Empire of the Undersun
Prelude to Wyrmwyrd

The Scroll of the Dead

Continued from “A Neutral Human Fighter.”

“What’s a tavern?” I said.

“It’s like a bar in medieval times,” said Garth.

I only knew what a bar looked like from cowboy movies with Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. The image jarred with the knights and castles in my imagination.

“What am I doing there?”

“You’re looking for adventure. An old man comes through the door…”

I imagined saloon doors swinging back and forth and the hollow thud of boots on a wood-plank floor.

In a lurching gait, the old man approached the table where I sat. He warned me that the local volcano would soon erupt and the town would be destroyed. He pulled a scroll from his cloak.

“This is the Scroll of the Dead. To appease the gods, you must read it over the lava pit in the center of the volcano and throw it in.”

Then the old man fell forward across the table, a dagger in his back.