Deep underground lay the legendary Lake of Largesse
in a sodden and shadowy cave.
The dark, damp air undisturbed by recent ingress
of people come to say what they crave.

The mood was now disturbed by a visitor however.
A young mage bent on making his name.
He had sought out this place in his resolve to uncover
the “them” of “us and them” fame.

He had cajoled archdemons and also made threats.
He’d endured the laughs and weathered disgrace
He had questioned his friends and called in all debts
and now here he was in this place.

His journey had taught him not to bypass the obvious
and besides, there was no-one to see.
So he called out “Show me all those covert and devious”
and awaited the results of his plea.

Several minutes passed by before he looked in the lake
and saw nothing more than his reflection.
But he had laid other plans given what was at stake
so it was not yet time for dejection.

He searched in his pack and finally withdrew
some ingredients, and a pestle and mortar
with which he ground them to a powder of purest royal blue.
Then deftly sprinkled it over the water.

Where the powder touched water it burnt with a passion.
That it had worked the mage held no doubt.
But when he looked in the lake his complexion went ashen
for only his reflection gazed out.

He was now left with only one last spell to essay
but this one was powerful indeed
It was a risky proposition. If he erred he would pay
but this spell could do nought but succeed

“Third time is the charm” he said, trying to sound convinced
as he emptied the pack on the ground
For this was the spell he’d dared not cast since
he’d failed it last time around.

He lit candles, wore charms and drew runes on each arm
He scattered more powders with abandon.
Then stepped into the lake and drew a knife down his palm
spilling his own blood in the cavern.

The lake turned red and then started to bubble.
as thunder echoed around.
The floor began to shake, intimating trouble
as he staggered towards drier ground.

But as land and water rapidly subsided, then he knew
he would finally have his revelation.
So he returned to the water and leant over to
see only himself in frustration.

He gained many names as subsequent successes went by
such as “Spellslinger”, “Maestro” or “Slayer”.
But the one thing he never could understand was why
he never found out who “they” were.


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