Archive for March, 2015

Orange monotone closenes

Summer 71 Pine

Walking alone with the plodding old man Bloodgrue insists this is the Inn the man is looking for.

The gods are barely breathing and the sphere is clear, so there is nothing to distract Bloodgrue’s attention by the gods. Looking at the aged Jalmal, Bloodgrue asks again. “So the Inn you want is all one colour, the orange of Imvor. No other colours and a square with black outline mark the sign? Nothing else to signify it right? I am telling you there are two Inn’s in this area that you want to go to. The Willow Rest, which is brown and orange with a Red Square on their sign, is not the one you seek but it is closer. You want the Nobleman’s Rest farther away. We will arrive in about four hours at this pace.”

“Are you sure boy? You’re not a real Dragoman. Why couldn’t your master bring me? He is a Dragoman, he would be sure.” Answers the old man dryly.

Bloodgrue remains patient, certain he is right. “Okay, we will be near the Willow Rest in twenty minutes. I will show you the Inn and you will see it is brown and orange. Then we will keep going, if you want to be at the Nobleman’s by night fall. I am sure Master Faren. I may not be registered as a Dragoman, but I have been at this for six years. I know the north of Mount Oryn pretty good. Especial these areas.”

Faren grumbles but walks along without further words.

Twenty five minutes, or there about, later they come to a brown and orange Inn with a sign that has a red square. Bloodgrue points out the sign and inn on the north side of Willow Road. “So Master Faren that is the Willow Rest. Does it look right to you?”

Sighing Faren keeps walking and answers sullenly. “No sonny it doesn’t, we keep walking but you better be right, or I will file a complaint with your guild and one with the city watch.”

Bloodgrue chuckle certain he is headed to the right Inn, with Faren’s description

…..

Almost five hours later, as the two day-gods are setting Bloodgrue points out ahead along the street. “Okay, that all orange building with the sign that has a simple outline of a black square, is the Nobleman’s Rest. Is it right?”

Faren chuckles mischievously. “Yes and you pass your test. But, can you afford a room Bloodgrue? Or are you sleeping on the street before going back to your sloth of a master?”

Bloodgrue stops. “What do you mean Master Faren?”

Faren chuckles softly. “You are not that slow apprentice Bloodgrue. This was a journeyman dragoman test by the guild. To finish this part, we are continuing to watch to see what you do now and how you get home. You found the right location I asked for. I can afford a room. I am going to pay you, your master’s fee. But what you do now will be observed and marked. Onar is known to be delaying your advancement, so you are on the books as a delayed apprentice. You have been sponsored by three guildsmen. So you no longer need Onar to advance you. You will be tested without him, when we feel it is right to do so, without his knowledge Bloodgrue. Don’t you love the monotone orange Inn?”

Bloodgrue is almost choking, on mixed emotions and rapid fire thoughts on to his next thoughts. He carries his usual ten dusters of his own and his dagger in his clothing, but other than his tunic, leggings, belt pouch and shoes he has nothing. The fee for the trip is one Dyns. But he can’t use that if he hears right. He owes that in full to Onar despite the ruse.

Bloodgrue smiles eagerly. “Thank you, I accept. I think I will stay in the inn. But I will go hungry I think. Unless you have something else I can do to earn a coin or two?”

“No, Bloodgrue, you get the one Dyns from me that is all.” Firmly answers Faren. “I will stay the night here as well to watch.”

Both men enter the inn at the same time and Bloodgrue spots a Jalmal with apron and washed out hands, he approaches him and speaks. “Excuse me, are you the innkeeper?”

The Jalmal responds slowly. “Yes, names Forec, this is the Nobleman’s Rest.”

Bloodgrue bows and offers to clasp arms, then continues while pointing to Faren. “My good customer pays well. He is looking for food and lodgings for the night. As dragoman apprentice who brought him to you, I am afraid I do not have the gods-light enough to return home tonight, so I to seek a room, unfortunately I left home with my pouch light. Do you have a dorm or a cheaper room I could rent for the night? Along with a decent room for Master Faren?”

Forec smiles and clasps arms with Bloodgrue, waving Faren over, Forec speaks to both. “Master Faren, Bloodgrue says good things about you and that you need a room. Room three is my only vacant room tonight, for a Dyns it is yours. Mind you the shutters rattle slightly. Do you desire the room? If you take the room I will throw in a cold meal, no charge.”

Faren steps forward and clasps arm. “Done, my good innkeeper. I see it was a good choice hiring apprentice dragoman Bloodgrue. I will take the meal, on my own, and then retire for the night.”

Forec smiles, after clasping arm with Faren he turns to Bloodgrue. “Okay then the dorm is two dusters and a cold meal is five dusters. I will toss yah an ale for bringing me a customer.”

Bloodgrue nods and asks. “A dark ale sir?”

“You ask well. Two more dusters extra for the dark.”

Bloodgrue smiles cheerfully and answers. “I do know math and that is nine dusters, that will leave me a single duster. So I will just toss you my purse of ten and say thank you. I leave before gods-rise in the morning. Nice to meet you master Forec.”

Bloodgrue empties his coin purse into Innkeeper Forec’s hand and then puts the silver Dyns back in all alone to carry back to Master Onar.

Bloodgrue enjoys his dark ale and cold meal, amazed at how yet again life worked out in his favour, using a little patience and fate.

Sleeping soundly for an hour or so then hearing the shutter rattle ceaselessly in room three for two hours. Bloodgrue decides to rise and walk home before gods-rise.

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Violet Tempest wagon

Spring 51 Bear

Stonewire and Imvor shine clearly as Bloodgrue watches the violet coloured wagon trundling closer. Two men sit in the driver’s seat. Both men look to be over seventy. One is a century old Toymal and the other is a Jalmal. Both men are dressed with Stonewire yellow coloured banded mail armour.

‘Damn, this doesn’t bode well.’  Thinks Bloodgrue uneasily.

“Hail walker. Where would you be headed?”Asks the younger Jalmal in Jalnoric; although his voice is a little rough with age. His silver Holy Symbol is clearer than even this day. It is displayed wide openly on the chest of his armour.

Bloodgrue knows this routine, they are Tempest priests. These are Temple recruiters looking for new cleric recruits.

“Name is Dragoman Bloodgrue. I am out on business. How may I be of service priest?” Returns Bloodgrue’s call.

“I am Priest Dennan and my Elder is Priest Myler. May we have some of your time Dragoman?” Insistent right off the start the Jalmal barely gives a break before continuing as he stops his violet wagon ten feet from Bloodgrue and Myler dismounts slowly but gracefully opposite Bloodgrue. “We simple seek to speak with you a while. You seem healthy and easy minded. Do you worship the gods Bloodgrue? Which gods do you worship?”

This time he waits before continuing as he to climbs down, then retrieves his quarterstaff as a walking stick presumably.

Bloodgrue’s automatic response is. “I worship all the gods every time I swear or curse. You worship Stonewire I see.”

Dennan frowns. “Cursing in the name of the gods is not good Bloodgrue. Bad things happen. It is self perpetuating to do so. Yes we are priests of Stonewire. You know your gods I see. Come let’s walk a bit Bloodgrue.”

Bloodgrue remembers this part from the last Tempest wagon. They will work him now that they have an idea of his ideology. It is these two old men against him, Bloodgrue. It is a test of his wits and resolve, or his stupidity.

Bloodgrue falls in step with Dennan and Myler, one to either side of him. Their shiny yellow leather covered banded mail creaking as they walked. The full weight of the arms and armour is apparently not burdening either of these men, despite their advanced years.

“Bloodgrue you ever wonder about what gave us the life we have that we live? What drives us forward?” Yes? Good, we have the answer. Right Myler?”

“Well yes sort. We didn’t come up with the answer Bloodgrue. What Priest Dennan means is Stonewire has the answer. Stonewire grants us life. Right Dennan?”

“Yes, correct, Myler. Stonewire connects the soul to the spirit; then puts them in the body of the woman where it builds the new body that becomes the baby that through birth then eventually becomes an adult if it lives long enough. Right Bloodgrue?”

“So what is the responsibility of the adult Bloodgrue? Dennan can tell you as well as any priest, as well as I can. Your responsibility is to Stonewire. It is to look after the world’s living. Bloodgrue you owe Stonewire, and to pay Stonewire. The best way, is to serve as a priest.”

The two men stop and face Bloodgrue. Dennan with his quarterstaff firmly planted in front of him between himself and Bloodgrue. Myler’s right hand rests firmly intimidating on the hilt of his war hammer. Both men have grim expressions on their faces as they view Bloodgrue’s face.

Bloodgrue pause’s, internally chuckling as he recalls Round Green Demon and Arton. The Demon was more mysterious, and terrifying because of that. Arton is more threatening because Bloodgrue knows what his true threat is. These two have weapons and armour. But they are old, Bloodgrue can out run them, and he is in Velan, District Four. Not even his home district, so he may never see these two again. No real threat to him. “I once talked with a demon from the sixth ward of the Seven Hells and dissipated him. Are you sure you want to try to intimidate me with those poses gentlemen? You might try something else? Coins talk in my business.”

Seeing aggression fail the men take Bloodgrue by the shoulder and start walking him back to their violet Tempest wagon. “We have trinkets Bloodgrue, but I am sure trinkets mean little to you. Solid coins mean more. Come with us today and you will have room and board eternal, and a daily income. We can give you five Dyns today, if you come with us.” Offers Myler.

Bloodgrue lets the men walk the three back to their wagon knowing his answer already.

At the wagon he steps back and jingles his pouch casually. “Nope! I earned that much from this client. And I get that three or four in thirty days. So you failed again. I have a room paid for two seasons ahead. My food is paid for, for a year ahead. So again you failed to entice me. You have one attempt left to bribe me to go with you, then you can stop wasting my time, I will continue on my way home.”

Bloodgrue walks four paces away from the two men and their wagon.

Tears begin to form in Myler’s eyes. “You have to come with us. If we don’t bring anyone back this run. The headmaster is going to retire me. That means I go out on the street with whatever I have accumulated in my time. I gave everything I gained back to the church in my dedication to Stonewire. I have nothing but a set of clothing and my skills. Who would take in a retired priest these days? I need time to build up funding to leave on. So come back with us for a season at least, so I gain time. I don’t have much time left on this world anyways. I may pass away this year. Do this for an old man.”

Bloodgrue hearing and seeing so many beggars give such sobs stories, and doing so much better justice to the performance, sighs and turns silently. He continues his walk home, back to North Docks.

Bloodgrue was just barely entertained by the two priests for the last twenty minutes. He can still arrive at the Inn he wants to spend the night at before the gods set tonight.

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Upheld key lavender

Winter 41 Unicorn 

The heat of the day is bearable even though the gods do not breathe upon the world. Bloodgrue walks along with the three women; two Jalfem and a Toyfem. These inspectors from Lord Phenel’s estate are checking out the fields he just acquired.

Winter 38 was spent at the 4616 Montrose Road field checking out a Lavender field there, which is about seven acres in fair condition.

Then on Winter 39 they had Bloodgrue escort them to a 4816 Derec Avenue field of about twelve acres that was excellent Lavender.

But the key to the whole set of acquisitions for Lord Phenel, is the 1016 Willow Road field, down by the Willow marsh. Seventeen acres of prime field, today the winter day is excellent for walking, clear and hot. The women are pleasant to travel with. After four days with them Bloodgrue has decided to keep the pace fast enough they don’t talk.

With the field in sight, it doesn’t look good. The surrounding hedge is off colour, with the death growth not the right. Bloodgrue cringes inside himself, wondering what is behind the hedge in the field. This is the bigger of the three fields and in the prime spot. If it’s in good standing, the women will have him take the group to Teptun’s Square and Market. If it’s’ not in fair enough condition, they will have him take them to dock B-12, to the barge out on the river, leaving to their next dock. Bloodgrue expects if he takes them to Teptun’s, he may see a tip. If he takes them to the dock, its likely he won’t see a tip as the mood won’t be right, unless he can set them up by time he gets them to the dock. It would be hard work even on a day like this. Even after six years as an apprentice dragoman, learning to manipulate people’s emotions and outlook so they tip. It can be difficult to get good tips from folks in bad mood. If these three are going back with bad news they will be in a bad mood. It will be up to Bloodgrue to work them to get a tip.

Approaching a dilapidated gateway Bloodgrue sighs. “Here we go ladies 1016 Willow Road as you asked. Shall I wait here for you? Do you think you will be long?”

The leader, Gena is a Jalfem in her forties, she smiles and replies. “Not long Bloodgrue, I am thinking. Wait here.” It is around three in the afternoon, they haven’t eaten since morning meal.

The women spend over four hours in the field and Bloodgrue is getting worried, as soon the gods will set. The women come out with stern expressions. Gena approaches Bloodgrue. “We would like an Inn for the night then will give you instruction in the morning.”

Bloodgrue thinks quickly, then nodding leads the women to Willow Rest a short distance further south east.

Entering Willow Rest, Bloodgrue looks for an innkeeper to put the four of them all up for the night, as it is a full day back to his area of North Docks.

…..

 Winter 42 Bear

The gods rise and Bloodgrue sits waiting for Gena to tell him where she wants to be taken next. He patiently watches  the three women talking between themselves. Finally Gena waves him over.

No emotion seems to be pre-dominate among the three as he approaches. “Apprentice, I think we would like to check in at Teptun’s Square and Market before we decide our final report to Lord Phenel. We would like you to guide us to Merchant Manal in Teptun’s if you would. Will we arrive today?”

Bloodgrue tries not to sigh too heavily, but a small one does escape, he evenly toned answers Gena. “We will be there by late evening. If we set out now the gods will still be in the sphere when we reach Teptun’s and Manal might still have her stall open. But really I fear her stall will be closed. May I suggest we go instead to Tempest Inn and Tavern it is a couple blocks away from Teptun’s and then you can catch Manal early in the morning without wasting effort tonight hoping she might close late and hoping we make better then excellent time walking today?”

Gena looks at the other two, then answering Bloodgrue with a wink. “Tempest it is young Bloodgrue.”

The group sets out on it’s day journey, setting out for Tempest Inn and Tavern. They arrive merely one hour before the gods set. Manal would have already closed her stall.

At the Tempest Inn they set up the women in rooms, Bloodgrue informs the inspectors he will return before the gods rise in the morning to take them to Manal

…..

Winter 43 Bear

The group arriving in Teptun’s Square and Market, Bloodgrue leads the three inspectors to Manal at Stall 53 in the North West area. They find the thirty year old Jalfem just setting up her flowers so they will be ready to sell. She has pots of living flowers for buyers to transplant into their own gardens and fields. Bloodgrue addresses her in Jalnoric. “Good gods rise Manal. It is a clear day we have. Nice to see you getting a good start on today. May we address you this early?”

Manal keeps working setting up but smiles gleefully. “Of course apprentice, it is always pleasant to hear you tell me your stories. Who do you bring today?”

Bloodgrue gestures the women forward. “I bring to you Lord Phenel’s key Lavender field inspectors. They wish to speak with you. I will leave the four of you some privacy. I will be by the fountain when you ladies are done. So we have here are; Merchant Manal, Lead Inspector Gena, Inspector Emma and Inspector Mara, have a good meeting ladies.”

With that said Bloodgrue departs to wait by the fountain in the centre of the Square.

He waits only an hour, when he is found by the three smiling inspectors. Gena says happily. “Okay you sly imp. We are going to Dock B – 12 we have good news for Lord Phenel. First we are buying you lunch at the Tempest. Manal said it is one of the better places to stay and also eat, near here. You didn’t tell us that.”

Bloodgrue grins, happy inside as much as out; eagerly leading the inspectors over to the Tempest. They dine then Bloodgrue takes them the short distance to North Docks, Dock B-12.

At the dock Gena looks at Bloodgrue then gratefully clasps arms with the apprentice dragoman.

She pays the agreed dragoman fee but doesn’t put away her coin purse. “Okay now put that in your master’s purse quickly. I have a couple coins for your patience and forth coming good work for you.”

Gena hands Bloodgrue three copper coins. Three dusters is one of the bigger tips he has had in some time.

Bloodgrue bows after accepting the coins and clasps arms with all three women, wishing them individually a safe journey.

Bloodgrue is eager to get off the dock even though it is one of the solid fixed docks.

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Undiscovered red bowl

Spring 32 Bear 

The clear sphere doesn’t betray the harsh north eastern breath of the gods.

Dock A had been the destination of the last client that Bloodgrue escorted today. The Jalmal had to get to Dock A-6 to board a barge out bound to Dendar today. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the gods are breathing so stiffly the barge Captain is staying docked today. Thus the client wasn’t late. Bloodgrue earned two dusters and is in the perfect location to drum up more business.

As Bloodgrue is walking along he notes a dock handler toss a crate off a barge onto the dock while cursing under his breath. Hearing the clink and rattle from the disposed of open crate Bloodgrue is curious.

Walking over Bloodgrue hails the dock hand. “What’s with the crate?”

The gruff reply he receives is. “Damaged freight, get it out of here before the owner spots it and it’s worth a duster to you.”

Bloodgrue looks at the crate and guesses at about ten pounds weight and calls back. “Done!”

The dock hand tosses Bloodgrue a duster and Bloodgrue deftly catches it rogue style. Pocketing the coin faster then it took to catch the copper piece.

Picking up the crate he finds it to weigh closer to twenty pounds, but Bloodgrue takes on his task of carrying the crate to the waste site on the head land.

Arriving at the disposal site Bloodgrue is curious. Carefully emptying the contents slowly, he discovers broken pottery inside, continuing until near the bottom, where he finds an undamaged red bowl. The crew didn’t discover an intact red bowl. Cheerfully Bloodgrue is curious as to what the value of the undiscovered red bowl is.

Walking the streets, over to Arton’s Warehouse, Bloodgrue knocks on the wall, and then pulls on the knocker bell’s cord. He steps back and waits about twenty seconds, when he then makes the three safe signs and waits longer.

The man-door swings open quickly with no one evident on the other side, as per custom. Bloodgrue quickly steps inside the ordained, seven paces, waiting on the mark while the door closes. A hand suddenly clasps onto Bloodgrue’s right shoulder.

“Well now, a visit so soon from my little brother! The door jockey had said it was Dragoman Bloodgrue. I am curious as to what brings a journeyman dragoman here during day hours? Please tell me Bloodgrue.”

Smiling Bloodgrue boldly holds up, chest high the brand new bowl, “Looking for an appraisal. It’s not lifted. It’s a gift from a client.”

“Well then you and Relan have a table date. Go ahead. Remember if we sell it. We take thirds.”

Bloodgrue chuckles merrily. “Yes! Quartermaster Arton. My dearest fabled older brother. You will get your third if I sell it. But I am keeping it. I was sold a crate of damaged goods by a dock hand to dispose of and this was in it. Its mine and I need table ware for my home. I have been eating out of my cooking pot. When I cook for myself, this will aid nicely. I just want to know what its worth. I will pay a duster up front so you get something for your time if it’s worthless, or the usual five percent appraisals fee if it’s worth something. Deal grouch-a-lot?”

Arton releases Bloodgrue’s shoulder while smiling and nods, he calls out. “Relan he is yours, five percent as usual.”

Moving to walk back to his office Arton adds, “Nice to see you Bloodgrue. Don’t be a stranger, okay? We are family even after being distant after all those twelve years. It was our parents choice, not ours. Remember that! You are welcome here as family. Okay?”

Bloodgrue nods. “I do remember things Arton. You have a deal. Thank you.”

Walking to the appraisal table, Bloodgrue sets down the bowl on the table’s surface and he steps back. Bloodgrue is ready to wait as long as necessary for Relan to do his job.

Relan approaches the table and easily handles the bowl, looking it over in his artificially bright light.

Setting down the bowl gingerly, Relan walks over to Bloodgrue “Five percent is a duster my friend. Your bowl is one fine work, it is from east of the river. Made from bog clay not seen around Mount Oryn; crafted by a Craftsman Master. I place a value of two Dyns on it. Do you have a duster or do you want me to take it out of your box?”

Bloodgrue retrieves from his belt pouch the duster, the dock hand had tossed him. Bloodgrue smiles while handing the small coin to appraiser Relan. “How’s this?”

Bloodgrue walks over and proudly picks up his discovery, that was being tossed away. A rare find even for him, it cost him nothing more than his curiosity, willingness for a bit of work and good will. Carrying the coveted bowl, Bloodgrue approaches the exit, where he waits on the mark until the door opens, then Bloodgrue rapidly leaves Arton’s Warehouse.

Bloodgrue walks the few streets home to Tempest Inn and Tavern, going up to Room 6 on the second floor. Bloodgrue places the lone red bowl, on his cupboard for his own use.

Bloodgrue is proud owner of a free undiscovered red bowl.

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