I woke up with a strange feeling about me. Not the usual strange feeling, that of not knowing where I was, where I’ve been or why I have a ribbon around my head. Those are easily attributed to Fireweed Ale and bets from Blake that I’m quite sure I can win, although I never do.

No, this was something different entirely. There had been no ale. There had been no aggressive lute playing. There had been no attempts to make the perfect landing, from a great height into hot tub not owned by me. Yet something was amiss. I felt as though though something has been taken. I felt as though something had snuck upon me under the cover of darkness and whisked away my meager, but growing skills.

The thought came to me as I taunted the wrong troll, who, with a mighty stomp of his feet, broke free from my previously robust Root spell wherein my spleen was dislocated and darkness enveloped me.

Now, I don’t claim to be a wizard, or even gifted in any particular school of magic, but I’m quite certain I can cast a few spells and not cause undo harm to myself. Especially when those spells don’t involve fire. But Root didn’t work like a root spell should root. Perhaps I had confused my reagents again, and thusly I cast it again. No such luck. My adversary broke free, my spine took the brunt of the blow and I retreated to the local ale house to gather my thoughts. And I was going to need a specialized healer to remove some of my armor.

It was then that I discovered I wasn’t the only one suffering a malady. Others had suffered the same affliction. Previously they had been masters of Life and Death and now the magic was gone. Or rather, it was still there, but merely a shadow of it’s former self. Had we fallen victim to an ailment? Was there some manner of contagion out to do us harm? Was the Fireweed Ale our Achilles heel? Since my mind has always been my Achilles heel I discarded the notion that it had affected the others.

We then thought of our training. We thought of our reagents. We thought of the trainers themselves. Had we been sold cheap, imported reagents and bogus training? I had met with several trainers and while some seemed a little light in the head, they didn’t seem likely to swindle. So where did that leave us?

After much contemplation and discussion it seems we are victims of an ill that some have dubbed the Nerf. It is a terrible suffering that creeps in once you achieve powers of a great fortitude. Despite what one may think, training rigorously and to the point of reflex does not guarantee an overpowering skill. Instead, it appears to peak at some unknown point and then regresses to the point of complete obsolescence.

I dare say my Root was powerful. Other have claimed similarly. But nay no more. Some have shown a weakness in their ability to retrieve their Life force from the brink of extinction. Others claim they no longer posses the mystical powers of Fire as they once did. I believe there was also concern over the mystic power to steal life from another thus pushing them to the brink of Death.

All that glitters is not fireworks as they say. It seems our powers were were fleeting and have tipped in the wrong direction. Alas, achieving a mastery in skills can come back to leave you all hollow and empty inside. I still believe the mandrake was tainted and we have been sold bogus training by a charlatan and have hence decided to confront the trainer and demand satisfaction. However, I am fearful that since so many of us have fallen victim, the trainer has fled and is cowering in some shanty in a desperate attempt to escape justice.

He shall be found. Mark my words, he shall be found.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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