Breakup [1 Lage 4385]
Phaniet paid for the Grace that she took.
Vae saved my friends as best she could instead of destroying Jinteros, despite Jinteros rather deserving it.
Rehit told me about his city's insidious plot against me.
Jyondre and Yerenthax saved a nearby village at the cost of considerable pain and effort of their own.
So I've got plenty of examples of good behavior all around me.
So, after considerable fretting and unhappiness, I decided to behave well myself. Finally.
Where by "well" I mean, of course, I mean "in a manner guaranteed to make my closest friend in Eigrach miserable, even if he kind of deserves it for cheating on his fiancé."
Accost Thenel at home. Give a nice present, break up, have one more round of farewell sex to persuade him it's not his fault we're breaking up even though it kind of is.
The Flaw in the Plan
Last time I tried it, I accidentally un-broke-up with him.
The Better Idea
The Worse Idea That I Considered
Write a letter, or stomp up and tell him. Unsatisfactory because I rather need Thenel's services. Not those services. He's one of the main people repairing my poor broken skyboat. He may be slow about it, but everyone else is slower.
Break up after the farewell sex. Too dismal to contemplate.
Have Phaniet arrange it. Even more dismal.
Actually Doing It
Bluelark -- which is to say, me in Orren form -- trotted to Thenel's workshop, where I waited the third of an hour until he was free from the clutches of a Herethroy merchant whose warehouse had sprung a leak.
Thenel: "Ah, Bluelark. What can I do for you?" He signalled to his secretary, who left the room. "Or are you here hoping for a bit of a hire?" (Recall that it is our convenient fiction that I am a prostitute indulging Thenel's tastes which are distasteful to his fiancé. Recall that we are roughly keeping the letter of that arrangement, but certainly not the spirit, which is really why I'm breaking up with him.)
Me: "Once more only, I'm afraid, for the weight of the doom upon me is quite heavy and distressing, and with all regret and sorrow I fear I cannot manage the Bluelark guise and the attendant complexities of dissimulation any more. Yet I would be honored beyond what I deserve if you accepted this talisman in memory of our shared stolen happiness, and our simpler and more public friendship."
"This talisman" being an experimental device in the form of a short rod with a ring on one end of amber I made some while back. It is simply a Wizard's Candle spell (sustained), but with all the power I could possibly manage at the time, which was considerable. I used it for advertising now and then, in decades when I needed advertising. It produces a light bright enough to dazzle the eyes, if you peer into it, and which lasts for more than a day. Not bad work, considering that one usually thinks of a Wizard's Candle (sustained) barely adequate for reading for a couple of hours before bed, and then going to sleep when it expires.
Thenel took the talisman, looking rather stunned.
Thenel: "Oh, why, Bluelark, why? Did I give you offense? Did I fail to satisfy? Did I bring you dishonor?"
Me: "No, none of those." (Except the last one, and that only among my friends.) "But my friends lie abed in Strayway, sorely wounded many times; and another friend is under a terrible curse; and our money is exhausted and I must labor and labor to replace it; and tending the nendrai more closely than I have been is very urgent, and on and on."
Thenel: "Oh, why, Bluelark, why? Do I pay you insufficiently? Did I violate some mysterious custom of the traff-folk of your distant and deep-historied homeland?"
Me: "Neither of those, Thenel. It is simply as I said: romance is more complex than I can bear at the moment."
Thenel: "Oh, why, Bluelark, why? Did I slip and blackmail you without realizing it, in the benighted and wicked custom of my own people?"
Me: "That you did not do, Thenel."
Thenel: "Oh, why, Bluelark, why? Must I be bereft and sorrow-laden?"
Me: "Thenel, you have your dear fiancé Rehit, you have the Orren woman who blackmails you so sweetly from time to time, you have the prostitutes who service your most peculiar desires. I am simply one among many whom you have enjoyed, and who has enjoyed you. I have been glad of the time I have spent entwined with you; but there must be no more of it past this afternoon."
Thenel: "Oh, why, Bluelark, why? Shall I never again behold such a tower of wizardly magnitude?"
Me: "You shall be working on Strayway more, or so I devoutly hope; you and Rehit shall be welcome guests there many more times; you shall observe plenty of wizardries."
Thenel: "Oh why, Bluelark, why? Must I observe your wizardries from afar, and then suffer the agonies of tight trowsers and over-eager privates?"
Me: "We have private rooms, some of them admirably equipped with pornography and other supplies, and you are welcome to use them alone if you wish." OK, I was getting a bit irritated by this point. The actual conversation, which I merely summarize here, had taken over an hour.
Thenel: "Oh why, Bluelark, why? Do Rassimel displease you, in the end?"
Me: "Not a bit. If you and Rehit come to me together and suggest an evening of private entertainment, I should be glad to accept... once my other matters are dealt with sufficiently." Which is a bit more than I intended to reveal, but I don't think he really got the point. He has, after all, never even vaguely imagined that transaffection could be carried out the least bit honestly.
Thenel: "Oh why, Bluelark, why? Why can I never again know your mighty-spelled embraces?"
Me: "You can, once more, this afternoon."
And I shoved him onto the couch and demonstrated. As a particular favor, I found a non-illuminating use for the talisman in the form of a short and smooth amber rod with a ring on one end. Not its primary function of course, but I have reason to believe that Thenel appreciates the aesthetics of body-play using such a powerful device nearly as much as he appreciates the aesthetics of body-play with a powerful wizard.
The actual flaw in the plan. Crying. Lots of crying. And regrets. It's not as if we need to break up today; tomorrow would do just as well for most purposes. And the day after nearly as well as that. (Yet it must be done sometime, I think, and eventually one of those tomorrows must be today.)
Afterwards -- and it took a long time, we kept getting distracted and/or losing turgor due to crying and other emotional exclamantions -- we washed and dressed, facing away from each other. He waved me out without a further word.
I didn't feel like being publicly sobby in the streets, so I extravagantly spent a cley to teleport to the gate, and then another one to teleport home.
That went better than I expected. No blackmail anyways, and he didn't persuade me not to dump him.
And it really is the right thing to do ... I should never have taken up with him in the first place. Lying to his fiancé is really unacceptable, and more so given that his fiancé is also one of our greatest friends and allies in Eigrach. And the cultural discord is great: a clandestine traff affair in the Eigrach style, fuelled by blackmail, is so alien and uncomfortable that it doesn't appeal to me a bit.
But I am going to spend some while more moping in a fireplace, and then find a wrongfolk or two with a nice dry shoulder, and sit on it, and mope in a more public way.
Some century I may learn how to have a private life. Not this one, evidently.