Part 1: https://rimmblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/the-conjurer-of-cheap-tricks-part-1/
“I must know of – ”
“Ahhhhh,” said Tandalf, making an interceding noise to shut the man up. A second passed, and the man tried to speak again, but Tandalf gave him another stern look to be silent. The wizard extended one finger, and a small flame emerged from its tip. Tandalf used it to methodically light the pipe’s contents. They waited in silence as Tandalf took an immense huff. Veins bulged across his head, and his skin reddened as the wizard held his breath in. For a moment the adventurer feared the old man would keel over dead, till at last the smoke was released in a vast cloud that spread to fill the room. The adventurer felt his eyeballs twitch and his head float as the acrid fumes reached him.
“I only got into this wizarding gig for the parties, you know,” came Tandalf’s voice from inside the smoke. The wizard‘s cat’s green eyes shone through the haze like two emeralds, and for a moment they were all the adventurer could see. “Conjure this, illusion that, summon what-have-you… Those were grand days… till some arsehole at a party told me a funny story about my old amulet. Do you know what it was?”
“No…” said the adventurer.
“He told me it was a key. He told me it was the first step on the road to ultimate power. Well, I’d be a fool not to, would I…?”
“And did you get it?” the adventurer asked. “The ultimate power?”
Tandalf thoughtfully reached into his top pocket and slipped a bundle of thick mushrooms into his mouth.
“No… not exactly. A friend of mine, he, ahh, well… hmm. This is complicated.”
“Your friend,” the adventurer continued, “he was evil, wasn’t he?”
Tandalf seemed momentarily lost for words. “That’s a little harsh. He was… Well, tell me, have you ever been to the Far Realm?”
“No,” replied the adventurer.
“It’s an infinite black vacuum filled with soul devouring monstrosities. I wouldn’t recommend it. Well, he was from around those parts. I should have recognised the signs, really. Like that time he turned into an eldritch abomination. In retrospect, that was a clear signal something was up…” said Tandalf as he continued to smoke the pipe.
“But tell me of the dragon! What truly happened to the Great Plasmic Dragon?” cried the adventurer in desperation. “He survived banishment outside the universe, didn’t he?”
“Oooof,” replied Tandalf. “This conversation is getting a little heavy. Hang on.” Tandalf clicked his fingers, and with a modest flash a celestial monkey appeared. “Here, pack this for me again…” said as he passed the pipe to the glowing monkey.
The adventurer began to grind his teeth in frustration. “I’m beginning to wonder just what kind of wizard you are, Mr Tandalf. All you seem to do is addle your wits! Here you are, hiding at the end of the world, while darkness haunts the land all around you. All I see is a faded old lunatic who spend his time with cats and monkeys!”
“Celestial monkeys,” corrected Tandalf. “You know, I met a proper Celestial once. Weird guy. I think he was gay with this vampire or something…”
“A vampire? Probably…” the adventurer conceded.