The Restoral of Kurbin-da-Brodief
Itharieth presented himself at the castle of the dragons who ruled Zelmary (one of the less civilized parts of Chiriact), offering them a modest tribute as is suitable for a bachelor of no particular rank or wealth. They granted him permission to go hither and thither to find and restore Jaraswat’s victims, though they were perplexed and amused by his reasons.
The Barabondo of the Liginitssa tribe greeted him when landed after circling their village twice. They were green and shaggy chirs, and they played a fanfare-to-dragons on a battered but functional phonograph. “A narpań it is to welcome you to Liginitssa!”
“And a keńdipań it is to accept your welcome!” said Itharieth, who had learned the language (by the Spilling of the Speech) and the customs (by paying attention) to some degree.
“We hereby politely and servilely emit servile politenesses!” said the Barabondo tribal officials, in various phrasings.
“I hereby politely and in-a-low-degree-of-rulership-ly accept them!” said Itharieth, just as often and variously.
“Well, then, what brings you here?” said the officials.
“I have here the linguistic competence of one Kurbin-da-Brodief, which was ripped away from her by the dragon Jaraswat, on such-and-such a date quite a long time ago, in this very town. I have a wide variety of corroborating details and identifying information, in case there is any doubt about who is meant. I wish to restore it to her.”
“No need for details, no need! Brodief the Brainless is in the town jail, she has been for octades!” (Evidently grand-years of dragon rule on Chiriact has not yet persuaded the chirs of the superiority of duodecimal.)
“Why is she in jail?” asked Itharieth.
“She kept pilfering things! Food mainly. She’d get into the street and stop traffic, and she bit people who tried to get her to safety. In the mating season she attempted rape of other women’s husbands. Oh, we know what happened to her, but there was no keeping her safe — or anyone else safe from her — while she was free.”
“Have you no mental asylums or other such care facilities?” demanded Itharieth.
“We have none. Our far wealthier neighbors-twice-removed do, but could we take her from such family and friends as she could manage to have?”
”Does she have any? … I suppose it does not matter any more. I have, should all go well, brought the means to restore her. Bring her forth! Rather, bring me to the prison,” Itharieth shrank to the size of a large chir.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.