Mar. 25th, 2012

sythyry: (sythyry-doomed)

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Heen Sranac was a stout and tall Rassimel man with squirrel styling, wearing an intricately embroidered gown in the latest fashion of Creitheia, just as a master-couturier should. I felt a bit shabby in just my ribbons, which were fine for enchantment in private, but a bit meagre around the guild. We introduced ourselves and exchanged certain secret guild-signs and minor rituals that my oath utterly forbids me to describe because they are too secret and sacred, and, if I were not bound by oath, my literary sense would forbid me to describe because they are too petty and puny.

“Well, Master-Couturier Sythyry, I’m half-glad you’ve come to listen to me, and half-ashamed. But I offered to Master-Couturier Eleven that I’d take a truth-spell to prove my story. It was just a manner of speaking, like, for I’ve never heard of anyone actually going and doing it. But here you are, a wizard too, and now that you’re here to cast one, I’m not going to back out of my word like some numbled lick-splutter,” said Heen.

“Well, this is serious, if you’re asking for a truth-spell. You do know that that’s mind-magic? Which I am allowed by special dispensation of the Duke of Vheshrame to perform lawfully, but even I only do so with the greatest of reluctance and care?”

“Vheshrame? Why’s the Duke of Vheshrame got a say in it?” asked Eleven. “I thought you’d be asking the Mayor for it.”

“Kismirth is a city in the city-state of Vheshrame, Master-Couturier, and we are under the laws of Vheshrame as well as our own. This is an important point, and not to be neglected — though it rarely arises.” I am a bit prissy on this topic! I have been a citizen of Vheshrame since everyone else’s grandparents were children, and I care about it considerably. But many respectable citizens have never even visited Vheshrame, and know it only as a round blotch on the world-branch below us, and have, I believe, confused it with a particularly colorful bacterial infection.

Heen nodded, his wimple flapping a bit. “Yes, I know it’s a mind-spell. I do care a lot to have this all set aright. I’d rather suffer the spell — and pay for you to cast it — than to have anyone think that the Iluc guild’s libel is anything of true.”

“Well then. We shall have the guild-secretary write down your story, and you shall read it and correct it until you are sure that every word is true. Then I will cast one quick mind-spell to verify it. There are two choices. A Kennoc spell which reads your mind — and, being Kennoc, has some small chance of failing. Or a Ruloc spell, which compels you to tell the truth: no chance of failure if you accept the spell, but it is mind-control and no mistaking it. Which would you like?”

Heen flattened his ears. “You’re asking if I’d rather have a thumbtack put in my left eye or my right, Master-Couturier!”

I nodded. “The thumbtack is your choice altogether, Mas… Heen. If you don’t want it, we can use usual investigative processes.”

“Oh, I’ll take it, I’ll take it. And, if it’s really a question of which eye gets the thumbtack, one’s as bad as the other, so I’ll take the Ruloc spell and get the full confidence for no more Mentador,” said Heen.

“A brave choice!” I said.

sythyry: (sythyry-doomed)

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Heen Sranac was a stout and tall Rassimel man with squirrel styling, wearing an intricately embroidered gown in the latest fashion of Creitheia, just as a master-couturier should. I felt a bit shabby in just my ribbons, which were fine for enchantment in private, but a bit meagre around the guild. We introduced ourselves and exchanged certain secret guild-signs and minor rituals that my oath utterly forbids me to describe because they are too secret and sacred, and, if I were not bound by oath, my literary sense would forbid me to describe because they are too petty and puny.

“Well, Master-Couturier Sythyry, I’m half-glad you’ve come to listen to me, and half-ashamed. But I offered to Master-Couturier Eleven that I’d take a truth-spell to prove my story. It was just a manner of speaking, like, for I’ve never heard of anyone actually going and doing it. But here you are, a wizard too, and now that you’re here to cast one, I’m not going to back out of my word like some numbled lick-splutter,” said Heen.

“Well, this is serious, if you’re asking for a truth-spell. You do know that that’s mind-magic? Which I am allowed by special dispensation of the Duke of Vheshrame to perform lawfully, but even I only do so with the greatest of reluctance and care?”

“Vheshrame? Why’s the Duke of Vheshrame got a say in it?” asked Eleven. “I thought you’d be asking the Mayor for it.”

“Kismirth is a city in the city-state of Vheshrame, Master-Couturier, and we are under the laws of Vheshrame as well as our own. This is an important point, and not to be neglected — though it rarely arises.” I am a bit prissy on this topic! I have been a citizen of Vheshrame since everyone else’s grandparents were children, and I care about it considerably. But many respectable citizens have never even visited Vheshrame, and know it only as a round blotch on the world-branch below us, and have, I believe, confused it with a particularly colorful bacterial infection.

Heen nodded, his wimple flapping a bit. “Yes, I know it’s a mind-spell. I do care a lot to have this all set aright. I’d rather suffer the spell — and pay for you to cast it — than to have anyone think that the Iluc guild’s libel is anything of true.”

“Well then. We shall have the guild-secretary write down your story, and you shall read it and correct it until you are sure that every word is true. Then I will cast one quick mind-spell to verify it. There are two choices. A Kennoc spell which reads your mind — and, being Kennoc, has some small chance of failing. Or a Ruloc spell, which compels you to tell the truth: no chance of failure if you accept the spell, but it is mind-control and no mistaking it. Which would you like?”

Heen flattened his ears. “You’re asking if I’d rather have a thumbtack put in my left eye or my right, Master-Couturier!”

I nodded. “The thumbtack is your choice altogether, Mas… Heen. If you don’t want it, we can use usual investigative processes.”

“Oh, I’ll take it, I’ll take it. And, if it’s really a question of which eye gets the thumbtack, one’s as bad as the other, so I’ll take the Ruloc spell and get the full confidence for no more Mentador,” said Heen.

“A brave choice!” I said.

sythyry: (sythyry-doomed)

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Heen set forth this missive.

The guild-masters in Iluc said I had committed every crime. That’s only in a letter to the guild-masters in Kismirth though. It started when Pumperpriest, she’s the head of the guild in Iluc, invited in the Vepri examiners to test everyone in the guild. Masters, journeymen, apprentices … everyone. “It won’t do to have an optime given orders by a glate!”

So everyone has to answer all their questions. Oh, such questions. “When you wash your face in the morning, where do you pour the waste-water out?” they ask. “Do you smile a bigger smile when a Rassimel buys from you, than when a Cani does?” That’s another one. “When you eat a bun and soup, do you tear off bits of the bun and soak them in the soup?” They ask so many questions, and each and every one of them dead stupid.

And after that they call a big meeting, with nearly everyone there. Well, wouldn’t you know? Most of the masters are optimes. Most of the journeymen are norums — that’s younger than optimes and older than glates. Most of the apprentices are norums too. But Teffimer is a glate, old Teffimer who got into a big fight with Pumperpriest last month. Dahine is a glate, Lippister is a glate, Mocktschiba is a glate, and I’m a glate. Every master that had any sort of quarrel with Pumperpriest is a glate. Fancy that!”

“Well, and there are new laws coming up in Iluc — all through the Trough of Kreischan! We won’t be having optimes ruled by anyone of later generation, and glates can’t command anyone at all! This honorable Guild will be in the first ones compliant with those laws!” says Pumperpriest, and all of the guild-masters who came up optimes say “Hear, hear!”.

“And it’s out with old Teffimer. No pension for him, for he’s stripped of his guild membership, and nothing for eighty years in the guild! He protests, he complains, he sues in the court! But there’s never a trial. The Doippmers come to his house in the night, a dozen thudding tall men. It’s broken bones a-plenty for old Teffimer, instead of lozens, and scimitars slashing through his big closet full of fancy clothes. He leaves away after that, and his lawsuit and everything abandoned.”

“Not that I’m any smarter, me. The guild votes to demote all of the masters who are glates. Dahine’s vote comes up first. I demand to be given a vote about him, for I’m a master in the guild and the laws say I can vote. But no, they say, I’m a glate and not to be allowed. Master? Glate? The optimes beat me out of the room, and it’s not sweet. Then they vote me to journeyman, and prohibit me from any sort of job that has me telling anyone what to do.

“Well, and I sure tell them what to do. I tell them to take their carding-combs and their modelling mannequins and stuff them up their asses! That’s that, though, and I’ve got to get my tail out of Iluc in a hurry.

They don’t like me any more, the guild, and when you write to them about me, they send back a bunch of lies. There’s only one of them that’s even true: I took guild-master secrets with me to a city outside the Trough of Kreischan, me as isn’t a guild-master. And the only reason I did that is, they demoted me and I left the region without forgetting all what I knew.”

The affedavit took quite a while to write. We checked every single sentence with Heen, making sure he throught it was true, and it took a dozen tries sometimes to be sure he didn’t have any reservations about what he’d said.

I cast a morally-dubious spell on Heen, ruling him completely for a moment. “Now, tell us if any of this affedavit is false, and tell us what the truth of the matter is!”

“It’s a lie that I’m not smarter than Teffimer; he’s a dull old man. Thirty years ago he was a silk-needle of wits, but now he’s a knitting-needle, and drinks Khtsoyis tea. The rest is true,” said Heen.

“Thank you, Master-Couturier. My apologies for the need to thus interrogate you, O my brother in this honorable Guild, and I welcome you to the mysteries and honorable secrets of the Guild of Kismirth,” I said. Which was slightly inappropriate — it’s really Eleven’s job to say that first, and we should have voted — but none of my siblings in this honorable Guild complained in the slightest. (Also, not that we have any real secrets. Like the Green Witch village, we’re a guild of scraps: masters from a dozen cities, who have just recently started working together.)

And we performed suitable silly but traditional highly secret and honorable rituals, and made Heen a master-couturier of Kismirth with all the rights and priveleges attendant thereto, and none of this Vepri nonsense.

Plotting

“I really don’t like how the Vepri are behaving,” everyone said.

“But what can we do about it?” asked everyone else.

“I don’t know! But Sythyry should do something,” everyone said.

So I’m going to do something.

sythyry: (sythyry-doomed)

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Heen set forth this missive.

The guild-masters in Iluc said I had committed every crime. That’s only in a letter to the guild-masters in Kismirth though. It started when Pumperpriest, she’s the head of the guild in Iluc, invited in the Vepri examiners to test everyone in the guild. Masters, journeymen, apprentices … everyone. “It won’t do to have an optime given orders by a glate!”

So everyone has to answer all their questions. Oh, such questions. “When you wash your face in the morning, where do you pour the waste-water out?” they ask. “Do you smile a bigger smile when a Rassimel buys from you, than when a Cani does?” That’s another one. “When you eat a bun and soup, do you tear off bits of the bun and soak them in the soup?” They ask so many questions, and each and every one of them dead stupid.

And after that they call a big meeting, with nearly everyone there. Well, wouldn’t you know? Most of the masters are optimes. Most of the journeymen are norums — that’s younger than optimes and older than glates. Most of the apprentices are norums too. But Teffimer is a glate, old Teffimer who got into a big fight with Pumperpriest last month. Dahine is a glate, Lippister is a glate, Mocktschiba is a glate, and I’m a glate. Every master that had any sort of quarrel with Pumperpriest is a glate. Fancy that!”

“Well, and there are new laws coming up in Iluc — all through the Trough of Kreischan! We won’t be having optimes ruled by anyone of later generation, and glates can’t command anyone at all! This honorable Guild will be in the first ones compliant with those laws!” says Pumperpriest, and all of the guild-masters who came up optimes say “Hear, hear!”.

“And it’s out with old Teffimer. No pension for him, for he’s stripped of his guild membership, and nothing for eighty years in the guild! He protests, he complains, he sues in the court! But there’s never a trial. The Doippmers come to his house in the night, a dozen thudding tall men. It’s broken bones a-plenty for old Teffimer, instead of lozens, and scimitars slashing through his big closet full of fancy clothes. He leaves away after that, and his lawsuit and everything abandoned.”

“Not that I’m any smarter, me. The guild votes to demote all of the masters who are glates. Dahine’s vote comes up first. I demand to be given a vote about him, for I’m a master in the guild and the laws say I can vote. But no, they say, I’m a glate and not to be allowed. Master? Glate? The optimes beat me out of the room, and it’s not sweet. Then they vote me to journeyman, and prohibit me from any sort of job that has me telling anyone what to do.

“Well, and I sure tell them what to do. I tell them to take their carding-combs and their modelling mannequins and stuff them up their asses! That’s that, though, and I’ve got to get my tail out of Iluc in a hurry.

They don’t like me any more, the guild, and when you write to them about me, they send back a bunch of lies. There’s only one of them that’s even true: I took guild-master secrets with me to a city outside the Trough of Kreischan, me as isn’t a guild-master. And the only reason I did that is, they demoted me and I left the region without forgetting all what I knew.”

The affedavit took quite a while to write. We checked every single sentence with Heen, making sure he throught it was true, and it took a dozen tries sometimes to be sure he didn’t have any reservations about what he’d said.

I cast a morally-dubious spell on Heen, ruling him completely for a moment. “Now, tell us if any of this affedavit is false, and tell us what the truth of the matter is!”

“It’s a lie that I’m not smarter than Teffimer; he’s a dull old man. Thirty years ago he was a silk-needle of wits, but now he’s a knitting-needle, and drinks Khtsoyis tea. The rest is true,” said Heen.

“Thank you, Master-Couturier. My apologies for the need to thus interrogate you, O my brother in this honorable Guild, and I welcome you to the mysteries and honorable secrets of the Guild of Kismirth,” I said. Which was slightly inappropriate — it’s really Eleven’s job to say that first, and we should have voted — but none of my siblings in this honorable Guild complained in the slightest. (Also, not that we have any real secrets. Like the Green Witch village, we’re a guild of scraps: masters from a dozen cities, who have just recently started working together.)

And we performed suitable silly but traditional highly secret and honorable rituals, and made Heen a master-couturier of Kismirth with all the rights and priveleges attendant thereto, and none of this Vepri nonsense.

Plotting

“I really don’t like how the Vepri are behaving,” everyone said.

“But what can we do about it?” asked everyone else.

“I don’t know! But Sythyry should do something,” everyone said.

So I’m going to do something.

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January 2013

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