From the beginning – 1/366 – To the Wall
continued from 37/366 – The Power One Needs (Cont.)
Morn walked into the kitchen with Jaque and Koldian close behind. It already smelled like fresh bread and cooking meats to which Morn’s stomach growled loudly. Celeste was sitting at the table while his mother had her back to them.
“Mom,” Morn said, turning the stone in his hand.
His mother turned around, wiping her hands on a towel with a broad smile on her face, “How’d you sleep?”
“I slept fine, thank you,” Morn replied, holding his hand out.
Morn’s mother set down the towel and walked around the table. Her hand was shaking as she reached to pick up the stone. When her hand was three inches from the stone, it leapt from Morn’s palm and shot to her hand. She closed her eyes as a red glow appeared where it connected with her skin, then spread up her arm and across her body. Morn’s initial reaction was to check on her, but the smile on her face became one of fond recognition. It was the same smile he had seen the day she had come back and seen him. After a few seconds, the glow faded and she opened her eyes once more.
“Thank you all,” she said, pulling Morn in for a hug. “You don’t know what it was like without it. Tell me everything. What did you see? Koldian told me a little, but not as much as I know had to have happened.”
“It didn’t seem right to take their story from them,” Koldian said, sitting with Jaque and Celeste.
“Not much to tell,” Celeste said, “It was dangerous, but we managed to get it. We ran into some Deep Dwellers on the way through, but it was coming out where we had the problems.”
Jaque looked down at his hands.
“What happened while you were coming out?” Morn’s mother asked.
“It was my fault,” Jaque mumbled. “I got jealous of everything going on with Morn that I stormed off. I put myself in a bad situation, and almost got everyone hurt.”
“We’re fine,” Celeste said, “we were more worried about you.”
“Cleric Josten told me that you saved Jaque,” Morn’s mother said, looking at Celeste.
“Rashem saved him, not me,” Celeste replied. “Where is Cleric Josten?”
“He had to go with your father,” Morn’s mother said, turning back to preparing food. “They had some things to take care of.”
“What is happening outside the town?” Morn asked.
Even from behind, Morn could see his mother’s shoulders grow tense. Koldian shot him a disapproving look.
“There have been things happening outside the town for a long time,” she replied without turning around. “It’s nothing you kids should concern yourselves with.”
“I am concerned about it. I heard Master Scaine talking about it when,” Morn paused and corrected, “I heard Master Scaine talking about it, and I heard you talking about it again this morning.”
Morn’s mother pulled the pan off the stove and turned, serving everyone breakfast of steak, eggs, and thick-sliced bread. She gave him a pleading look as though it pained her to tell him.
“I’ll find out, one way or another,” Morn said. “Even if I have to go out to see it.”
“You know this land has a lot of magic,” she said, setting the pan in the sink. “Some of the magic is good, others, not so much.”
“There is a build-up of the necromantic magic in the Northeast. There is a lake there with black water,” Koldian said, “the waters produce some things that are hard to push back, and harder to kill.”
“I didn’t know there was a lake,” Jaque said, “and it makes monsters?”
Koldian nodded. “Monster is a general term that doesn’t really apply here. These are abominations and aberrations. They are things that shouldn’t exist but come forward anyway. Every Archmage, Monk, and Cleric in the town has fought them or died trying. We can’t seem to stop whatever is making them.”
“How long has this been happening?” Celeste asked.
“About eighteen years,” Morn’s mother answered, “We don’t know why it started, but it’s been a near-constant threat to the town since.”
No one touched the food in front of them. Celeste and Jaque looked as though they were thinking hard on what they had just been told. Koldian and Morn’s mother looked at each other, sharing some look that Morn didn’t understand.
“Eighteen years?” Jaque said, “What happened eighteen years ago?”
“We don’t know what changed, but there are theories that something woke up in the lake, or something changed in the town,” Koldian said. “We don’t know what the answer is, only that it seems to be getting worse as of late.”
“You should eat,” Morn’s mother said, pointing to the food. “We can-”
“I want to see it,” Morn said.
“We can check with Master Scaine,” Morn’s mother said.
“Why do we have to check with him?” Morn asked. “Can’t we just go?”
“It’s not that simple,” Koldian said, “Scaine believes that there is a link between someone in the town and whats in the lake. One of you three may be what they are after.”
“So, you think that one of us is what’s making the monsters come from the lake?” Celeste asked.
“Not directly, and not necessarily one of you three,” Koldian said, “It could be anyone that was born around the time is started. Scaine just wants to be sure before he lets anyone your age get close to the thing.”
“Has he tried moving the people our age somewhere else to see if these creations change their path?” Jaque asked.
“Not yet,” Koldian said, “He’s brought it up before, but it’s in the best interest of the community to not raise the alarm. We don’t want the people to panic.”
“Not panic? There are things killing people outside the town, and the adults all seem to know it’s happening. Why hasn’t anyone tried? Wouldn’t it be in the town’s best interest to see if these things are truly connected to someone?” Jaque asked.
“The Archmages, including me, as well as the monks and clerics, believe that there may be a way to stop the source, but we have to find it first. We don’t want anyone in more danger than they need to be in,” Koldian said.
“Then let’s go see Master Scaine,” Morn said.
“After you eat,” Morn’s mother said, pointing to his plate of rapidly cooling food.
Continued 39/366 – A Little Truth