The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 100: Preparations for Departure
Jethar Telanora (who is, in fact, the quartermaster's mate) continues his language lesson. We ask if he can teach us all the way back to the Sky Islands. He says he will have to check at the Eagle first, but that he thinks it will be possible.
Tala-a'zahd is writing the final version of the apologetic letter. This allows Eric to join the others in the language lesson. (We are careful to keep all knowledge of this tutoring from Tala-a'zahd.)
The lesson limps along until Tala-a'zahd finishes his document. We thank him for his work, and ask him to remain until our scholars arrive. "We don't know what we'll do after you leave," admits Mandorak.
"Well, I had assumed that their weeks of preparation had included language preparation as well," our translator replies.
Eric takes away the scroll to be sealed and Sealed. "Can we trust Tala-a'zahd to deliver the scroll?" asks Finwë telepathically of Eric.
"Yes, put perhaps the guard coming with our scholars and Captain Jhejhaleen would do better."
We ask Tala-a'zahd for his opinion. "Captain Jhejhaleen is in conflict with Captain Neejhaldeem of the Palace Guard, since the latter's arrest of Madame Fishilashi. I, on the other hand, am nominally a neutral party. However, I have been in your company for some time now… Well, just as Nals'shramadam chose to install the sages at the Temple of the Scrolls, it might be wise to use Kal'ajhad, the Poet Laureate of the Temple of the Scrolls."
Ah, yes. Our previous translator, Khajad, is now the Poet Laureate Kal'ajhad. We had overlooked that. Mannie thinks for a moment. "How long have the scholars been at the Temple? Were they there when we went there?"
Tala-a'zahd isn't sure. "I don't know. Shall I try to find this out for you?"
"No, it's not worth cracking that geode over," Mannie assures him.
We hear a whistle from outside. We look down the dock, and see Captain Jhejhaleen, a dozen of his guards, three other people, twelve members of the Harbor Guard, and their officious-looking Lieutenant. Captain Finwë steps forward. "Welcome aboard!"
"Teller, come to the gangplank. Our guests have arrived."
In the Eagle's ratlines, there are many sailors and rating watching the little procession. Captain Jhejhaleen advances on Captain Finwë, and announces, "May I present Sage Nilin Shezbah to you, Captain."
Our Captain bows, "I am Finwë Nuuru ho Fanyarë Ciryandil a-ahadi a'Lanthili. I welcome the sages of Darkholme."
Captain Jhejhaleen explains to the scholars that Captain Finwë is the representative of the Na' Ashdasi ha'Lanthili, meaning Daëwen, the Lady of Lanthil. Jhejhaleenthen introduces another sage: Isass Tishgati. During the introductions, Mannie examines the scholars; he sees no talismans, and feels no Vibes.
The lead sage gives a little prepared speech in our language (close enough) announcing that they are all looking forward to learning more about the land and people of Lanthil.
With a little more mental prodding, Teller appears. Our Captain introduces the two scholars to Teller. He then notices a third civilian person standing with them. With a little prodding, Isass Tishgati manages to introduce "Copish Rams'had," their assistant sage, or, perhaps, their graduate student.
Our Captain then asks Captain Jhejhaleen to safeguard the return of Tala-a'zahd not just to the Gatehouse, but to the Temple of the Scrolls. There, he is to deliver our letter into the hands of Kal'ajhad, who is our best choice for delivering our letter to the Serpent Prince. He accepts the responsibility. Captain Finwë then beckons over Eric, who hands our Captain a nice box. The Captain apologizes for this possible faux pas, but presents the box to the Temple Captain for his services. The box opens to reveal a nice gold ring. The captain smiles, and assures us that, if we are not there tomorrow, he will present the box to himself on our behalf..
Our Captain then attempts to present a jeweled box to Tala-a'zahd, but Captain Jhejhaleen intercepts it, and assures us that he will deliver it on our behalf the next day. Then our Captain asks Tala-a'zahd to take care of our payment to Madame Fishilashi, handing him a paper box containing six gold pieces and a small present.
We ask Tala-a'zahd if we have forgotten anyone. "No one, but there are some temples…" The Temple of the Scrolls, the Temple of the Pale Orchid (Grandfather Healer's temple), and the Fifth Temple (where the scholars come from), in fact. Eric makes up three small packets (of five coins each), and we give them into the keeping of Captain Jhejhaleen, for him to deliver the next day.
Is there any one else? Ah, yes, the Harbor Guard, with whom we have had… mixed dealings. What should we do there?
"When someone has… caused the guard to be turned out, one merchant will send a donation through another merchant to the Guard's Benevolent Association. I was going to say you have no such allies, but you do. One of your companion ships could deliver the donation when next they are in port." Eric produces another packet of coins, which Finwë pockets. Discussion leads us to choose to do nothing about the Palace Guard. We mention nothing about the suspicious merchants.
Arrangements made, we bid farewell to our translator, Tala-a'zahd, and to the good Captain Jhejhaleen. They leave with the City Guards, and the Harbor Guards. As we turn back, Mandorak points out to the Captain that we should not reveal to the sages on board that the Eagle and Nighthawk can fly, nor should we reveal the location of the Sky Islands.
As we are considering methods for dealing with this, Jethar Telanora returns to us from the Eagle, carrying his kitbag. Oh. We explain to Jethar our difficulty: We must not reveal the attributes of his ships, or the location of his islands. If he comes with us, he may not get home for an unpredictably long time. He recommends that we consult with
Captain Alastar and Captain Lestron.
This meeting is soon achieved, and our problems presented. We agree to separate very shortly after leaving Darkholme. The two captains had considered the time problem, and decided that Mate Telanora could be spared even for the many months for which we could be separated. This relieves Captain Finwë greatly.
Finally, our captain pulls out the small packet of coins, and asks Captain Alastar to see about its delivery to the Guard Benevolent Association. He accepts, and, in turn, hands us a small packet of silver coins for the Harbor Guard Benevolent Association, because of a little difficulty that Lieutenant Maara had with the Harbor Guards.
They chat. Lestron's people have all returned, and Alastar is awaiting only two. Captain Alastar broaches a new subject. "Your water has proven very useful to us. It substitutes well for our sharp water and fiery metals, and has produced a more gentle descent onto the water. We would like very much to advance our use of Lanthil water."
We are happy to have them for trading partners. We can give them small quantities of water, but for large amounts, they will have to come to Lanthil. They then enter into a technical discussion of the navigational methods that they use. Captain Finwë offers them a bound dowse pointer as a navigational aid. They accept it eagerly. He contacts Eric telepathically, and requests him to make a bound dowse pointer to Lanthil, for Captain Alastar.
Soon, our Captain returns to the Tindomë to pick up the dowsing token. In addition to the paper bird holding the bound dowse, he hands our captain a copy of the chart of our first voyage. Both are intended for Captain Alastar. Finwë returns, and present Alastar with the bird and chart. Alastar is impressed and pleased, and thanks us for them. His two crewmen have returned; we are now all ready to depart.
Captain Finwë is given a bundle of signal flags (which Mate Jethar Telanora can read – and write – for us), and sent back to the Tindomë. All three ships prepare for departure.
Updated: Aug 29, 2008
©2002, 2008 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.