It’s early afternoon when you drop in at the Mages Guild. While thankfully located in Redholme, it still took you the better part of the morning to get there. You normally don’t venture to the far end of town, but Guild Master Humongous tasked you with delivering a letter to the Archmage.
As you wander in past the wrought-iron gates and stone walls, you see a young mage standing in the yard with a leather-bound notebook in his hands and a large wooden crate at his feet. He reaches inside the crate and takes out a thick leather gauntlet with various sigils branded onto it.
You watch curiously as he puts it on and picks up what appears to be a flat bent piece of wood with matching marks burned into the surface.
After jotting down a few notes with a quill pen, he hefts the wood in his hand a few times then pitches it across the yard.
Spinning surprisingly fast, it goes out about 50 feet before suddenly cutting a sharp angle and returning gracefully back towards the mage.
He stands ready with the gauntlet outstretched to catch it, but as it returns it appears to be picking up speed and rotation. He loses his nerve and starts running in the opposite direction. However, the menacing bit of wood continues to follow him, spinning faster and faster as it pursues him around the yard.
As he completes his second lap around the yard, it shows no signs of slowing. The mage on the other hand looks gassed as he struggles to keep a step ahead of his relentless pursuer.
You decide to step in and give the poor fellow a hand. As he dashes past you, you draw your sword and chop the thing out of the air, cleaving it cleanly in twain. The broken pieces spin to the ground like falling maple seeds.
Seeing he’s no longer in danger, the mage falls onto the grass, gasping for full minute before finally sitting up to address you. He spits in the grass a few times before speaking.
Gendry the Apprentice: Oh god, thanks for that.
He pauses to dry heave, then spits again.
Gendry the Apprentice: It’s supposed to slow down so you can catch it.
Poking the still twitching pieces with your foot, you ask him what exactly the thing is.
Gendry the Apprentice: Ah, it’s a little project I’ve been working on. It’s called a boomerang. The shape of it's supposed to make it return when you throw it. That’s all a crock, of course. They never work, it's just a gimmick to sell them to children.
Gendery the Apprentice: But, I’ve given this one some magical tweaking.
He looks quite proud, despite the failure of the test.
Gendry the Apprentice: I’ve got the returning part right. Now I just need to figure out the deceleration. The practical applications for this will be endless!
You suggest it would make a pretty ferocious weapon if he put a good steel blade on it.
Gendry looks taken aback.
Gendry the Novice: Good Lord! That would be horrible! This isn’t a weapon!
If it isn’t a weapon, you honestly can’t think of what other possible use it could have.
Gendry the Novice: In any case, the entire thing has to be wood for the enchantments to work.
He looks down into the crate, which you now see if full of boomerangs.
Gendry the Novice: Ugh…I still have a quite a few to test… This is going to be horrible day.
You don’t really have much planned for the rest of the day so you offer to help. It was kind of sad watching his pitiful attempt to run. Apparently there’s no physical fitness requirement at the Mages Guild.
Gendry the Novice: God, that would be fantastic.
He looks extremely relieved.
Gendry the Novice: I’ll even give you one when you’re done.
He carefully pulls a new boomerang out of the crate.
Gendry the Novice: Worst case scenario, if a boomerang doesn’t slow down on the return, it should run out of steam after a couple of minutes. You've just got to stay out of reach until it peters out.
He passes you the leather gauntlet.
Gendry the Novice: Strap that on and lets begin!
That is a big box of boomerangs. Do 50 short runs, 3 minutes each. Break them up over several days. Check off a box for every run you complete.