Efren’s Marvelous Armor & Shields

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“So this leather armor can burst into flames?”

“Yes, it’s the latest rage,” the Alchemist proudly boasted.

“But what about cold or ice. Can it do anything like that?”

“It’s ‘Flamewrap’ armor. Fire is in the name.”

“Oh,” said the short, misshapen man. “That wouldn’t do much good against fire-resistant foes.”

“Well,” said the Alchemist, trying to salvage the sale. “It would still protect you. Certainly that’s pretty important”

“That’s true,” the man considered thoughtfully. “It is a wondrous ability, but I think I’ll pass. Thank you for your time.”

“Wait,” the Alchemist said as a thought suddenly crossed his mind. “I know who you are. Maybe I can help you, Silent Dream of CrIsis.”

The short misshapen man looked surprised, then the pasty flesh-disguise of ectoplasm which had been covering his true features melted away to reveal the Kankoran Mind-Mage. “If you know who I am then you know that more fire is hardly something I need,” Dream said with a small amount of humor.

The Alchemist smiled. He had read the recent books and knew what was being referred to. “I think I might be able to help you,” he said thoughtfully. He went behind the counter and dug through pages of cryptic, hand-written notes until he found the one he was looking for. He scanned it and considered what he would need to do to prepare the enchantment he was contemplating. “It will cost some additional gold.”

“What will cost additional gold?” Silent Dream asked.

“In my youth I uncovered an ancient spell which can turn the burning heat of fire into a shattering cold,” he began confidently. “I think I could add that to your ‘Flamewrap’ armor. It would let you turn the magical flame into an icy flame which would be bitter cold instead of blazing hot.”

“That would definitely be more useful to me,” Silent Dream admitted.

“There would be one other cost in addition to my fee,” the Alchemist revealed.

Dream started thinking about the gold he had left. If this Alchemist was going to be playing games then maybe it would be better off given over to Great Apis‘ priests. “What would this ‘extra’ cost be?” Dream asked cautiously.

“Write about me in your books,” the Alchemist said with a smile. “An endorsement by CrIsis in your books would do wonders for my business here in Caer Itom. Write about the amazing magic in my shop which you personally recommend. Tell all the readers of the world about how amazing this armor I make for you will be.”

Silent Dream shook his head. “I won’t just write things that-”

The Alchemist cut him off. “I know of your moral code, ‘Conscience of CrIsis.’ I only ask that you tell the truth. Look around – surely you can agree the magic in my shop is amazing? And I guarantee this armor will meet your expectations. Just write about it! Other members have done it for Greminor Lector. You even personally did it for Thurweard Getor!”

The Kankoran thoughtfully considered the Alchemist’s words. Would it be dishonest? He had no control over what appeared in the Books. And he didn’t write in order to advertise anyone. His experience with Thurweard Getor had been worth writing about for many reasons, not just because of his magics. Dream sighed as he realized that he had, however inadvertently, advertised for Thurweard. He made a decision.

“I will write about our conversation, and I will write about how the armor performs,” Silent Dream told the expectant Alchemist. “I can’t guarantee that what I write will appear in the Books. But you will have my word that I write about you.”

The Alchemist beamed. “Excellent. We already fit you for the armor earlier. I’ll need half payment now and the rest when you return here at the end of the week. You won’t be disappointed.”

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The end of the week…

“Well, what do you think?” The Alchemist asked Silent Dream. The Kankoran had been suited up in the leather armor. Unsurprisingly, he needed little help. It was obvious this wasn’t his first time donning such armor. Except this particular armor, though designed for comfort and ease of moment, was also enchanted for strength and durability. The Alchemist made sure there was nothing flammable around then said to him, “Now, activate the flame aura.”

With a thought and a quick vocal command the armor suddenly burst into flames. Silent Dream stood there calmly as the fire harmlessly burned around him, leaving him and his armor magically untouched. He moved his arms and hands in front of him. The flames flickered and he could feel the heat; it just didn’t touch him. The Alchemist placed a piece of rolled-up parchment into the flames and held it there until it ignited. He let the fire burn briefly then he dropped it to the floor and stamped it out.

“Now the fun part,” the Alchemist said with barely disguised glee. “Activate the Frostfire ability.”

Dream concentrated and said the other power word he had been taught. The fire enveloping him suddenly turned an icy-blue color. The warmth it had been producing disappeared and was replaced by a chilling cold. His arms and hands still in front of him, Dream stared at the blue flames as they danced on the armor just like normal fire. The cold radiated from him into the room around him, cooling it down noticeably but not dangerously.

Once again the Alchemist placed a piece of rolled-up parchment into the flames. The parchment ignited quickly with similarly icy-blue flames. However, instead of blackening and turning to ash the parchment began fracture and break apart where the flames froze it. The pieces breaking off turned to powder as the magically cold fire consumed them. The Alchemist held the parchment until the flames came close to his hands, then he dropped it and stamped it out.

“Well, do you like it? That ancient magic will turn the fire aura into an ice aura with all the properties of fire. As you saw, it will still spread to anything that fire could burn. But instead of burning, what it touches will be met with chilling cold that will freeze and shatter it to dust.”

The Alchemist looked expectantly at Silent Dream. He could see the Kankoran was impressed. But why hadn’t he spoken yet? Silent Dream looked away from the flames and back to the Alchemist.

“This is amazing,” he said at last. “Thank you.” Dream said the second power word again to end the flames. They disappeared in an instant and the room stopped feeing cool. Dream took out a pouch filled with Western coins. He counted out the coins to pay the rest of the fee, then asked “When I write about this, by what name should I call you?”

Efren Clough,” the Alchemist said as he took the balance of the payment. “And tell them they can find me here in Caer Itom at Efren’s Marvelous Armor & Shields.

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Reader’s Note: These conversations occured on the 18th and the 24th of Thoth, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire and the first year of the return of the Elven Kingdom. They were recorded after being seen in yet another vision by a confused Rod Rambler.


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7 Responses to “Efren’s Marvelous Armor & Shields

  • Okay, so after Ursus new Dream picture. Man this is a fun journal to read about Dream getting upgrades!

    No one remembers Gabriel sadly enough!

  • So surprised no one has looked Gabriel up yet….
    Loved this, and happy with the results- enjoy!

    • I assume you mean Gabriel the Alchemist, and not the Fletcher? I had no idea we already knew an Alchemist in Caer Itom! I could change this story to Gaebriel instead of the random name I made up if you’d prefer. I have very little money left to spend though and I already filled the rest of my time so I won’t likely be visiting him. I hope someone does though – friends of CrIsis are usually pretty helpful when we visit them… unless they’re Greminor of course!

      If this armor survives then I look forward to some fun hijinks. Stay tuned!

  • So do you say Freeze on now or flame on?

  • Ursus and Dream walking around like a couple of Snowmen…chillin’

    • Meanwhile the poor southerners are icicles.

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