As the words began to tumble out of the cleric’s mouth, my blood ran cold. The words rasped from his throat. “What’s he saying?!” I hurriedly asked Myntilly. She’d cast comprehend language before I revived him.
“It seems to be Infernal.” She paused. “But it’s strange. Archaic….” She cocked her head and her eyes grew wide. “Shut him up! Shut him up!”
Her words got us moving. I was running for my spell book. My mind was a whirl. “Silence spell? Hold Person? What could I do?”
Suddenly the words stopped. I looked over my shoulder, unsure if he’d stopped speaking on his own. I saw Acgar stepping away from the cleric, a gag now firmly placed in his mouth. My shoulders slumped.
“Dear lord. Why didn’t I think of that?” I gave a weak laugh. Sadi asked Myntilly, “What was he saying that was so bad?”
“Like I said, it’s weird but something like, ‘Powerful Nerull, the reaping machine, and bringer of meat judgment, hear my prayer.’ So I figured that he was casting a spell, so I wanted to shut him up.” Merthan patted her arm. “Good call, lass.” He crossed his arms and studied the bound man. “What shall we do?”
Various came in with a tray. “Food for thought, OK? I think best with beer.” We all gathered around and grabbed some food. Merthan, Fario and Felian stood off to the side. I saw Merthan talk quietly with Felian. He seemed to be making a case for something. I waited a few minutes and went over to them. “Ah! Another cleric to ask. I’ve been talking with Felian about geas.” He looked questioningly at me.
“I’ve not studied the spell yet. I’m not high enough level. But it’s a quest thing right? Laying a quest on another?”
He nodded happily. “I can’t think of a better subject than your man there.” He used his piece of bread to point at the cleric. I frowned. “I don’t get it.” Merthan tapped the tip of his nose with the bread and smiled. “What better quest than say, ‘Help the Divas to save the world.'”
Acgar had walked up and heard the last part. “Will that work?” She asked. Before Merthan could answer, Ian spoke up. “I had an uncle who had a geas laid on him by three witches. Left his home and family without a blink. We didn’t see him for 15 years.” Everyone digested that information for a few beats.
Merthan spent 10 minutes mumbling the words of the spell. At the end, he hung his head. “Well, it either worked or it didn’t. Take the gag out and let’s see.”
Myntilly worked as translator and Acgar stepped up to question the cleric. “What is your name?”
“I am called Khyron Bonesworn.”
“What were you doing in the jungle?”
“We waken eggs of Kyuss. Mighty Kyuss boss, gone many generations. Necrocants they function for to awaken eggs of Kyuss. Wide belief to create lives without end. Kyuss lives without end.”
Acgar turned to me. “Kyuss! We’ve fought sons of Kyuss before.” She turned back to Khyron. “Are you building an army?”
“Eggs burrow under meat, eats, moves inside and out. Pupils for Nerull.”
Acgar muttered “Maggots?” which Myntilly did her best to translate.
Khyron frowned. “Not worms. Eggs! Eggs of Kyuss.”
We were able to confirm some of our theories and got a few more puzzle pieces. As night was falling, we’d exhausted our store of questions. Merthan bent to cut Khyron’s bounds. “What are you doing?” I cried in alarm.
“I’m letting your good friend loose.”
“Not friend. Khyron not friend of Sun.”
Merthan smiled. “Meet your double agent. The geas will stay in place. He (Merthan patted Khyron’s arm) is bound to your success. Go in peace. May the road always find your feet.”
No one spoke for a few seconds after the door shut. Ian looked around at our surprised faces. “I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me. Remember Uncle Horben.”
“If you are worried, I can do a bit of scrying” offered Merthan.
A little while later, bent over the low metal dish, Merthan smiled. “Have a look.”
Over his shoulder I could see Khyron talking with another man. They seemed to be arguing. The second man seemed upset. Suddenly he looked over Khyron’s shoulder. His eyes seemed to lock on to mine and he yelled out “Merthan!” and the dish went dark.
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