Archive for July, 2014

Dawn of the Philosipher Tile

Summer 13 Pine

Walking along the docks of the river, Bloodgrue frowns as it is damn cold this morning. His master Dragoman, has Bloodgrue carrying this roughly wrapped package. Its heavy like ceramics or rock, about twelve inches by eighteen inches by almost three inches in size. Bloodgrue has to take this bundle with these three old Toymal, to a barge on the east end of long series of row upon row of docks, an area collectively known as North Docks District. Bloodgrue knows the north districts better than most folk know their own hands. Which mean this job feels even odder to this  nineteen year old Jalmal. He wants to be a Journey Dragoman, working towards being a Registered Watcher.

Bloodgrue knows everything is important and has value to someone.  But a linen wrapped rock, three old Toymal on a trek to an old dock, perhaps the oldest dock Bloodgrue knows. To arrive at a nondescript barge known as Hen’s Nest with its crew of six Polemen and their Captain who is known as Captain Area.

Try being 19 years old, 5’11” and still an apprentice to a Dragoman who seems to take anyone’s money, but doesn’t do the work, instead sending his apprentice on every errand imaginable. Why the Seven Hells does Bloodgrue have to carry this dead weight in his hands the whole walk. Why can’t it be carried in a pouch or pack? Why is Bloodgrue carrying it? Is this a test perhaps?

They pass Dock C-12 of Erren Docks, there are three more solid docks then they will be on the old rickety floaters. Bloodgrue hates those as every time he walks on the floaters he gets nauseated feelings. Today the dark ancient wood on the docks is still damp from last nights rain, making them highly slippery. This adds more to Bloodgrue’s desire to stop, to give the package to one of these three old men, then leave them to their own,  whether the services are paid for or not.

Bloodgrue stops at the transition point between docks before going over onto the greyed ancient floaters. The apprentice Dragoman looks up at the clear sphere over head while feeling the oddly north blowing, moderate winds on his rigid face. Bloodgrue shivers sharply and swallows hollowly.

Bloodgrue looks northward farther out onto the undulating river, with its polluted waters dark and stench ridden. This point of the rigid docks alone, is over three hundred metres from any solid ground. They have another hundred metres plus to cover getting to the Hen’s Nest.

Bloodgrue never gets paid by the clients. Clients pay Bloodgrue’s Master who then decides if he feels Bloodgrue earns any coin himself. Rarely does the Master offer Bloodgrue any coins that are paid to them. Last year Bloodgrue earned a total of … 37 dusters … from his master. This does not even come around to a total of ten dusters a season. A Linkboy earns a duster a day or ninety dusters a season when fully employed.

Bloodgrue shrugs dejectedly as he after all is only an apprentice. It is his duty to do as his Master instructs whether Bloodgrue is afraid or not. The master does feed Bloodgrue enough to keep hunger at bay … most days.

Looking down at the smooth moist worn wood of the floater dock, Bloodgrue takes his first hesitant step forward onto the floaters. The clients must not know about Bloodgrue’s fears.

The walk is too long as far as Bloodgrue is concerned and also he has to return back home yet on these docks. Bloodgrue’s arms ache from carrying this heavy package. His belly hurts from the nausea he feels. His head is in agony from the fear in it. Water … Water everywhere around them. There are 512 boards back to a solid dock. Then three hundred additional metres walking on fixed docks until Bloodgrue’s innards and mind relax in anyway.

Captain Area steps off his slowly bobbing barge, onto the wet floater dock that flutters noisily with the waves and currents. A Toymal customer rapidly steps over to be in Captain Area’s presence. He speaks in Toydon for a few words with the Captain. The Toymal gestures Bloodgrue forwards soon after.

Captain Area smiles disarmingly for Bloodgrue. “Welcome to the river, apprentice. I see you are green with river sickness. Never mind, we will conclude our journey here for you soon. But you must do somethings for me before I can send you back to ground.”

Hoping to keep his stomach calm Bloodgrue smiles weakly and nods affirmative. The muscles burning in his back and arms are reaching their limit as well. ‘Damn … thirty pounds? Its got to be,’ thinks Bloodgrue.

No one moves to help take the obviously difficult package from Bloodgrue. Captain Area motions for Bloodgrue to set the awkward package on the calmly heaving floater. Delighted Bloodgrue moves to concede … but stops. The flash of pains as he moves to set down the package, in his back, abdomen and arms, almost knocks Bloodgrue unconscious, still no one attempts to helps him. Bloodgrue retains his senses through the shock.

Looking about Bloodgrue meekly asks, “Could one of you set this down for me. I might damage it.”

Another one of the Toymal chuckles and says in rough Jalnoric peasant speak, “It is up to you to set it down Bloodgrue, when you are ready.”

Bloodgrue reasons quickly if bending is difficult perhaps he can squat. The young Jalmal does so, with burning leg muscles, he succeeds in setting the package down.

Open it.” Calls Captain Area calmly to Bloodgrue.

Bloodgrue takes several minutes to regain his muscles flexibility hoping they recover enough quickly. The men wait patiently. As the small group waits, six Polemen from the Hen’s Nest climb onto the floater dock, watching.

Everyone watches Bloodgrue, as Bloodgrue recovers, while he is looking around their surroundings. There are no other people close to this spot. The closest person Bloodgrue can detect is a full floater dock length back the way they had came from. The person has a shortsword sheathed in an old hard used scabbard strapped high to his right hip side. He appears to be watching Bloodgrue intently!

Nausea forgotten, his pain in the back ground now, Bloodgrue carefully unties the thick jute cords holding the obtrusive package sealed. With orange jute cords untied, Bloodgrue looks more carefully at the wrapping. Which is a simple plain dull, non-patterned orange linen, being unremarkable in all ways. Pulling the corners freely away slowly from the unknown interior, Bloodgrue reveals the content.

Confused by the items Bloodgrue looks around at the gathered folks as he sits sullen on the creaking wooden boards of the floater.

No one speaks while they are waiting for Bloodgrue to react. Bloodgrue looks long again at the contents. Slate tiles, counting the pile, top to bottom, Bloodgrue counts ten individual pieces. Ten separate slates bundled together, twelve inches by eighteen, stacked two and a half inches high.

Without realizing what he is doing Bloodgrue does some math, calculating weight. The thickness of each slate is almost identical and by his calculation and what Bloodgrue knows about the weight of a cubic foot of slate, he determines their total weight.

40 pounds he carried out here. Ten slate tiles, the top one has Toydon script on it that he can read.

Bloodgrue, Tiles of the  Philosopher

What are these?” Asks the exhausted Bloodgrue sheepishly.

Captain Area answers, “The Watcher’s call them Philosopher Tiles. The ceremony you went through is called the ‘Dawn’. You may now begin to learn of the Watchers Bloodgrue, I heard that is what you desire. Is that right?”

Captain Area shows Bloodgrue his right palm. There on the palm of Captain Area is a set of Tattoos. The eye and everything Bloodgrue understands that reveal Watchers. Bloodgrue almost feints, sliding down, a Toymal catches Bloodgrue before he tumbles into the river.

A conversation ensues shortly after Bloodgrue recovers yet again.

We are the Watchers, apprentice Bloodgrue. You must finish your journey as a Dragoman. When you become Master Dragoman you may start your journey into the worlds of Watchers. We watch you, but not over you. You do as you do and we will not interact again until you begin your Watcher apprenticeship. You have the tiles to learn our rules from. If you do not know them when you are tested. You will be passed over and never given another chance. You can not ask questions of me now, but one day you may be able to. So you may put your tiles in your pack and walk home. NO ONE must ever see these tiles but you. You only have one run at this apprentice Dragoman. Learn and remember. Good bye.”

Captain Area steps back onto his barge, the Hen’s Nest. So do the heavily scarred Polemen.

The three false clients begin walking away without addressing Bloodgrue. Bloodgrue looks at the thin slate tiles Bloodgrue carried here. 40 pounds of rock with the rules of Watchers carefully scribed in Class 3 line concept, Toydon on them, he can never let anyone know. Ever!

Considering the situation Bloodgrue sits on the dock and reads through the slates. Simple concepts on each tile. But when the rules are interwoven with each other, Bloodgrue is amazed at their complexity and the deadly strictness of the Watcher’s Guild. Dusk arrives as Bloodgrue finishes reading the last tile. Done reading Bloodgrue understands what he must do.

Bloodgrue smashes the tiles against each other until there is no recognizable script left. Then he brushes the rubble off the undulating damp floater into the uninviting squishing river. Done! Bloodgrue loosely curls up in the centre of the unsteady floater and then sleeps four or so hours. In the near total darkness of night he walks cautiously home.

Happy.

Dreams do fulfil themselves sometimes unexpectedly. He wakes in his bed knowing his dream is so much closer now.

Chuckling, ‘Yah, right!’

 

 

Challengers for this piece:

Dawn  – Aria  – Favorite TV show used to be Seinfeld, saw all episodes.

Philosopher April  – Favorite book genre, non-fiction

Tile  –  April  – Favorite season, summer

Summer April –  Favorite website, mymindunleashed.com

13April  – Hero, Dad

Pine  – Rusty  – Favorite writing, owertonna.com/blog

 

Thank you, Aria, April for your challenge contributions, I will send you a short piece, from Fryer’s Choice journey in south Kannoral

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Futon signal pugilist

Spring 24 Bear

Not so odd, sometimes the Rights of Passage affect the emotions and thoughts of those involved.

Spring 24 is day five of Annie Moren’s Rights of Passage. A quiet day with the setting up for the Pot-Latch of Day five feast.

Food and items arrive throughout the day, up to an hour before god set when the festivities begin.

As the feast begins, almost on queue our unwanted fiancé of Lena’s decides, unthinking, to get into a pugilist confrontation with a guest. This is not exactly an item on the etiquette rules menu.

Arragee confronts a young Toymal who is simply addressing Lena. The young lad’s name is Feren, a forester from the west, here mourning as one of the wood suppliers to grieve with the family. Lena and Feren have known each other for over six years. Nothing is in the works as far as relationships, none were ever considered by the two.

Foul, I call, on Arragee as he surges in accosting Feren verbally when he sees Lena touch Feren’s hand.

The Futon Signal Pugilist from Littleton, takes exception to the physical contact and calls out Feren.

Rudeness by any standard of society.

Feren withdraws from Lena’s vicinity trying to appease Arragee, out of respect for the Moren family and the Rights of Passage that is  happening.

But Arragee is not going to let this slide. Following Feren, crowding him to the exit of the building.

Several people stepped aside obviously not impressed with Arragee.

Outside in the bright cold nature of the world, Feren has enough. Taking the first serious swing at Arragee, as Arragee slips trying to avoid the attack.

Obviously our Futon Signal Pugilist is a bit unsteady physically as well as mentally.

As Arragee is attempting to regain solid footing, Feren attacks with another inexperienced swing at Arragee’s head. But misses, taking air slightly over Arragee’s left shoulder.

Now a quick exchange of punches sees Feren sadly miss striking Arragee yet again. Arragee though, now uses his pugilist skills better, punches Feren squarely in the chest over Feren’s heart.

Feren shows his lack of physical abuse handling skills. His air is knocked out by the sharp impact, Feren’s mind fades to black in shock, crumpling to the street’s unremarkable cobblestones.

The fight is over, however long it takes Feren to clear his mind.

Arragee shouts obscenities at Feren, but is not making any further physical assaults.

Arragee now returns inside to continue with feasting. But the lack of couth is rewarded by curtailment of further social interaction from others that were present during the attack.

Lena refuses to converse with Arragee the entire evening.

Feren recovers after about twenty minutes, he decides avoiding further aggressive interaction is best. Leaving without a farewell to any of the Moren family members.

It is best anyway, as Toydon and Jalnoric really shouldn’t socialize together. Feren’s social class further complicates any socializing.

Outcast by his social class and race, Feren departs.

Outcast for poor attitude and low charisma, though Arragee has no physical wounds to lick, he to best depart soon.

 

 

Challenge contributors:

signalKenneth – Parts man for an auto dealership

pugilistCori – Works in stationary shop

futonApril – Favorite colour is yellow

24Cori – Favorite colour is Royal Blue (Mine too)

SpringApril – favorite day of the week, Thursday (Mine is Friday)

 

 

Thank you to the three challenge contributors.

This is the format I desire to acknowledge you all with in the future, acknowledging those who contribute, the random three words, one of the four seasons and a random number between 0 -91.

April, Cori and Kenneth will receive a new excerpt from Chapter One of my novel ‘Laret‘, which is in progress.

Rusty

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Chapter One

Chapter 1

Summer 1 Bear

 

Larret Hamlet

 

The ground is still muddy from yesterday’s torrential rain. The clear sky, lights the air of dangerous winds which blow eastward. The air is cold enough such as to freeze the edges of puddles on the hamlet’s barren ground.

 

Today, high winds and cold air have animals taking shelter. Cattle face east with their asses to buildings. Horses lay down on the east side of any shelter they can find. Sheep huddle together patiently in their compounds. Yes, wild life has also taken refuge, delaying feeding for the thousands of mobile life forms. Waves barely break upon the coarse coast as the waters fight the hard wind blowing out to the ocean’s blurred horizon.

 

Yes, today is bad. Several of us have gathered together in Goats Tavern. The respectful tavern gives us shelter with warmth, which wayward souls will not decline today. Old Ringus is happy to earn a few additional dusters from his customers. Ringus is a retired Cleric of Ikerus, no one in the village holds that against him. Ringus lost his son to the ruling Lords army of our Dominion. Loyal to King Dollan IV, Ringus became a bit reclusive when his son, Jerrid joined the King’s army.

 

Cobber Dentin is busy these days as he has a few new oxen hides to make boots and shoes. I heard when the news spread that Dentin has new hides, our cobbler was mobbed with order requests for new boots. He actually took six orders for new boots, yesterday alone. The poor man is in Goats resting between work projects. Getting ready for the next job he will be going back to soon, Dentin drinks his dark ale slowly.

 

I see Mason Delan is inside Goats Tavern as well, having a drink with Cooper Toorp. Our mature Jalfem, Toorp, is happy to have someone to talk with as she has been idle for nearly six days without orders.

 

As we sit socializing on this miserable day, our group spots Reeve Jeston’s daughter enter the tavern’s tireless hall. Tripper walks in looking dishevelled … very much unlike her.

 

Tripper spots G and the rest of us. As Tripper rushes over we can see she is muddy from the winds and wet ground outside.

 

“G! Father wandered off again. I think it is bad this time. We need to find him, its’ not safe out there for him to be going for a walk. Even animals have enough sense to seek shelter. But NO, father decides to go for a walk, who knows where. I tell you his mind is gone and it took his common sense with it. He might be lost, will you all help me find him?”

 

Erin smiles warmly, piping in rapidly “Its’ okay Tripper. Stonewire looks after the weak minded. After all, the Reeve is old. He is over ninety years as far as we can figure. … For two Flairs I will go out in this demon of a day and try to find Jeston. … The village needs its Reeve after all.”

 

The beautiful farmer, Eren, who practices mage craft, looks to Tripper, then her table companions.

 

Bowyer G lowers her head and shakes it sullenly. Slowly looking up to her other two friends at the table, G doesn’t have to ask the two priests her question. They both know G’s question and answer silently, they shake their heads negatively.

 

Looking back to Tripper hesitantly, G answers. “It looks like you have two ready to go with you Tripper. Unfortunately the other two we need have decided to stay inside Goats Tavern. Milking the place for all its worth, with their coin purses. Eren may want two Flairs but I will do it because you and Jeston helped last season when the waters lapped up over my shop’s floor boards. The water destroyed all three bows I was working on then. Okay, Eren do you need anything before we start out on this man hunt?”

 

Eren smiles greedily, simply answering, “Almost. Two Flairs, please. … From either of you. Stonewire must be watching over you for me to even consider this foolhardy excursion. In simple terms … two Flairs and I am ready to go.”

 

G sighs with exasperation, “I just bought you an ale. Won’t that do for now?”

 

Eren looks at G. “Well?”

 

Eren doesn’t move to stand. The ankle length red wool dress barely even betrays any change in Eren’s breathing.

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Mowing Willow Ford

Summer 12 Bear

Standing in front of the Arton Warehouse front entryway, Bloodgrue ponders the day’s events.

Bloodgrue had been walking back to his home in the North Docks, from the south eastern most area of the North Docks.

Bloodgrue had had a bad run, the customers have fleeced Bloodgrue of his fee. Five Dyns was due Bloodgrue, yet he walked home empty handed for the trip.

Bloodgrue picked up cheer as he spotted an old acquaintance, who Bloodgrue knew, mowed regularly. To cheer Bloodgrue up more, the Fellow signalled he was looking for marks.

Bloodgrue walked over and nodded to the Fellow. “Three folks. Upper Middle class. Fleeced me of my fee for showing them to their destination. They dismissed me three and a bit hours ago. They will be coming back this way on foot. No melee folk with them. Four purses I counted, all fat purses. They are all Jalmal of mature age. No disabilities visible. Leader has short shoulder length thick hair, name is Farres. I want 10 percent of this mowing. If I get my Dragoman’s fee back there will be kick backs. Deal?”

The Fellow smiles, “Ten percent and then a kick back if I mow three marks with four fat purses. What’s the purse content like? And when do kickbacks take effect?”

Bloodgrue frowns as this is as straight a yes as he will get.

Bloodgrue isn’t going to dump the contract by being too excited. “We’ll say a one Flair ceiling. I think the purse content is a mix of Dyns and Flairs. I saw Flairs exclusively in one of the four purses. Farres has that one. I will mark them for you. Where do you want them?”

Dragomen are guides and helpers, everyone knows that. Everyone assumes though that Dragomen are defenseless. Without means of collecting from wayward customers. Mainly, because Dragomen tend to come from the Lower Middle Class or Lower Class. They appear in public, solitary and very competitive amongst their guild. Few know that Dragomen have strict legal home territories. They talk with one another frequently, sharing news of not only locations, but politics and such events, also their customers.

All Dragoman have hidden second skills or talents.  Bloodgrue’s hidden advantage is his connection with all the central and northern thieves Guilds, as well as the northern Thieves Quartermaster, Arton.

Thus Bloodgrue has a strong network of help aiding in the north and central Mount Oryn districts. If it came to it, he also has martial skills equal to most military privates. Even a city watch corporal or two has felt the sting of Bloodgrue’s blades in friendly practice competition. The City Watch local to Bloodgrue help with training in that aspect, in exchange for  Bloodgrue’s help with locating folks.

The friendly aid smiles. “Willow Ford is good today. I’ll leave the goods at the warehouse with the appraiser, for you Bloodgrue.”

Bloodgrue now smiles, “Sounds great to me. Oh you don’t need to go easy on them. They are from west of the Littleton Hills close to Dendar. They came in by barge through North Docks. So Arton’s Warehouse probably would love to hear about them. So might the royal dock master. Maybe even a reward from City Watch for their smuggling of birds through North Docks. Homing Finches from Dendar were smuggled through. Who knows what they will be carrying to their home.”

The Fellow cheerfully clasps Bloodgrue’s arm. “If I get that reward, you just paid your kickback, I won’t be wanting more Dragoman.”

Bloodgrue smiles, that just garnered much stronger loyalty from the Fellow. Good, two birds, one stone. Bloodgrue walks to the south east side of Willow Ford, he waits there patiently.

At midday the three marks walk in from the right direction, traveling smugly.

Bloodgrue walks to Farres. “Captain Farres. Will you pay the fee you owe?” said loud enough for all four rogues Bloodgrue spots near by to hear.

They will let the Fellow know who the marks are now. No matter how Farres’s answer.

In course eastern Jal, the man called Farres, curses and answers, “Get away from me you low class filth. Go bother someone else.”

Bloodgrue’s simple answer is, “As you wish Captain Farres.”

The Dragoman turns away and smiles while winking at the young Toyfem water bearer walking by.

Bloodgrue doesn’t even try to see what happens to the marks. He walks as far as quickly as he possibly can for one hour. Then finding a good tavern Bloodgrue enters.

“Blue Duck” tavern is somewhat clean and fairly maintained. Loudly Bloodgrue orders a flaggon of Dark Royal ale.

The keeper stammers as patrons watch, “Sir we have no Dark Royal ale. We have a house ale. Byndat’s Dark. Will that suffice?”

Bloodgrue shouts “Seven Hells, .. yes, I am damn thirsty. Imagine that … I, an honorable and poor Dragoman got fleeced by three Dendar men today. Took them to their destination, then they fired me without pay. I am damn thirsty and angry. I want to drink before I continue home. Damn Dendarans. Thieves everyone of them. … Dishonest folk. … Lied to me saying they would pay me when I got them to their destination. … Get them there … they refuse to pay. Any Dendarans here?”

Bloodgrue looks around angrily, no one answers.

He has four kilometres between the Blue Duck and Willow Ford. Folks will figure an angry man will have left Willow Ford a couple hours ago, but Bloodgrue keeps fit and is quick.

Bloodgrue travels faster in a rapid walk than most folks.

They might assume he fumed and walked slow trying to figure a way to get a customer to take back to his home area. ‘Yah, right!’

That was nine hours ago. Bloodgrue had one ale then headed out again, away from the Blue Duck.

Standing looking up to get the signal, Bloodgrue gave the three signs.

The warehouse door opens, Bloodgrue walks in to stand at the appointed spot inside Arton’s.

Relan approaches smiling cheerfully after the door closes behind Bloodgrue.

“Taxes have been good Dragoman. We earn five Flairs from a patron you gave a mark. We took an additional two from your share that he left for you. Your remaining share is four Royal Flairs of Dendar mint. Nice man that Fellow was, that stopped here. He bought three decently forged iron daggers and a Silver mug with his proceeds, after taxes, from his income. He left a message. Five pouches gained. Two with Flairs, one of Mount Oryn,  one of Dendar coins. The Watch was very interested in the three marks. Bounty is ready to be collected, fifty Flairs. Will drop off ten percent later as agreed. Keep the kick backs. Good doing business.”

Relan continues, “Were you a Roguish Dragoman, Bloodgrue? I heard three Dendar Nobles were mowed at Willow Ford. You didn’t do that did you Dragoman? It was our friend right? The Fellow isn’t covering for you?”

Bloodgrue smiles, “I don’t know what you are talking about Master Appraiser Relan. Could I buy a keg of Dark Royal ale? I hear they sell for one Flair. You said I have four Flairs here. Can I deposit two? I will take the fourth in the form of ten Dyns please.”

Relan chuckles, “You are getting a rep with all the Guilds, Dragoman. Including the City Watch. I don’t know anyone as safe as you  are in these parts. Don’t go west of Mount Oryn though. Rumor has it there is a bounty out on you West of Littleton Hills.”

Bloodgrue smiles teasing Relan, “Master Appraiser are you suggesting I go collect the bounty?”

The two men clasp arms and Relan signals the guards to stand down.

Both men walk to the stores of kegs near the dimly lit far south end of the warehouse. When they return, Bloodgrue’s pouch is slightly heavier by one pound and he carries a burnished maple keg with a Royal seal burnt on its bright maple wood end plate. Three gallons of Dark Royal ale should last Bloodgrue a few days.

Relan makes markings in his journal at his almost vacant appraising table. Bloodgrue walks confidently, though slowly with the burden, to the exit. The door swings inward and Bloodgrue saunters out whistling. He just made five years wages and got the approval of several Guilds in support. Added to that, he made a new friend in the eastern reaches of North Docks District. All the while, three bad men are rotting in the city’s goals making Mount Oryn slightly safer for common folks.

The extreme east winds have the barges grounded so there was no escape for the three smugglers today anyways.

 ‘Yah, right!’

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Window tree coke

Summer 14 Bear

Near midnight Bloodgrue lays in bed looking out his only escape. A small window looking out on the tree in the next courtyard.

Studies today are the order. Yesterdays studies were, learning Toydon script and history lessons. Both Bloodgrue enjoys immensely. Life can’t be all boring. In fact Bloodgrue has few boring moments.

Yesterdays history lesson consisted of, some of King Darnan VI’s reign. The Jalmal Monarch had four children.

None became monarchs but the second daughter achieved some note in history. Gessala died at 47 years age, but she was a well known metal craftsman. Developing the process for removing oxides from metals. She developed a highly effective coke from the coals of Littleton. These coals were thought low quality and did not burn well. But Gessala used them by burning them in a closed chamber reducing them to  a state that when used with a metal, the resulting metal was of extremely high quality. The steels she produced are still legendary among smiths. Few are able to reproduce her quality. The methods are still known to masters and used even today. King Darnan VI did few things note worthy, producing a daughter with a strong mind was one of those rare strong moments.

That and the South District annexing.

Looking over at his night table Bloodgrue smiles. There, on top is a small six ounce glass, glass a value of at least three Dyns. Earned for his efforts in script study and passing Master’s test, scribing a text on King Darnan VI. The pass was for studying up on Gessala, not focusing only on Darnan.

Master wants Bloodgrue to follow lines outside those assigned, to complete his tasks. Not in rebellion but to be able to think without being penned in. Master wants Bloodgrue to be able to solve issues using independent thought.

Bloodgrue knows Master Oarec is giving Bloodgrue a foot up, for Bloodgrue’s dream to be a Watcher. Watchers don’t follow anyone’s rules. They observe everyone and everything. Recording and selling that information to anyone who can pay their price. The odd thing is Watchers insist on being unknown to the public. Watchers are highly respected by Royalty and nobles of all ranks. They are highly sought out by all the Universities and Colleges. The guilds live and die by the knowledge supplied by Watchers. Merchants that know of Watchers, glean every ounce of information they can afford from the Watchers.

Master Oarec introduced Bloodgrue to the Seal Watcher, Innkeeper Sennet two seasons ago. Winter 31 Pine was odd but we won’t go there now in Bloodgrue’s thoughts.

The east winds are blowing the ancient Maple fairly well. Bloodgrue estimates the winds to be blowing around twenty five to thirty kilometres an hour. Going to be a hot day today, forecasts Bloodgrue. Watching the glow of the night gods and souls, Bloodgrue smiles.

The Shortsword skills have improved the last few six days. The master has been working with Bloodgrue on those skills. Odd that even though Bloodgrue is a Dragoman journeyman , Master Oarec hasn’t left him to his own devices. In fact new training has started and it all has intensified, between Bloodgrue’s jobs with his customers.

The small collection of rewards from Master, would impress any commoner and the low class would never own any of them. Bloodgrue estimates the value of rewards for his lessons to be nearly four Royal Flairs now.

Damn still can’t sleep, thinking about the coke process has Bloodgrue curious. Standing up Bloodgrue walks over to his window and watches the maple tree. The fluttering shadows that the leaves cast on each other intrigues Bloodgrue, challenging his ability to observe their patterns.

Watching for several minutes Bloodgrue smiles. It is working, walking back to bed he crawls back under the single stiff wool blanket on the bed. Falling asleep Bloodgrue understand the coke lesson now. The patterns of the leaves relates to the branches and the position of the gods. Patterns.

Bloodgrue falls into slumber to continue onward for another time.

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