By Kenneth Shumaker
Episode 010, ‘Green Horse Dart’
Written, June 2017.
Part 1, publishing on Virily January 20, 2018.
We continue now with part one of Morgus Episode E010, ‘Green Horse Dart’:
Winter 6 Unicorn
It was early morning when they woke up in the farmer’s house and heard the news of the fire at the Harrow Estate manor fire.
Hearing that twenty-seven unidentified bodies were found at the estate. In the stables of the barn, there was gear for thirty-two horses, though there were no horses. The whole scene was called suspicious. A suspected pirate gang war.
This morning, the farmer is cooking the group a king’s meal.
Morgus looks intently at the farmer as she gives him another side glance while she smirks.
Morgus finally asks her, “What? … why?”
Bowing slightly to Morgus, Heda laughs. “Those bastards stole my cow and several chickens. It was you, wasn’t it? You torched the bunch of them. That’s why the night before, you come sneaking back in here late, smelling of that place. And yesterday afternoon, you returned while you smelled of smoke and had bruises and cuts. No worries … I smelt and saw it all. But I won’t be tellin’ no authorities. You get the best here I can give you. Others have lost livestock and property, too … they’ll want to give you a reward for getting rid of the bastards.”
Gendal snorts, and then says, “You have to keep it quiet, Heda. The authorities will charge him with arson.”
Leaning over, Heda replies softly, “I’ll not mention a name. But where can I send the reward?”
Coughing harshly, Tussel peers at Morgus before saying, “It’s your choice, Magus.”
Viewing Heda’s meagre possessions, the extravagant meal she’s prepared for them, and considering that her son even went hunting and got a hare for Square, Morgus nods benignly. “Send what you can only truly afford to Baron Larap Hessan’s – to his advisor, Mage Morgus. If your people have any other trouble, send a message there as well.”
Dropping to one knee after curtsying, Heda kisses Morgus’ hand, with tears in her eyes. “Mage Morgus, we are indebted to you. We could never ask for more. We’ll send what tribute we can.”
Motioning her up, Morgus stands and aids her in finishing with the cooking of the meal, admiring her humble skills.
Winter 7 Unicorn
Sitting with Ada and Hez after the morning Imvor services, Morgus explained the adventure as best he was able to. Yesterday, he explained the events to Larap, and the pampaloo granted him today as a free day. Taking advantage of this boon, Morgus continues to recover by resting and playing with Square.
In the evening, he gives the bitch a bath and clips out most of the ratty knots from her coat. She has been very calm about it, and most of the emerald-green washed out of her fur, leaving a yellow golden coat of three-inch-long hair.
He estimates that Square is light for her build, at around seventy-five to eighty pounds.
At Heda’s farm, Square ate almost the entire hare in less than an hour. Since their arrival at Hessan estate, Morgus has fed her as many table and kitchen scraps as Ada will allow.
When Morgus walks anywhere, she follows just to his right, slightly behind about a foot-and-a-half, heeling as a well-trained dog should.
Working with her, he finds she already knows ‘sit’ and ‘lay’ and several other commands.
As a reward for Square, Morgus purchased and killed one of Larap’s chickens from Ada. To observe Square’s eating habits, Morgus feeds her the chicken in his office.
He has placed a course woven mat near his desk as her eating area, where he positions a large wooden platter for food and a silver gallon basin for water.
As Square ate, she managed to keep the chicken (guts, feathers, and all) contained on the mat.
Then, as Morgus was reading Larap’s tome on ‘Noble Chamberlain Duties’, Square laid on her assigned sleeping mat to wait for him.
Morgus can’t understand how anyone would mistreat such a dog. Why would anyone not care about her dreadful physical condition, and why dye her a god-awful emerald-green, treating her such that she’d desert her master and take up with a total stranger?
A twinge of guilt for taking Square enters Morgus’ mind.
As the two day-gods are setting, the two of them go for one last walk of the estate gardens so Square can do her relieving and get a drink of fresh water from the display garden fountain.
Finished with her duties, together they sit on the benches as they watch the southern Stonewire set under the western horizon, followed eight minutes later by Imvor setting in the North’s western horizon.
Even Square seems to appreciate the majesty of the events.
Seeing the three night-gods in their journey of the night, Morgus stands and begins his walk back to the manor.
He’s surprised as he turns to find Sergeant Elmar standing behind the bench, watching them. Neither of the two noticed the Elfmal approach. Now, only seeing his profile in the dim darkness of night, Morgus asks, “That you Elmar?”
The elf chuckles as he lifts his shuttered hooded lantern and raises the hood halfway to reveal the area and himself. He bows, “Hero of Hessan, you gain fame already, and you’ve been with us just a short while. I hear you’ve only been in South State a season and away from your University slightly longer. You are going far if you live.”
Chuckling as Morgus watches Square approach Elmar and sniff the elf’s outstretched hand. Satisfied, Square allows Elmar to scratch her between her ears.
Elmar grins as he is given permission to scratch her and he does so, returning his attention back to Morgus. “As you know: elves, for most intent and purpose, are immortal. We don’t age after we turn two-hundred or so – upon reaching adulthood. We see and hear, observing many things, with our society as a repository of much history. I will be recording your passing in our records of history, Magus. As a society, elves particularly value those who are practitioners of esoteric arts. I favour bards, myself, but a mage is a treat to observe for someone of my social rank. Do I have your permission?”
Confounded by the Elf’s request, Morgus sits again. “What about the walking-dead we still need to deal with? They may still take any or all of us.”
Chuckling, Elmar then states, “I think you have that already figured out and in hand, Master. If you grant me your rights, I would be honoured, and I will serve you as well as Larap. You first, of course.”
Shaking his head, Morgus is trying to grasp what Elmar is actually telling him. Morgus utters, “But how? I can’t afford to pay you.”
Bowing, Elmar says, “Just say yes and don’t worry about paying me or the how. I have that handled.”
Glancing at Square, who is standing next to Elmar with her tail wagging and staring at Morgus, they catch eyes.
Square gives one bark while her tail wags even faster.
This ends part 1 of the Morgus episode 010 wrote by, Kenneth Shumaker.
To be continued in Morgus episode 010 part 2.
May the words stay with you!
©2017 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press