There was an ulgrane walking around Vheshrame this morning. I saw her.
I have come to realize that some of you are a bit foreign. So: an ulgrane is a person of about the size and shape of a large pony. It . . . she, in this case . . . has large wings, a rather equine-style beak. This one was a Lesser Magenta-Speckled Ulgrane, with only six legs: the forelegs have nasty spiny poisonous things sort of like fingers; the others have talons. They are pirates! In particular they are not primes, they are monsters, and they are absolutely not allowed in cities.
However, this one was in the city. I do not really know how to express how wrong that is. Monsters should not be in prime cities! This is the ancient law! It is like begging the gods for pain and woe! It is worse than killing your mother to get three lozens to buy a spare rake. Even letting a monster in a prime city is a crime punishable by repeated executions!
Except … some monsters aren’t monsters according to that rule. Some monsters are harmless enough. Mherobump [rhino-morphs] are often allowed in, I suppose because they’ve never particularly done anything to hurt primes, and they’re very useful for construction. Sometimes other harmless kinds are let in . . . each city-state judges harmlessness for itself, I suppose.
Vheshrame seems to have judged ulgrane as harmless enough. This is absolutely insane. Ulgrane are pirates! They frequently attack skyboats: sometimes to conquer them, sometimes to just demand tolls. Very large tolls. They don’t mind killing primes, if there’s money to be made at it. So by any reasonable city’s judgement, they should be called as monsters, and killed as soon as they got close, not let in.
But they’re not, in Vheshrame, or at least this one isn’t called as a monster. To be sure, there are two dozen city guards around the one ulgrane, and it won’t be doing anything wicked with all that. I heard a dozen rumors why not. The plausible one seemed to be that the Duke has made a treaty with a nest of ulgrane to act as scouts, or perhaps privateers, in dealing with Oorah Thrassen, and let the ulgrane queen come into the city as a particularly unusual and unbuyable favor. I also hear that the Lesser Magenta-Speckled Ulgrane are getting a particularly nice deal on selling pirated goods inside Vheshrame: only a tiny touch higher than a native merchant would get.
This whole thing is exceedingly uncomfortable: to me, and to many people around. Even native Vheshrame citizens are less than pleased. Not that Vheshrame citizens like Oorah Thrassen, which is a little city-state that fought off Vheshrame and many allies some decades ago. [c.f. the World Tree book, p.91] But allying with monsters against other primes? That sounds like a very bad idea.
So, back to the apartment, where the very bad ideas come in a smaller scale. Thery is spending the night with Yarwain, to avoid Havune. (Don’t expect her to enjoy it that much. Yarwain has two envious and rude roommates, who will tease them both if they so much as kiss seriously.) Tethezai sent Dustweed a small bird made of candied wheat. When Dustweed read the note the first time, zir antennae went straight into the air. When zie read it the second time, zie kicked me out of the room and started crying.
To join with the spirit of the times, I should go get a crush on some Orren or other, and then use tincture of wenezza [an aphrodesiac] to acquire him-or-her. Or go home and hope that some other decade will be less insane - - though Glikkonen said to me that, in all the times zie tried to do that, it only worked twice.