Archive for February, 2015

Red twig house

Spring 81 Bear

The street is cold as the mule and small cart are guided along through the crowd. Bloodgrue shivers in the very strong east breath of Stonewire this Spring day. Nearing the end of the light hours, Bloodgrue talks more with Derec about the house he has in the cart.

The boy seems so … dissatisfied with the family living in the dwelling … so Bloodgrue delves into the story.

“Derec why the long face? Your house got moved by your father; intact.”

Derec sighs. “We moved the house but the family didn’t all survive. Help me with them.”

Bloodgrue looks at the structure, then at Derec.

Derec rides in the cart, as the eight year old boy only has one leg below his waist. Otherwise healthy the lad is relegated to little but a life of poverty, unless his family educates or supports him. So far they are doing both.

The structure in the small cart was built by Derec from a collection of twigs painted Imvor red. There is no roof on it so observers can look inside. There are three evenly sized rooms. One has a small stone fire setting with a table. One has a nest made of leaf litter. The other room is barren.

Derec pauses, then, looking at Bloodgrue he offers a story.

“You see Dragoman this is the home to a family of Goblins. I know this because after I built it, I then invited them to live in it. There were four children and the mother. Father Goblins don’t live with the family. Anyway it was all good, the Father came. Then the Mother and Father did what males and females do. The Father left, and Mother laid seven eggs in their nest. But my real family moved and I had to move the house with us or it would be destroyed in all likelihood. Father agreed. So when we loaded the House in the cart the four children Goblin got excited and ate the seven eggs. Father Goblin came home and was angry with the children and ate the children. Mother discovered this and ate Father so now I have a red twig house with just an angry lonely mother goblin living in it.”

Bloodgrue chuckles briefly thinking, I know a few homes like that.

“Well let’s find a new Father Goblin to move into the house with the Mother Goblin.”

Derec frowns. “Won’t work, Goblins only mate twice in a life time. She’s ate two mates now.”

Bloodgrue blinks a moment then offers, “Find a whole new family?”

“I think I am just going to put a candle in the window and anyone who wants to drop by and visit can. She won’t be lonely then. Right?”

Bloodgrue chuckles thinking about the street he gets asked about on occasion by folks looking for evening company. “Might work but I don’t think so. Getting a whole new family, or a house fire are you best solutions I think Derec.”

Derec cheers up. And as anyone who knows children does, Bloodgrue knows why Derec cheered up “Okay we will set up in the backyard and I will find a torch. You can light it once I find a bucket of water encase it tries to spread.”

Derec laughs and ads. “Thank you, yes. Who ever heard of happy Goblins in the city anyway?”

At 4726 Elmer Road, Bloodgrue sets the red twig house up in the centre of the courtyard and fetches two buckets of water. Then he sets Derec up in a chair close to the structure and lights a torch. Handing the torch to Derec; Bloodgrue steps back and waits while watching the boy light the structure on fire.

Derec snickers then shouts, “Be gone evil Goblin.” And sets the torch to his red twig housed. Three minutes or so consumes the entire structure and Derec smiling says. “Thank you Dragoman.”

Bloodgrue clasps arms with Derec and his father and after saying farewell departs heading home three dusters richer and one child happier.

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Round green demon

Spring 33 Unicorn

The damp light rains were enough to dampen most spirits, but Bloodgrue sees the rain as a cleaning of the world’s spirits.

On days like today the usual oranges, yellows and reds are replaced with blues and greens mixed in with shades of darker reds and oranges.

Walking along, returning from another boring journey with a customer who had asked to be escorted five kilometres south along Fifth Street South Road, Bloodgrue wasn’t particularly paying attention to anything special.

A movement ahead caught the attention of our intrepid apprentice Dragoman.

Not one to brush anything off, especially in the early afternoon hours during a rainy day.

Bloodgrue stops.

Bloodgrue is puzzled as there is an object slowly rolling towards him. Green; bright green like an unripe tomato still on the vine. The object is moving at the speed of a bored meandering child. It is obviously in no hurry and with no destination.

“Hello there. Is anyone there?”

“Yes there is someone here. I am here, can you not see?” Out forth comes a coarse Toydon voice.

Bloodgrue is even more puzzled as the object stops but he cannot see anyone pushing it. “NO! No I don’t see anyone pushing the object.”

There is merry chuckling, from the object itself. “Of course you don’t see anyone pushing the object. Because there is no one is pushing the object. The object is me and I roll along just fine on my own, human. I have no need of feet or legs to walk. That is such a clumsy way of getting around. Well, so is rolling but while on this plane it is the mode I use. What do the others call you?”

Stunned but never without words Bloodgrue answers swiftly, “Well first, the others call me Bloodgrue. I am an apprentice Dragoman, out working. My question is what are you and what do your others call you?”

Laughing uproariously shaking violently for a few minutes the object seems lost in some humour of the situation.

After some time the jelly rolling stops and the vibrations that are laughter silence. Answering Bloodgrue the object tells him. “Me? I am a demon from the sixth plane of the Seven Hells. Nice place and all. But boring unless you like rolling about and listening to snoring dead people who died while sleeping. No real humour in the situation really if you ask us. But we live among the souls of the dead tending to their energies. Watching them arrive and placing them in their rows upon rows of motionless rows. It’s not very fun. Once in a while one of us escapes and travels to another plane. I wound up here. It’s nice to meet you, Bloodpoo. But really no one calls me anything, so I don’t know what they call me. So call me Round Green.”

Now it’s Bloodgrue’s turn to roar, but for a much shorter duration. “Okay Round Green. But my names not Bloodpoo though I am sure some think so. It’s Bloodgrue. Odd name I know, but my brother named me that at my birth and my mom made it official for the birth certificate. At least that’s what my father told me before he sold me to the first Dragoman when I was twelve. So you really have no name and you just roll about among sleeping souls? Do souls really sleep forever?”

Round Green chuckles energetically. “Okay my apology. But yes, if you die while you are asleep your soul sleeps forever. Sad, really; we are getting so many. But there are hardly any taking up room compared to how much room we have. Once, we did some art work arranging the souls in patterns. But we got bored and lost track of our pattern we were working on. There were some two hundred and fifty thousand souls in to the piece. Which is not even one percent of one percent of … well you get the idea. What do you do for fun Bloodp … Bloodgrue?”

Snickering at Round Greens attempt at correction Bloodgrue tries to be nice too. “I don’t know? Help people out randomly here and there. Talk with strange creatures from other planes or countries. Actually you’re my first. I kind of like it. Tell me what your plane is like? Is it the same red, orange and yellows as this one?”

Serious for a bit, Round Green answers Bloodgrue. “By all means no. The sixth ward is all tints of white and blue. You might be blinded going there as a living mortal. I find this plane dark and dreary.”

Bloodgrue answers quickly. “It is dark and dreary today. Usually it is much more colourful and brighter. Primary strands are Red, then mixtures of Orange and yellows most days. But usually around this temperature and the gods both usually breathe in this direction, eastward. But they vary greatly in how hard they breathe from day to day. Some days they breathe so hard the Barge Captains won’t attempt the waters. Some days their breath doesn’t ruffle the reeds, and everything in between. But it can freeze water and on the other extreme it will be so hot it will cause steam to rise off water. Life is different nearly every day here. But I enjoy watching both Stonewire and Imvor cross through the sphere over head every day that the clouds don’t obscure them.”

Round Green is about to speak again when there is a thunderous boom and a flash of light. When Bloodgrue’s vision clears and he can see again, Round Green is gone. “Oh well probably wasn’t real anyways.”

But as Bloodgrue starts to walk he notices a puddle of unripe tomato green liquid where Round Green had been. Touching it Bloodgrue finds it fluid and warm. “Maybe it was?”

Finishing his walk home Bloodgrue ponders the event. Did he just meet his first Demon from the Seven Hells? If so it wasn’t as evil as he had been made to believe they were. In fact he seemed kind of a mixture of lonely and jolly. Is evil always mean and bad? Or are the demons simply workers of the Seven Hells and not all are Evil? It is too much to think about. Bloodgrue determines he will have to meet another demon to find out more.

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Key purple dish

Winter 27 Unicorn

Lilla touches Bloodgrue’s wrist again, “Come on I will pay a bonus of a Dyns if you do this.”

Bloodgrue is getting nervous with the attention Lilla has been playing him with. Folks may begin to think he is a bed mate for hire. Bloodgrue doesn’t want that reputation, not yet.

“Okay, but only today. If we don’t find it, that is all, no more okay?”

Smiling Lilla giggles like a girl can.

Bloodgrue ponders this a moment, here we have this beautiful Jalfem with a voice that many women would kill for. She chose to be a brick maker. Granted she is one of the best ceramic workers Bloodgrue knows and he knows the work of several. Lilla is three years his senior and she has a good trade. But that career is so limiting to his idea of his future. Many a Jalmal would fight for the chance to be her date, yet he fights to avoid it.

Shaking his head he wonders if there is something wrong with him, then he recalls the girl he saw the other day and smiles. No, there is nothing wrong with Bloodgrue. Just that a different girl beat Lilla to Bloodgrue’s heart and mind. Bloodgrue really needs to find out who she is though and soon. The beautiful Lilla won’t try for ever. She will only let Bloodgrue avoid dates for so long.

“Let’s try in Teptun’s Square and Market. You said flat right?”

“Yes, I said I would like to try flat.”

Bloodgrue starts walking down the street deftly avoiding Lilla’s reaching for his hand. He really is struggling, she is so beautiful. She does want him. He wants his career. Bloodgrue wants the other girl. This isn’t working right.

They walk the two hours silently by Bloodgrue’s design. Arriving at Teptun’s Square and Market, Bloodgrue leads the way through the crowd of people and stalls, south to the western stalls, looking for number twenty.

Spotting the stall, Bloodgrue addresses the friendly shop keeper. “Hello Anger I have a customer looking for a flat purple plate. Do you have any?”

Anger frowns as the middle aged woman thinks, then she shakes her head, “Sorry Bloodgrue, I haven’t any purple ware of any kind. Did you talk with Lancer yet?”

Bloodgrue frown, “No Ma’am, thought I would try with you first.”

The Jalfem smiles, “Thank you my friend, sorry to disappoint you though. Try Lancer, I think he had some purple stock last time we were talking.”

Nodding, Bloodgrue walks away with Lilla trailing him.

They cross the square going to the north-west area looking for stall eighty-two. Finding the weather beaten old stall and a fifty something Jalmal busy with a customer, Bloodgrue hangs back a bit eyeing open stock. Bloodgrue doesn’t see any purple plates, but knows Lancer keeps a lot of odd stock in crates in back.

The old woman buys her serving bowl, paying, she leaves.

Bloodgrue steps forward offering to clasp arms. “Good afternoon Lancer. How is your family?”

Lancer accepts the greeting and clasps arm. “Good Bloodgrue, the youngest said she heard you were eating flies again. Any truth to that, again?”

Stepping back Bloodgrue laughs, “Afraid so, had to feed the frog I swallowed last six day, to chase the cat I ate last season. But I cleared that all up, now we’re good. The kids can keep the flies now.”

Lancer chuckles, “You’re good to my kids apprentice. What can I do for you?”

“I had request for a flat purple plate, Lancer. You got any?”

“I don’t have a flat, but I do have a twelve inch shallow lipped. It for you young lady?” he gestures toward Lilla.

Lilla blushes. “Yes.”

“Tell you what, as you are with this scoundrel and story teller, I will sell it to you half price. Three dusters and it’s yours. Let me go get it for you to look at. One moment and I’ll be right back.”

Lilla’s eyes light up and she nods.

….

Lancer returns with an off tint bright purple, shallow lipped, twelve inch diner plate. He hands it to Lilla. She brightens three tints in her cheeks and her eyes sparkle as she sees the plate. Lilla almost drops the plate while she is accepting it, as she is also reaching for her coin purse. Bloodgrue saves the day by grabbing the plate before it tumbles anywhere.

Bloodgrue sets the plate on the counter and winks at Lancer, as Lilla counts out three duster for Lancer and then one Dyns and one duster for Bloodgrue.

Lilla tucks away her coin pouch and leaps into a hug with Bloodgrue un-expectantly.

Smiling she whispers, “You are mine you know that.”

Bloodgrue blushes nervously.

Challenge contributions:

February 9 2015

Self inflicted by Rusty.

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Villein camouflage sound-bar

Summer 72 Unicorn

Pell-mell breath of the gods and cloud cover kept the extreme heat of the day from burning too badly.

4718 Derec Avenue is not very remarkable as far as Villein estates go, but Bloodgrue didn’t expect much when he received the invitation yesterday.

Looking at the eighty one year old Toymal Villein, Bloodgrue is not in the least curious why he has been hired to come here for three dusters. Bloodgrue simply wants to get the job done and hopes it doesn’t take to long as the walk home is four and a half hours from here. It is now near noon.

Villein Laren is not very inspiring so it takes a bit of effort for Bloodgrue to be patient as he waits for the old man to settle into the seat opposite Bloodgrue at the table.

“Bloodgrue can I get you anything to drink.” Asks the old man in relatively clear Toydon.

Realizing this conversation will be in Toydon, Bloodgrue answers likewise, “No, thank you. Master Laren.”

“Perhaps a bite to eat after your walk here from your master’s shop?”

Bloodgrue not used to such hospitality responds, “No thank you Master Laren.”

“Auh, okay, so you walk here and are not hungry or thirsty after four or five hours. And you have to go back four or five hours walk. Are you sure you don’t want something to eat or drink? I am certain you being an apprentice, you don’t get much in the way of food or drink anyway.”

Now Bloodgrue bites as Master Laren is correct, “I am sorry, if this is a matter of social politeness, I do accept food and drink Master Laren.”

Smiling the old man calls forth, “Hilde food and drink for us, Mid-day please.”

To Bloodgrue this sounds like Master Laren just told his cook to set out mid-day meal, and sure enough a middle aged Toydon woman, who looks a whole lot like Laren, starts to set out food and drink for a meal. Bloodgrue knows it was all ready before he arrived. As it is still hot, as the stream comes off the vegetables and meats, looks like mutton and carrots. She also sets out a pitcher of dark ale, then pottery settings for two including silver steins.

Master Laren notes Bloodgrue’s curiosity at seeing the woman, “This is my eldest daughter Hilde. She is one of three. My wife passed on twelve years ago of pox. I also have seven sons, twenty three grand sons and eleven grand daughters.”

The two men eat their meal in Toydon custom, silently.

Finished with their meal, Hilde clears the table and sets a new pitcher of ale with fresh silver steins on the table, for the two.

“You are curious, yes. Why I brought you way out here to Derec Avenue. A place you do not trek, it is out side of your Master’s territory?”

Bloodgrue smiles ‘finally’ “Yes I am Master Laren.”

“Well it is a delicate matter. I am seeking information on mercenaries.”

Bloodgrue frowns, ‘a sound-bar, no way, not my area of expertise but okay lets enter into this.’ “Okay what can I do to help you Master Laren? Where will these Mercenaries be employed and how many do you need?”

Frowning as if puzzled, Master Laren answers Bloodgrue hesitantly. “I am hoping you can tell me what I need and how many. The where is easy enough, it is Bearington Estate, I need you to have it checked out. They have something.”

Bloodgrue wants to laugh and shout at the same time. This is Watcher work. It is Rogue guild work. It is scout work and several others. Maybe mercenaries Bloodgrue needs to know more to be able to answer Laren. “Master Laren, Do you seek to know about this something? Acquire it or destroy it? What do you want with this something? And what is this something?”

Master Laren seems to relax now a little. “Information, I am sorry apprentice, I am nervous, I have never done this before, I need information. I don’t know who has it or where they keep it. It is regarding Bearington Estate. What do I need to do?”

Bloodgrue answers slowly, so wanting the Tattoos so that he could charge for this and have the right to offer the information as a service of an officer of the Watchers. “You would want one of a couple things, first you might pay a Watcher for the information if they have it. Second you could hire a scout. Third you might hire mercenaries or a mercenary. I would unofficially recommend a Guilded Scout, or a Watcher. A Watcher might cost you, about a Flair if you can find one who has the information you seek. How much coin do you have?”

Laren places a leather coin pouch on the table, he takes from inside his tunic. “Ten Dyns, Bloodgrue.”

Nodding in a sagely manner Bloodgrue continues, “A Guilded Scout might help you if you know one.”

Laren frowns, “I don’t know any of these Watcher folks, never even heard of one. Guilded Scouts have bad reputations, I can’t be seen dealing with such. Can you help me apprentice?”

Bloodgrue refreshes his stein for the second time, realizing now why he was dined. He was being primed for a camouflage sound-bar. But he has been primed with a lot less for a lot worse. Laren has been polite and been following a rough protocol, even offering some information. He even already secretively paid Bloodgrue three dusters. So this is all serious to Laren.

“Okay Master Laren, you know my reputation will be on the stand here if I help you with this. If I take this coin pouch I will take one coin for myself, the rest will be used to gain your information. I will hire who I think can get the job done, without telling you who I hire. I will receive the information and I bring it to you myself. You will be responsible for any additional expenses that may be made in doing this job. Likewise any remaining coin will be return to you.”

“I accept apprentice Bloodgrue.”

“Then I need to know what information it is you want before I decide.”

Laren looks Bloodgrue directly in the eyes steadily, “Anything on the family, household and clan connected to Bearington Estate and everything regarding Bearington Estate. They are trying to acquire my holding contract for my Villein Contract with Lord Barton.”

Bloodgrue thinks quickly, does some math in his head then turns back to Laren, “When I return you may need three more Dyns. I will try to keep to this pouch, but it may not be enough.”

Bloodgrue picks up the coin pouch casually and places it inside his belt pouch.

After a few more polite minutes of conversation Bloodgrue walks home, arriving just before gods set.

…..

Bloodgrue spends four days working with a North Dock’s Guilded Scout named Rosie, getting into the Bearington Estate and its records. They gather all the information they can. Bloodgrue pays Rosie and all expenses, then returns to master Laren with a small courier bundle.

……

Together the men dine again in similar mid-day manner as the first meeting familiar now with their form of protocol. Hilde clears the table and sets out the ale again.

Laren pours both men an ale as Bloodgrue sets the courier bundle in front of Laren, as well as the coin pouch.

“You have two dusters coming back. I didn’t spend everything. I wrote out all the notes in Toydon second line script, as I didn’t ask your skill level in Toydon script, so it is fairly basic. Everything I can get in this time frame is there. Pretty extensive for the time we had.”

Laren sits and takes a drink of ale. He opens the pouch and leafs through the papyrus sheets. Satisfied he tosses the coin pouch back to Bloodgrue. “Thank you. I read and write line four script. May I call on you again in the future if I need? May my family?”

Bloodgrue pauses longer then he should, but even he is not certain, but after a  while he answers, “Yes you may. But only you or Hilde.”

“Okay, again thank you apprentice.”

Challenge contributions:

February 1 2015

camouflageKeenan – Noah

sound-barKeenan – favourites are Samsung

villeinKeenan – Favorite book: “Maze runner”

72Keenan –  Favourite number is 33, of his favourite hockey player

summerKeenan – wish it was summer

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