Recon, by Oren the Otter

Story name: Recon
Author: Oren the Otter

Date: June 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep


Oren goes on a patrol and defeats lutin mages and a darkman.


Oren, Charles, Gornul, Jesse Roo, and patrol leader Barnaeus are investigating reports of strange creatures north of the Keep. Gornul spots a large black bubble further into the woods; the patrol marches into the darkness. While the other four see a light ahead, Oren can't see anything, due to the light being magic-based. He can see small jets of flame, however, being produced by a couple of lutin fire mages. As they approach, Jesse accidentally alerts them by stepping on a branch.

The lutin mages throw fire spells at Jesse, but Oren jumps in the way, absorbing the spells with no damage. Barnaeus and Charles attack the lutins, and Oren joins in after Gornul lands on his head and transmits his own sight to him. The darkman attacks Barnaeus and freezes his shoulders; Charles receives a similar frostbite by tearing him away. Oren attacks the darkman with his bare fists, unaffected by the cold, and finally uses Gornul's fire to decapitate the creature.

The victorious patrol returns to the Duke, where Oren presents the darkman's head. He accepts the Duke's invitation to dinner instead of Barnaeus, to Thomas's approval. As they are dismissed, Charles and Oren briefly congratulate each other, before Oren hurries away. He fears that if he gets too friendly with Charles, he will die.


Main characters:

  • Oren: A half-otter man from Hipocc. He is immune to most forms of magic, including healing and protection, and cannot perform any spells. This also means that fire magic cannot hurt him. He has been studying to be a warrior.
    • He has been gaining information on other Keepers, especially Charles, in "entertaining" ways.


  • Charles: A rat morph, "the rat of might". He is becoming more and more of a friend to Oren, but Oren fears that getting too close will kill him. His hands become frostbitten, and are bandaged at the end.
  • Barnaeus: A veteran patrolman, leader of the patrol, and a squid morph. His shoulders are severely frostbitten, but Oren saves his life.
  • Gornul: A blue dragonette, able to send pictures. He helps Oren see in the bubble of darkness, and uses his flame to fight the darkman.
  • Jesse Roo: A young farmer and kangaroo morph. He knows some basic magic, the ability to explode things, and has volunteered his services to the Keep. He did not expect to be sent on patrol, but despite his occasional blundering, he performs well in a fight and succeeds without injuries.

Minor characters:

  • Duke Thomas: Ruler of Metamor Keep. Oren's patrol presents the head of the darkman to him. Thomas invites them out to dinner to celebrate. He is impressed by Oren's honor and respect, forgiving his breach of protocol in speaking first.


  • Misha: A Long Scout, and a friend of Charles. He sends a patrol to the northern woods to investigate strange creatures. Oren has been secretly gathering information at his place.
  • Phil: A friend of Thomas and Charles.

Points of interest

  • Shriekers were first mentioned in Dialogues and described in Diplomacy, though in either case they did not make an appearance. Unlike darkmen, they are not afraid of fire.
  • Darkmen are living creatures of shadow. While alive, they create a large bubble of darkness around them. They fear fire, as it causes their body to dissolve, although it seems that ambient lighting is not strong enough to dissolve them.
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