New lore ~ Errant mission

A sneak peek at the next thrilling Lore of the Underlings episode,
which I’m writing as we speak (Episode 4 ~ Preview 16)

Picking up from the previous post, our friends are still trapped in the strange, crooked chamber known as the Letting Pen. Vaam is discussing their mission with Morio…

Photo by John K ~ Errant mission (inspired by the photography of Michael Leacher)

“Remember that I was here once before — a fortnight ago, though not for long — and imagined our plan of attack based on that…”

“No, no indeed! Yes of course I recall. But, just for the record, how did that go?”

Vaam gave him half a grin. “Just for the record…” she began. “Under cover of dark on the stormiest night I came to scout this settlement out and unlock its secrets for our quest. The rain and the hour had driven all in, whether gentle folk or beastly men, so without a single soul in sight the road was left to me alone. I soon found myself in the heart of a square, their marketplace by every sign, at the site of a tall, round tent pitched there. Yet still unmet I slipped inside and by the low glow of an oil lamp tried to see what I could see. A strange chamber of shadows spun circles around me, casting all in murky gold. The old dreams of bygone souls. It seemed to be a meeting place with a ring of cushions on the floor and room for standing many more all along the walls. Everything here was wood and bone but hard as any heavy metal. Hoping to find some scroll or book that might give a clue or hold a key, I crept further in to an alcove or den that looked to be hidden at the rear. I neared it quiet as a thief. Then I lifted the tattered patchwork flap they’d made to be its door.

“There on the ground to my surprise was a light-sleeping man who awoke as I spied. But by fortune or luck or trick of the light, which flickered and faked flaring firefly-like, he mistook me for something entirely else. I was to him the ghost of a queen, some songstress from treasured antiquity for whom he feverishly bent a knee to bow and vow fidelity. A siren of legend, the sweet of his dreams…

“Then it struck me, the trick that I almost missed and something more precious than gold in this. His mistake meant that there was advantage to take of this phantom operation. So I used his delusion and played along for the price of a song to help our cause. He mumbled some words about being unworthy… ‘Even as leader of my people… despite my red hair… my family name…’ Yes this was the very same iron-eyed man, the steely jawboned and rust-bearded one, who would meet us so hard in the field tonight… two weeks later and worse for wear riding herd on his wounded beast. It was I who sent him on that errant mission, on a chase through the wild with a goose, as John says.

Yet it was all truly the man’s own idea, a test that he already had in mind…”

… to be continued. Stay tuned!

~~~

Previous previews of Episode 4:
1 ~ The watchman
2 ~ Dreams
3 ~ Halo
4 ~ Netherworld
5 ~ Semperor
6 ~ Halcyon days
7 ~ Punch
8 ~ Enshadowed
9 ~ Pale ghost
10 ~ Needle
11 ~ New light
12 ~ Something looms…
13 ~ The gray girl’s blues
14 ~ Flower of the field (original vision)
14 ~ Flower of the field (another vision)
15 ~ Hearthland

~~~

The illuminated lore project is an ongoing collaboration of
photographer Michael Leacher
and Lore of the Underlings author John Klobucher

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