The Company: The Sorcerer (62)

October 1, 2014

The story so far.

After we stopped for the midday meal, the troop leader sent me on ahead, with Olemilekan and his companion. I wanted to ask her whether she knew that I was the one who’d brought them into the company. But I didn’t, worried about what she might say or do.

The three of us didn’t talk much as we ranged ahead of the main group. Olemilekan hardly glanced at whatever signs our quarry had left; instead, he scanned the landscape around us as we traveled.

“What’s he doing?” I asked his companion.

“He knows what the place looks like that we have to get to,” she said. “And in what direction it lies. But he does not know this land, so cannot say exactly where it is.”

As it happened, we ran right into them.

Help Wanted (79)

September 30, 2014

The story so far.

“Getting this turned out to be a lot more difficult than I was led to believe,” you tell Wolson stiffly. You don’t like how he’s coming toward you, but backing down doesn’t seem like a viable option, unless you decide to make a run for it.

Which does sound like an option, possibly the only one. But where? The goblins have vanished, the Library is too far away, and you’re pretty sure the Temple won’t help you.

“Really.” Wolson’s eyebrows go up in mock surprise. “I am surprised that one of your talents should have faced such…challenges.”

He’s not surprised at all, of course, but there’s no way to point that out without insulting yourself.

The Company: The Sorcerer (61)

September 29, 2014

The story so far.

That afternoon, we picked up the trail again. In fact, it was so clear that debate immediately erupted over how we ever could have lost it in the first place. Olemilekan’s companion attempted to make peace by pointing out that our quarry’s sorcerer had misdirected us.

That did not reassure, and brought about a new round of arguing.

“We can’t be sure of anything we see!” one of the Rojannin objected. “For all we know, this trail is a misdirection!”

The ‘Ke warrior woman insisted it was not, but the Rojannin in the troop did not look convinced. Some began to talk of turning back.

The troop leader pulled Olemilekan and his companion aside. “You’d best find what we’re after soon. Otherwise, it’s even odds whether they’ll kill you both before abandoning the search.”

Help Wanted (78)

September 29, 2014

The story so far.

There doesn’t seem to be much point in denying it. After all, you’re holding the thing in your hand. The street around you is utterly silent. Ridiculous, to wish for goblins of all things at this juncture. But you rather wish they’d show up and deal with Wolson.

Even though their not dealing with Wolson is sort of how you got here.

“Uh,” you say. “If you’ve got my payment.”

“Of course I do,” he says. “But what’s this? You’ve been double-dealing. Naughty, naughty.”

As he speaks, he steps from side to side, sweeping idly this way and that–but each step brings him that much closer to you.

The Company: The Sorcerer (60)

September 26, 2014

The story so far.

Jan, the troop leader, was skeptical. “You’re sure?” she asked Olemilekan.

“He’s sure,” Olemilekan’s companion replied.

The troop leader sighed. “All right. But you’d better be right about this. It’ll be all our asses if we go back to the Jarl empty-handed.”

As we set off, in an entirely different direction than the one we’d been heading, I couldn’t help stealing glances at the sorcerer. That he knew what he was doing, I had no doubt.

But that he was in fact leading us toward our quarry? Of that, I was by no means sure.

Help Wanted (77)

September 25, 2014

The story so far.

You walk back toward the Library. The streets around you are silent now, and deserted; horseless carriages and street-cleaning automata are the only movement. The streetlights glow, a constantly renewed magic. The hour is getting late.

The Library campus appears ahead of you. You’re plotting how to negotiate a higher fee from the senior librarian for the Orb. After all, it’s not as though she knows the terms of your original contract. And she’s pretty keen to get her hands on it.

A figure in a voluminous black cape steps out of a side street, into your path.

“Ah,” says Lord Wolson. “I detect that you have my Orb.”

The Company: The Sorcerer (59)

September 24, 2014

The story so far.

It was my ardent hope that no one would remember that it was I who brought Olemilekan into the company. True, he had found our quarry’s trail again with his arts, but no one was happy about the means he’d used to do it.

Particularly those whose minds he’d rooted around in, digging out every scrap of what they’d seen or heard or smelled during our pursuit–even things they didn’t know they’d seen or heard or smelled themselves. By the end of it even the Ashadin looked wary.

For myself, I submitted with as much grace as I could. It was like having my brains stirred up with a spoon.

But in the end, Olemilekan indicated with confidence which way we should go: south and west, and not at all toward the smoke we’d seen earlier.

Help Wanted (76)

September 23, 2014

The story so far.

They detach themselves from the shadows, filling the alleyway. You have the wall at your back.

This was definitely a bad idea.

Then, one of them steps forward, holding a clear sphere in one gray hand. It occurs to you that you have no idea what the Orb of Tratruchekan looks like, and you’ll have to take it on faith that this is it and not some random crystal ball from a fortuneteller’s shop.

You take the box containing the Bone out of your pocket, and hold it out in the same posture as the goblin holds out the sphere. You walk toward one another and make the exchange as though pacing out the steps of a dance.

Then the goblins vanish into the shadows, with far less noise than they came.

The Company: The Warrior (42)

September 22, 2014

The story so far.

The sun stood well overhead by the time the troop leader got everyone calmed down–including herself, as she was not best pleased to discover that not only had we been traveling with a sorcerer this whole time, but we’d been chasing one as well. Half the squad stood on the point of mutiny; the other half were willing to go on, but not with our numbers so much reduced.

At last the troop leader achieved a consensus to let Olemilekan try. Some of the Rojannin did not wish to even witness this, as though by doing so they might signify approval. There was no question of allowing Olemilekan access to their memories. He had to settle for verbal accounts of their recollections, which are not reliable.

But I suppose, even once the initial shock of revelation had subsided, we could not have expected anything else.

Help Wanted (75)

September 20, 2014

The story so far.

You’re quite sure that the goblins won’t want to do their dealing in the street. You walk away from the Library, seeking a more isolated place, though you’re pretty sure you won’t be able to find that entrance that you used before again. The city is large, something that you now know far, far better than you did a few days ago.

After awhile you find the skittering guiding you. It keeps sounding behind you as you walk. The more you walk away from it, the more isolated and quiet the city around you becomes.

When you find yourself at the dead end of an alley, it occurs to you to be afraid.


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