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Silearth

For Fame and Fortune III:Errand Boys

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Drogan rose from bed feeling refreshed, alive. He smiled happily as he stretched and bounded out of bed to dress for the day. There was no telling what this day would hold, but it did not matter.

Perhaps he would escort a farmer to the next city or find a lost child. Maybe a nobleman was in need of some sort of aid. There were people everywhere in need of assistance and he was willing to lend a hand wherever he was needed. Some paid with gold and some with a simple smile of gratitude. Both were of equal value to Drogan.

Several years had passed since the failed mission to the desert and the subsequent revenge attempt by Kasal’s younger brother. In those years Drogan had come to terms with his guilt—guilt over the death of Kasal and Josla and over the deaths of his comrades years before, also at the hands of D’cay. Drogan had panicked that time and fled, leaving his younger and less experienced companions to certain death.

He still felt guilt over the deaths. But now, in part because of Esterias, he could quiet the voices that plagued his thoughts and dreams.

He laughed lightly as he noticed that Esterias was not in her usual place by the window. It was quite unusual for her to rise after him. He walked over to the bed and pulled the blankets from her.

“Time to get—“ His words froze in his throat. The entire bed was covered with Seraphim blood. He reached behind and touched his back. His hand came back silver. Esterias’ eyes were open and the fire was gone. A strange dagger protruded from her chest.

Drogan sank to his knees as the room about him began to spin.

 

Drogan sat upright in the bed and quickly pulled the blankets off. He breathed a sigh of relief; she was not here. He looked to her bench by the window. She was not there and her pack and armor were gone.

A note was left on the bench, held there by a small pouch filled with gold coins.

Trepidation filled his heart as he rose to retrieve the small, scrap of wrinkled paper.

 

My love,

 

I have urgent business that could not wait. I should return to you, or send word by messenger, within a few weeks.

I would ask two things of you. First, please look at my list of assignments. There were a few tasks that I was to perform today and I need you to do them for me.

Second, I ask that you stay in Fairies Crossing for now. Do not try to find me. There will come a time that I will need you and it will be easier to find you if you stay here.

 

Esti….

Drogan folded the note slowly and put it in his pack. He washed and dressed. He checked her assignments for the day and sighed heavily. There was only one thing written on her schedule for this day: Lady Emily.

Lady Emily was an old woman of some significance in town. She would pay well, but her tasks would be mind-numbingly tedious.

He strapped his axe to his back and slung his pack over his shoulder, headed for the bar to eat a quick breakfast. After a few moments he returned, having forgot the pouch of coins.

He sighed again, realizing that today would just be that kind of day.

 

As Drogan sat in the bar eating a meal of bread, fruit and goat milk, he was surprised to see Samual walk in. The young mage noticed him right off and joined him, waiving for a server and ordering porridge.

“Drogan,” he greeted a bit more formal than usual.

“Samual,” he replied.

The two ate in silence for a few moments until Samual began to talk.

“Are we okay? I mean the whole Khorad thing and the business with the gold?”

“You never did give Esterias her cut,” laughed Drogan. “It is behind us, mage.”

“Uh….I received a visit from a Seraphim this morning. She handed me a note, waited as I read it and then took it back.”

Drogan’s eyes widened a bit and he motioned for Samual to continue.

“The note was from Esterias. She told me to seek you out here and that you had tasks that I should help you with. If I were to help you then she would consider my debt to her paid in full.”

Drogan began to laugh.

“She further wrote that I was to remain here with you until she called for you—she would need both of us in the near future.”

What could this be? What danger has she gotten herself involved with?

“Drogan, we could just go to her now. The whole thing sounds….intriguing.”

“I want to, but she left me a note as well. I have no idea where she went—it’s better to wait here, she will find a way to send word. She will.”

The two finished their meals and then walked to the home of Lady Emily.

Lady Emily remembered Drogan and oddly enough she knew Samual, although she did not seem to like him very much. She admonished Drogan to keep an eye on his friend if he expected to get paid at the end of the day.

 

The first task she set them to was apple picking. Her family owned a moderate apple orchard on the outskirts of town and it was time to harvest. They had only three hours to pick the apples from 25 trees. Her buyer would arrive to collect the fruit then.

The two arrived at the orchard within in moments and Samual sighed in disgust.

“I detest physical labor.”

“This one is easy. Watch me.” He performed what could be described as a diagonal stomping jump, landing with one foot on the ground and one on the trunk of the nearest tree. At first nothing happened, but in a few moments the apples began to fall from the tree.

“Let me try!” shouted the mage as he prepared to fire a fireball at one of the trees.

Drogan grabbed him quickly. “Fool. Let me pick and you gather!” He stormed away to the next tree, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Well….okay,” laughed Samual

 

The next task Lady Emily had for them was to cut down a tree close to her house. The nights were getting colder and she was in need of firewood.

Without warning, the mage hurled a massive cluster of ice shards toward the base of the tree, slicing it easily. The tree began to fall—toward the house.

With a shriek of dismay, Drogan performed an impromptu combo. Launching himself in the air. His stomping jump struck the falling tree just as his Fist of the Gods destroyed it. The mage and the gladiator had to take cover from the shower of broken bits of the tree.

They gathered up the wood and arranged it neatly—reporting success to the lady.

 

Their next task was to escort Lady Emily’s four grandchildren from their house outside of town. They were to keep the boys out of trouble as they were very spirited.

Spirited turned out to be an understatement as the boy were uncontrollable.

“Fireball?” whispered Samual as they neared the lady’s house.

Drogan smiled but said nothing.

Samual pointed his hand at the four boys.

Drogan quickly grabbed his hand and shot him a dark look. He released him and shook his head. “Now I know why she does not like you.”

“Hey, Drogan. There are few problems in this world that can not be solved with a well placed fireball.”

 

The final task was more difficult. Her family owned a large patch of land outside the city. During the night someone or something was killing her cows. They were to spend the night with the cows to investigate.

Samual was not happy about this job.

The sun had already set when they arrived at the house and her eldest son, who tended the cows, was fond of talking. It was late when they reached their destination—both men could smell blood.

They rushed into the throng of cattle, torches held high.

“Undead!” both shouted in unison.

“A lot of undead,” whispered Drogan.

“Looks like the word is out. Let the feasting begin!”

“Fireball,” sighed Drogan as he shot the mage a dark look.

Samual did not react.

“Fireball.”

Samual sighed.

Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!” He grabbed the young mage by his shoulders and shook him.

“Are you sure now?” He slapped at Drogan’s hands, dismissing him with a wave of his hand. “Stand away, son. Daddy has work to do.”

What followed impressed Drogan more than he cared to admit.

Samual fired several weak fireballs toward the cows, which scattered. He then cast several ring of ice spells to slow the onslaught of undead. He finished them off with several lightning and fireball spells.

“That was some very fancy spell work, mage.”

Both men turned quickly to find the lady and her son behind them. She held a pouch of gold in her hand which she handed to Drogan. “Let us not linger, gentlemen. You have performed as expected and since the job is over and you have been paid, you are now trespassing on my land.”

Samual started to say something but Drogan grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back toward town.

The mage revealed that Esterias had made arrangements for a room. The two men said their goodbyes, agreeing that Samual would come to Drogan’s room the next morning.

 

When Drogan reached the room he was startled to see a dark-haired Seraphim sitting by the window. Her face was pale and sweaty; her eyes were dim and she could barely keep them open. She stood as he entered, holding one of Drogan’s shirts to a wound in her side. She took a shaky step toward him. “Estirias….need….sister….” She crumpled to the floor.

Drogan quickly undressed her and bandaged her wounds. She was badly injured and needed aid. He wished that the mage were with him. She might not make it through the night, but he could not leave her alone.

He pulled Estirias’ bench to the side of the bed and sat watching her. She was strikingly beautiful like Estirias but she had been beaten badly. Her face was bruised and cut.

You are descendants of gods so full of power and majesty. Yet you are so fragile….so Human.

He thought for a time on what she said. Three simple words, but what was their meaning? Was she trying to tell him that Esterias needed him or did she need Esterias?

He cleaned her face with a soft cloth dipped in water and, seeing that she was stable, decided to find what rest he could.

Drogan had troubled dreams of mages in black robes and a great battle. He woke feeling tired in body and spirit.

He rose from his makeshift pallet on the floor to check on the woman. Her eyes were open and seemed fixed on him.

He sighed sadly. She was dead. At some point in the early morning she had passed on.

As he gently closed her eyes, he noticed that she had removed her bandages and used her own blood to write a single word on the dark wooden bench: Braverock

 

End.

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