37: Mr. Morgans Desires
Varriss, Clara, and Charmeine stood before the Temple of Toluene’s main entrance. The sun-sphere was at the midday position indicating high noon.
The four square temples had a traditional and modern design edge to decorations. Even the followers of Toluene considered the temple to provide a feathery and light-hearted appearance. Father Termine made his appearance a short while after the attendants disappeared with the message.
Clara tightened her sword hilt grip, and she had expected several extra guards for their high priest. Clara quietly and quickly counted a number of his lesser priests and guards surrounding the small group. She was sure they were just waiting for the order to attack. In instances like these, before her form of aggressive negations were needed, she wanted to let Varriss do what he does best and talk his way out of a bad situation.
Varriss calmly waved his hand down, “Greetings, Father Termine.” He did the traditionally bowing of the head to show respect.
Father Termine standing in his orange and red sun-colored robes, greeted him as well. “Good morning to you. This is a surprise. It is good to see you again as well, Charmeine.”
“Yes, Father Termine.” Charmeine bowed his head as well.
Varriss opened up, “We came here because of Ka’Azalin.”
Charmeine broke down, crying, “DOESN’T WANT ME ANYMORE!” He fell into Varriss back. The large man’s heart was broken; Varriss slumped forward with the sudden surprise of his weight.
“There are some shady shenanigans about to go down. Ka’Azalin said that this is the safest place for him now. ”
Father Termine’s surprise was evident, but he quickly recomposed himself. “I see.”
Reaching around, Varriss pulled a sealed letter, “This is some additional instructions and explanations that Ka’Azalin has for you.”
Father Termine took the letter, ’I don’t serve Katalina, I don’t take her orders.”
Varriss smiled, “Of course you don’t. Just read the letter and make a choice.
Father Termine nodded, “Brother Thomas, would you be kind to escort these fine folks to the waiting room.”
Clara moved over to Varriss, “I don’t like this. Something is wrong. We should leave.”
Varriss turned his head, “We are fine, we will drop him off, get him settled in, and we will be off. What could go wrong.”
Clara sighed; she knew this would be trouble.
Brother Thomas moved across and helped shoulder the crying muscly man, “Come now, we can help you.”
Standing outside the Shady Tams, Oliver and Andrea both cast several protective spells for the just in case this went sideways. Andrea noticed Oliver had become very pale, a little wrinkly. “Blood magic?”
“No, something far worse; tell you about it after we are done with this little meeting.” His bluish lips pushed out the words.
“I still think that Charmeine, Clara, and Varriss should have come with us.”
“Better to have them together at this moment.” He said, “Fate spins, and it is up to us to bind the threads. Let’s get this over with.” He moved forward into the lair of Mr. Morgan. Andrea followed.
The tavern section was alive with people all sitting, drinking, or eating. A tall thin blond female scantly dressed danced to the tunes of a musician playing the flute.
The two moved to the passage that leads upstairs to Mr. Morgan’s overview of the club. Mr. Morgan sat in his elaborate wooden throne, and his brown business suit had a black rose protruding from his upper vest pocket.
Mr. Morgan had a sultry attendant, a caramel-colored woman in a maid outfit, standing at the door. A small shelf next to the door held a silver pitcher.
“Ahh well, it’s my special black rose.” He stood up and did a quick bow and motioned her to sit in the chair to the side of his table.
Andrea moved to the chair and took her seat.
“I had worried that you would not return, I don’t know what happened, but word is you let some of my property free. Can you elaborate?” He turned his gaze to Andrea.
Andrea, not looking at him directly, “Yes, your minion tried to hide these people’s thoughts and replaced them with his own. These were being used by you to get the one who owed you money to pay. They did not make a contract with you, nor did they have any direct dealing with you. That got me upset.” She now turned to face him. “As a result, I am saying goodbye. I have made my choice.” She glanced over at Oliver, “I am just wanting this to be a formal visit and let you I have no intentions of doing business with you at this time.”
A thing smile on his lips formed, “You think you can just say no to me. I am Samuel Morgan. I get what I want.” He snapped his fingers. A shadowy figure appeared out of thin air, holding a silver dagger. He had moved in quickly and silently and placed the blade up to Oliver’s throat.
Andrea turned to see the shadowy magician wearing the white skull-faced mask holding a dagger to Oliver’s pale throat. She quickly stood and moved to destroy the fiend threatening Oliver. An invisible wall quickly stopped her hand, and the holy fire erupted at the nearest touch. Recoiling her hand from the pain, she glared back at Mr. Morgan.
“A Devil Trap? Why yes. Often a standard place to start in negotiations in our contract. Servant.” Mr. Morgan felt like a shark at this moment, circling a stranded meal in a boat.
Andrea was now clutching the expensive oak table in Mr. Morgan’s balcony throne in The Shady Tams. “You won’t dare hurt, my Master! I will tear you apart! I came here for a peaceful goodbye, and you threaten me?” Her black claws expanded from her fingertips. She now dug her claws into his expensive table. The wooden flakes broke off and fell to the floor.
Mr. Morgan sat back just outside the Devil Trap placed around his throne. His mannerisms of a pure businessman shown through, not a single hint of excitement, “You see, you have no choice in the matter. I will be your master and your mate. You will serve me. I have both of the ones you care for. I have seen this play out in my dreams; the dark gods have promised me you. You want to be controlled; you want someone to give you purpose. You will come to learn what direction I want you to go. I will be the one to give you purpose! You are mine Ka’Azalin.”
Oliver stood motionless with a dagger to his throat. The shadowy magician in the white skull mask, who usually stood silently in the background, was waiting for the signal from his boss to end the life of Master Martin of the Grindhouse Guild.
Andrea smiled, leaning back, “I am a god. I don’t serve anyone I don’t want to. I came here to tell you I am through with you and give you one last chance at redemption.”
Mr. Morgan leaned forward just a bit. He pointed his ivory lion capped cane at Oliver. “You are not a god. You are the servant of a god. The Goddess Katalina works through you when SHE wants to. You will serve me as your Master, or I will kill your precious Oliver, then move onto the half-wit Charmeine.”
Andrea leaned toward Mr. Morgan, “No, you won’t. You don’t want me angry. You won’t like me when I am angry, especially at you.”
Mr. Morgan used his free hand to make a throat-cutting signal to his shadowy magician standing behind them.
Andrea turned to see Oliver falling to the ground, his neck sliced open. He was making a gurgling sound as blood like a fountain leaked from the jagged wound across his throat. Horrified, her jaw dropped, and her eyes widened. Oliver reached out for Andrea with one hand, and the other, he tried to hold his neck from bleeding out. He slumped over forward in a pool of his blood. The table cracked and broke as Andrea’s strength pushed down, her mouth distorted, and she screamed out. “MASTER!”
Mr. Morgan smiled, “You are powerless in a Devil Trap. I have made myself clear. Charmeine is next. Obey me. SERVANT!” Mr. Morgan reached inside his brown coat and withdrew a scroll; the title could be seen clearly, Master & Servant.
Andrea’s body began shaking, trembling with rage. My Oliver, he is also threatening to kill my feathery fool. “Why do you think I am just a servant?” Now the familiar sounds of chains began to vibrate throughout the building. Andrea’s hate and rage were boiling just beneath the surface. Plates, bottles of wine, any loose item in the Inn began to hum and vibrate. The patrons in the room started to look around, puzzled by the strange effects. The musicians on the stage had stopped playing their happy lute fueled tunes as their instruments began vibrating. The sound of scraping chains grew louder and louder with each passing moment.
Oliver stood up and grabbed the surprised magician with both hands. With all of his strength, he tossed the shadowy figure onto the table in front of Andrea.
Andreas read leathery wings burst out of her back, knocking the chair out of the circle. Her fangs extended along with the barbed scorpion tail.
The shadowy wizard looked up through his mask with absolute terror. He felt the demon’s claws rip into his abdomen. The monster forced her hand into his ribcage and pulled his still-beating heart. Blood was now going everywhere. As the shadow wizard’s life faded, Andrea’s fangs pierced his throat, his body and mind burned as she drained the very remaining life out of him. The light could be seen radiating from his eyes; a black gas emitted from his throat flowed into Andrea’s body. Andrea’s whole body trembled, she let a moan of pleasure; the feeling was pure ecstasy.
Andrea dropped the withered dry corpse to the ground and turned to where Mr. Morgan sits. He was gone. “You can’t hide from me. I will tear this city down to find you!”
Andrea stepped forward, pulsing a small amount of grace, to break the Devil Trap. “All of you must pay. ALL OF YOU!”
The people down in the commons room all looked up at the raging demonic goddess, her eyes burning a crimson fire. The red glow from the symbol of the circled hand-formed in front of her. Screams erupted from the commoners and servants in the building. Some patrons screamed as the fear in some produced puddles of urine, crap staining their clothes. Andrea pulsed waves of fear from her body. The vibrations grew louder, Andrea’s chains bubbled just at the surface of becoming reality.
Oliver could not speak; the damage done by the shadow magician’s blade was right across the windpipe. He concentrated on his bond with Andrea. He followed the sound of the rattling of chains, and he pushed will down into her mind.
Oliver was standing on the shore of the dry riverbed. A storm raged around him. Lightning, thunder with gale-force winds knocking trees over and sending debris high into the air. The ground beneath his feet vibrated and hummed; the sound of her chains rumbled deep under the ground. Oliver kept moving forward until he heard a hissing sound of Torment and Andrea. He had never listened to the voices in unison, and the combination was truly demonic. “That swine killed Master! Nobody even stood to help. We will devour them all!”
Oliver raised his hand to shield his eyes against the bright flashing of the lightning, shouting at the top of his lungs. “ANDREA! STOP. I AM ALIVE!” Oliver’s voice was like a raging river, the torrent, splashing against the rocks.
Andrea stopped, blinked for a moment. Unsure what she heard was real.
Oliver projected again, “LET HIM GO! I AM ALIVE!”
Andrea then turned back to Oliver, registering what he was thinking. He could see she was calming down. Her eyes shifted from her feeding color back to her deep blues. “Master?” The waves of fear died down, and her powers pulled back into her trembling body.
She moved over to help him stand. “How?”
He reached inside his coat pocket and produced a scroll, and he held it out for Andrea to take. He pointed at his throat.
Puzzled, she took the scroll and unraveled the arcane parchment. Reading the spell stored, “Unholy Healing? This works on the undead.”
Two of the burly bouncers rushed upstairs, immediately stopped when presented with the succubus still holding the dried, withered heart of Mr. Morgan’s Shadow Magician in her bloody hand.
Andrea’s bloody lips grew wide with a smile, “Boo!” Pulsing fear into their minds. The two yelled in terror, pissing their selves. Each bolted downstairs and out the doors of the tavern. They were followed by many of the fleeing patrons.
Andrea licked her lips; the copper taste of the blood left her wanting more. Looking at the spell, she spoke the incantation, and the scroll crumbled to dust as the magic stored was released. Placing her bloody hand on his pale slitted throat, the flesh merged itself back together.
Oliver cleared his throat, “Better. Leave Mr. Morgan, and we will deal with him later. I won this round of Game of Gods. Let’s go, and I am sure this shadow magician will be back.”
Andrea looked down at the dried husk, “No, he won’t. He will never come back. I claimed his soul. Nobody will harm you. I will claim Mr. Morgan’s black soul, as well.” She raised her hands and spoke the words of power, ”Arcana: Clean.” The magic responded by removing the bloody mess from her body.
As the two headed down to the open commons room of the Shady Tams, questions bubbled to the surface, “How did you know? And how did I hear you?”
He held her hand, “I am bonded to you. You are bonded to me. We share a link which is more one way. You can hear me, and I can enter your head.”
Huffing, a frowning face formed. “That’s not fair.”
Smiling, “No, it’s much safer for me. You got issues in there. You know I have been having nightmares; they started changing when I started to accept you. This was one of them; I died. But instead of you ordering my death, you avenged me. You were going to destroy this town in an attempt weeding out Mr. Morgan. That is something I know you would not want to do. You go explosive with your anger. I also made sure that Charmeine was with Clara and Varriss; if he were alone, Mr. Morgan’s men would have had him. I let fate run its course, and I am still dead until the spell ends.”
She was nodding, “Your right. I would have killed many people, anything in my way. I would have regretted that act after I calmed down.”
He tapped his staff against the main door, “Let’s go home. We leave for Floastone in the morning. Clara and Varriss will meet us back at the Hidden Occult shortly.”
She clung to his arm, and her tail twitched left and right. “I love you. All of the issues have been straightened out. I think this is the happiest day I have had a long while.”