Episode 002, ‘Red Horse Comb’
June 26, 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 on challenge episode 001 on Autumn 50 Unicorn with:
Morgus left the Mage’s University traveling to South State District 13, where he paid the Perch Inn for a season’s residency. During his first evening at the Perch Inn, and as he was having a meal, Morgus was confronted by an old acquaintance from his less than legal past.
We continue now with challenge episode Morgus, episode 002, ‘Red Horse Comb’ on:
Autumn 56 Unicorn
Waking to the silence of a room without roommates, Morgus stretches, yawns, and smiles. All those years in the dorm rooms of the mage’s University trained him for lack of privacy and life with schedules. He recalls that he is now renting a private room in the inn his family used to own, before his father’s death.
Within this district, Morgus had many friends with whom he used to run the streets before his mother was forced to give up the inn and move the remaining family away to a new lesser home.
Standing, he stretches again and tries to look around in the pitch darkness. He recalls that he has no windows in his room, which was not an oversight by the innkeeper but a deliberate slight against Morgus’ negotiations when he was negotiating for the room.
“What the seven hells, I still have a private room at a reasonable rate.”
Concentrating, Morgus holds his hand out in front of himself with his index finger extended, and he says boldly, “London”.
A bright Imvor-orange light bursts into existence at the tip of his finger. The glow of a medium light source shows his room within a five-foot radius of the two-inch glowing globe.
Enticingly, Morgus looks around and sees the hooded lantern on the nightstand. He uses his other hand as he reaches towards the wick and says, “Usten”, igniting a small yellow flame at the tip of his extended index finger. Still smiling, he lights the lantern’s wick.
Now that the room is lite fully with lantern light, Morgan extinguishes the flame on his fingertip, as well as the Imvor-orange globe of light on his other fingertip.
‘I think it’s time to visit some haunts of old friends and see if anyone familiar is still around.’ Thinks the mage as he uses the chamber pot in the far corner of his small twelve-foot-square room.
Extinguishing the lantern, and walking out of his room down to the tavern, Morgus finds Toaren, already eating his morning meal.
In spite of there being several unoccupied tables available to sit at, Morgus sits with Toaren. He says to the bargewright, “Good morning bargewright. You never told me if you’re working.”
Disgruntled with a mean expression, Toaren scowls and tosses his fork onto his plate. He glares at Morgus. “I never invited you to sit with me, boyo.”
Morgus shrugs, and then says, “I know – But we got off to a bad start yesterday. I thought I would try to make amends today.”
Huffing, Toaren hastily stands and walks out of the tavern.
Pedren approaches the table as Morgus frowns and watches Toaren stomp away.
The tavern server clears his throat while looking at Morgus.
Clucking his tongue, Morgus jolts to the present and turns to the tavern keeper. “Yeah, I’ll have my morning meal, please. Did Toaren pay for his?”
Pedren shakes his head and answers, “No, he never.”
The tavern keeper answers, “Seven dusters. What can I get you?”
The mage considers events, and then smiling at Pedren, he says, “I’ll have a couple of eggs and some bacon, with an ale.”
Easily, Pedren replies, “That will be another six dusters, Master.”
Morgus offers Pedren thirteen dusters and the tavern keeper heads to the kitchen. He soon brings Morgus his morning meal.
Leaving the Perch Inn after his meal, Morgus travels southeast on Drescol Street until he reaches South State Road. Crossing the intersection, Morgus then continues on the paved Drescol Road eastward until he reaches 1516 Drescol Road, Punting Horse Stable.
Standing outside the large courtyard of these noisy stables, Morgus recalls that his older friend, Terrec, used to live here.
Shivering nervously, Morgus enters the half full courtyard and walks toward the large three-story stone house.
As Morgus is nearing the red-painted house, a high voice calls to him from the stable. “Hey, we’re over here. What can we do for you?”
Recognising the voice, even after being away twenty years, Morgus turns sharply and walks towards the giant man.
Greeting the seven-foot-two-inch average appearing Jalmal, Morgus smiles and begins to extend his arm. “Good-day Terrec. It has been too many years.” Morgus resists breaking into pirate speak here.
The giant of a man squints as he peers at the six-foot-four-inch and two-hundred-pound mage, frowning as the ex-pirate draws closer to Terrec. He asks cautiously, “Do I know you?”
Morgus laughs as he finishes extending his arm to the stable master. He then says, “Yes, but long ago, old friend. We were trouble buddies, running together on the streets of Drescol Road area and terrorizing the hapless rich families. Though, that was over twenty years ago.”
A light sparks in his mind and Terrec suddenly grins mischievously and asks, “Is that you, Mor?”
The two men eagerly clasp arms as Morgus nods and says, “Yes, Terror Tot.”
Laughing, the two men embrace in an awkward hug. Then, backing away from each other, they examine each other thoroughly.
Terrec is wearing a blacksmith’s apron over dark leather leggings and a grey wool short-sleeve tunic. On his feet are ankle-high leather boots.
Morgus has on a long-sleeved bright orange wool tunic, and vibrant Imvor-red wool leggings with knee-high brown leather boots, topped off with a wide-brimmed Imvor-orange leather hat.
But, even with his dandyish appearance, Morgus doesn’t take care where he sets his footing, not bothering to avoid soil surprises from animals.
Terrec leads Morgus into the stables while asking in his crude Jal. “What brings you down this way, old friend?”
In the stable’s office, Morgus takes the seat indicated as Terrec pours two light ales. He answers Terrec. “Well, I’m not really sure. I have a year to travel, work, or cause havoc before I return to the Mage’s University to take my journeyman test for certification. So, I thought I would hang-out in South State for a while. I came to my old stomping grounds to see what I could find.”
Intrigued, the two men eye each other as they slowly drink their ale.
To be continued in part two of episode 002, ‘Red Horse Comb’ …