A Lesson in Death
Pendragon sighed and looked to Loor. They had both just exited the flume. So here they were. This was Ibara. He glanced around; it was awfully dark, but he could just see outlines and such. It appeared as if he were in some sort of basement; there were no windows, and the door was up a small flight of stairs. He turned around to glance at the door he had just exited, the one to the flume, with the star symbol on it.
"It is hard to see," Loor remarked, voice flat. He thought of saying something witty in return, but bit his tongue. Sarcasm would do nothing now. He tapped her arm and gestured to the stairs, hoping she could see him, and started walking toward them. She was right behind him.
He wondered vaguely why there had been no clothes in the last room. Perhaps the acolytes hadn't actually known they were coming? But wouldn't they have had a pair or two of clothing there, just in case? The thought that the people here were nudists came briefly to his mind, put he pushed it back with all the other unimportant ideas.
He was brought from his musings by a hard bump on the head. He had reached the door—More like bumped into ithe thought. He hoped Loor hadn't noticed; that would be embarrassing.
Pretending nothing had happened, he reached for the knob. There wasn't one. The Traveler grimaced and put his hands flat on the wall, running them along the length and width of the large slab of wood, which felt sanded and polished to smoothness. Finally there was a grip just in next to his head—good thing I wasn't two inches to my right or I would've broken my nose. He grabbed it and pulled. It swung surprisingly easy towards him and he fought hard not to fall back. He had been bracing for a hard tug on the thing.
Loor put a firm hand on his shoulder and helped him keep his balance as warm light flooded their eyes. "The light is from fires," she said, "not your artificial lighting on the Earth territories." He nodded, feeling the difference in temperature and shading from lightbulbs and the other things he was used to from Second Earth. It also flickered, though not near as much as a normal fire or candle would.
He took a cautious step away from her and into a grand hallway. There was lush carpet, and tapestries hung on the wall across from him. The candles were stationed all through the corridor, about five feet apart on either side of the walls. The flames were steady, much moreso than any candle he had ever seen before.
He beckoned for Loor to follow and furrowed his brows. This looked like a house! But why would a flume, usually in a secluded spot no one would find, be in a residential basement? By the look of things, there were still people living in it, unlike in the Sherwood house.
There was a soft padding and a sharp metallic sound. He spun around to see Loor warily watching a newcomer, a boy with his sword raised. There was an intricate design down the blade, which flashed and reflected the light. He gulped; it looked as if he knew how to use it.
The boy, only a year or two older than he if at all, was dressed in some sort of medieval wear. There were leather breeches, a belt with his sheath and a pouch of something, and his was wearing a long-loose-sleeved shirt, blue with some sort of insignia on it in random places.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded, in a strong but young voice. He had blond hair, and Pendragon noticed he looked fairly skinny, and tall. Loor glanced at him to ask who should reply to the newcomer.
"We're…" He tried to think of some lie to make up, but knew nothing to say. He wouldn't tell the truth, not yet anyway, so what was there he could say. "Well, why not put that sword down and we'll tell you?" he finally asked, nervous from the expert way the blade was being handled.
The boy started to say something, but another woman, not much older than the other, came in from a room behind him. He heard a gasp. "Sameth!" she exclaimed. "What's all this?" He glanced at her; she wore the same sort of thing as Sameth, only with a different insignia and her sword still sheathed. She had long black hair and kind eyes, though they seemed slightly hardened.
"I was just walking down the hallway and found them, Aunt Lirael," Sameth said, brows knitted in confusion from her tone. She glared at him, and he slowly lowered the sword, though still not resheathing it. She sighed and turned to Pendragon and Loor, who were both dumbstruck.
"I'm sorry," she said. "Mogget said to be expecting someone, though I didn't know who or why. Oh, here he is now!" As if on cue, a small white cat with a red collar, a bell on it, leaped into their line of vision and seemed to be studying them. His shadow changed and morphed, never settling on a single shape. It made Bobby queasy.
He blinked when the cat spoke, a deep, male voice that seemed highly educated. "Yes, I did say so. I suppose you're Pendragon and Loor? The Second Earth and Zadaa Traveler? Yes, of course you are. No one else could have gotten in uninvited, unless it was that"—his tone became vile and he seemed to spit the next two words—"Saint Dane."
"Uh…yeah, that's us." He supposed he should get over the shock of weird things on new territories, but some things were just too weird. He had grown accustomed over time to things like the klees, and so he guessed he would with this, also. "But, er, how do you know us? Mogget?"
The feline made a sound that seemed somewhat like a chuckle. "I knew your uncle, of course! Quite a determined man, no? Shame he had to leave us so quickly, but that's the way things go when you're immortal, I suppose." He paused and looked them up and down again. "Lirael, they need some clothing. Don't ask, I'll explain later." The Travelers, of course, knew why.
Pendragon's head was reeling and he only followed Sameth on auto-pilot. When the blonde led him to room where he said Bobby could change, he closed the door behind him. The Traveler guessed he was waiting outside the door—or guarding it. And how did a cat know his Uncle Press? No ordinary cat, albeit, but still a small feline with a collar.
This new clothes were laid out on a small bed, the headboard against the rear wall. He walked over and studied them, amazed at how they looked just his size. There were long cloth pants for underwear, a soft undershirt made of the same material, a few other thin layers, and then the leather breeches and same shirt as Lirael and Sameth had worn, only with a different insignia. His eyes widened as he saw that it was the same star that was on all of the flume doors.
He put it all on, and fastened the belt around his waist. There was no sheath, though, and no sword. He guessed that if they were enemies acting nice then they didn't want him armed and if they were friends there was probably the whole balance thing. He had heard somewhere on Second Earth that for a sword to work well for someone, it had to be balanced and the right weight for that particular person.
He looked at himself in a mirror when he was finished dressing. At least there was underwear here, so there weren't going to be any rashes. He actually looked pretty good, though the clothing did look a little odd because of the unfamiliarity of it. It reminded him of pictures of King Arthur's day and medieval times.
Finally he walked over to the door, leaving his old clothes on the bed. What would I do with them, anyway? I'm sure the others will get them sometime, probably bring them back to the flume. That is, if the cat knows they need to…
He reached up and grabbed the handle to the door, slowly pushing it open. He stepped out when he saw that Loor was just exiting a room next to his, in the same sort of garb as he wore. She had the same symbol on her shirt, and also had no weapons.
"I suppose you want an explanation, then?" Mogget remarked, tail leisurely moving from side to side as if it had a mind of its own. "Here it goes, I suppose…."
Yes, this is an Abhorsen Trilogy/ Pendragon crossover. It is also a rewrite, from another website I posted the original on, but it wasn't all that good AND I lost it. So, I hope you all enjoy.
Oh, and there is one matter I need help with. For some reason, I can remember the name Kerrigor, but what was the name of the thing Lirael and Sameth had to face in the second and third books? It's that one dang thing I can't remember. Lol.