Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Siege of the White Mountain, Vol. 3: Due to the Dead--Part 11

Sir Edward Delta glanced at the waters of the Murkenmere.  "It really isn't black, when you look at it," he noted quietly.

"No, sir," agreed the River Ox.  "More a murky brown."

"It's just that one hears about the black waters of the Murkenmere so often, as a child..." continued the Sacristan.

"You may have, sir," noted the River Ox.  "For me, it's just the Murkenmere."  He rowed on a bit, then paused.  "Or simply... the River.  The greatest length of water that flows in the world."

Edward nodded.  "I've heard stories that in a far away land, there's a bigger..."

"Stories, sir," snapped the River Ox.  "That's all they are.  The Murkenmere is the greatest of rivers.  The source of all life.  The blood of this land."

"You make it sound almost religious," said Edward.

"It is, sir," said the River Ox.  "I respect Mother Night, when I am in the lands of the Nightfolk. And I pay homage to the Seven, when I am in the lands of the Milesians.  But the Murkenmere is mother and father to my folk.  And it is neither of the Darkness, nor the Light.  It simply is."  He looked ahead.  "Should be in Cazlona shortly, sir."

"Good," said Edward.  He wrapped his cloak around himself, and hoped that his brothers wouldn't respond that badly to his news. "Getting chilly,"  he noted.

"It's colder upriver, this time of year," replied the River Ox.  "But it will be getting worse, here."  He shook his head. "Mad time to fight a war."

"There's a sane time," said Edward quietly.

The River Ox laughed at that.  "I will have to remember that one, sir."

"Thank you," said Edward quietly.  "I do attempt wit, every now and then."

"And sometimes succeed," noted the River Ox.

"Sometimes," agreed Edward, nodding.

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