Tefl was cleaning his teeth with a small penknife, for they had just had a meal of roasted pheasant at the Procope, a local restaurant in Gaia. He waited there for Poxig, and saw that he would be waiting for a long time. Poxig had gone in search for a new penknife, but they turned the search to someone who could bring Truliso back from the brink of death. The two warriors advanced to the white magic guild, in hopes of finding a white mage who could help their dragonite friend. They walked in the oak door of the guild, not sure what 100 gold pieces would buy them, if anything at all.
The sage who met their gaze questioned them first.
“Who disturbs the sanctity of this magician’s sanctuary?” he asked.
“If everything is equal, I must say that I don’t take much stock in magic,” said Tefl.
“Then, all things being equal, good day sir!” said the elderly sage.
“No. Please wait. My friend did not mean to offend you sir,” offered Poxig, “The truth is, my friend and I are in dire need of a healer, sir, and we were told that white mages work here for hire…”
“How much do you have there, my green-faced friend?”
“We could offer you 100 Gold Pieces,” returned Poxig.
“My dear elf!” laughed the sage with a bellow. “That’s not enough gold to hire a magician for two hours!”
Just then, there was a rustle behind the curtain that obscured the way to the rear of the mage’s guild. “‘Nuncle! My uncle Barry!” and a lovely trim red-haired woman dressed in a white raiment emerged from the curtain, “who will pay 100 gold?” she asked.
Sage Barry tried to quiet the young woman. “Pay no attentiion to her! She’s just my hard-headed niece.”
The woman seemed familiar to Poxig. She had long red hair, blue eyes, and lips of cherry-red. Her nails were painted bright red. She wore a white cloak with a red hair barrette. He eyes sparkled with the glint of a great magician. She was plucky, with a tom-boyish enthusiasm. No doubt she was still a journeywoman mage, but she impressed Poxig with her homespun turns of phrase.
“I’m still trying to get my first post. I’ll take the pay and help you. I’ve only been in healing school for one year, but I can probably help you with your medical needs,” she said.
“What is your name?” asked Poxig.
“Sheila Nesta,” she replied, “nice to make your acquaintance.”
“I am Poxig Excelsior, and this is Tefl Broadsword.”
“I have some experience as a tutor of white magic,” she said, “and I throw in the sass free of charge.”
Sheila Nesta winked with her long lashes. She was in perfect form, as a feminine ideal, she could not help but attract the attention of Tefl. Her beauty could be a snare to men of a certain age, but Tefl had learned to keep such vixens at a certain distance. Still, it was possible that the two friends took a chance on the neophyte mage because of her charm and pluckiness. It was unusual to find a healer with such appealing character traits. Sage Barry reluctantly let her go on this mission, but he gave them a disclaimer about her general ability in these matters.
The party of three left the mage’s guild, and they stopped at a cafe in Gaia called the Procope. They sat at a table to discuss. Tefl ordered tea, Poxig coffee, and Sheila plain water.
“We have a proposition. We will give you the money once you complete the task,” said Tefl.
“But didn’t you say you are light warriors?” asked Sheila. “Surely you have more means than that.”
“Looks can be deceiving,” said Poxig. “The truth is that I am the guardian of the ORB. The king has yet to recognize us and send us on our mission.”
“Well… who needs healing services,” asked Sheila.
“There is a dragon whelp in the forest glade not far from here,” whispered Poxig.
“A dragon? You can’t be serious! I thought they were only a myth of my ancestors.”
“Yes, and he bears some important information, that must get to the king,” said Poxig.
“We need a healer to restore the dragon back to full health,” said Tefl.
“I’ve only practiced on humans, and one gnome. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to heal the dragon whelp,” Sheila said.
“We need you to try,” said Poxig. “If the dragon whelp dies, there will be terrible consequences for the human race, and by a corrolary, elven kind.”
The two confabulated like this for some time, and then Sheila Nesta agreed to go with them in order to try to resolve the problem. She said that she could not use level one magic for this task, but would have to try a level three spell, which she had never yet done. But after they had passed some time at the Procope and paid the bill, they were on their way.