Seismic damage and sudden relocation aside, the campus itself looked pretty much normal.
There had been about three dozen volunteers to check out the aftermath, so they had split into three squads. It was uncertain what they would find, but there would probably be some obstacles, debris and such, that would require extra muscle to remove. Each squad would check two buildings – one farther from the starting point in the Wood Campus Center, and one nearer on the way back. Nick was going to check the administration building, a high priority location, and the Math & Science building. Zac Leonard, a tall, lean fellow with a well-kept goatee, had chosen to lead a group to the Health Sciences building, and then to the Business department. Tom would start with the Pickel Field House, as he had announced, and continue to the library. The rest of the campus would be left for later.
The situation was much the same all over campus as it had been in the Campus Center. In each building, people had gathered to try and figure out what was happening. A few other search parties had been sent out, and in the Ramer Administration Building the situation was starting to become clear – though it didn’t help that the situation happened to be that they had no idea what was going on. When Nick met the mass of people in the main hall of the building, this was all he learned. He proceeded to check every room, making sure nobody was trapped.
The central hallway of Wallace Health Sciences had nearly been plunged into total chaos. People were injured, scared, and confused. Clearly, nobody had planned for the situation of suddenly finding the building in another place entirely.
In the Pickel Field House, the gathering took place in the gym. The adjacent fitness rooms were practically buried under equipment, as were the music rooms on the other side of the building. Tom’s squad wasted no time helping the ones who were already there dig.
Back in the Campus Center, Lee motioned for the other members of the club to move closer. “Take a look at this,” he said, drawing his hand out of his pocket. He placed a deck of Magic cards on the table. All the club members were stunned to note that the cards seemed to be softly glowing.
“What did you do with these?” Zeke asked, looking closer.
“Nothing,” Lee replied. “They’ve been glowing since, well… whatever that was.”
Zeke reached out cautiously and took the top card, turning it face up. It was a support creature, Bloodmark Mentor.
At this point, the wind picked up. The shimmering air that they had seen through the hole in the wall now seemed to be filling the room. The card glowed more brightly in response, and in the middle of the room there was a cracking noise. The air cleared, and there, standing on the remains of the table, was the Bloodmark Mentor. Everyone in the room was on their feet in an instant, some running, some hiding, some just confused.
The goblin looked around, sizing up its prey, as Lee took a few steps back. It spotted him, and lunged, opening its freakish mouth wide. Lee drew his fist back, and swung hard at the creature bearing down on him. The thing bit down on his arm and held fast. He winced and tried to struggle, but then relaxed. While it tried to chew through his arm, he reached behind him and grabbed a chair that had been knocked aside by the creature’s appearance, swinging it with all his might. It tried to retaliate with its weapon, but too late. A few hard swings, and it succumbed to the damage.
“So you mean this thing just appeared in the middle of the room?” Thomas asked, examining the monstrous corpse.
Lee nodded. “Yeah, as soon as that card was turned up.”
Tom blinked a few times at this. “The card…?” He turned to look at the damaged table and the cards scattered on and around it. There he spotted the Bloodmark Mentor card. “You mean actual magic created that thing?”
“It looked that way to me.”
A silence fell over the room. They had no idea where they were, save to say that they were far from home. The damage to the school would take years to repair even if they had the skills and equipment, which they didn’t.
Magic was real.