Camp at the Third Marker
The Enclave > Known Roads

Aye, tis a dreary camp for man or mule, summer or winter - but I'm happy enough that first snow is a season away yet. I'd be happier to be spending this night in a warm cot in the Seafarers' Guildhall, mark my words, but here is here and there is there. We'd be spending coin in the City Without this very moment if you hadn't found the only loose stone left in the Lothar ford to lodge in your hoof. Lucky to be owned by an old seafarer, you are - no city eel would have lightened your load by half and carried it this far for you.

Salin's beard! It's all bitter craws and rotten eels to you isn't it? Aye, and if you'd but kept your heart on the Road, you wouldn't be braying over trampled grass and no straw, and my back wouldn't be so close to breaking. Do you think I enjoy this poor meat from King's Keep villagefolk any the more? The sooner to Port, the better, I say, and to the Farthest with the Guildmaster and his coin. Give it to younger hands, aye, and send them away down the Stone Road to Three Stones and beyond.

Well and well, and now the fire is gone - not that there was much to begin with. Swordpriests and spears, enough for a generation of summers, have stamped this place flat. Aye, and burned the trees, branch by branch, as back and forth they go from Keep to Keep. Not a nod for one wearing the Seafarer's band, no, nor any offer of help - and may their King's Way become Lost on a dark night!

Don't you be wandering off in search of grass, mind, least I tie you up at the marker - and there would be a better use for it. The moon makes the last rise of the New Road clear as a stranger's wave on the Farthest Sea, as if we were out beyond the cliffs and the wind so calm. Were we so heartened, you and I, atop we'd stand and there we'd see distant torches on the walls of Three Stones - aye, and white stone by moonlight in the Gravefields. Hungry for grass or good stuffed eel, it's still best to leave moonlight for the Lady and her ways, for folk were not meant to be near the Farthest Graves by night.

[ Posted by Reason on September 13, 2005 ]