Field Notes from Diamonds Hadder: On the topic of The Gorgon bridges and Black Mice.
"We’ve been sitting on the hillside a while, Lord Skynn arrived a few hours ago carrying a few large bags filled with something. Who knows what he’s up too but he’s been fairly quiet since he arrived. Although I hardly know him, I can see he’s a man who believes in things and I find it easy to trust him. That’s not something that comes easy with me. He left me and Ezra here with strict orders not to approach the bridges and to stay on high ground above the mossy patches of earth along the road. He seems rather cautious these days and rather addiment that we do as he says… this is a strange land that I’m not familiar with. So me and Ezra have been hanging around for hours just watching things and thinking. occasionally the earth under our feet rumbles and it seems like the trees and shrubs are moving slightly but I think it’s just my mind playing tricks on me… as we all sat there a strange animal come out from the woods tenderly walking with timid steps down below, I’ve never seen an animal quite like this, it seems to be like a large deer although the antlers were twisted in large spiral patterns that created circular discs on the sides of its head, like heavy shields, scraped and worn from strikes I’m guessing… I imagine they are quite the battering rams.. the body of this animal is very stout and muscular… almost unmoving and quite impressive. It was grazing on the short grassing near the front of the bridge… and occasionally a snap or pop from the forest would send it into a quick still and alert posture, just it’s eyes would shift side to side.. perfectly still… until it felt the noise was nothing and then it continued grazing. This went on a little while till it reached the very front of the bridges where the grass was greenest… Lord Skynn looked on as well with an odd smirk on his face as though he was waiting for something… me and Ezra just enjoyed the moment, I often sat on the hillside of BOK taking field notes for Zabble so I was used to sitting and listening and observing odd creatures and people for that matter.
Suddenly there was a little rumble in the earth and I thought perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me… the ground under this strange animal was shifting and buckling which of course startled the animal as it began a frantic dash for the edge of the forest… as though it knew what was happening… in a flash the earth it seemed to tear up, like a trap spiders door, the grasses and shrubs lifted sending debris into the air.. and to my amazement they were not grasses and shrubs at all but well disguised skin from what appeared to be some troll like wooded creature… it was much larger than the animal and in a simple swoop it snatched it in it’s strange treelike arms.. it was like the earth had come alive. Ezra looked on as well, she grumbled as the event unfolded, I think she took a liking to that poor animal. I had to hold her back a little as she felt like charging a few times. She stood fast by my side in a firm excited state of mind, like a dog might appear when he’s watching a squirrel outside a window but can’t get at it. As we continued watching this bizarre earth shifting creature, it crouched into a ball to devour it’s recent catch… it’s back looked like a lumpy hill, but I think it was eating… dirt fell off its limbs as it moved until finally it started to slowly vibrate and shift again… it’s skin morphing into the earth around it, what a gift. The quick vibrations could be felt under my feet and a small cloud of dirt and leaves was dispersed into the air around the creature, only to fall back down upon its body which now seemed nothing more than the grassy earth itself. After a little moment of silence, it was done, I looked at Lord Skynn who still was wearing a silly smirk… “Gorgons” he said with a little grin. “And where there’s one, there are many.”
He then grabbed his oddly squirming bags and started walking down the hill… For a moment I was frozen… and Ezra looked at me as if to say, “go get him”. We were both confused. We watched him walk down to the edge of the earth just before the grassy areas of the road… “I don’t think this is a good idea Lord Skynn” I screamed out an odd loud whisper…. Trying not to awaken the earthly creature of course… he turned to us, with a strange smile as he walked, like a mad man with a secret… at the edge of the grasses the earth began to rumble a little.. as his steps grew smaller and more cautious and his grin wider and madder.. he reached for his bags and placed them on the floor carefully opening then… from the bags came tiny mice… black as the night and quick as lightning… they almost looked like beetles… they poured over the tops of the bags, 2 bags in total, tens of hundreds maybe more… they hit the grounds and raced over the grasses heading for the bridges… a loud rumble grew as the mice began their march, a small earthquake erupted and the earth all around the bridges began to lift… everywhere… giant troll like creatures jumped from the earth in a frantic state fumbling and bumping into each other… each creature making a strange woodley barking noise, similar to the sound of banging wood together with a deep bellow attached. Gorgons I imagine… they seemed to be quite scared of the mice… Lord Skynn stood and watched as the last few gorgons jumped from the broken earth and ran off into the forest ahead of the mice… strange knocking echoes could be heard a few moments quietly disappearing into the woods as the gorgons ran for their lives from the tiny little creatures. It was quite amusing actually.
Lord Skynn waved me and Ezra down from the hill… as we approached him he smiled and said:
“Where there is one, there is many.”
(We both smiled while Ezra cautiously smelled the broken dirt at our feet, chasing a few remaining black mice around the pits left in the earth.)
Lord Skynn: “I have a friend nearby who collects black mice for this very purpose. Every strange thing in this world has a weakness my lord, big or small, knowing that weakness is the key to understanding it and ultimately defeating it, if it’s something that needs defeating of course. Your mind is the sharpest weapon you’ll ever possess. Your father taught me that. No trinkets, weapons or kyon magic can outwit the sharpest mind. Though there is a place and a time for sword skills, knowing your enemy’s weakness is more powerful than any thrust or blow you could ever wield.
(I stood and I listened. I imagined my father for a moment, remembering the stories I heard of him in Zabbles books, the man he was… often outwitting his enemies before the battles began. It’s as though he was talking to me through Lord Skynn. Finally, Lord Skynn gathered up his empty bags and heaved them over his shoulder, with a rather deliberate look upon his face, he said:)
Lord Skynn: “We should move along; gorgons are territorial, and they’ll return rather quickly. With any luck, We’ll be at the gates by morning.”
(And he started walking.)