The Necromancer and The Paladin
“The capital?” I asked in astonishment.
“Why yes, I mean we would have to find a way through the main garrison first, but I think I have a plan for that.” Morgul answered. I sat at the edge of my seat waiting on an explanation. “You see, The Queen is constantly training new troops about your age is when they are conscripted. So we drop you into the newest batch of new soldiers and they will see that you have quite the knack for the arts of war. This will get you tested as a Paladin, to which you will pass, and that should get us a ticket straight to the capital for your formal training.”
“This sounds like a very bold move.” I responded. “And what if they recognize me? What if I get us both killed?”
“I cannot get into the capital without you Cinredi” Morgul pleaded. “We need to see how close they actually are to attempting to break the seal on the negative energy plane. We do have the advantage that no one knows what you look like without your armor, but I have an idea about that. May I see your ring?” I pulled the silver ring out from under my tunic and looked at it. If I had anything of value, this would be one of the more important items. Morgul held his hand out in anticipation of me handing it over. With a few more moments of thought, I handed it to him on the strand of leather I had it tied to.
“As I thought.” He said appraising the ring. “It seems as though at one point it held magic in it. I can hear the echoes of it. I should be able to store your armor and lance inside of it.”
“My lance and armor will fit into the ring?” I asked.
“Yes, unfortunately, it will only work once. Imagine me placing them into a room safely, then shutting the door to that room and making the way to enter that room through a portal inside the ring.” Morgul explained. “The best part is when you open the door your armor will appear donned and your lance in your hand. Use this wisely.”
I watched in amazement as my armor and lance were sucked into the ring in a flash of light. Then the ring glowed bright white for a moment and spun on the table. Once it stopped I put the ring on to my right hand and could feel the weight inside the ring. As the light faded so did the weight of my equipment lightening until there was no effect.
“Your skill in magic never ceases to amaze me Morgul.” I ecstatically said. “I wish I could have seen you and The Parliament at full strength.”
“It was a different age entirely, I assure you.” He said politely. “But you should get some rest and meet with the others. We will be leaving in the morning for the Garrison is about two days on horseback. Please find Remba to have one of the villagers get our supplies ready.”
“Aye then, I will.” I confirmed ” I have a few tasks to see to myself.” We then said our goodbyes for the evening and I hurried through the village of trees. The forest was getting darker as the unseen sunset behind the mountains. A fresh breeze from the west brought down the fresh mountain air lightly mixed with the perfumes of the wildflowers that grew in the gaps of trees. People were out dancing in the stone paths around the trees as soft music played. Some of the older children ran from tree to tree speaking the elvish word for light to the torches causing them to spark to life with magic. That’s when the unmistakable scent of melting butter and sauteeing meats hit my nose. It was just like the kitchen at the blonde. Onion, pepper, citrus, cumin, and various other herbs and spices married over the fire. My mouth watered as I was drawn towards the source. A large Orc standing over the fire with a large wok.
“Cinredi! It has been too long boy!” Celebrated Evets. He gave his mighty wok a few flips causing the ingredients to leap through the air and the spray of the melted butter to ignite. He placed it on a stand next to him and offered me a plate. The rest of the villagers taking the cue to form a queue for the nightly village meal. “The first plate should always go to the most deserving, and all that dealing with pirates and bringing back God-Dragons should put you in a good position for it”
“It is my duty as a light of Uther.” I stated.
“Paladins” he scoffed. “Enjoy your meal boy, there normally isn’t enough for seconds, not that food is scarce or anything, I usually take what’s left after everyone has a plate.” He let out a full-bodied chuckle and went back to serving the masses. I wandered around what was becoming the new blonde as the others were drinking with Raphiel and Hoarst. Yollh stood behind the roughly put together bar and slid me a drink as I sat down with my meal. The others saw the food I had and their conversations came to a complete stop. The steam and smells wafting over to them.
“Relax, Remba will have plates over to you shortly, you could go wait in the line and get it faster, but she brings it around to all those that haven’t even after the line dissipates.” Ylloh explained. “Never a hungry mouth in New Skrayhorn.” She slid me an ale and then Hoarst slapped me on the shoulder.
“Ah! Cinredi, my most valuable customer. How might this evening find you?” He goaded, and without a chance for me to respond he added “My boy has been busy coming up with a new design for your armor he is going to use it as his point of mastery certification. Once finished he will be able to open his own shop. He will need measurements before he can move to the next step.”
“Then I must find him tonight, for I will be leaving at dawn.” I proclaimed. “Morgul and I have an important mission.”
“I was going to ask where you two went off to.” Balefore interjected.
“Morgul and I are heading to the Main Garrison, and from there, The Capital.” I said before taking the final bite of my food. “I’m joining The Queen’s army.” Their faces were all ghost white, as quite as an empty field with not even a breeze blowing through it.
“That sounds incredibly unlike any plan Morgul has come up with before.” Ylloh sighed “It’s just crazy enough to work.” I started to explain to them the plan a little bit more in-depth. Their questions were all valid concerns. We were all worried that I could become a captive or that Morgul and I could be separated. What if I came face to face with one of The Murder? We needed to see what they had inside the gates of The Capital. How many troops, what kind of supplies, what do they have prepared to bring back Negan, do they still have the egg of the Lordling? Towards the end of our talk Remba finally showed up with all of the food for the others.
“Remba? Could I ask a favor of you?” I pleaded. “Morgul and I need supplies for the two of us that will get us to the Main Garrison, could you find someone to gather those for me?”
“Morgul put you up to this? He knows how to back a damn bag himself. For you though, of course.” I’ll have it dropped by your house before sunrise.”
“House?” I questioned.
“Yes, the heroes of Skrayhorn all have their own houses” Raphiel added. “I shall escort you to your residence Cinredi, as you should probably take your leave and rest. You have a long journey ahead of you.”