31/10/2008 in Original
(A Very Unauthorised Sequel to Jack Vance’s Cugel’s Saga)
Cugel wandered the rooms of Pergolo, one time manse of the now despatched Iucounu the Laughing Magician.[*]
A certain lassitude hindered Cugel’s perambulations. The goals of his life had been attained: wealth and power. He was waited upon by sylphs both exotic and peculiarly plain, learned and innocent. He ate mushrooms from Old Earth’s deepest bowels; confections so subtle they might be flavoured air. Petals from flowers blooming once in a thousand-year lifetime scented his sauces. He drank wines so ancient their grapes had been trodden beneath an almost yellow sun, and teas brewed from leaves harvested beyond space’s fuliginous gulfs. His erotic art collection was unparalleled. Orchestras of awesome ability were his to summon or dismiss at whim. Through mediums of Iucounu’s he did not fully understand, he conducted brief conversations with intellects he could never understand. A thousand other pastimes and delights yet awaited his sampling. Life was easy; but, in spite of all he possessed, it was not rich. Boredom was the inevitable consequence. What, then, else?