Microsoft Word - And so it BeginsJune12

aneesha01

And so it Begins………….

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : smiles to Master, rises quickly, turning on bare heels,

hurries to the kitchen, humming softly...moves to the counter, stretching

high, lifts Master's tankard from the shelf...looks inside the tankard, eyes

widen seeing a scroll tucked inside....removes the scroll and checks the

rim carefully, wipes the tankard and moves to the hearth....kneels upon the

warm stones, carefully opens the spigot and fills the tankard...closes the

spigot tightly then stands....turns carefully and moves to the counter

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : lifts the scroll carefully and hurries back to the

Court, crosses quietly to Master, kneels upon the edge of the fur, holding

the tankard tightly to her heart, whispers a prayer of health and

happiness...places a kiss just below the rim before extending the tankard

and scroll high to Master's reach, dark eyes sparkling

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : dez brings You room temp ale my Master, praying it

refreshes You this day and in some small way dez has been pleasing in

serve

I turned a little to take the drink from dez

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg smiles to Master, lowering hands to sik covered

thighs, holding the scroll tightly

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : is there anything more dez may get You my Master ?

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : nay dez - released

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : yes my Master thank You for allowing dez to get

Your ale

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg lays the scroll upon the fur, rises quickly and moves

to Mistress Vala, kneels respectfully..thighs pressed, gaze lowered to the

fur

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : may dez offer serve s

Mistress?

Valal‡‡FW : blackwine second in a bowl dez

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : yes Mistress


ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg scoots back before rising, hurries to the kitchen in

search of blackwine for Mistress..moves to the shelf, lifting on her toes,

pulls a bowl from the shelf, wipes the bowl and moves to the heath...kneels

lifting a ladle, stirs the blackwine then fills the bowl carefully....replaces

the ladle and stands, holding the bowl tightly in both hands..moves to the

court, crossing to Mistress Vala. kneels respectfully, lifts the bowl to Her

reach, gaze lowers to the floor

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : dez brings You blackwine second Mistress, praying it

warms and refreshes You this day

Valal‡‡FW : Ai dez could you put it somewhere within reach and safe

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : yes Mistress

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg moves to the low table near the fur, within Mistress's

reach, places the bowl upon the table's center, lowers hands to rest

against her lap

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg rises quietly, steps back and turns on heels, hurries

back to Master, kneels upon the edge of His fur..lifts the scroll slowly,

looking at the ribbon tying the scroll and the wax seal, trying to figure out

the signet in the wax

Valal‡‡FW : At the moment I am travelling southwards in the NodrOrmr as

is known by Marcanus

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : You can't reach the Thassa following

lowing

the Javlynn river to the sea - not navigable - and the canal is not yet built -

You need to go back inland

Valal‡‡FW : Think I will get back the way I came but what I fear the most is

the Black Slavers on the Schendi

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : You have a long trip down the Thassa-

Cartius first - before the jungles are reached

Valal‡‡FW : My Father already mapped the Schendi

Valal‡‡FW : I intend to go back out on the Thassa and meet up with the

Knorr at Bazi

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg quickly lays the scroll close to Master, having made

out a large S and a tarn...gasps, making out a snake on the signet in the

wax intention, shivers


Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : aye - travel north up the coast

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : what are you playing with dez?

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg looks to Master, lifts the scroll in fingertips

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : a scroll dez found inside Your tankard my Master

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : before or after you filled it???

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : it was in Your tankard before dez filled it

Valal‡‡FW Leans as I turn to take the bowl of blackwine, lifting it under the

veil carefully taking sips

Valal‡‡FW Looks at Talarius face... puzzled by the expression upon it...

Valal‡‡FW Sips more of the blackwine

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB looks at the scroll dez has - takes and

opens it .......

Valal‡‡FW Drinking the remaining dregs of blackwine, placing the bowl

back to the table...

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB looks through the scroll - tattered and

frayed and ancient

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB reads down to the end of the scroll

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : .... by the PK's - this COULD be the

scroll of Sangermitt !!!

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg looks to Master...blinks

Valal‡‡FW : Thought that was lost and in the City of the Dead

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB drags His racing mind away from the

words on the scroll

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : I will need to run some tests - compare

the hand

Valal‡‡FW : What was the seal like

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB rolls the scroll carefully and returns it

to its waxed covering


Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : ... it was not as I expected ...other

...influences at work I think

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB ponders

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : I will work on it amongst My tomes …

this is of great import

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg wonders what a sang erm itt is

Valal‡‡FW : I heard that on earth where the barbarians come from a huge

library existed but was destroyed

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : millennia ago - aye - excuse Me 10 ehn

- I need to lock this somewhere safe .......... exits to His desk in the Court

Valal‡‡FW : dez the blackwine was most warming and welcome

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : is there anything more dez may get You Mistress?

Valal‡‡FW : None dez

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : yes Mistress

ďeźrä»HòTfg·яş·Vfg : smiles

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : returns looking perplexed and

distracted - knowing the midnight oil will be burning till the dawn .......

Valal‡‡FW : WB : Talarius: all safely locked away now

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : hummmm - aye - and a guard set by

the door

Ĵöąŋîę¤Ĵēl¤Veń : what Ya got locked up?

Valal‡‡FW : I wish you luck in finding its secrets Talarius

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : tis of interest only to Scribes - and

perhaps the Whites too

Ĵöąŋîę¤Ĵēl¤Veń : oh now im really nosey

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : for tis written in "Old Gorean" runes


Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB later, having bidden

My farewells to the FreeWomen and returned to the

small room that serves as office in the Court, I take out

the scroll and wonder what fate has carried it here. The

only time its name was spoken before was in jest ...

dezra asking “anything else Master?” ... My reply

along the lines of " ... aye, find Me the Lost Scroll of

Sangermitt ... " chuckles.

I consider .... who heard My words in that crowded Court and acted on

them? A Guest, Guard, one of the Home, Free or slave .... not dezra, she

values her hide too well to keep a secret from Me. I return to My

interpretation of the scroll .... damn this ancient script ... there are parts

yet unclear to Me ....

With a sigh I return it to it's casing, having copied down as much as I can

decipher ... a sigh born of frustration and a realisation where My next

steps should take Me ... Lar-Torvis lights the room ... where went the

night??? I summon a Guard to accompany Me and, scroll in hand, walk

through the empty Court and out into the street.

There is little on the streets as We walk to the Cylinders, following the

sounds of chanting and bells. At the Cylinder of Castes We ascend the

outer stairwell, receiving nods from the Guards at each level until

reaching the uppermost floor, there to be received by a young Initiate who

enquires politely Our business.

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : I am here to see Quintus, tell Him it is a

matter of great urgency that We must discuss.

The boy retires behind the heavy door and, after a delay of some ehn, reappears

to invite Me, though not of course the Warrior, inside.

I see Quintus, High Initiate of Ven'dara waiting to receive Me, a sour look

of displeasure on His face.

Qùîñtùs¤Veńdårä¤HI : I trust this matter You bring to Me is of sufficient

importance to draw Me away from the Morning Devotions?


Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : A pleasant morning to

You too Quintus, aye, I believe it could be, or rather this

could be ... I take out the scroll and pass it to Him.

Qùîñtùs¤Veńdårä¤HI takes the scroll from the Scribe and

scans it quickly

Qùîñtùs¤Veńdårä¤HI : ... hummmm The Scroll of Sangermitt, such as turns

up many times at a Sardar Fair ... laughs ... a well made forgery I grant

You ... some Scribe made a goodly profit from Your purse I think !!

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB : I paid nothing for it, it appeared

mysteriously, and, having had more time to study it than You, I think Your

decision as to it's veracity a little hasty ....

.

see here ... My finger indicates

.... and this wording here ... and the seal itself ..... and there is this section

that My knowledge of the ancient runic system is not strong enough to

translate with certainty.

I see the High Initiate's eyes widen as He peers at the scratchings on the

scroll and mumbles His way softly through what sound almost like

incantations

Qùîñtùs¤Veńdårä¤HI : Follow Me, if You will, Talarius ... We need to be

sure and authenticate this against the scrolls held in the White Library

here ... I pray that the manuscripts I seek are still held within .........

Tålãríùs~FC~Añéé§hã~Véñ~AMB nods ... and follows Quintus through two

rooms into a darkened chamber, its walls lined with scrolls, that few, if

any, outside the Blessed Caste have seen ....


Chapter 2

It was now the month of Se'Var, the warmth of the Summer long past. I had left the

scroll, reluctantly, in the care of Quintus on His promise to verify its authenticity

and check Our tentative translation of one of its more archaic passages. I had

heard nothing more from Him on the matter, all My enquiries being met with

enigmatic and obviously delaying answers, but City matters had also been

diverting My attention.

I had taken dezra, and a new slave rose, on a tour of Ven'dara. After visiting the

slave market, with a view to re-enforcing to rose the consequence of

disobedience after the incident in the Bazaar, I continued the tour.

I follow the walls east - past the new hospital close to completion and past

Kyrielle's cottage

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB then turn towards Sar's gate, crossing the busy

street into Temple Square

«dezrá»HoT?fg¤Vfg hurries to catch up with Master, keeping three paces behind

His left, waves to a passing Court Guard

rose¤Veñdara¤ws walks behind dezra and looks towards the next buildings,

moves quicker to follow Master

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB this is a pleace of peace and mystery - the

temples of a dozen sects - a massive central plinth always a fire in the bowl

above it

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : you will not know these gods rose, they are

fierce and fickle

rose¤Veñdara¤ws observes that special place and listens to Masters voice, tries

to understand Him again

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB takes a handfull of sa tarna grain from a dish

and sprinkles it into a flame that issues from a crack in the ground - makes a

sign as it burns, crackling

rose¤Veñdara¤ws watches intently Masters movements and swallows softly

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : what I do not understand I try to appease


«dezrá»HoT?fg¤Vfg looks to the left, eyes widen....leans closer to

Master,,whispers softly..

isn't that Your Initiate Friend my Master?

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB I murmer to Myself, an Initiate, here, unlikely.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB I look round for white robes, I have no Initiate I

would call "friend",

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB but there is now One approaching, tis not

Quintus, this one looks nervous, His scrawny neck twisting as He looks about as

if fearing discovery

Gallus~Ven~I : Talarius? His voice questioning, I nod, I must speak with You

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB The Scroll? the matter had been on My mind

Gallus~Ven~I flinches and puts a long finger to His lips, looks at the kajirae and

adds ... alone.


The Initiate turned and, beckoned that I was to follow. His beady eyes

switched to the slaves and I almost thought I saw a flicker of lust cross his

stony countenance. He beckoned me to follow and disappeared between

the twin flames of the Vault of Kamash, down the steps that led into its

underground chamber. I followed warily and alone, in the chamber, we

talked.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : so … the Scroll of Sangermitt – aye?

Gallus~Ven~I : You will never see it again, whatever Quintus has told you

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB seeing the look of disbelief on my face

he continued …

Gallus~Ven~I : It will NEVER ER see the light of day again!

He paused, shocked by his own raised voice

Gallus~Ven~I : The Scroll was deciphered, then the code hidden within it

was broken, this is the translated passage that concerns us

He handed me a sheet of rence as I wondered why he now saw us as

sharing some common cause, I took the parchment and read ….

I had heard that there was some discord amongst the ranks of the Blessed

Ones, of a sect known as the “Revisionists” who questioned the primacy of

the Priest Kings. The scroll described a place and not some ancient Scribe

or Initiate. Sanger Mitt, “overreaching cliff” was one interpretation of that

word. It seems that long ago a craft of the “Others” crashed there, an

accident of some sort or the Priest Kings by now would have vaporised it.

I wondered at the author of that Scroll, his motives, certainly he was

skilled to encode the scroll’s real message so well that it escaped the

notice of those few Initiates who must have seen it so long ago, before it

vanished into the mists of legend.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : Why was the Sangermitt Scroll brought

to me in the first place? Your doing??

Gallus~Ven~I : No, , we thought it lost, but the Dark Ones have agents too.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : I can see why this would interest the

Revisionists

My comment hit home and he winced before replying


Gallus~Ven~I : We are under too close observation to act, but Quintus is

organising an expedition to locate the vessel and ensure it, and its

contents are destroyed. For whatever reason you were chosen, will you

help us to discover the truth of this?

Was I now a pawn in the war between Priest Kings and Kurii? Or were They

little concerned in the doctrinal squabbles of men?? No matter, I seemed

to have been “selected” and my curiosity drove me.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : I nodded once, he went to take my hand

but pulled back and simply said “We thank you” and quickly departed.

I knew the reason that the scroll had found me … the craft had found its

resting place deep in the Dara mountains, just a few hundred pasang

north. I would go, and what better “cover” than to take along my treasure

hunting Akab and a few others from Ven’dara …. Aye, a small party on an

excursion into the mountains would draw little suspicion, or so I thought …

I went to seek out KoHr ………..


Chapter 3

Leaving Temple Square with my mind still racing, I went to seek out a map

with which to discuss a route with KoHr. On the vast shelves of the City

Library I found what I sought and took it to a desk to peruse.

I unrolled the map and began tracing the route We would follow. It would

take Us through the Hafner Valley & after a hundred pasang reach Tumis

Tera at the base of Mt. Tucumcari . We would continue on the road to the

Sardar a further hundred and twenty pasang then turn off along the

seldom used road that led back to the Thassa which We would continue to

follow for a further fifty pasang, then, at the Pit of the Dead, We would

strike North, following no road that I could see …

I looked closer at the map, it seemed to fold and blur before my eyes, a

dull glow burning on the spot where Sanger Mitt should be ……

I fell back away from the desk, sending the chair spinning to the alarm of

those nearby, and looked again at the scroll …. simply a map. I rolled it


and dropped it into a scrollcase and, with apologies for shattering the

academic quiet of the place, left.

I crossed the town again to reach the dwelling of KoHr and was soon

talking with him across a wide temwood table in his study. Aiken, having

received my message, hurried to join the conference.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : Brothers I called You here as I need

the help of a few I can trust implicitly and I do not conceal the fact that I

could be putting You Both in real peril.

I outlined to them all that had learned and how I came by it, leaving out no

details or doubts that I possessed. Staunch Fellows both, they gave their

unconditional support, covering up their own misgivings with jokes and

banter.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : Akab KoHr, could You take Your tarn

up there, You know those hills better than I from Your travels and will

attract less attention than others. Try to find out the lie of the land, stay

away from the site though, just find out what might await Us in that area

around the Pit of the Dead and North of there when We leave the road.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : Akab Aiken, I will entrust to You the

task of quietly gathering up transport and provisions for the journey.

Sufficient for six travellers perhaps as I am yet unsure who else We may

have need of. I am thinking of bosk wagons and that We may be best

travelling in disguise.

Aiken looked to Me and, knowing His expertise with Tarns and His

probable bemusement as to the request for Bosk wagons… I continued

speaking…

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB : I can see the thought race through

Your mind Akab but whilst I know tarns would be far faster, a party of

High Caste in the air over that location would likely attract unwanted

attention.

Both Men nodded and, after some more talk on the details, with a clasp of

hands the company dispersed.


Chapter 4

Having heard My Akab’s story and agreeing to accompany Him on His

quest We sealed Our pact by firmly clasping Our left hands in a tri-way

handshake whilst placing Our right hands on Our hearts as a sign of

solidarity,

We promised to keep in touch, but not meet again until Talarius gave word

that our adventure was to begin… little did I realise where this adventure

would take us.

I hoped to slip from KoHr’s House unnoticed, I was on foot and his House

wasn't far from Mine. I owned warehouses on the docks beside the canal

and, having agreed to provide transport for the undertaking, as I made My

way Home was deep in thought on how to arrange the removal of

merchandise without arousing undue suspicion. Various ideas of what I

would say to Tanga My trusty Master at Arms which would explain My

actions ran through My head, in the end I decided I would tell him I was

planning a trip to the Sardar.

Some sixth sense must have been with me this night as I saw the shadow of

a raised arm on the wall opposite, I threw Myself to the floor and rolled,

then heard the thud as a quiva embedded itself in a window shutter

opposite. Coming to My feet and drawing My sword I was just in time to

see a shadowy figure disappear between two shops. Dusting Myself off I

moved over and pulled the quiva from its resting place.

Carefully I inspected it; turning it over in My hands I looked closely, as

closely as the light would allow Me too. I was intrigued, would the quiva

bear a clue to its owner; I was not surprised to see it was unmarked, I

chuckled and shrugged My shoulders… so, My involvement was known.

Next morning I awoke late, celena was still sleeping, I leaned down to kiss

the tip of the pert nose peeking just above the top of her cover, she

moaned and, changing My mind I decided to leave her to sleep.

I washed, dressed and munched hungrily on a slice of Sa Tarna bread for

breakfast.

Walking down to the docks I was even more vigilant than usual, and

viewed every one I saw with suspicion, reaching the warehouses I called

My trusted Master At Arms to Me.


Tanga_Ven_MA : Run this by Me again, Your taking time away to go to the

Sardar Mountains?.

I could hear the astonishment in his voice.

Aiken_Ven_ AoF, Its about time, I said, Every man must eventually make

this pilgrimage, You have done it haven't You?.

Tanga_Ven_MA, Aye that I have, and who will run Your business while

We’re away?.

This was the part of the discussion I dreaded.

Aiken_Ven_ AoF, Actually Tanga Your not going!. He looked at Me

astounded, I continued to speak …I I need you here to look after My

business, and like You just admitted You have already made the trip.

Tanga_Ven_MA, aye but...... He started to protest and I held up My hand

stopping him in mid flow.

Aiken_Ven_AoF, Here's what I want you to do. Nodding He listened

intently as I revealed My orders to Him. Have two bosk wagons each

with four bosk ready to move at a moments notice, that moment will be a

word from Me.

I also told Him to load each wagon with food and drink provisions for up

to two weeks.

We parted company, His hand placed solidly upon My shoulder as I

turned away showed His Loyalty and His concern for My well being, I

knew this Man Whom I have trusted for many years would not let Me

down.

My voice carried back to Him as I moved on down the path ,.,,

Aiken_Ven_AoF, Do not worry, I will be in touch !!

With many thoughts and plans in My mind I mentally listed My priorities

and proceeded to carry them out.

My first port of call was to the Seamstress Shop.


Entering the small shop a Woman swiftly approached Me. I took Her to be

the Seamstress and eager for work as She hardly gave Me time to close

the door behind Me before sweeping into explanations of Her wares.

Interrupting Her politely, I commenced to put into play the story I had

concocted.

Aiken_Ven_AoF, A nephew of Mine is studying to become an Initiate and

as a surprise I want to give Him a new set of white robes as befits a

member of that celibate Caste..

Lytitia_Ven_S, Just one set? she asked, looking disappointed.

Aiken_Ven_AoF, I will purchase three sets if you can have them ready for

tomorrow morning. I would swear I could see Her eyes light up at the

prospect of such a sale

Lytitia_Ven_S, Ahhh a rush order, I haven't had one of them since the Sar

had that....She stopped, then smiled and said, aye I think I can manage that

for You.

I paid her well and she told me the robes would be ready the next morning,

I figured having some Initiates White robes might come in handy as a

deception.

Next on My list would be to arrange for a crate containing an assortment

of weapons sent from My flag ship to the warehouse, it was to be labelled

‘siriks’ and ‘Tahari walking chains’. No point advertising the crates true

content, but the weight would be similar.

I pondered last nights events and My, almost meeting with the quiva … Now

all was ready, it just needed the signal from My Akab and, for Me to stay

alive, and We would be on Our way.

Two days had passed, I had received word that Aiken had organised

everything that was needed for the expedition and more besides. The

attempt on His life could mean that our intentions were known. That


concerned me greatly, but there was a greater concern. KoHr was already

10 ahn overdue from his reconnoitre of our destination.

Though it was now well into the night I wrote and sent by messenger a

sealed scroll to Jelnate.

The morning light found its way through the heavy drapes over the

window...

Jè£naté¤Veñdara¤G: Where went the night?

A thought merely spoken aloud, yet it reverberates through My

bedchamber emphasising the silence in the stillness of dawn…

I rise and dress in drab brown sackcloth trousers, pull on worn boots and

grab the wool cloak purchased from an old man wandering the alley near

the docks. No doubt it has never known the feel of hot soapy water since

the threads were woven. Perhaps the smell will not draw any unwanted

sleen on this little adventure.

With My sword sheathed to My right hip I toss the cloak over My shoulder

grasp a sleen knife and sheath it tucking it firmly into My left boot top

then, pulling the tattered legging over the boot top and taking a deep

breath, I set out to find Talarius.

My Guard Garius, no doubt from His expression, has reservations as to

the reason for My attire but says nothing as I leave specific instructions

with Him that He is to personally keep watch over najma until My unknown

return.

I place a scroll, sealed with My personal insignia, into His hand and have

no concerns He will know what to do with that scroll should I not return

for whatever reason. With a curt nod to Him I turn and make My way

through the front door.

Turning left onto the Street of Silks pulling the hood of the cloak over My

head, I make My way for the center of the City, nodding to the City Patrols

along the way and chuckling to Myself as various reactions to My attire


and then acknowledgements of recognition cross their faces. I return

slightly delayed salutes and make My way through the City Cylinders

which assists in cutting both time and distance for Sar's Villa. I approach

the gates to find the Guards on their toes, a very welcomed sight for once.

I wonder where exactly I am to meet up with Talarius, Aiken and KoHr, so I

linger at the gates like a common beggar waiting for a handout until one of

the Guards approaches Me and ask what business I have at Sars Villa.

Keeping the hood slightly pulled down to cover My face, I step towards the

Guard, undoubtedly something He was not expecting and the ring of steel

fills the cool morning air as several swords in unison are pulled.

I step closer; pulling the hood back and the Guards lower their weapons

and mumble apologies as I speak…

Jè£naté¤Veñ’dara¤G: Has Talarius the AMB been seen or, left word or

message for Me?

The Guards immediate reply assures Me They are as much in the dark

about what is going on and My attire this morning as I; and as for where I

am to meet with Talarius, Aiken and KoHr, I am now none the wiser.

Nodding to the Guards, I pull the hood back over My head and lean

against the wall, waiting for Any or All of My cohorts to arrive.

From the corner of My eye, I notice a odd looking bunch on a wagon

coming through the Ar gate which moves swiftly past Me and continues on

turning some distance ahead towards DownWinds.

Instinct takes over and, already moving from where I leant against the wall

I shout to the Guards a clear concise order…

Jè£naté¤Veñ’dara¤G: Should the AMB arrive, inform Him I will return

shortly …

The words hardly finished speaking I toss back the hood, and head with

haste for the DownWind area.

Enlisting a group of 6 City Patrols along the way & setting one of the

Guards off to gather several officers and a squad of militia I begin to

wonder …could this could be the *shipment* heard tell about by one of the

regulars from the docks.


No doubt innocent bystanders had their own ideas as to what was going

on as I strode past dressed in less then City issue Military attire and

thrust a path through the Bazaar with a troupe of City Patrol and several

militia lagging somewhat behind.

Having momentarily lost sight of the wagon whilst moving through the

throngs of people in the act of setting up their stalls I soon caught up with

it in time to see it turning for DownWinds and slowed in My pace just as

one of them jumped off the wagon and fell to the ground.

I approached the Man as He fell, My left hand instantly going for My

sword under the cloak as the Guards and Officers gathered around. We

ALL had the same expression I am sure when the Man asked for

protection and requested to speak personally with the One in charge.

No doubt this Man was not a regular in the City however, could He

possibly be worth something. I had no reason to give My identity to the

Man, certainly not dressed as I was.

Jè£naté¤Veñdara¤G: Guards…Take this Man to the General's office, see He

is fed and given drink, and remain with Him, for His protection.

I turn away before the Guards can say or do anything lest My identity be

given away, this matter can wait, I have a date with the City

Ambassador......

Dawn crept slowly across the City heralding the onset of a new day. A

chill wind whipped up dust about the streets as We set out; only three Free

Men in two wagons drawn by teams of bosk; of KoHr there was still no

word. It was with a some sense of foreboding We donned the Initiates

robes brought by Aiken and carefully drew the white cowls over Our

heads to cover Our unshaven pates.

To the eyes of the Guards and any others that would look upon us We

would simply be a party of Blessed Ones en route to the Sardar.


At the 6 th Ahn We took Our leave of the City via the River Gate and,

crossing the drawbridge which spanned the Javlynn River, set forth on

Our journey.

Jelnate and I were in the lead wagon and, following the road that would

take Us to the Hafner Valley and Tumis Tera one hundred pasang distant,

We exchanged thoughts.

Jè£naté¤Veñdara¤G: A good place to set an ambush Akab!

I followed His gaze; the

road had left the forest

canopy and was rising

towards a narrow pass, the

foothills of the Dara range

rising on the horizon.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB: There are likely better ones to come

Akab, this part of Our route is at least well travelled. Did You find out any

more from that Stranger who “fell” into Your hands?

Jè£naté¤Veñdara¤G: Nay, it was strange, My Men reported that He was

incoherent, almost terrified, but would add no more than was in that note.

I looked again at the scrap of rence the General’s Guards had brought

Him, perhaps the sense of it would become clearer as Our journey

unfolded.

By pushing the animals hard We reached the lake South West of Tumis

Tera as darkness fell. Rather than travel for another two ahn in almost

pitch blackness to reach the village, We decided to make camp and eat.

Close to the lake shore We set a small fire screening it from the road with

the wagons, here We prepared and ate a simple meal. I took the first watch


whilst Aiken and Jelnate rested in the wagons. With a sword at My side

and eyes straining to see beyond the fire’s faint circle of light out into the

blackness I remained alert listening for the merest sound.

A sudden sharp crack echoed through the emptiness of the night;

instantly I rose; arm raised sword in hand and awaited whatever or

Whoever would come My way. I cannot deny it was with some modicum of

relief I saw Aiken stride from the darkness toward Me.

Talarius~FC~Aneesha~Ven~AMB: You were very nearly the holiest of

Iniates Akab!!!

Aiken¤Veñdara¤Aof: I didn’t mean to startle You Akab, My watch I believe

lieve!

Rest well Talarius; for tomorrow may be a long day.

Feeling somewhat fatigued after the journey and the watch; I headed for

the wagon and some rest.

The suns rays broke through the darkness as Jelnate roused Aiken and I

from our slumbers.

Jè£naté¤Veñdara¤G: My Brothers, the night passed uneventfully, dawn is

breaking and the sun will soon rise above the side of the valley; We

should break camp and continue on Our way.

Aiken and I mumbled Our agreement and once We had partaken of some

stewed Black Wine, remains left by the fires embers from the previous

evenings repast, We climbed onto the Wagons and pointed the Bosk in the

direction of Tumis Tera.

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