The wealth of knowledge contained within the Chronicles was invaluable, thus, Tobee, whom Azmay Spectra had imbued them within, was to be protected at all costs, especially after his frightful brush with death in the claws of the mighty Skayven. Unfortunately, being just a foot tall, and with his joints newly greased, he had a persuasion to wander the halls and courtyards of the Magic Academy in pursuit of what he enjoyed most; Exploration.
Especially on days like today. The bright star unobscured by radiant lavender and peach clouds flooded light into every dark corner of the Academy, and he was particularly curious about it. After all, for ages he had lived by himself in that manufactured dream crafted for his Safekeeping by Azmay Spectra, and he had come to know every crack of every wall and every creak of every floorboard of those rooms as he awaited her return, which would never come to pass. He wondered about his friend; The Great and powerful Wizard with hair white as snow and flecked with clover green who would read him stories and teach him to play chess before heading off on her own duties. Why did she never come back? She certainly would have if she could. She’d never have left him there alone. She loved him.
Massive Iron doors at the far end of the west wing were shaped like five great machinery cogs that would spin and separate to allow passage through into the Consul Quarters of the House Of Grimthane. The hallways that unfolded before him split into four different directions and the floor was a conveyor belt that would take him down either. Around the central bend, the walls opened up on each side revealing the mammoth room beneath of boilers and steam furnaces with elegant piping weaving through the whetrock. Peering over the edge of the rail, he imagined that, not so long ago, the Master Tinkerer’s would be down there crafting all sorts of great tools and metal constructs. Not today, though.
The floor hummed loudly as it shuttled him up toward the final door at the end, which was heavily decorate, but the centerpiece was the Shield of Grimthane. Horus Grimthane may have been short and stout but he certainly thought big. His office was full of unusual trinkets and gadgets; the walls covered with magnificent plans both architectural and mechanical. Luckily for Tobee, he had been the only Great Wizard whose size was comparable to his own, and thus his chair was the only one he could manage into without assistance. He could see over his sprawling desktop forged from Myrridia Ore and Gold.
Tobee, without so much as a second thought, knew and understood much of what he was seeing on the many diagrams and alloy tables. He didn’t know why, just that he did. It was part of his brain. He simply accepted that in order to have questions he mustn’t already know the answers. Impossible for him to discern was whether an answer was relevant, or helpful to anyone, as he knew many trivial things and he knew many important things, but he didn’t know the difference between them. He could bake a dozen perfect Sweetpawl Cupcakes without needing an instructional, that was important to him, but perhaps not to anyone else.
He saw a ringlet hanging down beneath the desk, just within reach, and as his curiosity was his greatest weakness, he pulled it. A secret panel lifted on the top in front of him, and in it were old parchment papers with harried scribbles and drawing of a-
An echoing voice startled him. “What are you doing in here?”
It boomed off the walls heavy walls. He looked up to see Xarian standing in the doorway. He liked Xarian, but if asked, would tell you he preferred the company of Rhazgul, Doran or Aria. Xarian, like most of those in the House of Killdarian, had an unusual, almost uncomfortable intensity to his demeanor. He was easily irritated and didn’t care for idle chatter. Tobee had never seen him smile.
“Exploring,” Tobee answered. Every time Xarian had spoke to him in the past, he’d always felt scolded.
Xarian stepped forward into the one shaft of sunlight coming through a broken board in the roof. “You shouldn’t be wandering alone, Robot. The Great Wizard quarters are forbidden until further notice.”
Tobee sighed. “I fit in this room. All the tables and chairs are lower to the floor.”
“What are you looking for when you go on these explorations. What is so vital to you that you would deliberately distress the others who immediately think you’ve gone and got yourself ruined or stolen.” Xarian now stood at his side.
For a moment Tobee didn’t answer. He thought and thought, but then the answer was clear. “I’m looking for answers I do not have.”
Xarian groaned, “You don’t even know the questions to ask so you certainly cannot presume any answer will satisfy you.” He glanced around at the chaos of plans adorning the walls, “You know more than any one of us could ever dream, yet it’s all trapped in that childlike mechanism of wires and oiled gears, which is… unfortunate.”
Tobee stood on the chair, “I do know the questions” he spoke abruptly, which made Xarian laugh under his breath.
“What is the question than, my little metal friend?”
Tobee was quiet.
Casually picking up one of the dozens of plans from the desk, Xarian looked them over, “You know all of this, you could probably build these monstrous contraptions yourself-” He paused with a grin, “with a stepladder, of course. But none of this matters.”
“I want to know where my Mother is.” Tobee said blankly.
Xarian froze. He took a deep, forceful breath and exhaled, “Well,” he began, “To imbue you with all the riddles to the universe, but never tell you about death, that was pretty negligent, I’d say.” He knelt down with a subtle struggle, resting most of his weight on his staff, “Your Mother is gone. Her life has ceased. She can never come back.”
Motionless, Tobee stood staring into the Old Man’s eyes as he continued. “Unlike you, we cannot live forever. No matter how great or powerful, no matter how strong or brilliant, we of flesh and bone, we always have time against us. Your Mother knew this. It is why you came to be. You are her everlasting gift.”
Breaking their stare for the first time, Tobees gaze fell downward.
Xarian cleared his throat, “I’m not good with emotions, am-” He stammered “Do I need to hug you or something appropriate.”
Tobee shook his head as he glanced down into the compartment of papers in the secret panel, “I’m fine. Perhaps, though, we could summon the Legendaries. My Mother had one of her own.”
Tilting his head to the side, Xarian followed his eyeline and picked up the yellowed pages “The Legendaries?”
Tobee climbed up on the desk, “Certainly, they were not flesh and bone. They remain safe in a special dominion between worlds, with the right Magika driven construction and with your Runic knowledge we can bring the Legendary Mystics that belonged to the Great Wizards to our world once again.”
Xarian held up a hand, staring at a series of diagrams featuring what appeared to be robotic body parts fitted with nuts and bolts. “I don’t understand this, The Legendaries?”
Tobee walked across the desk looking outward at the walls, “The Grimthane Legendary Mystic is Sprocket! He was crafted of fine gold and pure wildheart metal. Then there was Shockra, of House of Killdarian, he had the most beautiful wild Red hair, like fire, with yellow tipped paws, and then, no less striking was my own Mother’s pet, Greenbriar, oh, he had little hair except at his neck and tail, which were like nestles of lovely green leaves and a body of tree bark. And then the bigger one, I found him quite frightening, Hexxus had skin like a serpent and wild black hair. That one belonged to Vex. They were the House mascots and companions to the Great Wizards.” He paused awkwardly, “Of course, this was all long before the exile.”
Xarian’s mouth hung open, although never a man of many words, he was rarely speechless.
“I can teach you to build a portal to where their astral projections remain in safety between worlds, and perhaps we can bring them here and reunite them with the Magic Academy. It’s possible, as I speak their language, they can tell us things. I just-” He hesitated with uncertainty, “I can’t be certain of which projection we will bring through as those can duplicate given they were each crafted of Mechanics and Magika or Magika and Nature. And some of them can be quite stubborn.”
Xarian stood up and moved to the opposite side of the desk, “Of course, Robot.” He began toward the door slowly, “We have nothing else to lose. We shall summon these Legendaries.” And the mechanical door creaked and moaned to a close behind him.
Tobee stood alone on the desk. Happily, he did a spin.