Jagged-edged parchment lays compressed between two pieces of shark hide, bound together by a cord of the same grey hide.
Monday, 24 November 2014
The 'rifter rises and it sets, with each movement another turn passes.
No word from the Order on my designs. I spoke briefly with Cody and he informed me the idea has been presented. The wait wouldn't be much of an issue, but I've lost things to do with my hands for the moment.
Shall I start on the project, preemptively, in hopes that they accept it? That is an option, I suppose.
For now, I shall continue filing my nails. One chipped recently, and it's been a bother ever since.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Why is life more complicated than necessary?
Is that a foolish question? Is life as complicated as it needs to be? If it is, then why do people ask that question? Why do people assume it could be any more or any less complicated than what it is currently?
Perhaps the complexity of life is relative to one's position therein. Perhaps life appears simple when there is peace, when there is plenty, when happiness and love run rampant in the streets. What if it appears more complex when there is strife and derision, pain and suffering, hostilities and war?
I accused Hojo of being a bully, not once but twice, long ago. There was complexity that was unneeded. He is not a bully, he is a strong man. He is a shining beacon in the ever present darkness that pervades the holiest of places. Hojo Musachi is the first to call me the Extortionist, a right title at the time. It is his kindness that allowed me to return to the Caer. It is his leadership that has, like many others, inspired me to continue the path of peace and reconciliation that I have tread for cycles now.
Why is life more complicated than necessary?
Because we put a bushel over a candle and expect the light to still brighten the room.
We must remove the chains that bind us, and move towards greater understanding and unity.
All is old.
So I wait.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
1. A boy, young and innocent. Lured to death by a foolish bet.
2. A man, strong and stealthy. He met his end just before the third. His prey got the best of him.
3. A man, lean and chatty. Talked so much that I wonder if he talks in the life beyond.
4. A woman, malnourished and bright blue eyes. She was hungry. Too bad she liked the taste of human flesh.
5. A man, peppered hair and missing teeth. He was her partner. The trapper. His end was fitting.
6. A man, haughty and rude. Wealthy, but he won't miss what he cannot see.
One I will always bear the guilt of.
Two I enjoyed.
Another I pitied, but my flesh is mine.
The remaining two didn't need to occur; when you provoke the shark, there will be blood.
False Hope and Lies.
Or is it?
When Cody spoke his words to me, that is what I immediately accused him of. Bringing me false hopes or lying.
I am not foolish enough to believe my plan will be accepted without extreme ridicule; though, it is not the ridicule that comes from a bully or arrogant peer. It is the ridicule that comes with weary eyes: alert, but tired. We're all tired, to varying degrees I'm sure. That is why my design has to succeed. If not mine, then someone else's. I will not shirk my duties as I did with the gates of Milltown. I instructed Lucius on a better method for forging the metalworks, then disappeared.
That will not happen again.
I meet with Cody this turn to discuss my designs. They are extensive, but not complicated. Heavy and strong. Numbers and time, he asked me to calculate that as well.
If we have the volunteers, which he mentioned some have already done so, then it will move quickly. Even if we had less than a handful, I'll be giving all of my time and that alone will help immensely. I told those gathered at the Inn that it would take a half-cycle. Truthfully, if there are many that desire to help, it won't take even half that time. Gathering the metal, that will be the longest task. Securing a Forge, that too would need to be done. Shieldwall has a forge, and so must the Castle. It would be faster to forge there, instead of in the mountain pass.
We shall see what is said.
Monday, 17 November 2014
There is one, recurring, dream. When I do sleep, though rare an occasion it is, I dream of only one thing:
Darkened skies and raging waters. There is no beach to swim to, there is no raft to hold fast. There are fins; circling fins. I am there, I see myself from above, in the middle of it all. Waiting. Always waiting.
Then I wake.
Sometimes there is rain, sometimes lightning and thunder. Never is there light from the 'rifter. Never.
I like it that way.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
How odd that some memories surface with the most random of words spoken.
A man that has one leg can swim in only a circle, Elenoire declared. Of course, Rejiek had no legs, and he could swim just fine.
He was a fool, didn't know when to say no to a wager. It had been a few years since he lost his leg during an earthquake. One of the platforms shifted and it collapsed and mangled his knee and calf. Had to remove the whole thing once the infection set in. Then, after a long night of drinking, I bet him that he couldn't outrace a shark, an actual shark with fins and all, from Midnight beach to Boulder beach. Of course, the fool tried and lost his second leg.
Now I send his family enough plat to get by each cycle.
So it begins.
Friday, 07 November 2014
Elenoire mentioned a story her grandfather would tell her as a girl. I asked her for it, but much of the detail had already slipped from her mind. I didn't want her to go without a story, so I offered to retell it for her.
The Goblin and the Silver Apple.
Can you imagine it? A Goblin. Hoarding, conniving, disgusting little creatures. This one was no different; except, this one had something no other goblin had. He had a human. Now, as you'd expect, the Goblin wasn't keen on sharing his possessions, and that is certainly what she was.
To the beginning...
A bonnie lass, she was, the pride of her family. Diligent and hard working, wondrously intelligent and witty. She saw the good in all that was around her, she saw the good that could be had in every situation. Even in the Goblin. Even with this great attributes, she was not sought after by the men of her village. "Why?" You ask. Simple reason: her family was poor. It didn't matter how beautiful you were, not there. It did not matter how hard you worked, how capable and resolute of mind, no it didn't even matter that she could likely duel each man in the village and win! If you were poor, you were filth and filth was not to be touched. Her family made the poor look like kings and queens in their grand palaces.
It was the perfect situation, you see. The Goblin wanted what he did not have, he wanted what the other Goblins could never obtain. A human. And so he went from village to village, searching for that which he desired. He stood, though not much taller than the counter before him, in a bar and observed the night's crowd; those coming home from their long day of work. It was here that he met the father of the girl; he was begging for the scraps to take to his family, with no luck. The Goblin approached him with a platinum coin weaving between his fingers. The allure was evident in the man's gaze as it narrowed upon the coin.
"I seek that which cannot be purchased. I seek that which shall not be sold. I seek that which no man would trade for a bottomless pit of coin." The Goblin hissed to the man, flicking him the coin.
The man caught the coin in his grimy hands and quick bit it to assure it's validity.
"Wha' d'ye seek?" The man replied, pocketing the coin.
"I desire your daughter's hand." The Goblin said with a quiet voice, careful to avoid any passersby that might be dropping eaves upon their conversation.
Now, you may ask how did the Goblin know the man had a daughter. Quite simply, the Goblin was well experienced in his trade of collecting unique items. He could find a single-horned horse with nothing more than the last vestiges of fecal matter of the creature that walked one-hundred meters before it.
They bartered and spoke of numbers, riches, fame, power. All the likes that would tempt a man to give all he had in exchange of. Finally, a deal was struck. The ink wasn't even dry on the parchment when the girl was given up for collection.
This beautiful girl traded like a piece of meat in the market. For how much, you ask? For fifty platinum pieces! When the news broke to the village, the Goblin and his new bride were long gone and the coin spent on ale and women. It should be noted, the body of the man was found a cycle later in a ditch with his pockets turned out and a knife in his gut.
Before I continue, you should know this is not a happy story. It will not end in a manner you desire. There will be no justice here.
When they arrived to his marvelous home, full of unique and precious treasures, he stood her in his parlor and offered her one thing. She may choose any item, and it would be hers forever. His gift for their 'wedding'. Her eyes swept back and forth across the grand collection, frantically. There was a single object, high upon a shelf, that caught her eye: a Silver Apple. With a snap of his fingers, a servant came and fetched the polished apple and delivered it to her. The only conditions of his gift was that she must carry it with her at all times and she must present it to him for inspection whenever he desired. She slipped it into the pocket of her dress, and laid hand over it to keep it secure.
Days fluttered past and the Goblin would come and go. Some nights they would talk, others she would quietly lay in bed: crying herself to sleep. Food would be provided, but she never saw from where. There was no kitchen on the main level of the home, and certainly she would not venture into the depths of the house. Or would she? It was late into one of his voyages, one that he warned her would last a cycle or more, and she grew increasingly lonely; so, she quietly moved to the door that led into the cellar. Placing her hand on the doorknob, she gave it a quick twist and sure enough, the door opened without so much as making a creak.
She heard singing coming from the steps below. The voice was wretched and easily quite old. In a hurry she swept down the stairs only to come to a sudden halt as an ancient woman, with mixing bowl in hand, stepped right into her path. Silently they stood there, staring at each other for what seemed like marcs. Finally, the old woman lifted her hand and beckoned the girl to follow. They spent the rest of the night, and well into the early morn, talking and sharing their stories. The girl, being the helpful and kind soul that she was, took pity upon the cook and offered to help her, to heal her. Clearly afraid of the repercussions, the cook declined and shooed her away.
Several days past by, then a week. Still no return from the Goblin, and so she ventured another trip down below. She managed to convince the elderly woman to accept her help, her healing hands, and one day, she promised, she would help her escape. A day later, the Goblin returned, though he was ignorant of the plan that had been hatched. Life returned to what could only be considered normal then. When the Goblin would go away to collect treasures, she would slip into the cellar below and help the woman. It was on one occasion of this kindness that her Silver Apple fell from her pocket and rolled into the soot riddled fireplace.
She plucked it from the dormant hearth and attempted to clean the soot from its surface. Failure. Water surely would help, yes? No. Nothing she did would clean the soot from the previously pristine periphery.
Panicked, she tucked the Blackened Apple into her dress pocket and fled up the stairs, slamming the door shut behind her. As she slid down against the door, the Goblin rounded the corner. Home from his voyage and in a terrible fit of anger at being short handed. Seeing her in the hallway, he eyed her suspiciously.
"Would the worse moment come? Would he ask for the apple?" She thought to herself as her facade conveyed nothing but joy to see her husband. No. He did not ask, not then. It was not until that evening at dinner that he requested the prized gift. Hesitantly, she pulled the Blackened Apple from her pocket.
At first the Goblin did not react. It was almost as if he was unsure of what to do. Finally, he stood and walked calmly around the table to her. Standing next to her, he gently took the apple from her hand and set it on the table.
As mentioned previously, the Goblin did not wish to share his possessions. Brag about them, of course; give glimpses to the other collectors, absolutely! Share them? Never.
In the next moment, the Goblin ripped at her hair and dragged her from the dinning room to the Cellar door. Down the steps they went, further into the blackness.
The girl was thrown into the depths of a pit beneath the house for her betrayal. Night after night her screams would echo into the house. Occasionally, the Goblin would visit her; to remind himself.
There isn't much joy in the rigors of training, nor is there joy in the consumption of potions and the coin thereby; however, there is a feeling, similar to joy I suppose, in meeting with the trainer and proving one's worth and hearing one's named called to all the lands.
My name is not one that is usually unheard of, though it is rarely called for advancing. It is rarely spoken by the Crier at all. There have been occasions that the Crier spoke to me, on purpose. The more memorable I recall was a winter's day about nine cycles ago. Flowers, tied into bouquets, were for sale in Dundee. The poor crier had none for himself, and no one seemed thoughtful to offer any. He lamented for all the lands to hear, and so I hurried to Dundee, purchased the flowers, and offered them to him.
It was a moment of connection between two people that, at that time, were rarely thought of except in passing.
The Crier and I have not spoken much since then, it is not needed. There is the silent understanding that we each have our parts to play, and will be called upon when the need arises.
It is with that in mind that I spoke to Cody about an idea. Awarding the Crier for his relentlessness in keeping Valorn notified of the well-being of her people. This oft forgotten wonder of Valorn deserves more than the occasional murmuring of relief we afford him when he calls that all is well; however, it is not for me to push. It is not for me to cause a stir until it occurs.
It is for me to remain silent and remember our places are where they are for a reason. When the time comes, we will advance. Until then, we work diligently to protect Valorn in the ways we have been taught to do.
Tuesday, 04 November 2014
An unlikely duo.
Apolla came to me for help with approaching those in power about the blatant lack of armor and weaponry for Cleric in our skillset range. I penned up a quick letter to the High Queen, and she posted it to our town boards.
It is an unlikely matching, the two of us. Until this turn, we were not truly on speaking terms; however, as with all conflicts, we found unity in an issue.
Now we have begun to train together.
An unlikely duo.
Saturday, 01 November 2014
Some are more surprising than others.
There are those that claim they despise everything someone stands for, then you turn around twice and they are the closest of friends with them. There are some that are the greatest of friends, you close your eyes in sleep and when you wake they are no where to be seen.
How many are true to their word? How many remain honest to themselves and to others?