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Jolly Old Nick

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It was not incredibly well known outside the Citadel that there were two ways to become a mage's summons. The most common, and well known method, was of course to get in a mage's way. Many a being, when faced with active magic and the defenses of a mage's summons, could be caught by that same magic and become a summons as well.

The poorer known method was to apply for the position.

Note to self, the Mage groaned to herself, do not let Grim tease Emila about not taking the Doyen title again.

"So, ah, Nicholas - "

"Nick, please. Everyone calls me good old Nick!"

She forced a polite smile onto her face and looked from her interview notes to the portly – dwarf? Human? Elderly male with fluffy white beard across from her. "Of... course." Second note to self: boot Grim off the Citadel walls a few times as punishment for getting me punishment detail interviewing people. "So you're looking for a seasonal position as a summons?"

"That I am!" He certainly seemed jolly enough, leaning forward earnestly and smiling at her. "I've responsibilities during the winter season, but the rest of the year, I do seem to be at loose ends. I wasn't sure if you mages did that sort of thing, but what could I lose?"

Why by all the Nameless was it getting harder to keep the smile in place? "Ok. So let's see what you can do." She gestured to the wood and straw practice dummy at the side of the room. "Go ahead and attack that."

Nick stood, but gave her a look part apology, part scolding. "I'm not much for the attacking – it's not very nice. Support, though – I'm very good at that!"

Not... nice. Arrrrrghh!

He reached into his bright red coat and whipped out several brightly colored packages, all shiny paper and jaunty bows, trailing green and red sparkles as they swirled around her. She reached out for the nearest one, working very, very hard to simply poke, rather than swat at the dancing box. At her touch the box unfolded like a strange flower, releasing a swirl of almost invisible winds which wrapped around her. She could feel the magics settling comfortably around her, lending a fluidity to her movements even as the rest of the world seemed to slow some.

Another box seemed to nudge her fingers on its own accord, bursting open to replace the feeling of speed with a stouter, bolder sensation that would clearly augment her magical power. When she pulled her hand back, the other boxes swirled for a moment more, then faded away.

"That is rather impressive," the Mage declared, shaking her hand subtly before grabbing a quill and scribbling down notes on the application parchment. "I'm not sure how well the seasonal thing will work out, but I'll certainly tell the Archmage what you can do." She could still feel the augmented power burbling through her as she went through the standard pleasantries, thanking Nick for his time and seeing him to the door, they would contact him should opportunities arise. Finally, thankfully alone, she frowned down at her hand. Eldritch blue power crawled lightly over her fingers, dancing from tip to tip in little electric arcs. Lingering power surge. Gods, I hate waiting for that to wear off. With a little mental shrug, she spun in a half circle, calling up a bolt of azure fire and tossing it at the practice dummy.

Which promptly exploded.

"...oops." The Mage sighed as straw gently snowed down upon her and settled into what would probably be every inconvenient corner of the room. She wasn't sure how the blazes she managed to put enough power to make some of the wooden parts of the dummy into coal, but given how much she found while cleaning up, clearly she'd had even more power than she'd thought.

Blasted strange how it kept showing up for weeks, though.