A Veggie Dinner in Granniston [Granniston; 2 Hispis 4385]
I was going to pilot Strayway during dinnertime tonight. But my incessant and excessive use of mighty sorceries has rendered my natural rhythms unrhythmable, so, halfway throught the dinner hour, I was ravenous.
(In case your native magic system, unlike mine, can actually make you hungry, I must point out that what I said is utterly ridiculous. I could cast spells until I could cast no more -- which is about sixty spells or so, and would take about eleven or twelve minutes -- and I would be no hungrier nor more exhausted than when I started. So what I said is entirely and utterly preposterous, or would sound that way to a prime. Nonetheless it is true. I will explain at some point.)
So, I parked Strayway over a convenient pond.
And then I looked out to see whose convenient pond it was. Two overdressed Herethroy youths looked back at me.
Me:"Ahoy, Herethroy on the shore! May I ask whose land this is?"
Herethroy:"Ahoy, the ... is that a skyboat? This is Granniston, owned by Baron Grannis. Who are you?"
Me:"I am Sythyry, a wizard of Vheshrame. May I anchor my skyboat here for an hour?"
Herethroy:"Sorry, don't know you. I'll go ask Mommy."
Other Herethroy:"Don't bother, it'll be the whole hour to find her and get back here. You may stay here an hour, if you wish, O wizard. Or over the public pond over there. Why do you want to stay over a pond anyways?"
Me:"Thank you! Because it's out of the way generally."
So I got to go to dinner afterall.
I did not make a grand entrance into the dining room. I usually don't. Except occasionally in Castle Wrong, where the door was too big and heavy and stuck for me to open by myself, and I sometimes would have clamour outside of it. The doors in Strayway are mostly lighter and not yet sticky, so I just slipped in, and took over Ochirion's plate as he abandoned it to go off and play with Quendry.
Which was an excellent opportunity to watch Inconnu from across the room.
Inconnu:"Hops! Hops! Come here this instant, you lazy sluggard!" He was at a table with Windigar, Jyondre and Yerenthax, all three of them looking dangerously amused. (Yes, dangerously. Three Orren and one Gormoror, remember.)
Hops:"M'lordre, I hasten to obey despite having all four hands full of delectable viands and potent beverages!" Which was true, at least if one considers barley-water to be potent. Perhaps it was spiked with something.
Inconnu:"Hops! Do I detect a note of disparagement in your voice?"
Hops:"Inco...M'lordre, I certainly hope you do not detect one, because, if you did, I daresay I should be sent to the brig and, um, be forced to wear nothing but brigandine."[Ketherian wordplay, however lame, is translated into even lamer English wordplay. -bb]
Windigar:"Do we even have a brig?"
Yerenthax:"Och, I've got a brogue!" (She doesn't.)
Hops:"Then listening to it would be a fitting punishment for disparaging you, if I had been, which I wasn't."
Inconnu:"Well, as soon as you have finished your so-called other duties, I order you to go to the pantry and get me some more butter! And none of that awful horse-milk butter you brought last time, either. I want the best butter!"
Hops:"Very well, m'lordre. You shall have butter fit for a wizard!"
I promise, I wasn't offended at that, not a bit. But I did have to fly over and talk to them.
Me:"Inconnu? Why are you taunting Hops like that?"
Inconnu:"Ack! It's Sythyry!"
Inconnu:"Windigar! You said zie was piloting!"
Windigar:"I thought zie was. Sythyry, who's flying the yacht?"
Me:"We're probably plummeting over the edge of the branch. Or perhaps parked over the famous pond of the famous Baron Grannis of Granniston."
Windigar:"Well. If you think your automatic guardians are sufficient to keep the baron's forces off, and if you don't mind getting a bit behind schedule, you may join us at table."
Me:"The schedule's pretty sloppy anyways, and the baron's children seem friendly. Hops? Could you do me the kindness of bringing me Ochirion's leftovers?"
Hops:[returning with the butter, then looking rather alarmed to see me.]"Um ... Sythyry?"
Hops:"What are you doing here?"
Me:"Trying to eat dinner. Failing, too, it seems."
Hops:"It's not about you! Really!"
Me:"Well, Ochirion was finished with it."
Hops:"Not the dinner..."
Me:"Oh, you are speaking of your mysterious feud with Inconnu? I am glad that it is not about me. I do wish that you and he would keep it private though."
Inconnu:"Sorry! Sorrysorry! Sorrysorrysorry!"
Windigar, Yerenthax, Jyondre:(Considerable laughter)
Yerenthax:"It's not a feud."
Me:"Hmph! I am then sorry I did not recognize the sweet squeaky sounds of true love in their horrible threats and insults at each other!"
Yerenthax:"Not that exactly either. They are playing at being nobles when it's not their work shift, and being downtrodded servants when it is their turn."
Yerenthax:"It's both,they're so miserable."
I sort of covered my head with one wing. "It's a game?"
Inconnu:"Well um yes sort of but not really because it's just a game."
Hops:"It's just a game. Nothing in it should give you any offense for the institution of nobility."
Yerenthax:"But they weren't sure, so they didn't want to do it around you any more."
Me:"I don't really care. Just don't upset the nendrai with it any more."
Me:"And certainly don't do it around foreigners. Especially if they're real nobles. They might get offended somehow."
Hops:"And out come the complaints and restrictions and exceptions."
Me:"I'm trying to keep everyone safe!"
Hops:"Scared little lizard!"
Jyondre:"Fetch me another tankard of foaming barley water, aged a thousand years in the ancient cellars beneath our noble vessel the Strayway!"
Hops:"Immediately, M'lordre, or perhaps somewhat sooner if the tankards are clean."