Returning to Foreston, Lana and Gallas were congratulated for having apprehended the murderous ex-Forester without bloodshed. The madman was taken to face judgment for his evil deeds in a private hearing, and in the meantime Lana was to be presented to the leader of the Foresters - Dame Larandia. Upon learning of Lana's profession, the Dame bid the young mage come to her chambers where she intended to impart some new magic as a reward for her services to the Guild.
Adventures in Thyatis - Part Two
Thus Lana obtained her second fourth level spell, one granting her control over forest flora. Lana was overjoyed to allow the Dame to scribe Growth of Plants into her spellbook.
Exhausted from her ordeal at the hands of the madman, and knowing her dagger training with Korataku was complete, Lana felt the urge to return home. Back at the Flying Ferret Inn she knew her companions would be expecting her after a long absence.
The mage spent a few more days in the company of Hadrian, Korataku and Lauranthas, enjoying her forest surroundings and making a few practice castings of her new spell. One of these included working alongside Hadrian to cast the evil sword into a magically created pit, and seal the entrance with impenetrable thorns and brambles.
Taking leave of her comrades a few days later, Lana thanked the three for all they had done for her - especially Korataku for introducing her to the philosophy of the Pearl Islands - helping her to develop her potential with the dagger and put her skills to their best possible use. With this, the young woman bought a horse and proceeded to gallop alone across the entirety of mainland Thyatis! She found herself beset by the occasional bandit raid, or some minor incident requiring her attention, needing to sleep by the roadside when she could not find an inn, but still she braved all these hardships for she had a destination in mind...
Changing her horse at each settlement she came to Lana finally arrived in Thyatis City - a vast metropolis whose size dwarfed that of Specularum a dozen times over. Lana hastened through the bustling streets and arrived at the Collegium Arcanum, the foremost centre of magical learning in the Thyatian Empire. Here she lost no time beginning research into a longlost magical artifact, fabled to have been created by one of the foremost figures of history ... the wizard King Lucinius I, founder of her father's homeland Thyatis.
Lana spent many hours poring through the tomes of the great library, but to little avail. Whatever reference she located in one book seemed to entirely contradict separate mention of Lucinius elsewhere. The few records she found were of little help in her research, and to her dismay none mentioned the wizard-king ever wielding a staff.
It was a staff that Lana now longed for. Karnus had acquired such an item in the Valley of Hutaaka , a long wooden weapon capable of invoking powerful magic at its wielder's command. Lana had felt little personal connection with the people of the Lost Valley . They had been stuck in their ways for many long centuries, selfish and unwilling to evolve or pursue any greater good. Theirs had been a magnificent kingdom, and it was the last remnant of this to which Karnus had laid claim. Because the bluerobed mage had interacted so closely with the Hutaakan people during the party's time in the valley, Lana saw the clear logic that Karnus was to be the staff's one true master.
However she craved the chance to wield such an artifact herself, the potential to put magic to its true purpose - the furthering of the greater good. Surely other staves existed in the world…
When Lana had recounted the tale of the party's travels through Hutaaka to Hadrian, her friend told Lana of the legend of King Lucinius, an enterprising Thyatian-born but Alphatian-trained wizard who had died a millenium ago. Throughout his career Lucinius had challenged countless Alphatian wizards to magical duels, so that he might secure the borders of the land which was to become the Empire of Thyatis. The tales of Lucinius' exploits had a great impact on Lana, as did the rumour (according to Hadrian) that Lucinius might have created a staff to supplement his abilities in the fight against enemy wizards. The pair speculated that he might have left this in legacy to another mage upon his death, one worthy enough to receive such a gift.
Lana needed proof that Lucinius' staff was more than a myth. As her research was proving more and more fruitless, she requested an audience with one of the library's attending magists - Mistress Jomelia. An audience was granted, and the young mage waited patiently in the company of a local patriarch while Mistress Jomelia returned from walking the Astral Plane in search of a rogue poltergeist.
Lana recounted her exploits alongside Karnus and the others in the Lost Valley , her encounters with Golthar and his minions, and the Staff. She spoke of her admiration for Lucinius, how she aspired to one day achieve greatness herself through proper and lawful use of magic to uphold good in the world. Mistress Jomelia seemed impressed by the young magic-user's enthusiasm. She arranged for Lana to be escorted to a private reading room where a selection of ancient tomes were kept, some of which were around a thousand years old...? Lana was led to this place by a kindly, aging librarian, no doubt one of Jomelia's personal friends. This ancient sage asked politely if Lana might make a donation to the upkeep of the Collegium, in exchange for the knowledge she was about to uncover. In keen anticipation, Lana handed over an opal, the one gemstone she carried, worth over a thousand gold pieces.
Lana entered the reading room and found what she was expecting - a selection of ancient books. She used her ring of telekinesis to turn each page, for fear of the parchment crumbling to dust beneath her touch. At last Lana found what she was seeking - a volume entitled The True Life of Lucinius I. Trembling, she began to read, committing to memory every shred of information the tome provided. And to her immense excitement, it spoke of a staff…
After what seemed mere moments, the door re-opened and the ancient librarian stepped into the room. The kindly look was gone from his face, and a strange twisted expression appeared instead. He demanded a further payment from Lana - the magical rings she wore. Lana backed away from the reading desk, calling to those nearby to assist her. But there was a glazed look in their eyes - a ring on the librarian's finger was exercising some sort of control. Lana called the words of a spell to mind and cast a Confusion over the hall, buying herself enough time to cast Fly and speed her way out of the great library. The librarian was left cursing behind her, still reeling from the disorientating effects of Lana's magic.
Lana later discovered from Mistress Jomelia that the librarian had been a powerful and revered magic-user until his summoning of a fire elemental burned all his spellbooks - obliterating 50 years of work. After this, the old man turned insane and began bullying members of the Collegium to give him magic. Many in the Library considered him harmless. Still, a man strolling freely among the bookshelves with a ring of human control? Lana felt she had made the right decision to depart as quickly as possible.
She fled through the city streets, straight to the city harbour and booked passage on the first ship she could find leaving for Karameikos, offering her services as a magic-user against any disturbances the ship might encounter on the journey home.
Lana spent long lazy days lying at the back of the boat, gazing out at the shimmering blue waves of the Thyatian sea, letting the hazy Thyatian sun beat down on her tanned skin, feeling the cool sea breeze rustle through her long amber hair. This was the relaxation she had been seeking when she had bid her companions farewell almost two months ago - some time to herself, to be able to sit back and take life easy…
In what seemed like no time, a familiar coastline came into view - that of her homeland. Before long the ship was pulling into the Bay of Mirrors in the city of Specularum . Lana took her leave of the ship's crew and hastened through the city streets toward the Flying Ferret Inn, where her companions greeted her at the front door. Lana's journeys were now complete and the young mage had many tales to tell her comrades. It seemed her companions too had been busy in Lana's absence.
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