ISSN 2371-3747 Episode 13 May 9 2016 Lanis Episode 013, ‘Distances’ By Rusty Knight In the previous episode 012, ‘Levan’: Drake discovers the process to construct artifacts of casting. ...
May 9 2016
Episode 013, ‘Distances’
By Rusty Knight
In the previous episode 012, ‘Levan’:
Drake discovers the process to construct artifacts of casting. She builds ‘Levan’, her first artifact of levitation.
Now in episode 013, ‘Distances’,
Spring 76 Bear
As she watches Melinda at her task studying, Drake casts ‘Levitate’ from Levan. Uttering the single necessary phrase, “Usten”, to initiate the levitate spell stored in the artifact, the mage focuses enough to move Melinda two inches above her seat. She watches the reaction of her apprentice.
Melinda screeches and instinctively grabs for the table, uttering a few choice explicative words. She rapidly looks around the room. Seeing Drake smirking and watching her, Melinda curses again while glaring at her tormentor.
Drake lowers Melinda back onto her seat. Once Melinda is seated again, Drake releases the levitate spell. Drake smiles, proud of her accomplishment.
Drake says to Melinda. “Sorry, I was testing the new artifact to make sure I succeeded in making it work. I needed something about your weight to test with.”
Glaring at Drake, Melinda answers, “You could have told me first.” She says sharply.
Drake bows slightly while answering. “I could have.”
Drake memorizes another ‘Levitate’ spell, placing it carefully into her memory, while Melinda continues to study, keeping a cautious eye on Drake.
Once Drake has a fresh ‘Levitate’ spell memorized, she recharges her artifact by casting the spell into the artifact.
Smiling, Drake walks over to Lenden who is studying a new spell that he is researching.
She clears her throat, then says. “Uncle, I succeeded with creating my first artifact. It worked in a split second. I was able to cast the spell from it and levitate Melinda.”
Lenden turns to look at Drake, he has a frown on his face. He says sarcastically, “So you want pastries in celebration? You interrupt my research concentration with news of your success at tormenting your apprentice; which I observed you do, by the way. Yes, you did something very few can do. But you need to learn better manners, Drake. Warn Melinda next time you lift her. You scared years off her life span, I’m sure.”
Drake, dejected, looks down at the floor, having come to Lenden expecting praise, instead being chastised. She sighs and looks back up at Lenden, her back straightening. Drake says, “Okay. I’ll go and start preparing evening meal for us.”
Drake cooks one of her exceptional meals for the three of them. When all are seated, she turns to Melinda and calmly says, “Melinda, I apologise for using my ‘Levitate’ on you. As a way of apologizing, I ask you to name the artifact.”
A glint of approval gleams in Lenden’s eyes as he quietly observes the two women.
Melinda looks at Drake, wide eyed in shock, and she says, “You’ll let me name your artifact?”
Drake nods once and then simply replies, “Yes.”
Melinda looks at the armband and then at Lenden.
Lenden shrugs while smirking.
Melinda looks at Drake and bold-as-day, she says, “I name it, ‘Levan’.”
Lenden nods approving.
Drake looks at her raised arm, peering at the armband. She says, “Levan.”
Smiling, Drake nods and starts to eat, but then stops. Swallowing the food, she says. “Thank you, Melinda, for naming Levan.”
Lenden pats Drake’s shoulder and tells her. “You pass now. I congratulate you on your successes, Mage Drake. Your papers are yours, and I’ll write the Guild of Mages with my final approval.”
At that moment there is a knock on the front door of the manor. Drake stands and walks around to the door to answer the query.
At the door is a messenger, dusty and grimy from long travel. She asks, “Is this the residence of Master Mage Lenden?”
Drake nods, then she says, “Yes, come in. He’s in the dining room. Come see him.”
In the dining room, Drake introduces Lenden, and the woman hands him a package. Lenden asks, “Where did you ride from?”
The woman is quick to reply, “Littleton Town, Master Lenden.”
Lenden takes a Flair from his coin pouch, and he hands it to her. Lenden says, “Have a safe trip back.”
Drake escorts the courier back to the front door, and out of the manor, as Lenden opens his package.
Returning to the dining room, Drake finds Lenden has a sheet of parchment open on the table in front of him. It has hastily scribe jalnoric text filling half the sheet.
Lenden looks up at Drake. Lenden has a grim expression and his eyes are dark. He says to Drake. “In the morning, hitch the two good draft horses to the carriage. Stock the carriage for six days’ journey for the two of us. Melinda, you’re staying here and looking after the animals and manor.” Lenden stands, leaving the room in a rush, taking the parchment with him.
Drake looks at Melinda, puzzled. She asks, “Mel, you’ll be fine alone for several days?”
Melinda shrugs. She answers, “I think so? Do I keep studying, or wait until you return?”
Drake thinks a moment, then she replies emphatically, “Wait until we return. I want to go over different aspects you’re missing in your studies. It’ll help I think.”
Melinda nods while thinking, then she answers, “I’ll work longer each day on the vellum, then.”
Spring 81 Bear
Two hours before evening meal, Lenden pulls the carriage to a stop in front of a smaller manor house on a fief several kilometers south-east of Littleton Town. He plies the brake and then creakily dismounts. Both occupants are stiff from riding in the carriage for at least ten hours a day for four days on their journey here.
Drake asks, “So, just to be clear, you have ten fiefs spread out among the districts of Mount Oryn. Including a small one on Palace Hill’s inner district?”
Lenden, gloomy now from four days of driving, answers, “Yes and this one is the largest of the four larger ones.”
Drake looks around, and she says, “So, this is Drendel Fief, also your most distant one. Why are we here?”
Lenden says in a rapid manner, “Well, from the message, two of the heads of two households got in a fight, and one was killed. The other died from bloodfire acquired from wounds he received during the fight. I now have to appoint new heads to the households.”
Drake looks at Lenden and squints her eyes. She asks, “Why am I here?”
Lenden briefly chuckles and then he says. “I wanted your company and also as support while I’m here.”
Drake nods as she picks their packs from the storage compartment of the carriage. She says, “Okay, I’m a tag-along.”
Lenden says easily, “Yes, my valet.” He laughs for the two of them as he takes his pack from Drake. He says cautiously. “Don’t cast spells while here; they consider it witch-craft and bad omens.”
Drake nods as she is following Lenden into the manor. She replies, “Got it, Uncle.”
The two find the bailiff in the dining room; he is relaxing and after introductions they get down to business. Lenden demands the respective households be brought to the manor before evening meal tonight.
That evening as the bailiff’s life-companion is cooking evening meal, Lenden and Drake host the two households and all their families in the dining room. Over fifty people gather tightly in the large room.
First, dealing with the toydon families, Lenden consults the various families then comes to s decision. “For the Doduo household, I appoint Renina as head. I think she can lead and guide the household well enough. Any objections from the families or clan-head?”
No objections are made.
Lenden turns to the bailiff. He says to the man. “So, record it, and deal with Renina, as needed, for the household.”
Turning to the crowd, Lenden says, “So, you toy lot can clear out. I’ll deal with the Unhilln clan now and the Tepst Household.”
Lenden watches the toydon folk leave, and all that remain are the jalnoric Unhilln clan of household families.
Lenden listens to the various people bicker back and forth. Getting tired of the harsh rhetoric between the different members, Lenden calls a halt to it after an hour. He says. “I’m appointing Fedderec and his life-companion to be head of the household. Any objections?”
Almost every member gathered in the room objects.
Lenden holds up his hand for silence and says, “Okay, seeing as you’re not wanting to accept that choice, I call a moot hall tomorrow, after evening meal, in the meeting hall. Get out of here.”
It takes fifteen minutes for eighteen people to clear out of Lenden’s dining room. Then the bailiff, his family, Lenden and Drake have evening meal.
During evening meal, Lenden turns to Drake. He asks, “Any thoughts on this?”
Drake nods once, then looking at Lenden, she says, “Yes, but I’ll hold them until the moot hall tomorrow, when I hear more. Can I weigh in tomorrow at the moot hall?”
Lenden frowns, then he answers, “By all means, yes.”
Spring 82 Bear
The moot hall is being held in Drendel Fief meeting hall, at the centre of the hamlet. There are sixty-some spectators and participants crowded into a hall meant for one-hundred folks.
Drake sits at the head of the hall with Lenden, and they preside over the moot hall with the fief bailiff.
Lenden stands, gaining everyone’s attention and he call the moot hall to order. “As the landholder, I hold right to appoint head of households on my land. Being a fair and just man, I seek to appoint someone who can be honest and just, as well, to oversee households. I appointed a head of your household for Tepst and when I asked if there were objections everyone objected. So I called a moot hall.”
He looks around the room. Fedderec sits near the front with his life-companion and their five children. He looks grim and determined. He is well dressed for a middle-classed farmer.
Lenden looks to Fedderec’s right, two seats away. Pointing to the jalmal, Lenden asks, “Why shouldn’t Fedderec be head of Household Tepst?”
The man stands, and glaring first at Fedderec, he then turns to Lenden and with much less venom, he states, “Fedd is a cruel man, frequently found beating his life-companion or children, usually over the finances of his family. He is horrible with coins. He is unfit as a head of a household.” The man sits again.
Lenden asks, “Do you have anyone else in mind?”
The Clan-head rises and gives cases for four others to be head of household, then he sits again.
Lenden rises to his feet. Looking out at the crowd, he says. “Each of you speak for yourself, in turn as your clan-head listed you.”
An hour later the third finishes, and the fourth is not found in the hall.
Lenden stands again. He then takes comments from the audience regarding the three candidates.
Finally, Lenden calls a halt to the proceedings, and he turns to Drake. He asks her. “Have you heard enough?”
Drake nods, yes.
Lenden sits and motions for her to respond to him.
Drake peers out at the crowd and then she turns to Lenden and says, “I suggest the older man Garen, and his life companion. Because, he has his three children, yet he has increased his holding three-fold since taking over, and his herd of cattle has been increased from four to elven in eight years, and he has added swine. Thus, he shows an understanding of economics and discipline. Also, no one spoke ill of him, other than to says he tends to go for long walks at mid-day. I see no harm in his being head of the Tepst Household and overseeing the seven families in it.”
Lenden thinks for several moments. Then, looking out at Garen, Lenden points and says, “Garen, please stand.”
Lenden calls out for all to hear. “I now appoint Master Garen as Head of Tepst Household on my fief of Drendel. I don’t want to hear anymore about this. Let it be recorded. I leave in the morning. You all get used to this. Get out of here.”
Lenden leads Drake back to the manor, along with the bailiff. On the way over, Lenden is smiling. In the manor, he says to Drake, “You made a good sound choice, on good principles. I like that. I might keep you after you graduate the University, as my chamberlain. Think about it.”
Spring 87 Bear
The carriage pulls into Lenden’s Manor courtyard that is their home.
The whole way back, Drake did think about what Lenden said. With a last thought on the matter today, she thinks, ‘Consider being his chamberlain? It is a steady job, and Uncle probably pays well. I would have a lab, home and library. I could work off my debt and I would have apprentices. It is something to consider. I must sleep more on this over the seasons.’
Lenden dismounts at the manor’s front door. Drake takes the carriage to the carriage house and stables, to unhitch the horses, stow the carriage after unloading and cleaning it, and grooming and feeding the horses. This is all done before going to bed without eating.
Spring 88 Bear
Eager to eat, Drake wakes extra early and cooks morning meal. She is eating before anyone else enters the room.
Melinda enters first. Drake who was smiling between bites, cheerfully says to Melinda, “Mel, today, you and I will go over your studies of the ‘Detect Magic’ spell, until I’m satisfied you understand it.”
To be continued …
In the next episode 014, ‘Life!’:
We find how human Mage Drake is as Lanis when workers arrive to deliver feed for the animals and Lanis has an issue.
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