The Lost Wizard
Jaime the Bard - Third Tale
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Our wizard quarry used a love potion on someone? That takes the challenge completely out of it. Personally, I would have burned incense under soft candle light. I would have spoken soft words and perhaps recited some poetry. If they were still unbending to my desires, I would just get them drunk.
In any event, we have a lead with which to follow up. In order for the guild to take action, someone must file a complaint with a local magistrate. While the information obtained from the Mages' Guild was short on details, the magistrate's office should have the details of the incident. That is, if their records go back that far.
Seeing as we were old hands at wandering around this city, we easily found our way into the record's office. With my great way with people, the group decided that I should speak with the local officials. Since I was given the task of speaking with the gentleman, I entered alone with the rest of the group waiting outside.
The magistrate on duty was a kindly old man. If we knew the age of dirt, he would perhaps exceed it in age. I gave him a friendly smile and greeted him warmly. After several kind words with the magistrate on duty, he informed me that records that old would have been destroyed long ago. They simply did not have the space to store records that long. However, he had a vague recollection of the incident.
Naturally, he told me about his son's neighbor who did business with a butcher whose daughter was married to the cousin of the cabinetmaker who did work for the party involved. It was quite a long and twisted tale involving commoners and royalty, love, intrigue, and betrayal. It was standard melodrama faire. I probably should have paid more attention to the details. In any event, it all involved the King and Queen of Miz and their daughter.
As best I could, I relayed the tale to the rest of the group. I may have enhanced it a bit. Well, since I remembered very few details of the original, I may not have been far off the original. All of those tales are essentially the same. I could not remember if the original had a dragon and a wicked stepmother, so I had no choice but to include those elements.
After this brief mission of discovery, we gathered our things and headed toward Miz. As we journeyed towards this town, we pressed Cyrus for more information on this town from which he hailed.
Miz was never a major metropolitan area. Its geography limited its size and access. However, it was a favorite vacationing spot of one of the kings of the realm. When the imperial powers consolidated many of the kingdoms, this king exiled himself to Miz. Presumably, he did this to avoid execution of himself and his family.
Thus, while he thought of himself as a king and his children as princes and princesses, the titles were meaningless. As it turns out, the princess we were after was simply a daughter of some notable nobles. She had no claim to any imperial or kingly authority.
Perhaps from the story I told, the rest of the group got the impression that our wizard gave the love potion to this nobleman's daughter to make her fall in love with him. Further, the parents got wind of this plot and had the reputation of the wizard destroyed. Thus, he had to make a living in obscurity under the direction of some Dwarven overlords.
I told a wonderful tale, if I do say so myself. Some of it may even come close to the mark. I did stave off some possible criticism by reminding them that everything said was relayed from the recollection of a very ancient man.
Even with Ranger Rex sniffing every flower and examining every broken twig, the journey from Giland to Miz was uneventful. With Imperial power holding sway in this area, brigands preying upon travelers were rare. Traveling the roads was relatively safe; however, only seasoned adventurers should wander off the roads.
Since town officials ordered the Wizard of Miz -- er -- Sorcerer Cyrus -- not to enter the town without the princess, we made camp just outside of town. The plan was to leave Cyrus in camp while the rest of us gather information about the wizard and the princess in Miz.
The townspeople here were more willing to speak to us. Few remembered Deffrey Jackard. However, many knew his story, and the old man got it all wrong. His memory must be failing him. He missed so many details.
The old king had a son and four daughters. The son got himself in trouble with the Imperial powers and has been away from Miz for many years. The eldest daughter now calls herself the Queen of Miz. The missing princess was either her daughter or her niece. Many believed that the girl was actually born from the youngest of the old king's daughters. In any event, she is the missing princess. The townspeople were unclear on who her mother and father were.
The old man also got the story of the love potion wrong. From speaking to people around town, the old King's youngest daughter fell in love with the wizard the old-fashioned way. There was no magic involved. However, the old queen would not have her daughter getting involved with some commoner.
Apparently, our wizard gave the love potion to the mother. Thus, she removed opposition to the bond. However, her reversal of mind raised suspicion with the old king. The old king's investigators discovered the plot, which led to the wizard's removal from the Mages' Guild. This story was completely different from the one the old man told.
The townsfolk told an inconsistent story after this point. The youngest daughter dies and a child appears. Some believe that she died giving birth to the child while others believe it was the new queen's daughter. Some stated that the wizard killed the daughter so no one could have her and implanted his seed in the new queen. There were many tales, and few were consistent.
In any event, the child grew up but had a tumultuous time of it. She was often in trouble and was completely unmanageable. Thus, she eventually earned herself banishment into the Forest of No Return. Is it a misnomer if you return from the Forest of No Return? That is what happened.
She returned from the forest, but she had no recollection of events that transpired within the forest. She was changed, and she appeared to have amended her wild ways. However, she gradually became moody and one day she ran away.
Since they were naturally suspicious of all magic users, they rid themselves of an awful menace by sending a resident sorcerer out to look for her. I wonder whom they mean by that. They have heard nothing. There have been no progress reports. We have been the only ones asking about her since she vanished.
While I was ready to stay in an inn in town, the rest of the group thought we should join Cyrus at the camp. I thought about arguing the point, but relented. We walked back to camp and told the story to our sorcerer as told to us by the townspeople. He too remarked that it was very different from the version told to me by the old man.
He asked about the dragon and the evil stepmother. I related to him that perhaps one or the other was responsible for the death of the youngest daughter. Nevertheless, in the morning, we would have to determine our next course of action.