I had seen something like this with Tim once before. As I opened the box, it expanded to become a wardrobe wide enough for four men to enter side by side, and deep enough for a large caravan wagon with an eight horse team. I know because that is what stood in the room.
“Oh, my mistake,” Tim said and strode forward. He ran his hands along the magical door frame looking for a handle or button when all eight horses lifted their tails and dropped piles of excrement larger than my head; each.
“I’m not cleaning that up,” Lilith said, holding her nose.
Tim slowly turned his head to her. She stuck her tongue out at him and stuck her thumb onto her nose and wiggled her fingers. “Can’t make me anymore.”
Tim’s shoulders seemed to slump just a fraction and Lilith grinned broadly. “It builds character,” she said and turned to Beatrice, asking her something about her hair.
The pause was barely enough to be discernible to any who were watching closely, like myself. But the others did not seem to recognize anything was amiss. Tim turned away from Lilith and Beatrice and held his hands up, his mind obviously on the two women. He made a series of gestures, mumbling something that sounded like “you’ve got to know when to fold ’em”. The room folded in on itself and returned to a box the size of my fist. He picked that one up and handed me a different one. “Here, I am heartily sorry.”
I waited until he was back where he had stood and I opened the second box. Inside was a room of the exact same proportions, but the room was sparsely filled. On a professional dummy stood my armor. I had left it in the wagon when I took off to find Liz and Blargle. I was very relieved to see it cleaned and mounted for display. On the wall on the left side hung two spears with blue feathers hanging from leather cords. One was Liz’s from when we first met, and the second was the one I had liberated from the frogs in Liz’s village. It was the one where somehow a wizard’s staff had been melded with the broken vorpal blade. I had thought these lost.
“Put on the armor,” Tim suggested, waving me into the room.
“I can’t,” I argued. “It interferes with my channeling of the green divine.”
All conversation stopped and I looked back over my shoulder to see every single person around staring at me. Alfred, Calladil and Lilith were mildly curious, but Rufus, Tim, and Beatrice looked as if they had swallowed a live will o’the wisp like I saw in my early time in the swamp.
“Would you mind saying that again?” Beatrice asked, sweetly.
So I faced the lot of them and repeated myself. “This armor is dedicated to the Paladin Order of Kithri’s Fist. When I channel her divine I feel and see it as white energy.”
Rufus gawped at me, blinking. Tim crooked his littlest finger into his left ear and shook it around vigorously, not unlike what he’d been doing previously with the teleportation pipe.
Beatrice smiled broadly, took three great strides toward me, turned, throwing one arm over my shoulder, and escorted me out of the dimensional room. “Walk with me,” she said, waving her free arm as if she were sweeping aside curtains. “Please elaborate on the colors of your power.”
Dear gods in the firmament. I talked with the three wizards for two straight hours as they quizzed me on just what I assumed to be the truth, questioning my observations and checking how I looked under various forms of magical sight.
In the end, they were each stumped. Beatrice had a theory, Rufus two puns, and Tim claimed to suddenly have a headache.
Here are Rufus’s puns. “Of course the power is green, you’re a rookie caster.” and “Wizards rule, clerics drool.” They were both groan worthy, but Alfred chuckled. I think he was just being kind to the surly wizard.
“So you see,” I continued once we were all up to speed. “With Kithri captured by the talking spiders, I have no way of waking her. And with Liz and Blargle captured by the blighted men, I think they are in the most danger. Kithri is being taken to The Green Lady.” I paused. Beatrice did not disappoint.
“The Green Lady?” she asked. “Is she aligned to that green power you’ve been describing?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I countered. “I believe the green power is aligned to Semaunzilla (may she protect Liz in captivity).
Beatrice, Rufus and Tim put their heads together and talked amongst themselves.
I sat down on a crenel next to Lilith and drank from my water skin. Then, after wiping my mouth on my sleeve, I cleared my throat and began explaining how we may be seen as casters or clerics, wizards or sorcerers; but in the game it all comes down to seeing and manipulating power, either with or without fancy somatic gestures, rituals, and even material components as needed.
I didn’t really care who recognized me or who put out a warrant for my inappropriate death of a black dragon. I had a certain way to weave the skeins, blanket it over an individual, and change the overall symmetry and flow of the world.
It took Calladil, bless him, to break up the kaffeeklatsch and remind us that we had friends, lovers and allies in danger. I can’t begin to tell you how stupid I felt. For a moment, I was the focal of some of the strongest minds I know, and I was holding my own. There for a moment I had a kinship, a camaraderie with intellectuals that far exceeded anything I’d had growing up. I loved that feeling. But Calladil was right.
“Therefore,” I jumped back to the original subject. “I can’t wear Kithri’s armor if I can’t channel Kithri’s power. It blocks the green, which I’m just now getting a handle on. ”
“Fighting the blighted men will require you to engage your martial skills more than your intellectual pursuits,” Beatrice said, finally. “If our friends are not already dead, they are not being treated with kindness. How about we make a decision and move on?”
Then it was my turn to gawp. She was the one with the history lessons and the excuses.
“Right then,” I said. “I’ll wear the armor since I’ll be fighting a bunch, but my magical aspects will be dramatically curtailed.”
They took a final moment to exchange news and gossip while I donned my armor and then Tim showed me how to fold up the room and place it in my pack next to this journal.
When I had my gear ready, with my mace slung at my belt, and my staff spear in my left hand, I pulled out my maps and set to planning how we were going to assault the blighted men. Won’t that be fun?