106 Chapter 106 Prepping for the GATE
"What's wrong, Master Joseph?" asked Stella.
"There is nothing magical about the wasteland. That's good in that it isn't a curse that needs to be dispelled, but bad in that I really don't know what it needs. I'll have to investigate more later."
They headed east until they encountered an actual gate in. They couldn't expect all of the women and children and babies to climb the wall after all. Once they found the gate, Joseph walked about half a mile in front of it.
"OK, Stella, here is good."
Crawling around on the ground, he began to scribe a huge set of runes. They would be what made the gate his father wanted. After standing back and studying it for a moment, he nodded to himself, then went and inscribed another rune, BEACON. It would make the cost of coming back here from the north easier and use less mana. Since GATE was significantly more expensive than plain old TELEPORT, he thought it was worth the effort. He made sure the beacon was large enough to support the size of the GATE he wanted and then rested up. BEACON would last for 24 hours.
"Stella, let's go back and eat lunch with everyone. Then I need to get busy."
"Yes, Master Joseph."
Landing in thick snow, it appeared that it must have snowed since they were there last. It was still January, so the cold was intense. Taking his breath away for a moment, a few barbarians noticed and came to investigate.
Joseph looked at him for a moment, confusion written on his face.
"That is name our shamans and chieftains give for you. It is old tale of chieftain hero. It not used in many lives, but it good for child of prophecy."
Joseph nodded his thanks at the broken words.
"Thank you, Scrawl."
He smiled; apparently happy Joseph knew his name. He was an excellent tent maker, so he had met him when they were preparing to flee the town. Leaving him, they headed for William's cave.
"Jo…Joseph?!" His father's face looked confused and concerned as they walked in.
"Hey, dad! We're back." Joseph bounded over to a chair and plopped into it.
"Did something happen? Are you OK?" William set down the ink pen he had been using to write reports and studied the two of them apprehensively.
"Uh, yeah? Dad, we found your city, so we came back for lunch before I made the GATE." Joseph smiled, though he wondered if something was wrong.
"Already?!" William was shocked, almost standing up in his surprise.
"Umm. You said it was important so we hurried? If you want, we can go kill some time doing something else?" Joseph looked at Stella in confusion. She shrugged.
"No! I mean. No, it's good that you were so fast. I was just expecting it to take a lot longer." William sat back down, shaking his head.
"Dad. M-A-G-I-C." Joseph watched as he started to chuckle
"Right. Alright," William nodded and ordered lunch to be brought in. Joseph's mom rushed in as soon as she heard, so they had a nice lunch. Joseph almost expected to have Stu show up to make sure the food was alright.
After lunch Joseph gathered all of the mages and shamans. William had jumped into making sure all of the wagons and supplies were ready to be moved. There was a lot to be organized. No one had expected to be leaving already. There was a lot of confusion as everyone gathered around Joseph to find out what was going on.
"I need everyone's help for this. What I am going to cast is a magic that I don't believe any human or elf has cast in centuries. I have to cast it incredibly large as well. It will take much more mana than I possess currently. I need all of you to be willing to share your mana with me when the time comes." While there was a lot of doubt, everyone present nodded.
"We will help you, Kenrick."
Tekaun stepped up. She had eight more spirit animals, and had learned the basics of cycling mana between living mana for herself and the dead mana that her spirits used, so her power had increased. If only 5% of spirits could convert living mana into dead mana, and only 5% of those could convert it back, then few spirits were able to bind with shamans at all, and even fewer of those, were able to return any excess mana back to their shaman. Dozens of shamans now had two or three spirits, thanks to her investigations.
"We hear and follow, Great Mage," said Derek. He had has become the representative of the kingdom mages. Though, they now called themselves rune mages, and the shamans were called spirit mages, to note the differences between them.
"As you will, Master Joseph," said Stephan. He had become the leader, maybe guardian, of many of the slave children, that had started learning magic. The first thing he sought to teach them was HEALING, if they were able.
"Excellent," he said, nodding at each of the faction leaders.
Stepping back, to make sure there was room, he drew a large magic circle for each of them to see.
"We need to create this just outside of camp. A magic circle allows magic geometry and other functions that simple runes don't. It will assist in letting me absorb mana from mages standing farther from me, and greatly increase my aim at the beacon with GATE."
While many of them didn't understand all of his words, they understood that he was about to do big magic, that would need all of them to pitch in and help, so they trooped over to a wall that Joseph was sure would work for the gate.
It took almost 4 hours to scribe the spell circle, and then arrange the placement of all the mages and others who were participating. All together he had 1,024 participants, almost 100 of which, were mages, and he planned to gather about 5,000 more mana, to complete this spell.
Glancing over at Stella, who was watching from beside him. She was going to be his focal point, even though she didn't know it.
"Stella, watch how much I've grown. This will be epic!"