Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day Four-Thirty-Two: He's baaaaaack

WHOA! I had a total blast-from-the-past today! In more ways than one! This week is getting stranger and stranger, and this time in a good way.

Harold's been coming to my house and frantically begging that I help him curtail my father's increasing tyranny since I got home. He's pretty annoying - and disturbing Eve's sleep at night. I decided to bypass him completely today and take a tour of Pagan's manor, namely the parts I'd missed on my last visit. I took Eve and Bora along on the excursion, as well - Eve's a given, and Bora now has some help in the kitchen from a few of Pagan's slaves. She can afford a break.

Before I get to that, though, I should explain 'my father's increasing tyranny'. I've been avoiding politics since I got home, but I've overheard enough to know that good old Oswald is going above and beyond his position of reeve. He's not just ensuring people do their work, he's making new orders and straight out telling peasant and noble alike what to do. This includes Harold. 

I guess my complete apathy to my old position gives him license to do it, and, hell, at this point I don't even care. If he wants to take over, he can take over. With Pagan around, dad will have stiff competition in keeping this town on the straight-and-narrow. Speaking of apathy, I don't care about this subject, so back to the tour!

Hoban was put in charge of showing us around the manor while Pagan was off inspecting his crops. He performed his part admirably, despite his dislike of me - and I'm sure Bora had a large part in ensuring his cooperation.

Hoban led us from room to room on the second floor, all Pagan's personal quarters, each room a pastiche of his family history. In one, an array of old armour and weapons from his forebears. In another, hundreds of documents dating back hundreds of years, many of them important land deals. In yet another a dining hall, decked out with a massive mahogany table that Hoban said belonged to Pagan's great-great-great-great-grandmother, which she stole from an orcish warlord. And in yet another, two-floor, spacious room, full of books -


Robert. I knew his shiny bald head at first sight, moving about on the bottom floor, arranging and re-arranging books according to his quirky organizational system. He looked as happy as he'd ever been back home, and I rushed down the swirled staircase in the middle of the room and grabbed him up in a huge hug.

"Whoa ho hey!" Robert laughed and winced. "My old bones, my old bones! Hello, Dragomir! My, you never greeted me like this before! It's only been a few days since your last visit, my boy!"

I held my tongue. That wasn't hard, 'cause Hoban came charging down after me and said "Who the hell is THIS?"

I turned and beamed, and Robert beamed with me, the chunk of rock from our old castle dangling from a thread 'round his neck. "Your new librarian," we said in tandem.

Hoban gaped. Sputtered. Flailed his arms. Ran back upstairs, calling for LORD PAGAAAAAN, LORD PAGAAAAAAN, but I knew he'd have no luck. Robert wouldn't be leaving this library any time soon.

Robert had a letter for me, which he handed over as soon as Hoban left. It was from June. Turns out the witch, despite her obvious fondness for Robert, had run out of things for him to do. Magic could only keep him occupied for so long, and he was so efficient that June had trouble maintaining her illusion. The moment a library was available, she pounced - and was quite happy to have him out of the way, so she could focus on 'more important things'.

(Incidentally, I later heard that there was a cave-in back at Libby's camp. Guess Grayson took advantage of June's brief lapse in attention.)

Pagan is quite happy to have a librarian. None of his slaves are terribly educated, so they can't organize books worth a dang, and Robert provides a well-read mental stimulus Pagan has been lacking for years. He may be chums with my dad, but dad wouldn't know a good book from a hole in his torso. Of which he has two. At least two.

Robert's great. As far as he's concerned, everything that happened during the fall of his old home was a horrifying dream. He's since been 'transferred' twice, once to June's library, and, now, via promotion, to Pagan's. He insists that we come see him regularly (though he has been asking about Libby annoyingly often, and I keep having to change the subject), and Pagan has decided to open his library to the nobles of Pubton. S'not like the peasants would want in anyway.

Having Robert back also provides me with something else: a teacher. A teacher for Eve.

By the end of today's visit, between mine and Bora's gentle prodding and Robert's hearty enthusiasm, we'd managed to coax a single word out of her. 'Hello.'

Robert assures me that more will come. I believe that's true. I just hope they come before the end of the week.


Dragomir the Father


  1. Oh! A normal word from Eve! I cannot wait for her jumbled "I love you." to become a real, understandable one.