The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 34: Even When the Going Doesn't Get Tough…
Captain Finwë, Engineer Craggenhilt, Cleric (?) Eïr, Papermage Wright, and
Passenger Oakley go off to find the Captain of the Gate. Actually, the
captain explains to the guards on duty that we are looking for the Steward
of the Gate, to make an appointment to see the Captain of the Guard, and we
are also looking for our translator, Khazhad. The guard recognizes one or
two words, and leads us in to the Steward's office. Finwë speaks again
about our desire to see "our" translator, Khazhad. The Steward nods,
gestures over an underling, and says something to him, involving "Khazhad."
The minion goes off.
Khazhad arrives promptly. After the social amenities, Finwë requests an interview with the Captain of the Guard. He admits that, in addition to our formal purpose, he has a personal one. He has three children, two girls and a boy, who love the sea as much as he himself. However, while sailing on the Endless Sea, they were taken by pirates. We have rescued two of them. We have heard a rumor that the third one, a young girl, may have found haven in Darkholme, where she has been sequestered.
Khazhad asks if we have any idea exactly where in Darkholme she is supposed to be. Finwë turns to Sam and explains, "He wants to know where Sarah is. We know she's in the Inner City, so if you could nod vigorously now…" She does. Finwë explains that our information says that she is in the Inner City.
Khazhad speaks at length with the Steward. The Steward addresses the man in the brown robe, who disappears briefly, returns, and whispers to the Steward. The Steward and the translator converse. Khazhad explains that the Captain is occupied, and we will have to come back in two parts of a day. (Our captain asks about time measurement. He learns that here, they use Town Callers.)
We have a few hours to wait, so we ask Khazhad to show us to the markets, because we are looking for trade goods. He inquires about the nature of the trade goods, and who would do the trading. Finwë explains that he is no expert, but he knows we have to have a formal agreement first. He does say that there are already traders whose ships and personal appearance are similar to those of Darkholme. Khazhad agrees that there might be Darkholme traders in our land, and that this would be a matter for the Merchants' Guild.
After further discussion, Finwë remarks that no Darkholme flag has ever been seen on a ship in Lanthil's harbor. This relieves Khazhad, "Then I may help you in your search of the markets." There is no conflict of interest.
In the market, we can son tell which direction(s) we would like to investigate in the markets. We head for the philters. Khazhad warns us that the more effective and powerful potions are not on display in the open. Eïr and Aldamir go off to look at them anyhow. At Madame Zola's Emporium, he psionically analyses rows and rows of potions. Ummm, her best items are near her fortune-telling equipment. The top love philter has more Luck and Notice than, say, coercive telepathy. He eventually finds one that is really heavy on Luck or Dicing, but it is far from the most powerful item there. He hands it to Eïr, remarking, "This seems the most reliable."
Khazhad is still confused. He can barely understand why "gadgets" might be of interest to elves, but not why potions would be of interest to a fey land. Finwë points out that every land has its specialties.
Eventually, Khazhad and Finwë are drawn into the dickering between Eïr and Madame. She eventually gets a reasonable price. She leaves with a very impressive bow.
Eric asks for the mapmakers, and is pointed in the right direction. He finds a promising shop, and we all troop in. Eric inquires about reliable maps. Aldamir spots a map of "Brasil." Caught by the semi-familiar name, he examines the map closely. It is at least of an island, rather than of South America. He psionially analyzes the map, and discovers that it has a complex, multi-layer system of spells involved with it. "This one is very enchanted," he reports over the net. Eric casually drifts over. It is not skillfully drawn, but he recognizes that some divination magic has gone into it. There are other kinds of magic that he doesn't recognize.
He asks the proprietor about it. The man says, "Ah, I see you are torn between the maps of great craftsmanship, and the useful maps like this one, that would help you find the island." Even Mandorak looks over the map. Yes, it is an intricate piece of work, but its interface is very easy to use. Eric tries to read some of the maps actually written in strange languages by using his paper magic. He finds three maps with "interesting" names: the one with the Sea of Stars, the Isle of Skye – no, the Island of the Sky, and Skull Island (although the land mass is not shaped at all like a skull).
Meanwhile Eïr has wandered over to the non-map items, and found a compass she thinks is interesting. She brings its over to the proprietor. She asks, "What is special about this?" He explains: "Where the world has been flattened, things like this are useful…" He consults with Khazhad. "There are stones that always point on way." "Lodestones. So these work in 'flattened lands' – regular lands?" "Ah, yes. In regular lands, this will work like a lodestone. The second way to use this is, when it is pointing at a particular place, you press here and here, and it will always point to that place, so you can find your way home. In the third way to use this, if you can get it to point in a particular direction, you press here, there, and there, and it will continue to point to the place."
"Captain! We need this," says Eïr. Mannie agrees. Eric brings over the map Aldamir found, and the three with the interesting names, and three he can actually read. "Ack, sprecd zie Doutch?" asks the shopkeeper. "Jawohl," responds Eric. The man drags out a map of Darkholme, labeled in some mysterious language, and in German. Yes, we'll take that too. Mannie tries to haggle. The proprietor interrupts. "Zu pritzen goot ville be," he assures us. Eric thinks this sounds good. Finwë starts piling gold pieces on the counter.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.