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The Lost Mage

The Lost Mage: Getting Lost – Final Act

Marking the days gone by quickly turned into watching the passage of the moons as they trailed across the sky in their monthly cycles. After a while longer though, the passage of time started to mean nothing at all to Pip. Although the longer he stayed, the more the young mage became certain that he was alone. And unable to escape.

In a four-month cycle period of the two moons. Pip achieved some personal goals that he set for himself out of sheer boredom; he spent a full seven hours following the beach around the island, learning that the island wasn’t as grand as hoped. After that, he began climbing into the hills. Where the young mage scaled the largest of the two rocky outcrops. {Avoiding the bird mess where he could.} Only to discover that there were islands that surrounded his new home. Smaller than his own, but still visible to the naked eye. And Pip also found food in abundance.

{Once he figured out what was food and what wasn’t even close to edible. Three painful bowel movements, passing out whilst tripping yellow spots, and a case of sickness later I might add.}

He then spent a cycle and half completely knocking down the rotten structure. Only to build himself a new smaller home from the rubble as he mixed some new materials into the works.

{Including his palm leaf roof design. Which is only mentioned due to how proud Pip was of the idea.}

As he cleared away the ruins, Pip found a cellar under the derelict. Because the damp underground room was empty. This was where the lad cultivated a small collection of mushrooms which could be found growing in the jungle. All of which tasted at least pleasant once roasted.

In the open area around his round tiny windowless stone hut was where he would spend the mornings farming all the crops that he’d foraged over time. The mage farmer had even found a goat wandering in the hills. Which brought meaning to his days. {Along with a companion to talk to.} And Pip would have summed up his new life as peaceful. Which over the process of time became comforting to him. Although that was because it felt as if he was back home on his parents farm.

The waves were still for once as the lost novice reached the beach. Wandering along the shore in search of the pile of driftwood he stacked yesterday, Pip whistled a song his mother used to sing. A tame soulful low beat melody which the bards would play as they toured the inns. And although he remembered the tune, the name of the song escaped his grasp.

Whilst the young mage stacked a new driftwood pile, he spotted yesterday’s mound up ahead. And as Pip started to stroll towards it, a whisper floated past which appeared to be carried on the wind itself,
‘Decide what to do.’ The voice forced him to turn around as the young novice contemplated what to say. Although a glint across the water drew his attention and the whisper spoke to him once again,
‘Help them or betray them, but they are your transport home.’

The salty sea water at that moment surged up the beach. Which caused the lost mage to proceed towards the treeline as fast as he could. Although as he reached the trees, the mile long morning beach was quickly replaced with water, as only a length of sand no bigger than four people laying down side by side was all that was left. Whilst the water washed away his stacks of wood, he studied what remained and regrated not stacking the wood at the treeline. As he did so, the waves began to crash in front of him as they surged closer.

Just off in the distance, the ocean seemed to bubble. As the lad stared at the salt waters, he swore that there were people moving just below the surface. Yet Pip began to think that was crazy, as he noticed there was something else. And as this new object appeared over the horizon, it seemed to be chasing the strange bubbles. Whilst Pip struggled to find the words to describe what he was seeing. He studied what he knew was at least made of wood. Whilst Pip recognized that the wind was blowing the tall white flax sheets. The novice’s mind realised the sheets were used to push the wooden object. As he understood all known concepts of the element of air, the magical principle of directional thrust and atmospheric pressure, the connection was easy for him to put together. Putting all this together, his mind quickly flagged the object as a means of escape. His mind struggled to grasp what the object was though, as his lexicon was missing the exact words. The sound of men laughing and shouting across the water reached the beach. But still his mind struggled.

The bubbles which swished through the water gained speed. Until suddenly they reached the beach where they jumped out onto the sand. Each landing non-bubble at this point revealed a strange but beautiful woman. Their tails were like the creatures that swam in the water, but the women weren’t creatures. Pip could tell simply by their faces. As they noticed him though, they all began to scream at once.

Pip ignored them as he was still transfixed and staring at what he named a sail-plough. The novice realised suddenly that this plough was hunting the women. To what end he didn’t need to know.

{After all he had a chance to be a hero. Few ever managed to gain the chance to be anything.}

Pip knew this, so he wasn’t about to blow the chance. He began to understand the voices as they shouted across the water. Which caused him to feel confused as they were speaking Britstanaian. A burning anger began to rise within him. With each sentence from their lips, the anger burnt brighter. Something then took over after a few seconds of the fire burning through his mind. A force which shaped Pip’s decision for him. Flashes of memory rose to the surface. Each flashed for but a nano-second, as they showed him a time when he’d been mistreated at the college. A time before, his friendship with Marx had given him protection from the sons and daughters of the lords and ladies who manage the lands.

His mind went blank as an internal force cleansed him of every doubt he processed. A raw connection spoke within him, it reached out and connected with the air, which then began to flow back along the link.

The novice’s arm fired upwards. Fingers stretched towards the sky. Without any guidance from his mind, the element of air flowed into him. Instantly Pip’s subconscious called forth a ferocious wind. The sky turned black in less than a second; the merwomen’s cries were cut off by the sound of thunder, as lightening streaked across the sky. The winds rocked the sail-plough from side to side. Gusts tore at the ocean, which sent heavy waves clashing against the vessel. Pip screamed out in agony; as a power flowed through him. Although, as he wasn’t in full control. What happened thereafter surprised even himself.

Bolts of lightning began to strike the ship as he screamed out to the sky,
‘AUISTRA!’
Pip heard the men screaming, but it didn’t appear like his subconscious mind was finished. The storm intensified as he focused to simply stay awake. Gale-force winds began to tear at the sails as if the winds were shards of glass. Giant streaking bolts rained down upon the wood once more with a deeper intensity. And as the bolts connected with the vessel, the raw natural magical power of the storm ripped the wood apart within seconds.

Pip dropped to his hands and knees. His body was almost drained of everything within. Whilst the clouds vanished, they looked as if they evaporated. The women on the beach stared at him, their voices quiet and simple short whispers. As waves of desire, an inner-force and the wind talked only to him as the mermaid’s words were drowned out. Whilst the syllables still floated through the air, the winds talked over them once more,
‘They’re yours to watch over now.’ But as the young storm mage tried to focus on the wind’s words which were repeated to him. A magical tiredness hit him harder than ever before. All he managed to comprehend as he dropped was the women’s tails turning into legs.

Pip’s body was laid on a stone table and it was snoring lightly. Whilst his mind wasn’t asleep anymore. Although as his skin touched the cold surface, the sound of arguing somehow began to drift through the dreamless haze,

‘-but we can’t.’ The angered female voice finished off lamely. The next speaker spoke softly, but with a passion that stoked her words,

‘This human mage saved us. He didn’t have to. And yet we are still here because a human saved our lives. Need I say again, a human. Not only is he a human, but this one has a strong connection to nature, and that connection created a storm that was astounding. And we all saw him do so. We need not fear him. That is my say.’ Several women then murmured an agreement. The first voice did not join in the chorus though. It appeared that the angry woman wanted to get her tuppence in,

‘He is a human; you are right on the doubloons there. And are they not the ones who hunt us for our scales? This could be a trap.’ There was an anger in the woman’s words as she finished. Before they all began to argue though, a third woman began speaking,

‘We only know the facts, and we cannot guess the will of Clelia, the great goddess of the winds, always works for her own benefit

. We cannot say he is a danger to us. He is unlike the humans who hunt our race. He certainly doesn’t look like those who use us in their dark blood magic. This is true to us by looking with our eyes, so it is fact. His hair is red, his eyes are green, his skin is a type of pinkish colour, and he is shorter than most of the humans that I have encountered before. Fact again.’ As they all agreed, the voice which held a tone of wisdom continued,

‘And only Clelia knows how he reached our island. Until he can tell us, of course. But as the autumn season draws near, and the sea-storms come with colder seasons. We need some type of salvation. It then becomes another fact that we may yet need to survive long enough to witness the next season. And this pink human will be our salvation once again. If he agrees to help us.’ No one said anything. So the voice carried on yet again,

‘We must face the facts tail-on. So that we can draw the correct conclusions. I know he is not with those who hunt us. We have never witnessed his skin colour before. This human must have been sent here to help us, or he has his own issues with the wood-builders. And these are the facts as I understand them. So we will ask him for help. That is a fact.’ There was a larger chorus of agreement this time. Pip couldn’t react though, as his mind fell back into a deep slumber, rejoining his body which never left. Whilst his mind re-joined his body, he began to dream of his mother, who was baking bread while whistling.

A spasm in the leg was followed by all his torso muscles bolting upright. The women gasped as one as it happened. Whilst a bunch of hazy thoughts washed over young Pip. It took a few seconds on top of that for him to remember that this wasn’t the valley of his birth. But was that strange location, which was surrounded by an even stranger tasting water. The place that not long ago escaping from had once also seemed impossible.

As Pip gathered up his thoughts, the mermaids began to stare at him. Whereas one of the youngest spoke up as she glanced around the elders. Although she sounded more curious than she did frightened,

‘Is that what happens to them? When they use our scales, I mean?’ No one answered her. Pip though barely managed to croak for water, as he tried to hold himself upright, thanks to only saying one word. As they all stared at him, a tall blonde brought over a shell used for drinking. She held the twisted horn in one hand as she placed it by his lips. Pip sipped at the clear liquid inside before weakly asking,

‘Where am I?’ They all looked at each other as the eldest of the women answered him,

‘The island of Teevin. How did you get here?’ Pip barely managed to answer her,

‘Inside a magical storm. I presume.’ He attempted to fully sit up, but simply couldn’t. His bones felt like jelly, while his body-tissue began to feel like stone. As they were all staring at him, Pip decided at that moment to try to get information,

‘How far away is the Royal Kingdom?’ He asked. They all looked at each other once again. Whilst it was the blonde water bearer, who it turned out was also the softer voiced female, that answered him,

‘None of us know of this island called King-dome. You are on the island of Teevin. Which is one of many islands that make up a part of the half sunken nation of Jutland.’ This answer confused Pip. But as he went to ask more questions, the doors burst open. And a teenager began speaking quickly,

‘From the rocks, we have observed six masts appear on the horizon.’ Pip who was studying the well outside, asked weakly,

‘What are masts?’ They all glanced at him slowly, as if to say with their facial expressions that he was stupid. Whilst the oldest of the women spoke to him with an urgency to her voice for the first time,

‘We have only a few hours until they arrive. Help us please, and I will tell you everything that I know. We will also give you anything that we can give. Please, the hunters can’t find us here, and there is also nowhere for us to go anymore. We will starve or be forced back into the water where we will surely be killed.’ Pip thought he seemed better. Although he knew that he was still too weak to carry out any summoning,

‘I do not know how much help I can be to you ladies. I need to rest.’ The elder nodded and the soft voiced female strode forward after picking something up off the floor; in her hands was a large wooden box which the older woman took,

‘In this box are the scales which fall off us during our transformations.’ She said nothing else. Pip felt even more confused and needed an explanation of what she meant. The softer voiced mermaid replied with,

‘One was placed onto your arm when you slept. After your skin absorbed it, you woke up instantly. It also appears to have healed your scarred hand. You’re an air mage, are you not? Can you not use these and tap into the vast magical well of nature?’ Pip nodded at the soft-spoken female and smiled before he answered her weakly,

‘I am, but control has always been out of my reach. I think anger fuelled the storm.’ The elder nodded in understanding before speaking,

‘The men of darkness, as we call them, will carry on hunting us all until there are no merpeople left. When they catch each of us. We will be submerged halfway in salt water. They find it easier to strip the scales off our tail before killing us that way. Does this not anger you once more?’ He didn’t answer her, so she carried on speaking,

‘We have no male elder. We are also the last of our tribe. After us, there will be no new generations of the Teevin. The other tribes that are spread out among the islands are also being hunted to extinction. There are but a few thousand of us left now amongst all the islands of Jutland.’ There was some anger rising within Pip, but he was still too sleepy. He rose one hand up towards the elder and said,

‘Please place only one of the scales into my hand. I need to determine if it wakes me fully.’ She opened the box; the scales shone in the candlelight as the elder did so, and one blue-green scale was picked up from within. The old mermaid with grey hair let go of the scale, and as it touched his skin, the scale was instantly absorbed. Pip felt the need to force a smile as his body relaxed. But as he still hurt, Pip didn’t try to move straight away. Then as his head cleared, he decided he needed to move and said,

‘Now we’ll all go to the beach, and when we get there I will need two more.’ With that statement they all accompanied him to the beach. Well, after helping Pip to stand upright, that was.

As they all strolled through the jungle, Pip paid attention to their clothes. Every mermaid wore almost the same shade of orange exotic fabric. Which appeared shiny in the sunlight and seemed pretty thin. Although the fabric fascinated him-

[Ha! And it’s not how revealing it is. When compared to what he has seen women wear where he is from no?]

{Vin that’s disgusting.}

-AS it was bound into skirts and tops wrapped around them tightly. Whilst using enough layers to hide anything which might have been tantalising to the male mind. The women also used hulking black needles to make sure the fabric didn’t unravel. And as he studied the orange lengthy dress of the soft voiced blonde, she blushed before quickly turning her head to stare off into the trees.

There was then no time to be wasted though. These women needed his help after all, and the lad wanted to play the hero. He also wanted to learn everything about them. Whilst Pip needed to learn all there was to know about the island. So forgetting the clothing, Pip began to get to work straight away as they came out of the trees.

As he turned kicking up sand, the young storm mage noted the elder stood with two scales already out of the box. And she was holding them towards him,
‘Do you not want more?’ She asked him whilst holding them out as she waited on his instructions. Pip shook his head smiling in response right before they were dropped into the palm of his hand. The scales which seemed to be absorbed by the skin; as if they were water. They both quickly disintegrated and were absorbed by his pores even quicker. As they blended with him, he watched his hand with slight fascination. Once they finished blending though, they allowed his skin to absorb the magic from the air. Which the outer layer of his skin felt as if it tingled with pins and needles that flowed from his face to his toes. Around his feet, the sand began to twirl. Whilst a minor gust of wind came out of him and carried a small blast of sand towards the ocean.

Pip smiled whilst turning to fully watch the ocean.

In the past, Pip was never able to gain full control before, but a newfound confidence grew alongside his power. This time, as he focused, the thoughts which popped up didn’t blunt his concentration in the slightest way possible. Which normally was a lot, as he usually couldn’t focus on more than one task. But right then, well, he felt different. He noticed a balance which helped. He also seemed to experience everything within a split-second. His mind formulated choices normally beyond him. And he could suddenly do what others trained for years to accomplish.

So he sent his mind out across the wind. As Pip’s mind explored the drifts, he could see further than his eyes let him. And whilst the vessels were still over the horizon from the beach. In his minds-eye, they were all within his grasp at that moment.

{Ready for the roasting.}

Both hands shot out towards the sky without warning. Black clouds began to form before everyone’s eyes. The clouds, after only a few seconds, began to twirl around each other, moving as they did so. Waves swelled as the storm began to then move away from the shoreline. The skyline got darker as a cyclone of impending death moved through the air. The winds which twirled downwards with forces no one in this part of the world had ever witnessed before, or no one alive that was, cut the water as it connected. Waves mixed with the tornado as the winds began to batter the ploughs before doom even reached them. And over the water, Pip could hear the sound of screaming as men called out to their gods. Forgetting all about their families in the last moments of their lives.

In less than ten seconds though, the ships were sunk. The men were simply dead, and the storm that Pip called forth was beginning to break apart. Whilst sunny skies returned, all the mermaids began to cheer. They hugged him on the beach as they celebrated their survival. Some even kissed his cheek as every single one of them danced around him singing towards the sky.

Later that night, after an enormous fire was lit on the beach. Pip felt like a Hero with a capital h. He smiled basking in their celebrations. He danced with them; he drank something they called Rum. Whilst they chanted Lost Mage over and over to the sky. They kissed him on the cheek in celebration, and as they all danced until the sun rose. Pip felt accepted.
Whilst they all celebrated, Pip decided that all his questions could wait until tomorrow,

‘After all,’ he pondered whilst dancing with the group around the fire, ‘I’m useful for the first time in my life.’

[I’m glad you decided to watch all that.]

{Mm. I still don’t know if Marx is alright though.}

[Well, that’s because he’s hidden himself away from all interference. A charm known by few that can be worked by even less. He got out of the storm, didn’t he? Anyway Marx has a strong magical connection and a brain that others are going to envy.]

{But what is he doing now. Is he okay? He could be anywhere; he could even be in a shallow grave.}

[Contemplate this. We know he got back to the college. The college being charmed means we can’t peer inside. We know he studied and produced a charm that hides him away from all prying eyes. And from being used by the gods. We also witnessed him take over your shop. So we know he is okay until he dies, of course.]

[So does he-]

{Does who?}

[Pip, does he get off the island?]

{I guess we’ll have to find out.}