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December 13, 2014 6:54 pm  #41

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 41 - Friday

Yesterday, when I discovered that somebody had taken my picture frame from the office while I was out, I had expected Greg to be as outraged as I was. After all, if the joint office of the Queen’s Steward and the Captain of the Queen’s Guard isn’t a safe place to leave something, where is?

Instead Greg kept insisting that I must have misplaced it and it will turn up eventually. I was equally insistent that I hadn’t misplaced it and that I wanted it found. Now. If he could make time to find lost items for chesty foreign princesses, he could damn well find the time to look for my missing picture frame.

Greg rolled his eyes at Lucky and muttered under his breath "Women!" as he left the office. I followed him to the door and snapped back "I heard that" and turned to Lucky and rolled my eyes and exclaimed "Men!"

I don’t understand him. Just short of a week ago he was telling me he wished he could prove to me how much he loved me. Now that he has not one but two things he could do to show that love (I’m still waiting for the pond to be cleaned up) , all he can do is gripe. Men really are from Mars.

When I arrive at Town Hall, there’s no sign of my favorite Martian. If he’s smart, he’s already looking for my picture frame or scrubbing that pond. Now to decide what I’m going to do today.

Work orders are piling up, but so are bolgins. Maybe I should loosen the purse strings a bit and approve that request from the Mayor to expand the General Store. The festival might increase business for Blessilda. And construction can take place while I’m out at Skyfleet Docks looking for storybooks for the festival.

I already have several copies of The Young Princess so it doesn’t take me long at the Docks. I had intended to get another picture frame, but in the place where they can usually be found were port holes.

Maybe we should go visit the Black Bull next, Lucky, as long as we’re in the neighborhood. Somebody mentioned that there might be a relic fragment here and I could get the train models Gavin wants to give his friend. Then, if Gavin agrees, we could go visit Gnome Village this afternoon.

While at Skyfleet Docks I found some fungi tiles, but not enough to try out the new Tripeak games Gavin designed. We’ll exchange a set of traveler’s paraphernalia to get some more and then take the things Gavin requested for his friend up to the Fungus Hut.

Gavin is pleased with the things I found and thinks his friend will like them, too. I try out the three new Tripeak games he shows me and tell him that they are of the same quality as his previous games. Gavin is pleased by my reaction. I’m pleased he accepted my diplomatic reply.

We then set off for the Goblin Village. Gavin is happy to see his old home and his friend the Shaman. The Shaman is pleased with the gifts and invites Gavin inside his hut for a chat. I have to remain outside because I’ve yet to earn the Shaman’s trust.

When I return to Town Hall, the Mayor is waiting for me and wants a report on my visit to the Gnome Village. He reminds me that assisting the gnomes will greatly improve diplomatic relations throughout the kingdom.

I suddenly remember that on Wednesday Leena had requested materials for festival pennants. Here it is late Friday and there’s no sign of festival decorations in the Atriums, Landsong, or Faire of Light. I don’t know whether to be grateful to be spared the horror or annoyed that valuable resources might have been wasted.

Greg still hasn’t returned and I’m starting to get worried. It’s gotten too dark to go up to the Castle to look for him. Construction on the General Store is finished, so we might as well go there, Lucky, and rest up for tomorrow. We will probably spend the entire day at Dawnshadow Lake looking for storybooks.

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

December 15, 2014 12:08 am  #42

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 42 - Saturday

I’m so relieved to see Greg when I arrive at Town Hall. It’s been over thirty-six hours since we last had any contact. Greg claims he left a note on my desk. I tell him I never saw it. He wonders if I misplaced it. I wonder if he looking for a fight.

How could I have misplaced something I never saw? I didn’t misplace the note and I didn’t misplace my picture frame. Maybe the same person stole both things. Greg says that’s highly unlikely. Before I can reply, he adds that the pond has been fixed and is awaiting my inspection. He’d like to go up to the castle right now.

I plan to go to Dawnshadow Lake today to look for those storybooks. It will probably take me all day to find them. I can visit the castle first and leave for Dawnshadow Lake from there, but first I need to approve some work orders. Greg agrees to wait.I’ve decided to approve Chumblepot’s request to expand the Glassworks yet again. Since I’ll be out all day, I won’t be bothered by the noise the construction will make. I also approve Troglid’s request for expansion.
On the walk up to the castle, Greg mentions that he’s going to start moving some of his personal things into the house. So far, I’ve only managed to find time to fix up the downstairs Great Room. I still need to organize the bedroom upstairs and it will be easier if I don’t have to work around his clothing piled up all over.

Greg tells me not to worry. The things he’ll be bringing to the house don’t go upstairs, they belong in the armory. Ah yes, the armory, the medieval equivalent of the twenty-first century’s man cave. Greg has an extensive collection of armor, swords, shields, etc and he’s thrilled that he finally has a place where they can be displayed properly. At least I’ll know where to find him every night.

Greg has done a wonderful job cleaning up the pond. There’s even water lilies floating in it. And the water is a lovely shade of blue, the same shade of blue as most of my clothing. Berengaria blue, Greg calls it. Tears of happiness start to spill down my cheeks. I'm going to be marrying the most wonderful man in the world.

As Greg reaches into his pocket for his handkerchief, he gets a funny look on his face. He pulls out a piece of paper and sheepishly hands it to me. The missing note! Check your other pocket, I tell him. Maybe my missing picture frame is in there.

Greg laughs and kisses me goodbye. Lucky and I head out to Dawnshadow Lake to look for those storybooks. As I predicted, it takes all day, but I find other useful items such as paintbrushes, pink moonflowers, fairy dust, dresses, shoes, runes, and crest. It will take some time to log all these things into the ledger books.

The Mayor is pleased when I give him all the storybooks. He’s sure the town folks will love them. He also reveals the reason why the pennants and banners haven’t been strung throughout the Village yet, they ran out of glue. Maybe I have some to give them? Alas, no, I don’t.

In that case, the Mayor tells me, my next task is to find glue and paintbrushes to apply the glue with. I’m tempted to tell him that lack of planning on his part does not constitute an emergency on my part. The Mayor assures me this is the last thing I’ll have to do regarding festival preparations.

It will take some time, I tell him. That’s a lot of glue and paintbrushes to find. It will probably take me an entire day to find the glue and another for the brushes. As long as the banners and pennants are in place before the festival starts, the Mayor says he will be happy.

After the Mayor leaves, Lucky gives me a look. So I lied. In my mind I had already made other plans for tomorrow. I’ve decided to try and get the things needed by Raphael so that he can repair the damaged painting up at the castle. It will please Greg. And maybe Raphael will be more willing to paint something for me afterwards. Now if I could just figure out what happened to my picture frame.

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

December 16, 2014 1:00 am  #43

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 43 - Sunday

In addition to getting the Castle’s painting repaired before the festival begins, I’d like to finish some of the partially completed work orders. I imagine that Greg and I will finally be taking some time off after the wedding.

Troglid’s request to expand his shop also included a request for blueprints. I don’t have time to go to Apricus Plaza for them, but I can pick some up at the exchange. Chumblepot’s request to expand the Glassworks included an order for more glass shards. I have some, but will have to go to Fairy Dragon Nest for the rest.

And I’ll have to go to Mystic Copse to get what Raphael needs to repair the painting. That should keep us busy for a while, Lucky. Come on, just a few more days and I’ll be married and you won’t have to wear that silly hat.

Troglid is glad to get the blueprints and asks me to help assemble one of his orders. He tells me that the shop has been doing very well, but he could really use more wood and/or some bolgins to buy more. I figured he would ask and had already checked the reserves. I can spare some, but he’ll have to fetch it himself.

Lucky and I go to Mystic Copse next to find some glittering fairy dust. It doesn’t take long and soon we’re on our way to the Fairy Dragon Nest to look for glass shards, lots of them. This does take a while and when I bring them to Chumblepot, it turns out that I had misread the order and didn’t need quite so many. Something tells me I’m going to regret the time and energy I’ve just wasted.

Chumblepot requests my help in completing a piece of glasswork, a windmill perched on an island floating in the sky. I’m not sure what this has to do with the legend of Queen Sophia and I really don’t have the time to find out.

At last I can go see Raphael. He takes the things I’ve brought and goes off to mix paints, however, he quickly returns with a new list of things he needs. Just as quickly, I dash down to Town Hall to get them. Upon my return Raphael points out that he will need materials for the frame, golden oak and poster glue. I’m going have to find a heck of a lot of poster glue tomorrow.

The rest of the day is spent putting things away at the house. The bedroom furniture has arrived and we can begin moving our clothing and other personal items. We’ve got a huge walk-in closet, more like a dressing room really, and I want to make sure I get the lion’s share of the space.

There’s also the matter of the present I got Greg. I’d like to wait until after the wedding to give it to him, but since somebody pinched my picture frame, I’m not sure where I could store the gift. Ergo, I’ll have to give it to Greg today.

I’ve just about finished making the bed and hanging the bed curtains when I hear Greg arrive. I call to him that I have a surprise for him and tell him to join me upstairs.

I tell him I don’t want to wait until the wedding to... Greg totally misunderstands and starts kissing me and pushing me towards the bed. No, I tell him, on the balcony... He looks at me and raises one eyebrow. I got you a wedding present, I tell him, and it’s outside on the balcony.

Greg is extremely embarrassed about what has just happened and starts to apologize. Forget it, I tell him, or maybe remember it and add to the things we’ll laugh about in years to come. But please go see what’s outside on the balcony.

What’s outside is a telescope. Troglid had told me that Greg had been very upset when Leodici visited from Gizmotech and crash landed his flying machine on top of Greg’s telescope. Since that day, Greg hasn’t been much of a fan of flying machines or Leodici and his many inventions.

I tell Greg I had planned to give him the telescope on our wedding day but didn’t know where I could store it until then without him finding it or somebody walking off with it like they did with my picture frame.

Greg promises me that I will get my picture frame back. There’s really no rush, I concede. I still haven’t convinced Raphael to paint anything for me. The rest of the evening is spent gazing at the stars, with and without the help of the telescope.

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

December 16, 2014 11:54 pm  #44

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 44 - Monday

Well, Lucky, we know what we’ll be doing today: looking for poster glue. Lots of it. We’ll pack a lunch to take with us to the Forgotten Glen because it will probably take us all day to find the glue we need.

I’ll also have time away from everybody to think and try to come up with an idea of something old for the wedding. Lucky tilts his head.

Guess they don’t have that tradition here: some old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The something new is my dress, I explain to him. I’m going to borrow a pair of skycrystal earrings from the storage cupboard, and the something blue is my ring.

Better get started. Grab some carrots and let’s get out of here before somebody finds something else for us to do.

I have incredibly good luck finding poster glue. It’s practically leaping into my hands. I find enough for Raphael, enough for the festival pennants and banner, and even enough for another request from the Mayor, which I had sort of forgotten about. I also find a bunch of moonflowers, a couple Fairy Queen magic cards, runes, amulets, and a whole lot more. Now to get all this stuff back to Town Hall.

At Town Hall, everything gets dumped on my desk. Next I count out eight pots of poster glue and some golden oak and head up to Skycrystal Atriums to see Raphael.

While Raphael frames the painting, I stay and admire the newest additions to the Gallery: yet more portraits of Queen Sophia and the Fairy Queen. Raphael certainly found a lot of inspiration in those portraits I gave him.

Raphael returns and tells me the painting has been framed and is now hanging in the Castle. I tell him how much I like his latest works and once again drop broad hints that I would like to commission a painting for my own home.

Much to my surprise, Greg shows up at the Gildenhall Gallery. Before I can ask him what he’s doing here, Raphael suggests that we both go up to the Castle to view the finished painting.

Greg is very chatty during our walk up to the castle and wants to tell me all about his collection of armor and weapons. It’s too bad Queen Sophia didn’t give me time to pack before she kidnapped me, I could have brought along a kukri and jambiya to add to it. At least his chatter helps divert my attention from those dreadful lamps.

Inside the castle looks lovely now that it’s all finished. Too bad the wedding can’t take place here. Greg casts a critical eye over the painting and finally pronounces it just as good as the old one. That’s a relief!

I need to get back to Town Hall to give the Mayor the paintbrushes and poster glue. Greg decides to accompany me.

The Mayor asks me to assemble yet another poster and then remembers that he wanted me to check the scaffold site at Skyfleet Docks. But first I’ll have to find the safety helmet he left at Ancient Pond. Greg offers to go with me.

Excuse me, but you two gentlemen seem to have forgotten that the Yura Festival starts tomorrow. Looking for the safety helmet will have to wait. I have a wedding to attend: my own.

I give the Mayor the glue and paintbrushes he requested and he hurries off to finish the festival flags. Greg and I return to the office. On my desk are two packages. He tells me to open the smaller one first.

The package contains a skycrystal necklace. Greg expresses a wish that I wear it tomorrow. I agree and wonder if the necklace is perhaps old. It’s not. Greg had it specially made for me. However, he tells me, there is something old in the other package.

Very old? Generations old, Greg assures me. I open it to discover a tiara set with skycrystals. My father had given it to Greg for safekeeping during the wars. I wonder if people will think it pretentious if I wear it tomorrow. Greg assures me that people will expect me to wear it and be disappointed if I don’t.

We can hear hammering outside and decide to check it out. There are now multicolored pennants and banners all over the place. It looks like the circus has come to town.

Greg is beaming as he points out that there’s even banners and pennants in front of our new house. I swallow hard and say that it was very thoughtful of the people to do that. Silently I wonder just how long the festival lasts and when the decorations can be taken down.  

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

December 17, 2014 11:59 pm  #45

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 45 - Tuesday -  Wedding Day

Last night Greg described the wedding ceremony to me. It sounded simple but dignified. He will transfer my ring from my right hand to my left, the Mayor will bind our hands together with a length of cloth and tie a special knot and all I have to remember is to say 'Yes' at the appropriate moment. He asked me if I would mind if we used the same piece of cloth his parents used for their wedding ceremony. Mind? It would be an honor, I assure him.

The ceremony isn’t until sunset, but we will have to be at the festival bright and early to greet visiting dignitaries and make sure things run smoothly. I’ll change into my wedding dress, which has been delivered to my new home, later today. For now, I’ll just wear one of my fancier blue dresses. I feel funny wearing a tiara, but Greg insists people will expect it.

I gather up the last of my things and thank Blessilda for letting me stay with her. She asks me if I have any questions about... things. I shake my head no. She looks relieved.

Greg meets me outside the General store. Don’t tell me there’s a problem already. No problem he assures me. But the Fairy Queen is at Glennwater Springs and would like to see me. He offers to drop off the rest of my things at the house. I agree but ask him to just put them on the table downstairs. On no account is he to go upstairs and see my wedding gown before the ceremony. It’s bad luck, I tell him.

The Fairy Queen had summoned me to thank me for ensuring the festival would be a success. She gives me a special vial of Blessed Water and some other gifts. I thank her and tell her I will open them later with Greg.

Things appear to be going well up in the Atriums. Lots of people are drinking fairy water at Glennwater Springs, playing Tripeaks at the Fungi Hut, and viewing the paintings in the Gildenhall Gallery. I guess I should go up to the Castle and make sure everything is okay there, as well.

There’s a big crowd at the castle as well. People are commenting favorably on the restoration work that’s been done inside. I haven’t heard anybody say anything good or bad about the chicken lamps.

I’m not sure, but I think I catch a glimpse of Prince Edric surrounded by Princesses Aria, Emilia, and Melody. Seeing them reminds me about artist Myke. Maybe I better find Greg and ask what he has done to make sure Artist Myke doesn’t get loose again.

Greg informs me that he has doubled the guard on Artist Myke. He adds that Linea is anxious to talk to me and is waiting backing at Town Hall. Maybe she has a message from Queen Sophia.

Linea has no message for me from Queen Sophia or anybody else. What she wants is to discuss how the thorny rosebush in Rosetum Gardens can be cut. It needs something enchanted so I should consult Mira.

Is she for real? I agree to speak to Mira, but I’m adamant that I am not trimming rosebushes on my wedding day. Unfortunately Mira’s magic strength is depleted. She needs an assortment of fairy dust and fairy runes to get back to full strength. Luckily I have everything needed in the storage cupboard.

Now that Mira’s magic is back at full strength, she reveals that there are enchanted clippers hidden somewhere at Dawnshadow Lake. I thank Mira for her help and inform Linea that I will look for them some other day. Today I’m getting married and, if she’ll excuse me, I have to go get changed.

But not yet. Brad stops me on the way out. He and Gobie are ready to resume their mining business and would like some bolgite samples to test. I tell them to help themselves. They still have a problem. In order to test the bolgite samples, they need their steam hammer, but they left it back in Gobholme. Could I please get it for them?

I’m about to go postal when Greg arrives, takes one look at my face, and hurries Brad and Gobie out of the office. What kind of idiot comes all the way from Gobholme to test bolgite samples and leaves the steam hammer behind? Why can’t one or both of them go fetch it? Better yet, why not take the bolgite to the steam hammer?

Greg tells me in years to come we’ll look back on this day and laugh. I hate it when people use my own words to try to get me to feel better. He gives me a kiss and says he’ll meet me up at the Castle, but I’d better hurry getting dressed or I’ll be late.

My wedding dress is everything I dreamed it would be. The design is very simple. The bodice has a scoop neck, not too high, but not too low. And sheer puffed sleeves. The skirt is very full and worn over several petticoats.

It is the fabric that is amazing. It has the look of mother of pearl and the slightest movement makes the pearly, pastel hues shimmer. A pair of crystal slippers, a very light sprinkle of simmering fairy dust on my hair and I'm ready.

Well, almost ready. Come here, Lucky, and let me put your festival hat on you. It’s the last time you have to wear it, I promise. Good boy. Let’s hurry, must not keep Greg waiting.

Greg is waiting for me by one of the statutes of Yura. He swallows hard when he see me. And then the Mayor starts to speak and everything becomes a blur and we have tied the knot, both literally and figuratively.

I wonder how soon before we can leave the festival. It's been a very long, tiring day, the fairy dust is making me dizzy, and I don't have any desire to try my hand at Fairy Art or to play Fungi Tiles. I've been living this festival for 14 days, I want to get away from it.

I ask my husband if there's anything else we need to say or do in our respective capacities as Steward and Captain of the Queen's Guard. Nothing the Mayor can't handle is his reply. Then take me home, I plead.

The first thing I do when we get home is take off the tiara. Can't imagine where I'm going to wear that thing again. Lucky shakes off his festival hat. Greg puts his arms around me and pulls me close and I start to tremble. Cold, he asks. No, I reply, scared. He holds me close and gently strokes my hair.


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

December 19, 2014 12:03 am  #46

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 46 - Wednesday

Happily ever after gets off to a rough start. I awake to find Greg already up and dressed. He tells me I had better hurry or I’ll be late for work. Work?

In Beechwood Cove, I inform my husband, newly married couples take time off from work to go away for several days so that they can be alone together. Greg is only half listening and asks what they do while they are away. I sigh, look at him, then at empty spot beside me in the bed, then back at him.

Greg reminds me that in Beechwood Cove I was a mere shopkeeper, whereas now I’m in charge of an entire kingdom. He’s going to check up on Artist Myke and make sure he’s still locked up, but he’ll meet at Town Hall. He’ll arrange his day so he can help me complete some of the unfinished work orders. Maybe I’d like to go look for that safety helmet today.

Greg leaves and I look at Lucky sadly. I know I’m just a beginner, but surely last night wasn’t that bad. Maybe I should have asked Blessilda about ‘things.’ Lucky just squeaks. He wasn’t very happy about having to sleep in his own bed last night instead of snuggled up against me. But he’s glad to see me get out his brown fedora instead of the funny festival hat.

At Town Hall, I look through the work orders for something somewhat entertaining to do. There’s a lot of requests for building upgrades, but they will have to wait until after the festival is over. We could visit Sacred Grove. I’ve never been there, but the Peddler also wants to go there, so that’s out.

There’s not much to choose from: look for the safety helmet at Ancient Pond and then go inspect the scaffolding at Skyfleet Docks; look for steam hammer in Gobholme and no doubt be asked to use it in the mines; or look for the enchanted clippers at Dawnshadow Lake and then trim hedges at Rosetum Gardens.

Greg arrives carrying a large picnic hamper. He looks at the three work orders and decides that Dawnshadow Lake would be an ideal spot for a picnic. We might even have time to go swimming.

At Dawnshadow Lake, we manage to find the enchanted clippers minutes after we arrive. So what shall be do next, I wonder. Go for a swim, or... Or, Greg murmurs as he pulls me close, definitely or. Maybe a working honeymoon won’t be so bad, after all.

Eventually we go for a swim and then it’s time for lunch. There’s plenty of food in the picnic basket, and I’ve found assorted fruits at Dawnshadow Lake to add to our feast. They’ll be enough left over for dinner, which is good, because I don’t think there’s anything to eat at home.

Next stop is Rosetum Gardens where we use the enchanted clippers to trim the thorny vines and gain access to Airlash Grove. I find some more fruit and vegetables to add to the basket. Greg catches a lobster. Looks like what to have for dinner is no longer a problem.

There’s still plenty of time left, so I suggest that we go back to Town Hall for some warmer clothing and then head out to Gobholme and deal with that steam hammer. Or rather, Greg can deal with the steam hammer and I’ll go shopping.

We can’t find Brad or Gobie to tell them to meet us at Gobholme, but we speak to Linea who is anxious to know whether we found the clippers. She is pleased to hear that Airlash Grove has been opened and offers to find Brad and give him our message.

At Gobholme, Greg finds the steam hammer, but nothing in the shops cries out "buy me". Brad and Gobie arrive and, as we suspected, want us to take the steam hammer to Glitterstone Mines. The steam hammer breaks through a huge pile of bolgite and opens up another section of the mine.

Brad thanks us for our help and mentions that the lift in the mine has stopped running. It needs new gears, but he doesn’t know what kind. I have a lot of gears back at Town Hall and I’ll be glad to give him some but he’ll have to come get them.

Back at Town Hall, I give Brad three sets of goblin gears. Greg and I then make a quick tour of the festival to make sure everything is okay. Finally it’s time to go home.

We’ve had visitors while we were gone. There are a number of wedding presents scattered around the Great Room. Blessilda has stocked our larder and pantry. Fahleed has woven a rug and the central motif displays our joint coat of arms. Chumblepot has given us a Tiffany style lamp for the bedroom, and Triffledore has made a chandelier for the Great Room.

But the best gift of all is from Raphael. Hanging on the wall is a painting of Greg and me on our wedding day exchanging vows. And the frame is my missing gilded frame!

I was right, I tell Greg. The same person who had the note you claimed to have left me had the frame. You took it! Why didn’t you tell me? Greg says he’s sorry I was so upset about the missing frame, but he wanted to surprise me. He hopes that I’ve noticed that the chicken lamps do not appear in the painting.

What shall we do next, I wonder. Greg says we could make dinner, or... Or, I reply, definitely or.

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

December 20, 2014 1:41 am  #47

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 47 - Thursday

This morning before going to Town Hall, I remember to to get dinner started. We’ll have stew, I tell Lucky. Just need to chop up some meat and veggies and put them in the cauldron.

Greg had already left to check up on Artist Myke. Our plans for this morning were to search for that safety helmet and then to inspect the scaffold at Skyfleet Docks. One look at Greg’s face when he arrived at Town Hall told me our plans had changed.

Some of the soldiers had a few too many Moonrock Shooters at the festival and were unfit for duty this morning. Greg had to rearrange the schedule and take a shift up at the castle this morning. Our trip to Ancient Pond would have to wait until after lunch.

No problem, I assure him. I can go visit Sacred Grove with the Peddler this morning. The Mayor has been urging me to visit as well. Greg and I agree to meet back at the house for lunch.

The Peddler had heard rumors of a treasure chest that only a lockpicking expert such as himself could open. He had followed me to the Forgotten Glen and the Black Bull in search of this chest. Sacred Grove was the third place he thought it might be.

If there was a treasure chest at Sacred Grove, I didn’t notice it. I was too busy keeping my eye on the crocodile blocking the path. I wonder which of the kingdom’s residents is going to ask me to move it.

The Peddler decided that the chest on the Black Bull was the treasure chest he was seeking. Good, now can we please return to Landsong Village for lunch before we become lunch for the crocodile?

On the trip back, the Peddler reveals that although he has the skills to pick the lock, he doesn’t have the proper lockpick. He’d like me to supply him with the materials he needs to craft a new lockpick.

I have what he needs, but I’m uncertain as to the legality of what he proposes to do. On the other hand, he can’t possibly be stupid enough to ask the Queen’s Steward and wife of the Queen’s Guard to help him commit a crime. Against my better judgment, I hand over the requested items.

Before long the Peddler returns. He needs more materials and thinks I shouldseek help from Triffledore. It will have to wait, because the Mayor is waiting to see me. Anyway, I think I better seek Greg’s advise before I find myself a member of a criminal gang.

The Mayor wants to know what I thought of Sacred Grove and informs me that he’ll be visiting it one of these days. I decide not to spoil the surprise and don’t mention the crocodile.

Time to return home and fix some lunch. While Lucky searches the vegetable garden for the perfect carrot, I add some spices to the stew and make lobster salad with the lobster we cooked last night but never got around to eating.

Greg is in no better mood now than he was this morning. It’s not a good time to tell him about the Peddler. And it’s not going to be much fun going to Ancient Pond with him unless I can think of something that will improve his mood.

I lock the front door and ask if we have to leave immediately for Ancient Pond. Perhaps he’d like to go lie down a while...

When we finally set out for Ancient Pond, Greg is in a much better mood. I tell him about the Peddler and Greg offers to speak to the captain of the Black Bull and see if he wants the chest opened.

We quickly find the safety helmet and hurry on to Skyfleet Docks. The scaffold is inspected and declared safe. Time to head back to Town Hall and inform the Mayor.

The Mayor is pleased that the scaffold site is safe and informs me that there’s a big delivery coming in soon and I’ll need to check with everybody regarding their orders. I can start with Blessilda. I agree to speak with her first thing tomorrow.

What remains of the work day is spent filing reports and updating the ledgers. Greg is clearly troubled by something. I wish he’d share his worries with me. Maybe he just needs more time to adjust to marriage.


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

December 21, 2014 3:49 am  #48

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 48 - Friday

Greg continues to be preoccupied with whatever is troubling him and doesn’t make any mention of meeting for lunch or otherwise touching base during the day. The honeymoon appears to be over.

My workday doesn’t get off to a good start, either. Before I can speak to Blessilda about the order that expected at Skyfleet Docks, the Mayor summons me and informs me that because I’ve been so helpful to Troglid in regards to expanding his shop, I can now be his official supplier. He then hands me a list of things to be supplied. I get the golden oak, obsidian and blue prints from the storage cupboard and shlep down to Faire of Light with them.

My citizenship papers had been updated to reflect my new status as Greg’s wife. I wonder if I should ask that they be amended to read: Berengaria, wife of Gregory, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, Queen’s Steward and official supplier to Troglid. Obviously being recognized as an official supplier is much better than the unofficial supplying I’ve been doing ever since I arrived here.

When I return to Town Hall, I’m greeted by the news that Chumblepot also wants me to be his official supplier. The Mayor wonders if I can handle supplying both Troglid and Chumblepot. Who does he think has been supplying them these past weeks, the Easter Squabbit?

I silently hold out my hand for the new list and take the needed glass shards and yet more blueprints from the cupboard. Then a quick stop at the Glassworks before I again shlep to Faire of Light.

Instead of returning to Town Hall, I go directly to the General Store to see Blessilda. She tells me she ordered a lot of moonflowers and hands me her updated order.

Back at Town Hall, Troglid and Chumblepot are waiting for me. They want to give the Mayor a gift for allowing me to supply them with materials. They think a tour of the Black Bull’s lower deck would be the ideal gift, but they need to fix the broken stairs first. As official supplier, it falls to me to come up with the resources needed.

Their request has left me speechless. Luckily, the Mayor arrives, making it impossible to continue the conversation without ruining the surprise they have planned. The Mayor wants me to check with Quinn about his order.

Lucky isn’t happy about visiting the Squabbit Den and seeing Mr Vanderkins. He’s even more unhappy when Quinn asks us to feed the animals while he goes and looks for his list. Naturally there’s no pet food available, and I don’t have any back at Town Hall either. I tell Quinn I’ll be back to feed his animals after I have fed my own squabbit and Lucky and I head home for lunch.

Greg isn’t at home and there’s no sign that he’s been home. But there’s no time to look for him. I have to go to Mystic Copse and find oodles of pet food, which takes most of the afternoon. Then it’s back to the Squabbit Den to feed the animals and pick up Quinn’s list.

The next person I need to check with is Chumblepot. Of course he doesn’t have his list handy and of course he needs me to help out in the store by finishing some orders and of course he doesn’t have the glass shards needed to do so.

Looking over the uncompleted glassworks, I can see that I’ll need (gasp!) fifty-four glass shards. I tell Chumblepot that it’s getting late. He can look for his list tomorrow. Or the day after, I add under my breath.

Back at Town Hall, I look over all the uncompleted work orders. They consist of requests to upgrade building or requests for large amounts of resources or both. I can’t even start upgrading buildings while the Yura Festival is still going on. And nobody has seen fit to tell me when it will be over. I start to weep.

Greg finally arrives. He looks like I feel: exhausted and completely overwhelmed.


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

December 22, 2014 3:38 am  #49

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 49 - Saturday

Last night after dinner, I told Greg that maybe he had been right. Perhaps I am too young to be the Queen’s Steward. Maybe it is a man’s job. Maybe it should be his job.

Greg shakes his head. According to the legend, the kingdom would be ruled by one born without magic. I tell him I know all about the legend, I glanced at the storybooks that are being sold at the festival. Queen Sophia...

But Queen Sophia isn’t here, Greg points out. She’s not the one ruling the kingdom. Maybe the legend didn’t refer to her. Maybe the legend refers to... Me? No! It’s probably treason to even think such a thing. No! Queen Sophia will return, hopefully soon, and take charge of things.

Anyway, the fact is that I lack the skills to do this job. No matter how hard I work, I fall further and further behind. It’s only a matter of time before Linea writes to the Queen and tells her what a mess I’m making of things. Back in Beechwood Cove, they would have fired me already. Of course, in Beechwood Cove, they never would have given me so much responsibility in the first place.

Greg flinches when I mention Beechwood Cove. He says he’ll never forgive himself for allowing me to be sent away. I stare at him in disbelief. He was only ten years old. What happened wasn’t his fault. There was no way he could have changed things.

Greg keeps insisting that he’s to blame. He was supposed to look after me. From the day I was born he had been told that protecting me was his job, his destiny. If he had done a better job...

This conversation is getting very weird. It’s late, we’re tired. In the morning we’ll see things more clearly.  In the morning, neither of us mentions last night’s conversation.

Lucky and I will be spending all day at the Fairy Dragon Nest, I announce to Greg. Or rather, we will be making a number of trips there, returning periodically to Town Hall to drop off what we’ve found. Unless the army has a pack mule I can borrow.

Greg tells me there’s no need for me to make trips back and forth. He will meet me there for lunch and bring some soldiers to help carry things back to Town Hall.

By the time Greg arrives with lunch, a Moonflower Parfait, I’ve found over half the glass shards needed, as well as a lot of other things. It’s going to take forever to log all this stuff into the ledgers. Greg tells me not to worry, he’ll starting sorting and logging things when he returns to Landsong after lunch.

He also has some good news for me. The Mayor has told him that the Yura Festival will officially end on Sunday. Although people are still expected to visit after the festival is over, it will okay for buildings to be upgraded then. Hopefully we have the funds, he adds.

I think ninety thousand bolgins should be enough. There should even be enough left over to replace those chicken lamps. The men who accompanied Greg struggle not to laugh.

Greg promises to return in three hours to bring whatever else I find back to Town Hall. I ask him to deliver the glass shards to Chumblepot since I intend to go there later and assemble those glassworks before the day ends.

When Greg returns, there’s another large pile of glass shards and other assorted odds and ends for him and his men to bring back to Town Hall. At the glassworks, I complete five scenes of the Fairy Queen and a work depicting Queen Sophia’s Coat of Arms.

Chumblepot finally hands over the list of items he’s expecting to arrive at Skyfleet Docks. It’s taken me all day to get it. I just hope that whoever I have to see tomorrow has his list ready to hand over.

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

December 22, 2014 10:15 pm  #50

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 50 - Sunday

Because I had been using our office as a holding cell for all the things I bought or found for the house, the fact that it was cluttered had seemed normal. It suddenly occurred to me that all of our belongings had been moved out yet we still barely had room to turn around.

The amount of inventory I’ve amassed is staggering. I could exchange dozens, maybe even hundreds, of collections for bolgins, or bolgite, or any number of other resources we might need. So why was I having the vapors over the pile of work orders awaiting my attention? It’s not as if anybody nags me about when I’m going to get anything completed.

I can do this job, I tell Lucky, who squeaks his agreement. So, who’s the next person I’ve got to see in regards to the cargo which is arriving at Skyfleet Docks? I consult my list and smile. I need to see the Captain of the Guard.

Greg has gone to check on Artist Myke. He should be back shortly. In the meantime, I can visit the Squabbit Den and pick out a new hat for Lucky. Money is no object, I tell him, as long as you choose something that costs bolgins. There aren’t any crystals to spare.

Lucky really wants the red fedora, but it costs twelve crystals. Maybe next time, little fella. He narrows his choices down to the Pork Pie Hat, the Straw Boater, and the Sun Pendant. What the heck, I’ll buy all three, he’s earned a nice reward.

Fashionista Squabbit decides to wear the pendant and green pork pie hat. When we return to Town Hall, Greg is waiting. He hands me his updated order list. Weapons? Greg claims we can never be too careful and must be prepared. I wonder how many of those weapons are intended for display in his man cave.

The next person I need to see is Triffledore. While he updates his list, I look through the artifacts and find some more I’d like to buy. Then Lucky and I head over to Fahleed’s.

Fahleed is just on his way out to deliver some orders. He invites me to go with him and he will update his list on the way. We visit Rosetum Gardens and Central Station and by the time Fahleed has finished updating his list, I’ve collected more things to put in the overflowing storage cupboard.

The last person I need to see is the Forester. He updates his list and mentions that he’s ordered some frozen delicacies. I hope some of them will find their way to my house. I think Greg is getting tired of stew for dinner every night.

Back at Town Hall, I hand the updated lists to the Mayor who makes a big show of organizing them for me. Lucky and I exchange glances. Oh well, I guess the Mayor has to appear to do something to justify his position.

At last I can go to Skyfleet Docks and check out the shipment which has just arrived. But before I go, I look through the work orders to see if anybody needs something else from Skyfleet Docks.

Gavin will be needing fungi tiles when the Fungus Hut is updated, and Leena wants me to find some things to give Gavin as a thank you for the flowers he gave her. I need one more Traveler’s Hat and, if I have time to visit the Treasure Vault, I may be able to pick up the two storybooks she requested.

At Skyfleet Docks, I find the hat for Leena and then check the cargo book manifest against the shipment. Everything is in order and the shipments can be delivered. And there’s still time for me to visit the Treasure Vault.

I had forgotten that I asked Greg to post a guard at the Treasure Vault and was surprised to see a soldier standing sentry at the door. I was relieved to see it was one of the young men who had accompanied Greg to the Fairy Dragon Nest yesterday. Suppose it had been Creepy!!!

I found the two storybooks I needed along with some other things that could come in handy. The soldier offers to bring the things back to Town Hall for me at the end of his shift. I thank him, but decide I can carry them myself.

Leena is pleased with the gifts for Gavin but wonders where she will put them. She comes up with the idea of customizing jewelry boxes as containers for the presents. I have oodles of them back at Town Hall but Leena doesn’t want them. She fears they may be dented or damaged. I must find her new ones. Whatever.

When I return to Town Hall, I find Greg trying to find a hiding place for a crossbow and shield. As I suspected, part of that weaponry order was for his own personal use. Boys and their toys. It’s okay, I tell him. I don’t mind, really, but please don’t store them here. There’s no room.

We’ve outgrown our storage cupboards. What we need is a storage room. Unfortunately for us, the Mayor hasn’t requested that Town Hall be expanded. But when he does, his request will go to the top of my to-do list.

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

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