Galatas Maiks, half-elven magician, finally exhaled as Quillmane fell to the ground. The magnificent white pegasus bellowed in pain, kicking at the air and jutting out its wings. Galatas nodded to Gonartik, his summoned earth elemental. Silently, the burly elemental raised its fist and clubbed Quillmane over the head. The pegasus finally lay still.
Galatas wiped the sweat off his brow. “Thank you, Gonartik.”
Galatas knelt over Quillmane’s body and carefully lifted up a wing. Two loose platinum pieces went straight from Quillmane’s feathers to Galatas’s pocket, along with a handful of silver and copper. The only other object beneath Quillmane’s wing was pair of one-size-fits-all feathered leggings, the third pair Galatas had acquired over ten individual bouts with Quillmane.
The magician stood silently as Quillmane’s corpse faded away. Trying to keep his temper from getting the better of him, he thought of his home in Qeynos, of the smell of baking bread on the city streets, of local minstrels playing relaxing tunes. It was midday, and the streets would be full of people from all over the world of Norrath: High elf merchants, dwarven tradesfolk, not to mention the adventurers of all shapes and sizes. Qeynos was indeed a fine city, the proud jewel of-
Galatas’s concentration was broken by a wizard not one hundred yards away. The magician scoffed at the wizard’s display: throwing fireballs at gnolls, shocking griffons, and cheering like a drunken frat boy with every kill.
“Which is better, Gonartik?” he asked his elemental, “To call forth otherworldy beings like yourself, or to use arcane science for wanton destruction?”
As usual, Gonartik said nothing. The mage sighed and turned his thoughts back to the quest at hand. He was so very close to achieving the fabled Orb of Mastery, a weapon reserved for only the most powerful magicians. A pegasus feather cloak was the final artifact required in his quest. Quillmane alone possessed such cloaks, but he rarely carried them. The pegasus was killed on a routine basis, but always reappeared someplace else, healthy and strong as if no one had ever harmed him. Unfortunately, Quillmane loved to travel, and could reappear anywhere within the hundreds of square miles that made up the Plains of Karana.
“No luck?” asked a woman.
Galatas turned and found Ella, a friendly high elf magician also seeking a pegasus feather cloak. Her water elemental, Vonarn, floated lazily behind her, leaving a trail of water droplets.
“Nothing,” Galatas said flatly. “Just the feathered leggings again.”
Ella simply nodded, and the magicians sat on the ground with furrowed brows. Beckoning her water elemental closer, the high elf cupped her hands and took water from her elemental’s body.
“Want some?” she asked Galatas.
Galatas shook his head. Ella guzzled the water in her hands. A loud explosion (followed by a cheer) rang out on the horizon, calling Ella’s attention to the neighboring wizard. She shrugged and glanced back to Galatas, who was staring at the grass.
“What’s on your mind?” she asked.
“Are we being punked?” Galatas scrunched his nose. “Does the cloak even exist?”
“Galatas, don’t be-”
“Seriously, we’ve been at this for three weeks now. We can barely find Quillmane, and when we do find him, all he has are some coins and some pants. Do we even know anyone that’s ever found a cloak?”
“My grandfather did.”
“That was three hundred years ago. Anything more recent?”
Ella looked back to the ground.
Galatas sighed again. “Look, I’m almost out of mana.”
“Let’s just recharge and get back to it.”
The elementals stood guard as the magicians closed their eyes in meditation. The world quieted around them, so much so that even the nearby wizard’s explosions and cheers weren’t bothersome. They focused on earth, fire, wind, and water, the most basic elements of magic and nature. Stress lifted off their shoulders. Power filled their minds.
In his meditation, Galatas further contemplated their predicament. Was there a pattern to Quillmane’s movements? Some way to force him to appear in certain areas? Was pride the only reason Galatas hadn’t asked for help from the Qeynos magicians guild? Perhaps the great oracle, Allakhazam, would know someth-
“Galatas! Galatas, look!”
Ella shook Galatas’s shoulder, startling him out of his thoughts. He gasped as he looked where she was pointing.
Quillmane was carelessly gliding right toward them.
“How’s your mana?” Galatas asked.
“About half. You?”
“Enough for this. Let’s get him!”
The mages stood, ordering their elementals to battle, readying their minds to unleash powerful spells upon the pegasus.
“I’ve got a good feeling about this one,” Ella said. Galatas grinned at their target. He didn’t want to get his hopes up, but his heart was racing, and a strange hope filled his mind. Somehow, he knew that he would find the cloak this time.
Both mages’ hands burst into electricity as they recited eldritch incantations. Their pets were within range of Quillmane, raising their arms to strike.
A massive fireball fell from the sky, incinerating Quillmane. Behind the pegasus’s smoking remains was a robed human carrying a wizard’s staff.
Galatas choked. Ella’s jaw dropped. Their spells fizzled
The rambunctious wizard, the same annoyance who’d been blowing things up for the past hour, approached Quillmane’s ashes. He whistled a jaunty tune as he sifted through the pile.
“Ooh, very nice!” the wizard said, withdrawing a feathered cloak from the ashes. Its silver threads glittered brilliantly in the sun.
“No!” Galatas cried.
The wizard finally noticed them as he put the cloak on his shoulders. “What is it?” he asked.
“We need that for the Orb of Mastery!” Ella cried.
The wizard shrugged as he adjusted the cloak. It lifted him three feet into the air.
“I’d love to help you, but-“ The wizard showed them the tag on the cloak: NO DROP.
“You… you can’t,” Galatas blubbered.
“My family’s rich,” Ella said. “Rich! I would have paid you whatever you wanted to let me loot that corpse!”
“Welp, I’m sorry, guys,” the wizard said as blue sparks emanated from his hands. He smirked at the hapless magicians. “Guess you should have been a wizaaaaaaaarrrrr-!“ A beam of energy enveloped and shot him into the air, his song of “-rrrrrrryeahyeahyeahhhhhrd!” echoing over the plains.
It is said that no one on Norrath ever wept quite like Ella and Galatas did that fateful day.