The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 75: Dinner and Dressing
Captain Finwë frets that we do not have proper uniforms to wear to this dinner (which will be in our honor) because there is not enough time to make them. Daëwen politely asks him if they are very important, and he says yes. She does not consider the time remaining before dinner to be an insurmountable obstacle, and how many uniforms does he need? "Four." (This is a highly condensed version of his monologue.) She grabs his arm, and witchwalks him to the Tindomë, where he gathers all the bolts of sky blue fabric, and is lead back to the crystal cave. He is utterly speechless; the Lady Daëwen will make his uniforms!
Mirien is directed to work with Bavör, and Mithriel with Mandorak. Mirien makes a glamour duplicate of her dwarf, and works with that. Mithriel sketches on paper. Daëwen ascertains what sort of uniform Finwë has in mind. Soon she sets a tape measure to work on the captain, while she draws out rough pattern pieces. Mirien dresses the glamoured dwarf in a uniform, and tweaks it until she is satisfied. Then, with a wave of her hand, the glamoured uniform disassembles itself, and lies down on the rolled out fabric. Soon, with TK and glamour, Bay has his uniform first. Daëwen, using mundane techniques and glamour, has the Captain's uniform ready next. She begins on Teller's, while Mithriel, using traditional means, including a sewing machine, produces Mannie's. Teller's is finished soon thereafter. The four crew members put on their powder blue uniforms with varying degrees of eagerness. Our long-term passengers, Eïr, Eric, and Aldamir, are given sashes of the same material to wear. We are ready for our dinner.
Daëwen leads the way back to her cottage, to the line of horseless carriages. She enlists Sam and Sarah in harnessing her horses to the carriages. There are not enough horses, but this does not bother the Lady. There are not enough carriages, however.
Finwë directs Mandorak towards the boats. Mannie refuses, point blank. The captain tells him to get in the boat, or walk back to the ship. "Fine!" says the dwarf, who turns on his heel, and heads down the road.
Eïr remembers the good advice she was given when she left her abbey. She runs down to Mannie, and offers to trade places with him. After all, she's never ridden in a river boat, and she doesn't have that much sea sickness medicine. He stops, thinks about it, and agrees.
Now Eïr only has to persuade the captain. She looks up at him, and explains that she's never ridden in such a small, exciting boat. Finwë wavers, looks down into her large, brown eyes, and remembers the scream as the dwarf arrived from his river trip. "Very well."
She signals Mandorak, and he slips into the smaller carriage, away from the captain, while she and Jacko take their seats in the river boat. Mithriel stands at the bow, and Mirien takes the tiller, with Eïr, her pirate, Finwë's children, and Fallataal's sailors taking their seats between the two. They take off in their controlled fall down the cataract.
The plunge is ultimately uneventful, by the skin of Mithriel's teeth, and everyone disembarks at the castle. The castle is a dwarven interpretation of Neuschwanstein, which are not appropriately appreciated by the visitors. They enter the kitchens, where the cook provides them with a stomach-quelling tea. Eïr soon finds her way to the senior herbalist, rather an old hobbitish sort of gardener, who inundates her with herbs, and advice on their growth and harvesting.
The carriages arrive, still well in time for dinner. They are greeted by the steward, the castellan, and so forth, and are led into the reception room of the small ballroom. There, they are met by Lorelei McHerron, Silverhand, and a general entourage. Dr. McHerron is the chief physician of Lanthil, and Silverhand is the Viceroy of the Dreamtime, and so an honorary member of the Silver Service. The children, after consultation, are given a spring wine spritzer. Members of the Silver Service, and Mannie have the same.
Dinner is pleasant, but nothing of much import is discussed; we don't know what we should or should not mention about our voyage. After dinner, the Important People withdraw to discuss Important Matters. The dwarven engineers, and the Tindomë passengers are left with Fallataal's sailors, and several Silver Service personnel. Mannie asks one of the sailors where we can expect to stay that night. He introduces Mannie to one of the Silver Service people, who leads him off to find the stewart, down with Cook.
Soon the steward and Mannie are deep in sleeping arrangements for the dwarves, the children, the ambassadors, the Oakley… Suites are arranged, and rings keyed to them are passed over. Eventually, Mannie makes his way back to the dining room. Micah and Sarah ask for a tour of the castle, and Fallataal's man volunteers to take them around. Sam joins them. Toma is led off to the Outer Library, and Eric heads off on his own to the Inner Library. Mannie has put in two or three long days today; he heads for his room. Bavör opts for sleep as well. Eïr and her pirate also retire.
At his door, Mandorak is met by an elven maid. "Would you prefer early breakfast or late breakfast?"
"I'll start with the early breakfast," he replies.
"Yes, sir. I should mention that many people are meeting for late breakfast."
"I can probably manage that too. Where is the bathing chamber?"
"Oh! Each suite has its own. Would you like a tour?" In no time at all, Mannie gets to admire the giant bathing pool, and learns how to control the heat of the water. As soon as the elf leaves, he indulges in a warm, cleansing bath, then dives headfirst into bed. He's not the only one.
Sam takes a quick bath, then goes out to the garden with a tray of nibbles to sit and rest and think.
Eric examines books on glamour in the Inner Library.
Captain Finwë eventually finds the way to his family's suite. There, he finds a young man asleep in a chair. He is the self-appointed guard for Sam, who is asleep in the garden. Well, he hasn't violated orders against sleeping, but he isn't really a successful guard… Finwë just dismisses him.
We are awakened in plenty of time for early breakfast. There are clothes in our closets: formal wear, semi-formal wear, and daywear. Mandorak, Bavör, and Eïr choose the most comfortable, least formal clothes they can find. Eïr's has lots of pockets and loops. Eric is asleep in the library.
Sam comes out wearing a loose, pants-related outfit, with which she expresses great satisfaction. She and the dwarves attack their food with great enthusiasm. There is an hour and a half until late breakfast, so the dwarves decide to investigate the Outer Library. There's Toma, sound asleep, and surrounded by books bristling with bookmarks. We avoid disturbing him.
Mannie finds the book catalog, looks up Psi Engineering, and heads for the area described. There is a faint ding near Toma. As we get closer to it, it dings again, and turns blue. Mannie scoops it up. It's a printed book; he marvels at the precision of every letter. Bay looks at him as if he had just grown a point on his head. The title is A Compendium of Psionic Technology V.1. He browses through it, then heads back to check the catalog. There is no volume two listed.
This is, however, just the Outer Library. We trundle into the Inner Library. The catalog leads us to volumes two through twelve. Ding! They are near Eric. We wake him up. "You've missed early breakfast."
"Oh." He gathers up some books, and starts out. "Hey! You're not supposed to take the books away!" protests Mannie.
"It's all right. These are my books."
We start scanning through the Psi Tech books. Much of it is familiar to us; we implemented things for the Tindomë, or invented them for the Tindomë, but some pieces are advances on our developments. As we head back out, we find that Toma is awake. "What time is it?" he asks.
"Between early and late breakfast."
"Thank you." He heads off for the ambassadorial quarters.
Once we are out in the corridor, we hear a puzzled "suit for bathing?" We wander in that direction, and find Sam with a red-haired elven maid. Sam enlists Bay's help in transmitting the idea of a swim suit, a bathing suit. "A bikini?" Bay suggests hopefully. The elf goes off to consult with the head seamstress.
"They have this enormous swimming ool, and I would like to use it, but…" she explains to the dwarves. "I'm not used to discussing undergarments with gentlemen. I guess I could use the sports bra…" Bay is now thinking in unhelpful concepts, so he says nothing.
Eïr steps out of her room next door, wearing a pants-based outfit. She turns to Sam, and complains, "I found these clothes, but there's a whole line of garments that I don't understand." Sam joins her in her bedroom. Yes, there they are: three centuries of undergarments laid out in random order. Sam explains the social context of each piece, discusses what she herself would pick, and why, then suggests a light shirt and shorts.
Eïr decides on her outfit. They both agree that it needs more pockets. She is hopeful of getting them, since Jacko sews. "But what wouldn't I give for a bathing suit," mutters Sam.
Updated: Aug 25, 2007
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.