Mirrored from Sythyry.
Heen set forth this missive.
The guild-masters in Iluc said I had committed every crime. That’s only in a letter to the guild-masters in Kismirth though. It started when Pumperpriest, she’s the head of the guild in Iluc, invited in the Vepri examiners to test everyone in the guild. Masters, journeymen, apprentices … everyone. “It won’t do to have an optime given orders by a glate!”
So everyone has to answer all their questions. Oh, such questions. “When you wash your face in the morning, where do you pour the waste-water out?” they ask. “Do you smile a bigger smile when a Rassimel buys from you, than when a Cani does?” That’s another one. “When you eat a bun and soup, do you tear off bits of the bun and soak them in the soup?” They ask so many questions, and each and every one of them dead stupid.
And after that they call a big meeting, with nearly everyone there. Well, wouldn’t you know? Most of the masters are optimes. Most of the journeymen are norums — that’s younger than optimes and older than glates. Most of the apprentices are norums too. But Teffimer is a glate, old Teffimer who got into a big fight with Pumperpriest last month. Dahine is a glate, Lippister is a glate, Mocktschiba is a glate, and I’m a glate. Every master that had any sort of quarrel with Pumperpriest is a glate. Fancy that!”
“Well, and there are new laws coming up in Iluc — all through the Trough of Kreischan! We won’t be having optimes ruled by anyone of later generation, and glates can’t command anyone at all! This honorable Guild will be in the first ones compliant with those laws!” says Pumperpriest, and all of the guild-masters who came up optimes say “Hear, hear!”.
“And it’s out with old Teffimer. No pension for him, for he’s stripped of his guild membership, and nothing for eighty years in the guild! He protests, he complains, he sues in the court! But there’s never a trial. The Doippmers come to his house in the night, a dozen thudding tall men. It’s broken bones a-plenty for old Teffimer, instead of lozens, and scimitars slashing through his big closet full of fancy clothes. He leaves away after that, and his lawsuit and everything abandoned.”
“Not that I’m any smarter, me. The guild votes to demote all of the masters who are glates. Dahine’s vote comes up first. I demand to be given a vote about him, for I’m a master in the guild and the laws say I can vote. But no, they say, I’m a glate and not to be allowed. Master? Glate? The optimes beat me out of the room, and it’s not sweet. Then they vote me to journeyman, and prohibit me from any sort of job that has me telling anyone what to do.
“Well, and I sure tell them what to do. I tell them to take their carding-combs and their modelling mannequins and stuff them up their asses! That’s that, though, and I’ve got to get my tail out of Iluc in a hurry.
They don’t like me any more, the guild, and when you write to them about me, they send back a bunch of lies. There’s only one of them that’s even true: I took guild-master secrets with me to a city outside the Trough of Kreischan, me as isn’t a guild-master. And the only reason I did that is, they demoted me and I left the region without forgetting all what I knew.”
The affedavit took quite a while to write. We checked every single sentence with Heen, making sure he throught it was true, and it took a dozen tries sometimes to be sure he didn’t have any reservations about what he’d said.
I cast a morally-dubious spell on Heen, ruling him completely for a moment. “Now, tell us if any of this affedavit is false, and tell us what the truth of the matter is!”
“It’s a lie that I’m not smarter than Teffimer; he’s a dull old man. Thirty years ago he was a silk-needle of wits, but now he’s a knitting-needle, and drinks Khtsoyis tea. The rest is true,” said Heen.
“Thank you, Master-Couturier. My apologies for the need to thus interrogate you, O my brother in this honorable Guild, and I welcome you to the mysteries and honorable secrets of the Guild of Kismirth,” I said. Which was slightly inappropriate — it’s really Eleven’s job to say that first, and we should have voted — but none of my siblings in this honorable Guild complained in the slightest. (Also, not that we have any real secrets. Like the Green Witch village, we’re a guild of scraps: masters from a dozen cities, who have just recently started working together.)
And we performed suitable
silly but traditional highly secret and honorable rituals, and made Heen a master-couturier of Kismirth with all the rights and priveleges attendant thereto, and none of this Vepri nonsense.
“I really don’t like how the Vepri are behaving,” everyone said.
“But what can we do about it?” asked everyone else.
“I don’t know! But Sythyry should do something,” everyone said.
So I’m going to do something.