Written by Anthony Laurens
Read Part I Here
To say that Mortir suffered with his fortune would be but a gentle nod towards the truth. In his time muddling through the wilds of wizardry he had met his downfall relentlessly, and to attest his failure to a lack of penchant for the art would be a mistake. For our dear Mortir, clumsiness was part and parcel of every part of the poor creatures existence, aptitude notwithstanding.
And a poor creature he was indeed. He didn't begin his life draped in robes of fine cloth, bespectacled with gilded rims and booted with soft leather. He didn't much care for the nuances of this anthropoid existence - and the ostentatiousness of it all. No not at all. It was this he sought to remedy, and navigating such a task became the source of his greatest frustration. His memory of the preceding which caused his current dilemma weren't the sharpest, but of course he never had much to remember as a mouse, save for where the cat was hiding and whether his pointy-hatted co-tenant had left a plate of cheese in an enterprising location.
He did know that this book was important somehow: he recalled the smell of lavender and the taste of charcoal from the edges of the pages. He had been hurriedly nibbling at them when his black, whiskered nemesis had darted for him, throwing the tincture of miscellaneous fluid out of the wizards hand and across Mortir entirely. The next thing he knew, he was suddenly much, much larger than the cat, and a small, terrified rodent sat perfectly still in the place he had just occupied, drenched in a fluid which had began immediate and rapid vitrification. Mortir, unsure about the use of his new, unusual limbs, fell upon the cat in a failed gesture designed to intimidate it into flight. The cat rocketed away once Mortir had adjusted himself enough to provide it with an escape, and the rodent remained stationary, perfectly inanimate in its new state of preservation. Wizard - this was the state in which he had found himself to be. Mortir - this was the name which he would become known by. These were but meaningless nouns to the former rodent, not that a rodent knew much about nouns anyway.
Clutching his knees to his chest he traced the Moon's travel across the sky, rocking his silhouette nervously upon the log he had come to be seated, having tripped over it not many moments prior. It had been a long many days since his sudden change of circumstance and, not having much comprehension for the passage of time, he was unaware of just how many months it had been. His understanding of his situation was hastened by having access to the very clever workings of a scholar’s brain, and his world began to have wondrous new dimensions that he'd previously never been able to comprehend.
Mortir watched the stars glisten and sparkle in the night sky, noticing the different shapes they made. He compared them to Home and wondered where he had ended up. He was an optimistic thing, it's in a rodent's nature to be mindful of the next culinary opportunity after all, and he held on to every shred of hope proudly and earnestly inside the deepest, safest corner of his self. It wasn't in the Guild's nature to be cruel, so he knew that he was unlikely to be in danger. He presumed that the Mortir of times past would have known where he had ended up, and hoped that perhaps he would find safe refuge and somewhere to continue his work.
Hope doesn't guarantee success, but it helps - and when you channel the arcane through the fibers of your corporeal being... well, hope goes that little bit further.
Mortir picked up his tired limbs and followed the beckoning of the sunrise through the valley he discovered himself to be within, and down the pleasant riverside walk that followed.
A cottage! A little cottage of stone and slate, gently billowing its chimney smoke into the horizon. And a field, a golden field of barley corns, edged by scatterings of dry hay that lead a path to a small stable. Mortir knew a little about fairytales and wondered whether to be cautious, but the smell of freshly baked something-or-other and the cheerful song on the gentle wind pushed his worries away. He didn't feel so tired now, and driven by hope and a little hunger he made his way down the sleepy morning riverbank to meet his host.
Little did our brave wizard know that he was expected.
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