Blue Horse Toy, Part two
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.
We continue from part one on …
Autumn 61 Unicorn
“Where are you staying?” Lasiter asks while they venture inside to the kitchen where they dine on tea and buns.
“I have a room in the Perch Inn, again.”
Inquisitive, Lasiter asks, “Are you looking for work?”
Chuckling softly, Morgus nods, then replying, “As a matter of fact, yes, I am.”
“I was robbed last night. I actually believed that 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 the Punting Horse Stable. What did you lose?” enquires Morgus.
Bitterly, Lasiter answers, “My safe chest was emptied, clearing over forty-seven Flairs and my mamma’s silver heart necklace.”
Morgus, being 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, engraved on the back?”
Now it is Lasiter who frowns and squints at Morgus. “You know the necklace?”
Morgus nods shrewdly, answering, “Yes, my father gave it as a gift.”
Lasiter sighs deeply, “You do have family ties with us then. 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 onto 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.
Walking 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 indignantly again, uttering, “Bilge rat, Seven Hells be your home.” Without looking back, he continues walking with a vigorous gait south.
With analytical intent, Morgus watches him walk away, thinking, ‘Well, he is easing up.’
Continuing to walk intently north to Fletcher Moren’s, Morgus arrives at an hour after gods-set. He then briskly 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 observation of 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.”
Peering intently, 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.”
Agile like a Goren hawk, Moren turns over the heart of the necklace and whistles. Handing the necklace back to the youth, he apologetically says, “I can’t buy this from you with the rightful owner standing here.”
“Damn the 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 abjectly.
Substantiated, Morgus says, “I want the necklace and coins you took.”
The boy shouts irrationally. “I ain’t givin’ you shit back.”
With the speed of lightning, Morgus moves in for a melee attack with his staff, forcing the youth to defend himself by drawing his dagger, after placing the necklace hastily into his pouch.
With the upper hand, Morgus strikes the youth hard, and then a second time as Timin tries to defend himself. The second hit solidly knocks Timin down on his ass.
With the impact, Timin grunts but then leaps to his feet, swiftly stabbing Morgus.
Agile as a hare, Morgus strikes the youth yet again with his staff, knocking more air out of him.
The two vie for upper 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 rapidly stabs Morgus, breaking the mage’s intense focus, and immediately causing him to lose the spell.
Being in the stance already, Morgus expeditiously 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 a sheet of fire to fan out from his fingers, leaping five feet forward. Morgus’ aim is so precise that the 120o arc of brilliant yellow flames catch Timin and nothing else. The flames cause Timin’s clothing to instantaneously burst into flames.
With new found certainty, Morgus rapidly grips his staff, swinging at the radiantly burning rogue. But he wildly misses, striking the floor instead, shattering his staff.
In a frenzy, Timin is busy extinguishing the flames on his clothing as Morgus in dead reckoning pulls free his knife.
With Morgus efficiently holding his knife, Timin shortly has the fires out. However, the youth has second-degree and deep almost third-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 to Morgus. “I give, the necklace is yours.”
Appeased, Morgus drops back, and accepting the offered necklace, he says, “I want the coins, too.”
Protesting, Timin answers, “No, I just earned those.”
With a final need for resolution, 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 indignantly. “You can’t keep them; they’re not yours.”
Kneeling, without remorse, Morgus takes the two coin pouches and dagger from the rogue.
Standing stiffly 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, tonight? I’ll even cook morning meal again.”
Continued in part three …