Completed A lucky break

Tollivant gets his first commission

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

A lucky break

Postby Tollivant Brennson on April 29th, 2017, 11:17 pm

29th of Spring, 517

As usual, Tollivant was in the Wright Memorial Library. Even if his job as an assistant librarian didn't require his presence, he would still have gladly spent all his time there. His thirst for knowledge was as insatiable as the warrior's bloodlust or the lover's yearning for the touch of bare skin. Not that he would know anything about either.

He was sitting at the librarian's counter, from where he was supposed to field easy inquiries relating to the admittedly confusing shelving system. His role also technically included reshelving returned books, but as Tollivant's nose was usually buried deep in the pages of his own book, he rarely left the counter. He was always being pulled up on his apparent inability to tear himself away from his beloved pages, so when he looked up to see the head librarian approaching, his first reaction was to drop the book on the floor - gently, of course - and start fiddling with the nearest bit of paper in a pretence of work. Lisaelis was a formidable woman whose apparently endless energy belied her advanced age, and he didn't much like being on the wrong side of her, although she seemed to find his hopelessess rather endearing. Or at least so he hoped.

Bracing himself for the inevitable reprimand about reading on the job, he couldn't quite believe it when Lisaelis simply held out a folded piece of paper and said, 'A runner just brought this over from the College of Navigation. Said it was from the Cartography master and that he was looking for you.' She hovered nearby while he scanned the page, obviously keen to hear what it was about.

Tollivant looked confused. 'It's a commission for a map,' he said, 'from the Mithryn Outpost in Syliras. A lucrative one, too. The Syliran Knights are asking for an up-to-date map of the area south of Syliras, with a particular emphasis on roads,' he read. 'Apparently there's been a big road building program since the last map was made.' He came to the end of the paper and gave a start. 'Gods, they're offering a lot of mizas! Just imagine all the parchment you could buy with that...' he said wistfully, drifting off into one of his characteristic dreams. 'I wonder who they'll send to do it. Lucky person, whoever they are.'

Lisaelis interjected. 'Tollivant... why do you think the College sent a runner over here with the paper, with specific instructions to look for you?'

Tollivant stared at her, realization dawning. 'Do you mean... do you really think... me? A real map? A real job?' he almost shouted, before quickly dropping his voice at her shh gesture. 'Is that what it means?'

Lisaelis nodded, smiling in what he hoped was an affectionate way. He had been working for her for several years now and despite his inability to concentrate on anything other whatever tome he was currently devouring, she didn't seem to have become too exasperated with him. 'I'll be sad to see you go, Tollivant,' she said, 'although I'm surprised to hear myself say it, and I'm not sure the library's poor neglected patrons would necessarily agree with me.' She chuckled. 'Well, good luck.' She nodded and was gone, leaving Tollivant to contemplate visions of his future that arose, unbidden and uncontrollable before his eyes.

Eventually he pulled himself together. This map wasn't going to write itself, after all. He would need equipment, parchment, ink, a ruler. And supplies, of course. He congratulated himself on remembering the practical aspect. He was going to have to do some planning.

Word count: 597
Last edited by Tollivant Brennson on May 25th, 2017, 4:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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A lucky break

Postby Tollivant Brennson on May 1st, 2017, 8:50 pm

Tollivant dropped by his Cartography professor's office on the way back to his dormitory. He was still clutching his job offer like a talisman. He couldn't believe his luck - what were the chances of a commission for a map near Syliras coming in just as he was planning on heading in that direction anyway? He thanked his professor for giving him the opportunity. 'I won't let you down, sir,' he promised, rubbing his knee. He had walked into the doorframe on the way in. His professor sighed. 'I have no doubt about your mapmaking skills, Tollivant. What worries me is your ability to actually reach your destination in one piece. Do try not to disappear or disintegrate before you get there, won't you? I don't want to have to placate this merchant if the promised map never makes it to Syliras.' 'Understood, sir,' Tollivant said, straightening his spine and pushing his shoulders back in an effort to appear businesslike and reliable, and knocking a pile of papers of the desk in the process.

Back in his room, he laid out his current possessions on his bed. They didn't amount to much. As a Cartography student he was able to borrow the University's equipment whenever he needed, so he would need to buy his own tools before leaving. He mentally ran through the requirements: parchment for drawing on, obviously, and charcoal for drawing with. A ruler for measuring out the grid on the parchment, and also a long length of rope to be used for measuring out distances. A compass - that would be the biggest investment, and take a huge bite out of his savings, but there was no way around it. Cartography was impossible without being able to measure angles and orient yourself. He would also need a post with a hook or loop at the top for tying the rope to so he could measure distance over uneven ground. He intended to make the most of the journey to start collecting information for his guide to Mizahar as well, so he added a blank book and several quills and ink sticks to the list. He wanted to be able to write down anything interesting he might find on the journey. Then, of course, he would need supplies. The journey would take a minimum of 50 days, but he should buy enough to last if they were delayed for a while. Finally, he would need a bag to keep everything in.

Planning did not come easily to dreamy Tollivant, and by the time he'd finished his list, pushed his way through the crowds on West Street to buy his items, and carried it all back to his dormitory, he was absolutely exhausted. Time for a pick-me-up, he thought, and headed out to the World's End Grotto to relax with a mug of ale. It was unusually crowded today, and he found himself sharing a table with a man who introduced himself as Alar. Tollivant was a naturally ebullient boy, and they were soon chatting away merrily. Alar told him he was a farmer, although he didn't look much like one. He was wearing a blue velvet hat, fine woolen trousers and a silken jacket, and his shoes were ostentatiously well made. Seeing Tollivant's rather tactless look of surprise, Alar smiled. 'As you may have guessed, I don't work much in the fields these days. I'm too old for that. But I own a number of farms just outside the city. What is your profession, if I may ask?' 'I'm a cartographer,' Tollivant said proudly, relishing the new phrase as it left his mouth. Alar looked delighted. 'By Bala,' he said, 'I believe this is a sign. I was just thinking this morning about the possibility of expanding my farm. There's a strip of land I've got my eye on the other side of the hill north of the city. There's a stream that comes out of the end and flows east to the sea, and I've heard from people who've been there that there's a large flat area around the stream. I think it would be a perfect location to expand, but I need to know more details. I don't suppose you'd be interested in drawing up a map of the area for me? It wouldn't have to be incredibly detailed. I just need to know how big it is, if there are any massive obstacles like rocks, how wide the stream is, that sort of thing. Could you do it?' Tollivant couldn't believe his ears. Two job offers on one day! He accepted the job happily, and finished the rest of his ale in a state of excited contentment.

Word count: 782
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A lucky break

Postby Karyk on June 7th, 2017, 10:44 pm

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Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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