The Northern Hermit

He hadn’t known any of his race to grow hair.  Now he had hair.  It was long, grey, and got in his way.  He didn’t like it.  But it kept growing back.  So he had to deal with it.  Much of nature had been the same way.  He had left his home, how man years ago now?  He had left it and went out to search for knowledge and power.  He had found nature.  It wans’t bad.  There was lots of power, and lots of knowledge to find.  He just didn’t like the hair.

He had been working on a new spell.  It was supposed to turn water into ice while being able to shape it.  He hadn’t figured out what shape yet, which was causing him problems.  He had figured it out with fire, which was impractical, earth, which was too heavy, and air, which was even more impractical than fire.  He now wanted to make something out of ice, but his hair kept distracting him.

The elves of the nearby city, about two days travel south,  had told hiim about the maigcs of dragons and birds as well, but he didn’t want to conjure up a staff that would spit dragon fire at him while he walked, or one that might fly away if it didn’t like him.  He had also learned about the amgics of light and darkness.  He was coming along rather well if he didn’t say so himself.  His long years, his race didn’t seem to have a known age at which they died, had helped him.  Come to think of it, he hadn’t ever known a grobling to die of old age.  They were always killed when they started to show too much weakness.

Shears!  That would be a good thing to make out of ice!  He could make some shears to cut his infernal hair!  He focused and mouthed the words.  The water in front of him moved and shimmered.  It floated up into the air about at his eye level and took shape.  At first it was a watery picture of a pair of shears, then his tone changed slightly and the undulating edges started to harden.  The shears took on a solid shape.  When he finished the shears started to drop out of the air, he grabbed at them to try and catch them, but he missed by a hair and they fell back into the bowl that had held the water and broke into bunch of pieces.

Oh well.  He could do it again, for now he wanted to get something ot eat.  He whistled a soft tune and eight squirrels poked their heads out of the verious nooks and cranies that covered his home.  He whistled again and they scattered, a few mintes later they brought him some small fruits, nuts, and berries.  He put them all in a bowl and went outside.

He was happy that the old tree he had found was willing to let him reside in side it.  He had even been able to build a small balcony.  The forest here was deep.  Dim green light filtered through the leaves of the trees.  the forest floor was covered in moss and all sorts of underbrush.  There wer a few animals, mostly the squirrels.  They had teamed up when he came to the forest.  They had been the first willing creatures he found that would show him where to find food.  They had also helped him convince the tree that he could stay.  He still wondered if they had told the tree that he was a giant squirrel.

He finished what he wanted and put the bowl back down on his kitchen table.  He wasn’t entirely sure what a kitchen was, but when he had traveled through the elven city he had been told about them.  That’s where food was placed when not eating it.  That was where guests would sit if you fed them anything.  This had all seemed a bit odd to him, but he decided if anyone ever came to visit he needed a place for them to sit and eat, so he had a kitchen table.

Back to the spell.  He thought and thought about it.  Then he sat down in front of the bowl so it was just below where his eyes were, and tried again.  This time the shears formed out of the broken and melting pieces of the old ones, and when they fell, they didn’t break.  He gave a little ‘hah’ of satisfaction.  the shears felt good in his hand.  A little cold, of course, but good none the less.  He walked over to another bowl of water, oulled the shears up, and set to work on his tangle of annoying hair.


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