Saturday, 28 November 2015

Prologue To Chapter Eighteen...

Betty Entwhistle Blamed The Death Of Her Husband On His Former Student, Marigold Weaver

Peter Entwhistle's funeral was a beautiful, traditional Mnorean affair, conducted by Father Caleb, ending with the congregation chanting "your name will live on" as Peter's coffin was lowered into the ground, dappled by beams of midsummer sun lancing through the trees that dotted the graveyard of the Temple Of The Lady Of Healing.

It gave Marigold a degree of peace knowing that Peter's reputation as a great wizard had earned him his room in Ündain.

The past week had not been an easy one. Unsurprisingly when Marigold, Kirchin, Holly, and Harry had gone to Betty Entwhistle to break the news of her husband's death, she had not taken it well... and had to be restrained from attacking Marigold who she blamed for, well, pretty much everything.

This further compounded Marigold's growing doubt about her calling.

"It's going to be hard finding another mentor in this backwater," she had confided in Holly, "But if I cannot I may have to quit magic entirely as practicing without hope of progress would break my heart."

Except for a message from Tarik, telling Kirchin that he was heading to Dranning to alert the Duke to the coming of "the world-breaker", and the increased sightings of forest wights in the woods around the village, a strange solemnity had fallen over Bendwyn in the wake of Peter Entwhistle's death.

Davian locked himself away in virtual seclusion, working on some "project" in his forge, only appearing - with his trademark gruffness - when customers needed new horseshoes, tool repairs etc

Marigold working at Kirchin's
House Of Healing
Harry went back to entertaining the patrons of The Golden Axe, although few were in the mood for his usual raucous fare, and Kirchin and Holly took Marigold under their wing as they joined Kahl back at The Temple Of Healing.

They made every effort of keep Marigold out of the main village as whenever Betty Entwhistle - or her two children - saw Marigold they would pull out their Mnorean World Tree symbols and thrust them at her violently, as though driving out The Great God T'Ao himself.

After a few weeks, Holly started to notice something was a bit different about Marigold, who had become increasing introspective since the death of her mentor, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.

One afternoon, with Kahl out running errands, just when it looked as though Marigold had plucked up the courage to confide in Kirchin whatever it was that was still bothering her, Harry came racing in to the house of healing.

"Kirchin, come quick, there's a man at The Golden Axe asking for you by name!" the halfling blurted out.

Interest piqued, Kirchin and the two women joined Harry, heading back towards the tavern.

Harry pushed open the doors to the tavern as his comrades strode in. Kirchin saw the back of a blonde-haired archer (his bow and quiver were on the table in front of him), dressed in green leathers, sat chatting with Kahl - who should have been fetching honey from Gwendolyn the wise woman.

Kahl jumped up, beaming from ear-to-ear, as the man turned to face Kirchin and the others.

"Look," blurted out Kahl. "It's Uncle Dirkin! Your brother, father!"

"It's so good to see you again, Kirchin," the man that Kahl had called Dirkin (why did that name seem so familiar to Kirchin?) proclaimed. "I have need of your sword-arm and bravery to help me loot the treasure-house of the gods..."

Kirchin's Brother Dirkin - Can You See The Family Resemblance?
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