hurtled towards the Troll.
Erupting on the behemoth's chest, the spell released its erosive content,
burning and dissolving the Troll's leathery flesh. The creature stumbled
sideways, then steadied itself against a large pile of stones to its
The Troll howled in rage and pain. The attack
by the exhausted Wizard depleted any patience and cunning the creature
could bring to bear. The Troll charged at Vandaros. Holding a giant
bone club above its head, the Troll thundered through the tangled wood.
The ground shook with each relentless stride. Seedpods shook loose from
branches above, fluttering down as the angered Troll bore down on the
A look of fierce determination crossed Vandaros'
face. No trace of the confused old man could be seen in the battle ready
Wizard. Standing ready, he evaluated his position with a calm, self-assured
Preparing for the brute's onslaught, Vandaros
held aloft his iron bound staff. A storm of eldritch lights sprang from
its metal shod end. All around the mage energy spun in a tight orbit.
The multi-colored streaks wove a shimmering globe about him.
Vandaros pulled the stuff of magic from this
energy pool, fashioning yet another lethal spell. In rapid succession
two more bolts of acid flew from the mage's hand, bringing an end to
the Troll. A steaming heap of ruined flesh and bone was all that remained
of the foe.
The air surrounding Vandaros was still visibly
alive with his spells' energy. Smaller mystic embers slowly winked to
nothingness as they grounded out into the forest floor. The victorious
Wizard stepped forward, then swooned. Over drawing magical power had
left him greatly taxed. His body struggled to adjust to the absence
of the arcane field.
Leaning heavily on his staff, Vandaros vacantly
starred at the still smoking corpse and found himself strangely puzzled
by the sight. As he furrowed his aged brow, a puzzled look replaced
the self-determination of only moments ago. He shuffled over to a leather-bound
notebook, sprawled open beside the pile of stones.
"Now where was I?" he thought aloud, scratching
his white beard. "Ah, yes!" he exclaimed to nobody in particular as
he shuffled back over to the aged pile of rock, resuming his study of
the intricate patterns of moss and sediment.
Muttering his observations aloud, he studiously
traced patterns into his field journal noting in obsessive detail the
peculiar oddities present in the stone to moss relationship….