Patrol, by Christopher Hughes

Story name: Patrol
Author: Christopher Hughes

Special note: Takes place directly after Alone In the Dark
Date: Spring 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep, Metamor Valley

Overview

Chris and Michael go on a patrol together to investigate the ambush on Dan.

Summary

Chris wakes up at noon to find Copernicus knocking on his door. He informs Chris about Dan, and Chris guesses that Copernicus wants him on patrol. He is informed that Michael is coming with him, already equipped and waiting for him.

They set out for the area where Dan was attacked, keeping an eye out for Lutins and the lost equipment, although they are most likely both gone. Michael and Chris initially don't get along, but they soon gain respect for each other after sharing their family histories and their futures at Metamor Keep. Chris compliments Michael's cooking, and suggests he get a job in Donnie's kitchen. Having brought a nocturnality potion with him, he lets Michael sleep so that he can stand watch.

The next day, they spend five hours searching the area, but they fail to find any Lutins, equipment, or Dan's arm. When they return to the Keep, Copernicus is anxious for news, but Michael heads off to put his weapon away and to talk to Donnie, and Chris leaves as the effects of the potion are wearing off; he passes out in his living room.

Characters

Main Characters:

  • Chris: The protagonist, a tutor at the Keep and a minor wizard. He was a social outcast whe he was young, his father was an alchemist "of little renown but great wealth", and his mother was a healer. He wanted to be a spellcaster at an early age, so he went a mage school when he came of age. He left penniless with only a few cantrips. He tried alchemy, but got bored with the drudgework. Intrigued by Metamor Keep's proximity to the North, he came there a month before the siege. He works at the library, "knowing where the knowledge is", and also as a tutor with some skill in alchemy and magic.
  • Michael: The newest member of the Keep. He is still angry about recent events in his life, but he learns to open up to Chris. He has some cooking skill.

Supporting:

  • Copernicus: A friend of Chris. He sets up the patrol for Chris and Michael.

Mentioned:

  • Dan D'Alimonte: A recent victim of a Lutin attack. Chris does not know him well.
  • Brian Coe: The Keep physician.
  • Posti: One of the two Keep wizards strong enough to heal Dan's missing arm.
  • Magus: The other wizard strong enough to heal Dan's missing arm.
  • Jack deMule: The armour-master. He briefs Chris offscreen, and emphasizes finding his weapons.
  • Pascal: An alchemist. Chris has been frequently taking her nocturnality potions.
  • Donnie: Owner of the Deaf Mule.

Points of Interest

  • Michael is still very embarrassed about the incident from Potion. Chris has heard about it directly from Pascal.
  • Michael's back fur is orange-grey in the firelight. Chris speculates that it is wolf or fox fur. Michael lets out a growl upon being massaged, which Chris speculates is a new animal sensation.
    • Later events will prove Chris's guess about Michael's species wrong.
  • Chris's backstory is expanded on from For Knowledge's Sake, and is elaborated even further in Homecoming.
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