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Stories from the Verse
Verse Three, Chapter One
Chapter 63: Kondor 21
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"I'm sorry, I must have heard you wrong. What did you say?"
Kondor looked at the elderly robed man closest to him. He wouldn't have thought it possible, but these people might just be more superstitious than the ones he left behind in Nottinghamshire.
"We summoned you." The poor man looked upset. "We are in grave need of a deliverer to save us from the demons in dead flesh attacking us; we performed the ceremony to call a deliverer, and here you are. Believe me, you are the one who will save us."
The whole thing sounded like nonsense. Kondor no more believed in demonic monsters than in summoning spells or wizardry or God. But perhaps it was fortuitous that he had arrived here. These people were in trouble, and while he had no clue what the trouble might be, he wasn't going to push them away merely because they didn't understand the nature of their own problems. He was here; he should at least see if he could help.
"All right, let's assume you're right. How urgent is it that we do something about it?"
"Oh, it is the most urgent it could be. Something must be done this month, or it will be too late."
They also had a very strange concept of urgent. But that was fine.
"Then we'd better find some place where I can clean up a bit, and prepare, and you had better tell me everything you know."
"Oh, of course. I'm Talwin, the priest here. This is Sowan, the chief mage, and Dimtri, sage and chief advisor to his lordship. The others you can meet later."
"I'm Joseph Wade Kondor. I'm a doctor of medicine, and I was a soldier."
"Wonderful. If you're sufficiently attuned to our mortal realm now, I'll show you where you can stay."
Kondor shook his head, but stood up and followed Talwin from the chapel.
The chapel was one building within a walled field in which were several others, including several highly defensible towers. He was led to one of these, and into a room which was surprisingly large given the dimensions of the building. A man was seated on a large ornate chair near the far wall.
"Your majesty, permit me to present Jo-suede Candor."
"Is this him?" the King asked, rising from his throne and coming forward.
"Yes, majesty; he has been sent to save us."
"No disrespect intended--," Kondor began, but the King ignored him.
"Excellent. Well, take care of him, and get him started. This is getting serious, you know."
"Yes, majesty. Right this way, Jo-suede Candor."
"Just call me Joe," he said. And he followed Talwin up narrow stone steps which wrapped upward within the outer wall of the tower, and into a small room several stories up. There he settled on a bed which was not so comfortable as the one he'd made for himself, and stared at an expensive looking canopy above it.
"I wonder if the army will pay me for the trouble they've put me through?" he mused. "Somehow I doubt it."
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of the novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #43: Novel Worlds. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.
As to the old stories that have long been here: