New lore ~ The clue

A sneak peek at the next thrilling Lore of the Underlings episode,
which I’m writing as we speak (Episode 4 ~ Preview 21)

Picking up from the previous post, Vaam reminds her forgetful friend of the clue that led them to the buried Treasure of Syland…

Photo by John K ~ The clue (inspired by the photography of Michael Leacher)

“Dear Uncle, how lucky you already knew just a little about this island, these folk. For in that dark hour your legends revealed the clue and showed us what to do. We would have missed it without you.”

Morio, cheery red, was ready to burst. “The Clue!” he blurted out at last, gleeful, unable to hold himself back. “Surely I didn’t forget about that. Its words, Miss Vaam, to be exact: ‘Keep safe the Semperor’s Secret Treasure, deep in your heart where the Wild things are.’ You’re welcome and thanks for bringing it up — ever my honor to help of course. And what better rulers than friendship and love to measure the depth of one’s heart in the end? But… if you don’t mind giving me a clue too… where was it we saw that again?”

Vaam drew a line in the air with her hand. “Carved into a lonely rosewood tree in a forest of iron and rusty leaves. A day away from the Semperor’s city. You were able to read the runes then told us the Treasured fable.”

“My pleasure. I hope it entertained you.”

“Uncle, your stories always do. But this time we entertained the idea that the fairy tale was true. And upon it rewrote the plot of our mission…

“That night we turned south and traveled by stars up over the mountains and into the wild. There we made a marsh our camp, atop a wide tuffet of swamp grass, then flew out each day our separate ways to search for buried treasure. On the third day nature gave them away — by a circle of birds black and high in the sky spied from afar by Ogdog and me.

“But we had to be sure that this wasn’t a trap. It did seem we’d found them too easily. There in plain sight and just for me, the one the Misleader most wanted. If these were the agents of you-know-who they’d have to work harder than that. So we fashioned a nice little ruse of our own and made phantom menaces of the ogs.”

The round man applauded, pleased as punch. “And the rest, as they say, is history!”

“Is everything clear now ‘O?” asked John Cap. “Do you get what our aim is here?”

“Oh yes, of course… at least I think so. But perhaps I’m still feeling some effects of having been left in limbo so long — tends to make for a wandering mind you know. So if you could put it in one tasty nutshell…”

Vaam stood up. Her voice was clear. “We must gain the trust of this guarded folk so they’ll hear our tales and join our quest.”

Morio had a hand cupped to his ear. Soon he was nodding vigorously.

“Sounds good to me! Let’s go! Oh — but shouldn’t we round up Ogdog first?”

Vaam spread her palms in a sign of calm. “I welcome your passion but we must stay patient. Let them come to us on their own. The leaves of this book will unfold in time. As for Ogdog, he’s found a job to do, albeit one you helped him happen into. We’ll see him again when it’s done.”

… 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
18 ~ The watchful summer moon
19 ~ Never forget
20 ~ The empty sea


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

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