13/366 – Conversations (Cont.)

Continued from 12/366 – Conversations (Cont.)

Morn felt Celeste sit next to him on the floor and hug him. He stayed there with his head on the chair until a knock came at the door.

“That’s Jaque,” Celeste said, releasing him and rising from the floor. “Do you want me to send him away?”

“No, let him in,” Morn replied, wiping the tears from his face.

Celeste answered the door, and Jaque entered with a large stack of books in his arms. Celeste took half from him and brought them into the living room where Morn was pulling himself from the floor.

“Everything alright?” Jaque asked, looking at Morn.

“I’m fine,” Morn replied.

“No, you’re not,” Celeste said, turning from Morn to Jaque, “He lost his father. This is the first time he’s been home since.”

Morn nodded, “She’s right. I was overwhelmed. I’ll be okay, though.”

“We don’t have to do this now,” Jaque said.

“It’ll be fine, I could use the distraction right now,” Morn replied.

“Alright then,” Jaque said, placing the books down on the table in the center of the room. “These are the books I could come up with that may have something to do with zombies in the town. There are some books on magic, some are history books, and some are folk legends for the area.”

“Folk legends?” Celeste asked.

“All legend is rooted somewhere in truth,” Jaque said, picking up on of the books, “It’s simply a matter of figuring out what is fantasy and what is truth. Those we’ll save for last. I’m going to start with the necromancy spells that I have in my books. Would you start with the history books? Maybe they have some clue as to when it all started here?”

Morn and Celeste each grabbed a history book from the table and sat on the small couch. Jaque squeezed in next to them. Morn had thought about sitting in the chair for a moment but decided that it would be too much for him to handle.

The trio poured over their books, putting bookmarks in wherever they found mention of zombies in the town. After hours of research, they placed the last of the books down on the table and sat there.

“Find anything?” Morn asked Jaque.

“Only formulae on animating corpses. Nothing that would have an effect without direct involvement. If I were given a few months, I might come up with something, but they still would not be docile unless I explicitly commanded them to be. There are too many variables here to account for a single enchantment,” Jaque replied. “What about you two?”

“The history books only mention in passing the zombies. It’s as though they have always been here,” Celeste said.

“The legends and lore were no help either. They are mostly stories on morality, there isn’t much in them about zombies,” Morn said, “and the stories about zombies are essentially one will come to take you if you’re not a good kid.”

“Then, where do they come from?” Celeste asked.

“The more interesting question,” Jaque said, “Is after going over magic theorem, why am I working with the wizards to repair the statue, but I’m not using any necromancy in the process.”

“What do you mean?” Morn asked.

“The wall is a unique field generator. It specifically targets the zombies and keeps them manageable for the people in the town. It allows anyone to direct them to do chores and duties that they’ve always done. It also causes new zombies to rise up once they’ve been buried in the graveyard.

“I’ve gone over the enchantments that we are working on, and none of them seem to involve necromancy at all. It’s like the wall, and its enchantments were placed as an afterthought.” Jaque finished.

“You’re saying that the zombies will come with or without the wall?” Celeste said.

“That’s about what I’ve gathered. But it doesn’t make sense. What’s making them if not the magic in the wall?” Jaque said.

“What did the book on the history of the town say about the founding of it?” Morn asked.

“It said that the monks came and built their order here. They were here for nearly three hundred years before the townspeople began building homes nearby,” Celeste replied.

“So, the monks built the monastery and the wall?” Jaque asked.

Celeste shrugged, “It doesn’t talk about any of the physical structures, just the order that the monks follow.”

“So we have to talk to the monks about it then,” Morn said.

“It would seem they are the only ones with the answers,” Jaque said.

“What if we aren’t supposed to know about this?” Celeste asked, “What happens if we find some information that the town isn’t supposed to know?”

“Not us. Me,” Morn said. “Master Scaine brought me into the monastery before, I think I can get in again.”

“When did you go in?” Jaque asked.

“The day before the attack,” Morn said, “Master Scaine said he was testing me.”

“Testing you for what?” Celeste asked.

“I don’t know, maybe to join the monastery?” Morn said. “I think, if I ask, Master Scaine will let me in again.”

“What did you see in there? How deep does it go?” Jaque asked.

“I only saw the first two rooms. The first is just a maze surrounding a pit that you have to make it through in complete darkness, and the second was a bunch of odd pillars jutting from the floor and ceiling that I had to catch some monks. I didn’t make it past the second room,” Morn said. “Maybe I could just ask Master Scaine about the history here and he’d tell me.”

“I think no matter what we do, Master Scaine is going to be the person to talk to about it. It seems like the monks hold all the cards and know all the information we want,” Jaque said.

“Then it’s settled,” Celeste said. “Morn will talk to Master Scaine. When should we meet back here?”

“One second,” Jaque said as he began digging into his bag. A moment later, he produced a few small stones. “These are sending stones. They are linked to each other. I worked on them last semester and meant to give them to you sooner, but the school was holding on to them. If you whisper into them, the others will repeat the message on the other end.”

“You’re too much, Jaque,” Celeste said, reaching out for one.

“Why did you make these?” Morn asked.

“I didn’t complete them technically. I was working on the enchantment as a class project. We only got so far before the professor took them and made final touches on them. The school sells them normally, but I got these because there are three of them.”

“So Morn can whisper into his when he gets back, and we’ll both know?” Celeste asked.

“Exactly,” Jaque nodded.

Morn stood up and pocketed his stone. “Well, no time like the present to go talk to him.”

“Good luck,” Celeste said, hugging Morn.

“We’ll see you soon,” Jaque said as he picked up his books.

Continued 14/366 – Master Scaine

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