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The Story Of Korneum And The Seven Beautiful Daughters


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There came a time when the great mage Korneum, sometimes known as "The Objectionable", found himself growing restless. All the great magical mysteries were solved, it seemed; all his rivals dead or disgraced; all his slaves trained to exquisite perfection. In short, he was bored.

 

Seeking respite from this ennui, Korneum announced that he would hold a reception at which he would hear petitions, in the hope of finding that sort of sort of problem that only a great mage might solve. Many traveled to Korneum's manse in the hopes of gaining his favor. Some were turned away at the gates, more still dismissed by Korneum's servants as not being sufficiently interesting to hold their Master's attention.

 

In the end, seven men were granted audience with the mage. Each of them was a gentleman of some rank, which may have had a bearing on why they were chosen over so many others. Each of them was wealthy enough, which might also have been a factor. And each of them had brought with them their daughter, beautiful young women all of them, with instructions to flirt with the wizard, even to tease him a little, ostensibly as a show of humility. For Korneum's love of the female form was well known, and in this manner the petitioners hoped they might cause the wizard to look more favorably upon their request.

 

Korneum entertained his guests most lavishly, with good food and fine wine and music and slavegirls ready to see to any of the needs of his guests. And why the social niceties had been observed, Korneum met privately with each of the men to hear their plea.

 

When all petitions had been heard, Korneum addressed his guests together. "After some consideration, I am minded to grant each of your requests. However, these are powerful magics that you seek, and accordingly the price will be high. If you agree, I shall give you what you seek and I will grant you a year and a day to satisfy yourselves that I have kept my end of the bargain. At the end of that time, I shall appear before you and ask that you each grant me that which you hold most dear".

 

"Additionally, this bargain is agreed by all of you, or it is agreed by none. You have until morning to decide". And with that, he left them.

 

The Ayleid Count spoke first. "'That which we hold most dear, hmm?' I begin to question the wisdom of letting our host lay eyes upon my daughter".

 

The Orc Chieftain grunted. "What we hold most dear is what we hold most dear. It's the value of those things does not change for Korneum seeing our children".

 

The Breton Mage said "Actually 'what we hold most dear' is something of a boilerplate clause for this sort of compact. It's an earnest that the cost will be great and we had best be prepared to pay it. It's not to be taken literally".

 

The Last King of the Falmer said "Well, isn't that the point? He sees seven beautiful young women and then concocts a term lets him lay claim to them later".

 

The Ra Gada Warlord spat upon the floor. "I will not surrender my daughter to this Korneum. I have heard tales of his  ... predilections".

 

The Merchant Prince purred. "When terms are vague, scope exists for negotiation, yes? This one is confident that some other payment will be possible".

 

The Falkreath Jarl slapped his hand against his axe. "And even if not, he'll find that claiming my daughter one thing, but taking possession another entirely. I vote we accept!"

 

And one by one the others did the same. In the morning they informed Korneum that they would agree to his terms.

 

To be continued ...

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