Mirrored from Sythyry.
Heen Sranac was a stout and tall Rassimel man with squirrel styling, wearing an intricately embroidered gown in the latest fashion of Creitheia, just as a master-couturier should. I felt a bit shabby in just my ribbons, which were fine for enchantment in private, but a bit meagre around the guild. We introduced ourselves and exchanged certain secret guild-signs and minor rituals that my oath utterly forbids me to describe because they are too secret and sacred, and, if I were not bound by oath, my literary sense would forbid me to describe because they are too petty and puny.
“Well, Master-Couturier Sythyry, I’m half-glad you’ve come to listen to me, and half-ashamed. But I offered to Master-Couturier Eleven that I’d take a truth-spell to prove my story. It was just a manner of speaking, like, for I’ve never heard of anyone actually going and doing it. But here you are, a wizard too, and now that you’re here to cast one, I’m not going to back out of my word like some numbled lick-splutter,” said Heen.
“Well, this is serious, if you’re asking for a truth-spell. You do know that that’s mind-magic? Which I am allowed by special dispensation of the Duke of Vheshrame to perform lawfully, but even I only do so with the greatest of reluctance and care?”
“Vheshrame? Why’s the Duke of Vheshrame got a say in it?” asked Eleven. “I thought you’d be asking the Mayor for it.”
“Kismirth is a city in the city-state of Vheshrame, Master-Couturier, and we are under the laws of Vheshrame as well as our own. This is an important point, and not to be neglected — though it rarely arises.” I am a bit prissy on this topic! I have been a citizen of Vheshrame since everyone else’s grandparents were children, and I care about it considerably. But many respectable citizens have never even visited Vheshrame, and know it only as a round blotch on the world-branch below us, and have, I believe, confused it with a particularly colorful bacterial infection.
Heen nodded, his wimple flapping a bit. “Yes, I know it’s a mind-spell. I do care a lot to have this all set aright. I’d rather suffer the spell — and pay for you to cast it — than to have anyone think that the Iluc guild’s libel is anything of true.”
“Well then. We shall have the guild-secretary write down your story, and you shall read it and correct it until you are sure that every word is true. Then I will cast one quick mind-spell to verify it. There are two choices. A Kennoc spell which reads your mind — and, being Kennoc, has some small chance of failing. Or a Ruloc spell, which compels you to tell the truth: no chance of failure if you accept the spell, but it is mind-control and no mistaking it. Which would you like?”
Heen flattened his ears. “You’re asking if I’d rather have a thumbtack put in my left eye or my right, Master-Couturier!”
I nodded. “The thumbtack is your choice altogether, Mas… Heen. If you don’t want it, we can use usual investigative processes.”
“Oh, I’ll take it, I’ll take it. And, if it’s really a question of which eye gets the thumbtack, one’s as bad as the other, so I’ll take the Ruloc spell and get the full confidence for no more Mentador,” said Heen.
“A brave choice!” I said.