When Tinny walked through the front door of the shop, she was so shocked by the overwhelming experience that she walked in and out of the entrance several times. She walked out the door, stared at the shop and exclaimed...
'IT'S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE THAN THE OUTSIDE!'
Indeed, from outside it looked like a small 2 storey cottage. At most, there should only be a few rooms both on the ground and the second floor. However, as soon as Tinny went into the shop, she could see a large hall with twin staircase at the back of the hall going up several floors; about seven floors in fact! She looked to the left and right of the hall and saw long passageways with many doors lining both sides of the passageway; a mind boggling impossibility.
'Yes, yes. It's just a little Space-Time magic which you will learn about sooner or later. Ahem. Come along now, Tinny.'
Tinny stared into and at the shop again from the outside, before scampering into the shop towards Nicola.
Nicola stood in front of the twin staircase at the back of the hall. In front of him between the twin staircase, a stone stele in glowed with a soft blue light. When Tinny stood next to Nicola, he waved his hand across the stele, and golden magical inscriptions appeared on the stele.
'Right.' Nicola clears his throat.
'Welcome to The Nozama! It used to be called Amazon but this dang sorcerer Besos or something sued, claiming copyright infringements, so the king had me change the name... so what if a shop has the same name, right? A pox on Besos and his kin! Anyways... as you noticed earlier, this shop is a magical construct. This here, is a stele of command, do you know of them?'
Tinny shakes her head.
'It means that all the magic in this shop can be controlled here. For example, this shop is has protection spells cast on it. Watch.'
Nicola touch one of the inscription on the stele. The stele clears and then displays a list of protection spell.
'Protection from Nature Spell, Protection from Teleportation, Protection from Phasing, Protection from Unauthorized Entry...' Tinny read out the protection spell list.
'Ah, as you can see, the shop is protected from natural disasters like fire or flood; no need to worry about any pesky insurance sales agent,' said Nicola smugly.
'That last spell is important to prevent thiefs and burglar. Anybody who try to force their way into the shop will be surprised to find themselves teleported several feet above the city garbage dumps, hur hur. Oh, right, since you're going to be my apprentice, let's register you into the system. Put your hand on the stele.'
Tinny nodded and reached out her left hand to touch the stele. The stele felt surprisingly warm and thrummed when her hand made contact. Nicola then touched the inscription for Protection from Unauthorized Entry and swiped it towards Tinny hand, which glowed a soft golden color. After a while the glow faded and a small blue star glowed at the back of Tinny's left hand. It too faded after a short while.
'Right, I've registered you into the shop protection system. In the future, you may now enter and exit the shop at will. In addition, you may also invite other people into the shop, be they customers or guest.'
'Thank you master!' replied Tinny, giddy with excitement.
'Right, ah. Let's see, what shall we do next? Ah, I got it! Let me introduce you to somebody.'
Nicola waved in front of the stele again, and touched an inscription named 'Public Address Spell'. The blue glow around the stele turned green, and Nicola spoke 'Jack, where are you? Come down here for a bit.'
It seems Nicola's voice came from every floor, and Tinny, again surprised, wondered at this event. It seem that the Nozama has a pa system built into it! A few seconds later, a dark mist start forming in the middle of the hall. It starts consolidating, and a figure emerged from out of it. Although Tinny has seen the figure in the magical tome 'Bestiary Magicka', she never expected to see one in real life. Instead of a normal head, a pumpkin with a face carved into it stood as replacement. The pumpkin head topped a gangly scarecrow-like body that ends in a flowing dark mist instead of feet.
'Master, you called for me?' asked the dark figure.
'Yes, yes. Jack, this is Tinny, my new apprentice.'
'Greetings, mistress. I am Jack. As you can see, I am of the O'Lantern race.'
'Uhh, hel... hello Jack. Ni... nice to meet you,' said Tinny, looking at Jack with awe. In the 'Bestiary Magicka', the O'Lantern is a race of magical being who are masters of dark magic with fearsome innate skills and abilities. It also mentioned the fact that the O'Lantern along with their cousins the O'Wisp race singlehandedly fought against the ancient vampire army to a stalemate in the past while the rest of the races cowered in fear.
'Jack here is the Assistant Store Keeper. He also doubles as the butler and the security guard; our last line of defense against those pesky insurance sales agent, to either gently or forcefully removed unwanted visitors, hur hur,' chuckled Nicola while both Jack and him gave each other a knowing smile.
'He takes care of most things, so if you need any help with anything, just ask Jack. In fact, Jack, why don't ya take Tinny around the shop for a tour?'
'Excellent idea, sir! Please come this way mistress, as I endeavor to acquiant you with the shop to the best of my ability,' said Jack, while bowing slightly and made a slight sweeping gesture with his right hand.
'Wow, this pumpkin head sure talk smart...' muttered Tinny under her breath.
Nicola watched and smiled while Jack led Tinny towards the passageways. As soon as they were out of sight, he turned back towards the stele, and touched Tinny's name. The stele hummed, and a dashboard appeared.
|Name : Tinian 'Tinny' Lockheart|
|Race : Human|
|Level : 1|
|Health : 60||Mana : 110|
|Strength : 5||Mind : 8||Agility : 5||Spirit : 8||Luck : 1+7 (5)|
|Title : none|
|Skill : none|
|Magic : Nature (Novice)|
|Traits : Fated Trial of Heaven|
Nicola rubbed his chin and pulled on his beard and thought 'Hmm, her original luck should be 5, but due to the failed shaman ritual, it dropped to 1, and that Lucky Charm increases it by 7, so now it should be 8? She's only a novice in nature magic eh.. Fated Trial of Heaven... what the heck is this?!'
Meanwhile, the duo reached the first room.
'This is the atelier. This is where we showcase products to be sold.'
'Hmmm, hmmm.' Tinny look around the large room, which is around the size of a studio. In the middle and to the side lining the walls were counter table with various items on top of it. Wands, rings, gloves... some of the items emitted a soft glow. Her eyes rest on a glass case. Inside a tall glass case near one corner of the atelier, a staff with a glowing red orb floated. She can feel the power emanating from the staff.
Jack, seeing the object that caught Tinny's eye, commented
'Ahh, that staff, mistress, is called the Dagon Tilu Matim. Created by the wizard king Zimri-Lim in ancient times, it was said to be so powerful it can destroy nations. That Fire Bomb Orb on top of it is a one of a kind, made from the magic stone of a Red Leviathan Dragon that the wizard king himself slew after a titanic battle.'
'What?! So powerful?! It must have cost a fortune!'
'Indeed, if it was still intact. Over the years, through prolongued use it has been cracked into several parts; nine in fact, including the original staff. Each of the eight smaller pieces were turned into a wand topped by an Orb of Fire Bomb. The staff you see in front of you is actually the biggest part of them all. It's power has therefore also been reduced... right now it is about as powerful as a fourth tier spell.'
'I see...' said Tinny, while fantasizing herself wielding the staff and terrorizing a goblin camp.
'Shall we move on, mistress? This way please'.
They exited the atelier and went into a room a few steps away. The room is huge and tall, with mythril bars enclosing the whole room, giving it a cage-like look.
'And this is the magic vault, where various treasures, weapons, armors and scrolls are kept.'
The first word that formed in Tinny's mind was...