The Enclave > Known Roads > Two Springs

The Lazing Mule

Aye, and there's the Lazing Mule, and none too soon with the sun low and feet worn from the Stone Road. Lanterns lit and hung already, mark me, and that would be right and proper were she a vessel afloat.

Tis easy enough to see the name, I say, but a sight harder to say whether a mule means four legs and hide or two legs and a coin pouch. Plenty enough of the latter you'll be seeing inside, aye. Certain merchant folk take to arriving twixt the hills all too early in the day, the better to drink themselves to a sodden head by the next morning. You and I - and these two spears, by Salin's long left hand! - will be the better for a night of rest such as honest folk take.

Aye, and there's that. More coin than I'd like goes to Two Springs for the passage, for what little is given in return. Roofing the Council manse in chains, we trader folk may as well be. Craw and spine! But coin not poured away to ale is coin for toll and tax at Three Stones, mark me, and there will be need for both - honest rest it is!

Remember, lad, nothing of trade and coin inside the Lazing Mule; Jalla can't abide the talk of merchant folk, for all she was striding the Stone Road just as we are for ten summers, and ten winters likewise. Aye, and she and her folk are big and broad, just like her inn. Find yourself out and upside-down, you will, and a plate broken on your head for measure - aye, and there'll be no shortage of laughing and pointing for more seasons than you'd like, I'll wager.

It's not all spears and blades; the spined eel is stuffed, spiced and still good this far from honest salt and the Unending Sea - and Salin's crew wouldn't run from the ale casks. Aye, none of the commonfolk fare from land, tree and field as we'll be suffering in Three Stones, and there's a thing worth the coin.

[ Posted by Reason on January 17, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Coin for the Wizardry of True Islemarks

Every fisher touched by Magi blood can carve lines in driftwood taken from the same Unending Sea once sailed by wizardry and tradeships. Seafarers carve and daub and speak of marks handed down from Magi of the Isles; yet there is no more wizardry in that driftwood, nor on prow, door, nor red iron from the Guild, than was before. No, it is to me you have come for true marks of the Isles, for remnants of old wizardry.

Afore the Vanishing, when tradeships brought your folk from afar, there was much of wizardry in Creation. The Magi made rivers of the Unending Sea, servants of the wind and rain, the better to carry great vessels to a hundred ports. Marks and signs were but the very least of the wonders of the Isle, garnered from the corners of Creation, but that least is all that remains - few of darker blood have but even that. You pale folk of spears and the land, you have no sense of sea, of salt and wizardry. You are blind to what is lost.

And what would be my living in Port? Who of the cityfolk to tell of old wizardry amidst pretty islemarks cast as eelscales upon the fishers? I hear the Unending Sea and passage of tradeships in the bubbling of streams from the springs, and the echo of vanished Magi in the trade of worthy folk who know well enough to find me. Well and well, it is a kind enough road for an old fisher, too old to pull on lines and sails.

[ Posted by Reason on January 19, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Spears Against Whispers

Blood! This is good ale! I won't be asking whence it came, mark me, but coin will be found, come spears or blades, afore the next cask rolls to my feet.

Coin the Council has aplenty, and coin beyond that, I say. Watching young Rannal count gold on gold for the spears I've called, now there's a call for ale! Tax the merchants for the Stone Road and give coin to the spears say the Council, and trader purses grow fatter than the coffers of the spearpriests under the summer sun, that I know. Let the Trade Guild wail and shed tears - a fine vengeance for every coin charmed from honest folk by thieves dressed in merchant finery, and there's the truth of it!

By the Emerald, were there ever a finer purse to be taking than that of Two Springs! Tallun, now, he has it in his fattened heart that the Whisperwood will up and walk on roots to claim the old beams and posts of manse and hall. Blood! It's a dire place, and there's that and true, but not one tree of it can be seen least you climb the hills - and then good and far. Fear in fine clothes means a loose purse, and spears well kept, mark my words. You'll not see a spear's courage given to where it has no place, no, for coin is coin.

[ Posted by Reason on January 19, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Spears Against Guildfolk

By the King's Spear! You'll not be walking Port streets this summer or next, not while coin and pretty farmfolk girls are to be found a strong arm's cast from this very doorway. You Coast Road folk, the salt sits in your hearts - but you still came for coin dug from village councillors by Elas of the Company. Blood! Just as I or Merrine, and there's the truth, long and sharp as this spear.

Coin for thieves? Hah! May as well be coin thrown into the Lothar and washed to sea - the only thief worth the name in Two Springs is the one to have taken Merrine's heart, and him moonfaced after her this past season. A real thief from the City Without to knock spear to head good and hard, now that I'd give coin for.

No, a purse to catch a thief, naught but pretty words to keep spears Elas brought from Guard and militia from their ale - and the more for him thereby, blood! We'll earn our coin when greed for a full coinbox and cries of merchant folk bring the Trade Guild from warm beds and salt air - bring spears from Port alongside, mark me.

Two seasons more, I say, but the King's Way will be calling me after first snow - cold and Neth, mayhaps, but there'll be honest coin for it and honest spearpriests to lead past the River Road.

[ Posted by Reason on January 21, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Spring Water and the Strangers' Pool

Well and well, you'll not be the first spear to ask, not since you and yours chased the young folk from their bathing where the spring streams meet, with your leers after daughters and rough ways. A man is a man, spear or not, but there's ways and ways about - best to learn those to win you friends amongst folk, I say. Elas and our Council may speak fine and well, but there'll be fewer spears come next summer lest broken ways are mended.

Strangers' Pool it is, for a generation now, since young folk came running and screaming from Trespassers. The Pool is far enough from orchard and cottage that we found nothing but the smell of them and a strangeness to the water, but linger it did, in the waters and in the heart. Young folk now forget these tales, or don't believe the telling of them - but they're the only folk in Two Springs who'll brave the Pool.

All young folk look to the moon a little - and who's to say there is wrong in that? Mayhaps spears have naught to fear from strangers come from far, mayhaps not. My hair is whitened, but I am no sage to know such; mark me, mind, I'd not be one to use water where the spring streams meet.

[ Posted by Reason on January 22, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Visitor's Cottage, Stranger's Field

Lell, now, she has a heart to her, cried fit to die twixt midwinter and last snow - when the Lost half-folk came from the Farthest Fields two summers past and died of I know not what. Since and now she's kept the Visitor's cottage cleaned, cut the vines from the Beautiful Stranger in white stone, chased out the grime. More's the pity, I say, than when she gave eyes to us and ours. Harard's grandfather knows the old folks' song of a time the statue was brought from Port and the cottage given to red-eyed, strange-tongued folk, folk who lived here as we do afore the Traveler called them elsewhere in Creation. Ah, but who is to say?

I know this, and mark me, tis a stranger's cast-off green that grows in the field by the Visitor's cottage. Given over it is, like the Farthest come to the Enclave, and neither goat nor bird will take to it. Still and well - with Davet's brother Lost in the fields these seasons since the stranger's storm, best to speak of Lell and tell of a likewise cottage under the eye of the Beautiful Stranger, tell of a Farthest Village of kindly, honest folk.

[ Posted by Reason on January 23, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Lady of Field, Orchard and Farmfolk

Not to forget the Lady, now, afore we build up the orchard walls this day. Commonfolk we may be, but work enough and you and yours will be a Power of Creation, and there's a truth. You start with the tumble from where the tree fell in midwinter, and I'll take to finding hold-stones - and none of your idling, mark me!

Happened and truth that the Lady tended field, orchard and goat-pen under the Ammand moon - and the best of all farmfolk she came to be, for all her noble blood. No farm the like it in all Creation, I say! She passed the end of her Road, as for all folk, passed from the Ammand, but her ways were told - and farmfolk listened. So it is, well and well, the mark of Lady Moonlit upon the last rock we set here.

Tis good work, but mark me, work can always be better! Remember that when next casting an eye to the Lady.

[ Posted by Reason on January 26, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Two Brothers Meet After First Snow

By the saltblocks! A fine day it is for seafarer and spear to be meeting with ale on the hilltop. Warm and bright, and so soon after first snow! I was afeared we see no better than two summers hence, rain and rain fit for a new sea, and us wet over poor ale and mud in the Lazing Mule. Wet I know, and wet should be with salt and song, not doused as merchants under wood and thatch.

You have the longer road to Two Springs, aye, hence it's my coin buys the ale - and you the eel to carry the cask. You'll raise your claws just the same with each new summer, and we'll do just the same ... leastways til you return to Port, or I lose my senses and leave the dockside for Three Stones. There would be a fine song to be sung!

Aye, mud there is aplenty, but mud there always will be. Look down and yonder, spears treading up the Stone Road to Port - all the more to stand about the Guild Bridge for thieves' coin, making trouble for honest folk this summer, mark me. Better for we eels to be on the other slope, rocks and thorns aside - I'd give more coin for a view of fields and the far Whisperwood this day.

Craws and spines! Same eyes as I you have, for all you put them to no use, carrying a spear in your City Within. Out and far, see the ruins there, a half-cast to the wood and beyond the farmfolk. Like as the fishers say stands in the Low Marsh where no folk hunt, or cursed Lorn - naught so sorry as a home without folk, aye.

[ Posted by Reason on January 27, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

The Halved Barn

Few enough of villagefolk in the Lazing Mule ... beyond the kitchen and ale-cellar, leastways. Jalla keeps an inn for merchant folk, aye, and Two Springs spears paid with taxed merchant coin these past seasons.

No, farmfolk take their ale in the Halved Barn, stone and thatch away from the Stone Road and near the orchards. Like fishers and thieves on the dockside, they'll keep to their own casks, and slow to warm to traveling folk come to the door. The innkeep is friendly enough for Port folk as ourselves, aye, even seafarers come along the Road to Three Stones, but trade and sailing on it is. If I'm to be drinking, it's to be with song, a good crew and a warm fire, mark me, not ill stares and whispers.

Aye, afore the fair at One Stone, even Two Springs is bursting with folk. Players prancing on the grass, young folk showing off a winter of cloth and needlework, summer traders chasing fair coin and mules to overflow the stables yonder. Come from the Stone Road too late in the day and the boards of the Halved Barn might be all there is for sleep, aye, and that for too much coin!

But enough! Tis late and late for tale and song; early we'll be rising, the better to rest at One Stone and far from the Whisperwood when night next falls.

[ Posted by Reason on January 31, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Tradefolk and Visitors From the Farthest Roads

Craws and spines! Look at this! You had the spears packing casks, aye, and packing them again you'll be, and under my eyes! We'll not be stopping on the Stone Road for an ill-laden mule, not this side of One Stone. Hurry now - the day is but started and already awasting.

Aye, and now villagefolk come to watch moonfaced traders who cannot seat a mule to work. Are you not done yet? There sits Telen and a seafarer's sash he's not earned his way to wear. Sets out chair and canopy each day, eel amongst crawcrabs, and fancies himself Lord of the Stone Road, aye. I could tell of the songs they sing of him on the dockside, mark me. Menas and his Isleblood kin pay coin for Telen's lazing, against those times strangers come from the Stone Road to trade.

Aye, to Port and Three Stones it may lead, but all Creation besides. Roads are as currents in the Unending Sea, I say. Strange beasts and folk with stranger faces come to Two Springs, and not all are Lost. Noble folk and sages chase such as Visitors have to trade; tis coin fished from the sea, thrown ashore by wave and spray for those with hands on the tiller of the Trade Guild.

[ Posted by Reason on February 4, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Beams From the Whisperwood

Was a time when all hereabout was just two hills and two streams from two springs; afore Three Stones grew its walls, and when stonefolk brought ancient wizardry to Port in dry summer seasons. We have our orchards these past generations, and stranger's trees besides, standing about and around, Lost as those who planted their seeds. But then and then, not a tree stood by the Stone Road. Whisperwood was all there was for beams and carpentry, and so the first Ammand folk to settle athwart the Road took up ax, rope and many a marker to ward against the Farthest; foresters they were.

So and it was, a fine living they must have made. The forestfolk ruins far to Whisperwood are grander than the Council Manse - a sight to have seen, I say, foresters living as if noblefolk! Cut often and cut well they did, for all the oldest beams here and about came from their work. This table here, mark me, this very table is of Whisperwood - and more the same you'll see under Jalla's thatch.

Now ruins they are and ruins they have been, mind, for no folk brave Whisperwood now. Who is to say what came to those commonfolk? Tis a cursed place, just as Lorn, where the Farthest presses close and the Beautiful Stranger walks not. Best for folk as us to remember well, I say.

[ Posted by Reason on February 5, 2006 | Permanent Link ]