Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Little City on the Branch [20 Thory 4385]

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

Vae took her captives friends captives on another many teleport leaps. They came, in a frantic skirling of Locador, to the stork-headed gates of the city of Lavagrave on the world-branch Casasneia. No, I have never heard of Casasneia either. There are no branches above it, but it is neither in inner nor outer Ketheria, or I would have heard of it. It must be quite distant indeed.

Vae: “The prime city is this, where the healing and the food you shall find.”

Windigar: “Thank you, Vae. I know you’re trying to be helpful.”

Guard: “Ho, the space-mage and family out there! Who are you, what are you doing in Lavagrave?”

Windigar: “I am Windigar, and these primes are the children of my friends. We have come from Ketheria. This boy, Feralan, has broken his leg; we need healing and food, if at all possible.”

Guard: “That is you, but what is that creature who comes with you, whose tail is so very very long and within whose miserable eyes sadness struggles with madness?” The guard was Cani, in case it is not obvious.

Feralan: “That’s Vae. She’ll wait outside the city. Please, may we come in? My leg hurts very much.”

Guard: “My sympathy for your leg is great, but my need to protect my city is greater. By the ringing of this great gong, I shall call to those who may grant or deny your request.” She thumped on a glass gong with the butt of her flaming spear.

Mage: “I am the wall-mage of city Lavagrave! I shall by means of spells and subtle devices inspect you for signs and significators of the many dangers against which we must guard ourselves. … But what is this? This creature is a terrible, terrible peril!!”

Vae: “The terrible peril am I, and outside of the city gate shall I remain, weeping jagged tears, until my friends and charges are suitably tended.”

Mage: “But what is this? The terrible, terrible peril is not attacking!”

Quendry: “Vae doesn’t attack anybody but pirates!”

Vae: “Not a claw shall I raise against you; not a spell shall I cast to work you woe. If yet the favor you ask me for, the favor I will grant you, and your sorrow at the granting shall be beyond measure.”

Guard: “We are quite grateful for this advice.”

Mage: “Those who appear superficially to be prime, are, in fact, prime, and if there are any hidden perils about them, they are well hidden indeed. Guard, admit them!”

So the wrongfolk primes — a confusing name, since none of this party is actually wrong — came to Lavagrave. Where they were greeted by the Count of Orspigal Park:

Count of Orspigal Park: “Hello, travellers from afar!” A tall and striking Orren man.

Quendry: “Hello! Can you help us please?”

Count of Orspigal Park: “Indeed I shall, little Cani! Indeed I shall!”

And the Chairman of the Guild of Healers:

Chairman of the Guild of Healers: “Now, what seems to be the problem, young and crutch-walking master Rassimel?”

Feralan: “My leg … I think it’s broken.”

Chairman of the Guild of Healers: “It does seem to be … a spot of a compound fracture there. We’ll soon have it right as rassimel. Who did you say was paying the fee for my cley?”

Windigar: “That could be a problem. We have little money…”

Count of Orspigal Park: “For the honor and pleasure of your attendance at a little soirée tonight, Windigar, I shall take care of these petty fees!”

Windigar: “Well, then, I suppose that’s how it shall be done.”

Chairman of the Guild of Healers: “Behold! By the vast greatness of my mighty magic, where with a single cley I have caused the seven shards of your leg to knit into a single and solid piece, hale and sound!”

Feralan: “Oh, that feels much better!”

Ochirion: “Does any grownup need more than one cley to cast a spell?”

Feralan: “No. Hush.”

Count of Orspigal Park: “Until tonight, then, Windigar! Dress well!”

Windigar: “Dress well?”

Mage: “You came with inadequate luggage, as if your travels began by surprise? I shall lend you suitable clothing.”

Windigar:That is suitable?”

Mage: “The tastes of the Count of Orspigal Park are well-known, and he is reputed to be generous.”

Windigar: “He has been generous already, so I daresay I shall wear these garments. Assuming always that I can figure out how to don them in the first place.”

Mage: “Move far more gently! The garments are fragile, and they are mainly held on by the friction of your fur!”

Windigar: “I thought as much.”

Count of Orspigal Park: “Ah, Windigar, our visitor from afar! Come, before we dine but after we have toasted to friendship and far-reaching travel with two mighty chalices of mint arrak, let us dance the tarantella!”

Windigar: “In these garments?”

Count of Orspigal Park: “Behold our leaping and flourishing!”

Windigar: [to himself] “Ah, well, at least it’s not like it would be at Castle Wrong. He’s the right species, and not wholly unappealing.”

Ochirion: “Where are we, while Windigar is at the private soirée with the Count of Orspigal Park?”

Feralan: “We are being entertained at the Guard’s longhouse, with children of the same age as us and the same species as Quendry, and having a grand time and being treated as heroes.”

In the Verticals, not far from the gates of Lavagrave, a terrible beast wailed and cursed herself, and struck again and again at her own flanks with angry fangs. And had The Conversation with herself without respite until the following dawn.

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