Episode 002, ‘Red Horse Comb’, Part Three
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.
We continue now with challenge episode Morgus, episode 002, ‘Red Horse Comb’ with part three on:
Autumn 57 Unicorn
When the services are complete, Morgus approaches the large woman and asks, “Are you Priestess Drakin of the Dragon Horsemen? If you are, I was told to inform you that Eric Teller needs your help and that you should come with me.”
“Let me get my gear. Who got hurt?”
Satisfied, Morgus sighs, and then he replies, “Fletcher Moren.”
It’s after nine-thirty in the evening by the time the pair arrive at the fletcher’s shop. Morgus is becoming fatigued, famished and thirsty. As he shows Drakin to Moren, he asks the fletcher, “Do you have something I can drink? And, somewhere that I can cook the fish that I left here?”
Moren, frowning, stares at Morgus. He then says to Morgus, “You’re shit, you know that. But you did what I said though. In the back is my kitchen, help yourself.”
As Drakin starts working on Moren, Morgus heads towards the rear of the store. As he passes through the next room, he spots a full set of Imvor-red horse grooming gear. Sighing a little, he continues to the kitchen where he fillets the two fish after pouring himself an ale. Morgus cooks the fish, as well as some tubers, on the brazier.
Morgus is pleasantly relieved as Drakin helps the hobbling Moren – now with a splinted leg and bound hip – into the kitchen.
Both delightfully sniff the air and smile. Moren scoffs, “So you can cook.”
Ready to serve the meal, Morgus sets plates of food for the three of them on the table. “Sort of. I think I didn’t poison us. No promises, though.”
The other two nervously laugh. As Morgus serves the plates of food, they wait for him to eat first. After Morgus eats several bites of fish and tubers, he says, “I saw what I was looking for as I was passing through your inner room. The red horse comb and grooming gear.”
Glancing over at Morgus, Moren laughs and then says, “You stayed and fought me for that shit? You’re stupid. It’s worth maybe five Dyns to me. Pay my priest bill, and it’s yours.”
Morgus looks at Drakin who casually says, “Five Flairs.”
Morgus sadly shakes his head, and then says, “Not my bill. I’ll send the gear’s owner. Hold the items for the proprietor for twenty days. You’ll know the owner when she tells you that Mage Morgus sent her.”
With some concern, Drakin looks at Moren with determination. “I need payment.”
Moren gruffly looks at Morgus, “It’s your responsibility.”
Thinking quickly, Morgus wonders what will happen if he shrugs this off. He decides that it might not be good to get on the wrong side of the Dragon Horsemen yet. He already must contend with Toaren, and who knows what links he has over here in district thirteen. “If you give me a place to sleep tonight then I’ll cover the charges.”
Painfully, Moren nods curtly. “Done.”
Stiff, Morgus says, “I’ll collect the grooming gear in the morning.”
The fence shakes his head, answering, “No, if you stay the night then the gear is another five Flair for the trouble you’ve caused me – if you want to leave in peace?”
Taking his coin pouch from his belt, Morgus dumps his remaining coins onto the dining table. Counting out five gold Flairs, he hands these to the priest. Counting his remaining coins, he finds he has three Flairs, seven Dyns, and eight dusters to get him through the remainder of the less than 360 days and then back to the Mage’s University.
Autumn 58 Unicorn
Walking into the Punting Horse Stable, Morgus finds both brothers working with horses. Morgus also sees a beautiful mature Toyfem with ultra-rare blonde hair and amber eyes working with a black mare and a tawny year-old colt.
Approaching the brothers, Morgus addresses Terrec. “I found the grooming gear, but they were going to cost me five Flairs to acquire, in addition to the five Flairs it already cost me to leave peacefully. If you want them, it’ll cost you a Flair for me to tell you where they’re at.”
Terrec addresses the Toyfem woman, “Larra, is your grooming gear worth six Flairs to you?”
The woman shakes her head, and she answers casually. “No, leave it there. I can buy new gear for less than a Flair.”
‘Damn to Seven Hells, I lost five Flairs for nothing.’ Thinks the mage. Casually, Morgus smiles and then says, “If you’re ever curious as to where to find the gear, then let me know. Terror, I need a place to sleep tonight. Do you mind putting me up for the night?”
Quick in response, Terrec’s brother, the smaller six-foot-seven-inch Jalmal, says, “A Dyns and you can have a bed in the stable for the night, boyo.”
In the past, Morgus never got along with Essen, and already their relationship is not starting off well.
That evening, Terrec and Morgus spend a few hours rehashing the antics of their childhood days – particularly their runs on the wealthy family estates. Morgus realises that their antics might have been partially to blame for his family having to move.
Essen left the two after he collected a Dyns from Morgus.
Autumn 59 Unicorn
With a easy gait, Morgus left the Punting Horse an hour after gods-rise, arriving at the Perch Inn roughly three hours later.
Entering the tavern, Morgus asks Pedren when he last saw Toaren.
Pedren answers, “Autumn 58, why?”
“Nothing, I was curious.” Morgus stops and asks, “Has Toaren ever said why he is here?”
“Toaren said that he’s looking for something for his barge crew.”
‘Damn it, he’s running a crew now.’ Morgus says, “Thank you Pedren.”
He eats his cold mid-day meal, followed by a relaxing bath, before retiring to his room.
By: Kenneth Shumaker
To be continued in the next episode 003, ‘Blue Horse Toy’ …
Finding the thief of a silver heart belonging to a family friend, Morgus burns the rogue during recovery of the heart.
Returning to the Perch Inn Morgus is presented with a noble summons, setting Morgus in a quandary.
©2016 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
We would like to acknowledge the following for their contributions to these episodes:
Kenneth Shumaker as the episode author.
Kenneth Shumaker is our graphics designer.
Donna Shumaker for editing.
InUPress for the production, publishing and distribution as well as marketing and promotions.
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