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Challenge #01707-D246: And Hardships Unnumbered

(On doing something (in the original a work of magic) usually considered extremely difficult, if not impossible, that the speaker mastered to the point it was near-trivial under [Name], but hasn't done for years)

(said fondly)

[Name] will reform from the ash of her own pyre and skin me if I fuck this up. -- RecklessPrudence

After the disaster that flattened the Forests of Ee, death covered the land like a blanket. The waters soured, and any living thing that entered the lowlands for an entire season choked and died. Winter wrapped the lands in even worse, and the survivors who eked a living out of the highlands were loath to re-enter what had once been a fertile valley.

Tebnir the Little had undertaken the long journey to find Salamer. The only surviving Mage who knew the Life Spells. Mages were peculiar sorts, preferring a life alone in distant towers. Staying away from people and studying. Or living their whole lives in libraries and not actually doing anything. But, once in a while, they could be swayed. If someone had a desperate plight. Or an interesting find. Or enough gold.

Tebnir had two of those things. So she spent a year walking to Salamer's tower. With hope in her heart and a seashell she had found in the mines. Pressed into a rock. From the top of a mountain. It had to be interesting enough to capture a scholar's interest. Or so she hoped. She certainly didn't have gold.

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Challenge #01681-D220: Worth of a Rat

[Asked to apprentice under a powerful, but poor, magic-user - their response]

[Mage]: Hm... Okay, but I can only pay you in unimaginable power.

[Prospective Apprentice]: That works. -- RecklessPrudence

The child was outside her tower again. Humming. Not any particular tune, no, just an aimless grind of voice that was like a slow-turning belt sander against the soul. It was persistently annoying enough for her to disrupt her experiments and take the journey down to ground level.

"Didn't I tell you

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