Episode 005, Black Sword Pangolin
August 16, 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.
Previously on episode 008 on Autumn 65 Unicorn:
Morgus resolves his summoning puzzle, finding a dilemma where he must face his nemesis, Bargewright Toaren. Morgus does so while temporarily in service to Baron Hessan. Morgus used to raid Hessan estate as a youth, but Larap appears not to recall this. Morgus faces down Toaren, apparently winning this round and Baron Hessan’s favour.
We continue now with Episode 009, ‘Black Sword Pangolin’ on:
Autumn 69 Unicorn
After a restless night in Hessan Estate’s Manor, Morgus rises two hours before Stonewire breaks the eastern horizon’s southern hemisphere.
He has a long day ahead – traveling to Perch Inn to gather his gear and clear his accounts there, and then return to Hessan’s today.
Eating with the rest of the manor’s staff, Morgus sits in their dining room which is near the kitchen, talking with Busia, the twenty-year-old Jalmal tailor, Morgus asks, “Do you have the time to craft tunics and leggings for me?”
Briskly, Busia responds, “Of course, Morgus, anything else?”
Smiling ruefully, Morgus adds, “Yes, if you have opportunity – a new hat and shoes?”
Extending his arm quickly, Busia grins, saying, “Yes, two of each.”
Flabbergasted, Morgus clasps arms with Busia, asking, “How much will this cost?”
The clothier quickly does calculations, and then he replies, “Seventeen Flairs for the works.”
Choking, Morgus expected to be quoted a lower amount. “I’m used to a total more like 6.50 coin. Why so much?”
Busia grins broadly as he thumps the table. “I don’t make common items or use commoners’ materials, my friend. If you want common, go to the markets. I am offering you a deal as it is, cutting about twenty percent off the costs.”
Stunned again, Morgus takes a moment before he can reply. “So, these would cost over twenty Flairs?”
Abruptly, Busia nods once.
Sighing, Morgus is exasperated with the deal he just made. Obviously, living here isn’t going to be cheap. Morgus adds, “Add a belt and necessary adornments as well. Tell me how much that’ll cost.”
Without delay, Busia replies, “I’ll do the rest for another twenty coin.”
Coughing as he chokes, Morgus closes his eyes, realising he shouldn’t have spoken. He just spent thirty-seven of his two-thousand flairs on his first morning before even starting work.
Walking out of the manor, looking back, he feels overwhelmed by the extravagance of all this already. He walks down the paved driveway to the street, in a hurry to reach the Perch Inn. Pondering recent events, technically he has elevated his status in society by two social classes, yet he could very well loose those today or tomorrow.
He best not get too comfortable or cocky with this.
At the Perch Inn, Morgus addresses the innkeeper, Master Toya, “I’m checking out of my room today. You can keep my rent and rent out the room again.”
Fidgeting, Toya looks flustered as he shakes and flutters his hands, blinking his eyes as he utters, “You and that bargewright as well. He moved out at gods-rise. What did you two do?
Intrigued, Morgus, is not wanting to start fires, shrugs, answering, “I found a job, fairly far away. I’m moving to my work.”
Resigned to lost tenants, Toya turns the register log, so Morgus can sign out, saying, “Good luck to you Master Morgus; you treated my staff decently. I heard no complaints about you, except from Master Toaren. But he complained about a good many things, so I take no mind of his complaints.”
Signing the register, Morgus replies, “Fair enough, you’ve taken good care of my old home, Toya. Good breaths to you.”
With his signing out completed, Morgus enters his room and packs his belongings. He then returns to his new home in Hessan manor.
Arriving late in the day, about two hours before evening meal for staff, Morgus settles his belongings and arranges his two rooms to his liking. He sets up the study as his laboratory, library, and work office. He then washes before going down to the staff dining room to eat. Arriving in the dining room, Morgus inquires with Ada, “Where do I take my baths and do my laundry?”
Calm with seriousness, Ada says with a straight expression, “Your laundry is my duty. Your bath I prepare in the cellar in the staff facilities. I’ll show you the cellar staff suite after we eat. You can leave your laundry in the laundry room. I do laundry every third day. I did laundry today, so next day is Summer 72.”
Listening intently, Morgus, unused to others doing any work for him, is dumbfounded, and he doesn’t know how to respond. He stares at Ada for a minute, disregarding his meal. Suddenly shaking himself as the others are good-naturedly laughing at his expression of confusion, Morgus asks, “Can I take a bath tonight?”
Still grim, Ada replies, “Can you? I’m not sure if you know how. But if you want to try, I’ll heat the water, and you may try.”
Laughter breaks out around the table.
Morgus turns a bashful red, realising grammar may actually be as important here as it was in the university. Recently, he has fallen lax in the world of civilians. “Of course, yes. May we set up the bathing facility for my bath tonight? When is a scheduled time?”
Considering her fun dealt out, Ada nods and answers, “The Baron is usually in bed at gods-set, so I’ll have your bath ready an hour after that, Master Morgus.”
An idea strikes Morgus. “I also need facilities where I can manufacture my own specialized parchment. Where may I set up?”
Ada answers while pointing to a thirty-nine-year-old Toymal. “Bushnel is groundskeeper; he’ll set you up tomorrow.”
Saluting weakly with a casualness, Bushnell smiles and adds. “We will set you up in the craftshop. How much room do you need?”
Quickly, Morgus responds, “I need a well-ventilated area about twenty-by-twenty feet.”
Pondering the needed area with the qualifications, Bushnel nods. “I have an area you may use. Is the second floor okay?”
Excited with just having a place, Morgus grins. “It’ll be fine.”
Finishing their meals, Ada takes Morgus to the cellar, showing Morgus the five room staff suite for their work and recreation – a laundry, bathing, storage and clothier’s work area as well as a social room.
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.
This episode will be continued in part two …