A sneak peek at the next thrilling Lore of the Underlings episode,
which I’m writing as we speak (Episode 4 ~ Preview 5)
The watchman suddenly spun around, away from Morio and Vaam, and struggled up the tilted floor to the other end of the rectangled room. And there he faced the massive door through which they had passed a few hours before, cast in as prisoners by the Guard and left alone to stew.
He squinted at it and tipped his head, using what weakling light he had. Then the young man motioned with his strong hand. “Look at this,” he said.
Morio, heartened, did not wait or even think to hesitate. He eagerly crawled to the door on all fours, pausing only to let out a sneeze and a snort. In fact, he flew with such ease on his knees that he met his friend in no time.
Then they stared side by side at the rosewood, those men, each on his own and the both of them. The tall one from his steady feet. The shorter still stuck to his seat.
John Cap pondered what he saw and pressed a palm to his handsome jaw. “These panels — they seem to be carved with scenes, just like they’re telling a story. Do you recognize them? Do you know what they mean?”
The porkly man looked as best he could while wiping his nose on a tattered sleeve. “Hmmm, yes… I believe… Ah, indeed! Now that could be…”
“Yo. Are you going to tell me?”
Morio beamed a childlike light that all but lit the gloomy room. “I shall have no higher calling in life.” He pointed way up. “Let’s start at the top.”
John Cap eyed the most distant square where a man becrowned and in flowing robes led a long line of the young. They marched two by two from a gleaming city. “Who is that guy, the one with the beard? He looks kind of kingly to me.”
“Kingly? Yes, oh I should say! A Semperor of Syland he must be. Perhaps the last of his line — the one who sent these poor folk here before the Troubled Times.”
“In the next scene the bearded man is gone and the people seem to be wandering…”
“Lost. Lordless and forlorn. With countless of their untold number frail and falling for four panels more. And longish panels they are at that. They take a good half of the door. See there? What an epic journey it must have been, a quest to test the best of men, and women and children as well…” Morio nodded knowingly. “But this is the gist of the few fabled tales that I’d heard somewhere and a time ago. So I’d swear that it all rings true to me.”
“And that brings us to here,” said John Cap. He stretched out his fingers to touch the figures and shapes before him at arm’s length. The rosewood was smooth against his skin and smelled of something flowerish, a fragrance set free when it met his flesh. He could tell that it had been tooled and rubbed well with perfumed oils to make it shine. But his findings too made him raise a brow, for such craft did not fit in this box of pyne.
And another surprise — these panes portrayed a happier time. “Something has changed. What’s happening?”
… to be continued. Stay tuned!