Chapter 14: Why We Need a Wizard

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“I was wrong,” Ailbhe said. “This is definitely worse. I’m sorry for not listening to you, Iain.”

“Just get him off me!” the ‘serk said, pushing at Seamus to keep him at arm’s length.

She grabbed the bard from behind and hauled him off. “I’ve got some rope in my pack. And some cloth you can make a gag out from.”

“Mmm, I’d love for you to tie me up,” Seamus said as Iain dove for Ailbhe’s pack. “But first, I need your clothes so I can re-dye them. They just don’t work for you like this. On second thought, just take off your clothes.” He grinned in what he probably thought was a sexy and mischievous way. It made him look constipated.

Thankfully Iain got the rope around him and the gag into his mouth before the bard could embarrass himself further. “So what are we going to do now?” the ‘serk asked.

“My vote is for finding the wizard and forcing him to fix Seamus,” Ailbhe said. “Technically this is all kind of his fault anyways.”

Iain facepalmed. “Why the hell didn’t we do that in the first place?”

“I only just now thought of it, and besides, throwing stuff in a pot is way easier than tracking down a guy who can move around by magic,” she said.

“Very true. So how are we going to find him?” Iain asked.

“I think we’re just going to have to go with what we know. The guy wanted us to keep a dragon..busy,” she said and made a face. “The most likely explanation for that is he wants something from the dragon’s hoard.”

“So we find the wizard if we find the hoard,” he said.

“Exactly.”

Finding the hoard was easy, getting to it was another matter entirely. The dragon had Ciardhe at the entrance to its cave. They were looking for another way in when the wizard appeared in front of them.

“Oh! Is the dragon around?” the wizard asked as he hurriedly shoved a gold encrusted tome under his robes.

“Yeah, but Ciardhe is keeping it busy for now. We were looking for you for a different reason,” Ailbhe said.

“Is your friend in trouble?” he asked, adjusting his spectacles.

“Not the one you’re thinking of; Seamus, not Ciardhe,” Iain said.

“Oh, well then it’s going to cost extra if it doesn’t have to do with the dragon,” he said.

Ailbhe snorted. “It’s got to do with the dragon alright.”

“How do you figure?” the wizard asked.

“He saw what Ciardhe and the dragon were doing,” the ‘serk said.

“Why would that make me responsible?” he asked, one eyebrow raised.

A sly smile stole over Ailbhe’s face. “They’re right over there,” she said, nodding towards the cave entrance. “Why don’t you go take a look?”

He grunted in a very un-wizard like fashion and went to see what was going on. Iain frowned after him.

“How the hell are you still a paladin?” he asked. “You just sent a man to-”

“OH GOD, MY EYES!”

“Well, now he knows exactly how it’s his fault,” she said.

Iain made a face. “He’s clawing out his eyes; should we stop him?”

“Nah, if he wants to go all Oedipus on himself, let him,” she said. “I can probably heal him later.”

“You want him to do his mother?” Iain said as a gout of fire erupted into the air.

“No, put out his eyes. The mother thing was before that,” she said.

The wizard staggered back towards them, blood streaming down his face. His moans were drowned out by the dragon’s roar, though.

“That’s not what people remember him for, though,” Iain said.

“Most people, you mean,” Ailbhe grinned as she cast a healing spell on the wizard. “I totally remember him putting out his eyes.”

Iain facepalmed. “I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Look, if you tell someone the wizard pulled an Oedipus they’re going to think he’s doing his mother.”

“Fine.” She prodded the wizard. “What’s your name?”

“Fandango,” he moaned.

The ‘serk made a face. “Fan..dango?” he asked, disbelief dripping from his voice.

“My parents hated me,” he said.

“Great, then it’s settled,” the paladin said. “When someone puts out their own eyes on purpose, they’re pulling a Fandango.”

Iain facepalmed. “That’s not..you know what, sure, why not?”

“Marvelous, let’s get Fanny over to fix Seamus,” she said.

Each grabbing an arm, the two part members led the still gibbering wizard to where the bard was. Despite still being tied to the tree, flamboyant, rainbow stripes now decorated the ropes that held him. Seamus had a smug look on his face.

“For the love of…”

Ailbhe waved a couple of herb sachets under the wizard’s nose. “We made a tea of these.”

Fandango blinked a couple times before he seemed to realize what she’d said. After scrutinizing the packets for a moment a look of confusion stole over his face. “I think you turned your bard gay,” he said.

Both Ailbhe and Iain facepalmed. “Really?” the ‘serk asked in a mock astonished voice.

The paladin rolled her eyes. “You don’t say. Would you please hurry up and fix him?”

“Give me a minute, would you?” the wizard said. “I just need to…” He paused and looked over at Seamus. The bard was now wearing leather instead on his usual garb. “Are you sure these were all you gave him. He’s reacting like there’s some other strong magic affecting him.”

Glancing at Iain, Ailbhe cleared her throat. “Well there was the Coffee of Macho,” she said. “It’s a treasure item. We got it from some demons we killed.”

The wizard gasped. “Demonic magic? We’re in terrible danger!” he cried. “Just kidding.”

“Yeah, demonic magic doesn’t affect paladins,” Ailbhe said. “Anyway, you can fix him, right?”

As he rolled up his sleeves, Fandango grinned. “Yeah.”

Plumes of smoke rolled from the man’s sleeves, encircling and clinging to the bard. Its thick grey countenance became an opalescent purple.

“Well that’s new,” Ailbhe muttered.

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