Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Bearded Old Mage

There are feelings during great triumph or horrendous despair that one never forgets,even where you were when news such as these reaches you. The feeling of love at first sight or remembering where you were the night the Tears of Selune came crashing down from the heavens.

For Puccalli he will always remember where he was and what he was doing the night when the heavens shattered, godsfell, and magic went wild…

Old Puccalli enjoyed the pleasures Waterdeep life had to offer, such a change from the typical pleasure houses of Thay. Magic was restricted from Thayan brothels;not at the Efreeti Bottle however. All Puccalli was attempting to do was a little magical enhancing of coitus. When the Time of Troubles began; magic surged, and Puccalli’s ‘enhancement’ transmogrified his prostitute into a horse.

It was not what the magic wrought and the position he found himself in, but the feeling and knowing that wild magic now flowed forevermore inside him; it would jeopardize every magical gesture made and power-word the mage would ever utter. The only warning he would get was remembering that night in the Bottle, but by then it is too late.  Since that day Puccalli has kept this a secret from his Red-Robed Thayan colleagues, acting as a glorified messenger for Ambassador Homen, attempting to hide his condition.

Puccalli was over fifty winters and he never liked the cold, he rather preferred warm womanly company. He thought of easing the arctic conditions for himself as he hiked the icy streets of Waterdeep to the Dragon’s Head Tavern, but decided that would be folly. The cold biting air seemed to follow the mage into the tavern, his heavy cloak battered in his wake. He walked to the nearby cloak rack to shed his wet garments and as he did the mage noted the place was sparsely occupied by seven small groups of two or three.

He went to the bar, ordered a drink and surveyed again for his company: two mercenaries, eager to make names; identifying them Puccalli sauntered over to their table. The gentleman on the right looks outfitted for life in the shadows; dark hair, dark clothes, he is also likely vane judging by his mannerisms and the panache of his sleeveless tunic. The man on the left reminds Puccalli of a Tuigan horseman straight from the hordelands.  

“Caneither of you two use a magical dagger?” The bearded old mage asked the pair and waited for the correct response.

“Icould use such a fine blade, say true,” Sleeveless tunic began. “But I fight with two say thankya.”

Satisfied,the mage sat laboriously next to Sleeveless and Hordeland, motioned for another round of drinks, and peered around to see if their palaver was drawing needless attention. As far as Puccalli could tell, it was not. He considered conjuring a magical sound bubble, but decided that would be folly.
“Ineed two individuals to infiltrate a local merchant house during the winter months. This house is recruiting skilled swordsmen and knowledgeable experts into their ranks. I represent interested parties who wish to know more about their plans. These men must get into their inner workings and find out what their short and long-term goals are.” The mage explained and as he spoke Puccalli did in fact produce two magical crystalline daggers. He set them on the table in the company of their refreshed drinks. “These are not to be used until given leave, but I give now so that is it not remarked as new later, it will just be part of your outfit.”

Hordeland picked up one admiring its exotic craftsmanship while Sleeveless simply took Puccalli’s dagger, discarded his own and replaced it with the mage’s. Each dagger was sharp, cold to the touch and nearly weightless.

After taking a drink Puccalli reached under his belt and handed both bounty hunters a red gem, “You will check in with me each week to report and await further orders.”

Hordeland took the gem and deftly transferred it into his pocket; so fluid was his movements it was as if it had disappeared. “What house do you want us to spy on old man?” Hordeland flashed the mage a dark sinister wink.

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