Somewhere, in the cold land of Elcon, which is directly connected to the tunnels between dimensions, a magic ritual was taking place.
Well, honestly speaking there were probably a lot of rituals, but this one in particular is notable in that it was being performed by a magician not of Elcon, and one who had no intention of living in Elcon.
This magician in question was in a cave that might have seemed bare at first, but to the sharp of eye, it was clear that it was not covered in cracks and crags, but carefully sculpted outcroppings scribed with this and that rune of some supposedly arcane meanings.
These runes formed a swirling pattern, a pattern that would have put one in mind of a cage, or perhaps a jar, it shifted between the two. To those with a good eye for magic, it was clear the ritual was throbbing with power.
In the centre of the cave was a pair of pedestals that were pretending to be stalagmites. They really weren’t, the deceitful things. Resting on top of these treacherous pillars were two gems. One was a red, shining bright, the other was blue, and not only was it larger, but it kind of looked a bit like an eye.
Looking at the red gem with some dissatisfaction was the magician not native to Elcon. When many looked at her, they would have thought of a cat, though she could never have really been mistaken for a cat.
She was Ira Kiopla, the Witch of Dimensions, successor to the Sorcerer of Spaces, who she had never met. She was a Rashkiir, a type of cat-like person. She indeed looked very much like a red and white cat, but cats do not have curly red headhair or a tail that splits to become two tails. They also tend not to have thumbs, walk around on their hindlegs, or wear green scale dresses while wearing a floppy brimmed hat that flickers. Ira was very fond of the hat really, that and dresses made of little circles, she loved that a lot too.
Right at the moment however, she didn’t love much of anything. She hated being in Elcon. In Elcon magic was wild and free and generally didn’t obey many rules and only pretended to make sense. In Elcon magic was alive. She came from a place where magic was much more reasonable.
The Witch of Dimensions sneezed. The magic of Elcon also had a tendency to mess with her nose, that was one of the worst parts.
It was however magic that she had come to do at the behest of others. In simple terms what she needed to do was combine the blue gem and the red gem to create a kind of siphoning prison.
The issue was that the red gem was occupied. The ritual that had been set up for Ira required a red gem that was of this nature, but for the actual casting, the gem needed to be empty. Ira sighed and reached for the gem. She was however too small to reach the top of the pedestal.
Very glad that nobody had seen that embarrassing display, she stepped back and pulled at the fabric of things. The gem was in her hand, where one moment it had not been. She briefly considered just ejecting the inhabitant of the gem, but decided that her relations with the people the inhabitant belonged to were bad enough.
She began to vigorously rub the gem, in sort order, red smoke with swirling silver sparkles began jettisoning up out of the gem, then the smoke took on a more cloud-like form, and finally some the cloudsmoke condensed into the form of a well oiled muscled red man who’s torso connected into the smoke. This man had the head of a elephant, and this was red too. The tusks were capped with a shimmering gold metal, like someone had seen gold and thought “I can make something better than that”. The floppy ears of this being were littered with shimmer gold studs and no small number of hoops hung from them. The trunk of the head had a large nosering, on which was a sculpted head that looked quite similar to the head which it was attached to, on that sculpted head if you had looked closely was another nosering of the same head, if you looked too long, you might have seen the last elephant head and who knows what seeing that would have done to you.
Ira, being the Witch of Dimensions had no problems looking at it. It was nothing compared to some of the things she had seen.
“BEHOLD PUNY MORTAL, I AM THE GREAT GENIE ANANISHK! BUT FEAR NOT FOR I EXIST ONLY TO GRANT YOUR WIS…”
Ananishk deflated with the sound of a balloon losing air upon noticing that it was Ira who had summoned him.
“Oh, it is you” he said dejectedly.
Magicians and genies didn’t have the most wonderful of relationships. This was mainly because many magicians knew that genies weren’t really wish granters, but in reality in the genie’s home dimension, Majistane, they were the equivalent of garbage men. It just so happened that the garbage of Majistane was raw magic. If not for the genies and other initiatives, Majistane would likely have burst at the seams.
Genies liked best a user that allowed for a regular but not massive flow of magic from Majistane. Magicians had a tendency to use genies when tapping for large amounts of magic. Though above all else, genies just hated how little fun they could have with magicians, regular people weren’t at all careful about what they wished for so a genie could have a lot of fun messing about with the manner in which the wish was fulfilled.
There was genies that had things set up for being used by magicians, but it was always a pain to switch between vast dump and steady flow of magic.
“You plan on using this outlet for long Wod? The bosses hate it when you don’t stick to using Jahummar’s fauchet” The Genie asked.
There was a twitch in Ira’s face, Ira was really not fond of being called Wod. The genies knew this, and knew of her quite well, since she had even visited their home dimension. She would have liked the place if it hadn’t made her feel like a stuffed fish on land. She held out a hand, the genie, feeling some rather frightening forces pull on him, spoke quickly.
“AHHH I’m sorry Ira Kiopla, Witch of Dimensions, what is it that you desire?” he said.
“I want you out of the gem, get going now” Ira said tersely.
“What? No! I mean do you have any idea about the paperwork I’d have to fill out? They hate closures! They’d stick me with a desk job until retirement too!”
“Learn to enjoy it!” Ira commanded.
“I refuse! You have no right to demand this!” he said.
“Oh? You refuse me, the Witch of Dimensions? I only asked as a courtesy, one that your chaos causing kind hardly deserve” Ira said.
Ananishk felt a metaphysical tugging at his smoke, and in spite of being large than Ira, he somehow felt that she was looming above him.
“Ok, look, just give me an day or so, get things done all proper-like!” he said, quite panicked.
The tugging grew stronger and Ananishk heard a gentle tearing sound.
“A FAVOUR I’LL DO YOU A GENIE FAVOUR!” He screamed as he was about to be dragged back to Majistane by Ira’s magic.
Ira pulled the genie back fully into Elcon. A genie favour was quite valuable, the genie would do something for the receiver of the favour, a serendipitous act in good faith, that would always benefit the one who accepted, even if it did not seem so at first.
“Swear by your contract, by your smoke” Ira commanded.
For a moment, it looked like Ananishk would voice an objection, but seeing the glint in Ira’s eyes, he decided to keep his mouth shut.
Sweating, Ananishk pulled a glowing crimson scroll from his right ear. He grabbed a handful of his own smoke, and it changed into a red quill. Unfurling the scroll, the cave was bathed in red light, he wrote with the quill, and as he did so, the quill turned to silvery dust.
When it was gone, he placed the scroll in his head again. He tilted his head to the side slightly as if straining to hear something. Then a smile spread across his elephant face. Elephants were not supposed to have such an expression, so it was more than a little disturbing.
He whispered to Ira from where he stood, telling her what he heard, then he turned to cloudsmoke, then smoke and retreated inside the gem.
Ira stared at the gem resentfully, she had heard everything quite clearly. Carefully she dropped the genie gem through to the top of the pillar it was meant to be on for the ritual.
“I suppose the ritual will have to wait, time to call an old… friend” She muttered.
The world folded over her, and she was gone.