The Magic Beans – Page 62



Perilous Jack finds the Ice Wizard to be a charming and eager host.

The man introduces himself as Garrulon, a retired adventurer who spent much of his career in Hubaro. Jack has visited that land on occasion, and they pass many pleasant hours reminiscing about the eerily beautiful stone formations, the petrified forests, and the unusually clear skies of Hubaro, in which planets and constellations may be seen that are visible nowhere else on Malkat. All the while the Universal Solvent boils and cools, evaporates and winds it laborious way through the distillery, and the Rune Sword lies swathed in layers of Universal Membrane, permeating it with magical energy.

At the end of the third day, Garrulon presents Jack with a small vial carved from a solid piece of diamond – the only material strong enough to contain Universal Solvent, although even this vessel will last only a few weeks before the powerful Solvent dissolves it. As an additional bonus in thanks for his kind hospitality, Jack presents Garrulon with three drops each of the magic potions he carries – for there are as many ways to make magic potions as there are alchemists to make them, and there is always something to be learned by analyzing the work of another.

In the end, they part as fast friends, with many assurances on either side of future exchange. Jack departs in high spirits, although he winces to see what disarray the Rust Birds have left the antechamber in. However, as Garrulon predicted, the birds destroyed only two Iron Claws before departing, and the lesson was of great value. Already the Iron Claws are at work redesigning the ventilation shafts.

Outside, Jack is pleased again to find that the Ice Wizard has temporarily deactivated the Bullet Launchers to facilitate his exit. In a matter of moments, Perilous Jack finds himself standing again at the border of Red Ghurka territory.

Add the Universal Solvent to the Pouch of Ghrul.

If Jack has rescued Stump the Gigas from Xerxes’ prison, turn to 13.

If he has not, turn to 10.