Fiction from uo.comBy EM Malachi
Hickory Dickory Dock
A small mouse dreamed in a box of yarn by the inn’s hearth. Sherry was enjoying a most satisfying piece of dream gouda and watching a play she had seen so long ago. The chair was built for a child, and one of the actors had been nice enough to loan her a cushion. She was watching a man smash a paste gem with his prop sword when someone sat in the empty seat beside her. She nodded to the man and continued to watch the soliloquy on stage.
After listening for a few moments, the man beside her started talking, “As this is one of the few events I did not witness, I often wonder if the Stranger understood the importance of his act. Did he know that shattering the gem would lead to everything that followed?”
Sherry turned to look at the speaker. He appeared to be an older human, wearing a light blue robe. He was smiling at her, but there was a hint of sadness in his eyes. He would have been perfectly normal if not for his shadow, which formed the silhouette of a grandfather clock on the wall behind him. “Do I know you?”
The old man nodded, “I spoke to three people that night: a virtuous king, a doubtful lord, and the small mouse who would tell the world. I met with the others each again, so it seemed fitting to finish the circle. My name is Hawkwind.”
Sherry stared at the Time Lord in awe, “So this is not a dream?”
“All dreams touch the place I walk, but some dreams are something more. I have much I need to tell you, but we are not alone.”
Sherry looked around the theatre. The audience were not the people she remembered, but strange beings. There was a granite-faced man who watched the play in silence while being waited upon by skeletons. A blustering red-faced man holding a great torch shouted at an usher. With a voice like the wind across crystal, a laughing woman sang along with the minstrels on stage, but the laughter did not reach her cold eyes. An older woman with pale skin and blue hair stared at Sherry like a hungry shark. In the back corner, there was something hidden by shadow.
Sherry whispered to Hawkwind, “Who are they?”
“Powers and principalities. Great beings who have noticed Sosaria for the first time. In trying to avert a tragedy, I have inadvertently drawn their attention.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
“At this moment, what little I am capable of.” Hawkwind’s body seemed to shimmer slightly, and Sherry saw that his hands and feet were bound. “With this sliver of freedom, I am talking with you.”
“But I am but a mouse.“
“You have acted when others, more powerful and better able, did nothing. Those you need to find and encourage will trust you, just as I did so many years ago.” Hawkwind turned back to the stage. The play was ending, and the actors stepped forward. There were hundreds of them, all of Britannia, people she recognized and those she didn’t. Those she needed to find. They gave a great bow, and Sherry woke to the clock striking one in the morning.
The Shattered Obelisk Part 2 ~ Exotic Treasures
I was just coming into town to deliver my latest trade...the city coffers were fattening up quite nicely regardless of the strange ambushes that had been taking place. Once I had handed over the provisions asked for and made my way to the bank, the town cryer stopped me...~By a Town Crier Sir? Big news!~...I reached in my coin purse and handed the gent a few coins....
Well...interesting! I love a good hunt..and treasure is my favorite! Gathering up my tools and provisions, I headed to Needful Things in Jhelom.
Spotting the Treasure Hunter responsible for the article, I made my introductions..
~Hello there! I read your article in today's Crier...I have my own shovels and all the tools I need but am a bit short on maps...I'll buy all you have!~
~You and everyone else!~ he grumbled. ~Ever since running that ad, we haven't been able to keep anything in stock! Look friend, don't take this the wrong way, but you wouldn't want to get involved in treasure hunting. Dangerous business you know!~
~I think I can handle it~ I replied, ~I have coin!~
~The coin is nay the problem!~ he responded, ~I merely do not have any more maps to sell!~
~Perhaps I could find them for myself?~ I said.
~I suppose there is no harm in telling you...~ he started, ~you will probably end up getting yourself eaten by something and my associates and I will scavenge that fancy gear of yours~ He chuckled.
My eyes narrowed, the nerve of this guy! Gritting my teeth I asked again, ~The location?~
He laughed nervously. ~Fine..fine! Us treasure hunters get together every so often, and recently we have been coming across some strange stuff buried out there. Normally we find pirate treasure or the hidden stash of some highway bandits. But recently? I don't know. Instead of rusty chests there have been these...objects. I really dunno how to describe them. Kinda like a statue with weird carvings...and the flashes and thunder, really bizarre. Treasure's all there though, some creatures still protecting them, just now we been finding these statue things from maps recovered from Hythoth, Deceit and Destard. Good luck getting your hands on one though!~
I nodded, thanking him. ~I'll have a look, farewell!~
~Well met~ He mumbled, ~ can't wait to come across your corpse in...I mean...good luck with everything and thanks for stopping in!~
Of all the nerve! Me, a corpse? Preposterous! I stopped at the stables to grab my trusted frost dragon and headed to the dungeon Destard...treasure here I come!
After spending some time in Destard, I came away with a good number of maps....a pox on that treasure hunter in Jhelom...if he wanted to make more coin he could come here and do this himself! I wasn't about to share...the treasure is all mine!
Returning home, I studied the maps and co-ordinates...noticing a slight difference in these maps then the many others I have decoded. Never mind, I have found plenty of treasure in my time.
Heading out to the co-ordinates of my first map...I searched around, turning the soil over with my shovel here and there...tapping at the ground...until I hear a ~CLINK~ Ahh found it! Telling my pet to guard me..I slowly dug a hole....until my shovel unearthed something very peculiar...it was not a chest...none that I have ever seen anyway....perhaps there was something to the words that buggered old Treasure hunter said.
Laying my shovel on the ground, I stood back....and the flashing lights and thunder he spoke about....I got out of the way just in time!
A HUGE bolt of lightning shot straight up into the sky from this...thing...and creatures appeared out of thin air!Stunned for a moment...a quickly regained my senses and ordered my pet to dispatch the foul beasts so I could have a better look at this mysterious object.
Well....this was interesting! Intricately carved...glowing and pulsing...I had no idea....and was a bit afraid to be near it...but I had to figure out how to open it! I poked around at it a bit and realized that the top portion was a....for a lack of a better term....living..thing....or at least sentient....in some way....so I ordered my pet to attack it. It slowly disintegrated and left just the base behind....
Gingerly taking out my lockpicks, I quickly picked the...object..open and started slowly digging through the treasure...nothing out of the ordinary...normal treasure hunting stuff....UNTIL I got to the very bottom...
I found some strange reagents...something that looked and smelled like Pumice...blackmoore and an Executioners cap. In the other chests I dug up I found candles...red and black...and a fragment of a black substance I can only hazard to guess is obsidian....and some strange rolled scrolls...seem to be some sort of magic scroll though I am unable to read them.
I have a feeling that with the strange happenings with the trade deals..and Sherry the Mouse having met with Hawkwind..and now these strange Obelisks and items...something far from good is happening in our world..and we must be ready.
(BIG Thank you to Mene for the use of her screenshots for this article!)
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