by Just Jae
A ring presents a quandry.
"This doesn't make sense," said Skrie, looking at the ring lying on the cloth. "Why would Geordo call this his 'Precious' and only mention the girl as an afterthought?" She scratched her head, perplexed.
"Maybe," began Theren, tapping a finger to his chin. "Maybe the ring has some property that ensorcelled him."
"There's one way to find out," replied Skrie. "I can set up a ritual to detect magic in an item," the cleric began pulling the necessary components from her pouch.
"Ah," said the mage, "good idea. If it's magic, I'll see if I can identify it," he began searching his satchel for the items he would need to complete the spell.
A quarter candlemark later, Skrie saw the blue aura surrounding the jewelry. She also felt something ... wrong about it. It felt slippery, like well-used cooking grease that had burned one time too many.
"Well, then," she said, "that answers that question. And there's something else," she stopped, not sure how to describe the oily darkness that flowed insidiously through the glow. "I can sense something ... not really evil, but not far from it. It makes my skin crawl." She looked up at her friends, releasing the spell.
"You ok?" asked Malusk, concern in his yellow eyes.
"Yeah," replied the halfling, rubbing her head.
"It's got some kind of evil embedded in the magic," Theren said when he completed his spell. "I wouldn't put it on if I were you," he finished, looking at each of his companions.
"Give it back to Geordo?" asked Malusk.
"Not yet," said Skrie, "I want to know what it is before I give it to a man that didn't tell us the truth. Let's take it to a temple and get a priest to tell us what it is."
Next: "Bad Juju"