Deva's Adventure 1
After completing the written tests produced by Master Starfellow, Deva was to fight a wraith by himself to prove his battle prowess.
Master Starfellow led him out into the wilderness 3 days from the Academy to an old crypt. Deva entered the crypt by himself and defeated the wraith along with a number of skeletons. He left then, believing himself quite mighty, only to come to the realization that he’d been abandoned in the hostile wilderness by his master. Angered, Deva swore quietly to himself he’d conquer this challenge and face his master again.
After only a short time in the wilds he was followed by a small band of goblins. He decided it would be easier to outrun them than to fight them and broke into a sprint. Unfortunately, he discovered the path blocked by an angry owlbear. Fortune was on his side, for the owlbear decided the goblins were more tasty and presumably mauled and devoured all of them (Deva didn’t wait around to find out).
Running about for a while Deva discovered an abandoned town and decided to look around it. In the first house he searched he was attacked by an odd, diseased wolf. He managed to slay it, but was wounded by its bite. Deva then acknowledged he should not search the town and left.
After running for some time he decided it would be wise to rest for the night. Looking around he spotted an overhanging tree with large branches and vines that would be easy to climb. However, he was immediately attacked by a choker once he ascended the tree. It nearly wrung his neck, but Deva managed to knock it off the tree and zap it dead. He sat and rested in the boughs.
When Deva awoke the next morning, he saw the owlbear from the previous day had followed him, eaten the choker, and rested on the ground beneath him. He did his best to climb down the tree quietly, but knocked against some of the underbrush and awoke it, angrily.
Deva had little to do at this point but run, and the owlbear happened to be faster than him. He used a fallen tree limb to springboard up to a higher branch and grab onto some vines. The owlbear immediately, frantically climbed the tree. However, the stupid owlbear fell for the same trap again and again. One of Deva’s simpler spells could easily knock the creature from the tree back to the ground, causing it great pain from the high fall.
Deva’s trick was not enough though. Nearly dead, the owlbear managed to reach Deva and grab onto him. The creature’s weight snapped the tall branch and the two of them fell harshly to the ground. Miraculously, Deva landed loftily on the owlbear’s stomach and the heavy branch crushed the fiend’s head. Deva meandered to a cave in a small clearing nearby to rest for the night.
When he awoke, he was attacked by a spectre. This was of no consequence to Deva, as his race are resistant to the necrotic touch. He slew it hastily and continued toward the school. As he went a couple of harpies spotted and pursued him. Knowing he’d not likely survive in his current state, Deva ran with all his might and managed to evade them under the roughage.
Eventually, Deva arrived at the Academy’s gates. A full scale attack was underway on the gates and only a handful of senior students were on the ground fighting, with many supporting students up above. It took nearly an hour for the fighting to wane enough for Deva to reach the gates. When he ran to the gates, he used his bardic spell to heal the most injured senior student along the path.
Once reaching the gates, a symbol that to Deva meant success, safety, and life, he met an abrupt slap in the face. The other students manning the gate could not let him in until the fighting almost completely stopped. Students atop the walls mocked him and placed bets on how long until he would die on the field. But he would not die, not here.
Immediately, Deva offered his ranged support to the older students. The senior he’d healed earlier seemed to place himself as a wall between the monsters and Deva. He did not miss his queue and focused all his attacks on those monsters for the senior. This senior was a warden, powerful and difficult to pass. Deva believed they built a measure of camaraderie in the battle.
After a tedious 5 hours of fighting, the field was quiet enough that the gates opened and allowed the seniors, and Deva, back inside. The students from the wall cheered and were impressed that Deva, a mere initiate, had survived the ordeal. Deva gave his respects to the seniors who’d helped him, but expected no response from the hooded seniors (as it was an Academy rule that hooded students may not speak to other non-hooded students).
The instructors of the rogues, rangers, invokers and barbarians met outside the gates with the seniors in order to slay one final beast. Deva was invited to watch from the walls. From the horizon a great black dragon, half devoured by a cancerous cyst, crept upon them and a great battle ensued.
None of the seniors were conscious at the end of the fight, and half the instructors were down, too. The battle was awe inspiring and terrible, an event that few initiates, if any, had ever witnessed.
Deva left the precipice after and went to wait outside the instructor’s quarters (as an initiate he was not allowed to enter them and could not speak to instructors until spoken to). It took a whole of 6 hours for Master Starfellow to pass by and notice Deva waiting for him, torn and tattered. It took him a moment to take in that his initiate had survived the wilderness test, a feat that had never been accomplished by any previous initiate.
Though angry, Deva did not speak out against his instructor. He was told that he would not have a room unless he defeated an elder student in combat. In his mind Deva was furious and outlandish, wanting to do terrible things to everyone, everywhere to alleviate his fury. However, he accepted the cruel task as though it were an opportunity.
The student Deva would face was another sorcerer of the Dragonborn race. This student had several years more instruction than Deva and, under normal circumstances, should never lose to and initiate. Master Starfellow was so sure of Deva’s success that he promised to recommend the Dragonborn, named Dubix, to become a Promoted Lance for winning (a task that Deva believed was unfair and infinitely easier than his wilderness adventure to be approved as a normal student). Dubix agreed greedily and easily overpowered Deva in their fight, though he was not permitted to use his most powerful spells.
Master Starfellow was disappointed in Deva, and Deva was angry that Dubix’s entry into Promoted Lance would be so easy. Deva talked Master Starfellow into allowing a rematch, stating he hadn’t used his full powers on the account that Dubix was not allowed to either. Upon hearing this, Dubix was enraged and accepted the challenge with fervor.
The next day Deva and Dubix battled once more, this battle following the same strokes as before but with Dubix’s spells unrestrained. It was by some miraculous stroke of luck that Deva defeated Dubix with only an ounce of strength left. Master Starfellow beamed with pride both in that Deva had won and that he did not have to recommend Dubix to be promoted.
Master Starfellow was not as cruel as Deva had initially believed. At one of the councils, Master Starfellow proposed Deva immediately be risen to Lance rank on the account of his tremendous achievements. The proposal was denied, however, the council believing Deva to lack important advanced group combat skills. This was outrageous to Starfellow, who was now responsible for the only initiate to ever have survived the wilds alone, not to mention the battle at the gates. He left the room fuming and outraged.
When Deva heard of Master Starfellow’s reaction at the council he was touched deeply at how much his instructor seemed to care. When next they met, Deva was tested to become a student and passed the written exam without any need to study. He was given a room, as promised, with a student’s chest of basic tools. Master Starfellow had secretly slipped a few magical items into his chest as praise to Deva, as he did expect much more from him.
Deva wished to watch his warden ‘friend’ from the gates graduate, assuming that battle had been his final test. Knowing it wouldn’t be for some time, he went to his room to meet his two roommates, clean himself up and get a good night’s rest.