Makaleki and Kindra were arguing about what a dead dragon meant, Rictavious was trying to mend his broken lute and Knight Pitt was practicing his swordplay on a dummy in the corner. All at once, they realized they weren’t alone.
In the center of the room stood the Itinerant. She was an imposing figure and her mere presence made them either nervous, scared, fascinated, or all three. Makaleki was intrigued by her clothes. Her boots were made of some scaly type skin, the tips pointed and covered in metal that was scarred and dented. The backs of the boots were adorned with some type of metallic gears. The heels of her boots were worn on one side, suggesting what? He wasn’t sure. Her pants were of a blue, canvas type material and she wore a dark, leather cape that was so long it almost drug the ground. The ends of it were frazzled from use and when she meant business she had both sides of the cape tucked behind the weapons holstered at her waist. She meant business. Atop her head was the strangest hat he had ever seen. It was tan and wide and seemed to have more of the scaly skin wrapped around it like a headband. Her clothes seemed to be ancient, worn and used but the Itinerant herself was a different story.
Her skin was smooth and wrinkle free, although a bit sun touched. She had perfect features and Makaleki was just as nervous as the rest to be in her presence, not due to her unimaginable powers as a master technician, but because she was so beautiful it scared him. All his manly faculties were overloaded and he behaved around her as a child might behave when meeting a real-life, super hero. In other words, he was a blithering idiot.
Kindra, too, was nervous around the Itinerant, but for different reasons. Under normal circumstances, Kindra could passively heal small wounds if she was close to the wounded person without even thinking about it, but she had to really focus and concentrate when someone was gravely injured. If the person was near death, she could summon energy from other people and redirect it to the hurt or sick person she was healing. If there was no one around to “borrow” energy from, she could use a portion of her own life force which, if she used too much, made Kindra weak. It didn’t last long, her body naturally regenerated itself, but around the Itinerant, Kindra’s healing power was magnified. The Itinerant could give Kindra a seemingly infinite amount of energy. So much so that Kindra passively healed everyone and everything in her presence – people, plants, even inanimate objects, no matter how hurt or damaged they were. This was not always desired. During the Battle of the Giant Dwarves they had been momentarily forced to retreat into an old building which just happened to be the Museum of Ancient Agriculture. Hundreds of irreplaceable antiques were ruined as their age-old wood was revived into new, green, living wood. Seeds dormant in dried flowers sprung to life and engulfed the interior of the building, creating an impassable jungle of flowers, vines, and ancient broccoli.
But that wasn’t what made Kindra nervous. The flow of energy through Kindra was so great, that if the Itinerant were to move out of range before Kindra could shut down the transfer from the Itinerant, the source would switch from the Itinerant to Kindra’s own body and instantly suck all the life out of her. That the plane walker was unpredictable and seemed to regard them as tools did not help her anxiety.
“I need your help obviously,” the Itinerant said. “The Bent One and his Army of the Endless have struck down the great Antediluvian.”
Kindra gasped, Makaleki clucked his tongue and Knight Pitt punched the wall in anger. The wall, still protected by the bubble spell, deflected the punch back and Knight Pitt hit himself in the face, knocking himself out.
“Imbecile,” Makaleki said.
Healing energy flowed automatically to Pitt and he recovered immediately.
“I need you to do that to the Antediluvian,” the Itinerant said to Kindra. “I don’t think he’s too far gone yet, but it will take all of our power to revive him.”
“I need you to distract the archers,” she said to Makaleki. “And I need you to protect Kindra as she works,” she said to Pitt.
“Yes ma’am,” Pitt said.
“What about me?” Rictavious asked.
“I need you to rally the troops,” the Itinerant said.
“I would be glad to, m’lady, but unfortunately my lute has seen better days,” he said, holding up his broken instrument.
The Itinerant waved her hand as if annoyed. There was a brief flash and the lute was whole again. Rictavious admired the lute for it seemed brand new.
“You won’t be needing that,” she said and as he looked up, she was suddenly holding a large, bass drum in front of her. The kind you’d see in a high school marching band. She motioned for him to take it. Rictavious regarded the drum as if she were handing him a bag of shit.
“I don’t do percussion,” Rictavious said.
The Itinerant stared at him.
“I can do percussion,” he said, taking the drum. He fumbled with the giant instrument and it took some effort to get it strapped on. The drum was at least a meter in diameter and when he got it situated, it was almost as tall as him.
The Itinerant handed him a large baton, presumably to beat the drum with. Rictavious took it begrudgingly.
Makaleki laughed. “You look like a flaccid penis attached to a giant nutsack.”
Rictavious moved awkwardly toward Makaleki with the intention of hitting him with the drum’s baton, but the Itinerant raised her hand.
“The City of Wonder has fallen,” she said.
This time Makaleki gasped and Kindra clucked. Pitt made a fist but did not punch the masonry.
“Let’s go,” the Itinerant said.
“Now hold on,” Makaleki tried to protest, but she was gone. He felt himself being once again summoned against his will. He could see the others disappear one by one, before he himself was sucked out into the void.