Why in Database: The eighth, final volume of the Spellsinger series. Jon-Tom is again a protagonist here (as in the first six volumes), and the turtle element appears in the form of the old wizard, Clothahump. He is present only at the beginning of the book, when the heroes go out looking for adventures, he stays at home. Below, typically, a few selected fragments:
Clothahump was not to be found in any of his several studies, nor in the great library. When finally he arrived in the audience chamber, it was clear he had been napping.
“Jon-Tom, what are you doing here today?” He yawned, his beak stretching wide.
“Now that you have broken my concentration, what is it so urgent it makes you forget even Crixxas?”
Jon-Tom looked over at Mudge, who was ignoring him with practiced finesse. Finding no support from that quarter, he looked hopefully at the wizard.
“Really not much of anything, Master.”
“Come come, lad. You can tell old Clothahump.”
“I just did, sir. That is the problem. Nothing’s the matter. Anywhere.”
Clothahump looked dubious. “I fail to see why you should regard that as a disturbing state of affairs.”
“Frankly, Clothahump, Mudge and I are bored.”
“Ah!” The wizard’s face lit with understanding. Which in Clothahump’s case meant it actually took on a slight, pale evanescence. “Adventure selfdenial. A not uncommon malady among individuals of your age and intellectual-emotional type. I, of course, am immune to such juvenile disorders. I presume you have given some thought to a possible course of treatment?”
Clothahump watched them depart, grateful to see the last of them. With Ghorpul engaged in his duties, the wizard was finally able to retire once more to the special room of velvet darkness in which he chose to lose himself in contemplation of the unfathomable mysteries of the Universe. Seating himself in the exact center of the spherical chamber (which required that he hover precisely three body lengths off the floor), he made use of a quantity of drifting powders and potions. Soon the surroundings were illuminated by a nebulous, chromatic blush, which under the wizard’s sonorous, hypnotic urging began to take on substance and form. It was the shape of another turtle: young, lithe (insofar as a turtle could be lithe), decidedly female, and soft of shell. It was a most impressive conjuration, though its inherent philosophical gravity might well constitute a matter for some debate. Proximate to the phantasm Clothahump floated, hands and legs folded in front of him, his largely inflexible face cast in a perhaps less than profound grin… .
He even missed Clothahump’s gruff admonitions and predictably constructive insults.
“That’s that.” Pleased with his effort, the spellsinger shook himself. Maybe he hadn’t toppled any towering ramparts or outblazed an attacking dragon, but as Clothahump often said, any spell you could walk away from was a good one.