Wounds of War

Elvanae panted as she pushed her shoulder against the doorframe but it was refusing to budge. Some of the guild hall storage rooms were full to the brim of materials and she had decided to spring clean… even though it was the middle of summer. She had spent hours the other night haggling prices with Lini Girinia, the raw materials merchant, eventually persuading him to advertise the materials at the prices she had insisted. This was the last storage room left to explore. Giving the door another hard push, and failing miserably again, she decided to ask Aleeskandaro to sort it out. And so, she changed her dusty gloves for a new pair and headed out into Yrkanis, waving lazily to Bene Zarini and rolling her eyes when she noticed he was snoring softly.

Autumn was still a while off but she could feel a chill in the air. She would soon have to dig out her Matisian armour, good sturdy armour that covered you up and kept you warm! She made her way over to Lini Girinia noticing that he was in deep conversation with Lini Antollo. As she approached, the latter abruptly concluded the discussion, bowed to Elvanae and moved back to her station. What a weird homins she was, Elvanae mused.

Lini Girinia had a broad smile on his face. Elvanae raised one of her eyebrows at him, “Lini, you look awfully cheerful this dreadful morning. Tell me, have any more of my materials been sold?”

He looked down and began to flip through the pages of his ledger, glancing up at Elvanae now and then. She had noticed but pretended to be engrossed in the mektoub mount which had been tied to a nearby post.

“Hmmm,” Lini Girinia mused, tapping an entry in the book, “yes, looks like we have sold your yelk skins!” He exclaimed proudly.

Elvanae groaned inside, Aleeskandaro had asked her to remove the yelk skins from being advertised but recent events had made her forget. “Oh thats bloody brilliant!’ She praised. “But if you do see any yelk skins for sale be sure to let me know please, I shall need to purchase some,” Elvanae nodded firmly at Lini.

He blinked several times in confusion, “oh… yes.. of course,” he hastily responded, bowing his head.

With business concluded, Elvanae reached over to Lini’s ledger and shut it, smiling up at him and nodding firmly. “So Lini, I heard you just recently came back from Zora.”

“Oh yes, it was marvelous, it was actually Lini Antollo’s idea… it is known that Vao Pei-Ziao sells the most cratcha moss in all of Atys, naturally one must… keep an eye on their competition now and then…”

“Of course one should!” Elvanae agreed, “besides, Zora also has some interesting sites to visit, I must admit.”

“Oh yes!” Lini exclaimed, “we stopped off at the bar there before making our way home and ran into Pei-Jeng Fuan and you know, just got chatting”

“Ohhh..” Elvanae lowered her eyes, “did Pei-Jeng Fuan have any interesting news to share?” She asked innocently.

“Well you know I hate to gossip,” Lini insisted.

Elvanae raised her eyes to look at him, widening them in disbelief, “Of course you are not a gossip Lini! I would never say such a thing about you!” Lini Girinia was the biggest gossip Elvanae had even have the fortune to know.

“I guess it isn’t really gossiping,” a broad smile appeared on his face and he visibly relaxed. He took a deep breath and proceeded to tell Elvanae how Pei-Jen Fuan had heard from Sun Nai-Da who had heard from his wife’s cousin who worked as a guard that apparently the Kami were bent on taking over all the outposts and building their Kami drills which according to them, apparently drilled the soil gently compared to Karavan drills. Elvanae had rolled her eyes at this comment. A drill was a drill. If the Kami felt so strongly about this, then they would have removed even their ‘gentle’ drills and not drill whatsoever! Besides which, she had never come across any such report validating this. But Lini’s gossip did not stop there…

Elvanae's eyes widened. She shook her head, “I’m sorry, he had said what?”

Lini’s head bobbed up and down and he looked around them to make sure no one was eavesdropping. “He said,” Lini paused for dramatic effect, “that he explicitly heard this homin saying, ‘seeing how no guild owns an outpost without installing a drill, of course we have to choose the lesser evil - gluttony over allowing the Karavan to place those filthy machinery on sensible soil.’”

Elvanae could not contain herself any longer and burst out laughing. The mektoub tied nearby gave a grunt and Lini jumped slightly, eyes scanning everywhere. He forced himself to laugh along with Elvanae, nodding to a guard who had turned to look at what the commotion was all about.

Elvanae wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Oh dearest Lini, I recall a quote I read when I was a little girl, ‘Atys provides enough to satisfy every homins need, but not ever homin’s greed’,” she tapped her chin in concerntration, “Sadly, it appears that the author’s name has slipped my mind…”


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