Employing their spells, Bellatorus and Rocco sense neither good nor evil in Seth’s heart.
From his conversation and experiences with Seth—including sharing memories—v’Laadak believes it is very likely that the boy is a sorcerer. As you are leaving the Dark Place, detect magic registers no magic from the boy’s body (unless it’s a trace of divination, but that could still be a whisper from the Rorrim hundreds and hundreds of feet away). You check again halfway back to town, and the boy’s body is indeed free of magical traces.
Seth is a little uncomfortable with being prodded and scrutinized. He says hesitantly, “let me guess what you see: no luck, no prospects, no future?”
- * *
Returning to the light of day, scrutinizing closer and closer, Rocco noticed a subtle bluish, clammy tint to Seth Ellie’s skin. This reminded Vapor of an ancient poem he once heard, about men that mated with marids and beget a blue-skinned race called the “Undien.” It suggested that their elemental blood could be passed down for generations.
And so, after their harrowing first adventure, the heroes returned to Ritupe with the suspicious boy in tow. Late at night—as the Wintersum Feast was winding down—Vapur heard a strange tale about the Feast in one neighborhood. “The sturdy bowl spontaneously shattered into a million pieces before the goat was set on it. It just exploded right in the Viccus’s hands, injuring the old man! Nobody knew what this meant, but they slaughtered the goat to Crn anyway.” Someone overheard this and replied, “I hear that many neighborhoods slaughtered goats this year.”
Unfortunately the mayor wanted nothing to do with Seth. “Thank you, but just keep him away from my daughter if you can!” Therefore you spent some time in Ritupe to find a kindhearted wizard—Alexi—and introduced him to Seth. The two seemed to get along well, and Alexi told you that the boy’s rare skills and hard work would pay for an apprenticeship. However the wizard laughed at your questions about the magic mirror; it’s obviously a fairy tale, and whatever you saw must have been a trick!
Rocco offered to help the injured Viccus. The Viccus thanked Rocco kindly, but his own healing powers had been enough to repair the injuries. Rocco couldn’t help but notice the lumpy scars on the man’s palms and cheek. They looked very ugly in spite of the man’s kindly spirit and vigor.
- * *
Subsequently the heroes became caught up in a lifestyle of adventure and fame. They traveled around Ritupe and its few surrounding villages, and doubled and tripled their skills. Their names became commonly known for prowess and reliability. As time passed, Seth appeared less and less frequently, coming occasionally to ask the heroes for a bit of money, or a few pennies.
A year passed, and the biggest topic of conversation around Kora was the strange weather. The hazy spring and summer came and went for some brief grazing season, but the caravan-passes through the mountains never fully thawed. Anticipating another long winter, many people bought up the stocks of preserved fruit jelly, giving Rocco’s family a much-needed and lucrative profit.
The story will continue in Autumn of that year.