All images (C) Lockey.

Or, how the Red mage left his place in the Plain of Mists and Crags and the favor he did for a friend beforehand….

Ayeesha, the Sorcoresso you’re leaving us now?”
      The sorceress Ayeesha asked this, directing it towards the slightly portly, red clad mage, who was loading his small boat with the bulk of his savings for a long trip away from the island of the Mist’s gift in the Plain of Mists and Crags.
     The mage nodded.
     The Isle of “Mist’s Gift” was an ancient town built into a large rock jutting out of the misty sea.  It was surrounded by smaller and thinner towers of rock, the largest of which was connected to the main islet by a drawbridge, for it was the only one with an easy connection to the sea by way of a carved staircase.  There were thirty mages co-existing in a very loose Mage’s cabal.  A few dozen others, servants, familiars, sentient pets, constructs, and a random mistress or two added to make a minimalist community.
      The mages did not claim political power in that island, and not one of them even knew who had first owned it, or who had first built it.  They simply had all the money and influence.  Besides hiring their majick out, they earned much in trade by carefully milking the roots of the very slow to mature five-leafed Hervor plants that, as far as anyone could tell, only grew on this island, and were of much use in medicine.
     The Sorceress continued, “I had hoped that it was just a temporary goal that you were going to supplement for something better.”
     At this, the mage paused and looked at Ayeesha.  He was, of course, unable to avoid staring at her body.  Although this island was one of the chilly ones, Ayeesha had a magick ring in her navel that radiated an aura of warmth when necessary.  Her beauty was unignorable, given her tight robes that showed off her tall, strong body with pale skin contrasted by dark black hair.  Even her large breasts were natural and full and he had to force his eyes above them.  He knew that she loved this power she had over the other mages, all male, on this island.
     “Well, it’s not as if I’m giving up my tenure here, at least yet.” The mage said in polite defense, “I needed to take a vacation anyways.”
     “But why Crag City of all places?  Sure it’s a big trading city, but it’s a wretched hive of scum and villany, even compared to Misttown and Oceanport.  I know, I’ve been there recently.”  There seemed to be nothing in her face, other than her polite friendliness.  She was quite competent as a sorceress, but used her feminine wiles to exert a subtle control over all the male sorcerers in this small isle.
     “Why does she care?” he thought, “She’s only let me bed her once.”  And once was all it took for him to constantly think of her and to do little chores for her.  All she had to do was take a nice tone and show her busom slightly and they were all rushing to help her on this isolated island.
     “It’s the city of my birth.”  Woodbead said at last, “I used to be from one of the noble families, but got banished.  The banishment is over, and I want to see what was my home again.”
     She laughed, not in mockery, but in some amused realization.  She then sat down on some rocks, somehow able to show off more of her body while keeping a modest pose.
     “I just like talking to you now and again, most of our brothers are more ‘out of it’ than we are.  It does get lonely being the only woman, after Talatha left with Darkor.”
     Of course, an island with 29 male mages, most still within the age to lust after women, would get some interesting frustrations.  This, the elder two mages argued, was the reason the younger mages were so eager to sell Hervor extract or to travel to “hone their skills,” the pursuit of women.  Ayeesha was simply the only woman who had stayed on that island for any reasonable length of time, because she was a mage herself.  The lack of a real community tended to end any social arrangements and ‘professional’ company was hard to get this far out.  Her playings with selective sex had gotten her kicked out of two previous mage cabals, but the two elder mages on this island loved watching her power plays, themselves stripped by time of the need for her charms.
     She had referred to Talatha, the only other woman to stay for any great length of time.  Talatha was not a mage, but was the daughter of a rich merchant that the mage Darkor had done many favors for.  Although the marriage was arranged, she did love Darkor quite passionately.  Problems had begun when Darkor took her to the island.
      At first, things had been well.  None of the other mages had propositioned her and her cooking and laundry duities had made her a very loved part of the community.  Ayeesha got along with her fine, without the slightest hint of jealousy.  However, when she became pregnant, she almost went berserk demanding to return home.  Darkor had to regretfully move back to Misttown.  Woodbead and Bone-Send the Necromancer believed that the merchant had set this up by tossing his most social daughter to Darkor, but it was a moot point.  Without even a harsh word, Ayeesha had the monopoly again.
      “And I’ll be rid of her!”  Woodbead thought to himself, “By the gods that emerge from pits, she’s even let Bone-Send bed her more often than me!”
      “You know, you could leave later..”  Ayeesha said, trailing off.
      “What?”  The red-clad mage asked, now confused.
      She seemed to be fidgeting, like a blushing girl trying to get a guy’s attention when she has a crush on him.  “It’s just-”
      Woodbead stared at her blankly, trying to fathom this.  “Ok, if she wants to use her feminine charms on me, I’d better let her.  I do intend to return, and I don’t want her angry with me.”  Woodbead pushed his expression into a friendly, polite one.
      “Is there a way I can help you out?” He said in a friendly tone.
      “YES THERE IS!”  Ayeesha said, jumping up and down playfully with her hands on his shoulders.  This of course made her breasts bounce up and down, the large alabaster orbs nearly coming out of her revealing dress.  She pulled a device out of her pocket and gave it to him.
      It was one of the “Special” compasses that Mages in the Plain had modified from a standard Timthuly Knocker guild guide-all.  The improvements that the Mages built in allowed it to function within the Plain of Mists and Crags, and to even guide back to an area already visited.

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