Book of the Fathers 7

From: Bill Thompson (
Date: Mon 11 May 1998 - 03:52:29 EEST

Father came in while we ate breakfast. I saw him first because I was
looking up when he stepped through the door. I said nothing but nudged
Geoffrey and, under the table, kicked Richter. Geoffrey looked up and
waited for him to reach us. Richter glanced and returned to his food.

I think I hate him.

        Some of the other patrons watched as father crossed the room to our
table. All of them chose to look elsewhere before he made it halfway. I
think it is because he chooses to look inconsequential. People look at him
and see nothing to catch there attention so they look on and forget him.

        An action that many have found to be a lethal mistake.

        Father sits down beside Richter and looks at us one at a time. This
is for dramatic effect. I know that he has already surveyed us as he
approached. I force myself to take a bite of my now tastless gruel. It
slides down my throat to sit heavily in a stomach which no longer hungers.
When I look up from my spoon my eyes meet his and unbidden, words fall from
my lips.
" So have you been to see the stump of Flamal's great tree? I
understand it's quite impressive."

        I think I heard Geoffrey choke on his raln juice.

        Father's mind whiplashed into mine. " I'm not here for sightseeing
boy. Now how is it that you arrive over a season late?"

        Beside me Geoffrey stiffened and I knew that he too had felt the
force of Father's mindvoice. Across from me Richter spoke.

"We lost ourselves in the Gilboch Father. If it was not for Tomas
we would be there still."

        Father looked at me. "I told you that Lamras cursed those Lands.
Why did you not go around.?"

"We were on foot. Going around would have made us as late as we are
now. "Richter answered. "I chose to push through."

        Father's eyes tighten a little in the corner as he listens to
Richter. I look to my brother and his eyes tell me to hold my tongue. I
forgive him for being able to eat while Father approached.

"What's done is done," says Father. "Your'e here now and I can rely
on you to take care of things at this end." He looks hard at Richter. "I
can rely on you can't I?"

"Absolutely," responds Richter.

"Good. I'm going to be tied up in Laufol for a while. That fool
Tragen has called for a second council in a year and a half and I'm going
to have to push a few things up. So I want you to take care of that matter
with the Damali. when everything is under control I want you to come back

        He looks us over again. "Did you notice anything out of sorts while
you made your way here?"

        Father asking for information, he's testing us again. "I wouldn't
want to be on the border right now," I said. "It looks as though the
Dangaie are sponsoring hostiles into Tanisor."

"When you get back here things should pretty heated. Don't come
back without an emmissary from the council. Drag him if you have to but get
him here and I'll take care of the rest.
        While you are in the wilds pick up some troops. The council should
have some horse brothers that are ready to come back and visit. If things
go well you will have a chance to test them before you get back."

        If things go well. For Father that means he wants us to blood them.
I can see Richter start to lose track of his surroundings, the promise of
fresh blood and a good battle.

        So today I sit on a stone bench that has been heated to flesh
searing by the sun. Geoffrey is buying new horse and Richter is finding new
armor. Myself, well I sit here in the heat and blinding sun and look at the
remains of a great tree. Beyond it stands a man who wears a symbol on his
arm that I last saw as a man slid from my knife. If my information is
correct then he will be meeting with a supplier. A supplier with
connections here in the heart of the Dangaie.

        You would think that standing next to this tree would teach them
something about the consequences of violence. Tanisor is run by house
Cheverne and the Duke is old and cagey. Not as old as Father, but old
enough and violence is something that he is very very good at. They are
going to need all the help they can get and Father said to give it to them.
So now I wait in the shadow of the death of light and watch for the next
bit of the puzzle.

        more later....

a side note:

Sometimes people make mention of the Baumgartner/Metcalfe-fest of citation
and counter-citation (how's that little bundle doing Nick? As a father of
two I'd just like to toss out a heart felt congrats) but in the last
digests these guys really came through.

The only source that I haven't been able to read is "Hrestol's Saga" and
that recap of Joerg's was invaluable to me. So thanks Joerg I would have
given an eighth of my soul for a copy of that material. Now I can trim that

down to a fifth.

"Ask me a riddle and I reply:
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.""


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