The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 91: My Dinner with Khajad
Captain Finwë hesitates to bring us the matter of the mysterious note here, so he is most agreeable to have Khajad come with us for dinner at Madame Fishilashi. On the way back, Mandorak asks Khajad if he is indeed the cousin of Tala-a'zahd. Khajad evades. "While I was… a clerk, my father had no son. Tala-a'zahd is currently in a similar situation." Further questioning does not clarify anything.
We arrive back at our favorite boarding house. Our captain wishes to ask/inform Madame Fishilashi that we will have an additional guest for dinner, but the only person who can translate for him is said guest – and the Laurel Poet. The dear widow giggles, and is most agreeable about another dinner guest.
It is a pleasant meal. As we linger over the final course, Finwë broaches his topic. "Khajad, there are very few people in this glorious city who speak Elvish, is that not so?"
"Yes, that is so."
"Are there any elves here? People from whom you were able to learn our language?"
"We pick up your language in the course of our travels and trading."
Mannie brings up the phenomenon of people holding a talisman, and speaking Quenya. Khajad says that such devices do exist for many languages, and we just happened to encouter people with devices for Quenya. Mannie asks if it is a coincidence that people now have these devices, since we are here now. Khajad says nothing to the point.
Now Finwë hands over the note and asks Khajad what, if anything, he can make of it. The poet remarks that it appears to be crudely executed. Finwë explains that it appears to have been written in haste. He then points to the sketched image of the scroll with its odd geometric design. "Does this look familiar to you? Does it remind you of any place in this city?"
"There are similar symbologies used here in Darkholme, Khajad allows. "It could belong to this company of merchants I am aware of."
"But why would they hold elves prisoner?" asks Finwë.
Khajad enumerates several reasons why one person would imprison another. With a certain amount of effort, we bring the discussion back to the concrete. We ask Khajad to draw us a map of the principal properties of this company. He is not sure he can do this. As he mulls this, Eric grabs the note (which Finwë had not shown to him (or any of us) before) and dowses for the location of the writer of the note. "The author of this is three and one half blocks sunward from the main road that goes to the Gate, on the third road up from the harbor."
Khajad is impressed at the existence of this skill. We are impressed with Eric's degree of certitude and precision. We now have some idea of what we will be doing tomorrow morning.
Mandorak asks how people enter into a state of involuntary servitude in Darkholme. Being a castaway, or arriving without papers, or being a pirate or smuggler are the methods that occur to Khajad immediately.
We then check that the letters sent via Lt. Chuizadi will indeed actually arrive at their destinations, if, perhaps, more slowly than we would like. So, should we send a second letter? Khajad points out that the only person for whom it would make the situation worse is Lt. Chuizadi, and should that be a consideration with us? Khajad is willing to provide the written form and deliver it to the Prefect or the Steward of the Palace.
We think about it, discuss it, and then ask that Khajad deliver the specified note. He agrees. We pass on to other topics, and chat with our guest until it is time for him to leave.
Tala-a'zahd arrives in the morning. We give him the note for the High Priest of the Fifth Temple, and send him off to deliver it. We head back to the harbor area.
Updated: May 9, 2008
©2002, 2007 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.