This is the second half of Chapter Three, something of how Meradat got this far and a bit more of Karlyn, not giving away too much of who she or why she is…..
Meradat spent a little time watching Karlyn imitate the actions of a squirrel; she did seem to be a person of rather singular facets, whether her mind was capable of holding them all together under the stress of the coming struggle was of course another matter.
For struggle there would be.
This one had been at least three years in the making. A long convoluted path, starting with the usual sorts of fools who carelessly dabbled with the Stommigheid. But those interrogations hinted at a possible seriousness to one of the various profligate and generally carnal groups who masked their appetites by vacuous attempts at blasphemies.
Meradat had naturally reported this, but had not been surprised when little import had been given to his warning and request for assistance. The Office Custodial of the Word of The Lord God was naturally more comfortable with easier work of pursuing those many deluded who thought of The Lord God in sundered incorrect ways and whose worship of Him was quite ridiculous.
The grimmer and more dangerous threats had been made to appear but legends and metaphors for lesser acts. Areas of work which those troublesome and ever individualistic custodians could be sent to deal with. He knew full well this was in the hope they would be consumed by fruitless trails, or by chance tread on the figurative toes of some very influential person of rank and thus meet with an accident.
So he had set upon his own steady and subsequent tracking of each whisper and rumour. The name of the Obsidian Council had begun to form out of the mists. The increase in apparently random attacks upon his person had suggested to him the council as was common in these cases was aware someone was asking questions. The overpowering and questioning of surviving assailants had suggested someone was hiring killers of a high quality and at times he had seen fit to seemingly vanish, while he mulled over and reviewed the evidence gained.
And he had concluded that these were folk who by blundering or deliberate event would bring about an even worse Age of Retribtuions in their dabblings.
This latest event had not brought him any closer to knowing who these folk exactly were or where they hid, but the terror of this Jordisk man confirmed whatever they were doing was causing an erosion of the barriers between this realm of The Lord God’s Jewel and the blighted Fourth Realm. And maybe they had ensnared some within the Office Custodial, hence his lack of assistance.
The path was a lonely one. This could not be helped. The Lord God had called him unto the challenge. There was no room for doubt, regret and least of all fear.
He opened up his copy of Summaries of Faith and read.
Sometime amongst his own prayers, mediations and concerns he slipped into his customary short nightly doze; save this time he was awaken by a sudden jab in his thigh. A swift examination of the pocket, brought forth the hexagonal ‘Thing’, the gem pulsating a sharp light, its glow revealing the girl alighting from the tree without, it appeared bothering to use any intermediate braches.
“That smell! It’s not him! There’s no trembles! He’s gone! Vanished! Went sideways, dithered and dothered and then-pooff!!”
Meradat was not usually slow in his thoughts when coming out of sleep, but the girl’s style of announcement accentuated by rolling of eyes and waving of hands was one which had caught him by surprise.
“Have you any idea as to the nature of reasoning?”
This cause a snort of exasperation and more gesticulations
“Look! I don’t know ok? I can’t help it! This is new and more important!” she paused to consider the tying up of a loose end “Perhaps he fell down one of those storm-higgle ‘oles. Maybe a big grrrr demon grabbed him by his bum-end!!”
Meradat would not have put it in quite that manner but the girl might have a case in point there. He was about to try and prise some more truth out of her when she suddenly spun on one heel whispered something quite incoherent and rushed at the tree. But five paces away she leapt up at the trunk a distance of her own height and once clutching the bark scrambled upward. For once he was glad of that wretched hexagonal ‘Thing’s’ light as it was illuminating her progress, and more importantly her features which in pose bore similarities to a hound’s nature. Only when she had reached the top most slender and swaying branch, did she pause, quite irrespective of any danger and peered westwards. Meradat let her carry on, this was interesting to observe, particularly in relation to the hexagonal ‘Thing’ for both girl and device were reacting to some quite strong events.
There was a distinct whistle of surprise, a whoop of glee and once more she was descending with no thought for caution, and dropping a distance of at least two men’s height to land into her crouch. Once more she compared to a hunting dog hound; panting and her eyes wide with the excitement of a hunt.
“Yeah! Never mind him. Never mind him!” she straightened up, again hands waving “He was nothing but a thin streak of widdle, he was! But I got it now! The new something else! Brewing along the coast it is. Smells all of iron and oil and sea,” she paused, puzzled “And sparks? I never knew sparks had smells?”
Meradat had little care either way; he was naturally focused on the location; the west coast and those towns of indiscriminate trading. He glanced at the hexagonal; the pulse was fainter; experimentally he moved to face in the very general direction of the west and coast; and the pulse although still weak managed a glow sufficient to light his hand. Normally a device which responded to one of its own kind, or to some close source of mischief, its current sensitivity had him wondering as to whether the girl was displaying a type of conductivity, passing strength on. As much as he would prefer to meditate on whether placing reliance on such was a sin, transgression or a burden of a necessity; this was not the right occasion. In time and places bereft of clues and willing witnesses, this would have to do; and so by The Lord God’s Will someone’s hand would be shown.
Maybe this would be where The Obsidian Council would show its hand.
Karlyn leant back against the trunk of the tree and looked to the horizon over which there was a sea. Elinid was a port, a big noisy bustling bad smell of a place and you had to go ten miles in either direction to find a nice patch of sand where you could sit comfy and twiddle your toes in the little beach waves. This place where they was going smelled more like it wanted to keep its sandy beaches. She drew in and savoured the aroma, then wrinkled her nose at the pesky iron and oil wafting on in to spoil the tang. This was exciting! Not some old usual smell-chase! She might have to burn something down! The custoady hadn’t told her she couldn’t burn anything down. Of course he hadn’t said she could either. So it seemed to her she could do as she thought fit.
She scratched at her chest, her nose wrinkled.
Now there was that clean smell again. Where was that coming from then?
This was going to be fun.
Vengeances were alright, but a girl needed some fun!
She wrinkled her nose once more and scowled. That was a new pong and horrid too! All had been so nice, that she’d only just noticed that she must have trodden in Something, and so kicked off her boots. She’d see to them later. A girl couldn’t chat with moths, taste breezes or read the night sky with stinky boots interrupting.
“Poourgh! Still wafting about,” she complained and so climbed up far beyond a point which others might have thought safe. There, arms locked about the slender trunk, she merged with the rhythm of the swaying with the night breeze. Just her, the tree, the breeze and the sky, she smiled and closed her eyes; the stench was still somewhere, but up here she was free.