Blood Dance in the Dust Bowl
From the view of Gregory
“Mutt! Mutt!” Gregory called through his house. With no fanfare, Mutt appeared in front of him. “Ah, there you are. Sit here I have a story to tell you. No, I’m not letting you tell it,” Gregory addressed Dominic, “You’ll muck it up. Now, Mutt, listen here.
Once upon a time there was an arrogant, pretentious, bastard of a magician who had been called upon by his ruler to retrieve a powerful object from enemy hands. The magician toiled tediously, creating very precise and powerful magicks but could not find where the object was hidden. Time was growing short. Soon the enemy would figure out how to use the object and that would be very bad for the ruler’s people.
But, then, it just so happened that twin prophets had arrived in town. Although, it is doubtful that anything ‘just so happens’ where prophets are involved. The twins made their greetings to the ruler and were pressed into service in search of the object. The ruler had a piece of this object and handed it to one of the prophets. The twin was beset by a violent vision that destroyed a part of the ruler’s ballroom. The vision showed him where the object was, a feat the most powerful magicks had failed to do. The ruler and magician listened closely as the prophet relayed a most confounding message, which made perfect sense if you thought about it. It did not take long for the prophet to pinpoint the location, however, and they were able to retrieve the object from their enemy before the enemy could employ it.
That could have been the end of the story and all would have been happier for it. But, the arrogant magician couldn’t let well enough lie and one of the twins was all too happy to work with the bastard. The magician was sure a more disciplined mind could relay a vision more precisely – so concerned with precision that magician. He concocted a ritual to allow him to see the vision just as the prophets did without the barrier of the prophets’ interpretation. Both twins knew this was folly, but one knew the magician needed a lesson in humility and insisted they participate. (He regrets this decision only a little and maintains that the lesson was necessary).
The magician made ready and the prophet called down a vision. It redirected to the magician and he then learned that it’s not the mind that clouds the vision, but the vision that clouds the mind. And the magician’s mind was very much not ready to handle the experience. It fractured and a lie the magician had once thought, ran along the lines of the fractures and filled them up. This lie became a truth for him. He had once suspected that the prophets had stolen secrets from the magician’s people. Now the suspicion was all the magician could think about. He would stop at nothing to find out how the prophets stole the secrets they didn’t steal. The prophets fled. Now, they were never very good at hiding, so it was worrisome when the magician didn’t immediately track them down, but the bastard had plans in the works, nefarious plans.
The twins, meanwhile, argued about what to do. One regretted their part in breaking the magician’s mind and wanted to try to fix him. The other thought they should stay far away, for whatever good it would do. When the magician sent word of a truce to the prophets, his trap was obvious. Still, the one twin decided to use this as an opportunity to reach out to the magician. The prophets only understood the true evil of the magician’s plan when they set foot in the trap. The bastard magician sapped the well intentioned prophets’ power and strength. He did this slowly, trying to wrench out a false confession. However, the broken magician didn’t account for the prophets’ other ability (what ability this was, is unimportant) and was struck with the ritual knife, wielded by an unseen hand. His blood freed the prophets who used the last of their strength to try to fix his mind and to call for help. What became of the bastard magician afterwards, the prophets didn’t know. The knife wound could not have felled him, but their visions have yet to reveal anything.”
Mutt whimpered at the end of the story, his expression concerned. Gregory scratched Mutt’s head comfortingly.
“Don’t worry yourself too much, Mutt. I’m sure wherever he is, the magician is not so highly regarded anymore by the other magicians."