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Source: (consider it) Thread: Circus: The Story of the Kavetseki Incident (RPG)
Eliab
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Gunriana willingly defers to Er in charming the human and dwarves. It seems that with the benefit of a prior acquaintance, her strange companion is well placed to make their case. When the opportunity arises, she assures the wagoneers that:

"We would be most grateful to travel in company to Cimenster, where we hope that some of us have friends, and we would of course offer our services as best we can on the journey."

She decides not to mention her gifts in rune lore at the outset. It would be useful to get the measure of the dwarves first, and therefore useful to know whether they are the sort to help strangers from compassions, or for advantage.

She is ready to spin her lies about how they came to be in this predicament, should the wagoneers think to enquire.


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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Net Spinster
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Mary also is willing to defer to Er to lead the negotiations but knows she must show courtesy and answer a question asked. She bowed with hands clasped together in front then straightened.

"Master Trebik, I am Mary Hawser and as Goodman Maker has stated we have been cast ashore with naught but what you see. We can offer little but the skills of our hands during the journey, extra eyes for the road, and the good will of us and our kith and kin now and in the future. Let Goodman Maker speak for us."

[ 10. June 2014, 00:50: Message edited by: Net Spinster ]

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spinner of webs

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
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Jetse stepped forward, close enough to be seen, not enough to dominate. Persuasion from Er. Magic from the crone. Truth be told, Jetse liked her better as a troll. Made more sense. But magic means power. Impresses. Show strength. Imply you have more reserved. Jetse was a good implication. Maimed, yes, but still armed. Dangerous. Strong enough for those who respect strength.

Dwarves. They know strength. Not from the Palatinate. Not this far north. Not on the surface. Might know about Mørkborg, though. Have contacts. News. Know the trade routes. Which guilds operate here. Who holds Ijzerhaven.

Ask later. Let it come up. Escorted convoys in the Palatinate. Worked with patrols in the darkness. Met dwarves. It's true. True enough. News of the City might follow.

Don't ask. They'd remember. One arm. Device on armor. Sword. Sun symbol. Sun symbol. That's enough. Need cloak. Blast. Lost it. Hide symbol? This time. Reason enough. Don't draw sword. Hand on the hilt. Watch them. Everything. Use the weapon without drawing it.

Light's bad. Distractions. If they notice you, you'll notice them. Good. They look away. Not… Good. A guard. Nothing more. Keep it that way. Talk to old dwarf when moving. We'll move soon. Talks going well. Personal connection. Watch caravan. Target for brigands. Treachery when we're distracted. Keep up guard. Don't trust yet. Watch.

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Dafyd
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Daniel is standing behind Trepik the caravan master, pointing at the caravan master, frowning ostentatiously, and making the 'I'm keeping my eyes on you' gesture at the back of his head. If anyone looks like asking what he's doing, Daniel puts his fingers to his lips.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Curiosity killed ...

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Er continues, "We have meat to add to your victuals, freshly killed and cooked horse meat, just yesterday. It's a right shame it was soaked in that sudden and unnecessary shower," with an inscrutable glance at Clawdine, "but it would work in a stew if you have one on the go now, and it means we're not calling on your resources."

Er spots Daniel behind Trepik, but continues keeping his inscrutable mask in place. So that's where he thinks the danger is; a leader who is unsafe, the worst of companions when they've gone to the bad, and there are dwarves in this caravan and we an elf in the party. Mind, Er ponders, goodness knows what that Clawdine thinks she's doing. Didn't we agree we'd only reveal the healing skills when we planned this approach?

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Yorick

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John Goode kept still and quiet whilst Er made opening negotiations with the caravan master. He didn’t like dwarves. Ruthless and shrewd, he’d never been able to disarm them with his friendliness and charm.

But their weakness was their insatiable love of gold, and John knew that their greed could be exploited. He felt his special coin in his deep jacket pocket and rolled it over his fingers, watching the others closely.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Banner Lady
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Clawdine stood screening Dorainen from the lantern light of the caravan escort.

'We be in real trouble if that tinker thinkz they might be interested in old meat and brittle wood,' she hissed over her shoulder at the elf. 'No dwarf I know would eat such stuff. Is Er deliberately trying to insult them?'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Net Spinster
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Mary kept quiet but her eyes darted everywhere. A mixed caravan of humans and dwarfs with a human leader, odd that and dangerous to Dorainen though better than a dwarf leader. Ox drawn carts for the most part, slow and steady. But why travel at night? If the leader were a dwarf she would have put it down to a possible dwarvish trait. And Daniel was suspicious of the leader. Master Trebik was dressed for travel, nor richly, but his clothes were well made and in good condition as far as she could see in the light. Urgency or secrecy or a late start yesterday and now taking advantage of the moon. She stepped back to stand beside Jetse; she had heard the the Palatinate dealt extensively with dwarves but now was not the time to ask when the master was looking at them almost as closely as they were looking at him.

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spinner of webs

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Ariston
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Nothing to see here. Nothing odd. Only Daniel. Again. Another look? Still nothing. Missed anything? No. Only Daniel's wits. Should look for those. Might have been lost in accident. Might have never been. Hope dwarves don't notice.

--------------------
“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Net Spinster
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Mary looked at Daniel. What was that idiot doing? Idiot.... She turned to Aethelreda,

"Mother Aethelreda, can you take care of Daniel. I fear his wits are still wandering from the wreck. Your holy compassion should help."

Mary knew that Aethelreda wasn't the holiest of nuns but it wouldn't hurt to hint that hurting their party would also hurt a servant of a god and gods tended to be very jealous.

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spinner of webs

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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Hewer & Quartzbearer pivot around behind Trepik, each taking one of Daniel's elbows and raising it to dwarven ear height, they jog around to Mother Aethelreda and deposit Daniel unceremoniously on the ground in front of her.

"Please control your holy fool, Mother !" Says Hewer.


[ 10. June 2014, 19:58: Message edited by: Doublethink ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Antisocial Alto
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Aethelreda is a little apprehensive about this strategy. She has never met a dwarf before and doesn't have any idea what their opinions on human religions might be. Maybe they don't like nuns. Well, they are bound to notice her habit and beads eventually anyway...

She puts an arm around Daniel soothingly. "There, dear, now you come back here and help Er with his nice travois while he talks to our new friend. Er needs you to keep the driftwood steady."

Across the circle of lantern light, to the wagon captain, in a piercing whisper: "The poor idiot got a knock on the head from a spar when our ship went over and now he chatters and gestures with his fingers all day long. He does seem to be able to speak normally sometimes, but it comes and goes. Poor unfortunate fellow. But they say idiots are the most beloved of the Mother and all the gods!"

As she drags Daniel to the back of the party, she makes what she hopes are impressive gestures over him and murmurs calming prayers into his ear. Hopefully no one will notice that she's alternating "OK, we understand you, now cool it!" with the Collect in Time of Intestinal Distress.

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Doublethink.
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"You feeding yourselves makes me no loss, but it makes me no profit."

Gesturing to Jeste, Tepik continues,

"A sturdy man at arms I can use, but you are more of a man at arm - can you still fight ? We have three days march yet to Cimester, am I expected to haul water for passengers ? What else have you to trade ?"


[ 10. June 2014, 20:08: Message edited by: Doublethink ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Banner Lady
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Clawdine wondered just how ambitious the younger dwarf was. She raised her voice and chanted hypnotically:

"We've plenty of water, but only one skin
And the foolish man's hat to carry it in.
Plenty of wondrous strange tales to spin
Plenty of dice, but nowhere to sin."

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Er was beginning to feel quite despondent. Just how many of his companions were going to behave in a suspicious manner? Did they really want to get on board this caravan? Jetse looks OK to get on board, Er can offer his tinkering skills - and hmm - that back wheel could do with some attention, Frithwynne could be useful with the horses. Now if they have water to carry, Crazy Clawdine, if only she hadn't just appeared quite so crazy, and Dorainen have skills that will help, and we have already told them about the healers, John Goode and Gunriana. That leaves Daniel, Mary and the good Mother to find reasons for Tepik to accept. Now surely Tepik will be unwilling to harm a woman of any god, and as Daniel is now cast as her patient, that looks like a way forward. Mary must have skills from being a captain's wife that must be of use.

Er clears his throat and speaks up, "I can offer you my tinkering skills - and I can see that back wheel there could do with a bit of attention. I know that we have healers, this gentleman here," gesturing at John Goode, "healed Jetse's arm. He has great skill. I'll let my other companions speak for themselves."

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Adam.

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I'll let my other companions speak for themselves."

So, this is how we're doing it, is it? thought Dorainen. Well, I suppose the caravan would find out there was an elf in the party sooner or later. Better to have that in the open now while the ship's crew was united and could defend themselves than when we were scattered. And, there was always the possibility that a human who hired dwarves might have enough of an interest in the exotic to make the revelation convenient, if uncomfortable.

He threw back his hood. "I am... Ronaiden" (best play it safe), "and as you can see, I am a water elf. I'm sure you are familiar with the healing abilities of my kind and my skills in that regard are quite excellent. I am also good at tool repair, and have some skill at defending us from attack with my long bow."

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
We have three days march yet to Cimester, am I expected to haul water for passengers ? What else have you to trade ?"

Gunriana calls to mind Demoslant's wise words on the techniques of pleading for aid and mercy, hoping that this will aid her ***Elan***

"Master Trepik, we were washed up ashore this morning with none of our belongings, and we are in need of a safe journey to Cimenster. If you are willing to have us travel with you, then we will all do what we can for the safety and prosperity of your journey. It will, after all, be entirely in our interests to do so.

In Cimenster we hope to meet friends, and continue our way, but we will not forget favours owed. If you are the shrewd merchant that I take you for, I am sure that you will not neglect the use of ten pairs of eyes and ears in the city, before you deliver your wares and choose your next investment. At the very least, we can promise you that if you give us your aid now, the report of you as an honest, fair and astute man will be whispered in whatever ear in Cimenster that you judge most to your advantage. Particularly, I think, if the whisperer is one whom the simply will never think to associate with venture concerning the noble race of dwarves."

She nods towards Dorainen. If Trepik cannot see a use in having an elf mouthing the lies of his choice, he is not the man she has taken him for.

"Besides, it is said that kindness to strangers pleases the gods, and when kindness costs you little, and earns you gratitude in this world, as well as their favour, it is only prudent to be kind."

Gunriana's fingers have been twisting the leather thong at her belt, and as she finishes speaking, she lets the skull spin freely at her side. When it is still she looks down into the empty eyes like a stage player waiting for his cue.

"For we have such little time in this world, wise traveller, and so little to distinguish us thereafter, that no one should neglect his own advantage while the light lasts."

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary stayed quiet to see how Gunriana's words worked though master Tepik remained silent also. She suspect her skill at bookkeeping would, if the caravan master was as dubious as Daniel's actions suggested, be a detriment not an advantage. Her skill with knots and splicing and such like might be useful but most of the harness seemed to be leather as far as she could see in the dim light. However she had to offer something.

"I have skill with rope and line, to fasten a cargo down so it does not come loose or hoist, to knot, to splice."

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spinner of webs

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Eliab
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Trepik's eyes narrow thoughtfully. He is too shrewd a man to give away at this stage what is business in Cimenster might be, but the woman's words have struck a chord. People are indeed unlikely to suspect collusion between a respectable Dwarven caravan and a vagabond water elf. There might be some use he could make of these travellers.

The caravan master relaxes slightly and Gunriana meets his gaze and then lowers her eyes meekly, satisfied with her words. If he is thinking what to do with them if he allows them to travel with the caravan, his trader's mind will soon be pleading their case for her. This is not a man to pass up the opportunity to use others.


--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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"Very well" says Trepik, "Find yourself a place - and don't cause any trouble !"

****

The ox-drawn wagons form a snaking line, about 30 wagons long. On closer inspection, there seems to be a ox feed wagon, followed by a closed goods wagon, followed by a sleeping wagon, repeating all the way down the line. There are guards at the head and tail of the column (Quartzbearer can be seen heading back to his post at the front), and there are dwarf guards either side of each goods wagon. (Presumably some in the sleep wagons too).

Whilst each wagon has a human ox-driver.

One of the goods wagons in the middle of the caravan seems much sturdier than the rest, with a wooden rather than canvass top - it has bolts on the outside - and it the wagon Hewer returns to position beside.

This is large goods train, and its seems slightly surprising it is travelling at night.


--------------------
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary bowed in thanks then then went over to the nun and Daniel. Three days march the master had said, 30 or 40 miles, maybe 50 if he wasn't including the current march and was overworking the oxen; not that she knew much about oxen but twice six miles per day was the standard that most merchants she knew used when calculating the relative advantages of ship to oxen to mule to horses. Frithwynne might know how hard the oxen were being worked. She knelt beside the pair and asked softly, "Daniel, are you well?" He had also been one of the worst off on the beach though she didn't know why. "You seem to perceive something about Master Trebik and the perhaps the train as a whole. Are we wise to go with them?" She waited while the middle of the train passed including the well fortified goods cart drawn by four pair of oxen; most of the others had two pair.

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spinner of webs

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Dafyd
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Daniel says in a low voice, I'd trust Mr Trepik with his own grandmother just so long as he saw no profit in selling her. But apart from that I think so long as we're being useful there's nothing much wrong with him.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Curiosity killed ...

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Er gives Hewer a lascivious wink, grins at the returned thumbs up and checks where the nearest stores cart is so that he can safely leave the horse meat. Having passed over the victuals that mean the party are not beholden to the caravan for food, he rejoins his erstwhile acquaintance wondering if they could take up where they had left off on their previous encounters.

Trepik has agreed to take the party with the caravan for as long as they are useful to him. Er knows from past adventures that his skills can be put to the service of one such as Trepik. In addition, the cart that Hewer is accompanying warrants a better look, particularly with the additional charms of Hewer.

He spares a passing thought for his companions, hoping that the others will use their native wits to find ways to slot within the party safely and unobtrusively and not attract the adverse attentions of Trepik. If they can gain a safe passage to Cimester and learn a bit about this caravan, then they will have done well. He wonders if he can use his ***silver tongue*** to find out more about the contents of the bonded four ox cart that Hewer is guarding.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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We're moving. Good. Young dwarf Quartzbearer, old one Hewer. Dwarves here translate names? Not Kvartsbærer and Skærer? Strange.

Jetse dropped behind into the rest of the party. Er seemed to be chatting up Hewer; best to leave him be.

"Frithwynne. The blade. Hide it."

"What? Why?"

"The halberd blade. Hide it. Someone could recognize it. A dwarf, probably. The trader, maybe."

"Again, why?"

Jetse walked back toward the front, towards Quartzbearer.

"Hej fører. Kvartsbærer, rigtigt?"

The dwarf looked surprised.

"Kvartsbärare, ja. Hur vet du dvärgska?"

Jetse got up onto the wagon and pulled out Jack's old pipe. Kind of him to not take it with him.

"Worked in the Palatinate. Trade convoys. Supply trains."

"To Mörkborg?"

"Sometimes further. Actually met the Jarl once. Berømt back then. Økseherren. Was years ago."

"It was. Yxaherren and Svärdsplittraren are gone. Don't know the new Jarl. It's far away, you know?"

"I know." Jetse held up the pipe. "You have extra? Lost all mine. Thanks."

--------------------
“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

Posts: 6849 | From: The People's Republic of Balcones | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary spoke softly back to Daniel, "I understand".

She looked up. The moon shone bright and full though the white river was still quite visible. The wandering star, red Perun, was near the moon but she could see no other wanderer. Enough to confirm that time had passed for that was not the sky she last remembered clearly. It was warmer here inland and the firebugs flickered amongst the trees near the road. Enough, time to move.

Mary joined Er in dropping off the meat she was carrying and watched as Jetse moved to the front while Er went to chat to Hewer in the middle. She returned to the group "Frithwynne, Doctor, Gunriana, Clawdine, Do..Ronaiden where in the train do you want to walk to start? I shall walk with the holy mother and poor Daniel perhaps towards the back." From there she could keep an eye on the whole train and perhaps someone would tell a story. Was Nicholas 20 years dead or 1 day and the rest of the crew; her feelings said 1 day. Was Jack Gallows an acquaintance of a few handful of days or someone she had known well for 20 years; her feelings said both.

She dreaded the time when the train would stop to allow the oxen, men, dwarves, and them to feed, and drink and sleep while the rest guard sleeping now in the wagons would guard. To sleep perchance to dream; she dreaded being alone with her memories. Ideally one of their party should stay discreetly awake while the others slept or a couple taking watches, but, it was unlikely Master Trebick would allow any of them the use of a sleep wagon for the next march.

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spinner of webs

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Frithwynne nodded to the Guardian to silently show she understood, and fell back away from the caravan. Squatting behind a bush as if answering an urgent call, she loosened her ribbon, and then tied it again, this time holding the halberd blade, letting the hook catch against the ribbon so it wouldn't slip out. There was something reassuring about the rusted blade, although perhaps it was just because it had been important to Jetse, and so, sympathetically, it was important to Frithwynne.

She stood up and made her way back to the group. The blade felt unfamiliar against her thigh, but did not impede her. Mistress Drake - Hawser, she corrected herself - was asking where they would station themselves. An odd question, thought Frithwynne, who was used to either having one place only to be, or else having no-one care where she was at all.

"Near the oxen, just behind that big wagon," she says softly, and starts to drift back up the caravan slowly. She walks awhile with each yoke of oxen as she comes to it, feeling the warmth from each near ox and listening to the soft blowing of each team as it stolidly follows the wagon ahead. She tries to look as if she's moving aimlessly, sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower, and as if it's only chance that on the whole she is moving up the train.

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Truth

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Adam.

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# 4991

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Dorainen eyed the wagoneers. Some seemed entirely uninterested in the new members of caravan, most seemed averagely curious or entertained. He slowly worked his way towards the back of the caravan by walking slightly slower than it was moving, and tried to see if any of them were watching him in particular. He was sure there'd be at least one who was peculiarly intrigued by all things elvish. Sure enough, two behind the central wagon, was a wagoneer who was paying almost more attention to him than to the road.

He decided to try greeting him in Elvish: "Molesh kal! 'Ina Ronedin."

No understanding, but wide-eyed excitement and an attempt at response: "maw'ezz kahll."

This was all Dorainen needed: "Is there space for me to join you up there?"

"Please, hop on up! You know, I've been intrigued by Elvish folklore since my grandmother would tell me stories when I was little. She grew up in the Mountains of Cholaj, very close to the mountain elf settlements."

"How wonderful," replied Dorainen. "You know, human activity has always fascinated me too. We don't have anything like banks in my teyv. Would you indulge a simple water elf, and explain something about your cargo to me?"

The human, Johnson by name it turned out, blushed. He had a few questions about teyv-life they had to get through first. Dorainen gave answers that favored the romantic over the historical and tried to keep everything general enough that his ignorance of twenty years of history wouldn't be detectable. Gradually, he managed to steer the conversation back to banking, and cargo. Johnson, it seemed, did not know much and was both reluctant to reveal certain facts, but equally unwilling to let the conversation die. So, Dorainen ended up with a few nuggets of information that he stored away for later sharing with the group. Quite how accurate, of course, they were, there was no telling.

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
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Posts: 8164 | From: Notre Dame, IN | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Frithwynne had been walking by the second cart back from the big cart when Dorainen arrived and swung up next to the driver. She listened absently to their conversation. How did he do it, be so comfortable talking to people?

She chose a moment when the driver seemed to be holding forth with especial animation and thus less likely to notice what she was doing, and drifted forward to the next cart.

Now she is walking next to the oxen just behind the big cart. She wonders what will happen when they get to Cimenster. So far the shipwrecked group has been holding together. Strength in numbers seemed the best plan on the beach and in the woods. She herself is curious to find out about the ship in rock salt that Mother Aethelreda envisioned, but she wonders whether the other travellers will find other things to interest them in the caravan, and even more so in Cimenster.

Well, whatever may happen, she has found it always useful to closely observe the people around her, in whatever circumstance she finds herself. You never know what scrap of information or observation will turn out useful for a dispossessed lass scrabbling her way in the world.

She decides to test her apparently acuter hearing by ***listening*** for what she might be able to hear through its wooden wall. Is there anyone inside the cart? Are they saying anything?

[ 12. June 2014, 18:03: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Curious Kitten
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# 11953

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Warm and full, his needs attended to, Er's mind turns to less immediate concerns. As he subtly questions Hewer about the contents of that interestingly secured wagon Er wonders about the magic that had trapped them on the beach. It occurs to him that there may still be some ties; would it be possible to journey by sea in the future, or would the magic to catch them again? It would be frustrating if the elapsing of twenty years had wiped the slate clean of any little difficulties he might have left behind him and some spell removed his freedom to travel. Maybe he should suggest that the good doctor asked the sea witch what she thought.

Hewer's rambling conversation fell to complaints about the weight of the chests Trepik had made her and the other guards pack on to the four ox wagon. She curses the idiocy of a human thinking a caravan is the best way to transport gold of such mass and invites him to share a laugh at their incomprehensible nature. Er's gentle probing elicits that Hewer had not seen inside the chest, but to a dwarven mind they had the heft of gold.

As her words take a dark turn so do his thoughts. His mind returns to the beach and watching Jack swim away to death. So strange the way humans fret about their short lives. Shuddering at the memory of the miasma of the beach he thinks if the magic has no hold on him he there is no reason to seek out its source, but Jack's end and the passing of the years have made naught of his plans for this journey. So whence now? And what profit is in this knowledge?

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Happiness is not having what we want but wanting what we have.

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Clawdine stood watching the carts rumble past until she heard the sound of clattering tin. A cook's cart usually had a variety of mugs and pans hanging along its sides, and in the moonlight she could see this one was being driven by a beardless youth.

She raised her hand imploringly to him. "Would ye blezz an old lady with a cup o' water, laddie? We've walked an awful long wayz since our ship went down."

This teaser of information had the desired effect on the bored and pimply young man, who had wondered at what had been happening at the head of the convoy. He slowed the oxen, hopped off his seat and helped Clawdine up beside him. Then he produced a leather bottle from under the plank they were sitting on.

"Got a barrel of water there, granny, if you want it. But this'll give you more comfort." He winked at her.

Clawdine sipped the offering gratefully, then smacked her lips. 'That be right zweet ale, laddie. 'aven't tasted anything that good fer....twenty years. There were a place at Ashton Green used ter 'ave a brew like that, I recall.'

The young man looked surprised. 'You have a good memory for beer, gran'ma - that surely is Ashton Ale. Where are you from?'

Clawdine smiled in the dark, and settled back to regale the young man with tales of adventure as they passed the leather bottle back and forth.

This journey was proving to be a bit more comfortable than the last one.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
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# 9153

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Gunriana walks for as long as she can, then finds some space in one of the wagons to rest.

Trepik is clearly engaged in some surreptitious business, but as she reflects on this, she realises that she cares little what that might be. What matters is that she has placed herself under obligation to him. Was that a mistake?

Gunriana places the skull on her lap and strokes it tenderly. Enough of that. The survivors of
Kavetseki had gone as it had been written for them. The wagons had been foreseen in the prophetess's vision, and this was important. If the price was an obligation to a shrewd man like the caravan master, then that was the price.

She slips her blade from it's sheath and scratches
Ur, the Aurochs, on the yoke pole of the wagon, reinforcing the strength of the vehicle and refreshing the beasts that draw it. Forcing herself to get up and do something useful, she alights from the wagon and looks for any way in which she can be of help.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Goode walked along in the space between two wagons in the middle of the of the caravan. He had always preferred walking to riding on bumpy cart roads, and it was such a fine night for it. Every now and then a cloud would pass in front of the bright full moon, its edges backlit with enchanted silver brilliance. There was a soft perfume of damp leaves and sweet earth in the windless night air, and John took deep slow lungfulls as he strode along, easily keeping pace despite the older age he now felt in his limbs. All was peaceful, with only the occasional wet snort of an ox and the rustle of a small startled creature scurrying in the undergrowth or pidgeon taking flight from its roost in the branches as they passed beneath. John listened vaguely to the indistinct low murmuring of those chatting together up and down the convoy, and slid comfortably into the familiar companionable calm of his own mind.

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این نیز بگذرد

Posts: 7574 | From: Natural Sources | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
Antisocial Alto
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# 13810

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Aethelreda murmurs to Daniel "How are you holding up? Would you like me to try to get us a seat in one of the carts?"
Posts: 601 | From: United States | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary walked just behind Aethelreda and Daniel as the former tried to persuade the latter to perhaps rest. She stumbled then stumbled again and the feed wagoneer behind called out"Old woman, come sit beside me for a while". She gratefully took up his offer. He was a man, perhaps 30, with a Barvik accent and look to him, dark hair and blue-green eyes. "I'm Milt Docker", "Mary Hawser", she replied. "Wrecked?" he asked. She nodded. He continued, "Much safer to go by land even if the King's sea lords have sworn to rid the world of pirates since no man can stop the storms." Mary nodded again even though she knew nothing of any 'sea lords'; this was something new. She asked, "Anything new in Cimenster; it has been a long, long time since I've been there?" He replied, "Well they should have started the new central temple. Taken them long enough considering the old one was destroyed when I was a kid; not good putting the gods off like that". He kissed his knuckles to ward off bad luck. "You should see the new city market and the theaters. They even have women actors in the last few years though my father, he's up near the front of train, disapproves". He then gave the details of several plays he had seen the last time, lots of details.

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spinner of webs

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Adam.

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# 4991

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Slowly, Dorainen and Johnson ran out of things to talk about and the conversation ran down. Dorainen told himself he'd just close his eyes for a short while. Before he knew it, he was sound asleep. He dreamt of crashing waves on this, the first night in twenty years he'd had to dream them to hear them.

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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The moon was still climbing through the night sky when the rhythmic swaying of the cart and the heady ale took its toll on Clawdine. Soon she was slumped against the food sacks piled high in the cart, her limbs akimbo, head thrown back and snoring like a bandsaw, much to the amusement of the young driver.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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Daniel thanks Aethelreda. I think if we could get a seat on the cart that would be an excellent idea. How are your knees holding up?

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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The moon set behind the trees and low ridge to the west of the road and the sun rose in the east. Birds sang and still the ox train went on. Mary finally woke when the train stopped at mid-morning just before a ford that crossed a wide brook flowing from east to west through a break in the ridge. "Stopping here before the heat of the day" explained Milt "Or at least that is Master Trebik's explanation". Milt took the wagon into the field adjacent to the road, hopped down and unyoked the oxen though put a line around their necks instead. Mary helped him lead them to the brook to drink along with the oxen from the other carts. Milt then insisted, "Goodwoman Hawser, why don't you help my father," he pointed to an older fellow setting up a cooking fire. Goodman Docker senior eyed her approach and pointed to some leather buckers. "Go get some water upstream from the oxen, clean water, mind you. We're making porridge now and then I'll put some of the meat your group brought on to stew and see if I make anything halfway decent for the evening meal. The day guard can watched it simmer while the rest of us sleep if we can." Mary went off with two buckets to get some water and looked around for the others from the beach.

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spinner of webs

Posts: 1093 | From: San Francisco Bay area | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged
Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Clawdine awoke with a start. The cart was not moving and the sun hurt her eyes. Moreover she really, really needed to empty her bladder. As she levered herself down from the wagon, she could see the lad leading the oxen away to pasture.

Clawdine strode away in the opposite direction to find what privacy she could. Behind the fall of a willow tree she found relief, and then she knew she was hungry.

From the folds of her skirt, she took the shrivelled husk she had found in the pig droppings in the wood. Her shrewd eyes scanned the landscape behind the willow for the best place to put it. She knew her instincts were good, as she planted the core and spoke to it quietly. Her fingers tapped the soil, and after calling the water to rise to the roots, Clawdine stood back and watched.

Quickly, the corn grew, flowered and produced several enormous cobs. Clawdine collected them in her shawl, and headed back to the carts. Now she had something with which to barter, and if it was not appreciated, she knew she could make it sustain her until she needed to forage again.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary noticed Clawdine returning from the wood and waved her over to the cookfire where she was waiting for the water to boil before putting in the oats.

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spinner of webs

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Adam.

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# 4991

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Dorainen awoke to find that Johnson had left him in the wagon. He remarked again to himself that not being able to smell salt in the air was incredibly strange. He walked past the mysterious central wagon and nodded to what must be the day watch guards who were surrounding it. The dwarves glared at him, as if their very gaze could drive him away. He looked down, hoping they'd think he was respectfully lowering his gaze, but actually checking out the footprints. All the prints he could see looked at first glance dwarven, but it would be hard to do a proper investigation. Master Trepik seemed to have not yet paid his daily visit, but Dorainen couldn't see him about anywhere either. Maybe he was in another wagon?

He went upstream of the oxen to wash his face (the water was fine!) and then saw Mary by the fire. He strode over to her, to tell her his night's news and see if she'd learned anything different.

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
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Posts: 8164 | From: Notre Dame, IN | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary was glad to see Dorainen and passed her news on to him (minus the play plots) as she added the oats to the now boiling water. "I was thinking. Would your people have looked for you when you didn't return? Given you skill in water you were the least likely one of us to have drowned. Or, given how long your kind live, would it have taken a few decades for them to have become concerned."

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spinner of webs

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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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Er hopped off the cart when it stopped, offering to collect food and water for Hewer. As he made his way to the feeding stations, he saw Mary and Dorainen chatting by the stream and joined them. He arrived just as Mary was asking Dorainen if his family would miss him, after a surreptitious glance around to ensure they were not overheard, he joined the conversation:
"I was wondering about those years now gone and whether the trick or whatever held us on that beach was broken, or if we have just moved away from those ties. Would that mean we have to stay awy from the sea? How could we find out? Do you think the sea witch would know?"

The chat drifted to their current circumstances and Er was asked what he had ascertained.
"Hewer says that the cart we travel on contains heavy crates bound for a bank. With her dwarvish mind she's sure it's gold, but she didn't see inside the boxes so cannot be certain."

He sees the queue near the feeding station has dwindled and hurries to join it to collect the promised victuals for his current companion.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13794 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Adam.

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# 4991

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Dorainen had explained to Mary: "We all leave the teyv for a year, so as we have a real taste of the choice we're making in committing to being full adult members of it. The year is strictly timed. If you stay away more than a year, you are deemed to have gotten too worldly and can never re-enter. I'm sorry for those elves that would have mourned me, but 19 and a half years ago, they would have declared me forever gone. They would never even have heard of the K... ship we were on.

"Most water elves do come back, and of those that stay away, almost all join another elven dynasty, often one more open to engagement with the outside world. At some point, I will have to make a choice whether to seek out a dynasty that would take me, or to live forever in the diaspora. I think I could be very happy living amongst humans, but I must confess [sotto voce]: I cannot abide dwarves."

[ 15. June 2014, 00:42: Message edited by: Hart ]

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

Posts: 8164 | From: Notre Dame, IN | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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"That seems cruel to me, to cast you out through no fault of your own." She paused, "Though I wonder what our human families will do when/if we return. The creditors would have taken what little property my husband and I had that wasn't on the ship and our families and friends mourned for us. If I can get back, the creditors will still be after me for what remains of our debt though I think my family, if any still live, will welcome me. Gentlewoman Gunriana may have lost the most financially by being presumed dead; individual De Vanés are not known for disgorging what they've gotten even to other family members unless there is potential profit." Mary thought a bit, "The richest merchant families often emulate the nobility and contract their children in marriage or betrothal young. If after her disappearance the marriage or betrothal was presumed ended by death but not formally dissolved and then the other person remarried, that marriage would be invalid which could lead to many problems." She stirred a few more times noting that the porridge was almost done. "However the greatest loss for them is loss of experience. I've spent a third of my life on that beach but she and some of the others were just starting on adulthood and now they've lost their entire youth, half their lives. I at least had my youth and husband before ending up there. You were also young but being elvish presumably still have many years of youth ahead of you."

"Porridge done, Goodman Docker" she called and a line formed to be fed. She sighed. After serving she would have to scour the pot clean and probably the other pots and dishes. She was now a beggar and that is what beggars did.

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spinner of webs

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Clawdine saw Mary wave at her, and headed over to the fire, where a pot on an iron tripod was bubbling. As she emptied the contents of her shawl on the ground she noticed a piece of bramble caught in its fringe.

'Well,' she said to Mary, 'D'yer fancy 'aving fresh blackberries in that porridge?'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Adam.

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# 4991

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"Capital idea, Clawdine! You are always so ready with those!" Exclaimed Dorainen, hopeful, yet disappointed. Clawdine remained a troll of a woman.

He thanked Mary both for the conversation and for the porridge, and then started making his way along the line of hungry wagoneers. They seemed friendly enough, probably glad to have a fresh face to talk too after so many days on the road. "How many days on the road did you say it had been..?"

He was looking for someone who showed some sign of injury, preferably one that was uncomfortable without being too grave. After such a journey, someone must have had some kind of accident? Partly, Dorainen simply wanted to share his ***healing*** gift, to feel that watery life force well up inside him once more. But, more astutely, he wanted to build up more favors, and hope he would in turn be sent to aid someone important enough that he might gain some more information.

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

Posts: 8164 | From: Notre Dame, IN | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary looked at Clawdine's offering and considered her words. What hidden skills did this woman have? "That corn looks delicious, I'm sure Goodman Docker who seems to be head cook for this outfit would love to use them for the dinner tonight" She pointed him out to Clawdine. "And blackberries would be delicious if you can find them. I think most of the wagoneers and dwarves who've been working all night will soon take what sleep they can." She could see several who had gotten their food first were already laying down to nap underneath some of the wagons. "Perhaps those of our group who got some sleep should gather near the brook to eat and wash before further sleep. It has after all been a while since we've had a fresh water bath and our clothes are well a bit salty."

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spinner of webs

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Clawdine squinted an eye assessingly at the sun. 'Yer, well, I'll wait til the water be a bit warmer afore I go azwimmin'. Thiz creek lookz like a good place fer bream, or mebe roach, if'n I can borrow a bucket and get upstream a bit.' She pocketed one of the cobs. 'Corn kernels be the best bait when theyz new n' zweet.'

Clawdine went off to cadge a tin cup and a bucket from the stores cart, only stopping on the way to plant the bit of bramble by the road. By the time she'd obtained the receptacles, the bramble was snaking along one side of the laneway as far as the eye could see, its ripe fruit sparkling in the sunlight.

She returned to the fire with a bucket full of blackberries, and sat down contentedly to a breakfast of fruit and oats.

She nodded to Dorainen. 'Bet you be a dab 'and at fishin' too, I reckon.'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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Foret, who seemed to be a general errand boy for the caravan, limped over to where Mary had been cooking. He was a scrawy lad, mucky, and if you looked closely you could see some dirt was really bruise.

He had been seen walking by the wagons and running with messages, but none of Trepik's men, nor the dwarven guards, ever chatted to him or really looked at him.

His limp seemed to be due to a twisted foot, not a turned ankle, but that twisting unsteadness some are born with. On that same left side he also held his arm wound round , fist tilted upward and held into his side.


[ 15. June 2014, 07:28: Message edited by: Doublethink ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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