Cahpter 5: The Fisher-Maid's Tale
and Earl Wajenberg
Over a leisurely dinner in bed, Dafnord offers Findriel the golden jack he had made in Oz as a token so she can find him if he's called away. He also asks for her help shopping for a gift to appease the pixie he's offended. The pixie that had braided his hair into elflocks. Findriel, who is a hairdresser, was called to help Dafnord untangle his hair, which is how the two of them came to meet.
Findriel readily agrees, and arranges to meet Dafnord the next day to survey the available goods in the lower town. Survey. That remind him. Dafnord was planning to look for a site for his future home. He discusses this with Findriel, who agrees to help him with this also.
After a bit more cuddling, Findriel reluctantly tells Dafnord that she really must get back to her duties. She departs after a last, lingering embrace.
Once Findriel leaves, Dafnord is left with nothing to do, so he heads to the library to find a book to read. Next to the armchair he finds a book about pixies. He idlely scans it, and then wonders where the other party members are.
Dafnord pings Robbie. Robbie reports on his recent difficulties with the local pixies and that he's spending the night at Deawen's cottage, hiding. Dafnord takes a moment to digest this, and then replies, "Give my respects to the Queen," and signs off.
He then pings Salimar. Who proceeds to read him the riot act about selfishly satisfying his own desires while the rest of the team has been working to get the airship ready for the trip to find Tom. Dafnord listens to her tirade, and then signs off. Glancing down at the book in his hand, he returns to his room to read it.
As she heads down the path towards the fisher-maid who is reported to know about the conditions in the widdershins direction that Tom is reported to have headed, Salimar mutters to herself about Dafnord and his latest obsession. She then shakes her head and concentrates on morphing into a "local" form for the meeting. In her arms she's carrying the berry tart that Cook provided as a gift in exchange for information.
While Lanthil is not thickly settled, the distance between dwellings has been getting longer and the path narrower and fainter. She comes to the final house, and is not surprised to see a boat drawn up on the beach below it. There's a faint glow of candlelight from inside. She climbs onto the porch and knocks. After a moment the top half of the door opens and a young-looking elf looks out. "Good evening, may I help you?"
Salimar introduces herself, and explains that she's part of an expedition going to look for Tom Noon, who was exploring the area in the widdershins direction from Lanthil. The elf-maid invites her into the cottage and then bustles about making tea. Once the tea has been poured, the tart sliced, and the two of them have settled, Salimar says "I've been told that you have some knowledge of what can be found widdershins from here."
The maid takes a sip of her tea, and then replies, "Fish and ... odd things. Mortals might regard them as monsters. Chimeras - heads of squid, bodies of fish. That sort of thing. Some are quite unpleasant and can be very difficult to calm." Salimar makes encouraging noises as she takes another sip of tea. "Beware of a green light upon the sea. That's generally a sign that it would be a good idea to head in."
After the maid has paused for a while, Salimar mentions that we'd been told about a Giant who fishes in the area. The maid responds that she doesn't think that he intends to be dangerous, but he casts his net quite wide. If a ship becomes entangled in his net, he doesn't stop to free it.
When asked for any advice she can give us, the maid thinks for a moment, and then says "Don't stay on the sea overnight, and the further you go, the darker it will get."
Salimar finishes the last of her tea and thanks the fisher-maid for her help. Carefully moving the the cat which had curled up in her lap, she bids the woman a good evening and promises to return with the tale of our journey.
Last Updated: 7-Oct-06
©2004 Barry Tannenbaum, All Rights Reserved