Letters To My Father 3

Honorable Father,

It was a most tiring and exciting day!

Wait…
…Apologies.

I hope the day finds you well and your pursuits are fruitful. I wish I could be where you are and learning all there is in the great libraries. I cannot wait to hear of your academic adventures and conquests. I am sure you will have a great deal to teach me when we both return home.

So what was so exciting it almost made me forget my manners?

Well today we set out to see what we could get done in the tunnels with the “spiders!” Our group was not full as the wizard and his lady friend were unable to join us due to some poorly executed edibles. Traveling with a case of the gripes is bad enough but put that together with a small enclosed space and that is just hedging on disaster! Also taking into consideration their last run in with these vermin was less than celebratory; we will air on the side of caution.

The group of us that went this afternoon consisted of; Virgil and I, Baits, Preacher and Mila the vagabond. At the ‘father’s’ insistence we stopped by the stockades to take into his custody the young woman. She was in such a deplorable state! Her clothing tatters, NO shoes, and the poor thing has been steeped in her own musk for only the gods know how long! To be honest, I have seen cleaner animals out in the forest. 

No matter though. I got to feel a bit like a hero. After taking in the visage of Mila I suggested that we dress her in something weather appropriate and even get her some shoes. Much to my surprise the Preacher paid for her whole lot and we were off. I wanted to help foot the bill, but he was rather hasty with the coin.
With that we were off on the day’s adventure and oh my, what it had in store for us! I honestly would have never guessed.

We headed off for the cave that the good Preacher knew about; he seems very good at directions. We all got there quickly and safely enough. Cautiously we entered the cave. This caution was not just because of the large “spiders” but because Virgil had a feeling. We would all find that he was right! Not too far inside the maw of the cave was a thin wire across the walkway; who knows what this would have done if we would not have noticed it!

We all stepped carefully over it and headed quietly down the tunnel. Soon we came to a cross section, I beat Virgil on a 3-shoot so I got to pick which way we went. I choose to go to the left. I could not at the time say it was the right choice, but looking back on it now, perhaps it was.

We followed the path around and it came to a round room. At first there seemed to be nothing in the room, but upon closer inspection Virgil noticed there were some of the “spiders” on the ceiling! Oh my they were hateful and terrifying looking beasts!

I made a fool out of myself this day… I fail to mention it to you all the time Father because you already know. It stands to reason that if I am to be involved in some sort of skillful or intellectual confrontation that I will have difficulty. Thankfully it was not enough to get anyone really hurt, but terrible enough to make me out to be a fool.

Virgil handed me his sling.

This is where the trouble started.

I loaded it just as the men back at home taught me to, I wound it up and loosed it at the “spiders” just as I was shown… but it slipped and I missed. I actually almost hit Virgil. It flew out of the sling and clattered against the wall and bounced around making as much noise as it possibly could. My fellow adventurers could not believe what I had done. I felt awful and it did not stop there! Shamefully much of the confrontation went poorly when it came to me. I just could not seem to get on task. I suppose we all have days… perhaps some more than others.

Thankfully Virgil was there to pick up my slack and show the Preacher that the two of us were not walking disasters. Also our new found friend ‘Baits’ had a fairly good showing, I was so glad too. He seemed to keep it together fairly well given the scary circumstance. We have yet to learn much about him… but I must say I am curious.

Baits and I ended up with these ghastly things jumping down from the ceiling onto our heads! Baits showed himself to be competent enough to dispense with his rather quickly and efficiently, I however looked inept and required Virgil’s assistance to rid myself of it.

I ended up falling back just a bit back down the tunnel that we came through so as not to get in the way. Perhaps it is a good thing I did because I was able to see a few more “spiders” skittering our way but they were not alone. Much to my surprise and dread they were being followed by two very engorged and very deceased gentlemen. The prospect of them joining the fight added a new level of fright. It dawned rather quickly upon us that we were not as prepared as we should have been to come down here and mess with this.

Thankfully our Preacher was able to step up and cast back the interlopers. I have no explanation for what he did, but there was certainly some kind of power there that I have never really been privy to before; for a moment he was more than just him. This act made them retreat in fear.

Their cowardice made it so that we could have a more thorough look around the small room we had just cleared. We found something.
Or rather we found someone! This is terribly exciting to share with you Father! On the ceiling of the small room we found an egg. This egg did not exactly look healthy; as a matter of fact it had been opened and then stitched back shut. With a bit of luck we were able to free it from the ceiling and lower it to the floor.

Curiosity drove us to open the writhing ovum. I will be honest at this point… it did not look healthy. There was a lot of tension in the room at the movement coming from within and everyone was ready for another fight. We were all on edge…

But when the stitches were cut and it split open we were greeted by not exactly a monster… but by a baby. To be totally honest it was not one in the conventional sense. No he was different; special.

The poor little one had been tampered with and fashioned into a monster! He has 8 spider legs attached to his sides and in such a way that announces quite clearly the nefarious intentions and awfulness of the person who did such a thing!

The Preacher and Virgil wanted to kill the poor little guy! I could not and will not abide by that! What he has been made into is not his fault and he should not be punished for that. He is strange… but we all have challenges.

Baits and I decided that we could not kill this innocent. I will not have that kind of blood on my hands Father. The little one was smiling and cooing; he meant us no harm. As an infant he can be taught and trained to be something better and not just a mistake or monster. I believe this… I have to.

So we gathered him up in my cloak to guard him against the cold and took him back to Lady Grace. The priestess of the church certainly should know what to do… at least I had hoped and thought as much.
I have to say I wish that you had been here. You would know what to do and what needs to be done. You would not have batted an eye at this boy and the strangeness of him. I have faith that you would have set him right.

Lady Grace was scared of him. I got to see her mask of pleasantness falter at his presence. I had hoped for better from the Mother of the church. Do they not tout ‘love for all’? Even ‘acceptance’?

I suppose I let the whimsy take hold of me like I am prone to do and figured if I could will it enough it would happen. However I was harshly reminded that I do not have that kind of power so I must rely on the kindness of others.

Virgil, Baits, and I all had to fight for “Mortimer’s” life. I fought for him. I would have disgraced you further Father if it had come down to it and fought for him physically if needed. I believe so strongly in his right to live. I stood solid for him even after hearing of his 3 hearts, extra ribs and joints. I remained diligent even after learning that he may have been born a ‘drider’ and been modified for whatever reason. I am not certain what he was, but I know that right now he is not more than a helpless child that is in need of a hero.

He’s a ‘Forget-me-not’ and today I was his person in a brown dress.

Virgil and I bartered for the healers there at the church to help Mortie in any way they could. I requested that the spider limbs be removed and that he gets the healing he needs to at least appear “human.” I got my promise from them that they would do their best. In all honesty I am probably going to be taking him along on our journey or at least taking him to Sister Mariam to look after until I can get back home. I know she will take good care of him for me.

But after Lady Grace gave us her word, we had to head back out. It was decided that I needed to get a bow if we were to continue down into the caverns. With those beasts clinging to the ceiling we need something at range to get them down and a sling is not for me. 

We left our Preacher and the vagabond to watch the entrance to the caves; just in case. It was a good thing we did to I guess because he was able to see another minute man come out of the caves. This little fellow had his face painted as a skull and rode atop a large spider! This scared Mila and Preacher; so much they ran back to town as soon as they could.

They met up with us and the whole group of us spoke quickly. We had no time to fully restock or gather additional weaponry before the fire bells started ringing in the distance.

Heroes that the Preacher and Virgil are they hastened off to the rescue. Sadly this was disastrous. By the time they got to the fire no one was alive and the wee-wizard was a tyrant. He killed the family set the farm ablaze and to make matters worse raised the family as zombies to attack Virgil and our own wee-caster. This again did not go well. Virgil bit off more than he could chew.

Not only did he almost get himself killed, but our little magician was dead for a few minutes. We were able to get out of there, but not without everyone getting assaulted. We have fallen back for the evening to lick our wounds and to get a plan set in place. One thing is certain we cannot go charging off just yet, we need a deeper understanding of what is going on here before we do that.

For now I am content to spend time with Lil’ Mortie. I really enjoy spending time with him. I got to rock him and feed him when I got back while everyone else got the healers attention. I relaxed with my little man while Virgil slept in the bed next to us. When Mortie did fall asleep we snuggled together on the bed they provided for me. As I watched him sleep there peacefully I began to think that perhaps I might change his name. Perhaps now in the light and in this gentle state he does not look like a “Mort” but perhaps something else… something unique and sweet; as special as he is.

I have found that he is rather fond of my sugar cookies and a bit of warmed milk. I of course father did speak to the healers there at the infirmary to make sure what he could and could not eat. Right now it is a bit of a guessing game as to what he will or can eat; the likes of him has not been seen so this is all new territory for everyone. It is so amazing to be a part of this and such a learning experience! I am so excited. :) It is a slow and steady walk, but one I am willing to toddle along with him and possibly drag Virgil with us.

As he slept cuddled next to me swaddled up in one of the blankets here I worked on something nice for him to wear. He has a different kind of anatomy, but he does not need to waltz around here bare. Some careful alterations to one of Virgil’s shirts and we have something that he can use to garner some modesty. Virgil did not like the green tunic anyhow. :)

He is my sharp looking little guy. <3 :D

For now this is where I must stop. I will of course keep you informed of everything that transpires.

Mrith itov vur tiichi ekess wux Opsola.

~ Nerium Oleander

Letters To My Father 3

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