Episode 005, Black Sword Pangolin
August 21, 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 69 Unicorn
Thanking Ada, Morgus returns to his quarters where he makes a list of items he requires for spell research and scribing, as well as one for a plan for parchment crafting. Setting these aside, he chooses a text from the shelves which Baron Hessan had abundantly stocked for him. Sitting down, he starts to read until an hour after gods-set.
Taking a set of clean clothing with him, Morgus wanders down to the cellar and finds a hot steaming, violet-scented bath waiting for him. He has also been supplied with several plush linen towels and a washing cloth, as well as several ounces of oiled soap powders. Happily, Morgus luxuriates in his first noble servants’ bath. Morgus takes an hour to enjoy the treat, before happily returning to his room.
This evening is alleviating his fears from earlier.
Autumn 70 Bear
At gods-rise, after the Baron Hessan has eaten his morning meal, he has Ada summon Morgus to the baron’s study.
Arriving in the study, Morgus finds Larap sitting near the soothing fire of the fireplace. Pointing to a second chair near his, Larap commands, “Sit.”
Obeying, Morgus quickly takes the seat, finding it warm and comfortable.
Dryly, Larap states, while pointing to two medium size chests. “Our agreement is eighteen Dyns per day for as long as I live, plus a signing bonus of two-thousand Flairs. Seven Hells if I’m going to carry two-thousand Flairs for you. Those two chests have one thousand in each. You carry them to your rooms. They’re your responsibility after that.”
Looking at the two chests, Morgus indignantly grunts. He’ll ask for help to carry them up, as they’re both over one-hundred pounds. Turning to Larap, “Thank you Baron Hessan, I appreciate this.”
With little concern, Larap waves Morgus off, saying, “Have them out by noon … or I reclaim them.”
Standing and bowing to Larap, Morgus swiftly exits the office in search of Ada. Finding her in the kitchen with the cook, Morgus asks, “My dear Ada, I have a task to complete, and I was wondering if you’d help me with it?”
Ada hrumps loudly and then says, “It’ll cost you. Is it those damn chests Bushnel and I lugged to the baron’s study?”
Bowing deep, Morgus acknowledges her, saying, “Indeed it is, all the way up to my rooms … you and me.”
Ada slumps forward, sighing, “Damn Seven Hells, my aching knees, and those damn stairs … it’ll cost you one Flair a chest.”
Pulling two Flairs directly from his coin pouch, Morgus holds them out to her.
Ada smiles and accepts the coins as Morgus responds, “We have to do it now. Larap gave me only two hours to move them.”
They move the chests quickly, as both are strong, able workers, despite Ada telling Morgus otherwise. Setting the chests in his bedroom, Morgus tips Ada a third Flair and another thank you.
Needing a physical rest after the carrying the two 155 pound chests up two flights of stairs to his rooms, Morgus decides to work on the studying of his spell.
Getting lost in his spell for over five hours, Morgus comes out of his reverie to find midday had passed long ago and evening meal will be in three hours.
Walking around the grounds of the estate with Bushnel, Morgus begins collecting items for parchment making, and placing the supplies in the space of the craftshop provided to him by Bushnel. The location is more than adequate. There is more room than Morgus is used to working in. He is able to set up his troughs, including drainage, work tables, and surfaces. Almost everything is available, except a few crafting supply work items. Such as there are no hides available, so Morgus needs to find a farm, market, or butcher to get the hides he needs. Plus, the knives he needs will have to be purchased. Satisfied with their progress, Morgus and Bushnel enter the manor to clean up for evening meal.
After the meal, Morgus pays Busia the thirty-seven gold coins for the clothing.
Autumn 71 Unicorn
Yesterday was sweltering hot. Today, the gods switched, freezing the world enough to cause ice on the edges of any open water. This is the environment of autumn in Mount Oryn of North Amara on Quantos. It is a world of extremes.
Spending the morning in his study, Morgus is twisting his mind over the new ‘continual light’ spell that he is crafting – a spell of greater difficulty than any he has tried before. Morgus is attempting a spell that is more complex than even a journeyman with five-years service would be expected to try.
Midday meal finds Morgus’ mind warped and tired from trying to work out the spell. He eats with Ada, where he asks her. “Is there a decent blade-smith nearby who makes good knives – someone who I can buy from, or who will make specialty knives for me?”
Blinking, Ada thinks a moment, and then replies, “Master Smith Beraran at 928 Drescol Street.”
“Thank you, Ada, I’ll go see him after our meal.”
Walking the six kilometres in two-and-a-half hours, Morgus finds Beraran Smith quickly enough, with his large hammer sign situated at the gate to the smith’s courtyard.
Encountering the thirty-year-old Jalmal is another treat, as he is excited upon greeting Morgus, fidgeting wildly, moving oddly and hands jittering. “Gods-grace and good fate Master, how may I be of service to you?”
Trying to be gracious, Morgus returns. “Gods-grace and good fate Master Beraran, I’m in need of parchment crafting knives. A whole set if I can get them?”
Chuckling, the smith leads Morgus to his displays, pointing to his well-crafted set of skinning and draw knives. The knives are used for cleaning and dressing hides and then for processing the hides for typical parchment. He says, “This is a set I made for a master’s student who passed away from illness before I finished. I’ll sell them to you for a decent price – fifty Flairs. The knives are masterly crafted by me.”
Morgus, knowing knife quality, examines a few of the knives. Spotting a few imperfections, he points these out, stating, “I’ll pay ten Flairs for the lot; they’re only worth five.”
Taken off guard by Morgus, Beraran huffs gruffly, puffing out his chest, saying, “The cost of material that has gone into these is more; pay me at least twenty.”
Walking away from the knives, Morgus replies, “Craft a new set without imperfections, and I might consider paying twenty. But I’ll never pay twenty for that set.”
“Okay, ten, just so I can get rid of them.” Pleads Beraran.
Morgus shakes his head, “No! They’re not worth the effort – make a better set. I need quality knives for my work.”
To be continued in part three next week …