The Frost Potion – Page 08

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Jack leaps to the edge of the GreenShaft and briefly glances within, to assure himself of the Warp Portal that will whisk him away to the outside world. The portal is opaque, a sure sign that it is inactive. A chill creeps up his spine – is he trapped?

“No,” he says aloud. The Ogres use this place; there must be a way. He stops to think, forcing himself to reason. Some Warp Portals require a token or a key to open them – a magic wand touched to the surface of the portal, or an enchanted ring worn by any who seek passage. Others are operated by a password or special gesture. He frowns, pondering. In his years of association with Dark Simon he has picked up snippets of magic lore; a charm of facilitation, a minor hex or two, the Gestures of Opening and Closing. He attempts every art he knows, every arcane pass and mystic phrase, praying that his unskilled use of them will not prove disastrous. The only effect he achieves is a comic one; he ends up looking and feeling like a silly ass.

When these efforts fail, he works his way back through the lair, examining the bodies of the Ogre and the Zombies, the empty treasure chests. Nothing.

Frustrated, he returns to the entrance GreenShaft and glowers down at the unresponsive Warp Portal for a moment. It must work. Twice this very day he has seen the Warp Portal function. How did the kidnapped Fairy and the Fairy Dragon . . .

He groans to himself. “I am an idiot,” he declares aloud. Before departing, Princess Isamu gave him a pouch of Fairy Dust by way of thank-you. He sprinkles a pinch of the dust on the Warp Portal and is pleased to note the disc turn translucent. He dives in.

Emerging into the TowaShroom Forest on the other side, he shakes his head in disgust and amusement. No wonder the Ogres were kidnapping Fairies; they needed the dust to make use of their secret lair.

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He does not have much time to speculate; through the trunks of the TowaShrooms, he sees a familiar figure, hastily gesturing and chanting the components of a spell. It is Serra the True, and she is under attack.

Perilous Jack bounds forward, sword in hand, and arrives in time to see Serra subdue her attacker with a casting of Sleep. The creature looks like a giant rhinoceros, but with a shaggy purple coat and a set of four curving horns upon its head. It is a Wild Horn, and the spiked collar and broken chain leash around its neck indicate that it is someone’s pet – probably a Giant’s. The adventurers exchange a hasty greeting and make haste for a place of concealment, before the Giant owner returns to find its runaway pet.

Make a note on the Equipment Sheet that only 9 doses of Fairy Dust remain.

Turn to 27.