Flashback [Wright Library] A Dominie in Grey

Minnie meets Aleric, mentor of Fallon

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[Wright Library] A Dominie in Grey

Postby Philomena on March 12th, 2015, 6:44 pm

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NPC NoteIn pursuit of a bit of plotting with Fallon, this is a flashback not with her, but with her mentor.
The restricted section of the Library had a kind of music to it. Shelfs and wirework separated it from the general gallery’s light, but it do not, fully, isolate it, and the music of student, scholar and sundry filtered up through the grating - but the weight of compressed pulp of musty leather binding meshed it. Yes, it muted it as well, but the overpowering effect was not of diminishment, but rather commingling. Footsteps blended into a sound of a distant shuffling dance. Voices sifted in individual words, phrases, conversations from tables that likely could not hear each other, nonetheless whittled their way through to blend into odd, surreal cross currents of talk, a kind of poem without sense:

“Have you tried the Lavusent Chronicle?”
“I’m partial to the beer at Murky’s, myself.”
“WHY couldn’t they just write things clearly, though? Laviku swallow every damned poet!”
“Well, you know. Murky’s, it’s an old standby, you love what you know.”

It was like history, in a way, Minnie mused, and with the musing, began scribing the thoughts into her wax tablet, below the rather dull notes on shipbuilding. It was in pursuit of a somewhat esoteric point, but esoteric points were, after all, the gateway to learning. But Qalaya, she was sure, loved both the factual detail (in this case, whether the small boat that Kenabelle Wright had first sailed around Mathews Bay would have had a flat-bottomed hull) or the impressionistic detail. And it was the latter that was swallowing her for just the moment.

It was like history - in the way that being outside a thing gave one the ability to think more integratively about it, while at the same time, reducing one’s ability to know particulars and details. One lost the sense of depth, and gained a partial deafness, but in this muddling, there was a kind of clarity to history, where, perhaps, one saw, for the lack of detail, trends that the details would otherwise obscure.

At this juncture, obscurant moved from metaphor to reality, as a shadow in the stained glass light of the high afternoon appeared across her table, in the shape of a man, and the shape did not pass, but instead, actually produced words, queerly accented words, in a cant which Minnie was not familiar with.

“Ms… Lefting, I believe?”

She looked up, and it was his hair that struck her first, not the russet, auburn, chestnut reds that appeared occasionally in her fellow Zeltivans normally, but a rich, striking red, one that struck her as almost unnatural, like the chalk they put in the hair of the actors and actresses at the Opera, to play gods. Green for Laviku. Blue for Nikali. Red for…

“Ms Lefting? Are you with your wits, then child?”

She realized she had been staring, in silence and for an impolite turn of time, and her cheeks turned as red as the man’s hair - though it did have touches of grey to it, now, here and there.

“Sir… I’m… I’m s-s-sorry, I don’t think… we’ve m-met…”

“To be sure, to be sure, child. And yet, circumstance is such that we are, now. It seems that you’re at a book I’m in search of… there it is right there, in fact!”

His hand pointed, without being demanding, at one of the volumes she had taken: ‘On the Navigation of Mathews Bay’, a rather ponderous (in Minnie’s opinion) tome which she had taken off the shelf largely because it was out of date, now, having been written at the time of Kenabelle’s sailing.

“This book?”

He nodded, and smiled, “A Ms. Capinsal mentioned that you were nosed into it at the moment. I had hopes I might share?”

She frowned, wrinkled her brow, and nervously fingered at her fringe of her décolletage, “You are a navigator from… foreign parts?”

He laughed, “Yes to the foreign parts, my dear, but nay to the navigator, I’m afraid. I’m studying the interplay of wind and cloud formation, and your bay is an interesting study in it, with the… bone-crackers?”

She nodded, clucked her tongue, and said, “I’m afraid, sir you may have the wrong book… this one is not very new. Have you tried the Mastpole guide? I consulted him on a… he’s very well respected.”

HE nodded, “I’ve looked to Mastpole, as well as Hambridge, Fordworry, and a little of Darlidge. But they are all fairly present tense. I’m looking for patterns.”

“But for Darlidge! I’m surprised you’ve come ‘cross her, sir, she’s nae s’loved by the natural philosophy crew, though I do love her work.”

“Indeed. What was it?

When blows the hard wind oe’r the smacking wave,
Watch, Captain, for a heavy sky!

But the Lay of the Red Swan’s Voyage, that’s only… fifteen years old, I think, no?” the man, with a comfortable ease of familiarity had already somehow pulled a chair out at her table, and now sat in it with a quiet lack of ceremony.

“But she was writing of the Red Swan, as sailed 120 years ago on the Sunberth run. I met her a few years ago, before she died, actually, and I can assure you, if she wrote about a turn of the wind, she confirmed that it happened then. Not a sloppy anachronist. This isn’t Sylira, you know,” she said with a hint of pride.

The man chuckled a warm chuckle, but the light of interest entered his eyes, “Is that so? But then what would her sources be?”

“I’m nah expert on Dalridge, I’m in-feared, but I’d scry it that she likely worked with the archives of the Sailor’s Guild, Master… erm… I’m sorry, I don’t think I had your… your n-name, I’m very sorry.”
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[Wright Library] A Dominie in Grey

Postby Philomena on March 12th, 2015, 6:44 pm

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The man smiled graciously, “Aleric, Miss Lefting, and since I’m sure you’re too polite to ask what you’re clearly curious about, I fare from a city far northwest of here, in Kalea, called Wind Reach.”

“Kalea?” she perked up, “Have you heard of Denval?”

He smiled ruefully, “Well, yes, but only after I had left home. I read of it in the Circumnavigation, in the libraries of Lhavit, in the south of Kalea.”

Her eyes grew wide, “Lhavit? I dunny know Lhavit, but if they have a library, it mus’ be a wonderful place.”

He laughed at that, “You, my dear, would I think be gloriously fond of it. But you were speaking of the archives of your Sailor’s Guild, are they open to the public?”

“The archives? Oh, no, not open, too many precious things, and some o’ them quite secret, you know. You ‘ave to ‘ave business there, and be trustworthy.”

HE frowned, “Difficult, I imagine, for a foreigner with a queer brogue, eh?” He winked again.

She bit a lip thoughtfully, and said, “Well… if ye were looking after a visit to it… I’m friends wi’ th’archivist. I canny think jus’ yet they’ll be ‘aving you inside alone, but I’ve business ‘ere, on fourth-day, if you wished t’accompany me. Weather logs are nae s’likely to be restricted, I can probably ‘ave you use ‘em. You look like the sort what knows ‘ow to care for a book - these are old and worn, some o’ ‘em.”

He smiled, and his eyes turned to Minnie’s hands, gloved in white cotton as they always were when reading, and nodded, “I would consider it an honor and a privelige, indeed, Miss, and I would care for them as I would care for the archives of the Wind Riders.”

She looked at him a bit blankly at this last, but thought it rude to ask, “In the meantime, if you as’ Mara - Ms Capinsal, that is… oh here she is!”

Mara, tall and imposingly pretty even in the plain grey of her dress, came up the stairwell just then, and nodded blank-faced at Minnie, who she was approaching, “Minnie, I seem to have been too slow. I had intended to warn you that you were to be accosted by a foreign gentleman, but he seems to have arrived before I could find you.” She spoke the words with the flat air of one reporting the price of onions, and neither smile nor frown threatened her lips.

Minnie, on the other hand, smiled with the pleasure of one meeting an old friend. She stood in fact and with a humorously childlike solemnity she leaned up toward the (much taller) woman. Mara leaned down with the holy condescension of a saint, and Minnie kissed first one cheek then the other, “This is Mr. Aleric of Wind Reach. He’s interested in seeing old Nora Darlidge’s papers, for some research he’s working on, are they still in the bindery?”

Mara looked at the man and frowned, “They’re not bound, and not preserved. Can this… gentleman be trusted with delicate papers?”

Minnie nodded, “Aye, Mara-dear, I can vouch for him. He’s a good ‘un, proper gentleman."

Through this, Aleric stood, with a little bemusement in his eyes, “Proper enough, m’dear, when the need arises.”

Mara looked at the man appraising, blinking thrice, “Very well. I can bring a few boxes up here, if Minnie vouches for you.”

Aleric smiled, with perhaps just the slightest greed at the thought of a fresh batch of good material, “Then I shall be thanking the both of you."
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[Wright Library] A Dominie in Grey

Postby Perplexity on March 20th, 2015, 1:55 am

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Philomena :
Skills:
  • Writing | +1 EXP
    Philosophy | +2 EXP
    Rhetoric | +2 EXP
    Socialization | +2 EXP
    Persuasion | +2 EXP
Lores:
  • Aleric: Red Haired Traveler
    Aleric: From Wind Reach


Comments :
This was wonderful. It was short but I enjoyed every word. Thank you! A lovely, lovely read.
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