Spin Offs, Mir Part a
The heat of the day was settling in, Mir sat in the old rickety chair near the gate to her father’s property, waiting for her brother to return from TownHall.
This time of year was always busy, folks tended to travel when the roads were dry and the weather fair. That typically meant that Aramy Crossroads was busy from late spring through to mid autumn. TownHall typically had at least a couple of handfuls of guests any given night and her family’s yard saw customers daily, sometimes many customers.
The morning had been one of those days, folks from all over; a merchant from Hadden’s Fort with his two younger sons, another from Wikkersak with her new husband and a handful or so other folk came and went throughout the morning. Her father was, as a result of all the business, very happy. Mir was just tired and maybe a little distracted.
Her thoughts often strayed to Tipper. It was odd for more than half a day to pass without something reminding her of the tough treasure hunter. At night in her sleep it was worse, her dreams always turned to the erotic, typically about Tipper, sometimes about Del.
The priestess from Lekas had been sent for by her father, asked to witness Mir’s naming ceremony. She had arrived only the day before the celebration, showing up with a tall musician from her village, Lef. Priestess Deleer had been a joy to talk to, intelligent, beautiful, widely travelled and well spoken.
Part of what Del said during the ceremony stood out, “Hold tight to your name and give it to those you trust or not at all. Though if you would be bold and leave your mark on this world then to all who see your greatness let them too know your name so your story may spread.”
More fun had been the dancing during the celebration after the ceremony, and Del had been a good dance partner. Sadly she and the musician had only stayed a day past the ceremony. There had been problems with bandits in Lekas and Del had wanted to return to care for her people.
Since her name day Mir had been chaffing against the usual humdrum daily grind of life in the Dresmend family. Her siblings, oh so many siblings, were pestering her more. Mother was distant and father kept telling all the eligible men passing through that she was of age. And, gods forbid too many of them had tried their best to woo her. It was embarrassing.
She thought her name day would have change things, that being an adult would be different than not being an adult. Almost nothing had changed though, she was still sleeping with her sister in their bed, still living at the family house. The biggest difference now was father talking of finding a suitable husband for her, nearly every third day or so he brought it up.
Some shouting from across the commons attracted her attention. A group of the younger men She would rather be on the road with Tipper, going to GreensBridge.
Mir had suggested she might go to GreensBridge, her father had laughed at that and advised that such a trip was a very dangerous undertaking, she certainly could not go by herself. He had not said no outright, but short of imposing on her present suitors to escort her to GreensBridge she was unsure she would find someone willing to go there with her. Besides, the deceit involved in that sort of request would not have been fair. She would have to hope that a caravan came through on its way to the city before summer’s end, she could work her way there.
had started to practice with staff and unarmed skills. Mir watched for a moment or two and noticed that more than a few of them kept looking in her direction. She also noticed the posturing and bravado was significantly more than the hot day justified and when they realized she was watching them their efforts to showoff and grandstand increased. Muttering under her breath, she pointedly looked away and kept her gaze averted. There was a time when she might have wanted to be included in such practice. Things were different now.
Tibbs was slow returning from TownHall, the little runt was supposed to have picked up a bottle of quince for their uncle and come right back. Mir had to hike out to the back of the property and deliver some supplies. Uncle had retreated there a few weeks before her name day. He had not even shown up for the ceremony, nor, surprisingly, the party afterwards. He was very upset these days, father seemed to think he was loosing touch and that this was the beginning of his brother’s decline.
Mir was not so sure though. Uncle was a drunk to be sure, but he had always been a friendly drunk. He also seemed to have a pretty good reason to stay away. He knew that Kerine Nekhanda, or as she had first introduced herself, Lady Dematto from the Principalities, was a sorceress. A mind mage that was slowly taking over the village, or so he claimed. She might have dismissed this wild story, except she knew Tipper had been involved and had opposed the small woman just before leaving Aramy. All the locals knew that story by now. Most thought it was silly.
The two names stood out as well, her uncle had known her as Dematto after his brief encounter with her, while nearly everyone else knew her as Kerine or in the case of Gibler, proprietor of TownHall, Lady Kerine. Yet Mir had talked to Gibler’s oldest, Cind, he also said the woman had used the Dematto name, though only during the first day.
Mir knew Tipper, well enough to believe that if she had raised her fist against the woman then there had to have been a good reason. Then there was the fact that Nekhanda was still here, nearly two months by this point. Still staying at TownHall, in the best of rooms with her own slowly growing group of retainers and henchmen. Aside from the two goons she had shown up with, she had acquired another two guards, a couple of young servants and a minstrel. She was conducting business out of TownHall and Gibler seemed happy with the arrangement.
Her father had talked with Gibler and by all reports things were going very well this year; Lady Kerine was providing a fair balance in return for her use of his establishment. If Gibler was happy and making money there was not likely any problems with the woman. Or so her father had said.
Mir had been avoiding TownHall since shortly after her uncle’s retreat from society. When she had first met the sorceress at the tavern, Mir had felt like a prize heifer being appraised by a farmer. Since then, Nekhanda continued to creep her out, and Mir had often seen the witch watching her from a distance. Then, a few days before her name day, one of Kerine’s henchmen had none too politely propositioned Mir. All this made agreeing to he uncle’s tearful plea that she stay clear of TownHall an easy promise.
Even though her father seemed unconcerned and even though most of the village did not seem to think anything was afoot, Mir suspected her uncle’s fears to be closer to the truth.
Tibbs ran across the commons, dirty and snot nosed, her little brother hefted the quince bottle above his head as he ran up to her. With an exaggerated huff the boy placed the jug by her feet. “Done.”
“What took you so long?”
“Numer.” He laughed and ran through the gate heading to the house.
Mir picked up the bottle and the satchel of food for her uncle and headed around to the back trail.
Leave a Reply