More of chapter 1

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This is continued from last time.

********

“Dammit!” swore Magus. “Who in their right mind puts bars on the exit of a sewer? Are they afraid of the smell escaping! Don’t want it in their nice disgusting river?”

“You vizzard,” said Petrov. “Can’t you just melt zem?”

“Yeah, but that’s not the point. Anyway, stand back. I’m going to hit it with a blob of acid.” Magus began to wave his hands, arcane energy trailing behind them. Then, after looking suitably impressive, he began to chant in a mysterious language. “Ero accommo hospes mihi crede Sturm,” he said. “Non lectus paro igne orum, et si venenum bene.”

A green haze appeared over the bars.

Amor sum mulier pulchra et nesciebam. Modo nostram fortunam.

The bars began to sizzle.

“Peccavi satis cum mundo. Docentes a magica erit kender damnationem.”

Little droplets of molten metal began to ooze off the bars.

“Neque enim fabula Fairy timet?”

And with that last eldritch phrase, the bars dissolved until there was a hole in them big enough to walk through. Magus stepped through, and the rest followed.

“Now what?” said Ærin.

“Well we go get new weapons, obviously.” responded Magus.

“Yes, but they took all of my money.”

“And? Why else do we have Abda with us?”

“I take offence at that!” replied Abda.  “I’m not a thief, I’m a rogue!”

“You pick peoples’ pockets,” said Magus.

“That’s not stealing, that’s a public service. I’m cleaning them! Think of how cluttered they would get if I wasn’t here to help.”

“Well go help someone then!”

They watched as Abda tried to take peoples wallets, but somehow everyone knew when he was coming.

“I’m sorry guys, but somehow they know when I’m coming!” said Abda, nicely recapping. “Maybe everyone in the city is psychic.”

“Or it might be because they can smell you coming from a mile away,” said Ærin.  “Let’s face it. After that trip in the sewers, we stink.”

“Ha! You humans soft,” interjected Petrov. “This is nothing compared to life in old country! Back in Boĭneudalos’, floors were coated with noxious secretions. Just touch them and your legs rot off. When goblins invaded, we didn’t wear armor because nothing was more dangerous than taking clothes off to put armor on!”

“Good for you,” said Magus. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we soft humans are off to go see if we can find some water.”

Suddenly, upon hearing Magus proclaim their search, Ærin burst into laughter. “Water! Clean water! In a city! What are you, some kind of an idiot? You may not be a plot important orphan but you were definitely raised by hillbillies.”

“I was raised by a wizard!” said Magus “He had a tower and everything. It was like… three stories tall!”

“Look around you!” shouted Ærin. “All the houses here are around three stories tall!”

“How does zis even relate to what we were talking about!” interjected Petrov.

“What?” said Ærin. “Oh yes, the water. This is a city. There’s so much dumped in the river you can walk across it. It takes so much time to boil water you’re lucky there’s any for drinking!”

“Look,” said Magus as he walked over to an elderly lady wearing expensive clothes with her face contorted into a permanent grimace. “Everyone here’s clean. There’s got to be bathhouses or something in here. I’ll ask her for directions.”

“Hello,” said Magus. “Me and my companions have found ourselves in dire straits, and would be very appreciative if you help. Can you direct us to the bathhouses?”

“Yes,” said the old lady. “I can.”

Time passed.

“Well?” said Magus, obviously becoming impatient.

“What do you mean ‘well’?” asked the lady. “You said can I, not will I. I know what you meant, but I don’t see any reason to do so.”

“How about in the name of common decency?” said Magus, quickly becoming enraged.

“Of course not,” said the lady. “Decency is common, and thus found in commoners. I’m an objectivist, and we’re rare. Scum like you sit around in the street and wait for someone to help you, whereas we build industries with our bare hands.”

“Really?” said Magus in a sarcastic tone of voice.

“Yes,” said the old woman. “Technically we employ people to build them, but they don’t have a six figure salary, so they don’t count as human. Now, why don’t you get out of my way, and learn not to be cheeky to your betters.”

Magus’s eyes narrowed. “No.” he said, as a ball of eldritch balefire materialized in the palm of his curled hand. “Perhaps you are different from normal people, but you know what: I’m willing to bet you burn the same.”

********

I was worried that I might offend fans of EYEEEEEN Rand’s magnum opus, but than I realized there aren’t any.

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