Episode 005, Black Sword Pangolin
August 28, 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. 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 Episode 009, ‘Black Sword Pangolin’ on:
Autumn 71 Unicorn
Eager to please, Beraran says, “Okay, come back in twelve days and I’ll have a set of eight knives for you for twenty Flairs.” He extends his arm to clasp.
Morgus looks at Beraran but doesn’t clasp arms, stating, “I’ll be back around Autumn 83 to examine the knives. If the knives meet the qualities I need, then I’ll purchase them.”
Leaving Beraran, Morgus turns south toward Platter holding. He arrives tired, several hours later, where he finds Lasiter home.
Opening the house door, Lasiter greets Morgus enthusiastically. “Good day Master Morgus. How fare thou?”
Chuckling, Morgus extends his arm, stating, “Because of you, I’m Baron Hessan’s aide and estate Mage. I owe you a debt of gratitude, my friend.”
Motioning Morgus inside, Lasiter smiles broadly, saying, “Then we should celebrate. Come in and have a drink with me.”
Entering the Platter house, Morgus sits with Lasiter at the kitchen table, accepting a dark sour rum. “Lasiter, do you know where I can get some good hides for making parchment?”
Lasiter stops and thinks for a bit, and then replies, “I have a couple hides, and I can search around, fetching you more. Where do you want them sent? Say, three Flairs each?”
Morgus flinches, saying, “I appreciate that, but I would have to see the hides and inspect each of them before I pay that much. I would only pay two Flairs without seeing them first. Or, you can deliver them for my inspection, and I will buy the ones I want for three Flairs?”
Leaning forward, Lasiter offers, “I’ll take three Flairs each for the ones you inspect and accept if you return the ones you don’t accept.”
Hesitating, Morgus adds, “Only if you cover the expense of returns.”
Extending his arm, Lasiter grins then says, “Done.”
The two men clasp arms, and an agreement is arranged. Morgus says firmly. “I need at least twenty good hides in the near future.”
Nodding, Lasiter acknowledges Morgus’ order.
Autumn 72 Unicorn
Morgus stretches as he has spent another five hours in studying of his ‘continual light’. True to his word, he checks in with Larap this morning and found no new work with the Baron. Later, with a total of fifteen hours of study into the spell, Morgus is slightly disturbed by Ada knocking on his door.
Opening his door, Morgus asks, “Yes, Ada?”
The servant boldly says, “A Master Lasiter is downstairs in the waiting room; are you expecting him?”
Morgus jumps forward, nearly tripping as he says, “I’ll be down to meet him. Where is the waiting room?”
Stepping out of Morgus’ way as he rushes by, Ada replies, “First room to the left coming in from the entrance.”
Bounding down the stairs rapidly, Morgus arrives in the waiting room as indicated by Ada. He greets Lasiter enthusiastically, “Great day to you Lasiter. Did you bring hides?”
Pointing to an enormous bundle by the door, Lasiter smiles eagerly, saying, “Indeed, I brought four to start with.”
Unwrapping the package, Morgus carefully examines the four hides in minute detail, looking for scaring and damages that disqualify any of the hides for his use. Finished with examining the hides, he tosses one aside, saying, “I reject this one. But, as agreed, I’ll pay three coin a piece for these three now. Seventeen more hides and I’ll be on my way to being happy.” He hands Lasiter nine gold coins.
The farmer gingerly handles the coins, quickly placing them in his coin pouch. Then Lasiter hastily wraps the rejected hide, as Morgus carefully rolls the other three.
They walk out of the waiting room together: Lasiter to go home, and Morgus to take his new acquisitions to his space in the shop to begin preparations for making parchment.
Morgus determines that Lasiter had prepared the one hide so well, that Morgus can put the hide in the soaking bath with minimal preparation. It takes Morgus several hours of preparations and general work to prepare the other two.
Cleaning up afterwards, he enters the manor in time for evening meal. Morgus goes to the staff dining room after confirming with Baron Hessan that there is no immediate work for him.
Autumn 73 Unicorn
Late in the morning, with his mind exhausted after completing another five hours of mind-wrenching computations for his spell, Morgus sits back overjoyed as he cheers, “Praise Stonewire!” He has put over twenty hours of work into developing the ‘continual light’ spell. Now it is time to test the incantation to see if it works. Having dedicated twenty-minutes of mind-numbing memorization to the spell, Morgus finally stands and looks at the wick-hood of his lantern trying to decide if he should cast on the canvas wick or the metal hood. Then, with his decision made to cast on the small metal hood, Morgus gestures and utters, “York.” He is nearly blinded by the brilliant Imvor orange-red light, illuminating the entire room.
Quickly, Morgus moves to draw the lantern shutters closed, drawing it down to a mere quarter sliver, thus, dimming the illumination enough to light the room, but not overwhelmingly so. “Well, that worked. Let’s see how long the light lasts.”
Sitting and using the light from the hooded lantern, with his spell illuminating his surroundings, Morgus begins the tedious process of meticulously scribing the newly learned spell into his spell-tome, which is now filling past the halfway mark. Celebrating as well while he scribes, Morgus pours himself a tumbler of Baron Larap’s wine to drink while scribing, indulging for the first time during his study since arriving and setting up his laboratory and office.
Autumn 75 Unicorn
Before morning meal with the staff, Morgus convened a meeting with Baron Hessan to confirm any work – finding nothing. After eating a hasty morning meal, Morgus excitedly returns to his brightly lit study with the spell still lighting the area around the lantern, still from the original casting, going on the third day now.
Past gods-set, Morgus sets down his quill, stretching and then rubbing his eyes. Looking down at his tome, he counts the pages he filled in his completion of the scribing of ‘continual light’. Five – five neatly packed note filled pages with diagrams, calculations, and notes. Satisfied that he has the complete spell scribed into the tome, Morgus paces between his two rooms for twenty minutes. Then, he sits and begins memorizing a castable version of the spell.
We continue in part four of Morgus episode 005, ‘Black Sword Pangolin’, next week.