Common Problems

Glig 2:1

Glig crouched on the clay tiled roof of what he guessed was either an apothecary, or the home of a silversmith making bat stew.

He hadn’t realized how hard it would be to find something somewhere without knowing the language. Glig could read some of the writing on the dead summoner’s things, but here in town nothing was familiar.

Even the pictures on the shop signs didn’t help. For example, these people drank out of completely different vessels than Glig, so the sign on the large building that sucked in townsfolk at dusk and vomited out a drunken horde at midnight did nothing to convey “tavern” to him. And if he couldn’t even identify the intricate carving of what he now guessed was supposed to be some kind of ale mug, how was he going to pick out, in the dark, the local symbol for whatever the people around here called the people around here who knew how to cast spells and send Glig home?

So with few options, Glig had grabbed onto a waterwheel, let it carry him from the dark of the river to the top of the mill, and spent the last few hours dripping along rooftops, sniffing what was coming out of the chimneys, smelling for belladonna, sulphur, eye of newt, and the other smells of his youth, when his mother had tried to teach him magic.

Glig pulled his head from deep in the chimney. Definitely an apothecary. Whoever lived inside might not know how to send Glig back, or even how to cast spells, but they would know people who can, and might give him the information in exchange for his magic gloves, or the amulet, or maybe the book of demon names —

A voice rang out. Then another.

Glig was halfway down the chimney before the third shout, trying to hide. He struggled to brace himself against the hot stones, but the chimney was slick with rendered fat and he lost his footing and tumbled down, through a series of boiling pots, through the blown glass tubes of an alchemical still, out over a bed of hot coals, and into the feet of a young woman holding a basket of venomous snakes.

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