This is the autobiographical journal of Arvil Bren, a somewhat reluctant hero who has been placed on an unknown quest by powers that he barely knows exist. Follow his journey as it is updated daily, Monday through Friday, and enjoy! These are the most recent entries in Arvil Bren's third journal; Politics of the Redoran. His first journal can be found in its entirety here. His second journal, Trail of the Archmage can be found here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Day Seventy-three: Ghostgate surprise

Well, this is certainly not where I expected to be tonight; in a Redoran run hostel in the Tower of Dusk at Ghostgate. Ghostgate, which is the only passage through the ghostfence around Red Mountain, is flanked by two towers; this one and the Tower of Dawn. The Redorans provide services in this tower, which houses a branch of temple soldiers called the Buoyant Armigers, while Ordinators and temple functionaries throng the opposite tower. Temple functionaries, including my current traveling companion.

I met Viatrix Petilia this morning. She was waiting for me in the entry room of the guild hall. Without courtesy or preamble she said "I understand you know a path into the Foyada Mamaca. I need to be in Ghostgate in two days. Urgent temple business." She reached down and hefted her light pack onto her shoulder.

She had to have come from Tuls Valen. Clearly he would not have sent her if it wasn't important to him that she reach Ghostgate. I could reach Ghostgate in a day. Could this foppishly dressed lady keep the pace? I had no way of knowing. Could I protect her from the gauntlet of cliff racers and other monsters we would have to run? I had no way to know that either. Little did I know that the biggest challenge would be not abandoning the acid tongued, arrogant agent to be taken to mate by some free ranging kagouti. I might have done it, but I am too sympathetic to the dumb animals.

Throughout the day, at every pause to let her catch up, she would greet me with "Hurry up! I told you I don't have time to waste." Every battle with cliff racer, kagouti, wild guar, or shalk beetle I would have to heal her wounds, as she refused to stay out of the way. "You were taking too long and I'm in a hurry," she would say to my suggestions that she let me handle the creatures. She had time to complain, but never time to say thank you as I expended my magica healing her. Of course she never noticed how the battles slowed down once she came within range and I had to concentrate on protecting her as well as myself. By the time we reached the steep wall of the foyada my commitment to whatever urgent temple business she carried was stretched thin.

"Listen!" I said. "I've protected you all morning, and put up with your complaints. The business of the temple is your passport, and I'm willing to be your guide, but I could honestly report that I did my part even if you slide down this slope and break your neck. I could even say I had done my part if the slide started with me pitching you over the edge. Who's to know? Now either shut up or say thank you, your choice, but whichever you choose make it a choice that lasts out the day." I don't know how I will look in her reports, but at least the rest of the day was passed in sullen but blessed silence.

When we arrived we entered the Tower of Dawn. She is settled in quarters maintained for visiting temple members and pilgrims. In the morning I will escort her to the Ghostgate shrine, which is inside the Ghostfence, and then thankfully take my leave of her. I opted to stay in the Redoran hostel. Neither tower seemed big enough for both the agent and myself. It turned out to be a good choice.

Rather than getting quietly drunk in the bar I ended up enjoying the company. This tower, as I said, is the base of the Buoyant Armigers. I went to the bar expecting to find stuffy temple bureaucrats and even stuffier Ordinators, but the armigers are not at all like their opposing branch. They face the constant pressure of Red Mountain with a quick wit and a hearty laugh, and enjoy their off duty time to the fullest. It was a pleasant evening, and tomorrow I will have my full wits about me for the sojourn inside the Ghostfence rather than dragging the hangover I expected. Dragging Viatrix will be bad enough.


Blogger frootat31 said...

I loved this entry. Some of these 'escort' missions can drive you up the wall, and I think you really captured the frustrations on this topic lol good job!

10:02 AM  

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