Free lunch and other myths

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 3698

~~free?~~ thought Fred. ~~That's strange, he just said that he would only help me for a fee~~

Fred pondered what it might might mean, as well as how he had gotten here. He recalled the request of King Emry and his travels through the Great Kingdom to the Southern Caves; he remembered his discovery of two cave entrances instead of one; he remembered walking through one of the entrances and following a tunnel deeper into the mountains; he recalled that that entrance had led to the cavern in which he now found himself, the cavern filled with the strange light emanating from a floating Book and this necromancer named Belboz beside it.

"I heard water above, good mage, and I hear it again," said Fred. "If there be a river within these tunnels it may just lead to a dragon's eggs." ~~though I myself would rather stay in the light!~~ "So, would you guide me through this underground river?"

The spell-binder looked upon the knight and said, "Aye." With that Belboz closed his Book and the orb almost flashed out of existance. At the last moment the mage grasped the orb and fastened it to his staff, and with it he led the way towards the other end of the cavern. Fred could make out strange markings on the wall, arcane symbols etched into the wall. The mage saw the knight's interest and commented, "The runes keep me safe within this abode of evil, don't you fret none."

Once at the river's edge Fred saw that it was not wide, but it's depth was still unknown. Belboz pointed to one end and Fred saw a tunnel opening large enough for a man. "That," said Belboz. "That is where the river flows and it leads deeper into this mountain. I have runes placed above and on rocks below so that nothing unwanted will ever climb its way up to me. Where it's final destination leads, I know not."

"Well that isn't much of a help," said Fred.

"Why do you think I was going to help you for free?!!? If you want more help, the kind that puts my own life at risk, then you're gonna have to pay, O King's man!"

  1. Fred doesn't like to be coerced and so jumps into the river by himself.
  2. Fred realizes the precarious position he is in and asks the mage what his terms are.

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11/7/1999 6:25:34 AM

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