By Kenneth Shumaker
Episode 011, ‘Teal Hexagon Panther’
Written on July 17, 2017
Part one published on Virily on February 12, 2018.
Part two published on Virily on February 15, 2018.
We continue now with Morgus episode E011, part 2, ‘Teal Hexagon Panther,’ on …
Winter 9 Unicorn
Waving off Morgus, Larap utters, “Make it happen … and make it grand but small. Construct the temple so it can hold two hundred or so patrons. Make it stone, two stories tall, but only one floor inside with a cathedral ceiling. Boyo, get a decent engineer and stone carving masons. Now, get the seven hells out. I’m working.”
Stunned, Morgus almost drops his drink, before he sets it on the side table and asks, “This is my and Hez’ project?”
Waving him off again, Larap utters, “Yes! … Yes, ten thousand is your budget. Now get.”
Stumbling awkwardly, Morgus leaves Baron Hessan’s large office, trying to comprehend what just happened and the budget of ten thousand, almost forgetting his original quest. Then bumping physically into Hon in the hallway, Morgus looks at the priest and grins, saying, “When I return, I need to talk with Hez. For now, see what you can do about recovering the brigand so I can talk to him.”
Shaking his head, Hon responds, “You won’t be talking with him when he recovers. There is too much burn damage to his face and throat for speech now.”
Scrunching his brows together, Morgus frowns and sarcastically mutters, “No? … Really?”
Looking serious and concerned, Hon replies, “Yes, Master.”
Walking away grinning, Morgus walks down the stairs, saying, “Okay. Sorry to hear that. Recover him as much as possible anyway.”
Arriving at the Platter Holding’s house, Morgus has knocked three times, and no one has responded in five minutes. Walking to the outbuildings, he doesn’t find anyone there either.
Determined to find a wagon team, he thinks long on where else to go. It’s an hour afternoon now, so Morgus prefers somewhere close by. Then a thought comes to him: Terror Tot has a stable and ostler business at Punting Horse Stables. Why not try him?
Walking into the stable yard with its big red house and huge stable, Morgus is greeted by Terrec’s younger brother, Essen. The six-foot-nine-inch brute gruffly confronts Morgus. “What the seven hells are you doing here? You here to cause more trouble?”
Disgusted by Essen at the best of times, Morgus refrains from the rebuttal that comes to mind, saying instead, “I’ve come to rent a wagon team.”
Turning to walk away, Essen replies, “Get lost; we don’t rent to troublemakers or thieves. Seeing as you’re both, we’re definitely not renting to you.”
Undeterred, Morgus enters the stable looking for Terrec. Morgus finds the seven-foot two-inch Toymal giant at his forge, working on a new horseshoe. Morgus assumes the shoe is for the stallion tethered near Terrec.
Approaching the unusual Toy, Morgus coughs twice while standing a few feet away.
Essen grabs him from behind, but Morgus refuses to be coerced into melee with the brute. Morgus is saved from the confrontation as Terrec sets down his horseshoe and rushes over, shouting, “Hey, Morgus. Welcome!”
Essen stares Morgus in the eyes, glaring insanely at the magus.
Holding eye-lock only long enough to show he won’t be bullied, Morgus turns back to Terrec, “Hey Terror Tot, who you teasing these days?”
Laughing, he gestures to the forge and replies, “Iron and horses. You?”
Turning back to Essen, Morgus replies, “Brigands in two areas … they are dead now.” Morgus grins as he releases his eye-lock with Essen. Morgus turns back to Terrec and asks, “I have so many bodies. I need to rent a wagon to transport the corpses to the Temple for Right of Passages. I will pay well. I already have labour … just not the transport.”
Thinking briefly, Terrec looks down at Morgus with respect, “Sixteen Dyns a day gets you a wagon and two horses if you supply the drover. The cost is two Flairs a day if we supply the drover.” Feeling a solid hard thump of a fist striking him between his shoulder blades, Morgus whirls around to find Essen growling as he’s walking away.
Turning back to Terrec, Morgus says, “I hate saying this … but if he does that again, I’ll retaliate. He’s been pushing me since I’ve come back, Terror. As to the wagon, I’ll take the team without a drover. I know who your drover is and I refuse. I’ll figure out how to drive the team. Do you need a deposit?”
Holding out his hand, Terrec says, “Ten Flairs.”
After Morgus pays the ostler, Terrec shows him how to hitch the team and the basics of driving. They drive out of the yard and up Drescol a kilometre and back before Morgus leaves.
Nearing the Perch Inn late in the day, Morgus decides to rent a room for the night. Booking with the innkeeper, Morgus catches up on the news with the staff, leaving a few dusters in tips before retiring for the night after a hearty hot meal and two ales.
Winter 10 Unicorn
As an average day, the sphere is clear when Morgus sets out for Hessan estate after his pleasant stay at the Perch Inn. Leaving the staff happy. Morgus drives his rented team northwest on Drescol Street, the last four kilometres to the estate.
Pulling into the courtyard, he then unharnesses the two horses, grooms, stables, and feeds them, and then heads into the manor.
An excited Square is up walking about while Morgus washes his hands and face in his room. Spending a few minutes playing with the great yellow hound, Morgus marvels at how loyal she seems even after the terror which transpired out on the road. He examines her bandages to be sure they’re still secure before wandering down to the staff suites to find Ada.
Finding Ada, Morgus asks, “Ada, can you find it in your kind heart to acquire an appointment for me with the Baron?”
Chuckling, she gestures to the stairs. “You have two feet, and his office is open to you. He’s up there now, so go.”
Bowing graciously to his tormentor, Morgus runs up to the second-floor office. Knocking on the door, he receives the command to enter.
Bowing deeply to Larap, Morgus says, “I’m headed to the Teal Hexagon in the morning. I have a wagon team. May I take Gendal to drive and Elmar to guard the prisoner who is now conscious – or so healer-priest Hon tells me.”
Gesturing for Morgus to leave, Larap says, “As long as they’re with you, then you pay their wages, Boyo.”
Exasperated at the frugal yet extravagant spending of Larap Hessan, Morgus leaves the office after one last gracious bow.
At evening meal, Morgus says, “Gendal and Elmar, you’re leaving at gods-rise tomorrow with me and the prisoner, who we’re taking to the Teal Hexagon. Be prepared for four days away. We have Hessan’s blessing as long as I pay your wages. Gendal, five dusters a day. Elmar, four Flairs a day … agreed?”
Written by, Kenneth Shumaker.
May the words stay with you!
©2017 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
To be continued in the next Morgus episode 012, ‘Red Horse Sword,’ …