Written and produced by, Kenneth Shumaker
Episode 012, ‘Red Horse Sword’
Written, August 26, 2017
Part one published on Virily on February 22, 2018.
We continue now with Morgus episode E012, ‘Red Horse Sword’ on …
Winter 11 Unicorn
Departing from Hessan’s estate, Morgus takes the which is prisoner guarded in the cabin by Elmar and Square, while he and Gendal sit up on the driver’s seat of the extravagant carriage of finely carved cherry wood with steel fixtures, also trimmed with gold and silver inlay. The four-horse team pulling the carriage are quick and guided expertly by Gendal.
On this blistering freezing day, under a covered sphere, they avoid the significant potholes in Drescol Street as they rush along the stone-paved street of South State District 13 of the royal city of Mount Oryn.
Their hands and feet are bundled warmly, as people watch their breath trail out in tendrils of a smoky haze.
The carriage needs to traverse thirteen kilometres today, and with the stones of the street slick from the frost this morning, Gendal is careful not to make sudden rash changes in their course.
Late, after dark, the carriage arrives at the Teal Hexagon in a driving snow squall.
Knowing that the Hexagon’ll be closed, Morgus seeks shelter at an inn.
They locate a nearby local inn, The Dorlets, which is situated between the Hexagon and the City Watch post with an Imvor hostel nearby.
While shivering uncontrollably, Morgus books three rooms and the stables, taking the prisoner into the inn with him.
Maliciously wondering if he should feed the man, Morgus does offer him a few morsels of food and sips of drink – enough to keep him alive but not enough to satiate his hunger or thirst.
Winter 12 Bear
Entering the Hexagon Court, half-an-hour after the two day-gods rise into the sphere, Morgus’ feet are soaked in his cloth shoes. Wet from the slush of the melting snow, which is melting quickly due to the fast-rising temperatures outside. The air outside barely moves with its lazy eastward zephyr, creating an extremely humid day, making it feel even colder than yesterday’s freezing blizzard.
Walking to the front reception desk, Morgus addresses the clerk. “I’m looking for Magistrate Panther’s office?”
Looking over Morgus and his yellow hound, Square, the clerk frowns, curling her lips downward. “Why?”
Flustered, Morgus frowns as he shudders slightly as he tries to come up with a reasonable response, and then he replies, “I have legal matters to discuss with her, important matters requiring her signature.”
Shrugging noncommittedly, the clerk answers. “Number six on the third floor … sign in.” She turns the registrar tome so that Morgus can sign.
After Morgus signs the registrar, the clerk makes a note that a dog is with Morgus.
Walking up the two flights of stairs to the third floor, Morgus searches for number six.
Finding the door open, he discovers a reception room with a clerk at a desk. The clerk looks up, glaring at him and commands, “What?”
Becoming frustrated with the rudeness of the clerks, Morgus grumbles out. “I’m looking for Panther.”
The woman asks grumpily, “Do you have an appointment? … I don’t recognize you?”
Shaking his head vigorously, the mage replies, “No! I’m mage Morgus … Baron Hessan sent me to deliver a package – a prisoner.”
Sliding her hand down the columns of an appointment ledger, the twenty-six-year-old clerk mutters, “The earliest I can fit you in is just before evening meal. The last slot in Panther’s work day. Don’t be late.”
Gasping, Morgus mutters under his breath, cursing to Stonewire, and then he says, “Do I bring the prisoner with me?”
Waving both hands rapidly, she sputters, “Spheres … NO! Just meet with the magistrate and make your arrangements for tomorrow.”
Becoming cantankerous at all the runarounds, Morgus thinks better of what he wants to say. Instead, he bows and walks with Square back to the Dorlets Inn to talk with Gendal and Elmar until two hours before evening meal time.
Walking back to Panther’s office, he enters to find the reception woman closing up. She looks over at Morgus and says, “Good, you’re on time. Go on in. I’m done here. Let yourself out when you’re finished.”
The next room holds a large desk in a space bigger than Morgus’ office. The room also contains three desk chairs, a couch, a fireplace, and an entire wall comprised of tome shelves. The shelves are full of tomes. There are more tomes and scrolls are on the floor, desk, and on a small table. Lanterns brightly light the room. An average appearing Jalfem of about fifty-years age is sitting at the desk.
She looks up at Morgus. “What would you like?”
Sitting across from her at the desk, Morgus answers, “I’m here to deliver a brigand as a prisoner for justice.”
Motioning for him to leave. “See the clerk at reception in the morning. They’ll look after it.”
Morgus shakes his head. “I’d rather you take the prisoner off my hand. I was personally attacked by several brigands, and I defeated them; taking a prisoner who survived. The prisoner is heavily wounded and unable to speak … so I’d prefer to hand him off to someone with benign skills.”
Slapping the desk with a loud thud, growling, the woman asks, “Who do you think I am?”
Morgus bows from his chair. “The Panther of the Teal Hexagon, magistrate of great skills.”
Taking the flattery as it is, Panther says, “If you can take the sword from a Red Horse, I’ll take the prisoner.”
Finding an opening, Morgus asks, “Where?”
Motioning behind her, to the north. “Meet in the north courtyard garden an hour after gods-set.”
Flabbergasted at all these delays, Morgus asks, “Why not now?”
She laughs before replying, “I have to fetch the Red Horse after my evening meal. Meet an hour after gods-set.”
Nodding, Morgus agrees. “Okay, I’ll go and eat too. I’ll be back.”
Arriving in the garden, which is lit by several hooded lanterns, Morgus is looking for a red horse but doesn’t find one. Instead, he sees a crowd of twenty-five people surrounding Panther and a mid-thirties Toyfem, both who are seated on a bench.
Approaching the two, Morgus asks Panther, “Where’s the red horse?”
Both stand and Panther points to the five-foot Toyfem. “Right here. This is Red Horse, our special enforcer for the Hexagon. You have five minutes once I turn this watch glass, to take her cutlass and hold onto it.”
Looking down at the hefty short woman, Morgus wonders, ‘How tough could this be?’
The woman pulls out a shiny cutlass from her scabbard. She waves the sword expertly about in fancy movements of figure-eights and flourishes that include passes through under her arm and behind her back.
The stunning moves change Morgus’ assessment on the ease of the challenge.
We now end, Morgus episode E012 part one, ‘Red Horse Sword’ …
May the words stay with you!
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