Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meanwhile, On a different plane of reality.

In a central office of the Academy of Cartography, home of the Map Makers guild. 

"Dean Nostuff sir, a new correspondence from young Upiyo."

"Just put it over there Jones please, I will see to it once I finish my red ink work, it dries so fast."

"Sir, it does appear to be urgent. He tied it with a red ribbon."

"A red ribbon you say?"

Dean Nostuff dropped his quill on the carefully worked map, red ink staining it and ruining hours of work.

"This young man has never asked for help, he has never sent a danger signal. In his mind there is nothing he can't deal with. Perhaps he just ran out of blue ribbon."  

Unrolling the scroll a small picture of a ring, carefully drawn, falls out. Dean Nostuff, examines the picture and then the note.

"It appears our young genius has got himself a puzzle and is very scared of this powerful ring. Humm, possibly a curse. Lets get this to archives, see what Gelson comes up with.  If he finds something perhaps we can put our young hope at ease a bit. Odd, he wants me to thank Professor Angles for all the tutoring on calculating triangles. I wonder what that is all about? "

Serevel days pass.

"Your lunch sir, and a new delivery from young Upiyo"

Dean Nostuff looks up, a worried look crosses his face.

"So soon, is this another red ribbon?"

"No sir, it appears young Mr. Timinwell found some more blue ribbon,  and there is also a small pouch sir."

"Perhaps he remembered to pay his dues."

Dean Nostuff scans the note.

"Ha! He and his companions fought off a pack of zombies, sounds as if they made short work of them.  Ah yes, those were the days. Just a pack of zombies to worry about.  The pouch contains a gold coin they retrieved from one of the zombies. Well, every little bit helps I guess, He is still a long way off from rebuilding that tower."

"He asks if we have found any info on that ring yet? What has Gelson found out?"

"Sir, Gelson has been on his honeymoon."

"Oh yes, I forgot, what is this, number five?

"Seven sir, he should be back at the end of the week, perhaps with number eight."

"Well make sure he gets right on it once he gets back, and get this to accounting in Upiyo's account."

Dean Nostuff picks up the pouch and goes to spill it into his hand. Years of knowledge and reflex form the spell in his mind, and before the coin touches his hand he freezes it in midair.

"Jones, ignore that part about accounting, I will deal with this coin. Please draft a message to Mr. Upiyo Timinwell, and have him write me a report on the proper use of the danger code ribbon. Also send a message to Gelson, tell him his honeymoon is over and to get back here, with or without number eight."

As Jones departed to prepare the scrolls Dean Nostuff glared at the floating coin, mumbling the spell that first turned it red hot, then reduced it to a floating ball of molten gold.

Some days pass.

"Another message from  young Upiyo sir, and it has a red ribbon again."

Dean Nostuff looked up from a pile of papers.

"Again, did he do the report I asked him to do, on using the red ribbon?"

"No sir, he has not yet delivered that report."

"Well then, let us see if he needs to add another 1000 words to it?"

Dean Nostuff unrolls the scroll and starts to read.

"Hmm, attacked, ... more zombies... strange green metal arrow.... ignored magic protection..... JONES!! Get Gelson in here, I don't care if you have to drag him out of his marriage bed!

Some days latter still.

"Dean Nostuff, Profesor Gelson, I beg your pardon sirs"

"Profeser, your wives are "REQUESTING" your attendance to a matter in your quarters. Dean Nostuff, it's Young Master Timinwell, sir."

"Professer, please deal with this quickly, we need to get back to this. What color ribbon this time Jones?"

"None sir"

"Then lets treat it as red, check it first, then send it to me quickly as you can and ask...."

"No sir, you misunderstand me, it is Mr. Timinwell himself, he is here to speak with you. Sir, he looks to be very agitated. He is mumbling something about a warning from the artificers guild and needing to "Get rid of it", sir.  

Latter that day.

"Professor, is this what I am afraid it is?" Dean Nostuff asked Professor Gelson. 

"Yes, I am sure of it. This is the ring of  Arlin Keni, a magic item so powerful it's existence is a threat to magic itself on this plane. I thought it was well hidden and protected from damaging the Mana flow. Evadently not well enough."

"If this has been found we can't be sure his other secrets haven't been found." 

"If anyone knows we have this, we, and the students, are at grave risk. 

"With the ring released, the Mana flow may not survive. It is beyond our skills to stop what most likely is going to happen."

"I was just starting to like this world. Do you want me to contact Professor Goesnoow and have him start the transfer process. 

"Yes, recall all guild members, call it a training conference with free entertainment for families. Spread the word we are opening new locations and will be announcing a number of promotions. That should get them all here quickly. Offer full rights to attend to all students' families, we need them hear to give or refuse permission to bring their children."

"Sir, the ring, we can't take it with us."

I know. I think perhaps, if this world's magic is to be saved, its best chance is with Mr. Timinwell's friends. They may well pull it off, but we can't risk the safety of the guild, our families, our great project, on their skills. Before our departure I will see to it that they have the ring. For now I will activate our highest level of security, ensure all students are within reach of emergency protective spells at all times. The ring will be under protective custody of The Three.

Protected by incarnations of the Mother, Maiden, and Crone, at school full of kids. I pity anyone who comes looking for trouble. Just for extra measure I will have security armed with those hand weapons Professor Goesnoow found last year. The ones that disintegrated the target, no magic required.

Two days later: The full school board assembled around a King Arthur like round table.  Dean Nostuff is addressing the board.

"Professor Goesnoow reports all is ready for our departure, the board has convened, all students and family have agreed to travel with us and are secured, except one. Captan Ester, the guild is yours to command."

"Thank you Dean Nostuff, and my thanks to the board for this honor.  I want to reassure everyone that I hold the safety of you and your loved ones as my highest duty. The guild will survive, we will arrive at our new home within the week. Our course through the ethereal plane to the astral gateway has been plotted and charted by our top three plane travel experts, all discrepancies have been resolved, and our plot is true. Supplies are stowed, and we have Mana reserve enough to hold us an additional three weeks beyond our destination. Ms. Elath'el has information on the destination."

"Our new home is much like this one according to reports. One thing new to report is contact with a group calling itself "World Gate Command" Our early contact reports are favorable and show no threat to the guild. Mana is at world norm with a standard TL 3 society. Our initial survey was a bit rushed, but we will have all the info we need by the time we arrive. All power sources be should fully recharge in 10 years after our arrival. This has cost us much."

Thank you Ms. Elath'el. I would like to extend my condolences on the loss of ranger Ne're. Her sacrifice is loss to us all. I am sure you will honor her with your service in her place. Dean No..."

"I beg the council's pardon, but something has just arrived, we believe from Mr. Timinwell, Professors Wilson and Henderson are insisting you look at it now."

Well then, as I was about to say, Dean Nostuff, will you please collect our wayward hope and deal with his package as quickly as you can. We depart within the hour.

Dean Nostuff and Jones walk out of the board chambers right past the professors waving a book, shouting and jumping up and down "The book...he found the book...it's all breaking lose"

Then the shrill voice of a young man not yet experiencing puberty broke above all else, 

"Dean Nostuff...Dean Nostuff! They are gonna tell!! I got to get that book back......, the guild,...in danger!!!!!!!  Everyone wants that ring and that book. Oh Dean Nostuff, I messed up bad this time! I just wanted to help, to see if the school could help... everyone is scared of that green metal, and the lady and her dead things... and.."

"OK.. OK... Upiyo settle down, it is all ok, the guild is fine, in fact I have one big surprise for you. 
He took the young man by his hand and set back off down the hall, grabbing the book out of the hands of a trembling Professor Henderson  "I just have to pick up something from some very nice ladies, do not stare at them, even if the young one looks like she wants you to, trust me, she is not your type."

A bit latter a burst of light fills a distant tavern and Dean Nostuff steps into the dusty room hand in hand with Upiyo.

 Alert hands go to weapons. 

"You must be ranger Testtalo, and Hans, and the rest of Upiyo's companions. I am Dean Nostuff, young Upiyo is under my care. He is very important to our guild, and I would like to thank you for your indulgence with him. For reasons I am not at liberty to divulge, we needed him to be learning, on the job, so to speak. I understand he has behaved in a way that has not always been in your best interest. I am sorry for that, and I hope this makes up for it in a small way.

He hands them the book, the ring, and a pile of research, "Everything we have on Arlin Keni, and his work, there are some very nice maps in there.  Above all else, you must destroy that ring. Sadly, it will not be easy. I have included some maps that have nothing to do with Arlin Keni, but they are made with diamond and ruby infused inks. I am sure they will be very valuable. I dare say all maps are about to become more valuable." 

"You see, Upiyo, and his guild, are about to depart this plane. Once our citadel departs, agents will act to make it look as if we were somehow destroyed. I offer you all a chance to go with, us but the ring would have to stay, that and you are this worlds best hope to get through this.

Heroes all, they chose to stay and fight. With that settled, the child Upiyo, and Dean Nostuff, returned to the guild hall. Upiyo, and his guild, would continue to grow in a new world, with new friends and adventures.

So what is all this?

Last weekend I was playing in my Simi-regular GURPS game and some things went in ways I was, well ...a bit unhappy with. So, I decided to have things go a different way. I am rewriting history so to speak. I just decided that on a different plane of reality this is how it happened. Perhaps Upiyo's new home will be in stories.

For more about Upiyo and the guild see: