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Notable Magical Disasters II [21 Trandary 4261]
Reverend Thacomistle of Dalgolyr was a Mentador mage of the fifth century, and many of the more pernicious Mentador spells are attributed to her. At that time, Paingang's lessons being taught in Cyarrgone were not fully learned -- which is to say, Mentador was generally regarded at that time as a useful but minor Noun, rather than the very insidious Noun that we know it to be today. Indeed, Rev. Thacomistle had a substantial part in teaching us just how wicked and pernicious it is.
Rev. Thacomistle was an inventer of pattern spells. She specialized in the simple yet obnoxious. Left Hand Wrong Hand leaves the victim moving and acting to the left when he means the right and vice versa -- a thoroughly annoying thing to do to a swordsman, especially one pursuing you through city streets, and Rev. Thacomistle had several occasions to use it that way in her later years. See the Traitor's Price reveals to the caster what bribe the victim would find suitable -- and Humiliating Defeat of the Greedy Traitor, much harder, makes the victim believe himself to have just received that bribe. It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful makes the victims -- and there will be many, for it is an area spell -- very eager to continue doing what they are doing.
Well, Rev. Thacomistle was no Paingang to seize power in a whole city and rule it by force of magic. Rev. Thacomistle did, however, consider it advisable to test all her spells, preferably a few times, preferably on people who would exhibit strong and clear reactions. (This is a crucial part of polishing a pattern spell, of course.) Which was only so annoying with, say, See the Traitor's Price. But, when she was an elderly and cranky and rather berserk sorceress, Rev. Thacomistle invented Head Firmly Under Tail, which strongly but temporarily reverses all the victim's loyalties and opinions of people. If cast with Sustenoc, which Rev. Thacomistle saw no reason not to do, it does last for some days.
Paingang, who had had some minor technical difficulties with a certain technical imperfection of It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful, urged Rev. Thacomistle to test Head Firmly Under Tail thoroughly before she gave him his copy. Rev. Thacomistle, helpful to the last, did so. History does not record why she chose the Duke's favorite husband, who was also his spymaster. There is some reasonable conjecture why she chose the head of the Healers' Guild (who had objected to certain of her previous experiments) and the Rassimel who replaced her in the affections of the chief of the city guard.
These experiments evidently succeeded.
After such knowledge, Rev. Thacomistle found it advisable to leave Dalgolyr quickly and sneakily.
Rev. Thacomistle found herself awaited at the city gate. The guards did not see her. But she could tell they were looking for her -- they were talking about it.
She cast It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful on the guards, with Sustenoc, and with a Grace of Birkozon. No city guard was going to resist that! And they did not. They continued to discuss watching out for her, as they were going to do for days and days -- or what would have been days and days if she hadn't used a Grace. With the Grace, weeks and weeks.
But such a magical exertion alerted everyone in the whole city. She needed a more subtle disguise... She was well-known for Mentador, but of course had tolerable skill in other things as well. She became a heavy horse, and snuffled lazily through the gate -- the guards were pointing out in great detail and length how important it was to keep an eye out for her, as she wandered between them -- and took a few bites of grass from the roadside, for extra verisimilitude. She was determined to act like a very actual horse.
No city guard was going to resist her It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful, not cast with a Grace of Birkozon.
It is doubtful that anyone could have resisted her It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful, cast with a Grace of Birkozon.
She certainly didn't.
Well, the townsfolk found means of extracting the guards from the gate, and feeding them so they would not starve as they discussed how important it was to catch Rev. Thacomistle for several weeks.
And Rev. Thacomistle was quite determinely acting like a very normal horse. Of course, she was still reeking with fairly powerful Corpador magic, as well as the Mentador spell, so the townsfolk were fairly sure it was her.
Their revenge was extremely harsh. They let her do exactly what she wanted, until the It's So Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful wore off. She pulled and plowed and labored and worked and generally heavy-horsed with utter determination.
"The term of her transformation lasted a week in late Hivvem. The mental effect lasted through Trandary," said Prof. Ili. Half the class -- the half that seems to know horses -- looked thoroughly pained. I am quite sure I don't want this explained.
Amazingly enough, she survived. Nowadays we have laws to punish such wicked use of Mentador magic suitably, but then they did not -- and, since they were evidently close by to Paingang at the height of his powers, and he favored Rev. Thacomistle, they dared not kill her or mistreat her more than she had mistreated herself.
She did mistreat them after she recovered, and quite thoroughly too, but that is outside the scope of this essay.
And I was supposed to write some conclusions for this, but I made the mistake of working on the stove, in a puddle of sunlight. Ordinarily I wake up when the levitation spell gives up and sends my writing-board (which doubles as a chopping-board from the kitchen) crashing to the ground, but this time I did not. Narngi, who was over to have dinner with Havune, had to awaken me two hours later. With a frying pan.
OOC: Today's art is brought to you courtesy of Kim Liu.