The spell took them to a much larger, high-ceilinged room. Beckton could instantly see that they had travelled some distance - they had left a cloudless day for a blustery one, and the air felt charged as though a storm was coming.
Further along from the circle were rows and rows of desks, mostly drafting tables packed up for the night. Papers were covered over, while pens, compasses and rulers had been lined up ready for use in the morning.
It was completely deserted. The duty watchman's desk was vacant. No guards stood at the stations. Frowning, the agent checked that his gun was loaded and indicated the doors.
"I'm going to have a look around. Can you look for Bleecker?"
Newkirk nodded in affirmative, but also drew his wand.
"Let me set you up first."
The wizard muttered some words that, again, did not stay in the memory, and tapped Beckton on the shoulder. The outline of a medieval suit of armour shone around Beckton for a moment, then faded from view.
Comments (4 so far!)
Readers may notice that though Newkirk is in possession of a wand at the very beginning in Tube Alloys (#41634), he is not specifically stated to be using it at any point thereafter. This absolutely reflects reality - except for the fight in the hangar, during which Beckton was focused on other things, Newkirk has not cast a spells of such complexity that he needs the channeling properties of a magical implement. Newkirk is very powerful, and does not need much of the apparatus used as crutches by lesser magicians. Here, the use of a wand and the visual effect of the armour is for Beckton's benefit - Newkirk is well aware that people tend not to believe they are under magical protection unless they are shown so.
- #3892 Posted 25 days ago
The spell at hand is Mage Armour, a very primitive first-level spell which provides a minor but useful bonus to the protection statistic of a creature or player as long as they are not already wearing armour. In historical WW2, troops were not issued armour, and so Beckton is free to benefit wholly from the spell.
Special note for Robert Quick: Beckton is, indeed, running low on spell slots. As a wizard of approximately the 11th level, he has expended all of his 5th-level spell slots and an indeterminate number of his 3rd- and 4th-level slots, but should still have a number of his lesser spells available. Obviously if the story demands something different I will take that into account - I need the systems to support the story, not the other way around.
- #3893 Posted 25 days ago
Note that, Beckton has been aware all along that Newkirk is capable of performing the Mage Armour spell. However, it is considered impolite to openly ask a wizard to cast a particular spell, and this protocol stands even under fire. The logic behind this is that the state of a wizard's remaining spells is a highly personal matter. If it were known, for instance, that their spells have been entirely exhausted and that they are helpless, that would be a matter of considerable vulnerability. If they were asked to perform a spell and cannot, that would reveal that they have no remaining power to do so (or have not mastered the spell, which is even more humiliating).
Operation Gunnerside was the name of a highly successful operation behind enemy lines. Conducted by the Special Operations Executive branch of the British armed forces using Norwegian commandos, they successfully destroyed a Norwegian facility capable of aiding the German atomic weapons project through the production of heavy water.
- #3894 Posted 25 days ago
: ) I appreciate the specialized note for me. Perhaps if we wrote for a site that allowed longer form fiction easier or if you ever collect this into your own novel, I'd recommend that Newkirk (and/or Newkirk) reflect (to themselves/the reader) on the information you gave on the third comment here about exhausted spells, weakness, vulnerability, and humiliation. Those are very human thoughts and I think would add depth to both the characters and the story. Earlier in the series you gave more observations and asides which shows the wizards processing things--the how of their thinking process. The second thought I just had is that I don't know why they are doing the things they are doing. This might be due to a loss in translation from my brain consuming these in bite sized increments. With the background info you provide, it's all to win/survive WWII (I think) but I'm not sure the characters have noted that. I could be wrong though.
- #3896 Posted 24 days ago
Inspired by (sequel to):
Osterley took a much more compact submachine gun for herself, slipped it into a leather shoulder bag…Bassoon
- Published 25 days ago.
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