Exam, by Chris O'Kane

Story name: Exam
Author: Chris O'Kane
Publication date: January 20, 1999

Date: Summer, 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep

Overview

Summary

Rickkter, Wessex, and several guards and servants arrive at Misha's apartments, where Charles, Hough, Kimberly, Caroline, Jon and Smithson are already waiting. The group enters the workshop, and Madog has disappeared. Wessex and Rickkter prepare to force him out, but Hough coaxes him out with a gold coin for a treat.

Misha begins the examination by giving the circumstances of Madog's burial and discovery. When Madog taunts Rickkter for pointing out the wound on Madog's neck, Rickkter draws his sword on him, forcing Misha and Jon to take him out of the room. Rickkter's arguments are lost on Misha, until Rickkter is ready to re-enter.

After measuring his length and weight, Wessex activates his magic sight glasses, but Madog's exterior is too well-shielded. Madog refuses to let anyone see inside him, but relents when Misha points out that he has to open him up anyway to fix the wound on his neck.

When Misha removes the damaged plating, Rickkter and Wessex are awed by what their magic sight shows. Every piece of the original metalwork is covered in magic lines, absorbing everything in a deep blue glow. Vernosa's emblem rests in a symbol of binding on Madog's shoulder; as long it remains, Madog will be bound to the commands Vernosa gave long ago. Misha takes out a small file, intending to replace the symbol with his own. Wessex and Rickkter warn him about the dangers, but Misha is well aware, and patiently chips the emblem away for over an hour. Finally, he takes his personal emblem, carefully lines it in place, and hammers it in one blow.

Madog turns and stares at him, as everyone freezes in place. After a long moment, Madog licks Misha and asks for a treat.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Misha: An amateur mechanic who repaired Madog. He comes from a family of mages, and so is comfortable tinkering with the inner workings of magic.
  • Madog: A fox automaton restored by Misha. He was discovered by a work crew outside Mycransburg. He is 3 rods long from nose to tail and weighs 252 pounds. At the end, his owner becomes Misha instead of Vernosa.

Supporting:

  • Wessex: A wizard who specializes in foreign magic. He carries a pair of glasses enchanted with magic sight.
  • Rickkter: A warrior and newcomer from the East. He has an enchantment to let him use magic sight. He does not trust machines, especially machines built for killing, and is the most suspicious of Madog.
  • Jon Sleeper: A quartermaster and amateur artificer.

Minor characters:

  • Charles Matthias: A close friend of Misha's.
  • Kimberly: Matthias's beloved and Father Hough's caretaker.
  • Father Hough: The Keep's Eccleisan priest, a child morph. He is fond and caring to Madog.
  • Caroline Hardy: Misha's girlfriend.
  • Smithson: An archaeologist.
  • Sindia: Duke Thomas's personal scribe, a leopard morph. She takes complete notes of Madog's examination.

Referenced:

  • Duke Thomas
  • Vernosa: The minor Duke of Grammont and Madog's creator, 350 years ago. He had some magical ability that assisted him in Madog's construction.
  • Duke Brian

Locations

  • Mycransburg: A city in Metamor Valley. 2 years ago, a work crew was widening a road nearby when they discovered Madog.
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