Edo's Journey 15 - Unseen Obstacle
It’s been decided, that manticore can’t be allowed to leave without showing us it’s “master”. Some sort of arena it mentioned as well, sounds like the sort that enjoys watching the suffering of others. If we killed it, then it’s master may view us as real sport and send more to challenge us. I wanted to leave immediately, but I know there’s more suffering in the village north that needs our help now. Their doctor is pushed to the limits and even I know that he’s fighting a losing battle.
After a short talk, it’s been settled. I’ll ride back to town alone and recruit Mort to help with the bug problem. The tube in the lake seems to be the only answer to how the swarms are arriving, but it is all underwater. I have no ideas on how they can swim and fly, it seems like they are from a nightmare. The tube goes in the direction of the ruins, and with the magics used on powering the place I cannot put it completely out of my mind. I can only hope that us not fully investigating that ooze room has not caused the deaths of these villagers. I will have to double our efforts next time to find out if that is indeed the case.
Arriving in town, the people all look up and wave to me. It is still a feeling that makes me uneasy, that I am the leader of all of this. People see and do not realize that only five years ago I was a cutthroat, someone that they would run from if they saw me on the streets. Abadar is great indeed and I intend to never show them that past life if I can. My only worry now is to ensure that if parts of my past do come to this town, that I can show everyone who I am now is not who I was before. Our trading post has gotten much bigger since we first started. Actual real settlements, not tents have been built and we just finished the docks as well. Good timing with the lake bugs coming out. I can only hope that our city is not the reason that they attack.
A couple hours pass and still having trouble finding Mort. I hope he is not changing his disguise, my companions will think I fled taking so long to find him. “Where’s the rest? Is the trouble at the mines cleared up?” My concentration broke and I turned to the voice. It was Mags.
“Yes, for now.” I responded. “It appears we may have to go to the source of the trouble soon, but wanted to tie up some loose ends with the Zenj tribe. We believe that there is a simple fix that should hold them for the moment.”
She smiles at that. “Good to hear. Let me get you some anti itching cream if your simple plan does not turn out so simple.” She moves off towards her office near the council room. I could not argue with that as being cautious never hurt. In a few minutes, I was off to the docks. If I could not find Mort, then I’ll just have to do this by myself.
Luck was on my side however, as Mort was exactly where I needed him to be. He stood at the docks while many “suitors” tried their luck on him. A sight that I had to try my hardest not to laugh at, although the disguise he chose I could not blame the men as he was beautiful.
I moved up to Mort, “May I have a moment of your time my lady?” He looked up and was surprised. “Oh, yes. Yes indeed my lord.” I pulled him aside and explained everything. He seemed down that we have not trusted him with more yet, and I think he was happy that I finally asked him to help with something, even as mundane as covering a tube with a net. In a moment we were both in a boat and rowing towards the middle of the lake. A few of the townsfolk were grumbling about me abusing my power but I was actually saving them from some embarrassment. I also had to row by myself as it would look awkward to have the lady doing the rowing, even though his strength greatly exceeds my own.
We had plenty of time on the water before we got to the tube, after some small talk we had some quiet rowing time. It was a peaceful lake, and I’ll be glad when we can be friends with the Zenj as well. Mort has done well at all points so far, and this task seems no different. After we have finished with the Zenj I think I’ll push for a council position for Mort since he has had many chances to betray our trust and genuinely seems to want to do good in the world, at least learn about it.
“Mort, thanks for everything.” I looked at him in seriousness. “Well, you are welcome but I did nothing yet.” He responded caught off guard by my comment. “No, I am serious. I do not know what kind of life you lead in the past but in this life… or unlife you have keep all your promises, and have done no wrong. I want you to know that I am glad to have you with us and that I am truly sorry that I tried to destroy you that night.”
Mort paused for a bit, and just gave me a wave of the hand to not worry about it. A few minutes pass and I noticed the column. “There Mort. This is were we think they are coming from. Let us begin.” I quickly secured the net around the tube and Mort gave me flight and invisibility to help protect me, while he just flew above the netted area. What came next was definitely magic at work. The water around the tube sank and the bugs flew from the tube, and into the net. After that the nightmare began.
The doctor from Zenj tribe appeared above Mort and before I could call out a warning he pulled the magic together for a Greater Dispel and Mort fell into the tube below and freed the bugs. I do not know what else he had in store but I worry that even Mort will fall to such high powered magics! I need to save him, my friend!