A tale of a young mage apprentice.
The Bashful Peregrine
Hear ye, this tale of young Peregrine, the apprentice, and how ofttimes good things ensue through hard, diligent work, they can likewise come from being at the wrong place at the right time.
Since he was a small boy, Peregrine admired the mages of the Order of Fierol and desired nothing in the world more than to join them. So it was, whence he came of age, that he was apprenticed to Torin Frostbreaker.
After a few lessons, Peregrine's mentor put a box before him and challenged him to open it. Peregrine puzzled over the plain-looking box. Its innocent appearance betrayed no clue of the wards that sealed it, so he he[sic] tried every counter-ward he knew. After a time, Torin Frostbreaker asked "Are you finished?"
"I am," Peregrine said.
"And have you any mana reserve left or did you spent it all on this most tricky box?"
"I have none left, my Master," the Apprentice replied.
"Then I am a barghest, come upon you, and you are dead because you failed to think. Sometimes a box is just a box, and precious magic is better saved for the monster in the darkness. I hope the rest of your training is not as trying as this."
In his second week, Frostbreaker led Peregrine to a nearby cave and bid him enter it. Not wishing to repeat the mistake of the box, Peregrine decided to simply walk into the cave. He was thrown back with great violence, landing several yards away and coughing blood.
"Foolish boy! I bring you to a warded cave and you stroll into it without even the slightest use of magic. It is as if you grow worse with time rather than better. Now, let's remove whatever curse your haste has given you."
In his third week, Peregrine began to despair of ever becoming a mage, but was obliged to accompany Torin to a nearby healer's cottage. Torin retired to the Master Healer's chambers and Peregrine was left alone with one of her assistants. The assistant was quite beautiful and would smile warmly at Peregrine whenever he dared look upon her. She approached the young apprentice, touched him gently, and slowly brought her face to his as if to deliver a kiss. Peregrine, as bashful as he was young, flushed and fled the healer's cottage.
After a few hours, the young man began to wonder after his master. When he made to return to the cottage, he found the door warded. For this he was prepared and he dispelled it with ease. "If only Master Frostbreaker could have seen that," he thought.
He was less prepared for what lay beyond the door: his master, naked and magically chained to the wall, the healer and her assistant, naked as well and asleep at his feet.
"Come, help me boy!" barked Torin. "These are not healers at all, but witches. They poisoned me and cast wards to bind me to this wall. As I can tolerate most poisons, I remained alert enough to cast a sleep spell upon them. Now, free me!"
These wards were of a more difficult sort, but Peregrine was able to dispel them as well. His master was pleased.
"Master? How did the witches manage to poison you?"
"Suffice to say, a 'healer's kiss' is likely not what you'd think it to be. We shall never speak of this again." Peregrine was too embarrassed to respond and preceded his master out of the cottage.
Torin eyed his apprentice warily, mistaking the boy's bashfulness for cunning. "I suppose you have passed enough tests. When we get back to Fierol, I will personally see that you are made a mage by forhtnight's end."
And thus did the bashful Peregrine become the youngest Fieroli mage any could remember.