He was up not long after dawn, a candle burning on the desk beside him. Jakun stared at the scroll beside him, his eyes burning in exhaustion. But he was awake all the same, a quill in hand and fresh ink filling a page in his workbook.
A second book sat before him, filled with necromantic energy. None of the spells within were evil, as far as he could tell. And yet, both he and Anya could feel the malicious intent within the book. It was supposed to be a simple tome, one a hedge magician could use to learn true magic. A book sealed and unlocked with a drop of Jakun's blood, binding him to the tome irreversibly.
'Okay, so… it has a spell of some sort. If you die with it in your possession, the spell fires off…' Anya said, staring at the book.
"Don't die. Got it."
The cat heard a rustle from the bed, his hand slapping down on the book to send it to a demiplane designed solely to keep the book safe. As it vanished with a quiet, unsettling wail, Jakun turned, finding Jeremy climbing out of bed.
"Did you hear something?" the cleric yawned.
The amurran shook his head, returning to his calligraphy. It had taken nearly an entire bottle of ink, but he was finally putting the finishing touches on his workbook, another spell added for use later.
"What are you doing? I hope it has nothing to do with dragons."
"No sir. The elf gave me a spell last night to help me stay awake through the night."
"Huh. I've heard of spells like that. Some paladins are said to use them for vigils. It's a bit of a sore spot for some," Jeremy noted.
"The vigil spell? The master of my order said it's cheating. It takes away from the one you are meant to honour," Amnor Sen said, startling them both. "But then, we aren't standing vigil either. It will be a good tool on the road. Was that one of the scrolls that elf gave you?"
Jakun nodded, relieved that he wasn't about to lose his main workbook. He stood up, moving to the stack of clothes and armour sitting near the door. A hint of power flowed from him, a gentle sentence preceding a light glow. When it vanished, the stains of battle were gone from Amnor Sen's clothing. The cat repeated the spell on Jeremy's clothing, the cleric grinning.
"I guess we have our own laundry service," he said.
"Don't be mean," Amnor Sen grunted. "Thank you Jakun."
The cat nodded silently. It was a simple task to perform, a simple spell. Why he hadn't learned it until now was beyond him. Then again, the wording of the spell was rather loose. There was a chance he could do other things with it. Things Loran wouldn't have appreciated.
Amnor Sen and Jeremy wouldn't have appreciated it either if they knew the source was a secret spellbook he'd received from the necromancer. Jakun just wouldn't tell them.
"We need to get going, we've only paid until noon," Amnor Sen said.
"Yeah. I'm not getting much more sleep with that candle either," Jeremy frowned at the desk.
"I… know how to summon a different animal to ride," Jakun offered. "Anya said she thinks she can work me through the spell, but it might not last as long."
"If it means you aren't summoning dead animals, I'm all for it," Amnor Sen said.
There was a loud knock on the door, Jeremy moving to open it. A halfling stood on the other side, her eyes wide.
"You need to leave ser. The clerics are after you," she said breathlessly.
"What? Why would the clerics be angry…"
Amnor Sen scowled at Jeremy.
"What did you do?"
Jakun frowned, starting to pack their bags. He moved swiftly, efficiently, Anya helping him stow things safely away. By the time Amnor Sen and Jeremy closed the door, the room was empty, their bags full.
"You know, he is damned useful to have around," Jeremy chuckled ruefully.
Amnor Sen shook his head in wonder.
"Good work kitten," he said.
"Kitten? Isn't that a little belittling?" Jeremy asked.
"I like it…" Jakun shrugged, lifting the bags with a grunt.
"Hold on, I'm carrying my bag. And we're leaving armoured. Suit up Jeremy. Jakun, if you're not going to do your vanishing trick with your book, you should probably keep it in my bag so you can use your bow," Amnor Sen suggested, removing his chain shirt.
Frowning, the mage slipped his book into the paladin's bag, tucking it behind a block of wood. He assumed it was the block originally used for the wand that had appeared. It wasn't the first time the cat had seen the wood or even seen Amnor Sen whittling with a dagger, though most of his work was spent on the small bird tucked safely in a side pocket.
"You saw the marks, right?" Amnor Sen asked. "I have no idea what language it is, but they are beautiful. How did a slave learn that?"
Jeremy shrugged, handing the quiver of arrows to Jakun.
"Lots of punishments for failure, I suppose. The necromancer… Loran? He had to have Jakun working in a book for a reason. If the writing wasn't neat enough for him to read, it would be useless."
He strung Jakun's bow, handing it to the cat.
"Don't go shooting me in the back, okay?" the cleric joked.
"No sir," Jakun agreed quickly.
"If someone tries to hurt you, I give you permission to defend yourself," Amnor Sen added. "I feel like that shouldn't have to be said, but honestly, I have no idea what you've been taught, beyond how to write and create undead."
"And create wands. Can't forget about that."
Anya sprouted from him, the werewolf rolling her eyes at the holy warriors.
"Look, I'll be happy to give you two a list, but we should get out of the city first," she said sharply.
"Like how you came to possess Jakun?" Jeremy asked.
"It's not possession. It's barely even a haunting," Anya scoffed.
"Either way, we need to leave. Now," Amnor Sen said, lifting his bag onto his shoulders.
Grabbing his glaive, the paladin left the room, the others following quickly.