The day was half-spent when I rode, well, a mage never really rides, more like appeared in Skara Brae. As was usual for me, I stopped off at the mage shop for some supplies. Having Garnered a sufficient amount of items. I rode, yes rode, for I too, need a horse every once in awhile, towards the bank. There stood like a sentinel: Sea C Avenger holding the lamp post up or maybe the lamp post is holding him up. It is hard to tell. Moving on past him, I spoke with Ajayi, the town crier. As was her usual, she had no news of the realm. Was about to take my leave when I saw a young warrior standing at the bank. He looked wild and a bit unkept. Almost barbaric. For some reason, I was drawn to him and could not force myself to turn and ride away. There was something about him that cried out, "If something, someone would push\nudge me in the right direction I would be a really good companion in this realm fraught with danger." Was I up for this? I started to turn again and leave.. But then I remembered my mentor's voice. "Oni, You will make a fine mage one day. It will just take a little nudge here and a push there to bring you where you need to be." As those words rang in my ears, I knew I could not leave this warrior to some uncertain fate. I rode over to where he was. " I am Oni, Lady of Spiritwood." The young warrior jumped and stammered out, Co', Conan's my name." His speech was gruff and slurring. I could tell immediately he had no formal training in speech and etiquette, but he seemed to know how to hold a sword. I thought to speak of this as to ease his mind a bit. "That is a nice sword you have." "Took it off a corpse," he replied, speech still slurring. "Nonetheless, it is a fine sword." Bringing his mind to something he was comfortable with seemed to ease his anxiety at having to speak. "Where sword, Lady of Spiri.." "Spiritwood," I interjected. "And I do not use one. I have other ways of dealing with that which would hinder me." "Other ways." "There are no other ways to kill. Just a good sword." "Are you quite sure," I retorted. "Then try to hit me with your sword." He looked bewildered, consternation filling his face. "You have no weapons. I would slay you with one blow as others before." C'mon, I chided. Try and hit me." He lowered his sword. "I no want to kill you." "Are you a coward?" "Try and hit me." "I no coward." he grunted. "But, I still no hit you." "Don't.., aren't you a least bit curious as to how I fight." I could see the statement had made his mind start to work. "I do." "Then hit me." He raised the sword as if to strike a killing blow. "All right, you asked for it." As the sword came down, I uttered the words, "An Ex Por." His arm froze in place and I stepped to the side. A few moments later the sword came swooshing down cutting through the air and missing me completely. The words to another spell were already on my lips. "In Por Ylem". The spell spewed forth from my hand and hit Conan. Astonishment was on his face, as the bolt hit him. "Ow!" He exclaimed. Rubbing the spot on his chest where the impact had been made. "I see now. You no need sword to fight." I smiled. " That is my weapon to kill." "Could you teach me that," he stammered. "I think it more powerful than my sword." "Not everyone can wield power like this," I responded. "I do not believe there is much hope for you to to use this weapon effectively, but I can show you how to resist such a weapon and to survive an encounter with such a one as I." He was the one smiling now. "Conan would like that." "Do you have a place to stay," I asked. "I stay anywhere my blanket make a bed." He stated flatly, terse lines filling his face. I Chuckled. "Do you not own a house or have someone you stay with?" "No, no place like that." "I have a place for you to stay." "Would you like that." The smile returned. "Is it place where I learn what you teach me?" "Yes, it is ." "Then I go to this place and put my blanket there." "Show me place." "Vas Rel Por." As I spoke the words a shimmering blue portal formed. I stepped into the blue and out again. "Come, follow me," I beckoned to him. He looked questioningly at the blue portal. "What , where, what is this thing you have called up?" "It is called a moongate and it can take us far across the world to another location." "But hurry. It only lasts for a brief amount of time." "Come follow me." Not sure he poked his sword at the portal. I grabbed his sword by the blade and pulled him into the portal. In a moment, great expanses of time and space were traveled, and we came out in the Spiritwood. The picture on Conan's face was worth.. well let's just say it was priceless. The young warrior took a moment to catch his bearings. "Wow!" he exclaimed. "Where are we?" "Spiritwood," I spoke softly. "I never thought that I would be able to fly like the wind to another place so quickly." "Come, I wish for you to meet someone," I interrupted. It was but a short walk from the portal to the Tower in Spiritwood. As I stepped up the steps and opened the massive doors, there stood my good friend Shadback the orc. She had come up from the Village of Paws to spend some time and do some hunting together. As Conan cleared the door he saw her. Bloodrage filled his voice as he screamed out, "Die, Orc!" "No", I screamed above the barbarian's yell. "This is my friend and formidable warrior. Her name is Shadback." The words stopped Conan, but he did not lower his gaze nor his sword. "Greebas ummies," replied Shad, impervious to the words that just were spoken nor the glares she was still receiving. "Greebas, Shad," I quickly countered. Attempting to avert a confrontation. I turned to face Conan. "This is the orc greeting for hello." "She means you no harm else you would already have taken a serious blow from that war mace." "Bu,But an orc here," Conan stammered. "You will find many strange things going on in this realm. One of which could be friendly orcs residing within the realm of humans." But this will be to your advantage to have one such as Shad around. You can learn much from her." "Don't see how. I have killed hundreds of orcs with my sword." Winking at Shad, I quickly fired a bolt of magic at her. The magic seemed to affect her little almost as if nothing had occurred. "How did she do that," questioned Conan as he watched the magic dissipate as though it had not been hurled. "She resisted it." "Resisted it?" "Yes, resisted. She has spent her time learning more than going about klomping ummies with her war club." "Huh?" "Huh? Huh what?" "What you just said." "She resisted.." "No, not that part. The other part with the funny sounding words." "Oh! klomping ummies." He nodded. "That means hitting humans. There are many things you have need to learn from Shadback. Things that will help you survive in combat. Things like resisting, healing and other important aspects other than swinging your sword around brashly. "Could you not teach me." "I could, but I think it would be better for you to learn from her. Anyway, I have not the time right now to teach you as I must prepare for things you will need later. "Need later?! What are you talking about?" Well, after you have learned these mundane arts that your class chooses to use for combat, I will have to be the administer, just as I was for Shadback, of the teaching of resisting." "Could you not teach me now?" "No, I cannot. Besides, you are not ready, and I do not have the necessary supplies. Go learn from Shadback that which she can teach you." Slowly stepping away, Conan, walked over to where Shadback was standing. I could see frustration mounting on his face as she attempted to explain the knowledge she possessed to him. "I cannot understand her," he shouted. "Her words are so gibbered up." I stepped over to where they both stood. "Gibbered up. I do not think her words are as you say, gibbered up." Glaring, he fumed, "you know what I mean. I cannot understand her speech. It ain't human speech." "Hmm, well yes you are right. But neither is yours. Ain't? and all those gutteral noises." He looked at the ground. "So I suggest you use this opportunity to learn 'her language' so that you are more informed about this land you reside. It will help you and may help you to survive." "Survive?!" he snorted sarcastically. "How will that help me survive? "Well, you will be able to know whether it is time to raise that sword of yours or whether to raise a hand in a friendly wave." "I get your point. I will try to learn her language. Stepping back over, Conan begin to intently listen to the words of Shadback. Still it seemed as if he was not comprehending the speech. Shadback seemed to sense this and pointed to the ground as she herself sat down. Conan sat across from her leaving a space between them. She picked up a long, thin stick and began to draw on the ground. Then she would speak a few words and draw again, repeating the process over and over. The consternation left Conan's face and was replaced by understanding. The barbarian and orc where communicating. He was learning orcish.