Part 19: .5: Returning the Focus Stones
Update 17.5: Returning the Focus Stones
Moments later, I was face to face with Saturas. We exchanged greetings, and I removed the four focus stands. I gave a brief explanation of what it took to acquire each one.
"Brilliant, now we have all five focus stones. Your deeds are invaluable to our camp. Be assured of my eternal gratitude." Saturas said, as he took the fifth, and final, focus stone from me. "Go to Riordian now. He'll give you something for your immense efforts. Speak to Cronos, the keeper of the ore, as well. He will give you another gift from our community."
Saturas returned to study in his book and I left to seek out Riordian and Cronos.
I found Riordian in his labratory. "Saturas said you had a reward for me?" I asked, hopeful for more of his potions.
He paused for a moment and then nodded. "Ahhhh, come here, come here. Our spiritual leader has told me about your heroic deeds. All the people in the Camp, - no, the whole colony -are deeply indebted to you. Take this modest reward for all of your efforts" As I'd expected, Riordian handed a pack of almost two dozen potions. Three of which he'd said would improve my abilities. I gave my thanks and set out to see Cronos.
I found Cronos at his usual spot, patrolling around the ore heap.
"Saturas said you had a reward for me." I said, quite abruptly.
"As the keeper of the ore, I'd like to give you a small portion of our ore for your great deeds on behalf of the Camp. I hope you'll make as good use of it as we do." Cronos placed a full bag of ore in my hands.
With Crono's gift, I now had over five thousand ore. Much of it had been earned by selling various animal parts collected over the past two weeks. My lack of sleep had finally caught up with me and I could barely keep my eyes open. I stumbled over to my hut and collapsed on the bed. I slept for nearly twelve hours.
The following afternoon, I returned to Cronos. I traded him my old weapons and some ore in exchange for magical runes and a magical amulet said to increase my magical ability. While I could not use these yet, I fully intended to train myself in the ways of magic before I was out of here.
The map that Saturas had given me proved to be of more use than I had thought it would be. As such, I decided that I needed one of my own that was without marking. I only knew of one such map maker in the colony. Graham from the Old Camp. I readied my things and prepared for a trip there.
I entered the Old Camp through the southern gate and met with Graham who was at the north side of the camp.
On my way to see Graham, I noticed a commotion at the camp's stage. I paid little attention to it, though I was sure that I had seen it somewhere. Perhaps it hadn't been a dream after all?
I found myself humming a strange tune as I informed Graham of my intention to buy a map. He unrolled each map in a display. I decided on the map of the colony. Graham then withdrew a rolled parchment saying that it contained something I had surely not seen in a long time. He refused to elaborate any further. He simply grinned and insisted on a 50 ore price tag. I accepted out of curiosity and paid the money. I had more than enough after all.
I had no more business to attend to in the Old Camp. I made the trek back home. When I'd passed through the New Camp's gates, I recalled the other item I had been convinced to purchase. (NWS) I unfolded the sketch and took a look at it. After looking at it for a good minute or two I neatly folded it back up and placed it a pocket where it would be safe.
He was right. I hadn't seen that in some time.
It was late afternoon when I returned to Saturas. I had done what I needed in the Old Camp and was fully rested.
"Can you blast the ore mound now?" I asked eagerly. The sooner it was done, the sooner I would get out of here.
"We now have all the artifacts we need to fulfill our plan. But the Barrier was created by twelve magicians."
"There are not enough magicians in the Circle of Water to control the powerful energies and to guide them onto the right course."
"What can we do?" There was always something that needed to be done.
"I am aware that you have already done much for our community. We owe you greatly but in the interest of all the inhabitants of the colony, I need to ask one more favor of you." I knew it
"One more favor?" I sighed.
"Yes. Go to the Old Camp and try to win some of the Magicians of the Circle of Fire for our cause. "
"MAGICIANS OF FIRE?" I said loudly. "Why should they want to give up their easy life? The destruction of the Barrier would rob them of their powerful position!"
"That is the exact reason why YOU must accomplish this mission. You know people from all the camps of the colony. Remind the Magicians of Fire of the old times, when we studied the arts of magic together."
"Alright then. I'll try to convince the Magicians of Fire! But I can't promise anything! It seems nearly impossible to me." I'd do anything to get out of here at this point.
"You must try. If you do not succeed in this, there is only one other...just one..." Saturas cut himself off.
I stared at him. "...one WHAT?"
"Forget it! You MUST succeed!" He sounded slightly annoyed.
"Here, take this magic rune. Hand it over to Corristo, the High Magician of the Circle of Fire, as a sign of our trust. With this he can teleport into this room without passing the guards anytime he wants. I hope that'll convince our former friends of our good intentions. May you return in one piece!"
I had my next, and hopefully last, task. I needed to meet with the Magicians of Fire and convince them to aid us in our escape. If only I'd asked earlier. I could have bought the map at the same time.