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Set in the last days of the Mage Wars, the story follows one group of Urtho's evacuees.


In the last days of the Mage Wars, Master Thomas, one of Urtho's greatest battle mages, had had enough of war and fighting. He wished to retire to a peaceful life somewhere else. With an equally pressing need to safeguard the civilians being evacuated, Urtho granted him permission to go. He was assigned to an evacuation group that needed someone with Thomas' leadership skills, not to mention his knowledge and skills as a mage. His apprentice, Errold, chose to go with him. By the next day, they had given away all their belongings, beyond what would fit in one pack each. They joined their group and walked through a temporary Gate into an unknown land far away.

Master Thomas immediately called for an organizational meeting to sort out how the group would manage as they traveled, looking for a suitable village site. To no one's surprise, the refugees voted in Thomas as their official leader. With chores assigned and rotations in place, the group set out across the wilderness. They hadn't traveled far when one night Thomas and Errold saw the bright flash of light of the Cataclysm. Realizing what it must mean, Thomas and Errold erected the strongest magical shields they could manage around the campsite, and cautioned everyone to stay within the boundaries. About a half hour later, they were hit with the first Mage Storm, which lasted a full day. Incredible surges of magic swirled across the land, destroying much, and altering what remained.

The next day, while hunting herbs, Errold came across a large, placid, woolly herbivore. He herded the animal back to the camp. A type of creature they later learned was called a mrran, the refugees took it as a packbeast and named it Carpet. Given Carpet's higher level of intelligence compared to the average large herbivore, this caused Errold and Thomas some concern over how the Mage Storms might have affected the more cunning carnivores. In light of this, Errold created magical sensors for the scouts to warn them when animals were near. He also did some scouting himself.

Not long after, Errold caught a large sentient cat on one of his excursions. The cat, named Proouw, had been sent by his pack to watch the refugee group and determine what sort of threat they might represent. Errold negotiated a treaty. He promised healing assistance whenever Proouw's pack needed it. For his part, Proouw directed Errold to the location of a suitable village site, and his pack chased more mrran to the new village, to add to the herd there.

The grateful refugees named the new village Errold's Grove in honor of Errold's work in founding it. The stream that ran alongside it was named for Master Thomas.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

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