Feb. 15th, 2013

Eighteen

Feb. 15th, 2013 11:15 am
A cave under the town raises the likelihood that whatever’s troubling Peram came up through the well rather than having been introduced down it. If that’s the case, it will make it all the harder to diagnose the problem, to say nothing of fixing it. Tracking down an ancient evil is always harder than running down a relatively recent one.

I’m sure from the moment you read the word “cave”, you’ve been thinking that I’ll probably go down there, but if it were that simple I believe Elector Tyrol would have drafted a few people he wouldn’t mind seeing the back of and sent them down to see what they could find.

But I know something of geology, and sort of cave we’re talking about is not going to be the sort a person can walk around in, or even crawl through. Peram’s spring is likely to actually be an offshoot of an underground river flowing through a honeycomb of channels cut through limestone.

If some ancient monster has awakened in the depths, it will have to be drawn out to the surface. It would be impossible to negotiate the tunnels even if it were possible to navigate through them.

The good news is that it probably is making forays to the surface, if people are disappearing. Well, I say “good”, but I really mean “convenient”, and even that is relative. You must not think me completely heartless, dear one… well, you know what I mean.

More convenient for all involved would be if the source of the evil originated on the surface. I don’t want to abandon that idea, if only because it keeps things simple.

Nineteen

Feb. 15th, 2013 01:15 pm
“Just one thing more,” I say, turning my attention back to Elector Tyrol.

“Yes?”

“Earlier today, I heard some children singing a song in a language that I didn’t recognize.”

“Do you think that’s likely to be important?”

“I don’t know enough to know that it isn’t,” I say. “It feels significant, though. It went something like this.”

I try to replicate some of the words for him, as near as I’m able to.

“I don’t recognize those words, but if it isn’t childish gibberish, then it sounds like it could be an aldic tongue,” he says, frowning. “One of the languages they speak up in the mountains on the other side of the forest. We do get travelers from those reaches, carrying their goods to the markets in the west. Hmm….”

“One recent traveler in particular springs to mind,” I guess.

“Yes, but only because the whole thing was so peculiar… but I don’t see how it could relate,” he says. “It happened some two or three weeks before everything started.”

“You mean, before anyone noticed anything was wrong.”

“As I said.”

“You said it happened before everything started,” I say. “If this peculiar event had happened after your trouble, I’d say they were unrelated, or at least that the traveler’s was not likely to be the cause. But if it happened before there was anything to notice? The whole thing could well have started then. Maybe it just took a week or three to get up to speed.”

“You know, I didn’t half wonder if maybe he’d poured something into the well,” Tyrol says. “The man who found him said he’d pried up the covers… only, the water there is always flowing. It’s a gentle enough current at that point, but if he’d tainted it with something, wouldn’t the taint get weaker over time?”

“Possibly,” I say. “I really think you should tell me this story.”

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theonecalledwander

June 2013

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