Wisdom glanced down, bushy white eyebrows leveling over a dull reflection of his surroundings in those once cheerful eyes. In the knee-deep muck of Mirkwood Swamp, it was not hard to guess his present mood, nor the warning of failing magic as he lifted his gaze to his other two companions.
"You might have warned me a little sooner before wading out in a swamp. And might I add, a cursed swamp!"
Ashpin studied the prince's expression. There was not much that worried the Healer. Nature supplied all the energy needed for shifting and other abilities. Yet even with all that, there was a hint of uncertainly in those pale features.
Their guide, however, merely shrugged.
"I've traveled through here countless times. Mirkwood Swamp has its fair share of rumors, just as Ettotu's Glade or Dragon Ridge." He gestured to the prince. "I wouldn't worry much. 'Specially not you, being One with the land, so I've heard."
Wisdom shook his head as the three continued wading through the water.
"You misunderstand. I am a Healer of the land, not of water. There are many different elements a Healer can accept. To take in another element other than the one I depend upon now would result in destroying all the shifts I've obtained over the years. Thus, a swamp, although not damaging to be in, cannot supply the energy I need."
Ashpin stopped walking.
"You can still use magic, can't you?" he asked in alarm.
"For now." Wisdom nodded. "I still have my own energy, not supplied by Nature, to use any time I please. I just have to keep in mind that it is limited. Of course, plenty of rest restores what I've used."
"So what's bugging ya then?" their guide asked with a huff. "You have yer magic. You've heard the tall tales. So what is it?" He stopped to look back at the prince, who had stopped to stare over the stagnant water's surface.
"Have you ever crossed with magic-users before?" the prince finally asked, never moving from his position.
"Well, now that you mention it, I did once."
Slowly, the prince forced himself to look away.
"Did any of them see anything
Their guide shrugged.
"They were both a little jumpy to begin with." He took a look where the prince had, though he saw nothing to hold his attention. "One swore he saw something just beneath the water. Course, that was after he attempted to use magic."
"So that must attract it."
"What does?" Ashpin questioned.
"What I see following me," Wisdom replied. "I think it's drawn to magic."