The story goes, anyone who eats a mana root can use magic for a while. Old Matilda said that was mostly hogwash, they wouldn’t have any idea what to do and it’s too hard for anybody but a wizard to tell them how ether works. And if you’ve got a wizard who can explain things to them, it’s easier to just have the wizard cast whatever spell you need.
But she also taught you a little bit about using auras as a way to manipulate ether indirectly. It’s a pain, and you only know a few spells, which take minutes to prepare. So you’ve never really been in a situation where they’d be useful considering the time it takes to cast them.
If these roots let you manipulate the ether directly, though… well, maybe you know enough to cast one of those spells quickly.
Maybe. That’s a risky call, so it’s probably not a great plan to just rush in, gobble down a root, and hope you can cast in time. It’d be better to distract these two a little more thoroughly…
“Hey! Who in the hells are you?”
You turn around and see a woman approaching. Maybe this is that Kitty the guards were talking about. They’ve taken notice of you now, either way.
So you think the time for the subtle approach has passed. You quickly throw a punch at one of the guards and pull the other’s hat down over his eyes, before they’ve fully processed your presence. It’s not enough to stop either of them, but it buys you time to reach the wheelbarrow.
Then you grab a handful of mana roots, stuff them in your mouth, and cast the one spell you can think of that might get you out of this mess.