Splash! Nick thrashed around in the water, he couldn’t breath. His head felt like it had an axe stuck in it. His leg still ached from its recent break; he only felt it now that his adrenalin was wearing off. Disoriented, a spell flashed from his thoughts. Suddenly, he could breath. He calmed down, and took in his surroundings. Ocean filled his view from left to right, with only a glimpse of land in the distance. The water was clean and untouched by waste. So he clearly wasn’t back home on earth. Maybe the door threw him into another part of the plane that campus is on. He swam higher from his location to the surface of the water. It didn’t occur to him till his head poked out of the water why he could breath.
He choked on the fresh air at first. He looked at his own hands, seeing webbing and scales. He gingerly touched his neck, and felt small gills protrude from his neck. Eventually the longer he stayed above the water he was able to breath air. and the gills disappeared with the rest of his fishy features.
“Did I just turn into a merfolk?” He muttered to himself as he floated along the surface of the water. “But I don’t know biomagic?”
He dived deeper into the water, and within seconds his body morphed into a merfolk body, his clothes simply adjusting to the new form. This can’t be good. He thought. Deeper he swam till he found himself near the ocean floor. Down there he spotted his cane. He must have dropped it. Nick simply manipulated the water around it, till it was back in his hands. Not ready to think about the events of the battle he fought, Nick distracted himself by fumbling for his cell phone. He didn’t actually need a signal or anything but it made a good channeling point. In his hands now an air bubble formed around his hands as the water is expelled drying out the wet electronic. His magic quickly fixed any damage that occurred to the fragile device. With another spell he began typing and sending his message.
He waited several minutes. He was disappointed with the message he received. No recipients in range. That should be impossible. As long as he was on the plane someone should have gotten that message…oh. It hit him. He must have walked somehow when he went through. Nick put his phone away. Well that’s an easy fix ill just walk back…
A stream of boiling water narrowly missed Nick who only briefly noticed the attack. Still in his Merman state Nick spotted his possible assailant. A Merman suspended in the water sat there casting. Nick him self swam away towards land. His taste for battle was nonexistent.
He dodged spells, light flashed around him. He was almost there. The span of a few minutes lasted an eternity to him. First his knees, then his hands hit the wet earth beneath him. He crawled up the bank tired from previous encounters. He used his cane to stand. Then fell again he crawled away as fast he could. Fear crept up in his mind as a hand of water latched on to Nick’s leg.
“No!” Nick dug deep into the sand as he was pulled back into the water. Then sand erupted from its place severing the linked water that grabbed him. He scrambled forward more before his assailant renewed his attack. Breathing heavily, and covered in sand, he rose again five feet from the edge of the water. He braced himself. Slowly the figure before him walked from the depths of the water in front of him. Dread flashed through Nick.
“Laquatus!” The merman briefly paused at the statement then waves of water crashed forward from the sea. Nick deflected the attack by redirecting the water as it entered his territory. Nick returned the attack engulfing his opponent. Something felt wrong. The man continued to walk forward unaffected by the attacks.
Then it hit him, literally. Nick collapsed as a heavy blow from a fist. A massive frog like creature stood over him. It gave a foul toothy grin, and inhaled to use his putrid attack. With raw will Nick sculpted the head of his cane into a blade and slashed its bloated belly. It coughed and choked on its bile. The blade then burst into hundreds of thin wires that sewed its mouth shut and slowly began to strangle it. As he did that he used his magic to lift his worn body off the ground with pillars of sand.
He caught movement in the corner of his eye and lashed out with his sand pillars, hoping that he could support his own weight. The pillars are blasted apart by watery whips, and slice towards him. Nick without thinking froze them only barely stopping the attack inches from his throat. With his heavy right arm he broke the thin ice into shards and melted them to form a ring of water around his feet.
His eyes shifted from left to right trying to find the Ambassador. Movement again flashed around him first on his right, then in front of him. Shards of ice fired from the ring peppering the person in front of him as he turned to face the one to his right. That was a mistake.
The shards dissolved in the air before even reaching their target, then new shards of ice fired from that direction at him that looked almost identical to his, own attack. Nick barely had time to fall to the ground as they filled the space he had been filling seconds earlier. This left another opening for the mage to take advantage of. Quickly the wires constricting his bodyguard removed themselves and returned to the head of his cane, reforming into the orb they began as. Nick running on instinct pushed the toad back with geysers of water that froze when far enough away, but it was short lived as the spell was canceled by something. Before anything else could go wrong a burst of air shot at the toad that was again canceled, that he immediately followed up with a wall of sand, that blocked their view of each other. The toad bashed it away easily with a massive arm. Using the distraction the back to back spells provided Nick flew through the air behind the wall with a spout of water pushing him forward, his cane now a spear. The ploy had almost worked until his true opponent stepped in. Nick was batted aside like it was nothing by his own water attack. His spear went flying away from him, and his crashed onto the beach.
He breathed in heavily. He couldn’t move anymore, he could barely keep his eyes open. The toad waddled forward a disgusting scowl formed on its ocher lips. It couldn’t end this way. It wasn’t fair. He survived hellish battles only to die here. He didn’t have any strength left though. His mind raced with possibilities, but none seemed viable in his state.
“Finish him quickly Turg, or we’re going to be late.” It smiled never taking its eyes off its prey.
“Yes master.” It opened its gaping maw impossibly wide as if to swallow Nick whole, and lunged with blinding speed. Without thinking Nick raised his arms as to shield his face from the bite.
“No, Stop!” The creature stopped in front of him, its jaw wide open ready to gorge itself on his flesh, but it stood there unmoving in that mid-run stance.
“What are you doing Turg? Finish him.”
“I can’t sir.” Nick summoning new strength that he really didn’t have, and slid back with his arms.
“Leave me alone!” Turg not fully understanding began to walk backwards listening to the planeswalker’s panicked orders.
“Impossible!” His minion is so powerfully linked to him that any other control spells should have been impossible to override it. Still not understanding Nick continued to give orders to the thing as it remained in his territory.
“Sit!” It sat down where it stood. Rage is all that was visible on its face, but it still obeyed.
Before he could even think of what to do next a blast knocked him over onto his side. The attack weakened his grasp on his territory as consciousness faded in and out for him. Laquatus walked forward confident of his victory. He lifted Nick up by the collar of his robes, a mix or distaste and curiosity showed on his face. Nick battered, bruised, and thoroughly beaten couldn’t even rise to challenge him. Laquatus stood there with Nick contemplating on something.
“How did you do that?” Nick only smiled as he wheezed. He opened his mouth as if to talk, and broke into a huge coughing fit instead. Blood mixed with saliva landed on the ground. “Hmm if you won’t tell me then I’ll have to learn the hard way. I could always use a new pawn.”
His other hand crackled with power as he grabbed Nick’s forehead. Nick screamed in pain and dismay as memories of his past were scrubbed clean of his mind. Nothing save his magical ability was untouched. Tears shed from his eyes the things that made him a person were stolen. He was dropped to the ground when it was done smoke rose from his head and Laquatus’ hand.
He lied there at first, and then sat up. Confusion shown all over his face as he looked up at the strange man in front of him, he had no idea what to call it.
“Who are you?” Were the first words out of his mouth, his first three extremely clumsy words. They were difficult to form.
“I’m your master apprentice. My name is Laquatus, don’t you remember? You were attacked by human bandits on our way back to the capital. I managed to drive them away. Don’t you remember?” Nick blankly stared at him at first. Words were difficult to form at first. He carefully tried to remember what had happened to him. He then lowered his head in a half bow from his cross-legged position.
“No sir. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened I can’t remember anything.”
“It’s okay; they hit you pretty hard in the head. You must have amnesia. Do you remember anything?” Nick thought about it long and hard till something came forward.
“What is it?”
“I know I can cast magic, and how too, and also my name.”
“Good. I don’t want my teachings to go to waste on a forgetful apprentice, and quickly tell me your name to make sure you can remember correctly.” That was odd he shouldn’t even be able to remember his name.
“I’m Ezra Akrasa of Tidehollow.”
“Perfect you do remember.”
“But I can’t remember anything else.”
“You’ll be fine. Your name is a good start. In time your memories will come back. Whether naturally, or through our practice sessions I promise you will get them back.” He’ll remember what I create for him, this Ezra Akrasa of Tidehollow.
“Really?” Ezra looked up excited but tired.
“Of course, my apprentice. Just give it time. Now we need to get going. You’re not in very good shape so… Turg!”
“Yes my master?” Turg quickly stood up.
“Carry Ezra to the capital and don’t forget his cane.” Turg grumbled to himself, clearly not happy for some reason.
“Yes master.” He walked over and grabbed the cane, and then threw Nick over his shoulder. Nick yelped in pain at the rough treatment.
“Turg! Careful! He’s injured after all.”
“Yes master.” Turg then carefully held Nick in his arms as if cradling an infant.
“Now onward to the capital.” Slowly they walked back into the sea. As they entered again Nick transformed into a merfolk, easily able to breathe under water again. Tired from his forgotten ordeals he fell asleep as they swam.