Tethezai has, evidently, moved in. At least she spent last night in Dustweed's arms. Some might expect that having a Zi Ri in the fireplace watching -- or, at least, compelled to listen -- to their nocturnal adventures, would be an important addition for such a libertine as she. In fact, their nocturnal adventures have been either (1) very quiet and subtle, or (2) not happened at all. Or possibly they stunned me with a spell without my noticing, but I think not.
The other choice for them is worse. Last night they were together at Tethezai's home. Tethezai's parents made quite a point of installing "Lady Dustweed" in the Lavender Suite, sending maids to check on zir before zie fell asleep, and all of that. The Lavender Suite is close by the mother's bedroom, and has windows to outside and hall. The maids are Herethroy. Tethezai made, it is said, three essays to sneak there and collect some suitable privatude, but none was available.
Which brings me to the musing of the morning.
What is it when you choose your playmate on the basis of zir gender or some other (in this case) exotic feature?
What is it when you bring your playmate home to your vicious parents?
What is it when you want to sleep in the same bed as zir, even when there's no chance of anything worthwhile happening?
What is it when you all but move in with zir, only without paying rent or doing chores or otherwise helping?
Name of the Day
Brigandina Strenata was gracious enough to invite me to go riding with her this morning. (How does she come to have half a horse? She's not got enough money for half of its stabling! She didn't mention who the other owner was -- presumably that's who pays.) I didn't ride a horse; I perched on her shoulder, and curled my tail over her arm when she nipped the horse's ear and sent her into a gallop.
We took the Cyarr Road rollward four miles and more, to where the Greystark river crosses the Alamme. The Greystark is, of course, all grey with mud and silt, and comes from the edge of the branch. The Alamme is twice its size, and quite cold, and scented with world-sap, and ordinarily flows down the center of the branch or close enough.
The rivers cross, with the warm muddy Greystark slithering over the back of the cold perfumed Alamme like a smaller snake crossing a larger one. If you leap from your horse, and strip off your tunic and trowsers, and leap into the river, as Brigandina did, you can swim between the two rivers and try to mingle their waters. It will not work very well, though a few strands of muddy water are coursing down the Alamme, and a Cani might sniff the Greystark ten leagues downstream and smell sweet sap.
The two rivers cross at an Orren village inevitably named Crosston. Some former duke of Vheshrame, not as secure in his power as the current duke, built Fort Anastrense -- or, rather, hired a wizard whom I know to build it. The building of the fort is a pleasant manor house, save for six ballistas on its flat roof, and the envenomed gaze of its enchantments watching you from six miles away. The heart of the fort is a flock of white birds, gleaming like ivory, for ivory they are. We might not have noticed them, for they are hidden to the magic sense, save that we saw one fly out the chimney of the manor house.
I could not see what potencies they have, and grandparent never told me, but the history books know and the Crosston villagers remember: a peck with the beak which reaches to bone will turn all the victim's bones to lightning. The lucky ones die quickly from the lightning. The villagers laugh at this story, and tell about the mob of laughing, boneless Khtsoyis that took the fort in an afternoon of maceful fighting.
Brigandina and I ate pickled flounder rolled around water weeds atop Fort Anastrense, as the deadly birds flew overhead, and we leaned back against a siege engine scarred long ago by flame and by space-wrench, and she kissed me with the scent of fish on her breath, and she changed her name to Seeks-Feathers, and we rode back home.
I do wish she'd, oh, do an interpretive dance to clarify all relevant matters, or some such.