No man lives forever, and Dodger realizes he is no exception to that rule. Not wanting the good he’s done to die with him, he takes on a protégé, Zeke, who will carry on the work of the Yesterday’s Youth Foundation when Dodger is gone.
Dodger teaches Zeke everything he knows while he is still able. He even plays Morgan’s game with Zeke, and they find themselves trapped inside the bodies of the characters.
While no doubt considered by some to be evil, Morgan wishes to redeem himself, although the road to redemption is not an easy path to travel. Good and evil are not nearly as black and white as some might think. His fertile imagination comes up with a game, something to draw people in, show them he has a more playful side. Plus he wants people to experience life from a different perspective. Somewhat similar to most roleplaying games, Legendary Mythology begins with a blank page, a pouch with a figure, and dice with no numbers. The rules are contained in the game’s book.
After his return from the game, Dodger is instructed to pass the game to a group of teenagers. As they complete their adventure, the teens find that their journey isn’t over. A hunt for the citadel leads to a visit with Morgan that results in relics and assigned duties.
“If we don’t, you can bet there’ll be a search party, because Dante will think I killed you.” They both laughed. Rogue held her tightly against him and urged the sorrel back to the stable. Once there, he whispered, “This is nice.” He swung his leg over, slipped to the ground, then reached up, firmly grabbed her waist, and lowered her to stand in front of him. “I could get used to this.”
“So could I.” Marissa handed the reins to the approaching acolyte and patted the horse’s shoulder. “He needs some extra special care tonight. Here comes the rescue party now—would you look at Dante’s expression?”
“I get the feeling I’m in deep trouble. Hey, guys.”
“I’ll hey guys your head if you ever scare me like that again.” Dante glowered at him. “What gives you the right to take off gallivanting and go—” He glanced from the laughing Marissa to Rogue’s grin. “Just what were the two of you doing anyway?”
“I was learning to ride a horse,” Rogue answered placidly.
“Oh. I wasn’t sure what had happened, since the last I knew you two were ready to kill each other on first sight.”
“We were, but it was over silly misunderstandings. Nothing serious.” Marissa smiled. “You had nothing to fear. We’re big enough to work out our problems on our own.”
“I’ve been put in my place, and I’ll stay there.”
“You’re so sweet.” She headed for the temple.
They stared after her.
“What did you do to her?” Dante asked quietly
Rogue shrugged. “We talked.”
Cord suddenly burst into laughter and the others looked at him.
“What?” Dante and Rogue voiced in confused unison.
Cord pointed to Dante. “You look as though you think he had—” He dropped his jaw. “Never mind. Just never mind.” He broke into laughter again as he walked toward the temple.
Dante turned on his heels and locked his gaze. “Did you?”
Rogue shrugged. “Did I what?”
“You know what.” The exasperated Dante sighed. “I’m asking you, Zeke, as me, Dodger, did you and her—”
“Bite your tongue.” Rogue snapped, embarrassed. “What kind of a guy do you think I am? I don’t roll in the hay or grass with just any woman.” When Dante sighed with relief, he grinned wryly. “Not that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.”
Dante nearly sputtered, “Rogue!”
He smirked. “What?”
Dante threw his hands up in surrender and headed for the temple. “You need to pray for that one.”
Rogue ran to catch up with him, almost bursting into laughter. “I was only joking.”
“Sure you were.” Dante threw a sideways glance at him. “Sure you were.”
“She is quite attractive.”
“Rogue, you’re trying to get the better of me.”
Dante shook his head. “You just wait till we get home.”
The two laughed as they headed into the temple to join the others for dinner.
Cord chuckled. “You two are great.”
Marissa warily eyed them. “Did I miss something?”
With a quick warning glance at the others, Rogue shook his head. “No. Cord asked me something earlier that went over my head and when Dante repeated it, I was still lost. They won’t let me live it down yet.”
The meal ended, and Dante refilled their drinks as the table was cleared.
Father Daniel walked in and joined them. “I have some items and information that might help you.” He placed several hand-drawn maps on the table. “Over the past several years, a few of us…renegade clerics, with the help of others, have been checking out bits of information gathered across the land. These pieces of artwork are the final creation of our master mapmaker, Cindar.”
Marissa whispered, “You have been planning.” Realization hit her. “The assassin helped you do this?”
“We all have,” spoke an older, yet small human male walking through the door. He wore black leather pants, a shirt, and shoes. His short blond hair highlighted his blue eyes and his perfect smile was charming. “I do hope the lady understands that without clerics, all other guilds and such would be obsolete.” He stopped in front of her, lifted her hand from the table, and kissed it. “For who would heal us when we are cursed or lay bleeding, whatever the reason?”
Stunned, she stared as the man released her hand and walked to Father Daniel.
“My name is Astar.” He spun on his heels. “We guilds, including thief and assassin, have not been deaf. When you sought our help many years ago, yes, we did turn away, as it was not our concern at that time. However, reality set in and we began to understand that without clerics, we bleed to death. Or remain cursed.” Astar patted Father Daniel’s shoulder. “You have always had all the power in the world with which to force every guild and soul to help you. If you had used that bargaining power from the beginning, every guild in the realm would have found a way to help you. Even by going after Kreal from the start.”
“But clerics are not like that,” Father Daniel conceded.
“I know.” Astar turned to face the others. “The paladins stepped in at your request, as is their sacred duty. However, they were completely unprepared for what they were up against. If they had told the clerics to use the available bargaining power and been patient enough to wait for a plan, this would have been resolved within a year. I admit, Kreal should have been taken out in the beginning, but the only ones who stepped forward were ill prepared for her.”
“You should have thought about the consequences when you were first approached,” Marissa retorted harshly, quickly adding in a softer tone, “and offered your expertise.”
“You are right, and I will not argue that point, Lady.” Astar smiled. “However, while you have been busy escorting, we have been finding information.” He spread the maps across the table and pointed to a spot. “As of this night, we know old Abiel is living here. In the Wayvern Mountains. We also know Kreal will not tread into that territory, and we know why. The dangers lying in wait for those who seek to pass through those mountains are very treacherous, and the druid is rumored to be the one person who can do the most damage to her, but we all know druids never fight unless the balance is tipped. Some time ago we sent several parties out to investigate. What little information we received back from those expeditions is sketchy to say the least, but Cindar wrote it on the maps.” He filled a glass and took a sip from it. “We’ll tell you what we know, but we won’t go back.”
“I will.” A woman strode into the room. “I’ve already seen what’s there and can be the best guide they’ll have.” The small Dökkálfar female had dark brown eyes and wore a soft leather one-piece suit with a loose-fitting jerkin, and thigh-high boots. As she pulled the hood from her head, her short mousy brown hair appeared. “I can help, if they’ll let me.” She looked at each face in the room.
“This is Cyrene.” Astar smiled. “Cindar’s mate. If you accept her help, then she will do all she can. Of this, I assure you. In the meantime, we will gather all we have in another room and await your decision.” He and Cyrene quickly gathered the maps and left.
Father Daniel smiled. “There you have it. The rest is in your hands.”
Marissa shook her head. “What about the council?”
“I am all that remains of the council, Marissa,” he answered sadly. “I made my decision the minute you asked. I only used the council as a delay tactic so Cord’s village could get their response here before I told you that you were released from your temple obligations.”
“Then we have some serious talking to do.” Rogue smiled.
“I’ll leave an acolyte outside the door, should you need anything.” After a quick bow, Father Daniel left the room and closed the door.
Cord smiled. “I guess everything’s a go.”
“I agree,” Dante added.
Marissa stared at the door. “There is no council left to protect the church or govern the city.”
Rogue looked at her. “What do you suggest we do?”
“We can’t leave them defenseless—I mean with only whatever is left of the guilds to defend the children and the church.” She looked at them. “Are all the trips I’ve made worthless?”
“No. We’ll arrange for some of the warriors from Cord’s village to defend the city. I’m sure that if Father Daniel has handled running everything this far, he can continue. Besides, if the guilds are willing to help us, then perhaps some of their more experienced leaders could step in to help if needed.”
Marissa burst into laughter. “Assassins and thieves running the city.”
Rogue frowned. “Should I growl now?”
“No, it’s just I hear the people fuss about how crooked the city government system is when they steal as council members and commit murder as law authorities.” She wiped the tears from her eyes. “And now these same people are going to have to trust professional thieves and assassins with their money and lives.”
He stood and stealthily moved to stand behind her.
Marissa burst into laughter again. “Honestly, I swear I mean no offense to you or the guilds, but when you think about the very idea of it… I’m sorry.” Still chuckling, she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Rogue leaned on the table beside her. “Perhaps the city will be run better, maybe even more honestly, more fairly.”
She met his gaze. “You’re probably right.”