Blue Horse Toy
November 30, 2016
Challenge: Issue 107
- Sub-title – Blue Horse Toy
- Brian Hill
- High Prairie, Alberta
Previously in episode 002 on Autumn 56 Unicorn:
Morgus ventured over to an old friend’s for a visit, where he discovered a theft. In an attempt to help the old friend, Morgus encountered trouble and had dealings with a healing priestess. Eventually, Morgus returned home, but he’s not out of trouble, yet.
We continue now with episode 003:
Autumn 59 Unicorn
Sitting in his room at the medium sized pine desk, Morgus tries to focus on his studies. He has an idea, but it is taking all his university training to keep his mind off his wounds and on his studies.
Working late into the night, burning much lamp oil, Morgus stretches, and yawns as he decides to call it quits for now, until tomorrow. Rubbing his eyes, he stands and wanders out to the communal chamber pot before returning and settling into bed for the night.
Yawning again as he turns out the lantern, Morgus grudgingly sighs, considering that he almost has the spell figured out enough to scribe into his spell book. He’ll be able to use the spell as an offense – to burn the poor bastards he’s battling with. It will be better than simple melee, for sure.
Autumn 60 Unicorn
Clamoring out of bed, needing to use the chamber pot, Morgus uses the facility and then dresses and hurries down to the tavern for a quick morning meal. He had an epiphany last night, and he needs to work the details of his epiphany into the spell incantation.
Finding Erec in the tavern, Morgus waves the servant over to his table. Gesturing to his slashed and blood stained tunic. “Erec, I’m in need of a tailor’s services. As you can see, a blade found my tunic, along with my own blood. I’m under repairs, but unfortunately, my tunic has no such whim of its own. Do you know someone who can stitch together my tunic?”
Erec laughs and answers, “Lessa is a seamstress of sorts, so perhaps if you talk to her?”
“Can you ask her to come out here? I might not be welcome in the kitchen of this establishment.”
Erec nods and wanders off toward the kitchen. Roughly ten minutes later, as Morgus is ready to walk back up to his room, Lessa arrives at his table. The jalfem addresses Morgus. “You wanted me?”
Morgus stands, indicating the cuts and blood stains on his tunic, “How long will it take you to clean and repair this tunic?”
Lessa looks over the slices in the fabric. She hums and then answers, “Two days.”
Morgus frees his coin pouch from his belt and replies, “Will five dusters finish the work?”
Lessa shakes her head, saying, “No, six will make it happen.”
Morgus sighs shallowly, frowning, counting out six copper coins. “I’ll leave this tunic in my room.”
Lessa takes the coins. After bowing, she leaves Morgus to go back to the kitchen.
Returning to his room after eating, Morgus changes into his only other tunic, a tattered blue beast from his early days in the university.
Sitting back at the desk, Morgus continues his studies, deciphering the construction of the spell. After working out the spell for an hour, he starts scribing the script into his book.
At an hour before noon, Morgus is interrupted by Lessa as she is retrieving his damaged tunic. So, Morgus takes a brief break.
After a fifteen-minute break, Morgus continues with scribing until evening meal. Morgus is happy with his progress in scribing the spell.
Morgus quickly devours his evening meal and then he returns to scribing. Just before midnight, Morgus sets down the quill, viewing the page in his book. Smiling, he memorises the finished spell written on the one page.
Standing by the bed, facing the door ten feet away, Morgus extends his hands with his thumb tips touching, and fingers splayed out, fan-shaped. He focuses quickly and utters the words, “Fire”. A 120o arc, consisting of bright yellow flames, spreads out from his fingers and extends forward five feet, not quite reaching the far wall.
Feeling the extreme heat from the flames, Morgus falls back. Smiling, he congratulates himself.
Ready to sleep, Morgus chuckles as he closes his book.
Autumn 61 Unicorn
Sitting two tables away from the pirate bargewright, Morgus doesn’t even look at the thug.
But, unfortunately, Toaren has different ideas. Toaren, the bargewright, walks over to Morgus, and standing near him, the bargewright says, “You best leave this area, boyo. You’re not wanted by me or the locals – by no one, ever. This is your only warning.”
Morgus says, “I think I’ll listen, and take your advice under advisement after you sit and talk with me.”
“There’ll be no talking, boyo.”
Morgus shrugs, answering, “Yes, I think we will.”
Toaren huffs and walks away, saying, “You’ve been warned.” He exits the tavern.
Deciding to go for a walk to get clear away from Toaren for a while, Morgus leaves Perch Inn and journeys south on Driscol Street.
The air is cold, but the gods barely breathe, gently wafting east under broken cover.
Having ambled south just over three kilometres, Morgus is passing a farmstead at 1387 Driscol Street, when he has a thought, ‘This is the old Platter Holding, and I recall being friends with the pappa. I wonder if they’d mind me stopping in.’
Morgus walks along the roadway, through the old plum orchard, and up to the house. Morgus finds the old two-story stone house much the same as it was twenty years ago. Knocking on the sturdy wooden door, and followed by a couple of minutes of waiting, a twenty-year-old jalmal of average build answers the door. The jalmal asks, “Yes, how may I help you?”
Morgus respectfully replies, “Gods-grace and good fate young master. I am Morgus; I used to live at Perch Inn before my father died twenty years ago. I knew the master here, Ferfeo. Does he still live here?”
The youth frowns sadly. “Yes, I know him; he was my pappa. Ferfeo died last year from wasting disease. I’m Lasiter Platter, holder of Platter holding. Come on in and have tea with me.”
Bowing in respect for the loss of Ferfeo, Morgus says, “I would enjoy that. Let’s get to know each other. I’m in the area for a year.”
“Where are you staying?” Lasiter asks while they go inside to the kitchen to dine on tea and buns.
“I have a room in the Perch Inn, again.”
Lasiter asks, “Are you looking for work?”
Chuckling, Morgus nods, replying, “As a matter of fact, yes, I am.”
“I was robbed last night. I actually believed you were the City Watch I sent for. I reported the theft to Loren Post.”
“Another robbery? Robberies seem to be rampant in the area. Another friend of mine was robbed at Punting Horse Stable. What did you lose?” asks Morgus.
Lasiter answers, “My safe chest was emptied, clearing over forty-seven Flairs and my mamma’s silver heart necklace.”
Morgus, shocked at the theft, asks, “Was that the necklace your mamma received on her life-companion ceremony day to your pappa? The one with the initials of both her and your pappa’s engraved on the back?”
Now it is Lasiter who frowns and squints at Morgus, “You know the necklace?”
Morgus nods, answering, “Yes, my father gave it as a gift.”
Lasiter sighs deeply, “You do have family ties with us. In the least, I would really appreciate getting the necklace back.”
“It may cost you, but I think I know where to find it. I’ll see if it’s there, but I won’t be able to make a deal to get it back. Only confirm if they have it. I’ll leave now to see if I can get there by tonight,” offers Morgus.
Heading out back on Driscol Street, nearly an hour after sitting down in Lasiter’s house, Morgus is soon on South Street Road going north to Hampton Market, knowing full well where his destination is this time.
An hour along South Street Rood, Morgus meets Toaren, who is walking south towards Morgus.
“Boyo, I hope you are leaving South State. You don’t want trouble here,” says the pirate bargewright.
“I might want on a crew, actually Captain. I know you’re running the crew now, so light up the signal, and stop being a damn mule.” Morgus commands.
Toaren scowls again, uttering, “Bilge rat, Seven Hells be your home.” Without looking back, he continues walking south.
Morgus watches him walk away, thinking, ‘Well, he is easing up.’
Continuing to walk north to Fletcher Moren’s, Morgus arrives at an hour after gods-set. He then enters the trade room behind the main shop.
He stops as he finds an eighteen-year-old good-looking toymal youth trying to sell Moren a silver necklace. Taking a close look at the necklace, Morgus smiles inwardly. But outwardly he curses, “Bilge rat, Seven Hells, you stole my necklace. Be damn if you’re going to sell it. Give it back.”
Stunned, the youth stutters, “T … th … this ain’t your n … necklace. I a … ain’t s … stole from you. I d … don’t even know who you are.”
Morgus turns to Moren, “This bugger stole my necklace. If you look at the back, it has my parents initial engraved on it, F P and E P in jal. The script is about three-eights of an inch high.”
Moren turns over the heart of the necklace and whistles. Handing the necklace back to the youth, he says, “I can’t buy this from you with the rightful owner standing here.”
“Damn Seven Hells, It ain’t his. I stole it from Platter’s holding.”
“He identified it correctly, so you take it up with him, Timin,” says Moren.
Morgus says, “I want the necklace and coins you took.”
The boy shouts, “I ain’t givin you shit back.”
Morgus moves in for a melee attack with his staff, forcing the youth to defend himself by drawing his dagger after placing the necklace quickly into his pouch.
Morgus strikes the youth hard, and then a second time as Timin defends himself. The second hit knocks Timin down on his ass.
Timin grunts and then leaps to his feet, stabbing Morgus.
Morgus strikes the youth yet again with his staff, knocking more air out of him.
The two vie for position, each of them looking for an advantage.
Then, Morgus decides magic is his strong suit and braces to cast ‘fan flame’ with thumbs touching, while he stands, balancing his staff against his shoulder. As he is about to say “Fire”, the youth stabs Morgus, breaking the mage’s focus, and causing him to lose the spell.
Being in the stance already, Morgus begins casting again. This time he avoids the attack from the youth. As the youth is recovering from his failed attack, Morgus says “Fire,” causing the sheet of fire to fan out from his fingers, five feet forward. Morgus’ aim is so precise that the yellow flames catch Timin and nothing else. The flames cause Timin’s clothing to burst into flames.
Morgus rapidly grips his staff, swinging at the burning rogue. But he misses and strikes the floor instead, shattering his staff.
Timin is busy extinguishing the flames on his clothing as Morgus pulls free his knife.
With Morgus holding his knife, Timin has the fires out. However, the youth has second-degree burns on large areas of his body.
Rushing Timin, Morgus draws blood twice through separate wounds, causing a fatigued and severally injured Timin to yield, calling out, “I give, the necklace is yours.”
Morgus drops back, and accepting the offered necklace, he says, “I want the coins, too.”
Timin answers, “No, I just earned those.”
Morgus steps forward slashing with his knife. The blade opens up Timin’s chest, leaking a large volume of blood, killing the rogue. Morgus says, “You can’t keep them; they’re not yours.”
Kneeling, without remorse, Morgus takes the two coin pouches and the dagger from the rogue.
Standing again, he addresses Moren, “Do the Dragon Horsemen have a priest to tend to dead victims?”
Shaking his head grimly, Moren answers, “Not for you.”
“What about Draken; will she tend to this dead man?”
Again, shaking his head, Moren answers, “No, she doesn’t tend to the dead.”
Considering all of this, Morgus asks, “If I get a discrete priest tomorrow, will you put me up for the night? I’ll even cook morning meal again.”
“For a Flair, sure,” says the rogue’s fence.
Sorting through Timin’s coins, Morgus picks out 1.00 coin and gives the coins to Moren. “I’m hungry; do you mind if I cook?”
“A Dyns for the food.” replies Moren firmly.
Handing him another Dyns, Morgus cooks a quick, hot, meatless, meal. They eat, and then Morgus cleans up the trade room before settling into a restless sleep.
Autumn 62 Unicorn
Rising late, Morgus is fatigued from repeated late nights, early mornings, and strenuous activity. Morgus doesn’t have his spell books with him, so he can’t memorize spells. But, he has a mission today: travel to the Orange Temple to Imvor on Hex Avenue.
Sitting with Moren while Morgus eats his poached eggs and fried meats cooked by Morgus, Morgus asks, “This dagger is a hindrance for me. I have no use for it. How much will you give me for it?”
“A Flair.” Is the simple answer he receives.
Placing the dagger on the table, Morgus replies, “Okay, agreed, but it’s worth twice that.”
“To a customer of a weapon seller, yes. I need to make a profit, so I pay you less.”
Morgus accepts the Flair from Moren and then cleans the kitchen after they finish eating. He heads out once he has made sure the currently crippled fletcher and fence is taken care of and is set for a day of working.
Walking west on Hex Avenue, Morgus arrives at the Orange Temple to Imvor an hour after noon. After talking with an acolyte, Morgus is quickly escorted to the headmaster of the Temple.
In his office, Headmaster Peneal greets Morgus coldly, “Gods-grace and good fate master mage, what do you seek from Imvor?”
Addressing the old jalmal, Morgus answers, “Gods-grace and good fate Master Peneal. Imvor’s blessing on us all. An unfortunate incident involving the death of a young man took place yesterday. Unfortunately, his family cannot be located. I was wondering … with a proper donation, will this Temple see to the deceased’s Right of Passage?”
Observing Morgus’ appearance, Peneal ponders this, and then replies, “Unfortunate incidents are expensive: seventeen Flairs will acquire a retrieval team for Right of Passage of one body.”
Satisfied, Morgus stands and offers his arm, saying, “Accepted.”
After clasping arms together, Morgus pays Peneal from Lasiter’s coin pouch saying, “If anyone asks, the body turned up in your care with no sponsor or claimant.”
“I’ll get your team ready to go with you right away,” offers Peneal.
Leaving the room, the headmaster returns thirty minutes later with three people. “You will be taking a wagon with these people. Priest Herod is leading, followed by our elven acolyte, Stump, and their aid, labourer Arabellen.”
Morgus greets the jalmal priest and then greets the other two. They mount the wagon and make the long ride to Fletcher Moren’s, where the jubilant Herod enthusiastically leads the team in. They hurry to load Timin on the wagon to take the body back to the Orange Temple.
After the wagon leaves, Morgus turns to Moren and says, “I know you would enjoy my services as a servant with me paying you for me to stay here, but I should go. I may be back again to seek your services in the future. Maybe.”
With that, Morgus leaves the stall shop and returns home in a rush to Perch Inn. It is well after midnight before he arrives at the inn and goes to his room. After he has set traps to warn him of intruders in his room, Morgus settles into bed and goes to sleep.
Autumn 63 Unicorn
Entering the tavern in the morning, Morgus finds that Toaren is present. The pirate waves Morgus to his table, and then says to Morgus, “If you insist on staying, it’ll cost you eight Flairs every thirty days, boyo.”
“We’ll see, Captain – depends if I’m earning a wage or not.” Morgus leaves and sits by himself to enjoy a meal he has already paid for.
As he is sitting enjoying his meal the jalfem cook, Lessa comes out of the kitchen with Morgus’ morning meal and repaired tunic, “All done, good like new.”
Nonchalantly, Morgus sets aside the tunic for later. Finishing his morning meal, he then places his tunic in his room before he travels to Platter’s farm. Arriving at the holding at noon, Morgus finds Lasiter working in a shed.
Handing the farmer the coin pouch and necklace, Morgus says, “The thief got caught on the way to his destination. He may have divested himself of some coins already.”
“Can he be brought to justice?”
Morgus replies, “He already has been; he is at the Orange Temple.”
“We need to purchase horse toys for our colt. If you could do so, I’ll pay you. Take the wagon. Here are two Flairs to purchase them with,” says Lasiter.
Morgus bows as he contemplates taking the wagon home to the Perch Inn. Then thinking that he needs a new tunic and a new quarterstaff, Morgus decides that a trip to Hampton Market is in order. So, instead of going home, he turns east as he is heading out of Platter Holding and travels to Hampton Market.
Searching the market, Morgus can’t find a staff, but he finds a deal on tunics for five Dyns each, buying three. Also, he finds a good price for two blue horse toys worth a Flair each.
Returning home to Perch Inn, well after three in the morning, Morgus unhitches the wagon and tends to the animals before going to sleep.
Autumn 64 Unicorn
Leaving Perch Inn at gods-rise, Morgus delivers the wagon and two blue horse toys to Lasiter Platter.
“Thank you Morgus, not only did you get back the necklace, but you got back most of my coinage, and you were quick on the shopping trip. Here are five Dyns for your trouble.”
Morgus smile, “Thank you Lasiter; I was glad to help.”
Still needing a staff, Morgus walks to Loren Market. Searching long and hard, Morgus finds a suitable staff for two dusters at a mercantile.
The rogue mage arrives back at the Perch Inn two hours after gods-set. Morgus is now reequipped, but coinage is low. He goes to sleep without eating.
Autumn 65 Unicorn
Groggy from extremely long days, Morgus stares at the sealed parchment in his hand. He reads it again … it is addressed to him, here at the Perch Inn … it is from Baron Hessan.
To be continued …
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