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Lhankor Mhy's Ink

- by Richard Fenner

- as told by Bodal Kellson,
Lhankor Mhy sage from Boldhome

Research, preparation, these are mandatory for success in any endeavour, I say. But organization of activities, even the mundane, allows you to react more effectively to the unforeseen which one cannot prepare for through study. It can even surmount the element of surprise an opponent may presume to possess. As an example I offer this story....

Studies were progressing particularly well, and analysis had shown assumptions to be correct. I was in the middle of transcription, luckily I was not required by the Ring to fight wars or to help quell disturbances of any nature. After working for an extended period, I paused for a short walk and stretch, such are the benefits of being productive. The western sky was painted varying shades of blue and was rather striking. A refreshing and gentle breeze swept across my as I returned to my duties.

Upon my return I noticed my quill was missing. Not on the desk or nearby, it simply was no where I would place it. The breeze was not strong enough to have carried it away, so someone else must have done the carrying. Whether it was theft or a joke I could not discern, but, theft of a quill? Hardly likely. I sat down, and produced another quill from the desk to continue my tome.

As supper drew near, I decided to perform a test. I started a fresh page, but filled it with important looking nonsense. I secured the parchment to the desk and took the quill with me. If the prankster was nearby, they may try again. I left for supper.

After a satisfying meal I returned to my desk. A good knowledge of the area around you is always useful. If something appears out of place, or the ordinary, you can spot it more easily. The missing parchment was easy, it was the test after all. However, surreptitiously scanning the area I noticed a new branch on the tree, and I knew that Eurmal was trying a prank on me.

Now, the best way to deal with a prankster is to give him no satisfaction. If he cannot bother you, you’ve stolen his fun and he will search out easier prey. Therefore, I decided to disappoint him as thoroughly as possible. Fortunately, the desk was a construction of Mostal, and was very much tied to our shared interest of Stasis. Large, heavy, resistant to change, I felt it was too difficult to be an easy target. The parchment and quills were already proven to be of little value to me by the days activities, only one thing was left, the ink in the inkwell.

When I received the gift, Mostal pointed out it would never run out of ink for me, a most thoughtful gift. Now I wondered if the magic was in the desk, or the ink. A prank on a prankster? Perhaps there is a better way to deal with them... no matter. I cast magic to protect the ink (knowing full well, pun intended, he would go for the ink) and retired.

There is a saying, ‘persistence is its own reward’, but it can also be its own punishment. And I knew it was the next morning when I heard Eurmal’s ‘sloshing’ while he tried to sneak away. Assuming he had drank for most of the time I slept, he should have drank enough to put out Lodril’s Fires. Anyone else would have burst, but not our gluttonous little jester. A quick examination of the ink well showed it to be topped up, indicating his failed attempts. Therefore I followed him. This, I hoped, would provide an answer as to the source of the ink’s bounty.

He walked for awhile, grumbling his displeasure over the night’s failed adventure. And after a time he came to the ocean. He decided he needed to unburden himself of the attempt’s result. I just about gave myself away when he recoiled at the blue colour when his ‘evacuation’ began. But he is, as we know, persistent, and he continued on, and on, and on... and on. There were times he thought he was finished, only to start all over again. And though the volume of the evacuation exceeded the intake, he continued on for a very long period indeed.

Eventually he grew tired of this, and declared he was done with it. In any case, does that answer your question as to why Eurmal’s urine is blue?

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June 9, 2000

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