Patchwork Warriors # 32

The second part of Chapter Sixteen.

This revolves around Silc’s endeavours. Highlights the potential un-reliability and complexity of ‘Jordisk’ devices and how Silc and the mercenaries view and deal with these problems. I felt it was important to include this ‘problem’ for as we all know nothing us humans make is ever totally reliable. (It also gave me a chance to work more with Silc, being confronted by things going wrong and his consequential adapting- I can’t abide Perfect Plan Villains particularly ones who go about telling the world how unstoppable they are)

 

Mietitore looked at the oval disc and examined each of its ten small jewels for any sign of activity. He was not one to place much faith in the Stommigheid, Ethereal, or Astatheia. With its proliferation of metals, wires, glasses and types of gems arranged in haphazard ways. No one in charge, because the Custodians were pretending it had been supressed beyond a few stubborn souls, while even they used a few selective devices. Small wonder it was not dependable.

 

“I suppose that’ll do,” Tymus stepped back, wiped his hands on a rag, then his nose on the back of his sleeve. “Might burn out if you go on too long. But for sorting out a botch-up, it’ll do,”

Silc judged that because Rhoney was staring in goggle-eyed admiration, that the traditional old mechanical’s discerption as any piece of exceptional work as mere ‘sorting out’ was once more in play.

 

In the gloom of the quarters, Mietitore watched the sudden faint glow of a pale yellow gem, he leant forward, ear to the device.

“….itore….hear me?”

Why was he not surprised all was not clear?

“I hear you,”

A long pause.

“…. shore…’llow the saf-ire… ronger it glows….’loser…get,”

In a very sardonic tone he repeated this to his men, none looked impressed; his longest serving associate, long hair covering a scar down the left side of the square face asked pointedly why couldn’t they have been told that earlier.

“I yes understand….I said ‘Yes I understand!”

“….when you….done…..at once!”

“Yes, I understand!!”

And snapped the cover on the device, dropping it into the leatherskin sack; apparently these devices did not take well to salt water. When he addressed his men it was in very bitter tones

“I was told to await the details of something called a triangulation, which could only be supplied at the time of the landing,” he waved the small sack; dismissively “And thus tonight we know it is the saf-ire colouration we follow!!”

His second, Marillo, scratched his head and spoke slowly, folk now no longer above the ground had mistaken that simmering anger for simply slow wits.

“So then, we go ashore, to a town we’re not familiar with, to look for someone or something we don’t know anything about and bring it or them back, while that elidian and his band of web-foots are firing all sorts of whizz-bangs at the place, and hoping a pretty light guides us through it all,”

“Yes friend, we are called upon to do the impossible, for the ungrateful,”

“But we get paid Captain,” the youngest of the group but the best shot any of the rest had seen in a collected career of about a hundred years.

“Indeed Marallel, but as you will learn, it is never comparable to the worth of the task!!”

 

Silc glowered at Rhoney, then took a long draw up a mug of beer. He then addressed his woes to the group of his most trusted

“Now that was blimpin’ embarrassing that was! I felt a right clown. Could barely hear a word he said and no doubt likewise! Just gotta hope the fellow lives up to his reputation and gets ashore in the right place. Then hope my twonk of a nephew can point his toys in the right direction at the right time,” he shook a sheet of paper “I didn’t get a chance to give Mietitore the locations of where the bombs will be falling in Prendaelyn or when. It wouldn’t do for any to fall on him and his lads,”

A man of hard unforgiving features considered the machines.

“And you still don’t know whether he’ll be bringing person or machine out! What happens if it’s a scraithin’ big thing they can’t lift or that won’t fit into a ship?”

Silc snorted.

“Use your noggin’ Grutch! All those Jordisk stuff’s little things aren’t they? Got to be otherwise they couldn’t be secretive could they?”

“This load of boxes don’t look little,”

“But you can blimpin’ well pick it up an’ carry it! Can’t you!!”

Oily Tymus Tymus returned to the room from ‘attending to his necessities’.

“You still talking to whoever you’re supposed to? Shouldn’t stay much longer could over-heat”

“Naah! We’re done,”

“Then, you’d better disconnect then,” the old man said, waving a spanner at the farthest right box “It’s still casting out all your words,” he sniffed, used his sleeve again, and took some amusement from the sight of feared crime leaders getting their knickers twisted, then added “Not there would be much chance of anyone catching a snatch of anything between this and a specified piece of work. Not up that part of the world anyhows; not a usual place of h-interest by the authorities. Now if you were up north where The Grim keep their stuff,” he shrugged “They’d be knocking down your door right now,”

Silc let his lads puffed out their chests and say things like ‘More fool them’ and ‘Like to see that,’. Confidence was good.

But craftiness was sometimes better.

Patchwork Warriors # 31

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

Advertisements

Patchwork Warriors # 31

This ranks up as Chapter Sixteen and illustrates  various parties using their own ‘technologies’, which are not reliable much less all seeing, and the consequential tension for those not being ‘on the ground’. This chapter also introduces as group of mercenaries who suffer the traditional dislocation of plans for those ‘on the ground’

Dekyria knew there could be dislocations and interludes of silence, the light oculatorettes were not precise and reliable devices. Though this juncture was not one he could be sanguine about. Bleymore’s opinions had given weight to his own feelings on the recent events and he was in something of a struggle to keep his anxiety supressed. And his efforts probably weren’t working, not since he’d deployed every one of his men to either try to make contact with or observe as best they could Erzns’ progress.

“What are the current assessments Captain?” Major Gellgrachen put Dekyria at some ease; he was far better at this waiting interlude, calm, seemingly patient and seated, no pacing and above all no demanding.

“There is too much activity to reach their oculatorette Major. We think we have a signature which maybe this elidian girl travelling with the custodian, but can’t make a judgement on its nature, not very stable either, flares, then dies and flares again,”

“With Erzns and a custodian in combination, I think we can afford ourselves a small measure calm in this matter Captain. Keep your men alert, but do not drive them. We need to remember our primary missions involve stealth and observation. I daresay the appearance of these creatures is alarming, but we best serve the situation by being alert and keeping Drygnest appraised,”

Dekyria was in no doubt; a very firm order to hold steady.

 

Jerreli Silc did not like skulking about shores at night time. He always reckoned there were better things to do with the night, sleeping being the one for starters. Night time always seemed to bring an urge in his older and more experienced crew to tell lurid tales about mistakes in night time navigation and subsequent wrecks, always ‘around these parts’, which was wherever they went.       “Skiff on its way Capn’” a said lean fellow who despite missing half of one arm and an eye moved about the craft with enviable ease.

The approaching craft moved through the dark waters with a predator’s speed, its oarsmen obviously well versed in their craft and at home in the waters. In short time they had drawn alongside and a rope ladder dropped down.

Five figures made quick and silent progress onto his deck, once the fifth was on board, the skiff was on its way. Jerreli resented the fact that no one on the craft acknowledged him; he had expected his uncle to have told them to give him some respect.

The first man who had boarded first was no taller than Jerreli but nonetheless gave the impression of a handspan’s advantage in height. His light olive skin highlighting the steady calculating gaze from hooded bright eyes. Although his gaunt features suggested politeness Jerreli did not feel at all comfortable.

“Captain Silc. My name in Sinola Mietitore,” he said with only faintest hint of the rich southern accent of Tuscatalia “Thank you for being so prompt. Your uncle was quite insistent about this commission being carried out,”

“Yes,” Jerreli said straightening his back and hoping to look every inch of a reaver “We sail to Prendaelyn, set you ashore before dawn, raid the town and undercover of the confusion you’ll bring back whatever you have to bring back,” he said the last bit hopeful of some information on the matter.

“That’s the same information I was given,” the man said affably “It’s good when everyone knows what’s to be done,” he smothered a slight yawn “If you don’t mind my men and I would like to be shown somewhere where we can catch up on our sleep. We’ve had quite a busy time getting to this western coast on time,”

Jerreli peered over the man’s shoulder at the four other arrivals, each one busy familiarising themselves with their surroundings, appraising the small gathering of the crew, while in turn giving nothing away in their faces, letting the knives, swords and crossbows they carried doing all the talking. Most folk grew nervous at being the object of attention from a pirate crew, this gathering stood calmly, waiting on their leader.

Jerreli had them taken to one of the dry and healthier parts of his ship. This pirate captain legend building was hard work, and short on encouragement.

 

Migran chewed at his lip. The screen was giving rise to all manner of shapes and colours he had not encountered. At some stage a few days back, not so very far away there had been some rather pointedly violent event. The mystery being such readings should have indicated a very large explosion, but no news of any detonations had arrived, natural or otherwise. Without any mentor he felt very alone and worse considering Trelli’s circumstance, responsible. There was no doubt the situation called for a calm and reasoned evaluation followed by a carefully constructed response. His current state of agitation was not conducive to this. Indications even suggested matters were moving out of his influence and he was being swept along. Being a lone explorer was no longer exciting; it was downright wretched.

 

‘Oily’ Tymus sucked in breath between his teeth and shook his head, which as far as Silc was concerned was the usual thing these good mechanicals did every time you asked them to do something.

In this case the mechanical was regarding the set of six hand-sized metallic-black oblong boxes connected by a wires; three each attached to an end of a thumb-thick foot length dusty grey bar, through dull red crystals.

“Y’see Mister Silc, these haven’t been connected in two parallel rows of three, and thus led into a pacifier. You connect these straight into a Corresponder of this size and you’re bound to get a reflexive overload; that’s why two of them aren’t working now. Where did you get this from anyway?”

Silc had initially called in Oily Tymus just to check the thing was working, tonight. Of course asking one of the old type of mechanical meant they would give the thing a good going over.

“Rhoney ‘ere,” Silc announced with a tone suggesting retribution for the very worried looking young man “Bought it from a highly rated supplier over in Swhizer,”

“Well, they’re alright I suppose for the short-range stuff. Y’see they’re all about smuggling information through and on the Jordisk network over short distances. Sends a swift pulse which is difficult to catch but not good for long range. Just as well I ran a test, if you’d tried this full power, it would have gone through four instead of six! The whole thing would have gone up like a firework display,” he shook his head and sucked in more air “Very messy for the operator,” he looked at Silc meaningfully “And anyone who happened to be close by,”.

“I got to have it working tonight,”

“I suppose I can patch it up. Won’t be very secure though. Don’t know why you didn’t come to me in the first place,”

“No disrespect Oily, but the last time I gave you a secret project, the news went twice ‘round the city in a decan!”

“Yeh, but that was only to do with hand-held torches. You should have thanked me, you turned it into a nice little earner,”

“I blimping well had to, on account of the secret getting out! Had to cover the losses. Now get this sorted out for me,” he glared at Rhoney “Otherwise someone’s old mum is going to be visiting a funeral-master!!”

Patchwork Warriors #30

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

 

Patchwork Warriors #30

This is Chapter Fifteen (part 2)

Mostly Karlyn & Beritt only more on ‘plot’, ‘technical’ stuff and build up

 

The ‘men’ had gone out on scouting, leaving the ‘girls’ to stay at home to observe, one up a tree and one leaning beneath it with an oculatorette. At least that’s how Beritt saw it and was a little surprised Karlyn had not been annoyed about that slight nod to domesticity. But she had she own problems.

She could not make contact. Crocked thing!!

Beritt was still not clear just how this oculatorette worked; all she had been given a half-day’s hurried instructions, one pamphlet and the occasional message sliding across its screen were not up to the standard a medician expected. More the equivalent of ‘Oh a quarter of the leg hacked off? Just put something on it to stop the bleeding,’

And what the High Holy were they going up against? For ferrkit! The lads had been lucky to put down demons with those falconades and then the custodian had said those weren’t proper demons and small stuff. Well suppose they came up against the ‘Proper Demons’. Fine if you were one of Erzns’ hounds, they would reckon a ride through the Five Hells as a jaunt, while custodians did this as a matter of course and Karlyn was tending to swagger about her own victory. But whereas medicians carried powders to kills fleas and rats, Beritt didn’t reckon those were quite up to the requirements. If things got really Fifth Hell, she might find herself having to stick close to the elidian girl.

As if hearing a summons, the girl alighted from her latest tree, soft footed and far too damn close.

“Hi Blondie” Beritt supposed she was stuck with that, but if any of Erzns’ crew tried to call her that… “Any luck yet?”

“What’s your nose telling you?” she replied,

“Nothing new, same ol’ oil and sea. But this time I’m going to be ready for any uglies that that any hell can throw at me,” without any warning, much less explanation or request Karlyn then lifted up left leg edge of Beritt’s trousers “So where did you get your classy tattoo of a tree from?”

Beritt swatted the hand away.

“Never mind! The file will be back soon and I don’t want them catching sight, it makes them unsettled,”

“Your legs aren’t so bad,”

“No! The tattoo! It’s worn by women in the LifeGuard, only we’re not supposed to, but we get away with it,”

Karlyn edged in closer.

“Secret society?” she hissed.

Happily, for Beritt, there was the sound of distant hooves.

“There! Told you! Now let me battle with this cussed machine and you go and talk to bees, or something,”

“The bees have told me all they have to say,”

Beritt looked up meaningfully.

“You mean that don’t you? You do talk to bees,”

“Yes,”

And then being perverse, Karlyn remained annoyingly silent, choosing to stand up and walk about kicking twigs.

And the mirror’d glass seemed intent on behaving the same way. Naturally Beritt gave way to understandable frustration shook the device and swore with so much vehemence as to draw Karlyn back, hands on Beritt shoulders, and leaning over her.

The blankness gave way to a storm swirled myriads of colours, devoid of shapes other than the swift flow of flooded streams in random directions, some colliding creating new shades, defying any sense threatening to cause confusion upon the spectre.

“What the frib’ Blondie!”

“Lady Green Vixen; Captain-Sister-to-Us-All!!” despite her plea and solid efforts to make any direction, the images continued in their chaos; now shot through with blood red, explosions of lurid orange and a growing back ground of night. The display taking place just as Meradat and the LifeGuard arrived; Karlyn promptly scrambling to the custodian.

“You’ve gotta see this guv’!!”

Meradat now fatalistically attuned to her ways did not comment directly to Tildelte Karlyn but strode over to where Beritt was working the gems with frantic glances to the pamphlet, and resultant words of exasperation at the lack of any useful guidance. He stood, thoughtful for a while.

“Can you dismiss that device from continuing its display Medician Beritt!”

Since this was phrased as something of a command, Beritt ignored whatever protocols she’d been told by Dekyria, and tugged loose from the left side of the oculator a deep azure gem, at which point all conjunctions and contacts with The Astatheia ceased, the mirror’d surface taking on a rather sullen dark grey. Meradat thus satisfied addressed the small congregation.

“Firtsly, let us be clear. There are no such things as views into The Future. This is known only to The Lord God. But the capricious Stommigheid takes its own malicious delight in vexing us with lurid warnings. These are not to be dismissed, for with diligent caution and faith in The Lord God, even this untrustworthy circumstance and be brought to serve,”

‘Nice to know,’ Beritt wisely kept the words to herself. The custodian was in full flow.

“The confusion of colours indicates much unwise activity with The Stommigheid. The lurid reds, oranges and night-shades reveal that those of violent and ill-intent are drawn to its maw and will bring woe upon that town. We must therefore be quick, ride there in teams of two, meeting at an agreed location, then hunt down the miscreant and extract them before destruction falls upon that unhappy place,”

“Does that mean; we can’t even burn down a titchy bit as a warning?”

Karlyn complained to Beritt for some time afterwards that it had been a reasonable question and she’d not deserved scowls and silence.

Beritt made sympathetic sounds, her attention was mostly focused on being party to the conversation in Erzns’ file, which basically went along the lines that if ‘we’ have an inclining about what was going on in that town, then so would ‘others’, so look sharp and expect folk who know their business. This was fine if you knew this sort of business; Beritt didn’t, she took a smidge of comfort from Erzns saying ‘Stay Close’.

Patchwork Warriors# 29

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

 

 

Patchwork Warriors# 29

New Chapter (Current weighing in as Number Fifteen). First Half:

This revolves around some bonding with Karlyn and Medician Deya Beritt. A few insights into backgrounds and just how diligent Beritt is about her duties. (The challenge here was trying to avoid inadvertently falling into the salacious while having Beritt tackle the problem of a still unpredictable ‘patient’. It also allows some leeway in illustrating differing aspects of Karlyn’s  character).

“Hello Blondie. I didn’t know you liked climbing trees too,”

“I don’t. But that wound of yours needs checking,”

“Oooh, you going to do that up on a high branch?”

“No. You are going to come down out of your perch,”

“Aww, how kind! Not shouting or throwing sticks at me,” Karlyn now fully awake stared into the sky. “Still about a thousand ‘fore dawn. You can’t wait?”

“Again. No. I have a busy day. Sergeant Erzns is insistent I make contact with our officers by the time we get into that town, and frib’ knows how long that will take,”

“Do they train you LifeGuards to climb trees? You look reasonable up here,”

“Where I come from packs of wolves are not uncommon,”

“Fair enough. Ssso you are going to play with your box afterwards?”

The joke had grown old after the first day; once Beritt had learnt from the Norvan just what ‘box’ meant in elidian slang; he having a comprehensive knowledge of obscenities from the length and breadth of the Oakhostian.

“I could decide to give you a purgative to ensure any remaining poisoning within your body are flushed out,”

 

Beritt having explained to the jovially inquisitive Fileman Creylan that she had not been converted to tildeltish ways of roosting, then herded Karlyn off to a safe distance before the elidian started to wake up the camp, Beritt sat the girl down at near the bank of the river Herene, slow on its winding its way to their destination of Prendaelyn

“You’re really nice you are Blondie. I haven’t met many nice people,”

“From tales told to me I suppose Elinid is a tough place,”

“S’ orrible. if you’re on the poor side, which most are. Parents’ll sell their kids if they have to. And as for older girls,” she snorted “If you haven’t got a talent for stealing, or get married off to someone with two brass pennies more than your dad, then you’re likely to end up working on your back,” her face grew angry “Or worse,”

“Yeh, I’ve cleaned up after some of that,”

“Did you catch the bastards?”

“Two local sons of merchants. They made the mistake of smirking and saying who their fathers were. That didn’t matter scraith to captain in command; he had served on the slovosskian border. Charged them there and then with sedition through upsetting the peasantry and hung them. Then rode to the fathers told them what he’d done and warned them they too were under suspicion of promulgation. No more problems,”

Karlyn chortled and clapped her hands. Then as swiftly as her face had brightened it grew grave.

“Never get that sort of justice in Elinid. Not for the likes us of the gutters,”

“True for most of the Oakhostian, it was just the Good Lord God’s justice that they happened to be doing their nasty stuff in a place where the LifeGuard had other interests,”

Beritt than cleared her throat, you never knew how folk not drilled in LifeGuard ways would react, to the next question.

“Now I got to check you properly. Alright. That means we slip around that scrabble of vegetation and you strip off, the lot. I got to get very personal, to make sure nothing is lurking,”

Even in the gloom of the deep night Karlyn’s smirk was obvious as she clutched her two hands to her breast.

“Oh Miss Blondie,” she lisped “Whatever do you mean?”

Beritt decided she was would assume Karlyn was being a mischief and not covering up an agitation at such a request.

“There’s always that purgative. It’s a powerfully effective one. Some callous officers have had it administered to be used as ordinance,”

Karlyn snorted out an appreciative laugh, walking swiftly ahead of Beritt, leaving the medician to pick up a trail of discarded clothes.

Beritt found Karlyn was quite a respectable patient, doing as she was instructed, accepting what had to be done

“Lean tough body you got here. Hmm. Old small scars. Thievery then?”

“Yeh! Good enough to keep me out of the brothels!”

The conversation came to an abrupt halt, Beritt sensed a lots of anger; little hell! She could feel in quivering in the girl’s body. Right back to being a medician

“You’ve managed to keep yourself reasonably healthy and quite clean. Good news is no signs of possible ill-humours or lurking natsies. The leg is doing well too,”

In the physical of course. Beritt was hoping, praying that on any other level The Good Lord God would work through The Custodian.

Karlyn smiled, warmly, slowly sat up and flicked at a strand of Beritt’s hair

“Aww, you’re really nice Blondie. Let’s go for a quick swim before the men wake up,”

Beritt had to admit, it was a good suggestion, even in the chill. Anything at the present to ease that simmering out of Karlyn. And just a smidge of relaxation before the battle; or something close to a battle.

The Patchwork Warriors # 28

 

The Patchwork Warriors # 28

We are back with Trelli & Migran; Poor Migran he’s just not the sort of fellow who can deal very well with the day-to-day Real World

New terms:

Being placed unfortunate: When an unmarried girl becomes pregnant

Libratery: Equivalent to Convents. Very socially active. With their own networks and strictures. In terms of  Oakhostian Politics -low profile but not to be fooled with.

Sanded Lands: Basically the area we might recognise as North Africa. A collection of nations which the Oakhostian folk are wary of on account of seeing them as ‘exotic’, although quite a lot of trade and travel goes on between them (mostly dubious).

Shereavan the Wylde Raven of the North: Basically a character out of my previous books (Correct name ‘Sherevine’. Youngest child of a trading family whose adventures started out in a broadly similar way to Trelli’s)

*******************************************************

Another short chapter: Anything included here would just be clutter.

“Migran! Explain yourself!!”

“Trelli has left because you argued!!”

Migran being with a parent each side of him, felt maybe this had not been such a good plan after all. But when you are faced with a crisis, well you do the best you can.

“I may have been a trifle harsh over her recent figure work,”

His mother tutted a great deal and set upon him a severe look.

“Such a dear girl. She’s worked so hard for us these past five years. You really should not have burdened with all that paper-worked. I did say so at the time!” she heaved a fatalistically sigh “I had best ask Luucresia if she can spare Mollea; the girl is useful, needs watching though. Oh really Migran!” she reached for her most business like hat “Honestly we were away for but five days, just a simple half-decan holiday!” and thus made to exit, pausing by her husband to whisper “And you had better find out ‘nothing’ else happened,”

There was a short interlude, his father began to pace.

“Now look Migran. I know how it is,” he ahemed “Trelli is a not unattractive young woman, and young men, being young men. Well I do hope it was just an argument,”

“Oh nothing else!!” Migran cried in horror, (was that with a pinch of regret? He wondered) “It was the summary of the last quarterly accounts. You know how hectic things can get in the lunation prior to the visit from the Imperial Assessors of Taxes and Tithes. Speaking of which, I really must get down to the offices and check, aspects,” with that he picked up his only hat “I’m sure she will be back, at some stage,”

Then feeling he had said enough left.

And reckoned, actually, he had recovered that quite well; when all things were considered, of course.

As he reckoned he had done, when Trelli’s hands had first started to glow. He felt he had managed to calm her down, firstly by letting her cry a lot; girls always cried. He’d then took her to the kitchen and made her a nice herbal brew, she had said it tasted like dead rats and had cried some more, which had been fine because girls needed to let their emotions out. He then decided to leave her cry some more while he gathered ‘stuff’ and during the night by means of gloomy alleys had shuffled her off to a safe place. Once he had ensconced her there and told her, despite her fearful and fearing words that all would be well, he would be back with more stuff. Which he had done so. She had stopped crying. She had become frosty. He had reckoned, again, this was the sort of thing girls did. And all would be fine once she had calmed down.

Now the closer he got to the sanctuary he had some doubts, but hoped they would clear once he found Trelli all composed and ready to explore this exciting new opportunity.

 

The office was a place he could be certain one of the workers would not bother with. Located at the top of the warehouse, by a rickety set of stairs, and facing out to sea it was naturally the most draft-ridden part of the building. Reaching the door marked ‘Family Hendrechan Only’ He tapped on it, gently.

“Trelli? Are you there?”

There were soft sounds, followed by a battle with bolts and a lock, the door eased, slightly open, a fiercely disgruntled face filling one portion of the gap. It seemed to a common means of communication between them these days.

“Yes,” she said, tersely, then thrust one gloved hand out, waggling it at him “I can hardly go about with these can I now?”

Some part of his confidence crumbled.

“I am sorry,”

“I wish I had a silver piece for each time you’ve said that this past day. There would be enough for me to flee away back to the Libratery orphanage and offer supplicant payment to the Devoteds; I’m sure they would get me to a special Libratery that could cure me,”

“It’s not a curse! Please let me in. It is not good for me to be standing here,”

“And it’s not good for me to be stuck in here!!…Oh spiffle!!” with exasperation vented she pulled the door open.

He noticed she’d made the office reasonably habitable and draft-proofed with aid of the blankets, cushions, pillows and suchwhich they had gathered in the flight, but he had a feeling she would not appreciate conversation of domestic arrangements. She flung off the gloves and held up the hands glowing from red to blue and back again in a delicate and slow evolution; the barred teeth disturbing the arresting sight.

“So what progress have you made!!” she demanded “It’s all your stupid fault!!”

Returning to the phenomenon of the spontaneous production of coinage he in turn wished he had a gold piece for every time she’d said that, in between her tears. Right now he would have bought passage on a craft for the Sanded Lands, there they would appreciate this sort of circumstance for what it was. An opportunity! Try telling Trelli that. He’d never realised she had this abrasive side to her character.

“It’s not very easy Trelli. These matters have to be evaluated,” his very clear and concise rehearsed speech was evaporating under that accusatory glare    “How long is that going to take! Am I expected to stay in this room for years and years? That won’t do, for all sorts of reasons!” she stalked over to the window arms folded “For all sorts of reasons,” her repetition accompanied by a very disgusted expression

Just for a five, he did not speak. He gazed settled upon the glow emanating from her hands. The steady progression through hues between pale crimson and summer sky blue was setting alluring patterns upon what should have been Trelli’s dowdy servants clothing. His reverie was not destined to be long; her very loud and judgemental sniff shook him back to matters practical. In consequence of the suddenness words spilled out without much thought for tact.

“I am trying to work out the reason in which The Ethereal was attracted to you. There must be some sort of circumstance within your natures for this,”

She spun on one heel, there was the fierce look again, and oh dear, with her eyebrows narrowed into downward pointing blades and the return to the barring of teeth she did look rather fetchingly wild.

“Don’t you go try to blame me for this Migran Hendrechan! You’re the one who was fooling about, despite what I said to you!” tears began to brim “It’s worse than being placed unfortunate! Again, I could have gone to the local Libratery in the broad daylight and no one would have thought of bringing a custodian in on me!! They understand how poor serving girls get put upon!!”

At this juncture, her shoulders began to shake, her head drooped and the tears fell.

“An’ to make it worse, I bet you have gone ahead with that stupid excuse and told your parents I’ve run off!!” she looked up anger brimming back “You’ve truly messed up my life you have!” Up shot one summer sky blue hand, finger tips darkening to a thunder shade she pointed to the door “Oh go and leave me be! And don’t come back until you’ve got something sensible to say!!”

Once more she swung about to the window, tears were back.

He gently put down the bag containing food, with three bottle of very weak wine, and the small sack of soaps and cleaning waters. And feeling comparable to the worst of sewer rats he quietly closed the door.

This was monstrously cruel; he had pushed the very boundaries of his knowledge and had made a discovery, of some sort. In other circumstances he would be checking his forbidden works for clues and insights, building upon the initial success. If only the Ethereal had settled within him! Why Trelli? He wished he had the time to work upon the question of Empathy, study the wise words of The Paladinic. Was it not so that Trelli’s experiences were not dissimilar to the initial trials of the legendary Shereavan the Wylde Raven of the North, and what a hero she had become!

How would Trelli may able to make use of the forces which were now moving within her?

The Patchwork Warriors #27

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

 

 

The Patchwork Warriors #27

Villains’ time. Naturally being ruthless, vicious folk there are going to be times when they will have frank & comradely discussions (Back in the time of the USSR & The Warsaw Pact that was acknowledged soviet-speak for two sides having a standing up shouting match…Oh yes the USSR’s ‘allies’ in eastern Europe were not always inclined to monolithic)

 

This is one whole Chapter; it seemed to want to be relatively short and sharp.

 

Merthyl maintained a quiet and restrained presence, standing at the Helmsman’s side. You could not really call it respect, more a sense of what suited survival best. This Merthyl reasoned was essential to anyone as bold and he was.

Bold, of course was his choice of word; others if they knew the course of previous events might have had a different interpretation…

 

Nearly a year ago. The first day Silc had been allowed access to the Council’s Manse; ‘allowed’ being also to flexible interpretations; some might have thought ‘friendly demand’ would have been a more accurate term.

Merthyl had spied the large, slow gaited fellow dressed in rather comically common dark browns and greens, thinning greasy hair and dull eyes moving with an animalistic wariness. The young noble had waited until the fellow was out of sight of guards, fussy servants, nervous acolytes and of course Council Members. Merthyl knew all the corners, alcoves, short passageways to small unpleasant rooms. He’d stepped smartly out of one such passageway, blocking Silc.

“Ah. You must be The New Money,” he had drawled a supercilious grin sliding across his face. “How fortunate for you,”

Silc had looked down at him. Apparently curious.

“I make my way,” came the laconic reply, which had at once bothered Merthyl who them pressed home, and resting on the hilt of his sword.

“I am Lord Merthyl,” Merthyl man had announced, intent upon imposing his air of menace “And I bring,” he had had to step up slightly to reach Merthyl’s face to breathe out the next word “Fear,”

He’d just let loose the end of the word, when a large left arm had shot out, striking against his throat, forcing him back against the wall, knocking out his breath with the pain of the impact, itself accompanied by a stab of agony as a large ugly ring upon the right fist punched into his right wrist, numbing the hand. The left arm had risen drawing his face level with Silc’s. The eyes now glinted with a knowing power, as Silc’s face drew close to his, with its own smile, one of threatening confidence.

“I daresay that little act impresses the weak, the helpless, and the stupid,” the voice was low, each phrase a stab of authority “Sunshine,” it had taken about a Five for Merthyl to realise that Silc was addressing him with that term “But if I was to drop you and that bunch of snivelling wobblers that follow you about in MY streets; by the end of the day you’ll all end up as gutter leavings, or on the Sanded Lands slave ships as sacrifice fodder or trainee jolly boys,” the smile had turned into a hard thin line “Now. You do what you do. I’ll do what I do. But don’t you get in my way,” the smile had returned “And everything will be roses,” and faded ” Understand?”

Merthyl still shocked and finding breath hard to come by had just nodded.

“Good,” Silc’d released his grip, stepping back “Oh an’ by the way. If you are thinking about trying to bring some revenge to soothe your hurt feelings, let me warn you this. If anything happens to me. Well, there’s this list of folk I’ve had uncomfortable dealings with. My people will hunt them all down. My people are quite a few. Very persistent, with long reaches. I would do the same for My People. It’s how we work. Loyalty and Respect. It might take a decan. It might take a year or ten. But they will be found and when they are finally delivered to The Fifth Hell, it will seem like a welcome relief. I put you on that list first news I heard of you,”

With that he had stepped forward, pushed past Merthyl and had not looked back, only to call out “See you at the Council meeting,”

 

Merthyl had been telling himself since, the meeting had been ‘interesting’. It had been a case of ‘Forewarned is Forearmed,’ He would of course, one day make Silc pay. He would weave his revenge into his plans. In the meantime, he would try and spend as much of The New Money as he could.

He was to find this was not as easy as he had hoped.

 

Which was why he endeavoured to nurture an affable relationship with The Helmsman, let Belacheli fuss and get in the way with his hysterics and Karutorm could carry on as if the man was in the Grand Duke’s army. He simply turned up from time to time, asking intelligent questions in an interested and respectful tone. It did not do to make nervous a man charged with a delicate balancing act. And so naturally the man was immersed in his own work.

“Have you any new information Helmsman?” Merthyl asked, in his most conversational way. The man frowned, fingers moving careful over the display.

“Excuse me for a ten please Lord Merthyl. There is a slight change in the current, I need to address. Jurd! Address the engine by ten degrees of element!”

“Attended Helmsman!!”

Merthyl had to admit the Helmsman conducted his staff with exceptional efficiency. His orders were plain and precise. The responses swift and respectful. Merthyl had overheard the man carefully explain the consequences of errors; all resulting in painful deaths because each would allow one or another creature to escape from the Fourth Realm through the Helmsman’s realm and vent its nature upon everyone therein.

“Sorry My Lord Merthyl, some matters take priority. Yes, there is still much turbulence on the far shore,” he gestured to the far off scenes of activity “Can you see the agitations from that angle?”

“Oh yes. Seems to be thrusting hosts illuminated by sullen flames. Are we witnessing some sort of battle?”

“There is little widespread knowledge of the motivations and associations within the Fourth Realm My Lord Merthyl. Whereas it can be acknowledged that there is communication; to know the true length and breadth of the dynamics within that place is something beyond my own scope of experience or discernment. My own assumption would be that we are witnessing some attempted rupture of the barriers withholding the Fourth Realm inhabitants. Mage Belacheli would be likely to caste you more clarity on this matter,”

Merthyl appreciated the adroitness of The Helmsman’s response. He was at one recommending and distancing himself from a council member. This would do for The Lord, he would now wait. There were credible indications in The Helmsman’s words. He doubted if Belacheli would be able to be so coherent lost as he was in his miasma of fear and belief. Ideal.

 

Silc had no doubts that after the last council meeting everyone, with the possible exception of that wobbler Uraxch would be busy with plans and ploys. Time to move quickly, keep ahead of the pack.

He snapped his fingers and one bodyguard pulled off his backpack and handed his boss an object of dark green metal, tubular length of his large hand and half its width. Silc turned it over to the area which had twelve small gems, three rows of four. He tapped out a pattern and placed the tube to his ear, tapping his foot and complaining about the hissing in his ear and then the rhythmic buzzing, until.

“Jerreli! Yer, it’s your Uncle Fairrel! Wot? Well get the girl out of the room now! We got business! Never mind that she’s a Sea Lord daughter!” Silc slapped his hand about the tube and looked exasperated at his guards “Give him a few ships to play with and he thinks he’s blimpin’ Sanded Lands Pirate General,” he asided “Jerreli? Look, never mind the skirt, she’ll stay warm! Now listen I got a job for you and your lot. It’s a sweet ‘un. You get to play at pirate raiders on a coastal town…Naw! It’s not defended. So you get your lot to stop at games of Captain and Cabin boy and have the ships ready…. I’ll tell you all in good time my son, all in good time,”

He brought one thumb down on the tube, shaking his head.

“Thank The Goodlordgawd, my poor sister’s not alive to see him,” he tapped out another pattern, this time not having to wait “Kregz. Yeh, I’m taking leave of our neighbours in Shorehang City. Naw they’re not willing to make a move yet so I’m taking a river rapid-boat, should be back in tomorrow. Look, find ‘Oily’ Tymus and have him get back to me on the whistler, I need him to make sure something is going to work properly,”

The discourse ended Silc passed the tube back to the one bodyguard.

“Going to be a very busy time lads. But old Lady Elinid’ll finally have her day in the sun. With the Silcs looking after her of course,”

It was going to be a not just busy but a bit of a risk too, meant he would have to stay in Elinid with good reason not to be involved in any council business, which suited him fine. Things were going to get quite meaty there in a while and he was quite happy to stand back and pick up whatever valuable pieces were left at the end of it.

 

The Patchwork Warriors# 25

The Patchwork Warriors # 26

Don’t Try This….Like…. Anywhere Folks

As readers to this blog will know one of the themes is to caution the reader from trying anything that this particular writer gets up to in terms of the Writing Process. By all means write. Write with all the joy, fury, fire or sheer love of the writing that you can muster. These are some of the elements which can contribute to the central hub of the creative process.

However, one should not drive one’s for about 8 hrs with but three 20 min breaks; get hopelessly lost, then drive one’s car over the edge of a central reservation, get stuck and require rescue by the local constabulary and the kindness of strangers as a deliberate strategy to enable the creative process to flow.

crazy-lime-cartoon-jumping-happy-35166861

 

Maybe it was the sheer joy of meeting so many kind, sympathetic folk; maybe the shock shook out so of the dead-weight dross I’ve been carrying around in my head; perhaps getting back home in a relatively better time using an old-fashioned road map helped. Naturally spending time with our two youngest grandsons (3 & 5) was of infinite value.

Anyhows, we returned home on Sunday 2rd October and since then, aside from chores and the arrival of a Beta-Class cold, my Patchwork Project has been calling and the characters all busting with suggestions and re-writes- f’rinstance… (did you really think I’d react like that…. WTF!!…I supposed to be in shock & angry not tripping out like it was 1967!!) … or (Oh yeh? Like, I’d say that, just then? Right in the middle of a battle? Maybe you’d like us to stop and plat each other’s hair for Pity’s Sake!!) …also… (Now you’re not going to make me loveable are you? You can’t be a loveable crime lord. Give us some cruelty to work with…Of course it’s got to be subtle, I know that! I’m a crime lord!!) And so forth….

So for those who have been following it’s much catch-up time.

And when all of the re-writes have been posted, then it will be time to have another look and see where this is all going.

But whateverwhichway, the important thing is for us all to be writing. Filling up the cyber-waves with our thoughts, hopes, concerns, accounts, tales, images, poetry. Annnnndddd if this ‘Patchwork’ helps another writer in anyway then that’s fine by me (though you are cautioned to use your own world; the world of Patchwork can be very quirky…………….b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472