Episode 027: Rest in Peace (Text)

When we last left our heroes…THE HOB GOB KILLIN’ MOB met a giant, WALLY, and reached Skull Gorge Bridge, where the advance guard of the Red Hand lay waiting. After NUTMEG infiltrated the enemy camp, the gang set to work destroying the bridge – only to be faced with a furious green dragon. The dragon was defeated, and the bridge fell – but not before NUTMEG plunged into the depths of the chasm…

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – In Which We Find Out What Happened to Nutmeg

Mazzirandus led Nutmeg into the camp. The tents had been spaced widely enough to allow the dragon to walk freely between them, and the hobgoblins all stood back respectfully to let their commander pass. The dragon was huge. Bigger than Saeverix, easily. Nutmeg didn’t know much about dragons, except what it felt like to kill one. But he’d heard that dragons only got this big when they got real old. How many long summers had this dragon seen? 

They reached the center of the camp, where a great cookfire was burning. Pots of queer stew hung around the fire; hobgoblins served themselves. Nutmeg had counted forty soldiers so far. Forty. That wasn’t great, but if this was the whole army – well, forty notches in the hilt of his axe would be a good story to tell later. 

“Come, Yog-Dul, I would ask you some questions. Sit, eat.” Mazzirandus curled himself down near the fire, green scales glittering and iridescent. He had great golden eyes, lidless and liquid, which flicked here and there at the various hobgoblin soldiers. He flicked his tongue and hissed a word in some goblin dialect, and a soldier hurried over to Nutmeg with a bowl of stew. 

“What’s for dinner?” asked Nutmeg. 

“Stew,” said the soldier, who, thus interrogated, left. 

“It’s fine enough fare for the goblins,” said Mazzirandus, lazily picking bits of goat fur from between his teeth with one sickle-shaped claw. “But hark to me now. A few questions for you, as I said. What would you say your greatest strength is?”

“My greatest strength?” Nutmeg choked down some of the stew, which had lots of chunks and was somehow still too watery. “Uh. Well, I’m a natural leader. Decisive. And I’m handy with this old thing,” he said, patting the axe of Dolgatha. 

“And your greatest weakness?”

“Falling off of stuff,” said Nutmeg. “And, uh,” he continued, seeing the dragon’s apparent bewilderment, “also, working too hard. Sometimes I hear about a wagon train two day’s journey away and I think ‘you know what? That’s not so bad. We could hit that,’ even when we’re pretty tired from, you know, hitting another wagon train.” 

“Not a bad quality for a mercenary such as yourself,” said the dragon. “Now, tell me of a time when, with your Bonesaw Gang, you accomplished a task you are proud of.” 

Nutmeg’s first thought – we killed a dragon – was stifled by his better instincts. “Well, you know, one time, in this town called…Elfyroad…we heard about a guy smuggling weapons. And he and his gang, they weren’t cutting us in on the action. So we tailed them to their warehouse, did some advanced interrogation techniques, tracked down the gang’s leader, and took over their operation wholesale. Improved profits by three percent, too. Reduction in staffing.” 

“Initiative well-taken,” said Mazzirandus. “But you know, this is a military operation. Rank and procedure must also be obeyed, at least to some extent.”

“Sure, me and the Bonesaws, we have no problem with that. I gotta run a tight ship too. Otherwise Hairy Hal and One-Hand Jake would have me fricasseed in no time.”

“A natural leader,” said Mazzirandus, dryly. “Now, as for your crew. The Bonesaw Gang, you say? I’ve not heard of it.” 

“Oh, yeah, sure,” said Nutmeg. “Well, you know, we used to run in the uh, the wastes, you know, down past the Wyvernspine range.” 

“Ahh. Not territory I’ve hunted for a half century. And you were connected with Wyrmlord Rath?” 

“Yeah, ran with him a few times. Always liked that guy. More or less. Anyway, heard he was running stuff out in the woods, went to say hello, he filled me in on…” Nutmeg waved his hand in what he hoped was an illustrative gesture. “…all that’s going on here. This ain’t the whole army, though, is it? Rath made it sound like a real big thing.” 

Mazzirandus chuckled, deep and growly. “No. No, I should think not. The horde gathers at Smoking Hill, not far north from here. This is merely the advance guard, under my command. Our force is thousands strong. Tens of thousands, perhaps; the last reports from Wyrmlord Awrnwn were optimistic.” 

“Ah, yeah, Awrnwn. He’s the uh, the head guy Rath was talking about?” 

“The commander of the horde, yes. Not the true Red Hand, of course, but one of the five claws. Second only to the Red Hand himself. And the council of wyrms. A council on which I sit.” Mazzirandus preened. “You could do well in the new world, Yog-Dul, should you remain in my good graces. Do you bring any forces with you?”

“Any forces?” It took Nutmeg a moment to return to the conversation. Old Morondus here was giving him the real juicy stuff. “Yes. Yes! Of course. The Bonesaws are down with Rath; he said they could crash with him for a while.” 

“How magnanimous of him.” The dragon shifted his weight and nearly floored a hobgoblin soldier with a flick of his tail. “I expect you think I am over-eager, Yog-Dul, to welcome you into the camp with little fear or compunction.” 

“Rath did tell me to expect some skepticism,” said Nutmeg, carefully. 

“Indeed. Yet I am glad for the company of one such as yourself – a non-goblin. It is true, the bulk of our force is made up of the hobgoblin tribes of the Black Mountains, united under the Red Hand – but I had hoped for more than just goblins in our forces. Manticores, yes; trolls and other beasts have come to our banner. But I am merely lukewarm on the matter of goblinoid supremacy, Yog-Dul, and I think the Red Hand would do well to remember that our forces could be strengthened by humans, elves – and dwarves. What of your gang? All dwarven?”

“No, I’m the only dwarf,” said Nutmeg. The dragon didn’t have eyebrows, but cocked the little bony ridge above its eye, as if to say really? The only one? “I – left the Hammerhand Holds years ago. Kicked out. Kicked around with some folks, started up the Bonesaw Gang. We’ve got humans, and at least one elf. Even had a gnome wizard for a while there, but she retired early.” 

“How many?”

“Four..ty. Forty.” 

“Passable.” Mazzirandus nodded. “You know the lands around the Hammerhand Holds, then?”


“Good. How would you feel about taking revenge on the dwarves of the Holds?” 

“I would love to see it.” 

“Good, good. Yog-Dul, we are well met. When the horde marches tomorrow, across the bridge, you will accompany me. We will make for Caer Karnak. You will gather your gang and accompany us to Tanner’s Crossing, which will mark the start of our great invasion. From Tanner’s Crossing, you will part from the horde, setting out for the Holds, laying waste to whatsoever lies in your path. There will come a day when you will reunite with the army…but I am getting ahead of myself. Come, take a tent for the night – tomorrow begins a new day. A new era. Hail Daghda!” 

“Hail Daghda!” echoed Nutmeg. “Now, listen, before I retire – you got any ale? Like vast, vast quantities of ale?” He patted his stomach. “Some of the dwarven stereotypes are true, you know.” 

Mazzirandus gave another throaty chuckle. “Of course. Drink your fill, Yog-Dul.” With a tail-flick, the dragon indicated a nearby tent. 

The tent contained exactly what Nutmeg had hoped to find: a couple dozen barrels, labeled with big Xs and smelling strongly of the sort of powerful alcohol that could be used to purge flesh from bone. His mind was racing. The dragon had given away so much! So much! He had to get out, now. Forget the bridge – taking that out would be good, but getting this intel back to the gang, back to the Hegemony, back to Mister E – that’s what mattered. 

He found some loose rope at the back of the tent. With his elbow, he stoved in the top of a barrel. Waves of nosehair-frying alcohol poured out. It took all his self-restraint not to dip his whole head in the barrel and drink until he tasted wood. Instead, he dunked the length of rope in the liquid, soaking it thoroughly. Then he pushed a few more barrels together, sloshing the goblin moonshine this way and that, leaving great puddles of the stuff all over the tent. He thread the rope out the back of the tent, cutting a hole for himself with the axe, and unspooled the rope as far as it would go. When he’d reached the end of it, he drew out a flint, and, striking it on the steel, he sent sparks cascading onto the liquor-soaked rope. 

It caught. Immediately. The flames raced blue down the rope, back toward the tent. Nutmeg turned and ran for the bridge. He’d just about made it to the edge of the camp when the whole world seemed to explode. Chancing a look back, he saw the liquor-tent take off, lifted from the ground by the force of the blast, burning to cinders as it rose. 

Time to go. 

He paused only to take a huge whiff of signore dusto, and then he was on the bridge, axe in hand, ready to fucking rumble. Hobgoblins shrieked and bellowed – some in pain, probably from burning alive or whatever – but some because they’d seen him running. He grinned. This was the good part. Forty hobgoblins? They could do that in their sleep. He was outpacing them anyway, already back on the bridge and crossing. Holy shit, look at Wally, he thought, as the giant smote the cliffside with thunder and lightning. Then he turned, and faced the hobgoblins, and for a time everything was red. 


They were calling his name, trying to call him back across the bridge. His legs wouldn’t move, though. 


Again with the yelling. And again with the not-moving. What was up with that? 


Then he was awake, and in a tremendous amount of pain, as an angel descended from the sky to bear his broken body home. 

Chapter 2 – In Which They Create a Fitting Memorial


Gel watched as Sister D, buoyed by some power from her god, drifted down to the bottom of the gorge like a leaf on the wind, shouting for the dwarf all the while. In the fading light, it was hard to see, but he trusted that she would find Nutmeg in the chasm. It was more a question of the dwarf’s aliveness. 

The bridge had gone down, and the dragon had gone down, and Nutmeg had gone down, and Wally had gone down. That last was the saddest sight, right now. George and Gel had dragged the giant back from the cliffside, but Wally’s body was pierced through with arrows and burned away to the bone in places by the caustic breath of the green dragon. George was removing the arrows one-by-one, saying nothing, as Gel watched Sister D descend. 

She alighted at the bottom, settling down near the winding creek at the base of the gorge. Another prayer to her god, and her hand glowed bright, illuminating the area around her. Gel winced involuntarily. There was Nutmeg, alright. His legs were – well, they weren’t where they were supposed to be. At least not at those angles. And yet – and yet – 


Nutmeg let out a bellow of pain and rage the likes of which Gel had never heard before. He was alive. The dwarf was alive. 

When Sister D returned to the cliffside, she lay Nutmeg down and immediately set about his wounds. His legs straightened out with unnerving pops and cracks; his arms flexed involuntarily as the bones repaired themselves; his cracked and bleeding skull stopped bleeding and, apparently, stopped being cracked. When she was done, the priestess sat back, exhausted, the light fading from her fingertips. 

“How the fuck did you survive a fall like that?” asked Gel. 

“I am very, very cool,” said Nutmeg. He gestured to his pack, which he’d left with the gang on the southern side of the bridge. “Let me check something real quick.” Rummaging around, the dwarf let out a relieved sigh. “Phew. He’s ok.” A little blue head poked up from the bag, blinking angrily at having been disturbed. “If anything happens to me, you guys have to make sure to check on Pierre, okay?” Nutmeg stroked the lizard’s head, and the little guy let out a few cursory sparks. It was only then that Nutmeg appeared to take notice of the body of the giant.  “Oh shit. Is that Wally?”

“He shore was right,” said George, somberly. “He left the woods, and he died.” 

“We brought this on him,” said Sister D, quietly. The moon was up, casting pale shadows all around them. 

“But without Wally, we couldn’t have brought that whole bridge down,” said Gel. “Right? I mean, Sister D, you did a number on that thing, but without Wally…”

“No, you’re right,” said the priestess. “If not for Wally, hoboblins would’ve crossed the gorge tonight. We may have spared Tanner’s Crossing for a few days more. Enough time, perhaps, to save them.” She turned to Nutmeg. “Nutmeg. Did you learn anything?” 

“Yeah, totally,” said the dwarf. “I’ll tell you all about it, too. But I want to make Wally a memorial here, tonight.”

“I don’t know if you do,” said Sister D. “He and I spoke about this some. He mentioned…his death rituals. The death rituals of his people. They’re grisly.” 

“…and?” Nutmeg shrugged. “I’m a big cultural respecter.” 

“Well, it involves breaking open his ribcage and spreading it like wings, then -” 

“Hang on, let me finish step one first,” said Nutmeg. He’d drawn out his little tool hammer, and was lining up his axe to strike. 

“You said I was fucked up for wanting to take one of his toes,” said Gel.

“That’s different. This is a memorial.” Nutmeg paused. “But I mean, you could probably snag a toe now. I don’t think he’ll mind.” 

Chapter 3 – In Which They Invite Themselves To Dinner

Nutmeg talked while he worked, and they helped him where they could. It was bloody, awful, disgusting work, but Gel had to admit a kind of cathartic release. The body of the giant was transformed into a grotesque monument overlooking the ruins of the bridge. When they peeled the magic gauntlet off Wally’s hand, the skin beneath was blackened and burnt, twisted with some great and terrible fire. 

They slept after that, for a short time, and then fled back into the forest. Nutmeg had filled them in on everything the dragon had to say. It wasn’t promising. Sounded downright bad. 

They traveled down through the Hagwood, George leading them ever on and on. The woodsman had been quiet since the death of Wally. Quieter than usual, anyway. His “ooooeeee”s were few and far between. When they came to the crossroads on the edge of town, where George’s cabin lay off the road, the woodsman paused.

“Heading home, George?” asked Nutmeg. 

“Oooee, well, no, I don’t think I oughta. We need to get warnin to Li’l Anna, and I think I’d like to make myself a part of that, if you don’t mind.” 

“We’d love to have you.” 

“Well, good, then. Let me just check in on m’dogs.” He whistled, and shouted. “Dougling! Smorth! Maria Theresa! Catch-Up! Pinkerlane! Sally!” 

A few moments passed, and then the air was filled with gleeful barks and yips and aroos as the six hounds of George came bounding through the tall grasses. The woodsman greeted them each in turn, fussing over them as a parent might fuss over a toddler. The dogs loved it. They reveled in George’s affection, rolling this way and that, wiggling from tailtip to snout. 

They remained with the dogs for an hour or so, much to Nutmeg’s dismay. George invited them to stay longer at his little shack, which was just up the road from the old oak tree, but no one particularly felt like visiting. Not with the black cloud of the horde at their backs. By late afternoon, they were crossing the Hestor River, back to Tanner’s Crossing. It was fortunate that the town offices were all crammed into the old tollhouse on the river. Captain Anna Thornspur stood outside, talking to some tall, balding geek in a long robe. When she saw George, though, the Captain’s face broke into a warm smile. 

“George! It’s been – my gods, how long has it been since we had you on this side of the Hestor?”

She ran to the woodsman and gave him a firm embrace, nearly lifting the old fellow off his feet. George harrumphed and grunted, scratching his beard furiously. 

“Li’l Anna, shore is good ta see you.”

“I’m glad you’re here,” said the captain. She turned to the rest of them. “Glad you all made it back safely. How’s things in the woods?”

“Pretty fucking bad!” said Nutmeg. “Pretty fucking god damn bad!” 

Anna raised an eyebrow. “Is that right?”

“I think it would be best if we could speak to you and any other town leaders together,” said Gel. “Do you have some kind of council? Assembly? Board of supervisors?” 

“Yeah – yes, yeah, I can pull that together. It’s not an official body, mind you, just some significant people in town. Like Harmel over here.” She indicated the bald guy she’d been speaking to, who was now lingering by the tollhouse door. “Yeah, I’ll send the word out. Give us an hour or two. We can meet at Wiseman’s house. It’s the one next to the Red Apple. Big porch, family crest hanging over the door – you can’t miss it.” 

Indeed, they couldn’t. Gel had clocked the place on their first night in town, looking down from the window of the Red Apple. It had been on his shortlist of places to Visit in the Night, but with its proximity to the central town green and their lodgings, it seemed like a bad idea to hit it. Of course, if they ended up evacuating the civilians – well, enough time to think of that later. They grabbed drinks from the public room and sat outside, watching kids run on the green. The day was ending, and Tanner’s Crossing could’ve been the most beautiful place in the world just then. Golden light bathed the town. The sound of the river was just audible, under all the other little sounds of country living. 

Shame, then, that in a week, maybe less, the place would be burning. 

A few guests began to arrive on Mayor Wiseman’s porch – Harmel, the merchant Anna had indicated earlier; a dwarven woman wearing a blacksmith’s apron; a well-dressed halfling with his hair slicked back; a priest of Palladius, stout and elderly; and finally Captain Anna herself. She waved to them, beckoning for them to join the company. 

A woman appeared at the door just as they set their feet on the porch steps. She tut-tutted, fretting mostly to herself: “Oh, goodness, ten seats for dinner, oh goodness.” 

“Mrs. Wiseman,” said Anna, “I hope you haven’t gone to too much trouble. We don’t need dinner, just to bend Norbert’s ear for a time.” 

“Yes, well, yes,” murmured Mrs. Wiseman. “It is time for dinner, of course.”

“I’ll say,” said Nutmeg. “Whaddya cooking? Got any cured meats?” 

The dwarf pushed past the other councilors, shook Mrs. Wiseman’s hand, and stepped over the threshold, still carrying his half-drained mug of beer from the inn next door. 

Gel had no choice but to follow. 

His instincts had been right: this house was the house of a rich man who wanted to remind his visitors of that wealth. Knickknacks and vases, paintings, even a tapestry – it was an art lover’s delight. Mrs. Wiseman, completely flustered by Nutmeg’s ingracious ways, attempted to steer them all to a great dining table, where Norbert Wiseman stood waiting. 

“Yo!” said Nutmeg. “Mr. Wiseguy! How’s it hanging?” 

After this initial kerfuffle had died down, they sat – elbow-to-elbow and knee-to-knee – around the dining table. Mrs. Wiseman poured them each a small, small glass of wine, and Norbert raised his in a toast. 

“Ahem,” he said. “I, Mayor Norbert Wiseman, do call this impromptu town meeting of Tanner’s Crossing to order, on this, the sixteenth day of the seventh month of the year. In attendance are -” 

“Alright.” Gel slapped his palm on the table. “I’ve had it. Wiseman, your town is under imminent threat from a horde of hobgoblins, trolls, manticores, and dragons, some ten thousand strong, and you need to shut the fuck up so we can tell you what to do.” 

There was a brief pause. Then, a great deal of hubbub. 

Chapter 4 – In Which Nutmeg Receives Validation

Once they’d finished their story in full, the town council sat in shocked silence for a few moments. Captain Anna – gods bless her – spoke first. 

“How long do we have, then?”

“A little under a week, if the numbers are right,” said Nutmeg. “We slowed them down by taking out the bridge, but – well, George, tell em.” 

“Oooooeee,” said George. “They’ll just track up inter the mountains. Army that size’ll take some time to get through, but if’n they want to come, they’re coming.” 

“Alas,” said Mayor Wiseman, who had asked for several refills on his wine since the meeting began. “If only I had respected your initial counsel, and send word to Barrendell! Now time is short, and -”

“Already sent a letter,” said Captain Anna. “No offense, Mayor.” 

“Well, I – I -”

“I have a question,” said Harmel, the bald merchant. The man looked like a freshly-burned candle: tall, thin, pale and waxy. “Meaning no disrespect to our…mercenary friends here. But how do we know that this is true?” 

“Aw, stuff it, Harmel,” said the dwarven blacksmith. She gestured at Nutmeg. “These folks plainly know what they’re talking about. Don’t waste all our time by debating the basic facts.” 

“I’m in complete agreeance,” said the halfling with the slicked-back hair. “Frankly, why even ask Barrendell for soldiers? We need to evacuate the town. Starting yesterday.” 

“That would be the wisest course of action,” agreed the Palladian priest. “Is that what you would advise, Sister Dondalla?” 

“It is,” said D. “Thank you, Brother Darn.”

“Now, you’re trained warriors, clearly capable of great deeds,” said the dwarven woman, nodding at each of them in turn. Nutmeg blushed a little when she met his eyes. “I’d like to propose that we do our best to hold the river – slow them down. Bleed their front lines.” 

“Yeah, well, Morlain, you would advise such,” said the halfling. “And make a killing selling those racks of swords to anyone dumb enough to stay behind.” 

“Go walk under a hitching post, Caetano.”

“Alright, take it easy.” Nutmeg nodded to Morlain, who he had already decided was probably the smartest person in the room, second only to Captain Anna and himself and Gel and Sister D. “Morlain’s right. I think we can do some damage to their front ranks. Captain Anna, can we rely on having some town guard stay behind to assist?” 

“I’ll ask for volunteers,” she said. “I’m not ordering anyone to die.” 

“Fair enough.”

“You have an idea, Nutmeg?” asked Gel. 

“Yeah, sort of. Maybe. I brought it up in one of our briefings before. Plan Seven.” 

“That’s when you ran out of letters in the dwarven alphabet and just started using numbers.” Gel paused. “Hey, wait, you can’t read. How do you know the letters -”

“Plan Seven, for those who don’t know,” said Nutmeg, “involves a lot of fire.”

“Most of your plans do,” observed George. 

“Correct. Fire is awesome. But at this scale…well, we’d need a truly incredible amount of lamp oil.” 

Harmel had been mid-sip, and suddenly spluttered into his glass. Caetano the halfling threw back his head and laughed. Morlain, too chuckled. Even Mayor Wiseman raised his eyebrows. 


“Oh, nothing,” said Caetano. “Just that it happens that Harmel here has a warehouse full of lamp oil on the southern side of town. It’s his main industry. Lamp oil, and lamp oil accessories.” 

“I would expect full compensation for any, and I mean any, of my stock that is commandeered for the town’s defense.” 

“Tell it to the gods,” said Nutmeg. “You can’t take it with you – might as well put it to good use.”

“What exactly do you intend on using my lamp oil for?”

“Setting fire to the river.” 

“Oh, plan seven,” said Gel. “Right. Yeah, that makes sense.” 

“That reminds me,” said Captain Anna. “Oughtn’t we remove the ferry, too?”

“Absolutely not,” said Harmel and Caetano, together. They looked at each other, did the awkward “no, you first” dance for a moment, and then Mayor Wiseman took over. 

“No,” said Wiseman. “We are evacuating the town, yes, but when this crisis has passed we will return. Destroy the ferry? Then there’s no hope of returning.” 

“Really?” asked Morlain. “You want these Red Hand goobs to have control of our ferry? I’d rather eat the ferry than let it fall into goblin hands.” 

“Yeah, we’re taking that bad boy apart,” said Nutmeg. He looked to the dismayed faces of Harmel and Caetano. “Alright, listen. Us and Captain Anna, we’re in charge of the military side of things. Holding the river as best we can. Caetano, Mayor Wiseman, Brother Darn – can we ask you to be in charge of the evacuation to Barrendell? It’ll take real leadership, real organizational skills, all that good stuff.” 

“Of course,” said the Mayor, who at this point seemed happy to be included. 

“Now, is there anyone else in town who might be able to help?” asked Gel. “Anyone who could lend a hand.” 

“There’s Aberthol,” said George. “Crazy old coot, but he’s a powerful druid. Lives over on my side of the river. Worth asking.” 

“Don’t forget Sendivogius,” said Captain Anna. “He was a powerful wizard in his day, or so he claims whenever he shows his face in town.” 

“Happy to talk to the wizard,” said Gel, quickly. 

“I was raised by a wizard,” added Nutmeg. 

“Other than that…” Captain Anna shook her head. “I don’t know. I’ll start asking for volunteers tomorrow. For tonight, we’d best just enjoy one last night of peace and quiet. Tomorrow, things get hard.” 

The rest of the conversation was largely logistical, and Nutmeg felt safe tuning it out. The townies could figure out what they needed to do, who would run the wagons, who would do blah blah blah. A thought had been growing in his mind all evening, though, and when the council adjourned, he signaled to D and Gel to hang behind with him. 

“Can I…is there something I else I can assist you with?” asked Mayor Wiseman, wearily. 

“Absolutely.” Nutmeg produced the soggy, smeared deed to Caer Karnak. “I believe, by ancient law of Finders Keepers, we are the proud owners of that castle in the woods. I was hoping you could legitimate our claim, as the head legal authority round these parts.” 

Mayor Wiseman squinted. He muttered. He grumbled. He threw up his hands in disbelief. 

“This – this appears authentic. Sister Dondalla, I assume you vouch for the veracity of this claim, as a priestess of Palladius?”


“Well. Then.” The mayor looked to each of them in turn. “This – I mean, simply finding the document doesn’t grant you ownership. We’d have to trace through the lineages of all those who stood to legally inherit Caer Karnak before being able to validate your claim!” 

Nutmeg snorted. “Look. Buddy. If not for us, you and everyone you know and love would be extremely dead. Plus, we killed all the goblins infesting that castle. Nobody else is using it. It’s been abandoned for centuries. I think the least you could do is let us have the fucking castle.” 

Perhaps Mayor Wiseman heard something in Nutmeg’s voice that triggered a change of heart. He gulped. “Who am I to stand in the way of the ancient laws. Caer Karnak is yours. Take that to the land records office tomorrow morning. Tell them I said…tell them I said it was ‘fine.’” 

“Sweet. Thanks for the castle. Talk to you later, Mayor Wiseguy.” Nutmeg slapped Gel on the back. “Come on. Let’s get something to drink.” 

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