6th day of the 3rd ride, month 6, 1262
We departed the Sheridan Estate in the early evening. I took the reins and guided the horses and the cart at a slow pace back to Kingsport, The trip was a quiet affair. Undoubtedly the day’s events were weighing on all of us in some way.
We came upon the Kingsport gates just before they would close for the night. We could make out Lady Ravensbourne on her griffin overhead. We were ushered through the gate and continued to the Careless Wanderer.
We were greeted quite friendly at the Wanderer. The Silesian stable-hand, Durham, and Lauryn all shared a curiosity in our dealing in Lynnecombe-upon-Lynn. Emrys pledged to reveal much of it later in the evening, after we had settled in. Astrid and I were comfortable sharing the common room, while Luca craved more privacy, and Emrys opted for luxury. We used Emrys’ lodgings to store our belongings. In particular the treasure chest in spending money the Sheridans had provided.
I shared a bottle of Erveluce with the group, which we enjoyed with the last bits of food from the kitchens. Luca toasted to a job well done. All things considered, the job was well done after all and I shared in the toast.
Emrys then took the stage with some musical performances and songs. The songs narrated much of our adventures upstream and seemed to impress the patrons of the Wanderer. Not to diminish Emrys’ abilities as a performer, but I think the consumption of Durham’s homebrew liquors must have lubricated the impressionability of quite a few of the patrons.
Some of the patrons reacted negatively to the name De Courtenay, calling them ‘traitors’. Dame Julie Lewisham on the other hand is a bit of a local hero and inspired enthusiastic much cheering from the patrons.
I lingered in the back of the room soaking up the many feelings and impressions of the people inside, without bothering to become personally involved. I just let the tide of emotions come over me. Luca later left me and Astrid to act all conspiratorially with a troop of travelling traders. Astrid had her cups.
We picked up some rumors. First of all the conflicts on the Plains of Strife seem to be picking up again. Secondly, it seems that Farcorner is struggling with wild tribes. So much so, that they have taken the dramatic step of declaring rebellion in order to attract attention from the crown. More disturbingly, there are reports from a variety of places throughout Lyria of sightings of rat-like creatures. Always in connection with ancient ruins.
7th day of the 3rd ride, month 6, 1262
The next day we convened at breakfast and decided that we would need the entire day to sort through a collection of chores in Kingsport. We also decided to do these together. Since we all had things to purchase, make or barter, we decided to head for the markets first. Later we would visit the Bard’s College in order to appraise the strange coins from the tunnels. That could be interesting.
On the way out the door we were accosted by Magda, the blind owner of the Wanderer. She told me to go and see Dagmær at the Baths of Sedna. I was planning to visit and make a donation anyway, but it was good to be reminded. Supposedly Dagmær had an important matter to discuss.
At the markets Astrid and Emrys went their own way to purchase weapons and a scabbard. Toruviel and Emrys quickly drew a crowd, allowing Luca and I to approach a jeweler in relative quiet. The man was an apprentice and carefully watched by his senior guild-members. We agreed that he would make four platinum ring with a simple droplet design on each of them. He would fashion one in about an hour so that we might inspect the craftsmanship and take sizes for the other members of our group. The total cost was four platinum dragons for raw material, eighty crowns in my personal coin, and eighty crowns from our spending treasury Luca then asked the jeweler to have a look at the chest of rubies. He deferred to a specialist, a lady by the name of Eryka. She led us to her workshop and examined the rubies with great interest. Eventually she declared that these were not rubies but some manner of crystal of unknown provenance and nature. When she asked another for his opinion, he too was at a loss. Since the stones were of a mysterious nature there was no price to negotiate and we kept the stones. We did allow Eryka to take one for further examinations.
When we returned to the market, Emrys and Astrid were also done and we proceeded to the Baths of Sedna. There we split the group across gender-lines.
Astrid and I enjoyed the baths and I got a chance to speak to Dagmær. She had been visited by a most generous donor and was hoping that I would ‘grace’ the donor with a visit in order to bless their well. She indicated that the donors are from the house Germaine. I reluctantly conceded and waited for her runner to return.
I also donated fifty crowns to the baths.
The group gathered at the entrance of the baths and made our way back to the main road, where we were greeted by a luxurious carriage and a handsome young man who introduced himself as William. I insisted that my entire company would be allowed to join and so we entered the carriage as a group. Neither the carriage nor William bore any noticeable sigils or emblems.
The carriage carried us up to Garamond Hill and actually into the Royal grounds. Was it a ruse and are we summoned to the royal palace? That turned out to be the case. For a few minutes I supposed that we had been summoned by some official in the court, but it was actually the Queen Isabella de Valois herself who had summoned us!
I wonder what Olkin would say if he could see me here.
We were brought into a spectacularly gorgeous garden with an abundance of running water. A truly beautiful pleasure-garden. The others joined the Queen’s entourage and enjoyed their company (and food). The Queen took my arm and guided me across the garden, all the while inquiring about my background and our recent adventures. I indulged her curiosity and spoke frankly and truthfully.
Ultimately she revealed why she had summoned us. She wanted me to bless the spring that feeds the garden. I was happy to do so and performed an exhaustive and complex ritual of consecration at the site of the spring, named Bláthnaid or flower. The spring reveled in the attention and I believe the consecration was successful, despite my inexperience with the practice. Her Grace certainly seemed content.
We were then to depart the gardens to return to our chores. Upon our departure the Queen impressed upon me that her house is devoted to both Chauntea and Sedna, and that this is the reason why the lily is their sigil.
Praise Sedna for the honor bestowed upon us! Surely we are following the right stream!