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March 18, 2015 2:24 am  #11

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 11

Captain Greg’s tirade was basically a repeat of his last rant When he paused to rhetorically ask me what I had to say for myself, I told that he wasn’t my father - though he’s certainly starting to sound like him - so he had no right to tell me what to do; that he’s scaring my squabbit; that Queen Sophia left me in charge, not him; and that I didn’t blame his girlfriend for dumping him. A woman would have to be desperate to want to marry him.

Before he could reply, a soldier appeared to tell him he was needed in the barracks. He told me we would continue this discussion in the morning and left. I went home and thought some more about our mysterious cloaked stranger and made some new notes and charts.

The next morning, while I wait for the Captain to show up to continue our ‘discussion’, I review my notes with Lucky. I have a new theory about all the curses and had divided the events into three groups based on what I believed was the motivation behind the attacks.

The cloaked man had cursed the exterior of the Castle, the Entrance Hall, and the pond. The Castle is the natural place for the citizens to gather during a crisis because they would be seeking reassurance and guidance from their sovereign. It’s also the place where the defeat of Dreadmyre was celebrated. Cursing it would demoralize the citizens.

I grouped the attacks of the Forester with the curse on the Orchards. The Orchards are a major source of food for the kingdom’s residents. Although I had removed the curse from the Orchards, the Forester has been cowed by his experiences and consequently food production may suffer. A food shortage would bring unrest to the kingdom.

That leaves only the attack on Prince Edric, a prince from another kingdom. If we still have a problem with Dreadmyre, we might require aid and assistance from neighboring kingdoms. Maybe the prince was attacked to discourage other realms from helping us. And all of these events could be a ruse to bring Queen Sophia back.

A shadow falls across my desk. The Captain has arrived and he’s hasn’t brought me any flowers today, not that I was expecting any. He holds out his hand and asks to see my latest batch of notes and charts.

Since he’s given no indication that he wishes to continue the discussion from last night, I conclude that I’m free to go about my business. Since my visits to the Rose Garden are now public knowledge, I might as well deliver all those eggshells Chumblepot asked for.

Chumblepot thanks me for all the materials I’ve brought him. He’s been wanting to experiment with some new techniques and now he’ll be able to. And most of the things I’ve brought will be used to repair the Castle’s glasswork now that he has a bigger shop. But he’s going to need more glass shards and if he gets behind in completing regular orders, he might need me to finish those while he works on the large piece for the Castle.

When I arrive at Fahleed’s, I’m surprised to see Captain Greg and Fahleed deep in conversation over a bolt of blue silk fabric. The Captain is clearly embarrassed to see me and quickly departs. Fahleed calls after him not to worry, he’ll take care of all the details. From this exchange I conclude that Miss Sunstone will soon receive a let’s kiss and make up present. Wonder why he chose blue? It’s really not her color at all.

Fahleed is settling nicely but he still needs some assistance. A few bolgins to purchase additional fabrics would come in handy. I look longingly at the blue silk. I’m so tired of wearing black. I don’t know why I’m clinging to the tradition of showing respect for my father by wearing mourning. Ours was never a loving relationship even before I was banished.

Fahleed is anxious to have my endorsement and patronage. He obviously doesn’t know about my circumstances. I suppose I could buy something from him using the kingdom’s funds just as I did with Quinn and Blessilda. I could use a cape made from a sturdy material, something that wouldn’t be easily torn if it caught on tree branches. In a dark color. Fahleed seems disappointed with my choice. That makes two of us.

Lucky and I return home for a quick bite to eat before returning to Town Hall. Captain Greg is there waiting to continue our discussion. He grudgingly admits he believes I’m right in regards to why the cloaked stranger chose his targets. But I need to take my analysis further.

I look at him blankly. The Captain patiently asks me who or what I think the next target will be. Oh! I hadn’t really given any thought as to what he would do next. Maybe nothing? It’s been a while since he last struck.

I continue to think and run through the names of the citizens I’ve come in contact. The Mayor? I think he’s useless but the Goblins do look to him for guidance. Captain Greg nods in agreement and wants to know who else?

How about him? If anything happened to him, that would leave the army leaderless until Queen Sophia appointed a new Captain of the Guard. And if there were rival candidates...Once again the Captain nods and asks who else.

Me. I’m the Steward. Queen Sophia left me in charge. I doubt the place would go to pieces if I weren’t here but the cloaked stranger doesn’t know that. Captain Greg asks me if I finally understand why he gets annoyed when I wander off and he doesn’t know where I am.

I look at him suspiciously. So nothing I’ve said is new to him? He worked all this out for himself some time ago and didn’t bother telling me? He nods and says he didn’t want to worry me.

Is there anything else he isn’t telling me? He shakes his head no. Well, then he needs to take his analysis further. The next target isn’t a person, it’s a place. Town Hall to be exact. And if luck is on his side, he’ll score a hat trick and get all three of us together.

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

March 19, 2015 2:31 am  #12

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 12

Yesterday Captain Greg and I had walked up to the Castle to look at all the improvements that have been made. Well, that’s what we told the mayor when he asked where we were going. In truth, we wanted to continue our conversation away from Town Hall.

We had debated whether to tell the Mayor our belief that Town Hall would be the next place targeted and decided not to. The Mayor was likely to repeat anything we said to Blessilda, and once Blessilda knew, everyone else in the kingdom would know. No point in getting everybody upset about something that might not happen.

Our discussion about the cloaked stranger had reminded me of conversations we had years ago. We would take a break from the archery lessons for tea and Greg would tell me about the historic battles he was studying, using the crockery and food to illustrate the positions of the opposing armies.

Then he would ask me what I thought the winning army had done, guiding me with his questions just as he had done yesterday. Except in the past, he would be pleased when I arrived at the correct answer. Yesterday he just seemed surprised.

Lucky goes to the door and starts thumping. You’re right, time to go to work. And time to leave the past in the past.

Today when I arrive at Town Hall, there’s a fresh batch of moonflowers, pink and jade ones this time, on my desk. The Captain really needs to stop bringing me flowers even if they are only a peace offering. People will get the wrong idea about us.

People are already getting the wrong idea. When Quinn arrives all excited because he thinks he’s found a light crystal at the Fairy Dragon Nest, he tells me how glad he is that I’m the Captain’s new girlfriend. He adds that everybody is glad.

Terrific. I wonder just where everybody got that idea from. I’m not really in the mood to discuss my love life, or rather my lack of a love life, with Quinn. I’d rather discuss this light crystal he thinks he’s found. Where is it?

Quinn tells me to come with him to the Fairy Dragon Nest and he’ll show me. I don’t understand why he didn’t just pick up and bring it to Town Hall in the first place. The again, the citizens seem to have a knack for losing things they’re supposed to give me. Maybe it’s better that he left it where he found it.

Lucky isn’t looking very happy about the prospect of spending time with Mr Vanderkins. Just as I’m about to tell Quinn that I’m too busy to go with him, Captain Greg arrives. Before I can hurry Quinn out the door he repeats to the Captain what he’s already told me. I scoop up Lucky and wait for the fireworks to begin.

To my surprise, Captain Greg just smiles, asks where we are going, and attempts to give me a goodbye kiss on the cheek. I inform him I don’t believe in public displays of affection in the workplace and propel Quinn out the door.

For a change the two squabbits are getting along. The Fairy Dragon Nest doesn’t have any plants that would be of interest to them so there’s no reason for them to get all competitive.

The Mystic Pool contains something of interest to me - a lobster. It’s good to know they can be found somewhere other than the Rose Garden. Now if my ‘boyfriend’ decides to put the Rose Garden off limits again, I won’t have to become a vegetarian.

Quinn was right about the light crystal. This time he found a real one. Only problem is it’s cracked. Quinn thinks Triffledore can fix it for us. We can probably find him at the Faire of Light.

Triffledore examines the crystal and announces he has a special item that might fix it. But he’ll need some other things, things that can be found in the Rose Garden. I look at the list and smile. These things can also be found in the storage cupboard in Town Hall.

When I return to Town Hall to fetch the things needed by Triffledore, I notice that the glass on my desk not only contains moonflowers, it holds puppylove flowers, delicate, sweet-scented flowers often shared between blossoming lovers.

Years ago, I had pretended that Greg would bring me puppylove flowers when he came to give me my archery lessons. I even picked some and pressed them between the pages of my diary. If this is his idea of a joke, it’s a very cruel one.

I better get back to the Faire of Light before Quinn comes looking for me. And I better stop thinking of the Captain as Greg. Those days are over regardless of how many flowers he leaves on my desk.

Quinn and Triffledore are relieved when I finally return. Triffledore takes the runes I’ve brought him and uses them somehow to repair the crystal. He suggests we take it to the Castle immediately to dispel the curse.

When the curse is lifted, the vines covering the right hand wall of the Entrance Hall wither and reveal a torn tapestry and a damaged painting. Repairing either of these artworks is beyond my skills. Fahleed might be able to fix the tapestry but I don’t think there’s any painters living in the kingdom.

The painting wasn’t here five years ago. Maybe Captain Greg will remember who the artist is and how we can get in touch with him. Better yet, I’ll ask Blessilda. She knows everything about everybody.

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

March 20, 2015 3:07 am  #13

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 13

Last night I spent some time sorting through my wardrobe. The dark, drab colors I had been wearing were depressing. It was time to set aside the black and start wearing colors again. Or should I say color? Most of my clothing is some shade of blue.

The dress I chose for today is a deep shade of azure, the color of the water in the Castle’s pond during the kingdom’s glory days. Lucky looks at me skeptically. Yes, I know it’s a bit fancy for work, but today is a special day. I decide I might as well wear some perfume too.

Eyebrows are raised when I arrive at Town Hall. I again repeat that today is a special day. It’s the first day since I returned to the kingdom that nothing is cursed. To celebrate, I might even take a few hours off to go somewhere and sketch, maybe have a picnic lunch.

Captain Party-Pooper immediately wants to know where I was planning to picnic. Forgotten Glen? He grunts his approval. Good. Glad that’s settled. In the meantime, I think I’ll pay a visit to Fahleed and drop some hints about the Castle’s tapestry.

There was no need for me to hint. Fahleed, like everybody else, had heard from Triffledore that the curse had been dispelled. He had gone up to the Castle and seen the torn tapestry. Fahleed is anxious to repair it but needs to fetch a special cloth from one of his suppliers. Could I look after the shop in his absence?

I enjoy taking care of the shop, examining all the fabrics, helping clients decide on which embroidery pattern to add to their dress or cloak. If only my father had left me a little money instead of a pile of debts, I could have opened a dress shop. When Fahleed returns, he pleasantly surprised by the number of orders people have placed.

I run into Triffledore outside Fahleed’s shop. He tells me he was on his way to open the Yura shrine at the Forgotten Glen. But he lost some runes and his magical, musical candles. Could I help him find them? He thinks he might have dropped them at the Fairy Dragon Nest.I’m not pleased to hear that he was planning on visiting the Forgotten Glen. I had hoped to have that place all to myself. But I look for the runes anyway and bring them back to Triffledore, who reminds me he has lost some of the candles as well.
He suggests that we each search separately and gives me a list of places to check out: Dawnshadow Lake, the Ancient Pond, and the Fairy Dragon Nest. Why didn’t he mention it before I went there to find the runes? Lucky squeaks his agreement.

While I search for the candles, I continue to grumble to Lucky. I really don’t know what my father did all day long when he was steward - well, except for robbing people blind - but I bet he didn’t spend most of his time babysitting little boys and their squabbits or searching for items misplaced by the local residents.

I find a candle in each location. Triffledore is pleased and tells me I’ve got a great eye. He then hands me the rest of the candles and says that I should have the honor of opening the shrine. I don’t know how much of an honor it is, but I do know that now I can have that picnic I planned. I just have to go back home and get my drawing tools and already packed picnic basket.

I find a candle in each location. Triffledore is pleased and tells me I’ve got a great eye. He then hands me the rest of the candles and says that I should have the honor of opening the shrine. I don’t know how much of an honor it is, but I do know that now I can have that picnic I planned. I just have to go back home and get my drawing tools and already packed picnic basket.

At the Forgotten Glen, I spread out a blanket near the Royal Carriage and leave Lucky to guard the picnic basket while I use the candles to open the shrine. When I return, Captain Greg is there. He’s already opened the basket and is sniffing at the containers of food.

He asks if he can join us and, before I can answer, feeds Lucky a carrot and hands me some ham sandwiches he has brought with him. I can’t remember the last time I ate meat and gladly offer him in exchange some of the lobster salad I had made.

The Captain tastes the salad and then takes a large portion, announcing that it’s very good and asking if I made it? Yes, I tell him, I had to make my own lunch. It’s the servants’ day off. He looks embarrassed and starts to apologize.

I assure him there’s no need for an apology. We both know circumstances have changed - for both of us - in the five years that I’ve been away. Pointless trying to pretend otherwise.

And some changes have been for the better. I grab my sketch pad and pencils and quickly draw a picture of him feeding Lucky. When finished, I ask if he agrees my drawing skills have improved. He nods.

On the walk back to Landsong Village, neither of us has much to say. I decide to go home rather than to Town Hall and the Captain asks if he might escort me. When we get to my door, he blurts out that he wasn’t dumped, he had dumped her, turns beet red and leaves.

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

March 21, 2015 1:43 am  #14

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 14

In the morning, as I lay in bed, I can smell coffee brewing and eggs being fried. Better get up and get dressed before breakfast gets cold. Father doesn’t like it when I keep the servants waiting...I don’t have servants any more. Who’s in the house with me and why is he/she cooking breakfast?

Captain Greg pops his head into the sleeping alcove and tells me to get dressed. He says we have a problem that we need to discuss immediately. I most certainly have a problem: how on earth did he get into my house?

The Captain had climbed through one of the broken windows after removing the boards I had nailed up. He tells me I really should get those windows fixed. I tell him he better get to the point and explain why he broke into my house.

Just as we had suspected, the cloaked stranger has chosen Town Hall as his next target. One of the soldiers making his usual security rounds had noticed a purple fog surrounding it and had reported it to the Captain right away. The Captain had come here to make sure that my house hadn’t also been cursed and that I was all right.

I’m feeling a bit guilty. We should have warned the Mayor. Now he’s trapped inside the cursed building and...Captain Greg shakes his head no. The Mayor was not in the building.

So where was he if he wasn’t at home asleep in his bed. The Captain grins broadly. It seems the Mayor was over at the General Store, presumably asleep in Blessilda’s bed. I start to giggle. And he knows this how? More grins. He was seen climbing out the back window.

Umm, that’s not funny. Has it occurred to him that somebody may see him leave my house and jump to the conclusion he spend the night in my bed? I am told not to worry. If that does happen, he’ll do the honorable thing. Like hell he will! I haven’t done anything dishonorable so why should I be forced to..

My protests are interrupted. I need to finish my breakfast so we can be at Town Hall when the Mayor returns from the walk he took to make it look like Town Hall was cursed after he went for his morning constitutional. I inform the Captain that he needs to learn how to make coffee. This stuff is awful. He tells me next time, I can make breakfast for him! Lucky smirks.

When we arrive at Town Hall, a crowd has already gathered, Blessilda among them. I’m struggling not to giggle at the thought of Blessilda and the Mayor.  Beside me, the Captain is also having a difficult time controlling his urge to laugh. We avoid looking at each other. Suddenly I realize that people are giving us funny looks.

The Mayor announces that he saw the cloaked figure casting a spell on Town Hall and claimed the figure mumbled about something in the Shrine of Yura. He says he feels some ominous presence which might be related to the curse. I’ll need to go visit the shrine and see what’s there. The Captain decides it’s not safe for me to go alone. He will come with me. Again the funny looks from the crowd.

Inside the shrine at the Forgotten Glen, we find a stone bust which glows a sickly purple. The bust bears a strong resemblance to the Mayor. I ask Captain Greg if it’s wrong to be relieved that the Mayor was the target and not either of us? He shakes his head no and gives me a gentle hug.

When we bring the effigy to the Mayor who is standing outside Town Hall, he is clearly worried and claims that it reeks of the vile energy of Dreadmyre and says that somebody is trying to bring evil back into the world. The Mayor then hurries off to ask the sages to research the effigy.

Neither the Captain nor I know what to do next. Neither of us is in any hurry to enter Town Hall. I decide to go home and clean up the breakfast dishes. The Captain decides to follow me to make sure I’m safe. I just shrug. What does it matter if he does come with me? My reputation is beyond repair now that everybody has seen him leave my house early in the morning.

While I wash up, he does his best to secure the windows from people like him. Lucky goes to stand guard over his carrots. Good thing we had our picnic yesterday, Lucky. There’s nothing worth celebrating today. Not even payday, since Linea is yet to make an appearance.

Captain Greg shouts for Lucky and me to get out of the house now! Town Hall is no longer cursed, but the Squabbit Den and the Glassworks are. My house could be next. I shake my head no. It’s my father’s house and no doubt the villain will spare it. Professional courtesy from one villain to another.

The Captain gets annoyed at the mention of my father’s misdeeds. And the reason the General Store has been spared, he asks. Has he ever tasted those energy potions, I reply. They’re vile enough on their own, no need to curse them.

The Mayor has returned from consulting the sages. He claims the vile artifact we found triggered the curse on the other buildings. Sure, blame us. It was his idea that we go find it. There must be other vile artifacts around and we must find them so the buildings can be released from the curse. He suggests we start looking at Ancient Pond and the Fairy Dragon Nest.

At Ancient Pond, we find a squabbit statue emitting the same sickly purple glow the bust of the Mayor did. Searching the Fairy Dragon Nest we find a stone replica of a glasswork. When we bring them back to Town Hall, the Mayor says they need to be sealed to stop them from spreading the curse further and hands me a list of things needed.

I breathe a sigh of relief. I have everything on that list in the storage cupboard. The Mayor takes the various items and departs to do whatever it is that will seal the vile artifacts.

Captain Greg decides that he will go back to where we found those things to see if he can find any clues to the identity of our cloaked man. He suggests that I stay in Landsong Village until he returns. I agree. I’m going to go visit the Squabbit Den and help Quinn calm the animals.

Neither of us makes a move to leave. I’m sure the Captain is about to kiss me when the Mayor reappears to tell us he has successfully sealed the vile objects. He feels the cloaked man is really bent on causing havoc to the kingdom and expresses a hope that we won’t have more of these incidents in the future.

I hope so too. Captain Greg is causing enough havoc in my life.

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

March 22, 2015 9:52 pm  #15

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 15

Captain Greg is already at the office when I arrive. He looks tired. When I ask him whether he’s found out anything more about our mysterious cloaked man, he shakes his head no. He does say that Linea will be around shortly with the payroll. She’s a day late, just hope my pay isn’t a bolgin short.

While I wait for Linea to arrive, I write letter to two more of the people my father has bilked asking them to come see me at the end of the day. I also look over the requests for assistance that have been piling up.

Linea flies in and gives me a letter along with my pay. The letter is from Queen Sophia. She’s worried that Linea is missing her. Queen Sophia thinks giving a few of her personal items to Linea might cheer her up. Linea agrees that a reminder of the Queen might ease her heart. I hand Linea my letters to deliver and promise to look for something. Maybe a portrait or a plushie?

Captain Greg looks up and frowns at Linea. Perhaps his pay is a bolgin short? When Linea leaves, he tells me that I have enough to do without looking for things for Linea. I just laugh. A good portion of my time is spent looking for things that others could find for themselves if they made the effort.

The things I need to cheer up Linea can be found at the Ancient Pond and in the Forgotten Glen, places that I need to visit for other people. I assure the Captain that I can search for more than one thing at a time.

At the mention of the Forgotten Glen, his eyes light up. Perhaps I was planning another picnic lunch and he could meet me there? He really should check the shrine one more time to make sure it’s safe. Alas, I’m all out of lobster salad. And I’m not sure what time I will be going to the Forgotten Glen. I need to meet with Triffledore this morning to help him set up a business plan.

I thought that would get a raised eyebrow. I’m assuming that what Triffledore really means is he wants to start a business in the Faire of Light and he needs me to supply some money and building materials. There’s still a vacant building down there that might suit his needs.

Before heading down to the Faire of Light, I need to stop off at the General Store and drop off some moonflowers that Blessilda needs. Blessilda thanks me and remarks on how close the Captain and I appear to be growing. I inform her the nature of our jobs means that we have to spend time together. I add that looks can be deceiving and I imagine that she and the Mayor are much closer than the Captain and I will ever be. For once, Blessilda is a loss for words.

As I suspected Triffledore wants me, or rather the kingdom, to help finance his new business venture. He wants to open a shop selling artifacts that he has gathered during his years of adventuring and thinks the vacant building will do nicely. I approve his business plan and start to head back to Landsong Village to hire workers to repair that vacant building.

Triffledore hurries after me. He forgot to tell me that he may have spotted Queen Sophia’s ring and suggests that I look for it around Dawnshadow Lake and Mystic Copse. Hmm, maybe Queen Sophia’s ring would cheer up Linea.

I’m starting to get muddled trying to remember who wants me to get what from where. I tell Lucky we really need to go someplace quiet, where nobody will bother us, and I can spend some time co-ordinating all these requests for help. Maybe another picnic lunch at Forgotten Glen isn’t such a bad idea. Lucky gives me a knowing look.

I really don’t expect to meet up with the Captain nor do I particularly want to, but I pack some extra food just in case. This morning, while I dithered over whether I should resume wearing somber colored clothing in the hopes that it might silence wagging tongues, I had decided that it didn’t matter what people were saying.

The merchants of the kingdom will be asking for my help rather than do things for themselves no matter what they think about how I conduct my private life. And none of the women had sought my friendship before Captain Greg broke into my house, so why should I care if they shun me now?

As for the men, with no dowry I was never on anybody’s list of possible brides. Even Captain Greg doesn’t speak of love and only offers to do the honorable thing if necessary. Well, it’s not necessary.

As it happens, Lucky and I have Forgotten Glen to ourselves. I find the poster glue Chumblepot needs and a portrait of Queen Sophia for Linea. As we eat lunch, I make a list of places I need to visit and items I need to find and tell Lucky that things aren’t as out of control as I thought.

After lunch, we return to Landsong Village and I drop off the glue and glass shards Chumblepot had requested. Chumblepot reminded me that I had offered to watch the shop for him while he worked on the Castle’s glasswork. Is now a good time for me?

I agree and spend an hour or so putting the finishing touches on some pieces and then package them for delivery. Chumblepot returns from the Castle just in time. I had almost forgotten I made an appointment with some of my father’s creditors.

Once again neither of the men can read or write but this time Captain Greg is not around to help. But I can see another soldier outside, perhaps he will be able to assure the men in regards to what they are signing.

The soldier agrees to help and I pay the men the money owed to them in exchange for their signature acknowledging the debt has been paid. They leave but the soldier doesn’t. He mentions that my father owed him money.

Things get nasty when I ask him his name. For some reason, he expected me to know who he is even though I had been away for five years. He rants and raves about how in the past I thought I was better than everybody else. Lucky is upset and runs out the door.

I tell the soldier he’ll be the next person I pay but right now I have to go find my squabbit. He wants to talk terms now and finally points to his name in my ledger book. I gasp when I see the amount owed. It will take me several weeks to pay him.

Not good enough. He wants all the money at once, but if that’s not possible, I can pay him the way I’m paying Captain Greg. What time should he come by tonight? And how about a kiss as a down payment?

Lucky runs back in closely followed by the Captain who grabs his subordinate by the back of his tunic and throws him outside. The men exchange punches and finally the soldier leaves, blood streaming out of his nose. As he departs, he reminds me that he wants payment in full next week.

I bend down to pick up Lucky and tell him he’s a brave little squabbit. If he hadn’t gone for help...The Captain offers to walk me home. I tell him to stay away from me and my house. He’s caused me enough trouble.

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

March 23, 2015 7:41 pm  #16

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 16

Last night I didn’t get much sleep. I spent hours searching the house, looking for a secret hiding place where my father might have stashed some money. When I finally gave up and went to bed, I took a kitchen knife with me and put it under the pillow.

In the morning, I inspected the outside of the house. There were no signs that anybody had tried to gain entry via the windows or the doors but the grass near the gate was flattened. Somebody had sat there and watched the house last night. Creepy.

When Lucky and I arrive at Town Hall, Linea is waiting for us with another letter from Queen Sophia. Linea has told the Queen about the cloaked man and the Queen is worried about the safety of the citizens and counting on me to look after them. Obviously Linea hasn’t informed Queen Sophia that I can’t even look after myself.

The letter mentions a place in the Rose Garden that might be useful to me and says Linea can tell me about it. Wonder why the Queen just doesn’t tell me about the place in the letter. Maybe she knows how frequently Linea loses things and doesn’t want the information falling into the wrong hands?

Captain Greg arrives. He looks as if he didn’t get much sleep either. I show him the Queen’s letter to forestall any objections he has about visits to the Rose Garden. The Captain reads it and hands it back to me.

Linea tells us that the waterfall in the Rose Garden hold valuable items that might be useful, but the power of a Moonfell staff is needed to gain access to them. Ran, Linea’s cousin, had mentioned to her that some old items of the Queen might be there.

Linea thinks that Triffledore might have a Moonfell staff. I wanted to visit Triffledore anyway to see if his store had opened. While at the Faire of Light I can also check on Fahleed and see how the repairs to the Castle tapestry are coming along.

Triffledore’s store is open for business. He’s convinced my patronage is responsible for all his customers. I imagine they just wanted an excuse to stare at the scarlet woman. Triffledore thanks me for my help and tells me to take my pick of the artifacts.

Later, first we need to talk. Triffledore agrees. He wants to talk about the Castle’s chandelier. He thinks he can fix it. And he thinks I can find Queen Sophia’s ring in either Mystic Copse or Dawnshadow Lake.

Linea is getting impatient. What we need right now is a Moonfell staff. No problem. Although he doesn’t have one, Triffledore is sure he can make one. If I could just gather the materials for the staff and the chandelier, he can work on both projects. That is, he could if the shop were bigger.

Right, one enlarged shop coming right up. While construction is going on, I’ll search for the materials he needs. I’ll go visit Fahleed while he makes out his list.

Fahleed is making good progress on the tapestry. He just needs more money - don’t we all - and some plushies to use as references. Three Ran plushies and three Pocket Dragon plushies should be enough.

After Triffledore gives me his list, I decide to return to Town Hall and check the storage cupboard. I’m sure I already have some of these things. And everything I need can be found either in Mystic Copse, Ancient Pond, or Dawnshadow Lake.

Captain Greg is no longer in the office. His desk is uncharacteristically messy, strewn with papers covered with columns of numbers. I’ll leave him a note telling him where I’m going, just in case he needs to find me for some reason.

The puppylove flowers in the glass on my desk have all died. Time to replace them. Maybe I’ll find something more durable, like a cactus, while I’m out.

Although I only need to visit three places, I need several items from each place. Lack of sleep has impaired my ability to concentrate. I won’t be sure that I’ve got everything until I get back to Town Hall and can spread things out and match each item with a request list.

I’ve also managed to find two relic fragments, one at Dawnshadow Lake and the other at Mystic Copse. Just one more piece of the Landsong Serenity Relic left to find. When complete, the relic will bestow a sense of calm and hopefulness in the people. I could do with some hopefulness right now.

When everything is spread out on my desk, I can see that I have the portrait and plushie Queen Sophia wanted me to find for Linea. Linea promises to treasure them forever and tells me I’m really nice.

I’ve now got all the plushies needed by Fahleed, and I’ve found two rings which resemble Queen Sophia’s. I’ll need to show them to Triffledore. Maybe he knows whether either of them is real. And if I have found the Queen’s ring, just what should I do with it?

Fahleed thanks me for the plushies and informs me the tapestry should be ready for viewing in the Castle tomorrow morning.

When I show the rings to Triffledore, he pronounces both of them to be fake replicas. I’m still trying work out what the difference is between a fake replica and a genuine replica when Triffledore adds that a person doesn’t always get to find items like that the first time anyway. Now I’m really confused.

Triffledore’s shop is still under construction so I’ll wait until tomorrow to deliver the other things I’ve found for him. It’s getting late, and I want to get home before it’s dark.

There’s not much I can do to prevent somebody from watching my house, but I can make it uncomfortable for whoever it is to choose the same place to watch from. It’s an excellent time to start digging some flower beds. I wasn’t planning on putting sunflowers in this area, but I guess I can always move them later. Now to give the newly planted seedlings some water. Take that, you voyeur.

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

March 24, 2015 9:36 pm  #17

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 17

 Another night without much sleep. This time I searched through my father’s clothing, ripping all the seams open in the hope that he had hidden some coins or jewels in them. When I was finished, all I had was a pile of fabric.

I imagine I will find a use for all this material. I wonder what a certain Captain would look like without his usual chain mail, drab trousers and heavy boots? Lucky lets out a squeak and smirks. Get your mind out of the gutter, little squabbit, that’s not what I meant. You’re as bad as the rest of the citizens.

Once again the house had been under surveillance during the night. I don’t have time to think about who it could be or why this person is spying on me. I need to get up to the Castle to check out the tapestry.

There’s already a small group of people admiring it. It’s a good start to fixing up the Castle’s interior and once Triffledore finishes repairing the chandelier, it will be possible to repair the stairs. But Triffledore won’t be able to fix the chandelier or build a Moonfell staff if I don’t find the materials he needs. Better get back to Town Hall and see if I have everything.

I, or rather the kingdom, has plenty of bolgins now. Well, plenty compare to what was in the coffers when I took on this job. There’s enough to upgrade the Wingferry.

And there’s more than enough to pay that nasty soldier what I owe. For the first time I have some understanding of the temptations my father faced. It would be so easy to just borrow some bolgins and pay them back over the next couple of weeks.

No. What if another person shows up and demands immediate payment? No, I have to find another solution. There’s still time. I’ll think of something.

Strange that Captain Greg hasn’t arrived yet. He must be trying to avoid spending time with me. Well, I did tell him to stay away from me. I don’t need to consult with him about anything work-related right now but I’ll leave a note saying I’ve gone to see Triffledore so he’ll know where I am.

When I arrive at Triffledore’s with the items he requested, he’s still busy unpacking artifacts and arranging his display shelves. I offer to help and it’s soon obvious that he will need some more shelves.

I get the impression that Triffledore believes the request for his assistance has come directly from Queen Sophia. Perhaps he’s right, maybe the Queen did tell Linea to ask for his help specifically. I’m just grateful that he’s willing to help.

He still needs more materials for the staff - coruscating fairy dust and a crystal orb. While I’m searching for those things, Triffledore can work on the Castle’s chandelier. I need to spend some time finding some more glass shards for Chumblepot as well. The Castle glasswork is huge and Chumblepot will need a lot of materials to fix it.

And I need some time to think. I had leapt to the conclusion that everybody believed what that nasty soldier had said: that I was paying back the money my father owed Captain Greg by sleeping with him. But that just doesn’t make sense. The Captain doesn’t need to pay for female companionship. On the contrary, women have been throwing themselves at him.

In addition, less than a week ago Quinn had said that everybody was happy that I was the Captain’s girlfriend. People may be curious to know if the relationship has become a more intimate one, but nobody seems shocked and scandalized by the possibility that it has. People have been more friendly towards me the past few days, not less. So where did soldier boy get the idea that I had taken up prostitution as a second job?

Lucky yawns. Sorry if I’m boring you. Right, back to work. Let’s bring what we’ve found to Triffledore so he can finish that Moonfell Staff.

Triffledore is almost finished. He just needs to strengthen the staff so that it holds the magic. I’m not sure where the magic comes from, but if I need to know, I’m sure Linea will tell me. All I care about is that the darn thing works.

When we get to the Rose Garden, Linea tells me to throw the staff into the waterfalls. I do as she asks and the waterfall disappears, revealing the Rosepetal Cellar. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything useful in there. After some poking around, Linea finds a tile that could fit the Castle door, and I find a fragment of the Faire vibrancy relic.

When I return to Faire of Light, Triffledore is just about to put ornaments on the chandelier. He urges me to go shopping while he works. I haven’t got a clue what any of these artifacts are for, but I select a few and just hope the combination of items I chose doesn’t cast some sort of evil spell.

Triffledore looks at the items I chose and tells me I’m quite a shopper. He adds that the chandelier is finished and that he will install it first thing tomorrow morning. Sounds good. I promise to check it out tomorrow when I drop off the door tile.

Before going home, Lucky and I stop at Town Hall to drop off various items. I look at the desks trying to find a sign that Captain Greg has been there. On my desk is a new bunch of flowers. This time he’s chosen forget-me-nots.

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

March 26, 2015 1:42 am  #18

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 18

Yesterday was a hectic but productive day. I wish I could say the same for the evening. I had looked through my father’s papers one more time, hoping to find a hint or clue pointing to where he might have hidden some money. I had found nothing.

Pay day is rapidly approaching. I’m scared that I could be forced by that nasty soldier to sell my house to pay him what I owe. I’m going to need to seek advice from somebody but from whom? I can’t ask the Mayor. Anything I tell him, he will probably repeat to Blessilda and then everybody will know. One of the other Goblins?

There are signs that my nocturnal visitor was back again last night. Maybe I should swallow my pride and talk to Captain Greg about my prowler. Tell him about the graffiti, too. If I’m forced to sell the house, I want to get a good price for it. Trespassers and vandals aren’t good selling points.

I think I’ll go check out the chandelier up at the Castle before going to Town Hall. I brought the door tile home with me last night so I can drop that off at the same time.

The Entrance Hall of the Castle looks so much brighter now that the chandelier has been fixed. It also makes it easier to see all the work that still needs to be done. The pillars are all cracked and one of them has fallen onto the staircase. They need to be repaired as soon as possible. No point in spending money fixing other things if the walls and second story might collapse.

While I’m checking to see which slot the door tile fits, I notice some people admiring Fahleed’s tapestry. Miss Sunstone is among them and she’s with a soldier. Not just any soldier, the nasty one! I leave before they can notice me.

I need to go somewhere quiet and think about what I’ve just seen. Town Hall won’t do. I have decided to approve Blessilda’s request to expand the General Store, partially because I’m feeling guilty about the way I last spoke to her. What she and the Mayor get up to is nobody’s business but their own.

Blessilda thanks me but says she doesn’t have time to chat. She’s on her way to Town Hall with some potions. Captain Greg arrived at the office and immediately collapsed! She said he’s feverish and his clothes are damp and muddy as if he spent the night in a ditch. Not a ditch. Outside my house. This is all my fault.

Blessilda and the Mayor dither about what to do. The Captain needs rest and somebody to look after him. Blessilda says she could, but the General Store is under construction. The Barracks are too far away. My house, I tell them, take him to my house. It will be quieter there.

While the Mayor helps Captain Greg out of his wet clothing and into bed, I show Blessilda where she can find pots and pans and anything else she might need. She notes my meager food supplies but says nothing. If there’s anything she needs, just give me a list and I’ll get it.

Quinn had been outside the Squabbit Den and had followed us. Mr Vanderkins and Lucky are sparring and Quinn keeps asking questions. Okay. Blessilda will tend to the Captain; the Mayor will notify his second in command about the Captain’s illness and have him bring a change of clothing; and I will take Quinn and Mr Vanderkins someplace far, far away.

I ask Quinn if he’d like to come with me to Faire of Light to see if the repairs to the Wingferry are complete. If they are, we could go visit Apricus Plaza and look for some blueprints for Troglid.

Lucky and Mr Vanderkins aren’t thrilled with my plan. Quinn is pleased and wants to know if we can also visit Mystic Copse and look for Glittering Fairy Dust. He’s too nervous to go there alone, not after what happened to Mr Vanderkins. Lucky perked up at the mention of Mystic Copse. Don’t even think it, I tell him.

Quinn is impressed by Apricus Plaza but is soon bored and wants to go to Mystic Copse. I need to stock up on food, and that’s a good spot to forage so I don’t mind leaving earlier than I originally planned.

At Mystic Copse, while Quinn searches for fairy dust and the squabbits fight over carrots, I gather fruit and vegetables. Once Quinn has his fairy dust, he wants to leave. Now he wants to look for puppets for the animals to play with. But they have to be boy puppets, not these sissy girl puppets we’ve already found. We need to go to the Forgotten Glen, Ancient Pond and the Rose Garden.

I decide we’ll go to the Rose Garden first. I’m not going to take a chance that Quinn will want to go home before I find a lobster and some coffee beans. Quinn manages to maintain interest in finding the puppets and we get to visit all three locations. Now I’ve got enough food to last a week. Just hope I still have a home at the end of that time period.

I drop Quinn, the puppets and Mr Vanderkins off at the Squabbit Hut and continue home with Lucky and the groceries. Blessilda offers to put them away and to fix me some lunch. While she does that, I go and sit next to Captain Greg’s bedside.

He’s sleeping soundly and no longer has a fever, but he’s very pale. I doubt he can hear me or even knows I’m here, but I kiss his forehead and ask him to forgive me.

After lunch, Lucky and I return to Town Hall. On my desk is a note from Troglid asking me to drop by his carpentry shop. There’s also a letter from somebody who wants to buy my house! The price being offered is very, very low.

Troglid is busy designing new airships. He’s sent for me because he wants to help fix the Castle’s interior pillars and jokes that it’s only appropriate since he is a pillar of the community. Maybe it’s my imagination, but everybody is being particularly nice to me today. I accept his offer and Troglid says he’ll start by doing some stability research.

That reminds me that I need to do some analyzing. I think I’ll end work a bit early, send Blessilda home, and start organizing my thoughts about what I saw up at the Castle and this offer to buy my house.

Blessilda offers to remain with me, but I tell her I can manage on my own. After she leaves, I straighten up the kitchen putting things back where I like them, get my thoughts down on paper, and cuddle up with Lucky on the sofa. This is not how I imagined my first night alone with a man would be.

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

March 27, 2015 3:29 pm  #19

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 19

For the second time in less than a week, Captain Greg has woken me to tell me we have a problem and we need to talk. He reminds me that it’s my turn to cook. And he doesn’t want weak tea and soft boiled egg like Blessilda has been feeding him, he wants a proper breakfast. While I make omelettes and coffee, he looks over the notes I had made last night, nodding in agreement and frowning.

I had come to the conclusion that his ex-girlfriend had encouraged that soldier to seek immediate payment of the money owed him, had even suggested how I could repay him if I didn’t have the cash available. It obviously was an attempt to blacken my name in the hopes that the Captain would return to her.

I was also convinced that the offer to buy my house had to be connected to her somehow. The timing is just too much of a coincidence, and the low amount the buyer has proposed as the selling price tells me the prospective buyer is aware that I need to come up with some cash in a hurry.

Captain Greg supplies the information I need to connect all the dots. Even before I returned, little Miss Sunstone had coveted my house and had hoped to marry him and live there. The man offering to buy the house is her father!

I inform that Captain that I’ll tear the place down brick by brick before I’d let that scheming bitch have it. He replies that if it comes to that, he’ll help me raze the place. However, before I go running for the sledgehammer, I might want to consider other options. Such as?

Captain Greg looks at me thoughtfully. He points out that unlike the last time we breakfasted together, he has spent the night in my bed and despite his illness, people aren’t likely to believe that I wasn’t in it with him. I smile weakly and tell him not to worry. If necessary, I’m prepared to do the honorable thing so that his reputation isn’t damaged.

The Captain doesn’t laugh at my feeble joke. Instead he jumps up, kisses me, and says he accepts my proposal! He has to research one or two legal niceties, but he should have the marriage contract ready to be signed by noon. I can meet him at Town Hall, but until then, it might be best if I stayed away from the office. Oh, and I should start calling him Greg. Before I can ask any questions, he’s gone.

He must be suffering from brain fever, Lucky. I cannot marry, not without a dowry. He must know that. Well, maybe it’s best to let him discover that for himself when he’s checking on those legal niceties. We’ll humor him and stay away from Town Hall until the appointed hour.

I decide to see if Quinn has any place he wants to go. I’ll be too busy watching out for him and keeping the squabbits from getting into mischief to worry about what mischief ‘Greg’ is up to.

Yesterday afternoon, Quinn’s grandfather had taken him back to Apricus Plaza. Quinn had decided he wanted to create airship designs like Troglid and had brought his sketchpad with him. But he lost it at the plaza and needs somebody to take him there and help him find it.

We find the sketchpad quickly and I manage to convince Quinn to remain at Apricus Plaza to look for blueprints. If we find enough, we can go visit Troglid later and maybe design some airships. The squabbits agree to behave after I threaten to feed them to the tiger trapped in the brambles.

It’s almost noon. Time to return to Landsong Village. I promise Quinn I’ll meet him at Troglid’s later. The Captain, or should I say Greg, hasn’t returned yet. There’s some new papers on my desk. Fahleed would like to expand his shop, something about needing an extra stall for his fabrics.

I approve the request and look at the next one. It it also from Fahleed. He wants to buy some new exotic fabrics, presumably to put in that new stall I just approved, but needs some cash to help pay for them. These merchants are clever. But the kingdom’s cash flow is flowing in the right direction, so they and I must be doing something right.

Greg arrives, marriage contract in one hand and a bunch of tender touches flowers in the other. To look at him, you’d never know he had been ill the day before. Just what did Blessilda give him? On second thought, do I really want to know?

He urges me to read the document before we go to sign it in the presence of the Mayor and two witnesses. It seems I do have a dowry after all, the house! But what about my debts? Greg points to the appropriate paragraph. He agrees to assume all responsibility for any debts I may have outstanding.

I don’t understand how this solves anything. What difference does it make which one of us is forced to sell the house to pay those debts? Ah, but he will not be forced to sell the house. He has other assets, money he has saved and the money he just received from the sale of his house, the one he inherited from his parents.

I’m stunned. He sold his house? So that I could keep mine? Our house, he gently corrects me. Once I sign the contract it will be our house. And I have to sign otherwise he’ll be homeless and have to sleep in the garden again and if he gets sick it will all be my fault.

The Mayor sticks his head in the door and asks if we are ready. I nod my head yes, but Greg says not quite. He still needs to give me something, something he had wanted to give me five years ago, but never got the chance. My father had sent me away only hours before he could ask me to elope.

Out of his pocket he takes a ring set with tiny blue skycrystals and slips it on my finger. At the Yura festival he’ll give me a better one set with larger stones, he promises. There just wasn’t enough time to have a new ring made for today. I don’t want a new ring. I want this one.

Now we’re ready. Chumblepot and Blessilda watch as we sign the document and then add their signatures. In the eyes of the law we are married. It’s up to us whether we want to wait until the religious ceremony at the next Yura festival before enjoying all the benefits of marriage and not just the legal ones. I blush.

That decision will have to wait. When we return to the office, Greg’s ex-girlfriend is there along with the neanderthal to whom I owe money. They just stopped by to remind me that the payment is due in two days.

I take great pleasure in telling them that they will have to speak to my husband regarding any financial matters. Greg takes great pleasure in telling them they can have the money now. Neither of them look very happy with this turn of events.

Quinn bursts in wanting to know why I haven’t gone to Troglid’s yet. I explain I’ve been busy getting married to Captain Greg. Quinn isn’t impressed. He’s more interested in designing airships. I sigh, grab a pile of blue prints, and tell Greg I’ll see him at dinner.

News of the wedding has spread to the Faire of Light. Troglid congratulates me and says Greg’s a lucky man. I blush and explain that we’ve dropped by because Quinn would like to try designing aircraft. The shop is very busy and Troglid wonders whether I could help out for a while so that he can work on the stability tests he conducting in regards to the Castle’s pillars.

I think I can manage that and help Quinn at the same time. Quinn soon discovers that interpreting the blueprints isn’t as easy as he thought. After struggling with two blueprints, he remembers he has to go feed the animals. I stay and complete and additional three.

Troglid gives me the results of the test. More obsidian and bolgite is needed to ensure the pillars are study and will never topple again. I promise to make the resources available and Troglid tells me the pillars should be done by tomorrow morning.

Good. My husband and I will check them out then. But now, I’m going home to fix him some dinner.

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

March 28, 2015 10:37 pm  #20

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 20

It didn’t take long for the euphoria to wear off. I no longer had to worry about where I would get the money to pay neanderthal man, but marriage comes with its own set of problems, as I discovered when I returned home last night. Greg had mobilized his troops and moved his things into my - er, make that our - house.

I didn’t even know he had a house and was touched that he would sell it for my sake. It hadn’t occurred to me that he wouldn’t sell the furniture along with the house, or that he owned so much personal stuff.

The house was already overcrowded with all of my furniture and personal belongings. It had once stood three stories tall but during the war the top two floors had been badly damaged. All that remained was a small bathroom on the main floor, laundry facilities, a food storage area and the Great Hall. Anything salvageable had been moved in there.

Now the Great Hall was wall to wall furniture. Even worse was the amount of armor and weapons lying all over the place. I didn’t just gain a husband, I gained an arsenal. And an army. Fully assembled suits of armor are standing sentry everywhere.

I had finally spotted Greg in all this clutter. We agreed that we needed to sell the excess furniture as soon as possible. We didn’t agree as to whose furniture was excess. We also don’t agree about the sleeping arrangements. To me, wedding has always meant Yura Festival. Until then, he could sleep in his own bed. Good luck finding it.

Things aren’t any better at Town Hall. My desk is as cluttered as my house. All the shop owners have sent letters congratulating Greg and me on our marriage. Attached to the letters are requests for help. At least I can do something about this clutter without asking anybody’s permission.

First, I’ll approve the Forester request for resources to expand the Orchard. I also have the ingredients he needs to experiment with new recipes. Next, I’ll give the Mayor a donation toward repairing the stair and renovating the interior of the Castle. I’ll even kick in some building supplies. That’s four pieces of paper that can be stacked on the ‘done’ pile.

Maybe I should help Chumblepot so he can work on the Castle’s glasswork. Chumblepot has received a lot of orders for a glasswork depicting Ran the Owl and the Pocket Dragon. It bears a striking resemblance to the tapestry Fahleed made. Do I detect a bit of artistic rivalry? I help put the finishing touches on one and package it up for delivery.

I think I’ll visit the Faire of Light next to see if Troglid still has a backlog from spending so much time working on the Castle’s interior pillars. Troglid doesn’t need any help today, but he thinks Seth, Fahleed, and Triffledore could use some.

Seth puts me to work sorting out gears and cogs. I wonder how they get so messed up. Perhaps Mr Vanderkins plays with them? My squabbit would never do such a thing, would he Lucky? Lucky squeaks and puts away the gears he had been playing with.

Seth thanks me for my help and mentions something about a walrus in Coral Cove. If I want to move it, I’m going to need a special fish. And to catch the fish, I’m going to need special bait. I don’t know whether I need to move that walrus so I take Seth’s list of things needed to make bait.

Fahleed shows me a new weaving pattern he designed in honor of my nuptials. It’s a heart. I take a turn at the loom and spend some time weaving hearts from silken threads. Fahleed says he will use the material as trim for the bedding he wants to give Greg and me as a wedding present. He also mentions wanting to unlock a portal in Dawnshadow Lake. But it needs a special rune stone and to find it, you first have to have some run of the mill rune stones. He gives me a list.

Triffledore needs help sorting his artifacts. The silver crosses might make nice buttons on a jacket but why would anybody want to buy skulls? He wonders if I could come with him to Dawnshadow Lake. He thinks he drops some things there and his back is acting up. According to the lists they each gave me, both Seth and Fahleed need things from Dawnshadow Lake. I assure Triffledore I would be delighted to accompany him after I speak to Troglid.

Troglid thanks me for helping out everybody and says I run things pretty smoothly. I tell him to be sure to mention that to Greg the next time he sees him. Maybe then Greg will stop trying to run my life.

On the way to Dawnshadow Lake, Triffledore mentions he has an old friend who dreams of setting up a Gallery and wonders whether he’d like it here. Then he apologizes for thinking out loud. If the friend is an artist, I hope he would like to come here. I still need to find somebody to fix that painting. In the Castle’s Entrance Hall.

At Dawnshadow Lake, I pick up the things Triffledore dropped and find the things Seth and Fahleed wanted. I really need to return to Town Hall, eat some lunch and touch base with my new other half.

Greg is busy drawing up plans to enlarge the house and can’t wait to explain them to me. I have a better idea. Maybe he can explain to me how we’re going to pay for it all. He seems to have forgotten that he promised to pay my outstanding debts.

He gives me his best puppy dog eyes look. Surely we can use some of our money to make repairs? Repairs, yes. Expansion, no. Besides, I don’t want a big house that will require lots of servants to take care of it. I want it to be just us. My point, I think.

Greg quickly evens the score. If I don’t want a large house, I won’t need my large furniture that was specially designed for my formerly large house. We will use his instead, he retorts.

Before I can come up with a rebuttal, Quinn arrives. He’s lost his belt, vest and hat and needs me to help find them so his grandfather doesn’t yell at him. I tell Greg we will continue the conversation at home and go with Quinn to look for his missing clothing.

Quinn’s been sketching at the Forgotten Glen, Mystic Copse and the Fairy Dragon Nest today. One of those places must be where he left his things. At least this time he didn’t lose Mr Vanderkins. Lucky has no comment.

Actually we find an item of clothing in each place. Quinn promises to be more careful in the future. I really didn’t mind searching for Quinn’s things. I needed to gather more food. I don’t know if it’s true that two can live as cheaply as one, but two definitely eat more than one. Especially when one of the two is a soldier.

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

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