We entered the home of Bupkes the Clown, where we were greeted by Dame Catherine, captain of the Queen’s royal guard… and a dead clown laid out on a table in the center of the room. Aside from one of Dame Catherine’s squires, standing inconspicuously in the corner, the only other person in the room was The Great Schmendrick, a young wizard who had graduated from Neytik at the end of my first year there.
Bupkes was, I would later learn, the head of the Red-Nosed League and had made many enemies. Upon learning of a credible threat to his life, Bupkes engaged Schmendrick to enchant a room in his basement as a safe retreat. Should anyone try to attack Bupkes, he could retreat to the room and invoke its enchantment to protect it from attacks both physical and magical. His enemies could burn the house down on top of it and he would be perfectly safe for days while he waited for rescue. He would even be well fed. Schmendrick’s enchantments included one that would generate a number of Bupkes’ favorite snacks.