Medievia Mudslinger

June 24th, 2002

Covered Wagon Found at the top of Mount Vryce - by Scoop D'Icecream

Strange and mysterious sightings are commonplace in the lands of Medievia and, as previously mentioned, we of the Mudslinger are not in the habit of printing scurrilous details unless we have proof.

Odd reports began to surface of strange happenings on the side of Mount Vryce. As is our customary practice, when such reports cannot be ignored, we sent our ace cub reporter, Scoop D’Icecream to investigate.

The tale begins with a dragon flight and an argument with a firelizard over the matter of an invoice with which I could claim the fee back. Scorched fingers and talon scratches were my prize and an ungainly knot tied in the tail were his – but I digress.

The dragon ride to Mount Vryce was a relatively easy one, punctuated only by my having to duck to avoid an angry small lizard with hot breath. It wasn’t until my mount closed with the dominating rocky feature that I could see that there appeared to be some truth to the matter. Even as my dragon descended I could see the activity halfway to the summit of the mountain.

Pausing only to put out the fire in my hair when the firelizard managed to come too close, I mustered my dignity, press card, and expenses claims forms and began to ascend the rocky path. I need not tell you of the splendors of the trail to the summit, but needless to say the claim forms were used to note just how much clothing needed replacing during this little jaunt.

Eventually I saw it - encompassed by a circle of sightseers there was a covered wagon that nearly completely blocked the path. It was, for all its ordinariness, a strange and peculiar sight in such a place. The trail was too narrow for it to go forward or back, never mind to turn around. Questions sprung into my mind and, being the experienced crowd watcher that I am, I saw just the person to ask.

Treading on the toes of only a few heroes and earning their undying hatred, I made my way through a judicious use of elbows to a resplendent figure who was leafing through what appeared to be a large notebook.

"Sir?" I asked hesitantly and there was no reply. Eventually, after a few similar comments, I resorted to tugging at the figure’s robes carefully.

"What do you want?" the god, who asked to remain anonymous, asked. I bravely held up my Mudslinger Press Card. "Oh, you lot," he said.

"Yes sir. Sir? What happened here?" I asked in my most professional manner.

"I’m checking the logs right now but it’s a bit of a baffler," the god admitted. "There is no room on this path for the wagon to move and no roads nearby. There’s not even a trading post within decent phasing range and that wouldn’t work anyway. A faulty teleport wouldn’t bring a wagon here and there are no tracks to speak of." With my keen reporter’s instinct I had noted all these facts already but allowed him to continue.

"Dragons cannot carry anything larger than a human," he added, "Not even the African ones which have larger wingspans."

"Africa?" I asked with bewilderment. Was this secret divine knowledge?

"Slip of the tongue - I meant Trellorian of course. Even working in concert they couldn’t have managed it."

"Perhaps a group of drunken heroes carried it up here?" I suggested, looking at the floor carefully.

"There are no deep footprints around. Now, can you let me get on with this so people can get along this path easily?" he hinted menacingly.

"Maybe someone in the new adventurer’s guild got lost?"

"The avatars didn’t see a thing. I really have to get on with these logs, thank you," the god replied with a suggestion of divine wrath.

"But.." I began to say with the reporter’s instinct for following a trail. The god looked at me in the same way that the accounts department look at me after an expensive assignment. I hastily made my excuses and left.

It was too late. Even as I hurried down the track I heard a voice ask, "Aren’t you the one who wrote about the gods being ‘power hungry maniacs who are more likely to sit around eating manna sandwiches instead of doing something newsworthy for me to write about’?"

"That was my twin brother," I protested to the empty air.

"Then you can give him this." All went dark.

I awoke back in City Square and immediately headed to the Mudslinger Offices to requisition a new invoice book, the previous one being charred beyond recognition. It wasn’t until I was trying to explain why my entire wardrobe had become burnt in a random lightning flash that the unanswered question struck me. Just how did that wagon get there?

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