His name is Jacob Morten, but they call him “Old Mort”. Morten is a carpenter and brick layer by trade. It is said that not a public building in town lacks his help in building or repairing. Foundations, walls, roofs, woodwork, even stained glass windows, Old Mort has done it all. Well… almost it all, Old Mort will not work in the sewers anymore. No,no, he’s not above getting dirty, he’s been down there, seen more than most, but he wont go back.
He wont talk about it, it happened years ago, five men went down, only Morten came up. Some say Morten killed them himself, but that’s foolishness, those who know him know better than that. No one knows what attacked them, not even Old Mort himself, but the screams still haunt his dreams.
Now days Old Mort walks the town in his free time, smoking his pipe, inspecting the city’s workings. His men working thanklessly, maintaining the city. One day, on one of his walks, he met them.
The gate was ajar, sewer entrance 16b, he knew it by heart. “Must-a-been….” He muttered as he took out his personnel log, “I don’t remember sewer work today.” Morten flipped through the pages, something he rarely had to do anymore, but found nothing. With a heavy sigh Old Mort approached the gate, someone’s not doing their job he thought. But Old Mort didn’t get far, not forty paces from the gate he saw it open wide. Six men came out, they looked like hell.
Old Mort stopped dead in his tracks, old horrid memories rising to the front of his thoughts. He stood there, watching them, they were still talking amongst themselves, he couldn’t hear about what. A few left, still tracking filth as they walked away, two stepped back down into the underground, one was left. Old Mort regained his senses, old memories still plaguing his mind, but he started walking again.
The one that was left was a skinny fellow, gaunt and pale, he sat down cross legged against the wall, his clothes were torn and stained, red or brown. Morten approached, “You….You there, what are you all doing down there? Your not one of mine, who let you in?”
The sickly figure looked up gazing at the old man, “Morning! Or evening! Which ever one it is.” A smile forming of his face. “You’ll have to have to pardon me, Id shake your hand but but it wouldn’t be advised as it were. I am Ruven. What can I do for ya?”
Old Mort paused again, who was this man? His accent was bizarre, his mannerisms almost savage, who were the others? “I.. I am Jacob Morten, I help run the maintenance in the city, now boy you tell me who you are and who let you down there! Its dangerous down there!”
Ruven laughed softly to himself, shaking his head. “You dont say old man? Forgive me! I should explain myself, me and my friends were just taking care of a little rodent problem.”
Old Mort started to look cross, who is this half-wit joker? Ruven noticed and smiled again. “Calm down, calm down!” Ruven wiped the muck off his explorers sash. “Church sent us down there to take care a something. We got the key from the city officials as you call them.”
“Oh.” Old Mort muttered. “I see, well that seems to be in order…, boy your not from around here, just where are you from?”
Ruven looked up at the old man, smile fading to a smirk. “We are from the islands that are no more, of the people who are but few, we are outsiders.” The smile returning to the young half-elf’s face. “And its nice to meet you Jacob Morten. Nice city you got yourselves.”