From the Ashes: The Future of Arda

Walgrim: A Wizard, A Priest, and a Knight walk into a Artificiary and...

Written over the course of two days in late December 13 years after the Reckoning

Today I received an interesting caller. It seems all manner of people are coming from near and far after the events of last summer reached around the surrounding provinces, though the first of me visitors was not one such.

Business has been slow lately, which is just fine by me, I’ve certainly made enough on the commission to rebuild the Mayor’s mansion to last me well into spring, but there is still the occasional order, and scrollwork is still in fair demand. I’ve begun lately dabbling in more unique items such as enchanted clothing and charmed accessories and baubles, and these have become great additions to me catalog, though none have ordered any yet. These are more for meself than anything, for when I finally manage to get back out into the world and start looking for the keys to unlock me research’s undiscovered completion. Anywho I’ve gotten away from the point, and the point is I was working in the back on some locks when I heard the shop bell chime. When I came into the front I found meself facing what I took to be a traveler from the Free Cities, so wrapped up was he in scarves and cloak despite the only modest snow that sprinkled down from on high. When he unwrapped himself and cleared the confusion, he proved to be a boy not yet twenty in a simple robe, a large satchel, and a bemused and uncertain look on his face. He handed me a letter addressed to me which I recognized as the slanted scrawl of Valdis.

The letter said that, as promised, Hydwen had found for me a “book pusher” and sent him my way to get some good worldly experience, as well as serve as a decent shopkeeper. The boy seemed confused when I told him he’d got the job and started showing him around the shop and the house. Along with the Mayor’s mansion I’ve been able to upgrade me own abode up to a full two floors, with a sitting room, dining room and kitchen on the shop level, and four bedrooms upstairs. None of this seemed to phase the lad however as he still seemed unsure as to why he was now working for me without anything more than an informal contract and me learning his name, Allanon Sephora.

As it turns out Valdis had neglected to mention anything more than me having a shop and some good advice to give on life to the lad, so I explained in a little more detail what I do and why I do it and why it’ll be good for him to hang around for a bit, not only to put a little money away but to get some drive in his life. I showed him the shop and brushed him up on what his duties would be, mostly tending the front and keeping stock of the catalog, and finished up shop hours before heading out to dinner and the Lamb and Lion. Dinner was quiet, as the young wizard doesn’t have much to say save for books he has read and his love of learning – a fine thing in its own right, but useless without proper action to go with it – though we did converse shortly about me dabbling in construct design. There is a possibility that the ruins of Netheril may reveal something as to how to breathe the life into the creations once I finally manage to assemble one of them. It should have occurred to me that the empire responsible for the creation of the entire Orc race should have some knowledge in how to animate the previously inanimate. Time will tell of course but the fact that the lad knew something like that off-hand proves beyond a doubt he has both talent and use both to me and to others, if he’d only get some damned self-confidence. We finished our meal and I left Allanon to wander the city for a while, while I went to send a message to Sylvi about the new “toy” Valdis had sent me: the Book-Pusher from the Dales.

Today I received yet more interesting callers. Sylvi came to see me and meet the lad, though she was confused by me message’s metaphor and thus had to be explained to that as a friend and asset to our work he could prove useful as a future travelling companion. She called me rude but otherwise left it at that. As Allonon kept to the store front, I worked in the back finishing an order from one of the local farmers for a new set of tools. When he called me to the front I thought someone had come to collect, but it was no one seeking an order exactly. It was a Keeper from the church of Hennet by the name of Carhold. He had an interesting proposition for me, one which I agreed to with some conditions. He told me that the church, having learned of me work and me self-taught methods, in its infinite search for knowledge, wished me to make a contribution in the form of ey ideas and processes for me work. I agreed on the condition that it be purely for knowledge’s sake and that I stick mainly to processes rather than me actual inventions, though I’m certain now that I’ve refined certain alchemical properties and work otherwise previously unfit for mortal eyes, I can place at least some of me ideas in this first addition, which Carhold gave me upon my acceptance. A 500 page tome to fill, and for every page, a crown from the church. How could I resist? To be offered so much is both a compliment and a means with which to truly start funding my and Sylvani’s expeditions. Both of us left rather pleased with the situation, and the time passed rather smoothly for the rest of day. That is until Sir Randall walked in, scaring Sylvani for some reason. The young red-knight wished to know where he could contact his brother since I seemed to know best where he went when not visiting Maidenpool. Sylvi was, I thought, quite rude and attempted to avoid an answer altogether, but I told him what I knew, which I only just then realized was not very much, having usually sent my correspondence through magical means and therefore having no idea exactly where Valdis was besides Deistrun. Randall thanked me as was, and left without another word.

Sylvi took the interim between this guest and another showing up to give me a royal ear-chewing, saying that the knight had been lying when he said he wanted to know where Valdis was. She seemed to think that two grown men, both of considerable power and temper albeit, brothers no less, could not act civil towards each other in a public or private setting. Sylvi seemed to think that a crusade may be sent against the “Demon Child of Maidenpool” if they learned of Valdis from his brother. This is what I don’t like about churches. There is far too much fighting amongst good people of all walks of life purely because one person has a different idea of what Good is than the other. It makes absolutely no sense to me. Why can the faithful not simply be that; faithful and nothing else? At the very least I have faith that Valdis, my friend and a good man, can handle himself regardless of what fears Sylvani may have. I said as much to Sylvi, and no sooner did I than did Valdis himself walk in. He said he’d come by to make sure Allonon had gotten here, but I knew the moment he walked in that there can be no such coincidence, two brothers and a priest showing up to my door in the same day, with two wanting something and the other wanting nothing. I was proven correct when Valdis, after calming Sylvani down (we had begun shouting) and asked to talk to me when I had a moment. By now the shop had closed and I set dinner on the table with the customary wave of the hand, and went upstairs to speak with Valdis.

He had a proposition for me. He had talked in the past somewhat of his previous employer whom he worked for on the side to the church of Hennet gig, a merchant by the name of Illyrio. This man was apparently trying to make a larger name for himself by searching for brands and people to endorse and bring under his wing and protection, so to speak, in order to curry more favor on the continent in general; a lofty goal but one I can appreciate, given I’m more or less of the same mindset. Valdis said he had given Illyrio my name as well as Sylvani’s, saying we’d be good candidates for a team of explorers and adventurer’s provided that Valdis manage the team. He can’t be around constantly with school, but I think he wishes to act as a buffer between our growing group and the potential dangers he may perceive from these kinds of endeavors. I defer to his judgment entirely in this case, as I have as much experience in adventuring as a dog does writing Gimble. Valdis, like the keeper before him, mentioned good pay and prestige as part of the bargain, which had me seeing rods in my eyes. It appears that Maidenpool may be losing some of its favorite citizens to the call to adventure. I’m in for certain, and we’ll break the news to Sylvani and Allonon in the morning. This could either be the start of something great, or the start of the biggest joke in history. Either way I’m excited to begin.

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