(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the last half of Chapter 4.)
Hooray! It’s Ozzie’s first adventure on his own! Let’s see how well he does!
… Or not. He runs away from a sudden tornado of wild magic that transforms the wrecked wagon into ice (and, in the new edition, some cacti into mush). And while hiding behind a rock — the safest tornado hiding place ever — Ozzie bumps into a strange creature!
For you Jewel Riders fans, you’ll be seeing a lot more of these familiar wild magic outbreaks throughout the next six books. I guess Ms. Roberts really wanted to make this second half of the series as similar to Jewel Riders as possible!
Meanwhile, Emily tries to contact Ozzie with her Rainbow Jewel, but can’t raise him. (Don’t you love how the girls’ Sparkly Rocks suddenly gained walkie-talkie powers?) So Emily rides off to find Ozzie, telling Sierra that she has to find her “pet” ferret. Sierra’s totally okay with this.
Emily finally makes it back to the canyon, and finds a massive puddle where the wrecked wagon was. (Again, major gripe here: it’s supposed to be winter! That ice should still be a block of ice! New Mexico is not in the southern hemisphere!) Oh, and she finds Ozzie arguing with a twiggy figure.
This twig-thing is Tweek, an Experimental Fairimental designed by the regular-type Fairimentals to specifically survive on Earth. (Remember, every other Fairimental we’ve encountered couldn’t maintain their form on Earth.) Apparently the Fairimentals now have a research facility (wait … what?) on Aldenmor in the formerly-nuked-out Shadowlands … and they spent their time making the second most useless character in the series. And I say second most useless because Tweek can calibrate portals and carries a handy-dandy Handbook of Rules and Regulations for Fairimentals (HORARFF — or, as I call it, the in-book encyclopedia). Don’t count on him to cast a well-timed Magic Missile, however. He has no combat skills whatsoever. You can depend on him to make ill-timed arboreal jokes, though.
Today, Tweek plays the part of Mr. Exposition — as he will for the rest of the series. He does this even more so in the new edition, where he gives Emily and Ozzie a magitechnobabble-laden explanation for how he came to New Mexico:
“I materialized my elemental byproducts in Ravenswood but I was attacked by a pack of brimbees so I had to triangulate on your jewels, construct a portal path–”
To make a long story short, Tweek came to tell the party that Avalon’s magic is missing. Gee, I wonder how that happened. But Tweek can’t explain too much, because more wild magic tornadoes are barreling towards the party! Luckily, Emily, Ozzie, and Tweek outrace the tornadoes and make it out of the canyon in one piece.
Tweek joins the party! (But you can’t use him in battle. At least the party can calibrate portals now….)