“So what exactly are you selling then?”
“I’ve told you this, I’m not selling anything. I’m providing a service. Ships and caravans come into the city and the traders don’t know anything about the city. I provide them with connections for a small fee.” Zeddicus said. Though he was annoyed by the lack of understanding, his voice and posture did not convey it. He knew what he was doing.
“Well in that case, I will not grant you a writ to operate a business in this city.” responded Clifton Wilmot, bureaucrat windbag extraordinaire. “You’re free to leave now.”
Zedd left the small house/office on the outskirts of the administrative center of Suzail smoothly, not indicating how angry he was. He was half expecting that response. These people absolutely lack vision. No matter, because Plan B, which Zedd did not like very much, was more of a sure thing.
See, Zedd knew that Wilmot was a fan of his pipe and that Wilmot’s wife was not. Wilmot would have to come outside to smoke and when he did, Zedd would make the man more receptive to this proposal.
About twenty minutes later Wilmot stepped outside to light his pipe. Zedd began to focus on the mindset that he wanted Wilmot to have. He wanted the idea that the two were old friends and have helped each other out many times before with different odds and ends. With that though on his mind, Zedd whispered a word and released the thought at Wilmot.
There was no indication that anything happened, Wilmot seemed to just stare off into the distance for a moment and then was back in the moment as if nothing had happened.
Zedd felt the oiliness of his magic. It was like a heavy weight in the back of his mind, oozing and sticky. He wasn’t sure why it felt that way, it didn’t seem natural. He knew that wizards would not give him the time of day, but that is how wizards were. They were afraid of those that naturally had what wizards worked for: power. They were small-minded, weak. Priests would never talk to Zedd about his innate power either, which made him uneasy. As soon as they looked at Zedd they scorned him. But again, they did not understand what sort of burden Zedd had. He was stronger than them all and one day they would have to acknowledge it. He’d make them.
That thought isn’t right. Zedd was suddenly aware of the darker thoughts in his mind. There were certain…impulses that seemed to crop up whenever Zedd used his magic. He wanted to make people do things. He wanted to hurt people, dominate them. He wanted, frankly, to do whatever he wanted. Every dark desire a man could have popped into his head when he used magic. Whenever he used a lot of magic, Zedd had nightmares. They were always the same. Faceless people waiting on him hand and foot while two men fought to the death for his amusement. Maybe that is why clerics and priests tended to stay away from him.
To cope with this Zedd, first, avoided using magic unless he had to. Second, he visited a Temple of Mystra and an acolyte there, Selena, taught him to meditate and focus his mind. So that’s what Zedd did. He found the place in his mind that was pleasant and free of dark desire and took it in. After a few minutes he was fine. No violence creeping to the front of his mind.
Time to talk to Clifton
Zeddicus strolled confidently to the office and knocked loudly. It helps to act as if you are in charge with a type like Mr. Wilmot. He answered the door fairly quickly and was surprised to see Zedd standing there before him.
“Zedd, my boy! What can I do for you?” he said, a lot more pleasantly than just a handful of minutes before.
“Well, Cliff, can I call you Cliff? You see I think I was a little unclear earlier when I petitioned for a writ and I just wanted to clear some things up.” See? Confidence.
“Oh that,” Wilmot said as if maybe a little ashamed.” I wanted to apologize. See, my daughter, you know Anna. She’s gotten herself into a bit of a situation and I’ve just been preoccupied with that.” Zedd did know Anna and her “problem”. She was a fan of the local guard and the local guard was certainly a fan of her. The problem he spoke of was that she was pregnant with an illegitimate child and had no right idea with who. Oh, and her father was attempting to advance his station by marrying her off. Whoops. “I think I may have taken it out on you, truth be told. You just needed a writ to operate as a…”
“Deal Broker,” Zeddicus said, helpfully.
“That’s right a deal broker. An odd thing to do, but I see no problem in letting you do the job legally. Let me get the paperwork all set for you.” At that Clifton went to work at his desk. Say what you will about the man, he knew his job.
Within a few minutes all of the “I’s” and “T’s” were dotted and crossed and Zedd was out the door.
“Now Zedd, ole boy, don’t be a stranger and visit anytime,” Wilmot said pleasantly as Zedd walked away.
Zedd waved, “Oh, you know I will.” I’ll see you mindlessly drooling at my feet doing my every bidding, you worthless pig.
That thought took Zedd by surprise. It had been almost an hour since Zedd had cast that spell and he had done that meditative exercise. Those thoughts do not crop up after he does that. Something seems to have changed and that is a problem.
I shouldn’t have to convince people to do things for you, they should do things because you tell them to. I waste too much time talking. Zedd hated these thoughts, but he was used to them. I’ll meditate some more that should help.
Deep down, all Zedd really knew was that he was going to have nightmares tonight. What worried him the most, though, is that a part of him was excited about that fact.