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December 3, 2014 11:04 pm  #31

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 31 - Tuesday

Today should be another relaxing day, Lucky. Other than going to Coral Cove with Quinn to find the Trident, the only open work orders involve requests for poster glue, glass shards, blue prints and tool boxes. And most of these requests are tied to requests to upgrade buildings and that’s just not going to happen until after the festival.

Before I can decide which resource to search for, the Mayor arrives. He can’t shake the feeling that something ‘is off’ and worries that he hasn’t seen Leena lately. Could I please go and check on how she’s doing with the festival preparations?When I get to Glenwater Springs, Leena is nowhere to be found. I report back to the Mayor who tells me that Leena usually never leaves the springs.  He suggests that I start asking people if they have seen her.

I’m about to head back up to the Atrium when Greg arrives. The Mayor has asked him to help me. We speak to Gavin, who says he did see Leena, but didn’t notice where she was going. Raphael was busy setting up his paintings, so he didn’t notice where she was going either. Ria tells us that Leena said she was going to get more ingredients.

Ingredients for what? I though she just blessed the water.  I ask Greg, but he just shrugs. Note to self: Don’t drink the water until you know what’s in it. We head back to Town Hall to study the kingdom’s map and come up with a list of places she may have gone.

Greg says Leena might just be strolling around but I can tell by his tone of voice that he’s worried. He wants to search Dawnshadow Lake first. It’s where fairy dust, fairy runes and fairy crests can be found. Maybe she went out to get some of those things.

She’s not there, and Greg can’t find any sign that she had been there recently. Ancient Pond is the next place on his list, another place where fairy dust and fairy runes are located. We don’t find Leena, but we do find a fragment of the Atrium Lushness Relic.

Onward to Coral Cove. Maybe she needed a Yura’s Blessing Amulet. When he get there, Greg tells me there’s no need for both of us to get wet. He strips and I quickly avert my eyes.

Wait a minute! If he finds Leena, she’s going to get an eyeful. I might as well enjoy the view as well. Take your time, I tell him. No need to hurry your search on my account.

No sign of Leena. Greg suggests we search the Fairy Dragon Nest next. I suggest he put his clothes on next. He laughs, but I can tell that he’s very worried. And with good reason. At the Fairy Dragon Nest, we find Leena’s shoe. Time to head back to Town Hall and tell the Mayor what we found.

Greg shows the Mayor Leena’s shoe and claims we felt an ominous aura. I hadn’t felt anything of the kind, maybe because I was born without magic, but this isn’t a good time to contradict him, so I keep my big mouth shut, for once.

Greg fears that Leena may have been abducted by the cloaked guy. I fear that Greg is blaming himself and I also fear that convincing him otherwise is not going to be an easy job.

The Mayor thinks Mira might be able to help and suggests we look for her up at the castle. Before we go there, I stop to speak to Raphael, who found a mysterious box during his journey to the kingdom. He says the box unlocks the key and location of a treasure vault. The map pieces, however, are scattered all over the kingdom.

Quinn wants to help look for map pieces, but thinks we should play Tripeaks first up at the Fungus Hut. No, I tell him, first Greg and I must find Leena or there will be no Yura Festival.

Greg and I walk I silence up to the castle. When we near the lamps and statues, I keep my head down and think about Greg at Coral Cove.

Mira is indeed at the castle. She was waiting for Leena and is alarmed to see Greg carrying her shoe. Mira thinks she can pinpoint Leena’s location but will need some fairy dust and other items. I’m pretty sure I have everything needed back at Town Hall.

At Town Hall, Greg gathers what’s needed from the supply cupboard while I speak to Raphael, who wants to expand the Gildenhall Gallery. I scrawl approved on his request. All the buildings in the Atriums should be upgraded before the festival begins, I tell Greg. They will generate a lot of needed revenue for the kingdom.

Mira thanks us for bringing what she requested, but she still needs more materials. She wants us to accompany her to the Forgotten Glen and Coral Cove to get them. At Coral Cove I tell Greg it’s his turn to stay dry. He’s already shown me his, no need show Mira. I’m beyond caring whether he sees mine before the wedding night. If we don’t find Leena, there will be no wedding.

Mira finds what she needs and goes back to the castle to combine the items and ‘bond’ with Leena in an attempt to find out where she is. I get dressed and Greg and I head back to Town Hall, where Gavin is waiting for me with a request to expand the Fungus Hut. I scrawl approved and look at Greg.

In a year or so, I tell him, we will look back upon this day and laugh ourselves silly. He gives me a hug. We’re still embracing when Mira returns. She says Leena is being held captive in Yura’s Shrine by the cloaked figure. We need to dispel the vile artifacts to save her.

The vile artifacts are dispelled and Leena is saved. She tells us that the cloaked figure wanted to siphon her magical power and place it in the vile artifacts and release them in the cities. Fortunately, he left when we arrived. Leena thinks the cloaked figure’s powers might have weakened.

The Mayor is happy that everybody is safe and declares that the festival will start in fourteen days. Greg and I look at each other, eyes shining. Just two more weeks until our wedding!

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

December 4, 2014 8:50 pm  #32

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 32 - Wednesday

Yesterday was not the relaxing day I thought it would be. Today will probably be just as hectic, if not more so. Last night Greg and I finalized our plans for renovating our house and he will be dealing with the construction crew. Meanwhile I will be working on the Yura Festival preparations.

But first, the Fairy Queen wants to see me to thank me for saving Leena and to give me a gift. She’s going to ask her fairies to try and find out more about the cloaked figure and to be extra careful.

Leena is still recovering from her ordeal, so Mira will be getting Glennwater Springs ready for the festival. She need fairy glass which can be found at Coral Cove. I’m beginning to think that I need to grow fins and gills. I grab my "swimsuit" and towel from the storage cupboard and head out to Coral Cove with Quinn, who has remembered that he wants to find the Trident.

Quinn is another one who doesn’t believe in swimsuits. I hope I’m not going to get a look at every male resident’s naughty bits. I find the requested fairy glass but no Trident. Too bad, I tell Quinn, but I’ve got to get back to the Atriums so put your clothes on.

I give the fairy glass to Mira, who asks me if I’d like to try assembling some fairy art. It’s similar to the glasswork done by Chumblepot. Visitors to the festival should enjoy seeing the display of fairy art and trying to create their own. It would be a good idea to expand Glennwater Springs now to accommodate more art and visitors.

While I was out at Coral Cove, a lot of work orders have arrived. Mira had told me that Leena was resting and the Fairy Queen looking after her, but apparantly nobody told Leena. She wants me to give her several fairy dresses, gifts for Mira and the Fairy Queen. I already have them in the storage cupboard and deliver them to Leena.

She’s pleased with the dresses but wants fairy slippers to match. A check of the storage cupboard reveals I already have them as well. When delivered, Leena pronounces them a great match with the dresses, but...

Leena wants to customize the outfits with her own little fairy hands and needs thread and needles. Just once I wish people would tell me everything they need instead of having me make multiple trips.

The thread is fetched from the storage cupboard but Leena is not done. She’s expecting a special package at Skyfleet Docks and wants me to go there with her. Leena picks up package at the Docks and I find a door tile for the castle’s interior door.

I’ve also found enough fungi tiles for Quinn to try his hand at Tripeaks with Gavin. Quinn tells me he enjoys spending time with me because he’s always learns something new. I smile weakly.

Quinn has also learned something from Gavin. A piece of the map for the mysterious box Raphael found is somewhere in the Rose Garden. Looks like Lucky and I will be spending yet more time with Mr Vanderkins and Quinn.

A map piece is found at the Rose Garden. Quinn has a hunch that we can find more map pieces at the Black Bull and Skyfleet Docks. After all, he reasons, ships need maps. I need to search those two locations for the festival souvenirs requested by the Mayor so it looks like we’ll be a foursome for a bit longer.

We find map pieces at each location, I find some festival souvenirs, and the last piece of the Atrium Lushness Relic. Time to go back to the Atriums and see what changes.

With the completion of the Relic, the vegetation changes from brown to green. Skycrystal Atriums looks so more welcoming and inviting. Once word gets around, we should have many more visitors.

It looks like we’re still missing two map pieces. Raphael asks me to mind the Gallery while he makes a list of places where I might find them. He suggests I search Ancient Ponds and Dawnshadow Lake.

Not only do I find the missing map pieces, I find another relic fragment at Dawnshadow Lake. This one belongs to the Faire Exuberance Relic.

We’re going need glue to assemble the map pieces, so next stop is the Forgotten Glen. At last we can assemble the map and try and decode it. It doesn’t take long to figure out where the treasure vault and key are. Quinn wants to go there now. He thinks we’ll find a relic there.

Maybe tomorrow, I tell him. I have festival souvenirs to find and I have a few errands of my own.

Lucky and I head off to Faire of Light where I pop the relic fragment into the appropriate pedestal before making a bee line to Fahleed's.  I tell Fahleed about the house Greg and I will be moving into and give him a list of things I need: sheets, towels, blankets, curtains, etc.

I also need a special dress. And I want it to be white. Fahleed's eyes light up. He shows me the most beautiful material I have ever seen. Yes, it's perfect, I tell him, absolutely perfect.

Greg is waiting for me at Town Hall. I ask him when I’ll be able to start moving things into our house. He starts going into a long speech about what is traditional, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I cut him short.

Fine, I tell him. I can’t store our new household goods at Blessilda’s, there’s no room here, so you can take them to the barracks with you. Greg looks horrified.

I feel sorry for him and point out that traditions get started because somebody finds it practical to do something a certain way and other people decide to do the same. When that way is no longer practical, new traditions are started. The war with Dreadmyre has made the old traditions unpractical for us, so we’ll start a new one.

And people will follow our lead. After all, we are the Queen’s Steward and Captain of the Queen’s Guard. People are already looking to us to lead the way.

Greg slowly nods. It’s a lot of responsibility, he points out, and I’m so very young to be Steward. So says the world’s oldest Captain of the Guard, I retort. Don’t worry, we’ve got something that our elders don’t have: we have each other.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 5, 2014 9:25 pm  #33

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 33 - Thursday

When Lucky and I arrive at Town Hall this morning, Greg is already there looking through the work orders and frowning. He tells me there are new requests to expand the Fungus Hut, Gildenhall Gallery and Glennwater Springs. I already know, those requests arrived yesterday, I inform him.

Greg is clearly puzzled. He thought the buildings had already been expanded just a day or two ago. How could they be too small? I shrug. Welcome to my world. I take the papers from his hand and put them in a folder which now is labeled ‘When Hell Freezes Over’.

Greg reads the label and sighs. He thinks I should behave more professionally. I tell him it is my way of coping with the never ending demands of the kingdom’s residents. In case he hasn’t noticed, although the clock is counting down to the start of the festival, I’ve been calm and serene. The epitome of noblesse oblige.

Greg shakes his head and leaves. Lucky gives me a look. Okay, would you believe noble bilge? A little over a month ago, I was a lowly peasant in Beechwood Cove. It’s going to take a little time to get used to being a member of the nobility.

Today we shall visit Skyfleet Docks again, Lucky, and hope that jigsaw puzzles have arrived and then go to the Black Bull for model trains.

The shipment of puzzles has indeed arrived and I collect the amount requested by the Mayor. I pick up a gilded picture frame for the house.

My father had left me very well provided for, but left Greg in charge of my wealth. However, Greg had told all the merchants that they were to give me anything I wanted and he would pay the bill. And what I want is a painting by Raphael.

At the Black Bull I find the model trains but nothing that I want for the house. Time to return to Town Hall and see what else we can work on. The Mayor is pleased with the festival souvenirs and hurries off to display them in the Town Hall lobby.

Ria arrives. She thinks people would really like to see flowers at the festival. I have lots of moonflowers on had and give her a bunch of blue, scarlet, and yellow ones. Maybe she’d like to set up a stand in Skycrystal Atriums and sell them to the visitors. She nods her head in agreement and leaves.

Greg pops in to join me for lunch. He’s been visiting the Atriums and wonders if the third pedestal will be repaired in time for the festival. I’m not sure. I do have the resources to repair the base, but I haven’t a clue what will be needed in the way of runes and whatnot to store the magic. And I’d have to find the relics before we'd see any change to the Atriums. Besides, the supply of bolgite is running low and it may be needed for the new pathways up at the castle.

Quinn arrives and Greg makes a hasty departure before I can say no to his request. Actually, I don’t mind picking everything out. Judging by those festival lamps, Greg’s decorating style can only be described as traditional medieval ugly.

Quinn wants to sell me festival accessories for Lucky. The pendant is pretty but the hat looks like it was designed by the person who designed those chicken lamps. And the accessories aren’t cheap, either. Quinn thinks Lucky looks great all togged out in his festival duds.

After Quinn leaves, Lucky shakes off the hat and stomps on it. I retrieve it and put it back on his head. I paid good money for it and you’re wearing it, I tell him. Be happy Quinn wasn’t here to nag us to go to Coral Cove to look for that Trident.

I spoke too soon. A minute late Quinn is back wanting to know when we could go to Coral Cove or the Treasure Vault. Not now, I tell him. Captain Greg wants me to see Troglid. I’m just on my way out. Come on, Lucky, let’s go show everybody your new hat.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 7, 2014 1:09 am  #34

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 34 - Friday

I managed to avoid going to Coral Cave to look for that elusive Trident yesterday afternoon, but this morning I’m not so lucky. Leena is feeling better but she needs somebody to put up some fairy art. She can’t ask the Fairy Queen to help because she’s busy blessing the water. But before I can put up some fairy art, I have to create some fairy art. And that takes fairy glass. Which is found at Coral Cove.

Lucky isn’t happier than I am at the prospect of spending time with Quinn and Mr Vanderkins. And he’s being uncooperative about wearing his festival hat. I promise him that next time he can choose the hat, but I really need him to put that darn hat on and stop giving me grief.

Quinn is thrilled to be hanging out with me again. He tells me he likes me so much more than Greg’s other girlfriend. I really don’t want to know the details.

Intellectually, I knew that Greg was not sitting home polishing his armor waiting for my return, after all he’s twenty-five years old. Emotionally, it hurt to think of him with somebody else, so I’d adopted a policy of don’t ask, don’t tell. Since he was officially betrothed to me, I figured any relationships he had would have been discreet ones. I certainly didn’t expect everybody in the kingdom to know who the women were.

Quinn finds the Trident right away and wants to go to Rosetum Gardens now to give it to Undine. I have different ideas regarding what I’d like to do with the Trident. As per usual, Lucky and Mr Vanderkins are misbehaving. I tell Quinn to deal with the squabbits. And we’re not leaving here until I have the fairy glass I need.

I would have liked to have looked for enough fairy glass so that I could help Ria try her hand at fairy art, but I’ve already spent more than enough time with Quinn and the battling squabbits. Back to Town Hall.

The want to get married, and Creepy needs the approval of Greg, his commanding officer. Greg silently reviews the documents they give him and signs them. Quinn arrives wanting to know when we’re going to Rosetum Gardens. Quinn points at the woman, and in a loud whisper heard by everybody in the room, tells me that she is Greg’s other girlfriend.

I announce to nobody in particular that I am going to Glennwater Springs to work on some fairy art and leave before I lose control and wring Quinn’s neck.

Like Chumblepot’s glassworks, the fairy art depicts events in Queen Sophia’s life. I help finish two pieces of artwork. The first one is of a winged unicorn, probably the one that transported me back to the Skyward Kingdom a little over a month ago. The second one depicts the purple owl, Ran.

Leena thanks me for my help. I want to go someplace where I can be alone and think about what happened in the office, but Gavin spots me and asks me to try out two new Tripeak games he’s designed for the festival.

I don’t really enjoy playing Tripeaks but noblesse oblige and all that rot. When I finish playing, Gavin asks me if the games were fun. I answer him honestly and tell him I enjoyed them as much as the first game he designed. Gavin is pleased with that answer.

Outside the Fungus Hut, the woman Quinn called Greg’s other girlfriend is waiting for me. She wants me to do her a favor and return something to "Greggy". The something is a sunstone pendant. My auction catalogue describes it as "a common courting gift to young ladies".

When I return to Town Hall, Greg is waiting for me, a worried look on his face. Before he can say anything, I tell him I was asked to give something to "Greggy" and hand him the pendant. I’m tired, I tell him. I’m taking the rest of the day off. Lucky and I return to the General Store where I lock myself in my room.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 8, 2014 12:02 am  #35

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 35 - Saturday

I’ve decided to return to Beechwood Cove. The first thing I’m going to do today is write a letter of resignation and ask Queen Sophia to please find a way to send me back there. Lucky looks sad. He brings his festival hat to me and waits for me to put it on him. Oh, Lucky, I’m not leaving because you gave me a hard time about the hat. I wish things were that simple.

It takes longer than I expected to write the letter. I struggle to find the right words. Finally I’m somewhat satisfied with the letter, but put it in my desk drawer to review later. Maybe I’ll think of a better way to phrase things.

Several new work orders are sitting on my desk. The Mayor wants me to visit Gnome Village. Gavin would also like to pay a visit to his old home and for me to go with him. I’d like to see the Gnome Village before I leave, but my first responsibility is to prepare for the Yura Festival. I put the requests in a folder marked ‘maybe later’. Greg will be happy when he doesn’t have to deal with my unprofessional filing system.

Mira doesn’t know what to wear for the festival and wants me to find some fairy dresses for her to choose from. I’ve already given Leena some of the exact same dresses and I thought Leena had said they were a gift for Mira and the Fairy Queen. Maybe Mira didn’t like the way Leena customized them.

We’ll work on finding these dresses, Lucky. Since we need to go to Rosetum Gardens for one of the dresses, we’ll take Quinn with us and deal with that Trident as well. I go to the Squabbit Den to pick up Quinn, but tell him to leave Mr Vanderkins home. Quinn is strangely subdued and meekly does what he is told.

At Rosetum Gardens, we give Undine the Trident and she moves aside to allow access to another section of the gardens. I don’t find any dresses but I do find a fragment of the Faire Vibrancy Relic. It makes a good excuse to bring Quinn to the Squabbit Den. I can always return to Rosetum by myself later today or tomorrow.

The rest of the morning is spent searching the Rose Garden, where I find the two dresses I need and enough toolboxes to help Old Man Seth repair some more of the widgets and things the Wingferry requires to keep running.

Seth is not his usually chatty self, in fact, none of the kingdom’s residents have had much to say to me. It’s obvious from the surreptitiously way they’ve all glanced at my right hand to see if I’m still wearing my ring that they’ve heard something about what happened yesterday.

I’m not feeling very hungry but Lucky needs his carrots so we stop quickly at Town Hall to get some and then head out to Coral Cove to look for more fairy dresses. I find one dress and enough fairy glass for Ria to try making fairy art. Ria enjoys assembling a picture of Queen Sophia and hopes we can visit Glennwater Springs together again some time.

I’m starting to feel the strain of pretending that nothing has changed and decide to go back to Town Hall to finish that letter.

Greg is there. It hurts so much to see him. Before he can say anything, I ask him if he'll look after Lucky when I return to Beechwood Cove. He asks me why. Because, I explain, Lucky doesn't get along with Mr Vanderkins and I can't take him with me and...Greg interrupts and asks me why I'm going back to Beechwood Cove.

Because, I explain patiently, I can't stay here if I don't have a job or a place to live. He looks bewildered and points out that I do have a job and a place to live. A place with him.

This is true, I agree. But I can't keep this job if we're not getting married. And I can’t marry him. I love him but he doesn’t love me. He’s only marrying me because it’s what our fathers wanted.

The Steward and the Captain of the Guard need to work closely together. We can't do that, not now. So one of us will have to go, and I'm the obvious choice.

He asks me if I have a job and a place to live in Beechwood Cove. I shake my head no and say that I'm sure somebody else was hired to replace me when I left to come here.

I can see he's struggling to control his anger. He asks me if he's got it straight: I'm returning to Beechwood Cove, where I have no job or place to live, because I can't stay in the Skyward Kingdom without a job or a place to live, and the reason I have no job or place to live is because I'm quitting the job I have because I’ve decided not to marry him because of something that I haven’t even given him the chance to explain.

He explodes and says that's the most idiotic thing he's ever heard.

I start to cry and ask him to stop yelling at me. It’s not my fault I had been sent away and it wasn’t my decision to come back. Maybe if I grown up here things would be different but the time I’ve spent in Beechwood Cove has changed me. I can’t live in this feudal paternalistic society that will expect me to be faithful to him and turn a blind eye to his infidelity.

Greg insists he hasn’t been unfaithful and begs me to give him a chance to explain. He admits he’s not proud of his actions and had hoped he never have to tell me any of this. I tell him I’m listening.

Greg recounts how helpless he had felt as he watched everybody he loved and cared for die in the wars with Dreadmyre. The day his best friend was killed in battle he couldn’t take any more and drank himself into oblivion. He didn’t want to be alone, so he went looking for... and that’s how he got involved with...

He looks so miserable and embarrassed. Continue, I tell him. You don’t have to go into minute detail, if I need more information, I’ll ask.

He’d realized within a week that he had made a horrible mistake, but he had already given her that pendant and when he asked for it back, she refused to return it, even after he told her that he was already betrothed and had been for many years.

Greg swears he never loved her and never wanted to marry her. And that he hadn’t been with her or any other woman since the day I returned to the Skyward Kingdom. He loves me and wishes there was some way he could prove it to me.

I assure him that I need no proof. However, I’m still not sure we should marry. I’m not like the other women of the kingdom and I’m not referring to my lack of magic. I can’t promise to blindly obey him. I can’t be happy if he doesn’t consider me his equal.

Greg says if that’s the case, we have a problem. He doesn’t consider me his equal or rather, he’s not my equal. But if I give him the chance, he’ll try to prove himself worthy of me.

I guess I should find that letter I was going to send to Queen Sophia and destroy it. Greg tells me he found it and put it in a folder. He hands me the folder and I smile as I read the label. It says "Over my dead body."

That’s not a very professional way to file things, I point out. But it’s a truthful way, Greg retorts. We were separated once, but there’s no way he will allow that to happen again. Then he tears the letter into hundreds of tiny pieces.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 9, 2014 1:01 am  #36

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 36 - Sunday

When Lucky and I arrive at Town Hall, that troublesome sunstone pendant is still where Greg left it, on his desk. I pick it up gingerly and hold it at arms length as if I’m afraid it might transmit some loathsome disease.

What on earth had the silly woman hoped to accomplish by making me aware of her relationship with Greg? If she had hoped to drive us apart, she failed. If anything, the bond between us is even stronger. And besides, she’s going to marry Creepy, so why should she care whom Greg marries?

She’s the second person who’s tried to cause friction between Greg and me, Blessilda being the first. Why?

I’m still holding the pendant and frowning when Greg arrives. I ask him if I could have the pendant. He looks horrified. If I really want one, he’ll buy me a new one, he tells me.

I shake my head. I don’t want it for myself. I have four other pendants and this one would complete a set which I could redeem for some toolboxes. Then I would have enough to help Seth and be able to close out his work request. Greg tells me that as long as he never has to see it again, he doesn’t care what I do with it. I give him a kiss and hurry off to the exchange.

I’m getting more proficient at making repairs to the Wingferry’s spare parts and finish the last batch very quickly. Seth thanks me for my thoughtfulness in helping an old man.

Leaving the Wingferry, I encounter Triffledore. He’d like to expand his shop. I was surprised he took so long to ask, all the other businesses in Faire of Light have been upgraded at least twice. I approve his request.

At Town Hall I eat a big bowl of stew before gathering my swimming gear and heading to Coral Cove to find the last of the elusive fairy dresses. I just hope my next festival task doesn’t involve visiting Coral Cove. I’m so tired of searching this place.

When I bring all the dresses to Mira, she thanks me and says the dresses are wonderful, but...she doesn’t take any of them with her! Whatever. I’ll just add them to the storage cupboard. Somebody will want them later, maybe even Mira.

The Mayor has given me my next festival task. He thinks the festival needs music and music requires instruments. Can’t argue with that logic. The instruments he wants can be found at Skyfleet Docks and the Treasure Vault.

That will be tomorrow’s task. It’s late. I’m tired of looking and smelling like a fish. I think I’ve earned a nice hot bath.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 10, 2014 12:30 am  #37

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 37 - Monday

As I predicted, I found a use for those fairy dresses Mira didn’t want. Triffledore needs more artifact boxes now that his store has been expanded. I’ll just take a bunch of the fairy dresses down to the exchange and get some.

I drop the artifact boxes off at Triffledore’s and he invites me in to see the new items on sale. Perhaps I’d like to buy some? Not really, but I look through them anyway. If I’m seen buying things, it might encourage others to do the same. No way am I going to buy the skulls or face masks, but I do think I can find a use for some of these other things. I make my selection and tell Triffledore to send the bill to Greg and to deliver everything to the office.

Lucky and I head out to Skyfleet Docks to find sun tambourines and engraved mandolins. It takes all morning and a good part of the afternoon. I’ve also found some storybooks about Queen Sophia. It’s possible that somebody will ask for them - everybody is so into celebrating her legend. Reminds me of Richard the Lionhearted. Everybody thought he was fabulous even though he couldn’t be bothered to stick around in England and actually rule the country.

Richard’s wife had the same name as me. And Richard had a brother named Gregory. And knowing these things isn’t going to be of any use in preparing for the festival. Or preparing for my wedding, either. Time to head back to Town Hall.

His eyes widen in amazement. All of it, he asks. More will be arriving tomorrow, I inform him. Now he’s looking alarmed and wants to know where we’re going to put it. In the house, I patiently explain. It looks like a lot because it’s scattered all over the place. It needs to be unpacked and put away where it belongs. In the house. Now.

I take the small package of artifacts from his hands and indicate which of the larger boxes I would like him to carry. He wants to know if people in Beechwood Cove have as much stuff. No, they have more, I answer.

Greg looks sadly at me and asks if I miss not having any of the things that aren’t available here. I do miss one or two things, I admit, but they wouldn’t be of much use unless other people also had them.

Greg is clearly puzzled by what I said, not that I blame him. Some day, I tell him, I’ll tell you all about Beechwood Cove, but not now. I think we need to stop looking back at the past for a while. If we don’t, we’ll miss out on today and tomorrow. And we have so much to look forward to.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 10, 2014 11:16 pm  #38

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 38 - Tuesday

Things have been going well between Greg and me, so well that Lucky must feel there’s no danger of me leaving. Consequently, he’s back to giving me grief about his festival hat. He’s going to be even more unhappy when he finds out what we’ll be doing today.

I still need to find some mystic gemshorns for the Mayor, who assured me they could be found in the Treasure Vault. I’m not even going to ask how come he knows what’s in the vault but he didn’t even know where the vault was until I traipsed all over the kingdom and found the map pieces.

The Treasure Vault is also the place where Quinn claims a relic is hidden. I promised him I would take him with me to search for it, but if we find it before I find all the gemshorns I need, I’ll have to listen to him whine that he wants to go home.

Greg offers a solution to my problem. He has some things to attend to which shouldn’t take too long, but afterwards he can join us at the Treasure Vault and take Quinn home when the relic has been found. Excellent plan, Captain! You can also bring back anything I find for the house.

Greg shakes his head and leaves. As far as he’s concerned, all we need is a bed to sleep in and a cauldron to cook in. Poor Greg! He’s been living in the barracks too long. From what little I can remember, his family was well off and had nice things. And we’re going to have nice things, too, even if some of them are acquired by me performing the kingdom’s equivalent of dumpster-diving.

Quinn is waiting for me outside Town Hall with Mr Vanderkins. Look how nice Mr Vanderkins looks in his festival hat, Lucky. Put your backs on so we can get going.

The Treasure Vault is overrun by monkeys and bats. There’s are piles of gold coins all over the floor. It doesn’t take long to find the relic fragment and for Quinn to start whining. I tell him that Captain Greg will be arriving shortly to take him home. Until then, he can help me find mystic gemshorns.

I look at Quinn challengingly and ask him if he knows what a mystic gemshorn looks like. He nods his head yes, which is good, because I forgot to ask Greg what they looked like.

Quinn is happy when he finds the first gemshorn. So am I because now I know what I’m looking for. Soon Greg arrives to take him home. Quinn isn’t looking very happy about leaving with Greg. I don’t blame Quinn. I think Greg intends to give him a stern lecture about gossiping and meddling in other people’s private affairs.

Before Greg leaves, I remind him that I need to know what the rest of the castle’s festival decorations will cost. I also hand him some goblets I’ve found and taken a fancy to. Greg promises to have the figures ready for me when I return to Town Hall. He looks at the goblets and shakes his head.

It takes all morning to find the gemshorns. When I return to Town Hall, I get the other instruments out of the storage cupboard and hand the entire lot over to the Mayor. The Mayor is happy because he is sure that music will brighten the festival.

Greg has left the information regarding the castle’s festival decorations on my desk. It will cost 12,000 bolgins for new pathways. Flowers will cost 3,000 bolgins, as will ornate garden décor. He’ll also need golden oak, obsidian and bolgite in large quantities.

These things are essential for a successful festival according to Greg. He’d be very happy if I could find additional funds for grass and trees as well. I sigh and sign ‘approved’ on his requests. From the sketches attached to the requests, I’m guessing these things will look just as nasty as those chicken lamps. I better start saving now so they can be replaced after the festival is over.

Looking through the papers on my desk, I see that Raphael has finally expressed an interest in repairing the painting in the castle. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the things he needs in order to have the painting ready in time for he festival, however. I still need to follow up some leads on relic fragments.

I’ll figure something out tomorrow. Now I’m going to bring some more things over to the house. Just one more week to go before Greg and I will be living there.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 11, 2014 10:32 pm  #39

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 39 - Wednesday

As I arrive at Town Hall this morning, Greg is leaving. He’s on his way up to the Castle to start work on the rest of the castle’s festival decorations and hopes I’ll be able to find some time in the afternoon to view the finished result. I promise I’ll try to be back in time to view them. I have to go to Dawnshadow Lake to look for paintbrushes and don’t know how long it will take.

Raphael wants to showcase some items in the Gallery for the festival and needs my help. I’m not sure why showcasing existing items requires more paintbrushes, but I’m going to fetch them all the same.

Raphael will be accompanying us. He wants to paint a landscape and thinks Dawnshadow Lake might be a good subject. We spend all morning there. By lunchtime, Raphael has finished his painting and I’ve found the paintbrushes he’s requested.

I really would like Raphael to paint something for my new house, but what? I’d love a portrait of Greg, but Greg would never agree to pose. Greg would love a painting of the castle, but I’d prefer to wait until it’s been fully restored and those chicken lamps are a thing of the past.

A landscape might be nice, but it should be of a place that has special meaning to Greg and me. Forgotten Glen? Mystic Copse? Coral Cove? Maybe I should ask Raphael to choose one of those three.

Back at the Gildenhall Gallery I help Raphael hang the paintings he wants to showcase. Naturally all the painting are either of Queen Sophia or events and people important to her legend.

When I return to Town Hall, Leena is waiting for me. She’s upset because she’s only just realized that she doesn’t have the resources for setting up festival flags in the town. Could I possibly help?

Why not? No reason the rest of kingdom shouldn’t look as awful as the square in front of the castle. Folks want those tacky pennants flying everywhere.

I spend some time looking through the work orders that have been piling up on my desk, searching for something quick and easy to do. Anything to avoid going up to the castle and seeing the latest festival decorations. It doesn’t take long for Lucky to start thumping impatiently.

Okay, Lucky, I’ll stop procrastinating and go check things out. But if Greg and I fight about the decorations, just remember it was your idea to go look at them.

It's even worse than I imagined. The pennants strung between the lamps match the stonework of the roads and Lucky's festival hat, but clash with the flowers and the "Ornate Garden Décor". Greg waits for my approval. I tell him I really like the grass he picked out.

And, he prompts. And it's very traditional, I add. He frowns. Look, I explain, it's not important if I like it. It's what the people want and expect. I probably will be so busy during the Festival that I won't even have time to come up here. Now he's really frowning.

Berengaria, he says slowly, this is where the wedding ceremony will take place. I look at him in disbelief and struggle not to cry.

A girl’s wedding day is supposed to be something special, the most important day of her life. And my wedding is going to take place during a street fair, the venue's decorations consist of multi-colored pennants strung between gilded chicken lamps, instead of a maid of honor my attendant is a squabbit wearing a silly hat, and the refreshments will probably consist of nasty salmon sandwiches and vile tasting energy potions.

I turn my head so that Greg can’t see the tears that are threatening to spill. My gaze falls upon the pond, which is cloudy and murky looking because it’s full of algae. And then I lose it completely.

I tell Greg there’s no way that I will agree to get married here standing next to a pond full of scum. He starts to put his arm around my shoulder but I angrily push it away. If he expects me to show up for the wedding, he had better do something about the pond right now.

Get Leena to bless the water, I scream. Ask Blessilda for a potion! Use your magic! Just do something! Anything! I don’t care what it costs. Just do it! Now!

Once again, Greg puts his arm around my shoulders and tells me he's taking me home. No, I insist, not until the pond is fixed. He promises he will deal with the pond first thing tomorrow morning, but it's getting dark and it's time to go home. I'm too tired to argue any more.

We walk home in silence. On the doorstep, he kisses me and reminds me that in less than a week we won't have to say goodnight outside. We'll be married and living in our new house. That will be nice, I agree. But only if the pond is fixed.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

December 13, 2014 2:45 am  #40

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 40 - Thursday

There’s no sign of Greg when I arrive at Town Hall this morning. I hope he’s up at the castle dealing with the pond rather than merely avoiding me. I don’t understand how he could have failed to notice the condition of the pond’s water. Must I micro-manage everything in this kingdom?

The Mayor has given me my next festival assignment: finding storybooks. He thinks visitors will want to buy them. I’m really in no mood to work on anything involving the festival. I’m tired of hearing about it and I wish it were over. Maybe I can find something else to do today.

I certainly have enough work orders to choose from. For people who are supposedly so excited about drinking fairy water and wearing silly hats, they’ve certainly found plenty of other things they’d like to do, or rather, they’d like me to do.

Gavin would like me to go with him to Central Station to look for a relic, but he thinks he’s been losing his sense of direction lately and would like me to give him a full set or two of traveler’s gear: hat, compass, belt, spectacles, and spyglass. I have all those things in the storage cupboard. And if we found the relic early enough in the day, I could also visit Gobholme and meet Gobie’s brother Brad who wants to talk to me and maybe do some shopping.

Gavin is pleased with his traveler’s paraphernalia and is anxious to go to Central Station. And he was right, there was a relic fragment there. In fact, I find two relic fragments and there’s still plenty of time to go to Gobholme.

Gavin decides he’d rather return to Skycrystal Atriums and play Tripeaks. Not long after meeting up with Brad, I’m wishing that I had gone back with Gavin.

The reason Brad wanted to see me was to repay me for rescuing his brother Gobie when he was stuck in Glitterstone Mines. Whenever anybody in the kingdom says they want to thank me or give me a gift, what it usually means is that I’m going to have to give them resources so that they can make the gift, or I am going to have to travel from one edge of the kingdom to the other to find the gift.

Brad has heard that there’s a relic inside the boarded up well outside the bar. He wants to lend me his crowbar to open the well so that I can have the relic. Why he didn’t just use the crowbar himself to open the well and retrieve the relic eludes me. Then again, why don’t any of the kingdom’s residents pick up the relics they’ve spotted and bring them to me instead of telling me where to find them?

Of course Brad has lost the crowbar and can’t possibly find it without my help. He suggests we search the last three places he visited. First we go to Ancient Pond. He likes to go there to enjoy nature and mentions that there isn’t much nature to enjoy in Gobholme.

Next place he wants to search is Coral Cove. I’m really getting tired of men wanting to go to Coral Cove with me. And I’m not in the mood to go swimming shorty after I’ve been slogging through the snow in Gobholme. Brad mentions that he comes to Coral Cove often. I need to remember to tell Greg this tidbit of information so that he can put Coral Cove off limits when I need to go there.

Last place we search is Central Station. Brad thinks he might have dropped it the last time he took the train. We don’t find the crowbar and Brad decides he doesn’t want to waste my time by searching around for it. What does he think he’s been doing this afternoon? He’ll make a new crowbar but he needs some obsidian and some bolgite.

While Brad makes a new crowbar, I decide to go shopping. I still need some plates, spoons and forks. At last, the crowbar is finished and I can open the well. There is indeed a relic fragment inside, which is lucky for Brad. If I hadn’t found one, who knows what I would have done with the crowbar?

The two fragments I found at Central Station are part of the Atrium Verdant Relic. There’s still two fragments missing. The fragment found inside the well completes the Faire Vibrancy Relic which, according to the Mayor, restores the vibrancy of nature and surroundings. Water now cascades down the waterfalls and flows through the stream.

When I finally return to Town Hall, Greg is there. He asks me how my day was and congratulates me on finding three relic fragments. He makes no mention of the pond. I also make no mention of the pond because another matter has come to my attention. The gilded frame I got at Skyfleet Docks is missing.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

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