Ever Bard, Ears of Time
By Rusty Knight & Aria
Episode 001, Autumn 50 Bear – 1
Following in this series, we get to know the female elven child – an 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 immortal. 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 Rusty Knight and Aria in Rusty Knight’s medieval fantasy realm of Quantos. Experience their adventures beyond those of mere mortal in the time of King Dolan IV.
We continue with episode 001 on …
Autumn 50 Bear
On first impression, the jalmal has a youthful appearance. Upon closer view, his lines show him to be of mature years. The man’s pale complexion indicates something troubles him. As he speaks his voice sounds weak. “Lady Ta’Myka, I am a master trapper with years of experience. My name is Eren Tar Hinar of Mount Oryn’s South Spring. I fear I am a bit late talking with you, after all the time that your poster has been out. I asked a fellow to read the bulletins to me, and yours interested me greatly. A stronghold might indicate a wilderness. Am I correct? A place a trapper will be welcome?” He sits back in the chair with some effort.
Shorter, but heavier than the average jalmal, Eren looks patiently at Ta’Myka for a reply. His youthful appearance gives him a handsome look that interests many women. His mannerisms are fluid and polite.
Ta’Myka focuses on Eren as he speaks to her. She can’t help wondering if his paleness and weak voice are possibly due to illness, or perhaps he’s simply nervous.
Suddenly, Gerris begins to cough violently, turning shades of red, like ripe nectarines.
Ta’Myka is about to reply to Eren when she is distracted by Gerris’ bout of coughing. She turns her attention to Gerris and immediately pours him a mug of water. Handing the mug to Gerris, she gives him a concerned look. “Master Gerris, are you going to be okay?” She places her hand on Gerris’ shoulder and turns to Eren. “A person with trapping skills will be most welcome in Owerton. You are correct in your thinking. Indeed, wilderness surrounds the village of Owerton.” Ta’Myka unconsciously rubs Gerris’ shoulder, torn between her concern for Gerris and her desire to finish the interview.
Gerris hesitantly accepts the mug of water. As he drinks the water, his nose begins to drip slightly, and he reddens further.
Ta’Myka may recognise this as a full onset of the human condition commonly called a cold, but his redness and coughing indicate it is possibly more.
Gerris responds weakly to Ta’Myka, “Lady Ta’Myka, I am getting pains in my chest and head, my body is aching. I am finding focus is becoming difficult. May I retire to my cot for a few hours? I am sure this will pass.”
Frustrated and concerned, Ta’Myka gives Gerris’ hand a gentle squeeze. “Yes, you should rest. On your way to your cot, tell Doorman Jessep to summon Healer Rena to look in on you. I am sure Lady Rena can conjure up some herbal concoction to help you feel better.” Ta’Myka feels her concern easing at the suggestion of having Rena tend to whatever ails her trusted friend.
Gerris frowns slightly as he stands, offering in reply to Ta’Myka. “Yes, Master, thank you I will seek out Lady Rena. I hope to feel better today or soon.”
Eren replies eagerly. “Master Gerris, I hope you are well soon as there is nothing worse than suffering ills of body or mind.”
Eren nods as a wise sage to Ta’Myka, saying, “I seek to work for payment per animal, plus a duster per day. I will earn my wage many times over I am sure. When can I start? Where is this Owerton? How do I get there?”
Sitting back down at the desk, Ta’Myka dips a quill in ink. “Master Eren, if you are in agreement, I will write a contract of employment. Keep in mind that it is Lady Crusader Mychel who has the final say regarding your pay. However, I will state your proposal in this contract. You will find Lady Mychel to be a very fair and an honest employer. I am confident your request will be agreed to.” … “As for travelling to Owerton, I suggest you return here in three days to travel with the other recruits. Your passage to Owerton will be paid for. Or, you have the option of remaining here, at West Door Inn, until passage is arranged. Many of the recruits are staying here until a date of travel is settled. I do recommend that you stay, giving you an opportunity to get to know the other recruits. And it’s safer to travel with companions.” … “So, I am offering you free food and lodging until your departure. I assume you have no life-companion or family accompanying you?”
Ta’Myka writes out the conditions of the contract. At the bottom of the page, she adds: This contract is subject to final agreement by Lady Crusader Mychel of Owerton. Ta’Myka assumes the trapper doesn’t know how to read the script. Thus, she reads the contract aloud.
Ta’Myka smiles as she turns the page and hands Eren the quill so he can place his mark of agreement.
Relieved, Eren responds, “Most definitely I accept, Lady Ta’Myka. Begging your leave, I will stay on here at West Door Inn. I brought all my possessions with me on the chance I gained employment. I am sure all will be well.” Eren makes his mark on the offered contract after indicating he has no skills of script.
Standing, after marking the contract, Eren bows. “Then with your leave, Lady Ta’Myka, I will seek my lodging and food, to settle in, seeking to help out as best I am able. Perhaps you have a stable that needs cleaning?”
Through the open door, which Gerris failed to close as he departed, Ta’Myka notes that Doorman Jessep is standing and waiting in the hallway, looking into the room.
Rusty Knight and Aria
To be continued in the next episode …
© 2017 by Rusty Knight and Aria with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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Rusty Knight and Aria with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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