The old seer had had a bad day. Several of his incantations to preserve herbs had not worked. He was distracted by a throbbing tooth that magic and herbs had failed to dull. In desperation he had turned to whiskey.
To distract himself, he decided to go for a ride. He found himself on the cliff in Tanninhold. He was enjoying the magnificent view when he met Desire. They chatted for a bit and he offered her a hand up to ride behind him on his horse. They paused in their ride, having run across the wench, Brandi.
Brandi was good at spotting an opportunity for a bit of mischief. She knew that the former priest disliked the familiarity that the wizard treated the witch with, swatting her ass or pinching it and making lewd comments. She wondered if the priest might reward her for making the wizard’s life difficult.
“Hello old man, Mistress Desire,” she said with a cheeky grin.
“What do you mean, calling me Mistress?” the woman asked, scowling at Brandi.
“When you say ‘old man’ you make it sound like an insult,” Gus said.
Brandi smiled brightly and threw back, “Well you are always saying how old you are!”
Brandi ran. Gus and Desire dismounted and gave chase. She ran to the tavern and out the back door. She ran to the woods, and into the cave. She saw Gus, but it was too late. Desire had the other exit covered. She was trapped between them.
Gus call upon the air elements to hold Brand in place while he spanked her bottom with the crop. Brandi twisted and turned, trying to escape. She heard the witch shout for the wizard to stop. She continued to shout her insults at the wizard as he beat her.
He had been careful not to burn her with the fire, and not to pelt her with rocks large enough to do irreversible damage. He stopped when the girl fell to the ground, releasing her from fire and earth. He thought she had learned her lesson and pointed his staff at her to heal any damage done.
Desire had no way of knowing his intent when he levelled the staff at Brandi, and feared he might seriously harm the girl, perhaps even kill her. She could not let that happen! She closed her eyes, straightened her back, raised her arms, and called upon the elements, casting her own spell at Gus.
Brandi lay on the ground in a daze, watching the balls of light fly back and forth between the wizard and the witch. The earth trembled beneath her. She gathered her strength and ran from the cave, falling into the river.
Gus turned his attention back to the foolish witch. He gathered air and wrapped Desire in it, immobilizing her and turning her attacks back on herself. He released her, but unleashed his fury on her in a lecture on knowing her place and the danger in challenging a Druid seer. He reminded her that she was his apprentice, and that he had taken her into the circle with him. He grabbed his crop and whipped Desire’s bottom to drive home his lesson.
When he was done, they realized the girl had gone. They went back to the tavern as the most likely place that she might have run to.
They found the girl there, sitting carefully, squirming in some discomfort. Gus soothed Brandi with words and magic, holding her still while he healed her. He removed the welts and bruises, and even a touch of fluid in her lungs, leaving her in better shape than before he had unleashed his wrath on her.
Gus then turned to Desire and considered healing her. He decided not to. “You can explain those marks to Barnard. Next time, do not dare to command me!”