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I Want My Tears Back

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GM

 

"I do not know you at all, mortal." The King answered swiftly, not bothering to look away from the content. "You could be a trickster in disguise, for all I know."

 

He fell silent, staring at the two cups. One to show his glory, or one to mock him. The surrounding court held their breath, as their king made his choice. One hand, impossible long moved slowly towards the table, finally picking the wooden cup. 

 

"Behold, the glow and shine of the tears. Not even a cup as mundane as this can diminish my glory."

 

He picked the cup, and held it up above his eyes. He tipped it, a drop falling in each, then the cup was empty. And he stood silent.

 

The court still held their breath.

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Lament

 

"A real trickster would not be in disguise!" replied Lament, a statement that was either nonsensical or wise, or quite possibly both.

 

"An excellent choice, your majestic majesty, I am quite sure you have chosen correctly!" he lied, for to his mind it 'twas a flip of a coin. True, he would have chosen the same, but one never could tell for sure, and 'twas but one of three possibilities. 

 

"Perhaps, your regalness, I might see if tears would flow? Mayhap you are familiar with the works of Mr. Shakespeare? The lamentations of Romeo, perhaps?"

 

 

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GM

 

The King looked down on Lament. There was something different about his eyes. They seemed to shine. Not with tears, not yet, but they were different. And not necessarily for the better.

 

"Yes. A test will suffice. After all, I have made the correct choice, with the options present. If these are not my tears, then clearly, you will have brought me a replacement, or a forgery." There was an edge to his word, and a clear threat. "But I tire of Shakespeare. You are far from the first to present such an idea. I crave something different, something new. So please, bard. Show me that these are my tears. Complete your end of the bargain."

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GM

 

"Of course, your Kingliness!" said Lament, humble and modest in his bow. "I would, as I am sure you know, not give you replacement, for there could be no such replacement for a King's tears, and I would not give you forgery, for no such forgery would fool your Kingly senses!"

 

"Now then, Sir, what form of entertainment seek ye?" he asked. "Or mayhap it is not entertainment you seek. What would you feel now, if you saw the lamentations of children? Perhaps we should see the children you stole? See what stirs in your heart then?"

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GM

 

The king scoffed, dismissively waving his hand at Lament. "The plight of mortal children does not give me pause, bard." He strode to his throne, sitting heavily in the seat, then gestured with his hand again, waving it a few times towards Lament. "Entertain me. Show me why you of all people could draw such crowds of mortal, show me why you could bring the Bog Lady to help you. Show me the tale of all that had happened on this very long night!"

 

His request was simple. But would the great Zombo be able to meet it?

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Lament

 

A callous and cruel heart!

 

But nevermind, he surpressed his anger. Part of him wanted to take the King over his knee and give him a jolly good spanking. Perhaps he would, one day. But not here, not now. This was his territory, and his court. He was fairly sure that the King would be no pushover, even one on one. 

 

"Very well then, oh great and powerful King!"

 

He cleared his throught. How to elicit tears? or maybe just to entertain???

 

He took a pipe from a nearby elf and started playing an ominous lament. This was not his instrument of choice, but it would verily set the mood. 

 

In a flash, he turned into the great ZOMBO! voodoo magician and terrifically terrifying. 

 

"Behold! As I summon the spectres of the underworld!"

 

Of course, he had the skill, but he chose to add a little void magic. Illusions of spectral skeletons arose from the ground. 

 

"Now then! Pick a card...any card!!!"

 

And so the show began!

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GM

 

The Elf King was given pause, even if for but a moment, as ZOMBO! began his show! The pipe was played, and with great skill too, even if it were not Lament's usual instrument! The King's face was unreadable, even as the spectral skeletons rose from the grave. Was he impressed? The opposite? Or did he not care for the music and show at all?

 

The slightest hint of a bend in the corner of his lips appeared, and he pointed out to the card in the very middle. "That one."

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Lament

 

"An excellent choice! A Kingly choice! The great ZOMBO approves. And now! I call upon the spirits of the nethereverweather realms, where the mysterious mysteries of mysterion do mysteriously mysterize!"

 

The illusionary skeletons danced liked puppets on a string to emphasise the point. 

 

"Remember that card, Oh King, for it will soon traverse to the realms of the DEAAAAAAD!" he rumbled. 

 

He offered the pack of cards to the king, "please shuffle your kingly card into this card!"

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GM

 

The King looked at the cards with obvious disdain in his eyes. Oh, there was feeling there, that was sure, but perhaps not the one that Lament had hoped for. Or perhaps it was just what he had hoped for? At any rate, he motioned for one of the guards, who came over. "Take the cards and shuffle them." He was above such lowly actions, it seemed.

 

The guard complied. His hands moved swiftly as he shuffled the cards. Faster than most human eyes would be able to follow. Once done, he handed the cards back to the Sultan of Sorrow. "There." The King said, pointing to the cards. "Continue."

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Lament

 

Lament's eyes were only human (ish) but he could tell the signs of a snatch, a pocketing of a card, when he saw one. 

 

"Excellent, you madge!" he said, not missing a beat. He had dealt with all sorts of situations as Zombo! and he knew a thousand tricks and adaptations. 

 

And he could use that. 

 

"Now then, ladies and gentlemen, lords and ladies! I send this park of cards TO THE UNDERWORLD!!!!!"

 

He held the pack of cards in one hand, then quickly smashed his hands together. Boom! The pack of cards was gone!

 

The illusionary skeletons gasped. 

 

In reality, of course, the pack of cards was up his sleeve. But no need to let that show. 

 

"Now then! Only a KINGLY card could return from the realms below! Only a KINGLY CARD could possibly have the NOBILITY! THE GRACE! THE---WILL! to return to the land of the living!" he called to the audience. 

 

The skeletons shrieked in a terror. Clouds of ethereal vapour rose from the ground like a spectre. 

 

He opened his hands. 

 

"WHAT!!!? no card!" he gasped, face full of fear and desperation. 

 

"My King! My King! Please! I can explain!" he said falling on his knees, and hands together. 

 

Of course, he knew exactly where the card was, but let them experience the drama!

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GM

 

There was a hint of a smile, the tiniest wrinkle of the corner of the King's lips, as Lament threw himself on his hands and knees. Was it the show that took him in, that caused even the sliver of this reaction, or was it Lament, as he threw himself in the dirt and dust, lamenting his failure? It was difficult to say. Outright impossible, even! 

 

But the Elf King's response was swift. He gestured to the same guard, pointing towards Lament. "I am sure that you can. Your kind is quick with explanations. Did you even retrieve my tears? Or was that a failure as well?" 

 

The guard's smile was more showing, milk-white teeth visible between his lips. "On your feet," he commanded, reaching down to pull Lament up.

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Lament

 

Lament got to his feet, initially with despair, then springing to excitement. 

 

"But wait!" he said to his audience. 

 

The illusionary golems took on startled, dramatic poses. 

 

"In fact, such a magnificently elvish cards would not come back to my hands, would they sir! No! I would not insult you so. Instead...."

 

He pointed at the elf who had snaffled the card away. 

 

"They return from the NETHER REALM UP YONDER SLEEVE!" he concluded, pointing at the elf and the sleeve in question. 

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GM

 

The Elf guard paused. His eyes were wide. Had he been caught, or was the mortal simply buying time? He could not let a mortal such as this shame him, or be the one to deliver the king from his lament, could he?

 

"You heard the king! Get out of here before he decides to do worse!" the guard tried, only to be silenced by a gesture from the king. The smile was growing.

 

"If my guard will not check his sleeve himself, then by all means, help yourself mortal." The tone of his voice was shifting, ever so slightly.

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Lament

 

"Of course! By the morphin' might of power! By the skull of greypower! Thy card I do summon!"

 

He fluttered his fingers in front of the gaurd, to distract him, then with a whip of his hand, pick pocketed the card from his sleeve with a most theatrical flourish. 

 

"Your majesty, be this your card?" he asked, bowing the deepest bow that one could bow without cracking one's sacrum, and holding the card in front of his royal Elvishness. 

 

It better be...or I'm in real trouble!

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

The guard gasped audibly, taking a step back. "My king! This man is clearly a skilled magician! To trick even me, with my eyes! It is a wonder!" 

 

The King let out a single laugh. "Ha!" No tears, not yet. But emotion. A beginning, perhaps? "Well done, bard!" The last word was more praise than mockery now. "That is indeed my card! Found skillfully, despite my guard's interference!"

 

He waved the guard off. With a bit of a sullen look, the guard moved away, before the King spoke once more. "Continue!"

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Lament

 

Whoa! This is a tough audience! although he was beginning to make headway. Even if a little. 

 

Now, what next?

 

Unfortunately, a magician often needed preparation and props for his stagecraft. But not for everything. He was working under difficult circumstance, but that only made him more determined. Lament was not a character to lose his cool. At least, not when it came to showmanship. 

 

"Pearls! And children!" he suggested. "Perhaps you have both for my next trick?" he asked the King. 

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GM

 

Even if the king had not been moved to more than a smirk, chuckles and laughter could be heard from his court. Lament was making progress, at the very least!

 

"Aye, I do." Yet more feeling was return to the king, it seemed. His words were not just harsh and cold. There were a hint of mirth, an unspoken question. Maybe even a hint of excitement for what the Master of Melancholy was planning? "But why do you need them? The children were your prize, and not your prop, as far as I recall our bargain."

 

The other guards seemed to stand at ready. The first one seemed to perk up, his spear tightly gripped in his hand. 

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Lament

 

"They were indeed my prize, and my pride they where indeed" replied Lament, not missing a beat. "This is not a bargain, but a request. You wish to feel your tears, and you wisely though that childrens tears might work"

 

Wise, but cruel. Something to think but not say aloud. At least, not yet. 

 

"Now, you and I test if your tears are returned. What better way than with children?" questioned Lament. "The best instrument to play on, the best tune to sing! And, of course, I do not necessarily ask for the children that might be my prize, but merely any children. It struck me that the children you have already would be the most convenient, of course!"
 

"Bold I may be, your madgesticness, but to use your children as a prop does not mean they are mine, it merely means that they are the cards to perform with. I might borrow your handkerchief, or your crown, for a trick, but it would not mean that they become mine!"

 

 

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GM

 

The King seemed to think about it. His expression was unreadable. Would Lament succeed? Or would he fail. Eventually, the King made his decision.

 

"You." He pointed at the guard that had tried to hide Lament's card. "Fetch your children. They will do for this show."

 

The guard looked shocked, but complied. While he was gone, the King smiled sweetly at Lament. "Yes, any child will do, will they not? Now, show me the tunes you can play on these children."

 

And he gestured towards the guard as he returned, a bundle in each arms. Twins, from the looks of it. To a human, they were maybe a few months old. For an Elf? Who knew.

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Lament

 

Not ideal, but no disaster!

 

Work with what you have!

 

"Perfect!" he lied "Now then, children, are you prepared to see some....MAGIC!"

 

The illusionary skeletons rattled in excitement. 

 

LAment did not stop for an answer. "Great King, does the joy of children seem a suitable measure for tears?" he asked, trying to get him more engaged. 

 

"Children, do you love your king! For methinks he is the most kingly king there is! I can almost smell his kingishness!"

 

....

 

"AAAAHHHH......."

 

".....CHOOOO!"

 

From his nostrils, two pearls dropped. 

 

"Goodness me! It must be the effect of sniffing so much kingishness!" he decleared. "Now then children...could you give a big sniff and see if you can sniff the Kingisgness of your king?" he asked them. 

 

And he prepared, in his hands, the sleight of hand needed to whisk pearls out of their nostrils. 

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