A sneak peek at the next thrilling Lore of the Underlings episode,
which I’m writing as we speak (Episode 4 ~ Preview 18)
Picking up from the previous post, Morio spins his own special yarn of how the strangers came to be in this land of mystery…
“It’s hard to fathom how far we’ve come in a single cycle of the seas, just one month of the watchful summer moon. All almost too quick to tell the truth — like some spooky arithmetic’s at work to keep the time of our lives in check when you sum the entire trek. Like we’re digits of nature’s mathematician, manipulated, our days numbered to solve a secret formula or perform her perfect calculus. Prime examples of fate’s numerology.
“However you figure, the total’s the same.
“It took seventeen suns from our escape cast off the former shores of Merth to cross the timeless Sea of Mer’n, the ancient ocean of our blood. From dawn to dusk it added up. By day by air aloft on the ogs, our hearty high-borne friends in flight. By night by sea afloat on their backs, transformed to make fine boats for us and rest themselves awhile asleep. And alive we made the coast of this land, this island, this Syland, little known.
“Then seventeen more suns did we pass, now sailing the skies above the grass so green by cities old but gleaming boney white below… over velvety rolling hills ribboned in roads, dotted by villages, inns, and outposts… past great golden fields of early grain to the edge of a forest veiled in rain… as lush and vast those woods as could be with treetops so high they touched the bellies of our wingy changelings, all but cloud-bound though they were…”
Morio looked to the distant ceiling, almost as if he could see them.
“But here the pynes grew thin and small, the land ascending to a wall of silent, stone-faced mountains over which we barely dared to climb. The cold froze hard our faces, crystalline as snowmen and snowgirl… word the world had turned and not for the better but dark and wild. Then howling like a devil child the wind forced us to take a dive too steep, falling at the speed of what faint light was left… only to find ourselves fogbound and lost in the thick of a hellish muck that stunk a stink of sulphur so, so acrid that it burned the nose… a swamp to rival any known. O no more than a glimmer of hope could penetrate this woeful place.
“And so sick and dizzy from our descent, into the shadowland we went. The wilderness at the heart of this island. The chamber of secrets of Syland…
“And so on and so forth, which brings us to here!” At that the proud teller threw both arms wide and twirled them with a dramatic flourish.
Young John Cap could not help but laugh. “Whoa there ‘O! Hold on just a minute. I think you left out a couple of things…”
“Left out? Are you sure? It’s hard to imagine… I know! I’ll just take it again from the top!”
“Oh no, that’s alright,” insisted John Cap who had turned out his palms in a signal to stop…
… 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
16 ~ Errant mission
17 ~ A few good men