Blue Horse Toy, part one
July 3, 2017
Our serial series is set in Kenneth Shumaker’s medieval fantasy realm of Quantos. We find the Apprentice Mage Morgus is out from the Mage’s University and on his one-year walk-about before he returns for his journeyman certification test on Autumn 50 of Pine, during the reign of King Regeanus III in the royal city of Mount Oryn’s South State district 13. Our intrepid hero, with a checkered past, is an attractive thirty-three-year-old human Jalnoric male with a bold personality and is determined to survive his walk-about year at any cost, even if it means snuggling in and working with nobility.
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, ‘Blue Horse Toy’:
Autumn 59 Unicorn
Sitting in his room at the medium sized old plain 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 incantation – 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, desperately 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 enlightenment into the spell incantation.
Finding Erec in the tavern, Morgus enthusiastically 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?”
Amused, 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?”
With a flourish of energy, 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.”
Without hesitation, 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.”
Faltering, 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 return 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 down, back at the desk, Morgus continues his studies, deciphering the construction of the new spell. After working out the spell for an hour, he starts scribing fresh script into his book.
At an hour before noon, Morgus is interrupted by Lessa as she is retrieving his damaged tunic. Deciding he’s becoming disoriented, 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 ‘fan flame’ spell.
Restless, Morgus quickly devours his evening meal and then he returns to tireless scribing. Until just before midnight, when Morgus sets down his quill, viewing the page in his tome, smiling, he sets to memorises the finished spell written on the one tight tidy page.
Promptly standing by the bed, facing the door ten feet away, Morgus extends his hands with his thumb tips together touching, and fingers splayed out, in a fan-shape. He focuses quickly and utters the words, “Fire”. A searing fan of 120o arc, consisting of bright yellow flames, spreads out from his fingers and extends forward out five feet, not quite reaching the room’s far wall.
Feeling the blistering extreme heat from the dazzling flames, Morgus leaps back. Smiling assuredly to himself, he congratulates himself on his result.
Promptly ready to sleep, Morgus chuckles as he closes his tome.
Autumn 61 Unicorn
Sitting rigid two tables away from the pirate bargewright, Morgus doesn’t even look at the odious thug.
But, unfortunately, Toaren has different ideas. Toaren, the bargewright, walks emphatically over to Morgus, and standing brazenly 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.”
Indifferent, 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.”
Casually, Morgus shrugs, answering, “Yes, I think we will.”
Embittered, Toaren huffs and walks away, saying, “You’ve been warned.” He exits the tavern.
Deciding to go for a walk to get clear away the resentfulness from Toaren for a while, Morgus leaves Perch Inn and journeys south on Driscol Street.
The air is frigid, but the gods barely breathe, gently wafting east under shattered cover.
Having ambled south for just over three kilometres, Morgus is passing a farmstead at 1387 Driscol Street, when he has a sudden thought, ‘This is the old Platter Holding, and I recall being friends with the pappa. I wonder if they’d mind me stopping in.’
Brazenly, Morgus walks along the driveway, through the old plum orchard, and up to the ancient house. Morgus finds the old two-story stone house much the same as it was twenty years ago. Knocking loudly on the sturdy wooden door, followed by a couple of minutes of waiting, a twenty-year-old Jalmal of average build answers the door.
The young 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 solemnly. “Yes, I know him; he was my pappa. Ferfeo died last year from wasting disease. I’m Lasiter Platter, now the 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.”
This episode is continued in part two …