Lost-Eyes [17 Hispis 4385]
Kantele:"In summary, Dorze is an escaped indenturee of your friend and colleague Kzip La Hish in Oorah Thrassen." Dorze said nothing, but wagged his tail quietly. Kantele continued, "And of course similar troubles come with Lost-Eyes."
Lost-Eyes:"Much less trouble than Dorze! I am a free woman, unencumbered by legal obligations."
Kantele:"You are a wicked sort of free woman, if your concept of 'trouble' is merely 'legal obligation'!"
Lithia:"Kantele! That's not fair and you know it."
Kantele:"Bons mots aside, Lost-Eyes is, if anything, more troublesome to have aboard than Dorze. Lost-Eyes, please be so kind as to explain your ancestry?"
Lost-Eyes:"I am ultimately the descendant of forty-eight Orren from Inihithre. They had several hundred names among them, and I can't quote them all."
Me:"That is not particularly specific. Every Orren now living can say the same."
Inconnu:"Not exactly! My mother's girlfriend knows all the names of the first-created Orren."
Lost-Eyes:"I am therefore less unusual than Inconnu's mother's girlfriend, and even less likely to be troublesome."
Kantele:"Your parentage, wicked girl!"
Lost-Eyes:"Oh, just an Orren couple in Oorah Thrassen."
Kantele:"The male of that couple being Nangbang, until recently the chieftan of the ecclesiastical störmgething of the Temple of the Dark Trinity in Oorah Thrassen. And, incidentally, he served as High Priest in your so-very-eventful consecration not long ago. That is the man whose daughter has stowed away on your skyboat."
Me:"Lost-Eyes? Has Kantele explained the matter properly?"
Lost-Eyes:"Not a bit! She didn't explain that I am the adult daughter of Nangbang -- I have been officially adult for weeks now."
Kantele:"An impressive claim of maturity, to be sure. One wonders what sort of amazing displays of rationality and sensibility you will exhibit when you are months past that miraculous date. Still ... where do you live?"
Lost-Eyes:"Nowhere. I'm running away from home."
Lithia:"She got you on that one, Kantele!"
Kantele:"She did indeed, and she evaded the question. Where did you live before you ran away?"
Lost-Eyes:"Well, that was mostly with my parents."
Kantele:"So, these two stowaways are closely associated with two mighty wizards and priests of Oorah Thrassen."
Lithia:"Only one of each!"
Kantele:"In any case, with more mighty priests and wizards than are present on Strayway. Thus they bring to us trouble in generous baskets spilling over!"
Grinwipey:"Well, tell 'em to put it in the larder with all the other trouble we brought."
Me:"They do bring us a good deal of trouble. Dorze, Lost-Eyes, can you tell me how you got onto my skyboat?"
Lost-Eyes:"We've been in love forever! Years and years!"
Dorze:"I don't think that's forever to a Zi Ri."
Me:"It's close enough at your age though. Pray go on."
Lost-Eyes:"My parents were scandalized. They're very proper and formal Orren. They want to be important; they want everything done right. Well, I'm wrong and Dorze is wrong, but we want to love and live together anyhow."
Kantele:"You certainly know the right word of 'wrong' to catch Sythyry's attention. That sounds contrived to me, as if you know zir history."
Lost-Eyes:"If it please you, we do know something about zir history, about Castle Wrong and all. If we'd been in Vheshrame, we'd have moved in there, sure as death."
Kantele:"If we'd allowed you!"
Me:"We're not that picky. We let Inconnu in, after all."
Me:"Please continue, O stowaways."
Lost-Eyes:"We asked Sazandigraa for help. Zie is known to be somewhat sympathetic to such matters, and zie is not particularly afraid of La Hish or Papa. Zie told us to wait a few months -- this was a few months ago -- and to ask you for asylum when you came to visit."
Me:"A sensible plan, which you are about to get around to?"
Dorze: [with much tail-wagging] "Yes, please. We are a pair of traff lovers, fleeing an unjust situation in Oorah Thrassen. May we please place ourselves under your protection?"
Me:"May you please explain, before I decide, how you came to stow away on my skyboat?"
Lost-Eyes:"Sazandigraa was supposed to introduce us. We'd made arrangements with zir on the eighth of Hispis. Zie didn't want to do it then, though."
Grinwipey:"Well, ain't that a Reluu-rumping surprise!" (No, it is not. Grinwipey had just blackmailed Saza, and I am not surprised that Saza was in no mood to help the couple.)
Dorze:"Zir secretary put us off a couple of days. It was a better idea to take asylum right as you left, anyhow."
Lithia:"But you'd done that big consecration, and you were asleep, and we couldn't wake you up."
Lithia:"So we talked it over, and decided to let them on board. We thought you'd approve of them, anyhow. Half the people on board are your clients under about those terms."
Me:"Yes, and I insisted on interviewing everyone who came to Castle Wrong before they moved in, too."
Lithia:"They're not exactly moving in. They're just getting passage to Srineia."
Me:"Why are you going to Srineia? It's not particularly a good place for traff couples. You'd be better off going to Vheshrame."
Dorze:"We need to be out of range of Kzip's spells and Nangbang's influence. Srineia is better."
Me:"Fair enough. Lithia, why didn't you check with me when I did wake up?"
Lithia:"You spent the whole day breaking Vae's helpfulness, and then went back to bed. Then we were going to, but we got that call for help from that inistella."
Me:"Why not this morning, then?"
Lithia:"Well, we're out of spell-range now, and it's not much longer to Srineia. It didn't seem that important to bother you for just a couple days' passage."
Me:"I see. Any other surprises?"
Everyone, eventually:"Not that we are willing to admit at the moment."
And now I am sitting in a fireplace, thoroughly annoyed at everyone except loyal Phaniet, trying to figure out what to do.
Sythyry the Shipmaster: The custom among shipmasters and sky pilots is not to tolerate stowaways. Particularly obnoxious ones can simply be tossed overboard, with a spell to help them survive the landing unless they are unlucky if you are feeling kind. Ordinary ones are to be let out at the next port of call. This is an important custom, according to my guild training. If stowaways are treated with no unnecessary kindness, fewer people will be inclined to stow away.
Also, I am rather annoyed with Saza and Lithia for taking such a troublesome liberty with me. Saza, I suppose, may feel that it is a fair exchange for the pile of trouble I gave zir. Lithia should know better.
Sythyry the Traff: They're not the first wrong-matched people to show up on my door and ask for my help. (Of course, usually such people stop at the door until I invite them in.) If they had started out politely, I daresay I might well have helped them out ... maybe; see the next paragraph for the troubles. And they did try a couple times to be polite before they decided to stow away.
Sythyry the Wizard: I'm going to be dealing with Kzip and Nangbang for a long while. Kzip is presumably as immortal as I am. Nangbang may or may not be; I don't know. Starting out my relationship with them with "I removed your indentured servant and your daughter from your city so that they could indulge their unnatural lusts without your masterful and parental attentions" is unlikely to lead to a comfortable, friendly relationship in any sort of near term.
Sythyry the Reasonable Person: I certainly owe Nangbang gratitude, if nothing else, for his help with Accanax. I imagine he is not terribly delighted at his daughter's vanishment. Returning her to him would be an act of kindness to a person whom I sort of owe such an act to. Kzip's claim on Dorze is a widely-recognized legal claim, and any reasonable person would feel some obligation to return him, too.
Sythyry on Vacation: I don't feel like flying back up to Ketheria at this point. We're quite far from it. I suppose I could put Dorze and Lost-Eyes on a skyboat headed back up. Which would mean paying their passage out of my own accounts; they certainly didn't bring enough money for it. And I'd have no particular assurance that they'd stay on that skyboat.
Sythyry with the Pet Nendrai: If I were truly annoyed, I would introduce them to Vae and ask her to help them out. I can't imagine what she might do. I'm sure it would be devastating. I'm nearly that annoyed with the stowaways, but I don't think I want to be as random as Vae would be.
I will do what I will do, of course. I've mostly made up my mind. But what's your advice?
How annoyed would you be at Dorze and Lost-Eyes? (1 = not much, 10 = furious). I'm going to answer this one so you can see how annoyed I really am.
How annoyed would you be at Lithia, Wipey, and their quasi-mutinous associates? (1 = not much, 10 = furious).
How annoyed would you be at Kantele, who was trying to protect me but being quite vicious about it? (1 = not much, 10 = furious).
What should I do with Dorze and Lost-Eyes?
What do you think Vae would do to or with them?