Assault on the Nendrai [21 Chirreb 4261]
A Sleeth, a Zi Ri, and a nendrai walk into a bar and …
No, it’s not the start of a a joke. There was a little
problem in Threeze — and by “little” I specifically mean
“little” — and Floosh and I had decided that Vae might as
well be the one to solve it. Kaim-Su insisted that
Seeks-No-Distant-Love come along, but she’s still moping, so
she required Rhedwy into coming with us instead. (I am
unclear on exactly how that works.)
But Floosh didn’t want Vae to go to Threeze. (For monsters
reading: Threeze isn’t a city, so it’s not doorwaying for
monsters to go there. But the residents don’t generally
encourage it.) So we had to meet Riverred at
St. Andawhale’s Tavern in St. Andawhale.
I have learned somewhat more how to appreciate Orren since I
saw her last. It doesn’t help. She’s still dented-in and
ugly. She still drips blood out of the corner of her left
eye. She’s still willful and determined. She put herself
in charge of the cooking project when Floosh isn’t around — not the cooking,
she can’t do that, but the administration. Someone has to
take her around to the farmers and such, ’cause she really
can’t travel on roads on her own. But the someone is Allu,
who was named Chompramirthian when I was there last, and
Allu wouldn’t be much help in the kitchen.
(That sounds bad, but it’s not. Allu is doesn’t like
cooking very much and isn’t very good at it, is all.)
In any case, there are Orren — even Orren whose hands have
been many places on my body — whom I do not find
appealing. This may surprise many people, but it is quite true.
We didn’t look nearly as alarming as we were. Vae looked
like an Orren girl, because she does that sometimes for her
own reasons and she does it reasonably well. I looked like
an Orren girl, because I do that sometimes for my own
reasons … well, my boyfriend’s own reasons … and I do
it reasonably well. Rhedwy looked like a Sleeth, so people
were a touch scared anyways, but not as much as they would
have been if they knew what Vae was.
Why We Had To Do This
The ovens in Threeze were too small for the amount of
cooking that Floooooosh was going to have her family and
assistants do there. For some reason, that tiny fishing
village isn’t really equipped to make luxury pastry
breakfast boxes for all of Oorah Thrassen … unaccountable,
The first thought was to make some makeshift ovens, probably
by digging caves in a hillside and putting fires in them or
something. Floosh didn’t like that idea very much ’cause
the heat might come out uneven without lots of Ruloc
Pyrador, which is always messy.
Me:“But we have this really good Mutoc Locador
specialist on the project already. Vae could probably make
the ovens big enough to bake Oorah Thrassen, much less the
cakes for it.”
Flooosh:“I don’t particularly want Vae in
So we had Riverred bring bits of the oven to Vae, so that
Vae could cast a slightly fancier spell on them from far
away. Locador is good for that, if it’s not going through
city walls or something. It wasn’t a hard thing to do, by
Vae’s standards. Someday, I imagine, I’ll be good enough to
cast that spell. Glikkonen might be able to spont it, for
all I know, and surely zie could weave it or cast it.
And that was that, as far as the oven was concerned. We
spent more time getting there (two-thirds of an hour from my
door to the Halflight Gate to meet Vae, a ninth of an hour
arranging disguises, a ninth of an hour having The
Conversation (I lost count at 28, some time ago) in advance
so I wouldn’t have to do it while I was there, one tailtap
to take us to St. Andawhale) than we did fixing the oven (a
third of an hour to chat with Riverred, five tailtaps to
deal with the five ovens).
Of course, everyone in St. Andawhale noticed five huge
Locador spells being cast in quick succession in the room.
Everyone (who were a dozen or so elderly retired Rassimel
and Herethroy countryfolk) turned and stared at us.
Rhedwy peered back at the everyone with that hideous blank
Sleeth expression, and remarked in a loud voice, “This is
the good plan. I cannot eat the whole body of the whole
victim, even if I am very hungry. The remains can be
remained in a pocket universe, for nobody to find ever.”
People stopped looking at us, at least. Most of them left
the room over the next ninth of an hour.
Me:“We shall have to tip very well.”
Rhedwy:“Why? They leave of their own choice.
We do not threaten them!”
Vae:“What do you mean, Sythyry? ‘Tip’ means
’tilt’, more or less, doesn’t it?” [In the original:
"'Tip' means 'scoop', more or less, doesn't it?" -bb]
Me:“‘Tip’ means ‘chflekcy’” Which it
does, not that I really like knowing it.
Me:“She taught me another language, by brute
force.” I had to explain the story.
Riverred looked suitably horrified, which I suppose is
good. She assaulted Vae, which I suppose is not so good.
Here is a schematic diagram of the assault:
|Riverred’s Assault||Vae’s Counter|
|How dare you?||I didn’t know it was going to be a bad thing.|
|But … mind magic!||There’s no other way to learn a language.|
|You could have just translated!||I didn’t think of that.|
|You’re not very smart, are you?||I don’t know … probably not.|
|You don’t know the first thing about living in decent society.||Sythyry’s trying to teach me though … it’s not going
|Primes are destined to control the whole Tree||I can’t even control half my own mind.|
|You really shouldn’t be here.||I probably shouldn’t be anywhere.|
At which point I found it necessary to rescue the poor
nendrai. (No, I didn’t think I’d ever say that.) She looked
like she was about to start crying, and I didn’t want to pay
for a bloodied-up tablecloth (Riverred just drips on her
fur, and wipes her face every once in a while) or
drive off the remaining patrons.
Rhedwy, of course, was smirking. A lot.