Further Letters [18 Hispis 4385]
It is a particular character flaw for a Zi Ri to be impatient. I have a particularly flawed character, and in more ways than just that.
Dear Nangbang: I didn't kidnap her. I'm not asking for ransom. She came aboard my ship without my permission. I want her off of it. I could just put her off at the next port of call. But I thought you might have some opinion on the matter. -- Sythyry
Dear Kzip -- No, I don't want a spell scribe. In particular, I don't want your spell scribe. I could just put him off at the next port of call, but I thought you might want something in particular done with him. -- Sythyry.
From Nangbang, or, rather, from his wife:
Dear Sythyry -- Plz. accept aplgz. for prev. msg. Wild rush. Found elpng. ltr. fr. Kiss-Eyes. Nangb. v. distraught. Hirng. assssn. -- Pulla
An assassin? A thousand perplexeties and bewilderments pierce the mind. These include:
- He will assassinate his own daughter? More likely he's trying to assassinate Dorze, actually, which might accomplish something worthwhile from his point of view.
- How did he hire an assassin? There's hardly a guild of them which for you to pop 'round on your errands between the dressmaker and the greengrocer! I suppose that they have some sort of established relationship with the Temple of the Dark Trinity... Perhaps the Temple even keeps one on staff.
- What am I to do now? Tossing Dorze and Lost-Eyes out into civilized lands is generally considered reasonable. Tossing them out to be stalked by an assassin -- for, ultimately, the crime of being traff -- does not sit well with me.
So I tried to poke them with a sharp stick, thus:
Dear Pulla and Nangbang -- Are you sure that's a good approach? I don't think it's legal, even in Srineia. Nor do I particularly approve of assassinations on my skyboat or on my vacation. Nor does the nendrai. But if you have a less drastic alternative, please let me know. -- Sythyry
La Hish's Response
From La Hish:
Dear Sythyry, this is utterly unacceptable and must be rectified immediately.
To La Hish:
Dear Kzip. Fair enough, and, under suitable conditions, I may be willing to help rectify it. But, if you wish any particular rectification, please tell me what you have in mind.
My spies are everywhere!
(Unfortunately that's not true, or I would have found out about the stowaways much sooner. But it is much more encouraging than to say, "People sometimes tell me things.")
So the scene -- Zi-Ri-less -- is set in a parlor somewhere. A fretful Lithia is confiding in some of her closest friends (Yerenthax, Jyondre, Thiane). Who immediately afterwards betrayed her to me, of course.
Lithia:"Yerenthax, could I ask you a question?"
Yerenthax:"With wingèd words and wisdom wide / Your hearing ears are soon supplied. Not one of my best staves, I'm afraid."
Lithia:"I don't need staves ... can you tell me about, well, Orren?"
Yerenthax:"I can tell you many things about Orren! But what do you wish to know? You are half an Orren more Orren than I!"
Lithia:"I'm so confused, I don't know what parts of my personality are Orren and what parts are Rassimel and what are just some trash the gods wanted to get rid of."
Thiane:"Whatever the gods think about you or not, we love you."
Lithia:"What I want to know is, can Orren fall in love with more than one person at a time."
Yerenthax:"Never! They must not! The cheating churl who chafes my chest / ... ... ... strikes forth staves beneath my best."
Jyondre:"What my one-and-only true love is trying to say is, some of us do, and some do not. We're not like Cani, for whom monogamy is unimaginable, and we're not like Gormoror, who are betimes moved to violence if their lovers are even conceptually unfaithful. Not that I would ever be even conceptually unfaithful! Sorry not to be very helpful, but if you want consistency, do not look to the Orren."
Thiane:"Let's see. Windigar and Blenny aren't attached. Inconnu should not be much of a problem; if you are in your Rassimel phase and smile at him too much by mistake, he'll think you love him out both ends. The problem is more prying Inconnu off your rump, not getting him there in the first place. You wouldn't be asking Jyondre in front of Yerenthax if it were him. I hope you're considering courting Tingula?"
Lithia:"No ... not Tingula ..."
Yerenthax:"And not my Jyondre!"
Thiane:"That leaves the stowaway Orren girl."
Lithia nodded sadly.
Jyondre:"She's traff. You'd be better off in Rassimel phase, I should think."
Lithia:"Actually, I don't want her to know I'm a shifter hybrid. I've been wearing my illusion spells."
Thiane:"I don't think that will work well for any sort of long relationship."
Lithia:"It doesn't have to last forever. Ten years at the absolute outside. But I don't mind if it's less than that. One night with her would be more lovers than I've had my whole life."
To which there was much sympathy.
Jyondre:"I don't know her heart. But at least Dozer or whatever her boyfriend is named is Cani. He is more likely to share than, let us say, a larger and more delightful creation of Reluu might be."
Lithia:"Dorze is quite grateful to me, even if the help I gave him didn't help very much."
Jyondre:"You might try to ask him, then. If he is your ally, he will be far and away your best ally."
Thiane:"But don't expect much, from trying to romance upon a traff Orren. "
Lithia:"I know! Anywhere else there'd be nothing at all strange about one Orren girl and another."
Thiane:"Why don't you fall in love with Windigar? He's Orren and not traff."
Lithia:"And a lot older than me, and he knows my nasty little secret. And it's not like I can get a crush on anyone just by wanting to -- much less having them get one on me."
Thiane:"True ... let me know if I can help anysohow with Lost-Eyes."
Instantly -- by which I mean "within six or seven hours" -- Jyondre and Yerenthax told me about it.
I hope things get simpler once we actually arrive in Srineia.