Following in this series, we get to know the female Elven teenager – a 115-year-old bard whose beauty is god-like – known as Ta’Myka by her parents and mortals, and known as Time and as Fate by the gods and other immortals. She is joined by the Journeyman Dragoman, holy hero of four gods, Bloodgrue – a twenty-year-old human Jalnoric male from the North Docks of the royal city of Mount Oryn. Journey through these stories with authors Kenneth Shumaker and Aria in Kenneth’s medieval fantasy realm of Quantos. Experiencing their adventures beyond those of mere mortals in the time of King Dolan IV.
We now continue with Ever Bard episode 009, ‘Autumn 51 Bear – 2’ on …
Autumn 51 Bear
The door opens to the office and Doorman Jessep addresses Ta’Myka. “My Lady Ta’Myka, your first interview is here. Chamberlain Andalyn also wishes to inform you that Cook Bellah has midday meal ready in the Great Hall. Which do you wish to attend to first?”
Closing the tome, Ta’Myka directs her attention to Jessep. “I don’t want to rush through my midday meal. I don’t mind eating cold food. Show the applicant in. I will see him or her now. Thank you Jessep.”
Ta’Myka gently caresses the cover of the tome. ‘I shall resume this later.’
Bowing respectfully Jessep turns to wave a person forward. As the person passes by him, Jessep introduces the old Toyfem. “This is Master Armourer Gesam, from Mount Oryn’s south districts, here to interview for work in Owerton Stronghold.”
The one hundred years old plus woman smiles and speaks in Jalnoric. “Good day, he is right, I am applying to be a master armourer for your stronghold. May I come in?”
Standing, Ta’Myka bows. “Good day, Master Armourer Gesam; please come in and have a seat.” She motions to the chair opposite from her at the desk.
Ta’Myka spends some time telling Gesam about Owerton. “I have recently hired an armourer. However, an experienced one such as yourself will definitely be a bonus for Owerton. There is no lack of work. How many years of experience do you have as an armourer? What would you be asking for wages?”
Sitting where indicated, Gesam smiles cheerfully for Ta’Myka. Listening attentively to the spiel on Owerton, taking in the details, Gesam is ready for the questions, and answers when Ta’Myka arrives at that part of the process. “Lady Ta’Myka, I became an apprentice blacksmith when I was twelve, a journeyman armourer when I was twenty-two. I have been an armourer about eighty-seven years now. I have many more years yet to offer. My rate is reasonable; I am asking for one hundred and twenty Flairs every thirty days, plus fifteen percent commission. Not outrageous and I would like two journeymen and three apprentices to work with me. Also, a decent shop outfitted properly and a home.”
Smiling heartily, Ta’Myka replies, “Your request is reasonable. It is up to Lady Crusader Mychel to give final approval on wages and such. I can almost guarantee that the wages you ask for will be granted. However, it may take time to build you a proper shop and a home. Owenton has grown by leaps and bounds, so houses are at a shortage. You may have to share a home or reside in the tent commons for a brief time. Would you be willing to wait for a proper shop and house? As for the journeymen and apprentices, do you already have people in mind, who may already be working for you? Or, are you asking us to arrange the apprentices and journeymen?”
Sitting up straight, Gesam still smiles and then replies, “Not having proper housing will be an issue; it will raise my wages I am asking for, by ten Flairs or three percent. I do have in mind, people to fill the positions I mentioned. With your approval, I will bring them with me and they can help build the houses and shop. Would that aid in the arrangements?”
Ta’Myka sighs from her chest. “Yes, I think that will be acceptable. I will draw up the proposed contract. Lady Mychel will give final approval.”
After scribing out the contract of employment for Gesam, Ta’Myka turns the paper for Gesam to read and sign.
Smiling with pride, Ta’Myka offers, “The other newly hired are residing here, at West Door Inn, staying here until they journey to Owerton. You are welcome to stay here as well. If you do agree to stay here and journey to Owerton with the others, I will give you ten Flairs as a signing bonus.” Thinking. ‘She seems healthy, considering her age. And, she’s had over eighty-seven years of experience. She could probably construct armour for a flea.’
Looking knowingly at Ta’Myka, Gesam nods after observing the contract. Trusting Ta’Myka to have scribed the agreed to conditions, Gesam signs in third line Toydon script. “I will stay here, if you have someone I can send with a message to organize my people? I will pay one of those bonus Flairs for the service of a dragoman to send messages to the people I need to … where will I be staying, so I can see my quarters?”
Hearing a rapid knock on the office door, Ta’Myka sees Gerris open the door, obviously out of breath as he has been busy for over an hour while Ta’Myka has conducted the interview. “May I enter Lady Ta’Myka and be of service? Bellah is bringing fresh tea and biscuits. Will you be taking midday meal soon?”
Smiling cheerfully, Ta’Myka makes the necessary introductions between Gesam and Gerris, then she says to Gerris. “Yes, I will be having midday meal shortly … Gerris, please arrange for one of the staff to have a message sent to Gesam’s people. Master Gesam can provide you with the particulars. Also, someone other than yourself, will need to show Master Gesam to the servant quarters.”
Removing ten flairs from her coin purse, Ta’Myka hands the coins and finished contract to Gesam. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Master Gesam. We shall talk again before you depart for Owerton. Welcome aboard.”
Leaving Gerris to deal with the final details, Ta’Myka makes her way to the Great Hall for midday meal.
Crossing the hallway to the Great Hall, Ta’Myka passes Bellah who is delivering tea and biscuits to the office.
Bellah politely nods but remains silent as she enters the office after Ta’Myka exits.
Doorman Jessep sits dutifully at his post by the entry door, watching over an old Jalfem who sits on one of the four chairs.
Wondering if the Jalfem is another applicant, Ta’Myka thinks, ‘I will let her be for now; I will check back after my meal.’
Entering the Great Hall, Ta’Myka finds a spread on the table to rival the morning meal. Obviously, the others have already feasted. In the room is Lydia nursing Lady Dawn by the fire. Warden Fayth is conversing with Lord Visrathh about their soon-to-be arrival, both seem ecstatic about the idea.
Breaking off their conversation, Lord Visrathh addresses Ta’Myka. “I was beginning to think you had locked yourself in the room with the applicants. I insisted we keep the food on the table for when you were ready.”
Smiling happily, Ta’Myka replies, “Good day, Visrathh, Fayth and Lydia. Thank you for keeping food for me. I did not lock myself in the study; I just wanted to get an interview over so I could eat without rushing.”
Nodding politely, Visrathh replies sagely. “We thought as much. You have to get your strength up now.”
The shutters are open on the window, allowing the scattered light of the gods to break into the room and add their radiance to its atmosphere. There is a papyrus note, sealed with common wax, lying at Ta’Myka’s place setting.
Sitting down, Ta’Myka looks suspiciously at the note. Picking up the papyrus, she hopes it doesn’t contain bad news. She tears at the seal, opens the folded note and begins to read.
On the papyrus note, Ta’Myka finds in Toydon script, an outlined ledger in feminine hand writing:
The is my description describing the plan to purchase: two medium good wagons for 200 Flairs each, totaling 400 Flairs for the wagons, four medium work horses for 75 Flairs each, totaling 300 Flairs for the horses, thus a total of 700 Flairs for wagons and beasts. Willin will try to purchase a set of four horses for a total of 200 Flairs but he doubts he can find a decent set for that price. He is asking for a budget bump of an additional 100 Flairs to the original 600 that is Ta’Myka allotted, for a total of 700 Flairs. This arrangement will give the best economic sense in freight cargo capacity for the distance to travel to Owerton, along with beasts to pull the freight. The wagons and beasts are intended to be purchased from Tamel’s Cartwright and Stable.
Ta’Myka reads the note and sighs. She fills her plate and eats in silence. ‘Another 100 Flairs. Lady Mychel’s coin is dwindling fast. I must keep enough coin to pay barge passage for all the newly hired and there are supplies to buy also. Lady Mychel will want me to purchase a good lot of food supplies. However, there is still enough coin to hire more people and provide them with hiring bonuses. If I keep aside 500 hundred Flairs for supplies and passage, that should be plenty.’
Looking over at Visrathh, Ta’Myka asks, “Do you know if it was Andalyn who left me this note?”
Frowning, Visrathh delays and it is Lydia who answers, “Doorman Jessep placed it, Lady Ta’Myka. I believe it was left by Master Willin’s wife.”
Closing her top, Lydia sits straight as Dawn has finished feeding and is resting. Ready to move on, Lydia excuses herself as Andalyn enters carrying a basin to clear the table.
Andalyn addresses Ta’Myka. “Before we clear the table was there anything more you need Lady Ta’Myka?”
Wiping her mouth with the cloth napkin, Ta’Myka gives Andalyn a smile. “Yes Andalyn, if you could tell Master Willin to meet me upstairs in the common room. By the way, midday meal was superb. Please give my praises to Bellah.”
Quickly Andalyn informs Ta’Myka. “Master Willin and his crew left over an hour ago on their mission to acquire the wagons. It will be late evening before they return Lady Ta’Myka.”
Enamae noisily enters the Great Hall with a cart to help clear the table.
Making no move to leave, Visrathh in fact keeps his conversations with Fayth active.
Bidding everyone a good afternoon, Ta’Myka makes her way upstairs to her room, where she counts out 100 flairs and places them in a cloth sack. Setting the sack in the coin chest. Ta’Myka returns to the foyer where she approaches Doorman Jessep and the woman who is waiting. She smiles demurely, saying to the woman. “Good day, I am Ta’Myka. You are here applying for employment?”
This Ta’Myka addresses to the elderly Jalfem who is now sitting next to a younger Toymal; the woman responds to Ta’Myka in Jalnoric “Good day Ta’Myka, I am Enna. I am indeed applying for employment.”
Ta’Myka offers her arm for the customary greeting of clasping arms. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Enna. Please, follow me into the study. I apologize for the wait.”
Clasping arms politely, Enna though finds it difficult with Ta’Myka being an elf, this is far from a warm welcome clasp from Enna.
Once in the study, Ta’Myka motions for Enna to sit down on the opposite side of the desk. She pours some tea, and offers Enna a cup. “Please, help yourself to some biscuits.”
Accepting the tea, Enna retrieves one biscuit.
Giving Enna her well-rehearsed speech about Owerton, Ta’Myka advises her on what to expect. “Tell me about yourself, Enna. What skills can you bring to Owerton?”
Seated, Enna graciously listens intently to the spiel on Owerton. Answering Ta’Myka happily, she replies easily. “I am a labourer, I can cook and brew, I also do carpentry and leather work. I can work with animals; fire is no match for me either. So I can do most work on a farm. I see it will be easy to work in your village. I ask for three dusters a day.”
Grinning, Ta’Myka replies, “You are hired. If you stay here, at West Door Inn, until your departure to Owerton, I will give you ten dusters as a signing bonus. Once you are in Owerton, I will let Lady Mychel decide where your talents best be used.”
Scribing out the contract, Ta’Myka hands it over to Enna to sign.
Smiling, Enna waits as Ta’Myka scribes the contract. “I agree to stay here until the journey. Thank you Ta’Myka.”
Handing Enna ten dusters and the signed contract, Ta’Myka then says to Gerris. “My friend, have a servant show Enna to the servant quarters. And, please see if there is anyone else waiting to be interviewed.” Standing, Ta’Myka gives Enna a bow, thinking, ‘Well, that was the easiest interview so far.’
Nodding wisely, Gerris smiles happily. “Yes, Lady Ta’Myka … this way Enna, you will be in the servant’s house out back.”
Accepting the ten copper coins from Ta’Myka, Enna reluctantly clasps arms to seal the agreement. Then accepting the completed contract. the two employees depart as Gerris says to Ta’Myka. “I will have Jessep send in anyone waiting.”
A few minutes later, Jessep coughs at the door to get Ta’Myka’s attention. “Lady Ta’Myka, Master Lars seeking employment.”
Stepping up beside Jessep is an average appearing, thirtyish Toymal.
Standing, Ta’Myka nods to Jessep. “Thank you, Jessep.” She looks over the appearance of the new applicant and says, “Please come in Sir.” Thinking, ‘A Toydon man – warrior or farmer – I would guess. My hopes are on a warrior, though Owerton could also use more farmers.’
Giving the man a warm smile, Ta’Myka says, “Please sit down … I am Ta’Myka. What sort of employment are you seeking?”
Nodding curtly Jessep closes the office door after Lars enters.
Taking a seat, Lars boldly answer Ta’Myka. “I am a very seasoned trapper and that is my preferred occupation. Not much call for trappers here in Mount Oryn now these days.”
By, Kenneth Shumaker and Aria.
© 2015, 2017 by Aria and Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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About the Authors: Aria and Kenneth Shumaker:
About the Author: Aria:
Kenneth introduced me into his world of North Amara almost 14 years ago. For several years, a few of us contributed to an ongoing story. My character, Ta’Myka the elven bard, was one of my characters in our fantasy story. It’s exciting to bring her ‘back to life’. I hope you find her as interesting as I do.
There isn’t much to say about myself. I’m really just an average middle-aged woman. I work in education, and I have a nursing background. I have two beautiful grown children and six grandchildren. I met Kenneth, the light of my life, several years ago.
About the author: Kenneth Shumaker (Rusty Knight)
Following a long break from writing, Kenneth recovered his passion for writing. He is a science fiction, scifi/fantasy, fantasy, and nonfiction author with Inevitable Unicorn Press (InUPress). Kenneth is publishing with the Owerton Challenge and other blog sites and publications. He also has available a medieval fantasy novel, titled, ‘Laret: Darkness of Souls’. He now writes several serial short stories. Kenneth’s two businesses, his wife, his two children, and his six grandchildren keep him busy.
We would like to acknowledge the following for their contributions:
The episode authors are Kenneth Shumaker and Aria.
Our episode editor is Donna Shumaker.
The graphics and headers are by Kenneth Shumaker.
The episode distribution, marketing, production, promotions, and publishing is by Inevitable Unicorn Press, known as InUPress.
Thank you for reading Bard & Dragoman.
Kenneth Shumaker and Aria of Inevitable Unicorn Press.
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- Ever Bard, E008, Autumn 51 Bear – 1
- Ever Bard E010, Autumn 51 Bear – 3