Mirrored from Sythyry.
[OOC: This is the start of a new story arc, which I would probably name if I were awake. -bb]
Beware! I did not see much of this myself. I generally take great liberties with peoples’ words and descriptions, but I stay true to the spirit of the original. In this story, I will be less accurate than that. I heard various fragments of it from various of the principal — by some wondrous miracle, the fragments occasionally managed to be consistent with one another. The rest is guesswork or pure embroidery, except for the scenes where Phaniet or I are present, which measure up absolutely to the precision which you have come to expect from me.
“My lord prince Rastomil, why are you donning your most formal outfit, with its waistcoat of plum and burgundy with bright copper buttons? Were you not about to depart for an evening in the fleshpots of Hanija, drinking quantities of the local herb-infused distilled spirits, and winning dozens upon dozens of lozens from foolish locals at games of chance, thereby recouping those you lost yesterday and the day before?” Jagraton was nominally Prince Rastomil’s bodyguard, but was under orders to ensure that the Prince returned to Barency in a state unsuited for polite company. Rastomil had no great love for the project.
“No, my good man, I have other plans for the evening. I have been invited to a dinner at the home of some local noble or other. In the spirit of fostering good relationships between our cities, I imagine I should attend.”
“But, lord Rastomil! It will be a slow and tedious evening! The intoxicating liquors shall dribble forth, rather than being quaffed voluminously and energetically! The conversation shall be hedged in polite qualifications, rather than being bold and colorful! No songs shall be sung, that you may join in their lusty chorus! If there are dancing girls, they are certain to be old and withered society matrons wrapped in hideous corsets of antique fustian, not the comely and barely-dressed darlings you so dearly love to watch!”
“Forgive me, my good Jagraton. I have spent the last eight nights trying my very best to carouse. I have returned home well after midnight, too drunk to remember which way my own door opens, which can be rather awkward when I am returning home with company eager for activies which are remarkably illegal in Hanija. I have sung vulgar songs — so many of them that I know sixteen Hanijan words for ‘vulva’, despite not knowing even one for ‘manners’. I have made every effort be be depraved. Now, I need some time for recreation. I am a quiet sort of Rassimel anymore, and I fear I would rather stay home collecting ornamental teacups or something.”
“Collecting teacups, my lord?”
“Collecting teacups, or even collecting dust,” said Rastomil. “Should I wear a purple cockade, do you think? Or does that mean something I don’t intend in Hanijan, like Would you be my tofyof? or I am violent atheist?”
“I’m sure I don’t know such things, my lord. I assure you that they are not relevant in the taverns in the roll’gainst quarter, where you may go with the utmost assurance of being instantly well-liked upon paying for a round or two of beverages,” said Jagraton.
“Well, I shall wear the purple cockade, then, and if it carries some invidious meaning, then my dear parents’ orders shall be better-satisfied in a single evening than in a month in the saloons!”