Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

Maidservant to a Monster [21 Lage 4261]

There were considerable relief and congratulations given to
me when I got back through the Halflight Gate.

And various advices were also thrown at me. Paarhan in
particular complained at me considerably and greatly for
getting Vae to turn into a tree. I actually breathed fire
in his face … I can’t remember the last time I did that to
anyone. Certainly never to anyone as dangerous as
Paarhan. He just healed it and glared, and Strenata
suggested that he save his tactical discussions for later.

I didn’t particularly feel like putting this errand off. I
flew to Heavybell Street, where the smiths are. Kaim-Su
had recommended Basnt. Her shop is a small unobtrusive
one, not that any of the smiths’ shops are particularly
ostentatious. If you work with metal, you don’t need
to be ostentatious.

Basnt’s shop was more trouble for me than most shops. The
door was closed, and I had to scratch loudly enough to be
heard over the tinging of her hammering. She works in lead,
silver, gold, and mnenorzion.

Me:“I’ve some lead moss to sell… I’ve never
done this before.”

Basnt:“Oh, you’re the one controlling that
nendrai out of town, aren’t you?”

Me:“That’s an optimistic way of saying it … a
very optimistic one!”

Basnt laughed, and called her mari Bandazure over with a bit
of tea.

Me:“Oh, thank you. It’s been an alarming and
shakesome sort of day several ways already, and it’s not
even noontime.”

Basnt:“Oh? Tell me, if you like? The Howling
Horn didn’t say much about it yesterday.”

“It wasn’t this morning,” I said. So I wound up
telling her and Bandazure about meeting Vae, and, somewhat
to my surprise, about Eitharheinen catching Ilottat and me
in bed together. I am now officially traff, having pretty
much introduced myself that way to a business contact. They
were more than a little bit disturbed by it, unfortunately,
and I was more than a little rattled by that.

Me:“Well, I suppose I’m to sell you some lead
I showed it to her.

Basnt:“Well, it’s lead moss … I’ll have to
refine it, destroy out the plant material; it’s a lot of
work to make this into pure metal.”

Me:“I’m sorry — it’s what the nendrai gave me
to sell. I don’t know what the rates are like, and I don’t
particularly even care to know.”

Basnt:“Oh … oh, great staring gods. That’s
what I say when regular adventurers bring metal in, to start
the bargaining down a bit.”

Me:“I’m not an adventurer at all” (which
got an odd look, alas) “and I’m not trying to make money
on these. And I’ve used up a nine day’s supply of cajoling
and sociability on the nendrai already. Could you, oh, give
me a fair price for them, I don’t care what it is, and leave
it at that?”

Basnt:“This is city business, isn’t it now? I
can do that. Let me look at the moss.”
And, while she
was hefting it, she asked, “Why not just give it to the
guard and have them give you a bit of money?”

Me:“I don’t know. Kaim-Su said to do it this
way. I should ask about that.”

Basnt:“Not that I mind extra metal, of
course. I would hope to buy this for eight lozens. For you,
since it is city business and I’m grateful for you
keeping the nendrai quiet, how about ten lozens?”

Me:“How about five lozens. It’s not my money,
it’s the nendrai’s.”

Basnt:“You don’t get to keep any of

Me:“I should ask about that too.”

Basnt:“Well, we can do it that way this time,
but I’ll expect you to renegotiate for next.”


Bandazure:“Overly generous!”

Basnt:“This is not the usual arrangement, dear
sweet bug.”

No. It’s a very disturbing arrangement.

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