Jump to content

Lost by one, found by another (Private, Dusty)


Blueblood
 Share

Recommended Posts

Haungjing City; the political and cultural capital of the great Empire of Long Guo.  Anyone seeking the key to this ancient civilization would have to start here, and many did.  Artists, writers, reporters, traders, and ambassadors congregated here, meeting the voluminous streams of local inhabitants, pilgrims, supplicants, and travelers in one large cataract of a city.

 

It could get a little wearisome for those not used to urban environments.

 

Of course, Halvard of Clan Breen was fully aware than cities even more congested, bustling, and discordant existed, but he had never had to spend so long a time in one for any reason.  Right now, however, he found himself significantly bogged down in trade and political negotiations.  It wasn't that he couldn't understand the hesitancy on the part of the Long Guo Bureaucracy; after all, caribou did not exactly have the best of international reputations, and the New Direction his clan (along with some others) wished to follow under the new High King was... disputed, to say the least, by the more unreformed elements of Caribou society.

 

Thus, after a long day of sweating over endless reams of paper in a dusty room, Halvard had left the confines of walls and streets for an evening stroll outside in the gardens and woods surrounding Huangjing.  He sighed happily, shaking his blue-dyed coat to feel the sunset breezes.  All adults of his clan had their fur dyed blue; it was one of the most recognized clan signs in Whitescar.  Breen were the traders and guardians of the roads, those whose sails the other coasts dreaded not, for they brought goods to trade, rather than warriors to raid.  Not that they weren't warriors themselves, gods no!  They just had a tendency to fight more defensively, helped by the fact that their wealth from trade enabled many fighters to afford heavy armor.

 

Halvard wasn't wearing his, currently, or anything much for that matter.  Just a satchel, along with what looked for all the world to be a cross between a pickaxe, sledgehammer, and a shovel.  It was technically a weapon, but could be used for work as well.  *And honestly, if any peasant here desired my help, he'd have it.  I need to do something after all this... sitting around!*  Snorting at the thought, he continued, in search of something interesting, beyond tiresome negotiations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Long Guo was beautiful, hardly a new thing to believe or think but never has Calder found the time to… Enjoy it and smell the roses as the saying goes. although he wished it was on better times to enjoy the… islands? Landmass? He honestly needs to pay more attention to what the locals called it. “Should have asked for a map as well.” He muttered to himself as he walked along a road. Getting around on three legs was getting easier by the day but sitting down and standing back up was… troubling for now.

 

Stopping for a short break before the last leg of his trip he looked up at the city before him… Not the same as the one he was hopelessly tossed at before but no less… scary. Will he even be allowed in? This was the capital was it? Was it wises to go here so soon after… the event? Will he be recognized? Shot? Another leg? Maybe tied to a post and made fun of? All of this and more span around his brain like a thunder storm at sea before a blue shape grabbed his eyes. A Caribou… A blue Caribou? Ware has he heard of that before? “Clean Bean?” He whispered to himself. “No that sounds stupid… Whatever.” He swallowed and pushed onward, this was the opening he needed as clearly this Bull has freedom to come and leave as he wanted with the city and therefore be at the very least liked! Hopefully.

 

So he approached slowly and called out to the other Bull in their native tongue. “Hail!” He posed for a moment… blue fur… blue fur… “Clan Brean? I aim for no disrespect if I calling your clean wrong but mine has been removed to the homelands for some time and sadly many of the names have been lost to us. What brings you here to this land?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, he wanted something interesting, and he'd certainly got it!  A three-legged specimen of his own kind was the last thing Halvard had expected to find on these far shores, and like a true caribou, he rushed to approach.  "Hallo!  Yes, I am from Clan Breen.  I'm here for trade negotiations and post establishment for the Clan.  I have to say I'm rather curious as to what you and yours are doing here; and, for that matter, who you and yours actually are."  He nodded towards the leg stump.  "You seem to have had a rough time of it, in any case."

 

That was indicated by more than just the loss of the leg, as close comparison would reveal.  Halvard was not that much taller from Calder, being more of a stocky, solid frame.  But he was evidently much more well-fed, and had the requisite muscle mass most Caribou would regard as admirable.  Not quite so many scars, though; not many at all, now that one saw him.  Part of that was due to skill, some to his armor, and the rest to the fact that he was by no means so eager a fighter as many others of his kind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calder leaned back as the other bull rushed up to greet him in a torrent of greetings and questions that made him regret even greeting the fellow Caribou. “Uh, yes hi.” He muttered back gathering himself and his story… How to spin this web? “The name is Calder and I have no clan on account of disagreeing with mine on the subject of the king and his will. I think we need to follow it and they do not, sadly things found their breaking point after I did my best to stop a raid. Cost me more than my clan.” He wiggles his stumpy leg to help stage his point. “only been here for only a short time but have found endless helpful add from the locals even if they do not all trust me. It has truly been heartwarming to know my stand was justified to defend the lives and freedom of them.”

 

Looking past Halvard he grins. “And to find a brother of the sea and ice is most welcome.” He waves a hoof to the city. “Is it so much as to ask you to help guide me around? I am still nervous about entering such a city as this given our history.” He looked back to Halvard and tries to read the bulls face, seeing if he can learn if his web of lies worked and pulled on the heart of the bull on the calculated gamble he was sided with the king. He hoped it did as the fellow Bull looked useful. He had plenty of food, looked healthy and hardly a mark on him… It almost made Calder envious how well feed and scar free that bull was. What an easy life he must have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caribou were not, on the whole, used to dealing with subtlety, either in battle or conversation.  Deception was not a highly-developed art in Whitescar, a fact which many clans would celebrate as evidence of their superiority over the "weaker towns" that they raided.  While Halvard himself had seen enough of the world to come to respect other ways of living, he was biased towards trust, as successful trading cultures tended to be.  If you didn't start from a position of trust, you got no bargains, either in commerce or diplomacy.

 

Hence, the blue caribou was quite willing to take the other at his word.  "Ah, well then.  I've been rather more fortunate than you, I suppose, in the results of the stand I've taken.  It is a sad thing, but... well, it's the tendency of out old ways to be so wasteful that's led me to oppose them.  The one who can find a value in everything will always be richer than the one who is never satisfied with anything less than an ideal.  And, well, who doesn't want to be rich?"  He smiled at his rhetorical question, gesturing to the lush and fruitful gardens around him.  "Look at this!  Would you believe what they use for fertilizer here?  Well, I guess you'd know if you've been around here long enough."  He chuckled.

 

So trusting was Halvard, that he practically beaned at being requested to accompany Calder as a guide.  "Sure thing!  I have been getting homesick.  My own mate doesn't take too kindly to these climes; the pollen makes her sneeze.  And her sneezes blow over everything in range!"  He laughed again, more in pride than in mockery.  "I can show you back to the city, if you like.  Will you need help walking, or have you adjusted?"  The lengths to which he was willing to accommodate Calder might now begin to raise the suspicions of the younger bou.  If there was one thing that was pretty much common in caribou culture, is that most wouldn't give the time of day to the physically disabled, save for those whom age had felled where a thousand warriors could not.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing him take his story without question almost made Calder sigh in relief, but he held it to himself as he let the far to happy Caribou rattle on about pointless thing such as wastefulness and fertilizer… Why’d he ever care about fertilizer they used? He was not a farmer and never was going to be one… What self respecting Caribou farms? Honestly the entire behavior of this Caribou was so unlike any in his clan it was… unsettling. But he must adapt and learn how to be around them if other Caribou were like this. “HA!” He grins and chuckles. “She sounds like a mate worth taking pride in if she can do that. But I need no help walking, the loss of my leg may be fresh but I must learn to make do without it. I can’t let myself be seen as a disabled can I? I have three more legs after all and i hear some beasts can walk with just two! Can’t let them show me up like that.” He winks and starts walking to the city.

 

“Now you have gave me the clan. But no name for you, what is your name?” He asked looking up as he drew closer and stopped. “Wow… It just keeps looking bigger. Do they not fear it all just… falling down? And i hear some cities have even taller buildings, ones that reach up to the very clouds. Does this city have something like that?” He asked looking sick as if speaking of something so tall was giving him vertigo. “If so i’d like to not get close too it… just in case it falls down on us.” He eyed his guide closely as he pushed onwards. He was suspicions of the other bull but it has less to do with how open the bull was and more how no bull trusted one another in his clan.  Suspicions and buying trust was common place and if you earned someone's trust that was truly something to hold close… and then sell away. In the words of his all so abusive father ‘the only thing you can ever trust is yourself.’ And well, maybe One Eye. Calder trusted him with his life. But this blue bull was no One Eye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"That's the spirit!"  Halvard couldn't help but admire a bou who refused to let any obstacles slow him down.  As much as clan Breen promoted a careful and measured mode of thinking, even they were caribou to the core, unapologetically so.  "Oh, and you may call me Halvard."  Confident in Calder's ability to keep up, the bull set a brisk pace back to the city.

 

Being a bit more used to the sight of large buildings by now, Halvard took in the sight of Huanjing with the eye of a familiar local, chuckling at his companion's hesitancy.  "If it was going to fall, it would have done so long before today.  Much of what you see is not actually cut stone, however; much of the material is wood and paper.  If it falls, no big deal; won't hurt much more than a snowfall!  That's inside the walls, at any rate.  The wards are bordered by the solid stuff; as good as any you'd see in our trading posts back home."  Another bit of casually-dropped information that might give an observer pause.  Very few clans knew how to cut stone, and then to pile it into anything resembling a competent structure.  Most longhouses in Whitescar were of wood, with but three or four major cities with more solid structures.  Even then, many of them were carved out of caves or mountains, rather than constructed.  Was Halvard just casually talking, or leaving clues for the curious to lead him on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Well! Thank you for being so helpful Halvard.” Calder says pushing for a more upbeat tone as he follows his guide into the city and keeps pace as best he can, it was not to hard but he felt like it will be rather draining to move this fast for a long time. “Hold on, paper? They make buildings with paper? That… is weird. Explains a lot as well.” He mutters as he thinks back to a few rides where he encountered paper walls… so that was just… normal? “Well, glad you know so much. Never seen a bull care so much as to learn the things you have… Farming, building, paper walls… You are an odd bull Halvard, before I know it you tell me you are best friends to a king and can speak to the… tall ponies from the really hot lands. How they STAND to live in that heat I do not know, summer here is already bothersome.”

 

He looks around the city as they move inside of it proper. It was… fascinating to see one up close and not be shot at! Truly a marvel… ‘Why did I just not think of something like this before?’ he thinks to himself with flash of inspiration. ‘Think how easy it can be to scout out the defenses.’ He looked back to Halvard as he clears the thoughts away, they were pointless for now. “Seeing as you know so much I must ask this… A slave told me about it… Some giant city… with steel snakes ponies go inside to get around? And… moving statues. He went on to tell me more and it was very confusing. A bull told me he thinks he has seen that city, it glowed like a million fires. Was that slave pulling my leg or is it based on something real? You seem to be something of an expert on trivia about other races.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the pair entered the city, Calder would likely be aware of the many eyes that would be on the pair.  Most citizens, of course, were too busy with their own affairs to interfere with Halvard's, but the appearance of Caribou in Huangjing was still sufficiently unusual to justify a moment's curious diversion of attention.  Halvard was sufficiently used to it to pay it little heed as he continued their conversation.  "Well, it has occurred to some of us that it might be worth paying attention to the means by which the wealth that caribou have raided for centuries was actually produced.  We have always put it to ourselves that we stole because we did not have; but it might well be true that we did not have because we stole.  That, at any rate, is the current working theory of the High King.  As for Hvardr himself... we have met; I don't know if he would consider me a personal friend.  And I haven't been that far south, either.  I don't like the summer climes, I'm just slightly tolerating them than my fellows."

 

A little was beginning to make sense, perhaps.  Raiding, after all, was a risky business, as Calder would well know.  Not everybou could do it well, and even for those who could, it was rare to be able to fill the ships to the brim.  And if one did, the risk that they would sink on the way home was increased, so overall there was actually, in the grand scheme of things, not very much that was carted away over time, compared to how much there was to cart away.  The clever might look for alternatives, and it seemed that Breen had found one.

 

The blue bou had to think about his companion's next question.  "I have heard similar tales, and I have indeed seen things of that nature, though not all in one city.  If I had to venture a guess, the slave was referring to Ryushima in Neighpon.  That exists, alright, though it shall be long before you or I will be allowed to see it with our own eyes.  I'm still astonished that they let in my mate's foster son as an ambassador, considering the long history of conflict.  It is an act of good faith on the Shogun's part, I think, though where it comes from I couldn't tell you.  Sympathy between monarchs, perhaps, or maybe it is a trader's instinct.  But that's speculation.  Ah, here we are!"

 

They arrived at one of the few stone buildings in the city.  Some recent repair work had been done on it, by Halvard himself, in fact, to make the place more defensible.  The door was barred, and the bou produced something between a key and a lever to unblock it.  "There!  Can't be too careful in foreign territory."  Seems the bull wasn't insanely open, and it wouldn't take much exploring on Calder's part to figure out why.  Halvard's own living space in the building was confined to one and a half rooms.  The rest was stocked with... well, all sorts of things.  One room seemed wholly devoted to amber, the rest with various items of value; ceramic, spices, and the like.  Squeezed in between the items were satchels of gold, next to shelves where sheets of parchment and paper were neatly organized.  One whole wall was dominated by a map of the world, with pins and strings dotting and crossing it all over.

 

There was definitely something about Havlard worth knowing, for the bull interested in wealth and the finer things in life...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calder was eyeing up the locals as much as they were looking at him as he pinned his hopes that trailing with a bull with free roam in the city was a free pass-card. No one will think to much of him. Feeling safe with this and the fact no guards had rushed to stab him yet he listened to what Halvard had to say. It made a shocking about of sense in how simple it was. “I… Never did think of that.” He says blinking and looking at the floor as they walked. Everything they took was made from others, why did they take it and not make things for them self? It was not easy to take and was only getting worse from what he saw. One wrong move and a raiding force was wiped out and sent packing unless it was a full on army.

 

Than the bull bull talked about a city. Ryushima? Was that what the slave spoke of? Or was it different cities? From what Halvard was saying it may have just been Ryushima or a few cities the slave clumped together. Either way it only added something to what he felt for some time, the world was changed and his kin were being left behind and from the sounds of it maybe the clans join the king were playing smart. He felt mixed about it and wished to learn more later, but for now he had a home to check out!

 

“Yes of course, even if we mean will others may not believe us.” He says chuckling following Halvard inside. “Oh… wow.” Is all Calder can say at first as he looked around the home in shock. “I… I have never seen so much and I was the first son of the master of the clan” He can’t help but to touch some of it, so much wealth in one place was unbelievable and yet here it was, laid out like it was nothing. “How did you get this?” He asked looking to Halvard with eyes full of wonder, his scheming and planning shoved to the side in awe of the horde of shiny things the blue bull had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Halvard permitted Calder to touch as much as he liked, though any attempt to pocket so much as a coin would have been watched for.  Not that the young bull had much in the way of pockets, but Halvard wasn't interested in enforcing the wrong lesson.  Because this was indeed set up as a kind of teaching moment, about wealth and the best ways to get it.  To begin with, he picked up a piece of amber, polished to a perfect oval, ready to be set into jewelry.  "Do you see this?  This stuff is very common where I come from; old tree sap washed by the saltwater onto our beaches, common as the pebbles.  But it is not to be found naturally anywhere else in the world, as far as we know.  So you see, what is counted as no more valuable than pebbles in one place is tremendously valuable in another.  And thus one can use what is common in one place to trade for what is common in another, but valuable in yet another place.  And that value can be traded in for gold, which is of value everywhere, to be used to gather and transport more to trade, and so wealth accumulates, as you can see."

 

The explanation was accurate, if a little simplistic.  It hardly got into bookkeeping, or the methods of insuring profit, but as an explanation for demonstrable wealth, it sufficed.  "My clan regularly delivers amber, and on certain days, I open for trading, when I have them to assist me.  It took a while to gain the trust of the locals, but now the citizens are used to our presence as non-raiding caribou, and so will bring their own wealth to trade for ours.  The only trouble is, I can only open for trade when I have my fellow clan members in town; as on my own, I am too busy with my diplomatic work to keep the post open."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calder looked at the amber as the gears spin in his head. For someponys what Halvard was saying sounded obvious but for the young bull that grew up and only knew a life of raiding, hardship and just trying to keep food and clean water to feed the fleet it was a new way to even think about getting something. All Calder knew was taking what one wanted with power, or for him, backstabbing and lies. So the concept of taking something commonplace to someone else for profit to get more was borderline magical sounding.

 

“That’s… Is that really how you got all of this?” He asked sounding almost confused that Halvard gained all of this just by something so easy as selling up. “That’s incredible and honestly hard to believe. Just a few weeks ago I was worried about getting my fair share of food and clean water so I don’t die. Seeing you have so much is… I don’t know. I don’t know what I am feeling but I want this, I want to never have to worry about if I will get my hooves on some clean water or food that was not rotting or wet with seawater. I wanted that for a long time but the only way i knew how to get to that was…” He shuts his muzzle, if he keeps going like this he may say to much.

 

Calder thinks on where to go with this and in just a few moments knew he must stay on Halvards good side. He was rich! At least the richest bull he’s ever seen. He did diplomatic work so he must talk to ponies and bulls of important standing AND he even knew the king, all be not as friends he did know him. Ware Halvard was to be placed in the grand plan was unknown but he will be an important pace of the puzzle. “Uh, well I am… homeless, clanless… jobless. If you need some help with things I am willing, I got nowhere to go after all. I will not ask for much just food and water is all I need!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Halvard tried to refrain from grinning too obviously.  His message had apparently come through loud and clear to Calder, and now the young bull was ready to hear his offer.  "Like I said before, there's real wealth in seeing value in things that no one else is willing to look at.  As you have just seen, that is more than just metaphorical.  And I think I see rather a lot of value in you.  You're well spoken, able to give off a non-threatening air to foreign traders, and you seem to have a solid head on your shoulders.  It's not common to find that conjunction in our kind, you know!  If you do decide to stay, I will make sure that you're well fed, and that you learn the ropes of trade, at least.  Perhaps even diplomacy, if you show the knack.  Do well enough, and I'll even consider recommending you for a blue coat yourself!  What do you say?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The offer was useful yes, if full of risk in other ways… Many of the skills he can learn will be useful to have and even putting a hoof in the door of another clan has its use. But risks were abound as well. If Halvard learned to much about him it may make things uncomfortable, he can’t remember off the top of his head if his clan ever harmed Harvard's clans shipping but the fact they were known as untrustworthy backstabbing raiders that will betray their own kin was hardly what one can call… good for job security.

 

All Things considered it was worth following, he needed to play the grand game better if he wished to get somewhere to act out his justified revenge and have the power, cash and ‘friends’ to play the paces to do it. “Well I am in no place to say no too such a generous offer. And thank you for the compliments, you will find I am full of useful skills. I can even read and write and NOT just in are tongue, I know the basics of a few languages thanks to learning from slaves. Unlike my brothers and sisters I am a strong believer that learning is something to embrace, not too shun away as a petty thing below oneself. It’s shocking how much a slave will do if you can get down eye to eye and speak to them as equals, but it did seem my dad's worries come true, spent to much time around them and found myself caring.” He glances to his missing leg and grunted angrily before looking back to Halvard.

 

“So I must repeat myself in thanking you, truly. If I can ever repay your generosity just ask! You have done more for me than any of my kin has EVER done before. The least I can do is offer to repay such kindness later in life.” Calder says smiling, as eager as he sounded the young bull was no less alert to danger. Kindness is to never be trusted or believed in fully, Halvard was new and nice as he may be… New faces can be full of danger. The fact it may all be a trap to toss him in jail was no less a real danger as the mare that cut his leg off bumping into him. Very real, very present. He just had to play his cards and see if he can trust this Bull for what he was and make the most of this kindness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oho, so Calder was literate, too?  That was fantastic!  Less that Halvard would have to teach him; they could get immediately into inventory and book-keeping.  "Excellent!  I think that shall work out well.  And don't worry about payment for now; just being able to keep the shop open will be payment enough for the trouble.  But that's the thing about investing; if your choice is sound, the more you put in, the more you get out.  It sounds to me as if the slaves you spoke to invested in you; I should hate to see that go to waste.  I hate seeing anything go to waste, on principle.  Ah, but it's just about dinnertime!  I take it you are hungry!"

 

Halvard was many things, but a cook was not one of them.  Rather than spoil his supplies by incompetence, he ate simply from his stock, apples, breadloaves, and the like.  A little bit of oil and spice was in the middle to dip the simple meal items in.  It was during this meal that some of the blue bull's idiosyncracies would show forth; he was careful to not miss any crumb from the crusty bread, every drop of oil and fleck of spice was mopped up from the bowl, and the apple cores were placed in a specifically designated compost pile in the back.  "Let it sit for a month or two, and the farmers will pay good money for it."  He confided.  "But, I don't think I got what clan you originally hailed from, Calder."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Well i’d like to think i’m a good!” Calder says laughing gently before grinning like a hungry bear. “Hungry? Of course I am, look at me I am skin and bones when compared to you!” He was indeed hungry and so far has found no shortage of food from friendly locals but a full on dinner? That sounds nice. And even if most may think Halvards meal was lacking in flair for Calder it was a grand feast as he ate like a starving dog, shoveling food down fast as he can as if at any moment it can be ripped out of his hooves. For a fast eater he did not make a mess, nothing was wasted, not even the core of an appeal as he forced it down without so much of a wince.

 

“I have only felt full three times in my life, this is three.” He pats his now bigger chest as Halvard asked an unwanted question. He had to think about it a moment before speaking. “You did not get, for I did not give. It does not matter where I am from as they matter not to me. I hate them and they hate me.” He replied with a dead serious look to make it very clear he was not about to say a word more than that to the other Bull.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For perhaps the first time that evening, Calder would have felt Halvard's full gaze of evaluation.  In truth, at this point, he needed to make a judgment call about how much he needed to know, and the best way of finding out that information.  "I'm not going to abandon you over a bit of trouble in your past, but it would help to know if and when I should expect it to come knocking.  After all, old grudges resurface into new fights,and I think we'd like to approach this one at a tactical advantage."

 

He wasn't going to push if Calder chose to continue his silence, but it was only fair to tell him the risks that would come with not being open.  After all, he hadn't specifically asked the young bull to say anything more, just left the question open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calder gazed back, unflinching as he stared down the other bull without hint of worry. Hiding his feelings was something he learned long ago. “You know most of it, I WAS a raider. I did things. Bad things… Really bad things. If we meet something that saw some of them and made it out free or alive they will… take some work to understand how I changed. But you knew all of this the moment I talked about slaved and standing up for them. The risk I give you is the same risk you’d take if any bull washed up on your door kicked out from a clan of riders. My clan has forgotten me but the locals that looked into my eyes and saw only doom will never forget me.” He speaks steady and calm as if this was nothing but a fact as common as the sun rising to bring the day.

 

Getting up he shakes his head slowly before speaking more. “I worry more about ending up in a dark cell, rotting away or worse by the local government. I am nothing short of a criminal of the worst bread far as they'd know or care. I hope to change that and win the respected of them. So far I have been given open doors by some, more than i’d ever believe. But yet I worry. Only when I feel… at peace with my past can I hope to speak of it openly. Now may we end this discourse? It’s… Not something I feel safe talking about at all. You know what you need, one day I will tell you what you do not.” He moves away from the table and and looks around. “Now, where do I go to wash the dishes?” He asked with a faint smile as he tries to end the fully uncomfortable topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hmm... so, it would be a little while, then, before it would be advisable to leave you alone to face the crowds.  Fair enough."  Halvard dropped the subject with a nod, satisfied that he knew what he needed.  The rest of the evening was spent pleasantly enough, showing Calder the small basin where most of the washing was done, clearing out a space in a room for him to sleep.  Unlike in Whitescar, the beds were rice paper mats rather than straw, equally as comfortable though.  Which was to say, they would have passed muster by any chieftain concerned that too much softness would rot a fighting bull's character.  Wealth had apparently not persuaded Halvard to purchase a feather bed.

 

"I try to turn in and wake up early; there is little in this city that I wish to see at night.  Not that nothing interesting is happening, but... Well, let's just say I'm not unsympathetic to worries about being a stranger in a strange land."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Yes, I’d like to settle in some more before I go about things alone.” Calder says with a thankful nod of his head before helping with the dishes and move things to clear out a room for himself. He felt it went as pleasantly as the other bull as he exchanged small talk about things in the room until they were done. Laying down on the mat he stretched out. For some laying on just a mat may suck but for Calder is was rather nice. Dry, no sounds of the sea or waves or crew talking… He did miss the feeling the ship moving but overall he felt like it was an upgrade in living.

 

“Well, I can sleep whenever on whatever. It’s a useful skill to have in the life I lived, so just wake me up when you need me if I am not already up. Never was a long sleeper.” He says poking at the mat with a hoof, he did not feel like talking about the fact he missed his friend, sleeping alone was never fun after you learn what it was like to have company. “Well, sleep good and may you die standing and not below the waves sleeping.” He added laying his head down and closing his eyes for another restless night. All things going... things have been going well for him. In the grand play of things they were small steeps of a calf learning to walk but one most walk before they can run. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Halvard's sleep was, if not dreamless, then benign.  Such vagaries as clouded his head during sleeping hours were dispelled with the putting off of sheets and the putting in of breakfast.  A simple affair, though a sweet one, with fruit, honey, and yoghurt, mixed in with crunchy bits of grain.  "Mm, there!  Breakfast of champions.  Prevents scurvy at sea, weakness on land."  Scooping out generous helpings for both himself and his charge, he went through the plans of the day.

 

"Since you know how to read already, we can run down inventory keeping today.  Might open for evening market, too; you can watch me haggle with the locals over prices.  That's the tricky thing; prices of goods float to the local value, and you need to develop an intuitive sense for how high or low you can bargain.  It's like reading the currents and tides, only there's no charts that I know of."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calder did not need help waking up in the morning as the sounds of Halvard moving about to start making food woke him from his sleep and soon he was out to investigate the sounds, than joined in helping make some food as he woke up more. “Hrmm? Oh. Can’t have me getting scurvy now can we? I hear bleeding from the muzzle is a fast way too make someone not trust you for buying things.” He says chuckling as he had his food.

 

“Ah, inventory keeping? Sounds easy, just a step up from keeping track of food and clean water for ships. Now haggling… that will be fun. I have done some with the prices of goods and slaves before, but do to my low standing for most my life I never got to do much. So I am eager to learn the skill proper.” He says smiling with a real joy to it, he did want too learn this and it was not a fake feeling of wanting to learn. He truly did want to learn all he can from Halvard as all of the skills the Bull had can be useful to him. “May I ask something? Waking up it came back too me… ‘coffee’ there was a pony we had for a short time, she never shut up about it. Told us it was her destiny or something. Do they have that here? If it wakes one up like she told me it sounds rather nice.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Halvard smiled at his new pupil's eager desire to learn, but frowned a bit at the request for coffee.  "Nearest source are the islands south of here.  Sometimes the boat will bring a delivery from our trading partners in Wingapore, but... I sold the last of the shipment two days ago.  Tea is mostly what's drunk here."  Speaking of which... the whistling of a kettle brought him up from the table, before returning with two rather large mugs of steeping hot liquid.  "Closest we're likely to get, which... isn't very close.  Does pick you up a bit, though, so it helps."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Shame, seems I must learn the ‘wonders of coffee’ some other day. But I will give it a go when I can, after hearing a mare talk about it for… far too long it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. But I have had tea, plenty of are stocks loved it so if they had the freedom they made it. Real hit or miss for me, some I liked others tasted like dirt mixed in water.” He says chuckling a moment before he blinks a few times. “Thinking back… It may have been dirt in water to pull a fast one on us… huh.”

 

He pushed that amusing realization away as he looks at the hot cup and sniffs it, well at least this one was totally not dirt in water. He blows on it some too help cool it before sipping. “Not bad, I’d put this in the top five I have had.” He left out the joke about the only other ones being made by some rather unlucky souls so it’s not like Halvard had much to compete against on that front. “So another thing I must ask... Ever slayed a Sea Monster?” He asked grinning as he flicked his ear with the fishing hooks in them. “Let alone seen one?” he says chuckling happy. “Hay, a Bull has to boast about it sometimes, given my current state in life it’s the best story I got!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Halvard chuckled along with Calder.  "Well, I can hardly blame them for that.  One has to admire an independent spirit, uncrushed by circumstances."  If for no other reason than rebellious slaves made fantastic allies in inter-clan warfare.  Something that the Rebel clans against the High King would later come to learn the hard way.

 

Sipping, his tea, the Caribou reflected.  "No, the sea Monsters have learned.  They don't go after flotillas below a certain size, and most of my merchant travels have been in convoys.  I don't go hunting on the seas, as a rule; most of my monster patrols have been on land, but Whitescar has plenty of monsters there!  The Fimbulwulf, lindwurms, and the like.  My mate and I have gone on several hunts against such beasts."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...