Full Item Description
The tete-a-tete is a small and handsomely made sopha. It is upholstered in very fine Tanarian silk brocade and has a very eye pleasing motif of autumn leaves and flutted columns. The wooden legs of the tete-a-tete are hand carved from rare Hyloidian bone-birch, and the many small buttons that adorn the sopha and serve to anchor the soft filling and fabric are made from a variety of semi-precious stones, with citrine, amber, and yellow turquoise being the most common.
Lord Magnus Tagliabue was most known for his bullhorn voice. Even when the lord attempted to whisper something in confidence, his voice carried much farther than he intended. This had the unfortunate side effect of causing him political and social problems, both in public and at home. He almost lost his title after he made an off hand comment to a fellow lord about how the Queen was really getting along (That dried up old hag will cling to the throne even when she is nothing but bones). After paying a stiff fine and making a public apology, he learned to keep such matters to himself. Worse was when attending a soiree held by the puritanical Duchess of Linsey-Woolsey, he whispered to his wife that he would like to abscond with her to a linen room, and make like a Camborian Prince. This was overheard by the hostess, and there was a good deal of public scandal over Tagliabue's crude manners. His wife also put him in the proverbial doghouse for even thinking of such things while at such a respectable soiree.
After holding his tongue for several years, Tagliabue came upon a novel solution. He had heard that some wizards used special magics to keep the contents of their meetings secret, even when held in plain sight. He brought the idea to one of the Court Viziers, a slight man named Bekkenrood. The wizard understood what Lord Tagliabue desired, and thought the idea of clandstine wizard meetings to be amusing. Bekkenrood told the Lord that if he were to supply a sopha of small size and custom craftsmenship he would be able to accomodate the Lord's desires.
Six months and several thousands of gold pieces later, Tagliabue delivered the completed sopha to Bekkenrood for enchantment. The wizard kept the sopha for a month, adding to its enchantment a little bit at a time. Then, it was delivered to the Lord. Tagliabue was delighted with his new sopha, as anything he said while sitting on it could only be heard by the person sitting next to him on the sopha.
He held a soiree of his own, an event that left his wife quaking with anxiety. She knew her husband, though a good man, was not one to hold his tongue, or keep his opinions to himself. After the formal meetings and such, he retired to the sopha, and much to her horror began to speak candidly about the various people who attended. Yet her horror turned to disbelief when he called Duchess Lindsey-Woolsey a bitter apple with the heart of a camborgirl.
The Lord's Folly
Yet there was something that Tagliabue had forgotten. Bekkenrood the vizier had long been a friend and sycophant to many of the folk the Lord spoke ill of, or had embarassed himself or them. One of the smallest spells laid upon the sopha was a scrying and clairaudience spell that allowed Bekkenrood to eavesdrop on whomever used the sopha. Bekkenrood arranged for Tagliabue to meet with an agent provocotuer whilst the Queen and several of her trusted military aides were present at his home.
The Queen was shocked to hear Lord Tagliabue speak of how pathetic the Kingdom's defences were, and how with less than 10 legions of soldiers he could sack the capital and hang the Queen out by her moth-eaten undergarments. Of course, Tagliabue was speaking under the influence of too much Crysthmere wine, and about how the defences needed to be fixed.
The trial was a mockery and Lord Tagliabue was stripped of all titles and rank, reducing his entire family to commoners. Then the lands were siezed, turning those who supported him to reswear fealty to his unnamed replacement or become pauvrehomme, wasted men. A small uprising was put down by the military and Tagliabue was decapitated with the commoner's axe. Lady Tagliabue was exonerated, but only after reluctantly accepting the Vizier Bekkenrood as a husband.
Taglaibue's Tete-a-tete is a small and well made sopha that radiates a small measure of magic. Whatever words that are spoken by someone sitting on the sopha can only be heard by someone else sitting on the same sopha. this covers any sort fo sound made, such as laughing, crying, screaming, shouting and so on. This does not obscure that speakers, so that reading lips is still possible, and keeping the appearance of a guarded conversation will make few people wonder about the magic of the sopha.
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? Responses (6)-6
A very useful devise either for spies or, if unbugged, for those who want to keep secrets. 5/5
Ow. I actually feel sorry for the coarse, but honest lord, such an end is undeserved... and sounds all the more real. Good work, along with that historical bit.
From the noted magical properties I assume the original scrying spell is gone by now. But the sofa will be still receptive to such an enchantement, so future owners should watch out.
I'm starting to like your names more and more...Bekkenrood, Linsey-Woolsey, Tagliabue...very fractured-fairy-tale-ish. Thumbs up!
Oh and nice play on a word/term! I love those!
This has to be the best magic sofa I've ever seen.... :)
For some reasons this has me thinking of the bench assassinations from Assassin's Creed. First idea that came to mind when reading this was that, if the pair are unobserved, it'd be perfect for an assassination.