Dungeon Crackers Chapter 4: Assembly of the Elders

The next day, I was standing in front of the village of Moraden, before the four elders, in a secret meeting. I placed the Gem of Albuon before them.

“As agreed, the Gem of Albuon, guaranteed to block out those nasty legions of the undead who haunt your village in the night time.”

The youngest of the elders was very suspicious. “How do we know it is legitimate?”

I let him hold the Gem so he could see it for himself. As I suspected, he had no way of authenticating it.

The eldest elder took it from his hand. “I recognize it from before the Magic Wars. This is the thing that kept our village safe. Pay him what he is owed.”

Four small sacks of gold were lain on the table. I looked at them and hoped that this next part wasn’t going to be as awkward as it usually is.

“If you don’t mind, my comrade will count it up.”

Rolf came out of his pocket, and landed on the table. The elders all went for their swords. It turned out that they were more than just ceremonial. Rolf took out his wand, and they pointed at each other without speaking for a few seconds.

“Gentlemen, you may put your swords away. My fairy companion Rolf is simply verifying my fee.”

“That is no fairy.”

“Hey, just because I’m balding and grey doesn’t mean I’m no fairy!”

“Why do you wear a dress?”

“Tradition.”

I deliberately whispered, but he knew Rolf would hear me. “He’s sort of sensitive on this issue…”

“Shut up, Tiran! Oh, just because I’m not a pretty young girl just automatically doesn’t make me a fairy, is that what you’re saying? Where do you think young little fairies come from, anyway?”

“I thought all creatures of magic were simply born of magic.”

“We ‘magical creatures’ need the magic to be magic, true, but we mate like you humans. Probably better than you humans!”

“Enough, Rolf. Do we have what we need?”

Rolf had been lifting each bag of coins as he kept his wand pointed on the elders. I don’t even know why he did this. Rolf’s wand is as traditional as his garments. He can’t really do anything with it. However, the elders didn’t know that.

Rolf put down the last bag. “Need, yes. Want, no! They shorted us by five hundred!”

The elders suddenly became tight lipped. They did not put their swords back in their sheaths. Tiran thought of several ways that he could get out of this, but with the eldest still holding the Gem, there might be bloodshed.

Suddenly, a female voice broke through the tension. “I think that I can settle this.”

Phoebe appeared the room as she removed her cloak of invisibility. Tiran saw the usual looks on the men’s faces. Though they didn’t put their swords away, they were slackening their defenses. The eldest looked the most shocked.

“My dear, it can’t be!”

I pointed at the eldest elder and turned to Phoebe. “I take it he was not here when you originally negotiated this deal.”

Phoebe knelt to the old gentleman. If I could see what the man was seeing, it probably would have been a tender moment.

“Sir, I’m sorry, but I’m not who you think I am. I am a glamour, a magical creature who has the ability to look like whoever you desire the most. I’m guessing that the one you desired is gone?”

“Yes.” The eldest of the elders had tears in his eyes.

“I’m not her, unfortunately. And, unless any of your friends are cuckolding, the three of them are probably seeing three different women.”

One of the elders stepped forward to try and step in between the eldest and Phoebe. He looked similar to the eldest, and I wondered if they were father and son. “That’s right, we all seeing our wives. And, we also agreed to forty-five hundred. I have the contract with me.”

He held the contract up like an emblem, clearly expecting to settle the argument.

Phoebe held up another contract. “I have a new contract, from the undead. They offered us five thousand if we would destroy the Gem. Oh, look, they signed theirs in blood.”

The elder took it. “This is preposterous. Even if it were possible for the undead to assemble together like this, where would they get money?”

“Apparently, silver and gold are two things that they don’t eat. Now, can we make a new deal?”

There was a silence as the elders looked to each other. They still hadn’t put their swords away. It lasted too long, so I had to stand up. “Okay, here’s what can happen. You take your money back, and then we go and put the Gem back where we found it. You can then continue to defend your town against the legions of the undead with the stakes, garlic, crosses, and other crude weaponry. Or, you can take the Gem for a higher price, and be safe at night. Your choice.”

I took the Gem from the eldest elder to illustrate my point. I tossed it in my hand like it was a ball or rock, just to show that I didn’t care about it either way. This was always the worst part, the point where you don’t want to flinch.

“Oh, just give them the money, they have earned it.” The eldest finally said.

Another sack of coins was laid before Rolf, and even though Rolf probably didn’t need to count it, he did.

I was glad to see all the elders had sheathed their swords. Some of them even had smiles on their faces. The eldest spoke up.

“We are having a celebration in the village square. You may attend. That is, just you can. Your…friends may not blend in. Believe me, young lady, I would like nothing more than to have you be there. But if I saw my late wife, a whole crowd could see…”

“I completely understand,” said Phoebe.

“I’m sure you do, of course. You really look like the one which we love, huh? What does she look like to you Tiran?”

“I think that concludes our business. We’re finished here.”

“You want to know who I see?” said Rolf.

“No.”

The elders arose and left out one door, and I was escorted to go out through a separate door. Rolf gathered up the money and put it in our satchel. I took one sack of coins and gave it to Phoebe.

“Your share, milady. Any luck on that one lead?”

“She’s actually at the celebration tonight.”

“That’s good.”

“You don’t sound like you want it.”

“To tell the truth, I could use a break.”

“Yeah, same here! I was almost cooked in dragon snot!”

“I know that you are tired, but if you are willing to put off rest for a while, I can promise a lot of relaxation.”

“What do you mean?”

“This one is paying a lot.”
“How much?”

“This is the big one. After this, we can then retire together and spend the rest of our life draining our accumulated wealth.”

“There isn’t an us anymore.”

“I know. Yet I’m telling the truth on this one.”

“We’ve heard big deals like this before. They always fall through, you know it.”

“Just hear out the client, and see the item. You will see what I mean.”

So, what is this mysterious item?  Who is this mysterious client?  Well, just read the next chapter, already. Read it right here

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