Please note that this would normally have been PE1607 but due to the urgent nature of yesterdays writing and a mental inability to be creative, this piece was bumped by a day. There are some exaggerations in the following tale which is based on a true story.

It is a story of perseverance in the face of adversity. A story of despair and elation. A story of highs and lows. A story that arrives at a shocking truth.

Our hero had had a full morning, ranging the local hills on his trusted steed taking in the views of his extensive estate with his excellent companions. On return after a quick light repast, he joined his accomplished wife to travel to the local marketplace and visit the haberdashery merchant whose goods were so extensive that even his good wife was befuddled about what to choose. With no time to spare, he hurried to the local indoor lake to partake in the waters and cleanse his muscles and mind which the magic of chorine and sweat. Suitably rejuvenated, his girded his loins and entered the undercover food market to barter for the ingredients to create the evening’s banquet.

Upon entering the castle, our hero reflected on his existence. He was getting old. His heirs had left the estate and were making the own riches in the world. The management of their affairs was left up to his wife and himself. He had tried to involve the guard-hound but this intelligent beast had refused to do anything beyond loudly crying out when imaginary dangers impinged into its mind. He found the hound companionable enough he supposed but it could be rather wearing. In any event, the beast was no able to cook dinner so there was little choice but to dig deep and find the strength in himself.

On storing the victuals in the larder, he noticed something was amiss. The magic lantern did not shed light on the interior when the larder’s door was opened. Did the lantern need replacing? Looking around though, he noticed that the modern sundial too appeared to be defunct. Ah, perhaps the magic juice was no longer working in the ancestral dump. Investigations into the multi-juice boxes indicated that indeed the source had been severed. In time honoured tradition, our hero did the reset incantation but click, the source was severed again. It looked like a level 2 incantation would be required. He performed the ritual. The magic lanterns for the kitchen seemed okay, as were the closed ovens and the fire pit. It seemed the interruption was caused by something on the general magic ring.

Returning to the kitchen, he disconnected all the weird apparatus that was used in the making of things. Back to the juice box to retry the level 2 incantation. Nope, the magic continued to be uncooperative. How does one isolated the sink spot? It was time to think beyond his capabilities. It was time to consult the World Wide Wizards. Thankfully the astral connection was still working and using the incantation creator, he sent out word of his need. Many wizards responded but as always he was careful of who he chose to read, he didn’t need another bad spell hitting the incantation creator. He still found the source of the last one rather embarrassing.

The knowledge he received puzzled him. He understood the divide and conquer technique. The advice was the divide the ring into two and see which half the magic sink lay on. By further dividing, it would be possible to isolate the precise connection where the uncontrolled loss of magic occurred. Two things puzzle him. How to subdivide the magic ring without access to it? And how to tell whether an out-of-control loss was happening. The answer to the first issue was to access the ring through the shielded portals into which the apparatus was connected. That was a relief, he was worried his was going to have to dig up the ring. The second issue could be divined by a resistance scale. He thought he had one of those somewhere. Empowered with new spells our hero returned to the scene of the disaster.

It was at this point that our hero remembered something. There were other things connected to the magic ring that hadn’t been removed. He opened an armoured door and revealed a cave which contained the fire-breathing-dragon box. He didn’t think the fault would be there. But the room also contained the rain-storm-tornado contraption. He took great pride in getting his garments dirty, but that box always managed to get his clothes looking like new. It was a constant worry that people would think that he never did any work. What sort of a person always has clean clothes on? He narrowed his eyes, of course, if there was one apparatus that was out to make his life difficult, it would be that one. Carefully, he put on his calmest face and pretending he didn’t have a care in the world, he disconnected the nemesis box from the magic portal.

This time the level 2 incantation worked. Magic flowed one more in the kitchen and the banquet preparation could go ahead. A good meal would go some way towards putting his wife in a reasonable state of mind before he revealed that the rain-storm-tornado box would be out of action for a while. He wondered how long he could get away with wearing the same clothes.