Interlude: A Slave’s Tale
(22 Arhat 358 SV: 17 of 19)
Ed. Note: This page has been torn roughly from the diary, the jagged sides of the parchment and the hurried script suggesting it was passed to you with some haste.
I write to you from an oasis east of the stone road that leads to the brackish swamps where crocodiles lurk. Events in rapid succession have transpired to divert me from the quest, but for a cause that concerns all the lands.
Four days ago, Damaria and myself attended the wedding of Glimmerglass and Stormhand. Of this spectacular event I will write in greater detail soon, but suffice for now that the end of the ceremony found the healer and me in Crossings and faced with journey northward. There was a feeling of dÃ©jÃ vu in the air as we once again started toward distant Therenborough.
We reached Riverhaven with no more trouble than the first time the passage was made. Damaria parted to do some shopping, and I traveled to the Academy of Knowledge to peruse their stacks. It was within the library that I stumbled across a child by the name of Fumbo.
He was a Gor’Tog lad and had the look of having faced a difficult start early in life. The poor and ragged nature of his clothes suggested he was not a regular student to the Academy. His muscles were large for one so young (even for a Gor’Tog), but his smile was just as quick as any youth’s I have met. “Have you seen the Wagon?” I shook my head and told him no, but as our conversation continued a fierce and angry desire to find this wagon awoke in me as well.
This is Fumbo’s tale, though I have taken liberty to present in a somewhat orderly form. I fear I did not take notes during the events, for my mind was focused on the immediate rather than the recording.
It seems the wagon is owned by a S’kra Mur that Fumbo only knows as “Boss”. This Boss travels often from Crossings on Ratha regularly upon a “Large Ship”. When he is not upon the ship, he is on the “Wagon”. The wagon itself is large enough to hold a couple handful of Gor’togs. Fumbo was “given” to another S’kra Mur though the child had no desire to part with his friends upon the wagon.
In hopes of finding those captives he cared for (one of whom was mentioned to be named “Murk”), Fumbo escaped from the “Big Island” and stowed away with boxes being loaded upon a ship. He did mention that he left behind a “Kind Lady”. He traveled over the ship that “moved too much”, and arrived in a “Big City” that I took to be Crossings. Certainly his description of “many people, and all busy” would fit it perfectly.
Fumbo had reason to fear that the Boss would send after him “The mean man” who, by the description given, could be human. This man was particularly cruel, and had some time previously killed Fumbo’s mother before his very eyes. He did not stay in the “Big City” but traveled northward till our paths crossed in Riverhaven.
We spent some time asking the inhabitants of Riverhaven if they had seen the wagon, but none had. By coincidence, Chartaine, a fine warrior mage I had met in Therenborough, sent his rabbit familiar Thump to find my whereabouts at about this time. I charged the familiar to take word to his Master of Fumbo’s plight and soon the Guard of Therenborough had searched all the corners of that distant shore for the Wagon, though to no avail.
At this time I later learned that Chartaine and Ammara both started to head southward from Langenfirth. The thought struck me that with no evidence of the Wagon’s passage in Riverhaven or beyond Lake Gwenalion’s northern shore, it could have traveled in any other direction from Crossings.
The only sure thing from Fumbo about the Boss’s habits is that he moves from Ratha to Crossings and from there to points unknown in the Big Wagon. The trail, no matter how cold, had to be taken from that city.
Damaria had rejoined us by now, and I asked Fumbo if he would wish to accompany us down in pursuit of the Wagon. His desire to be reunited with his friends was as great as his obvious bravery and he agreed to seek with us. Once across the ferry to the Northern Trade Road, his eyes grew tired and weary. We stopped at the oasis where I now write and the child has fallen to the sands of sleep.
As he drifted off, we heard the chilling hiss of a S’kra Mur hidden in the shadows. From the corner of my eyes, I saw the form of Trazier stalk off. Ammara and Chartaine arrived shortly thereafter and I heard from Ammara that this Trazier was a fellow with pupiless eyes that claimed to have no soul. I pray his appearance was pure coincidence.
Damaria sits near the slumbering Fumbo and I will soon give this parchment to one of the many familiars who have appeared about to watch him. I ask of you, Good Reader, to treat this child with care and dignity if you meet him. Protect and help this young Gor’tog on his own personal quest. A quest that I believe supercedes my own meager journey. I would sorely wish to be there when he awakes, but I know the fates and whims of time.
He is a child who has known only slavery, and such evil must be erased.