Rudilaan Callamenti breathed heavily as he ran down the halls of the Mage’s Academy Library, his leather slippers making a light pattern of taps on the cool marble floor. The armful of scrolls he carried made soft scraping sounds as they rubbed together, jostled by his frantic movement. His robes flowed haphazardly behind him and the flat, wide-brimmed hat he normally wore outside of the library, flopped awkwardly back and forth from its string around his neck, slapping his back uncomfortably. Even as early as it was, he was still late and for the third time this week.
Why does time get away from me so? Master will not be pleased.
Rudilaan slid around a corner and barely managed to catch the scroll that practically flung itself out of his arms with the speed of the turn. He bounced it off his slender fingertips and cried triumphantly as he snatched it out of the air while he spun, maintaining most of his momentum as careened down the hall. All of that momentum was lost, however, as he slammed into a stone column. Scrolls flew and skittered across the cream and crimson marble floor of the hall as Rudilaan bounced and fell, landing unceremoniously on his back. He rubbed his aching head and looked up at the unforgiving stone that had suddenly made him even more late than he already was. No, not stone. Clay. The leg of the clay golem, Teek, that was used to aid in the heavier lifting duties in the library. They used the clay golems inside the nicer buildings of the Citadel to prevent damage to the expensive floors. Teek directed his head downward, his lifeless, carved eyes regarding the young wizard with what impossibly looked like contempt. The golem carried a large crate of leather bound books in his arms, gripped from the bottom. The wooden, tome filled box probably weighed upwards of 200 pounds.
“Oh, good morning, Teek. Excuse me. In a bit of a hurry this morning.” As he bent to pick up his own precious cargo, he wondered if the construct carried any ancient volumes Rudilaan had not yet seen. He was about to investigate when he heard the familiar clomp of work boots from behind Teek.
A gruff chuckle joined the sound of the boots, “Well, well. If it isn’t little Rudi. Late again are we?”
“Good morning, Jasper,” Rudilaan replied in a flat tone. He nodded his head to the crate the golem carried, “Are those new acquisitions for the Ancient Studies wing?” Jasper was the Chief Groundskeeper of the library, in charge of all the day to day maintenance of the enormous building. That included storing and rearranging the library’s inventory. Today he was obviously using Teek to do just that. For some reason, Jasper never seemed to like Rudilaan.
“Wouldn’t you like to know. Let’s move, Teek. Don’t wanna distract little Rudi from his duties.” The huge, magical automaton’s head returned to a forward facing position and it’s legs began propelling it forward immediately, the golem and it’s master continued down the hall.
Little?!, Rudilaan thought, I’ll show you little. The young mage felt swirls of power collect around his fingers as he prepared to cast a spell. I’ll cut you down to size and maybe then you won’t be so smug. The magical energy cascaded down his arms and began coalescing in his palms. Maybe then you’ll-”
“Rudilaan Ellonias Callementi! Get in this office at once!” His master’s voice rang through the air, interupting Rudilaan’s casting and breaking his concentration. The magic fizzled and dissipated, leaving the youthful magic user disappointed and slightly drained. Rudilaan looked back to see the source of the powerful voice standing in a doorway not 50 paces down the hall. Master Lodette stood at only 5’ 4” tall, but his presence more than made up for his lack of height. He wore blue and gold robes and a small turban the color of tea with too much milk. The white mustache and long, thin beard hanging from his chin were a stark contrast to his heavily tanned face. Master Lodette was one of the great wizards of the Citadel and Frontier’s lead historian. Rudilaan’s shoulders slumped, the anger fading as quickly as it had flared up, and he nodded. He gathered his papers and jogged the rest of the way to his teacher’s office.
The lecture seemed to go on for hours. Rudilaan sat patiently as Master Lodette extolled the virtues of promptness and recounted his constant tardiness and increasingly disruptive dedication to his own research. “I do not begrudge you any personal advancement of your studies. In fact, I encourage it! But it has come to the point that where they are interfering with your duties here as my apprentice. I simply cannot stand for it! That is why . . . I am sending you into the field.”
The half-elf’s eyebrows shot up, “Field, sir? But the work, and my, pardon me sir, but the Artifact. I need-”
A rare grin graced Master Lodette’s face, “What you need is to get out and explore. Rudilaan, Rudi, you are by far my best student, but the time has come for you put your studies into practice and make you’re own experiences. Besides how will you find the what you’re looking for if you don’t search. I’m sure you’ve put together some theories as to its location. Well here is your chance to find them.” The senior mage’s expression faded back to one of business and authority once more, “Now that is not the only assignment you have. You are allowed this opportunity contingent on you gathering more information on the slave trade. We’ve been gathering as much information as we an, but I need more data. I’ve arranged for you to travel with a band from the adventurers guild on their next mission. You may have heard of them, The Company of the Broken Chains. They have a reputation for skill and success so you should be well taken care of. You may even be able to help them. Now, go gather your things. You leave on the morrow. And, Rudi, good luck.”
Rudilaan was speechless, he jumped up and flew out the door without saying a word, then, a moment later, his head popped back into the door, “Thank you, Master. I won’t let you down,” and was gone again in the next instant.
Field work! Well, now. This should be interesting.
Behind his small, oval, gold-rimmed glasses, Rudilaan’s green eyes are nearly always alight with excited curiosity and optimism. He wears and ensemble of various rich browns. A darker vest with multiple pockets and trinkets dangling, over a cream colored shirt. Baggy brown pants gathered in at the ankle, with durable leather slippers on his feet. Over his clothing is worn a hoodless, heavy brown, calf length robe with large sleeves gathered at the cuffs with underside slits allowing easy access inside. Swirling embroidery in gold and dark brown thread adorns the robe and vest. All of this is broken in and comfortable, but not shabby. He tops it off with a flat, wide-brimmed, slightly floppy, circular brown hat which he wears outside and when traveling. When not wearing his hat one can see his somewhat short, dirty-blonde hair is unkempt yet orderly at the same time. As if the young mage hasn’t the time or care to maintain it, but his hair has decided that it does have some pride.