The way to Threeze
One goes from Vheshrame to Threeze upriver along the Alamme, several miles: two hours' journey by Orren-foot or Zi Ri wings if one has little luggage, but four by mule or nearly two by horse if one is bringing many leftover pastries and assorted city treats for one's (Flooosh's) family whom one has not seen in a week. Or, if one travels with an Orren who goes that way often, one may take Whelkie' riverboat, which makes the trip in three hours, and is eccentric, and is cheaper than a horse rented for a week, and more pleasant than a hundred scaly-backed mules. Or even than one.
(I do wonder how it is that Strenata affords half a horse.)
Or so we thought, Floooosh and I, as we quite innocently and naively got into a sort of catamaran supported by six large empty esblembei nut shells, long empty and the meat carefully eaten out in six Herethroy village feasts of bygone days. The Queen of Every Whelk has sails, but only for emergencies; Whelkie bought an old, broken, unstable sky-dinghie, Wastrel Heart, which neither sane prime nor Orren would ride high, and hooked it to the catamaran to tow it up the Alamme.
Sailing on the water is a sweet lazy way to go. Nothing as fearsome as sailing in the sky, where a cloudthief might fly invisibly up and swat your boat to land in a splintersome heap in some wicked wilderness, or the ulgrane who stalked so superciliously through the streets of Vheshrame last month might greet you with hail and lightning and high informal tolls. If you fall from the side of a waterboat, as nobody did, someone will scoop you up in a net, and no harm done. Water elementals are gentle sleepy things, or so I hear. Rivers hold few dangers or troubles...
Which of course is why one of the esblembei shells thumped hard against a submerged log, and cracked, and let in a quantity of water, just after we passed Guelmopp. Queen of Every Whelk wobbled and tilted; Floosh had to scramble to keep her luggage on the tipping tilting deck; and Whelkie thrashed Wastrel Heart with a goldenrod flail until she tugged Queen of Every Whelk to the bank.
Well, Whelkie complained and swore and cursed, and I wished I knew more Aquador, and Flooosh jumped into the Alamme and swam back to Guelmopp, and brought us back a dozen sleek strong swimmy Orren and four mules, a quantity of rope, and Whelkie's wife the tree-mage. They hoisted the nut out of the river so it would drain, and healed its crack, and plomped it back in the river, and no harm done.
Except that our three-hour trip had become six, and we had not avoided the mules after all.
the real-life story
OOC: This one is from RL. on the way to Anthrocon this weekend, beetiger and I had a flat tire, three blocks away from a Goodyear Tire store that stocks the specialty tires that Arctos (her Prius) requires, and charges less than the dealer does to boot. Very easy automotive trouble!
Also OOC: this week I will be at Welsh language camp and may be sporadic -- or will I in using its grammar it in vistake.
(written later that night) I wrote that story and all the preceding text on the plane. When the plane landed, I got on the bus to Kenosha ... which promptly started leaking oil. It stopped at a mcdonalds, puddling oil, and waited... the next bus, an hour later, came and picked us up ... and also started leaking oil. Not as fast though, and I did get to Kenosha.
I don't usually plot minor things in advance, and especially not for my convenience, but expect Sythyry's travel home to be remarkably smooth.