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How Issaries Learned Mindspeech

- by Richard Fenner

- as told by Noh the Trickster,
Eurmali from the Gwandor

Y’know, most people don’t know how these wondrous abilities are gained. Most of ‘em are accidents, so of ‘em are gifts. The odd one is an accidental gift. Like Issaries, I didn’t mean for that to happen, honest. Now I never get any peace from the guy, even when he has to keep it shut.

Anyways, actions can have really unanticipated results, just follow me on this for a while....

“Uuunnhhh” (yawn), “is he done yet?”

“Hey, what do you mean, I could listen to him for hours” was the mellowed reply.

“Yeah, and he’d love to as well,” I never could understand what everyone heard in the guy, a flurry of words no one else had heard of, not even the scholars, and the whole crew were wrapped around every word. Especially those they didn’t understand.

I’d had enough and stole away. I was ready to rest and the loud mouth was going to on for a long while yet. Finding a spot where no one could see me I did what I wanted, and gave the walking word man what he deserved. An audience bored to sleep.

When I awoke his magic had finally worked on everyone else. They were all asleep. Not only did he distract them with his long tale, he then put them to sleep which meant less fun for me. Again.

Oh well, these are the times I get my best ideas. So I wandered around until I came to his place. Through the window I could see him sleeping, I heard him much sooner. He sleeps like a dog! Mouth open, tongue hanging out, making more noise than galloping horses. Like I said, these times I get my best ideas.

Sneaking into his room I made like a shadow, and got right up to him. Then I took it. He woke up.

“Got your tongue, got your tongue” I waved it at Issaries as I went for the door.

His response was the most eloquent I’d heard from him in a while, it went something like “blggrtgttg!”

Leaping out of bed to follow, the chase was on! Finally there was going to some excitement around here. Running through the entire stead I made certain that EVERYONE was woken up by his Wordiness, and the reassuring sound of “hrhmmrrmmy” being bellowed in the dust.

“Got your tongue, got your tongue!!” I don’t think he even thought about the sight of him in his “lovely” nightshirt, but everyone else was getting a good yuk at the sight.

We looped through the stead for a few minutes, I thought they ol’ guy would get tired, but he was too mad for that.

“Got your tongue, got your tongue!”

I hid in a barrel, ol’ Issy roared on by, where did he get that staff from? No matter.

When he stepped in some “unfortunately” placed cow dung on a corner I thought he was gonna take a tumble into Ernaldie’s berry containers, but you can’t have everything I guess.

When this got boring I headed out of town and began thinking about what I was gonna do with my latest prize. Zorak Zoran would probably pay a lot to eat it. Argan Argar would just pay a lot. So many choices. That’s when I ran straight into Orlanth.

Not part of plan.

“What’s the rush? What ARE you up to now?” By his bellow I’d say the visit with his brothers maybe wasn’t what he wanted, and he gets real grouchy when that happens.

“Just a little harmless fun, it just got in Issy’s way and now he’s out to get even. I guess he doesn’t like being upstaged, that’s all, but he’s sure to be after me so I gotta go!”

“Hold on there friend, Issaries will do you no wrong while I’m around. What did you do to get him going?”

“I uh... I... took something of his” I could feel him getting closer.

“Well give it back and I’ll guarantee you no harm from him.”

“I... I’ll give it back if he asks nicely, that will prove he’s not out to get me, and if I have your promise of protection. And he can’t talk you into hurting me afterwards either. I leave my fate to your justice, if he asks nicely.”

“Agreed” replied Orlanth.

Not long after this a ragged Issaries came upon Orlanth and I. I was feeling good about this, how could I loose?

When he saw me he raised the staff, readying a belt to try to loosen a few of my teeth I’m certain.

“Hold friend. I have negotiated the return of your stolen goods from Eurmal. As the Storm King I ask you to put your anger aside, after all, he was just being true to his own nature. As proof of your sincerity, ask him nicely for the return of your stolen goods, and I will see to his punishment then.”

Issaries was stunned. He opened his mouth to speak, but all that came out was “hhmmmpphhrrhhm”.

Now it was Orlanth’s turn to be stunned. Oh this was better than I thought it would be, so much better.

Issy pointed to his mouth and opened wide, and Orlanth saw the problem, “What, in the name of Lodril’s breath, happened to your tongue?” Yeah, it was bad.

Issy pointed at me.

I played dumb and shrugged. I think that’s when Orlanth started to figure it out, but he was caught, I had his word. Then I was caught, Orlanth really tightened the old grip and I wasn’t going to get away, at least not too easily.

Issaries had the idea to write it down, but I said that I couldn’t read and so would not understand his scribble. And without Mister FancyLips, they weren’t going to talk their way through this, no sir. I had them, I knew it, they knew it, what a perfect trick!

“ ‘There is always another way’ Ernalda says. So what is it?” Orlanth pondered.

I don’t know what Issy was thinking, but all of a sudden both Orlanth and I heard his voice clear as water in our minds. “Please give me my tongue back.” But his lips never moved!

If it hadn’t been such a shock I wouldn’t have given in so easy, but I returned the tongue to Issy (I can’t recall anyone ever being so happy putting tongue in their mouth) and prepared to leave.

“Hold on there, my light-fingered friend” said Orlanth. I had a real uneasy feeling about the tone of his voice.

“Oh yes, but you’re not going to hurt me, remember your words” I meekly stated. It never hurts to sound as pitiful possible, believe me, pride hurts a lot less than bruises and cuts. And it don’t scar. Words to live by.

“Oh I remember all that and more. Including some hides missing from Urox’s camp. Who was it that took those again, and promised not to do it again?”

Oops. This was gonna hurt....

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June 9, 2000

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