Episode 004, Red Panda Chartreuse Road Sign
December 12, 2016
July 22, 2017
Our serial series is set in Rusty Knight’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. 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 on episode 003 on Autumn 59 Unicorn with:
Morgus, is a mage who burns his opponents when he challenges them, he finds the thief who stole from his friend. Morgus retrieves the stolen silver heart from a dead rogue.
Later, sitting in the Perch Inn tavern with a quandary over a sealed parchment, Morgus ponders the meaning of the parchment.
We continue now with Episode 004:
Autumn 65 Unicorn
Sitting at the tavern table, Morgus stares at the parchment he holds as Pedren sets Morgus’ morning meal on the table along with an ale.
Sighing with exasperation, the mage cautiously breaks the seal and unfolds the parchment to open and read the carefully written masculine Jal script.
I am Baron Larap Hessan, I seek you in an audience at your earliest convenience to discuss business regarding my holdings.
Come to my residence at 1029 Drescol Street, South State district before Autumn 70 Unicorn.
Yours, Baron Hessan
Autumn 64 Unicorn
Still stunned, Morgus simply stares at the writing, puzzled as to why a baron would want to do business with an unknown mage like Morgus. The baron apparently desires Morgus to such an extent that he presents a personal invitation to him.
Carefully folding the parchment, the thirty-three-year-old mage places the summons into his belt pouch. He eats his morning meal pondering the call, trying to illuminate for himself the writ from the baron. But try as he might, the Jalmal produces no answers.
Exhaling, stymied with the situation, Morgus finishes his meal and cleans himself up to put forth a suitable introduction. He dresses in a new tunic, shines his boots, and brushes off his leggings.
Leaving the Perch Inn, Morgus precedes northwest on Drescol Street, on the almost seven-kilometre journey to Baron Hessan’s estate.
Standing outside the gates into the demesne, Morgus mulls over if he really wants to access the trust of this nobleman’s life. What will it end up meaning to Morgus? What consequences? ‘I’m not exactly crystal clean. I have a spotty past, and even though my official records were wiped clean, that doesn’t clear people’s memories. What am I entering into?’
Deeply sighing and taking the next step, he ventures forward into a new life adventure. Morgus is a man who has always taken risks, never shirking opportunities, even though he may question himself.
The manor house is nestled among four other immense buildings in a six-acre courtyard of the holding. Near the massive stone four-story manor is the vast double-story wooden barn, a stone and wood carriage house, a two-story stone and wood stable, and last is the enormous three-story building which must be the storage and craftsman’s shop.
Morgus walks up the stone paved driveway to a brick paved path, which leads all the way up to the double wooden carved front doors in the dressed stone face of the manor building. Using the smooth silk rope of the manor’s knocker, Morgus pulls on it, and then releasing the expensive rope, he patiently waits.
Less than three minutes later a thirty-year-old Toyfem opens the elaborately carved front doors. She speaks in fluent Jal. “Gods-grace and good fate master. How may I help you?”
Morgus attempts to submit to her the writ from Baron Hessan, and he says, “I was summoned for a meeting by Baron Hessan for as soon as possible?”
Without receiving the writ, she asks, “And what is your name?”
Confounded, Morgus places the summons back in his pouch before replying, “I am Mage Morgus.”
Abruptly smiling, the woman answers, “Auh, Mage Morgus, welcome. I am Ada. Please! Please enter, wipe your boots on the mat and then follow me to the Baron’s den.” She waits for Morgus to enter and wipe his boots off on the bristle mat a few feet inside the doorway.
Morgus looks at the interior of the manor, bewildered at the opulence of the intricate heart of this structure. The intimate carvings of the wooden fixtures, the fancy metal work, and the stonework that is inlaid and carved to fine details. Hundreds of thousands of coins in craftsmanship alone were expended in this building.
Walking on the inlaid basalt stone floor, the footsteps of the duo echo softly through the rooms and hallways as they walk up to the second-floor den. Invading the den, Morgus finds a twenty-foot square room with a twelve-foot ceiling. An elaborate fireplace is in the wall that nestles against the exterior of the manor, along with two three-foot square windows. The room is even more opulent than the rest of the manor that Morgus has seen. A huge maple double four-drawer columned desk with an padded desk arm-chair sits along the wall near the fireplace. In front of the desk, a luxurious bear-hide rug lays on the floor, with its head still attached.
Morgus sits on the long lounge sofa, across the room from the desk, as Ada pours him a crystal tumbler of dark red wine. She hands him the tumbler and says, “Baron Hessan will be with you when he is ready. I will let the Master know you’re here, Master Morgus.”
Morgus accepts the wine and bows from the waist as he continues to sit on the sofa, saying, “Thank you, Ada.”
Smiling, the servant departs, closing the door behind her.
Scrutinizing the chamber, Morgus is in awe at the expense placed in the construction and outfitting of the room. Just the library shelves alone contain at least fifty thousand coins worth of texts. Morgus is impressed at the output of wealth in the estate. As Morgus waits – for nearly two hours – he finishes the tumbler of sweet wine.
Morgus is beginning to become impatient when the door bursts open, and slowly, Baron Hessan ambles in. It is immediately apparent from the wrinkled skin and stooped posture that Hessan is at least a century old, but the Jalmal still bears himself well with deliberate slow determination. He still holds his handsome appearance to some degree, with above average intelligence gleaming through the expression on his clean complexioned face.
Walking to his desk, the baron sits with the assurance of a noble with a great demeanor.
Ada follows him in, and she pours the man a tumbler of the dark red wine, which Morgus found tasted so sweet.
Baron Hessan gestures for Ada to refill Morgus’ tumbler as well. Settling back in the desk chair, Hessan is humming a tune in a low tone, as Ada works. Hessan waits until Ada finishes and leaves the room closing the door. The baron now undertakes a discourse with Morgus, “You wonder why I summoned you? An unknown Mage?”
To be continued in part two …