Chapter 42: The Caralids Meet a Harmless Old Man.
What first came into view was a vermilion bill. What followed the bill was not however, a duck, it could well have been a duck, Elcon after all has a respectable quantity of duckfolk and bestial ducks, this however was not a duck.
It wasn’t even a duck-derivative.
What was attached to the bill was a furry dark blue lump wearing a green robe. Attached to the green robe with worn pale threads were a large quantity of jars, each holding contents of various colours. The creature had wide hands that were like some combination of hand and flipper. At the ends of these hands were blunt claws the same colour as the creature’s bill. Similar claws poking out from the ends of the creature’s shaggy coat were the only sign that it actually had any feet at all.
Perched atop the bill was a pair of greenish glasses behind which peered a pair of beady black eyes.
This creature was quite clearly a deeling. Deelings cannot quack as it turns out, they cannot even give a good shout really. Like quite a number of the denizens of Elcon they aren’t known for any particular powers or behaviours, but they do happen to be better able to deal with water and the cold of Elcon.
That said, it is said that deelings tend to make good trombone players but saying such might get you an unpleasant stare, there is a sordid history. Usually they live in towns and villages with other denizens, but avoid piccolo players, sordid history. They were not known for living on their own in a tower carved into an underground wall, in spite of their murky and sordid history with musical wind instruments.
A note of horror is that the inside of their beak is serrated the better for eating fish and scaring anyone they laugh at.
“Can I help you?” the Deeling asked.
“YES YOU CA…”
Marlequant was swiftly silenced with a flattening paw from Loro.
“Hi, I’m Loro, the qurtille from the jade river. I’ve brought these travellers who wish to go to the surface here, they got lost, may they use the passage?”
There was a series of introductions. Turmeric did not introduce himself he was still in a realm of noiseless bliss.
“I am Gosgos and of course you may use the passage, but you all must be weary from your trials and journey, stay here a while and rest. I’ll treat you to a lovely meal” Gosgos said.
“What a lovely old man” Ismi muttered.
“He doesn’t seem a gentle sort” Yerdl admitted.
Marlequant said something dramatically but it was muffled by Loro’s paw.
“Ha, I told you, harmless old man” Loro crowed.
“You know, I can hear everything” Gosgos said.
Kejo scuttled forwards.
“Sorry mister Gosgos, I apologise on their behalf”
Gosgos waved a hand and quite disturbingly for a being with a bill he smiled.
“Not a problem young man, now come all of you come”
Kejo’s eyes had gone wide with horror at the sight of the man smiling, everyone passed by him as they followed Gosgos into the tower.
“When was the last time you came out of your river to here girl?” Gosgos asked.
This was quickly followed with a shout of surprise.
Kejo came to his senses and rushed in!
What greeted Kejo’s sight was jars.
Jars lined the walls of the corridor. They hung from the sealing, jars filled with substances of all colours. Some with bits, some with more than one colour and so one. There seemed to be no end to them, it was like looking into a smashed kaleidoscope.
“What is this?” Yerdl wondered.
“Foul sorcery?” Marlequant mused.
“I told you he had a hobby” Loro repeated.
Gosgos gave a chuckle and lovingly stroked one of the jars.
“I do indeed, it is but a slight fondness for the making of jams that I have” Gosgos explained.
“A slight fondness, this is a slight fondness?” Ismi retorted.
Gosgos’ bill distorted under his efforts to smile wider.
“Things would likely be quite different if I was unrestrained” Gosgos said.
Gosgos led them deeper into the tower, up and down stairs they went, but not once did they escape the presence of the jars of jam. More than once Marlequant got the uncanny feeling the jars were watching him.
Once he even thought he saw a face in one of the jars.
[It has come to my attention that I missed an update, therefore, there will be an update tomorrow to make up for it]