The Lost Wizard

Jaime the Bard - Second Tale

By Douglas E. Gogerty

At first, I was alone at the bottom of a dark pit. However, three others soon joined me, no women though. At first, I was content to wait for help at the bottom. In fact, the sorcerer put out signs warning of the pit. He also put out glowing signals asking for help. However, when two more people ended up in our predicament, it appeared that competent people were in short supply wandering this forest. If we waited much longer, there would be fifty people sitting at the bottom of this pit.

Luckily, one morning a group of soldiers marched by our camp. The four of us followed them, and missed seeing a grisly battle. We asked the guards to take us to their leader, and they complied.

However, Dwanye, the newest member of our group, must have had too much elvish parsley. The "king" twisted and gyrated his hips to the pleasure of the onlookers. He shouted something like "You ain't nuttin' but a hound dog!" which got a huge reaction. With his bedding in one hand, he grabbed a stone with the other. So, with a rock and a roll, he made his get away. Eventually, some guards told us that he left the building.

The remaining guards took the rest of us into the hall of the mountain king. Dwanye later joined us in an unconscious state. They claimed we were spies for the southern kingdom. Did we look like dwarves to them? I realize that Ranger Rex was a little small and dopey looking, but even he would not be confused for a dwarf. The peach fuzz that he calls a beard is a dead giveaway.

Cyrus spoke for the group, but he could not explain why a member of our group ran away. Furthermore, he was at a loss to explain why this member broke into the house of a former citizen who now lived in the southern city. Those actions to this kingdom seemed very suspicious. However, Dwanye in his state also could not explain his actions.

All except "the king of the north" explained their situations to the King of the North. While he was skeptical of our stories, he would consider what to do with us. A few guards escorted us into a small room outside the throne room. We were not there long. I still had my pants on when we reentered the presence of the Dwarven King.

By a unanimous vote of the king and his advisors, we were to be put to death. So much for telling the truth! I knew I should have made up a terrible tale of woe. If they would have let me tell each story for the group, they would have been weeping and lavishing riches upon us.

The king considered us for a while, and then told us his tale of woe. Naturally, I could have told it much better, but what are you going to do? After all, he was the king.

Centuries ago, there were two small mines run by two brothers. One was south of the great river and one was north. The mines contained abundant veins of gold. The two dwarves recruited others to join them in the mines. Each dwarf that joined them also became wealthy.

They opened up huge caverns beneath the mountains that eventually became thriving underground cities. The brothers proclaimed themselves kings of their underground realms. They were very happy, but they missed each other's company. Thus, they proclaimed that they would throw a festival every year in a town on the surface, so the two kingly brothers could converse.

This practice went on for many many years. However, the surface towns became uneasy about the invasion of the dwarven masses each year. The festivals became very dangerous for the dwarves of the underground mining towns. Further, the two brothers were becoming ancient and it was difficult for them to leave their realms.

The youngest sons of these two kings devised a scheme. Under the great river, they would dig a tunnel and connect the two cities. In the center of this tunnel, a great hall could be constructed for the gathering. Both sides greeted this plan with great enthusiasm and they quickly dug the tunnel.

Every year, they held their festival in this great hall. The kings and their citizens were very happy. The two brothers met at this festival until their deaths. In fact, the towns were so wealthy that they could hold the gathering several times a year.

After the deaths of the two kings, their successors continued the practice. However, the kingly cousins were not as much interested in conversing with their counterpart. Soon, the festival grew into a friendly competition between the two towns.

They had dwarfish beauty pageants and tunnel digging contests. They ran foot races. They had wrestling matches. However, the contests fueled the fire of competition between the towns. The two towns became rivals, and the competitions became much more heated.

Eventually, this rivalry erupted into a riot, which ended the festivals. The towns abandoned the great hall, and stripped it of all finery. Each town erected a strong gate to protect it from invading forces.

Nevertheless, the kingly cousins mounted excursions to test the defenses of the rival city. This resulted in the deaths of many dwarves. The cities spared no expense in the fortification and the armament of the Dwarven armies. Prosperity suffered as a result of their warrior ways. Mining the vast gold reserves took a second seat to proving their metal in battle.

When the cousin kings died, their heirs -- the current king of the northern town was one -- called for a truce. The two kings hired a young wizard who would live in the great hall and mediate disputes. This wizard would also remind the towns that mining was the path to greater wealth -- not war.

This plan was a great success until the wizard left the employ of the two kings. I think he means that the wizard escaped. Thus, the incursions have resumed as we almost witnessed.

The king was anxious to put things back to their peaceful ways. Thus, he gave us a choice. We could die on the chopping block, or we could bring back their wizard. It was quite a difficult choice, but I thought it was a fine bargain. Ranger Rex only thought about getting out of the caves, so he readily agreed.

Cyrus the sorcerer believed there was much more to the story than we were being told. Thus, he was reluctant to turn on one of his brethren. Not withstanding, he did agree to join us.

We offered them to keep Dwanye "king of the north" as a hostage. However, we appeared too eager to rid ourselves of this rogue. Thus, they made us take his unconscious body with us.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 5, 2007 5:00 PM.

"The Scout" - Chapter 4 was the previous entry in this blog.

"The Scout" - Chapter 5 is the next entry in this blog.

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