The ongoing saga of Mortog and his mother
| Dopey's Brother: A Prophecy Rises Time To Go!
Time to go!
Doc tried to wake Jackel to give him a little water before he went to work on healing him with his magic. "Durned fools! I's shoulda put a protection spell on da lot o' ye's." Doc grumbled almost too quietly for the others to hear. He knelt there with his eyes closed and his hands making movements that none could understand. His hands formed a triangle as he put his two index fingers and thumbs together and held them over Jackels wound all the while Doc was saying something so softly that none of them could hear and probably wouldn't understand anyway. A dull yellow light started glowing somewhere under his tunic, but they could all see it clearly. They saw the punctures wounds in his knee immediately start to close up. Mortog and Grumpy never tired of watching Doc's magic do its work; though sometimes it put such a strain on him.
Mortog looked back at the others who were standing around the large boulder that had often been used as their table.
"Me's fer thinkin dat's da book?" Mortog anxiously awaited Grumpy's answer.
"Aye, I got it, but at what cost?" He said as he handed over the book looking over at Jackel.
"Bah, he's a tough ol' dwarf, He'll be fine, look, Doc's already got him awake an alert. He's even sittin up." Mortog said to Grumpy as he turned to face Jackel. "Ye bein' okay over dare?" Jackel nodded his head.
"Time te go an git me some o' dat mead." He yelled back, with a bit of a chuckle, his arm raised in triumph.
"See, I tell'd ye." Mortog hungrily opened the book. He flipped through some of the old pages with a degree of carelessness that had begun upsetting Grumpy.
"Ye be takin care o' dat book now! After all, it is a sacred text, an we didn't risk all dis jest so ye could destroy da durned thing as soon as ye be gettin it!" Mortog looked up at him, stared him dead in the eyes and took the next page between his fingers gently then slowly and deliberately, turned the page as Grumpy watched the page float lightly down to the other side of the book. He grinned at Grumpy knowing that it would just make him grumpier.
"I's found it!"
"Can ye say's it a little louder? I don'na think da guards heard ye." Doc said coming over to the makeshift table. "I's fer tellin ye dat they will also be gettin a mage te work in dare with da Guards. They may be catchin ye yet, ye fool."
"An how's our boy be doin?" Mortog asked him.
"Aye, he'll be fine in a minute er two. Got im back up te half health, no thanks te ye!" Doc said, with some anger, glaring at Mortog. "Me's hopin it was worth it." He said looking exhasted.
"Aye, me's got what I's lookin fer, it's right here in front o' me." Mortog showed him the book and the map that was folded inside between the pages. Doc reached for his monocle to look at it more closely. There were strange markings that Mortog pointed out with a curious look. "An ye be thinkin's me's fer helpin ye read it do ye?" But he gently took the map anyway. He looked at it with a confused look, and Doc never looked confused. He motioned for everyone to back away from the table laying the map on it. He pointed to a spot on a map with mountains.
"I's fer thinkin dat's where ye need te be, but I's can only make out one word, 'DANGER', all da other words be in a language dat I's don't understand yet. An I's be seein dat it's a citadel there, perhaps da very one ye be lookin fer. Lemme write some o' these down. Meet me at da Cherub tonight an bring da map."
Once at the restaurant and all the boys were present, Doc started his translations of some of the other symbols. They had specifically picked a table near the back that was in the darker part of the room so no one would get involved in their discussions. It wasn't so dark as to hide the logo of the restaurant which was a pair of angel wings gliding down to the ground.
"Ye can'no go without knowin' what these runes an symbols er meanin. An they wanted this thing well hidden because as far as I's can see, they all be in different languages and some of them ancient and no longer in use; I would love te study these a lot more wit all me books." Doc said. He softly grabbed the map, and grabbed his magnifying glass. He reached over the map and carefully jotted down some more of the runes that he saw and approximately where they are on the map. "I can tell ye right now dat I think this one," pointing to a spot on the map near their own citadel, "Is a Harpy warnin'. It be in an ancient elven dialect that I don'na believe they use anymore, but it's one of the more recent ones." He sat back in his chair staring at the paper with the scribbling. He kept turning it around and squinting at it. He made funny faces that had even Grumpy, giggling . . . almost.
Doc was young; being just a grade older than Mortog and the others, but he studied his craft relentlessly. He could heal some pretty serious wounds. He was a quick study, but his side passion was always ancient languages, so he was really good at it. This perplexing map had him racking his brain and they both knew it. He studied it for a while longer looking at the map several times before he stood up again and pointed out something else on the map which told them of a freshwater pool, but it was guarded by something that he still had yet to decipher.
Mortog looked at the dangers as a challenge that he would most certainly overcome. He had seen a harpy in his school books but has never seen one in real life. The creature guarding the pool just needed to be reasoned with and he was convinced that he could prove to that creature that his quest was righteous. He was sure that he could defeat anything that came his way. He had been trained well, by both Dargus and his own mother.
"I's can handle some harpies an some creature guarding a freshwater pool." Mortog said with conviction trying to convince Grumpy and Doc both; maybe even himself.
Doc and the crew studied the map for quite some time before Mortog got up from the table.
"Ye leavin us fer tonight?" Doc asked him looking up from the map. "Can I hold on te this till da mornin?"
"Ye can'no lose dat Doc." Mortog warned; knowing that he had to study the book tonight and didn't really need the map yet. Maybe there were other things in the book that could aid him in his quest; he simply had to find them. He was also hoping to find out what this thing looked like; it might be hard to pick out if it were in a room full of other artifacts. He knew it would be a challenge which is why he wanted to study the book tonight. Then he thought about the chain of events that would undoubtedly happen when he came back successful. He thought about his family's honor, his father's business and how they would receive him. 'I's has no choice, me needin te go out dare and find this thing and bring it home to help stop da war. Maybe my pop will get his business back, but I' got te get me families honor restored.'
"Me's still thinkin ye shouldn't be goin after this thing on yer own." 'Now dat sounds more like Doc.' Mortog thought to himself, 'Maybe he was just havin an off day.' "Ye be needin help ye durn fool!"
"Are ye done?" Mortog just stared at him. "Me's doin this on me own, an dat's final!" Saying it loudly enough for some of the other patrons to turn and look, but they all turned back to their conversations and their own business in short order.
"Ye be actin like one o' them trolls ye ugly bastard!" Doc pipes up again. "Ye too young te be doin this all alone an yer definitely gonna need da help; when ye gonna sleep huh? Ye aint got nobody te stand watch over ye. An then what happens when ye get jumped by more an one creature. Ye be dyin afore ye even get to dat ancient citadel. " Mortog considered Doc's points. But he just shook his head at Doc, said nothing and walked away. "Durned fool, gonna get hisself killed, poor dwarf." Mortog heard every word of that last sentence closing his eyes and cringing a bit even as he continued to walk away.
They were all great points that he needed to figure out how to overcome. He was stronger than all that; he was sure he could find a solution to most of those problems. 'Besides how am I supposed to get experience if-n I's never get out o' here.'
He spent the long walk home thinking hard about what Doc had said, and all of the other points that had been brought up since he had mentioned this plan.
About a third of the way home he felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He was in a dark passageway. There were soft rocks lining the walls so the sounds wouldn't echo as much. 'At least whoever dis is a smart fool.' Mortog thought to himself; but he knew better how to handle this situation, thanks to his mom. He really did owe her everything. His resolve was now stronger than ever to take on this quest.
"Don't even try it, I's got ye' this time." Mortog smiled. Mortog actually had the advantage. He knew two ways to end this 'stalemate'. He would try the first one, the peaceful one. As to the advantage, Branthony didn't know that he knew his way out of this.
"Branthony me ol' buddy." He said as if nothing was wrong. "What do ye want?" More forcefully spoken now. "Me's on me way home fer dinner." He told him.
"I know what yer doin'." Branthony simply states.
"That's it?" He exclaims. "Well then why ye didn't ye just say so. What's da knife all about?" Mortog, feeling the knife retract from his back a little; stepped forward and quickly spun around slapping his hands together catching the blade between his palms then twisted his hands causing Branthony to release the knife, more in surprise than anything else. Branthony just stood there with his jaw hanging open. He suddenly got into a defensive posture. "I aint aimin fer a fight tonight, I's gots a lot on me mind, so get te yer point so's I can go home an eats me dinner."
"Right, I know's bout yer little plan te regain yer honor." He states. Now it's Mortog's turn to hang open his maw. "I's wants in, ye know I's can handle meself, well, not as good as ye, but I could learn from ye, obviously yer gittin yer trainin elsewhere."
"Durnet! I'm te do this quest on me own!" He almost yelled.
"Ye be a crazy fool do do it on yer own; anyway, I know all 'bout da plan, including da book an da map. Ye can kill me now or let me in, or I go to my paw." Branthony just stood there proud as hell that he stood up to him without fighting. He wasn't sure he would have been able to take him one on one anyway. In truth Branthony was truly afraid of Mortog and he was shaking slightly in fear, especially after seeing him in the rink that day. His fears were realized when all of a sudden two hands shoved him into the wall hard and a fist came cracking down on his jaw as he tried to stand back up. Mortog just stood above him.
"An donna ye ever be pullin no knife on me again, I's do more an split yer lip next time."
"I's be tellin ye, ye need me, Mortog. Ye need someone on yer team dat can fight as well as ye, or at least close enough te help ye out." Branthony pleads while attempting to stand back up.
"Why ye really wantin te go so bad?" Mortog asks. "Ye got somethin te prove te yer ol' man?"
"Because, I know if I be stayin, I's just end up like me paw and get into politics er somethin like dat an I's never be gettin te go out on any adventures." Branthony tells him.
"An why should I be lettin ye come wit me, dis ain't no adventure, dis could, an most likely will, be gettin me killed. Why 'n ye wantin te go an help me, after all ye been nothin but a bully since I's met ye, why should I's be doin ye any favors?"
"Do ye really think ye can do all dis on yer own?" Branthony said. "Ye be needin sleep, me's fer knowin dat an ye could get gutted while ye sleep, Ye be needin someone te watch over ye while ye do the normal things ye do. I's sorry I's been bullying ye. Yer friends be tellin ye dat ye need someone te go wit ye, who better an me? I's be tellin ye, I be useful te ye. An what happens when da fightin gets too much fer one dwarf te handle? What ye do then? Die? I's can help ye, but it's all up te ye, either I's be tellin me paw or me' going wit ye." Branthony just let that all sink in as Mortog just lowered his head in thought.
Mortog really didn't have anything to say. Doc and the others were pressuring him to take someone else with him. Branthony could either be a hindrance or a help to him. He didn't want to hurt any of his friends or even get them killed because of a bad decision on his part. But Branthony, in Mortog's mind, could be trained. He decided; as he stood there quietly, to take him up on his offer. Who knows maybe he had some good ideas, he wasn't stupid just a little quick on the draw when it came to his anger maybe he could use that when he trained him. Mortog decided that they would have to work on his anger issue. He could be useful, especially when they were both going to be learning on the fly.
"Alright. Alright." He said lifting his head. "But ye be tellin no one ye hear? Ye meet us in the mornin at The Cherub at 'bout nine. I will be there early with da guys dat way I's can talk te em first, get em used te da idea." He told him. "An if I findin out ye be tellin anyone, I's kill ye! An yer paw won't hafta worry bout his precious little boy no more." With that, Mortog threw the knife at Branthony's feet and turned to walk home. Branthony being happy with himself, just stood there and smiled.
He reached his house earlier than expected, despite the incident in the tunnel, to find his mum in the kitchen crying . . . again, her face painted red from all the constant emotion. She really was a wreck. He was extremely empathetic, which meant that instead of just understanding someone else's pain, he feels their pain. He started to tear up himself as he walked into the kitchen.
"It will get better mum." Mortog said. "I's promise." He said startling her to a standing position then hugging her tightly. He knew he wouldn't be able to feel that anymore until he gets back from his quest. It was all he could do to stop himself from crying as well.
"When?" She said in barely a whisper. "Ye shouldn't ever have te witness yer mum in this way." She said in a more pronounced voice after she cleared her throat. He did know her pain though. That's why he was going on this quest, so that his mom could finally stop feeling like her family's honor will never be restored. I'll prove em all wrong. Of this I's swear. All o' em!'
The next morning they all sat at The Cherub, the favorite for them because it was quiet, and nobody around them cared about what was said. It was the kind of place that if you needed something done or acquired illegally, you could find it here.
"Doc," Mortog said with a smile leaning over to him on one elbow. "I's thought a lot bout what ye said last night; an me thinks yer absolutely right, I's be needin someone wit me. I'm needin someone to stand watch as I's sleep, an da other way around too."
"An what ye got up yer sleeve now, Mortog." Grumpy said with a worried look on his face.
"Is bout durned time ye listened te me." Doc piped in.
"When ye see, ye all going to object, but, fer one, I's now have no choice, an fer two, he's da perfect one te go wit me. He's not expendable but he's not a close friend either; so I's not havin te worry so much bout 'im. An he's trainable an already good wit them swords."
They looked at each other, even Happy was there today. Bashful, Sneezy, and Sleepy were still absent. Mortog began to worry about those three, he at least wanted to say goodbye to them, just in case he doesn't return at all but he knew with all his knowledge and skill he'd return, and with the artifact as well.
"Dat's what ye wants right?" Happy blurts out. "Who cares who he is, I's just happy ye's not goin alone." Of that logic, not one of them could argue.
They all heard footsteps behind them, looking that way; A figure shrouded in darkness sauntered their way slowly and purposely.
"The queen is most dissatisfied with your lack of progress." The words slithered out of her messenger's mouth. "The queen is expecting some good news." She floated over to the only mirror in this spire and sprinkled some kind of red dust onto it and turned away. Immediately the mirror lit up. The queen's fair-skinned face appeared. The entity drifted over to the spire's one lone window, turned into a Raven and flew off without another word. He stood halfway across the room staring at the image of his queen when it suddenly came to life.
"Well, Beltron. Tell me you have it." He was astonished that he was going to converse with a mirror. But then, he supposed, it shouldn't be that hard for a sorceress to use a scrying mirror.
"I haven't yet your majesty, but I'm almost there."
"You better be! I sure hope I sent my messenger all the way there for nothing and you'll have it straight away. There are going to be severe consequences if you allow those insignificant and inexperienced dwarves to get a hold of it first! I want that artifact!" She told him through the mirror as her dark hair fell over her pale white face while she spoke. "I expect you to have it in your possession by the next time we speak."
"Wouldn't it be better to let the dwarves get it for us, it would certainly be easier to take it away from inexperienced dwarves, they can't-"
"NNNNOOOO!" The queen screamed at him through the mirror loud enough to shake a painting off the stone wall across the room. "YOU will retrieve that artifact long before they can even get close enough to smell it!" She yelled across the miles in between them. "If you can't accomplish this task as you promised then I will be rid of you and will find someone else who can." She said with more composure in her voice. "You have one week. If you do not have it by then I will send someone to take your place! Is, that, clear?" She demanded his answer.
"Yes, your majesty." He said with conviction, a bow and a sense of newfound motivation; while secretly noting to himself that his magic was surely stronger than hers if it should ever come to that. He turned to one of his misty minions.
"Bring me another blood elf." He demanded.
"My master, we have none left and to catch one is . . . no longer as easy as it was before." It told him.
"Fine. Away with you." He said as he waved his hand in the air.
He took to his makeshift study where he kept all of the books and scrolls that he had brought with him. He went directly to an open scroll that was already lying on his desk. Of all the powers he possessed he still couldn't decipher most of this scroll. He couldn't fathom where the artifact lay but he knew it was somewhere in this particular citadel. He had already tried the library and the main chamber room. His magic could sense that it was somewhere inside this citadel but he couldn't pinpoint where and the queen was getting really impatient.
The scroll, books and even his inkwell suddenly went flying across the room as the red-faced Beltron screamed into his hands. He needed someone who could decipher the writing on that stupid scroll; the only ones who could read it were those blasted blood elves and they wouldn't help him read it, hell, they wouldn't even tell him where the artifact was, let alone decipher a scroll which would lead him straight to it. The good news is that it looked as if the elves knew nothing of the prophecy, so they would end up stopping those stupid young dwarves from getting to it as well, and they were far less experienced at getting artifacts than he, or dealing with those pesky blood elves. 'They won't even be able to best just one blood elf, let alone, all those who guard it.' He thought. They will soon discover what pain is. That thought made him smile wide.
He traipsed over to the cubbies that he used as storage for his books and scrolls. He shuffled through them until finding an old book. He opened it at his desk to a page that held an ancient map. The map was even older than the one Mortog and his friends had looked at. This map was of the citadel when it was a bustling city. There were several buildings that were on the map that weren't in the city any longer and through the use of his magic he had found several secret passages that were marked discretely. There were only two left to check, that he knew of, not that they would map out every secret passageway; in his explorations of the others he hadn't seen even one blood elf indicating that he was indeed in the wrong place. He would have to explore the citadel on his own even farther if he couldn't find it in one of these two passageways. His magic was strong enough to detect it when he got nearer to it, he was sure of it.
He put some things together in a pack and called for one of his minions. He ripped the map from the ancient book, folded it and put it in his pocket. He decided to check the lower one first figuring that the passage farthest away from the entrance to the citadel would be the smartest place to hide it; 'but then dwarves weren't the smartest creatures in the realm.' He thought to himself.
He walked out onto one of the cobblestone streets that were at a steep angle as was much of Valdamus citadel. The stupid dwarves had built their city on a large sinkhole. When the sinkhole started to swallow up the city they had to evacuate. He took pleasure in knowing that many of them must've perished in excruciating pain and fear; he smiled wickedly.
The friend that met up with him was good with the blade but what makes her special and particularly suited to this quest is that she is also a blood elf which makes her just as strong, fast, perceptive and any of the other traits they possess. He trusted this elf and had worked with her for years; they worked well with each other, one just as maniacal as the other. He had met her on another quest and had been fighting her when she and Beltron couldn't best one another. They had turned their faceoffs into a game and eventually had become friends. She was someone the queen approved of probably because she was a she, not that he needed her approval to do anything, but it sure made things easier when he had to deal with her.