Iona

Iona – 27 Finial 1034

Well, things could be… better, I suppose. I managed to find a decent enough job in Guildhold of all places. Apparently I have the look of a scholar about me, though from what I’ve seen, that just means I’m thin and probably in need of more sunlight. Not sure what to make of that… I’m all set up at the Illustrious Brant and Wyne’s Letterer’s Shoppe (though, just between you and me, it should probably be the Illusive Brant and Wyne’s Forgery Shack). Truly, the building is barely standing, propped up in the alley with two rotting bracers… It’s a wonder I haven’t woken buried beneath a pile of crumbled wattle and daub. I mean, I’ve stayed in my fair share of undesirable lodgings. There was the time Mylar and I were on our way to Terhall, just south of Killhawk, and had to stop over in this little village that couldn’t have been more than a few hovels leaning up against one another. We ended up staying in a lean-to in some little old woman’s yard. Woke up with a goat trying to eat my eyelashes. Damnable creatures smell like the Fourth Pit of Ellas’ Kingdom.

Needless to say, my current place of employment leaves much to be desired, but they feed me twice a day and I have a roof over my head, which is more that most down in the Hollows or, gods forbid, Ridgebase. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing much more of that sorry refugee camp than I did on my way into the city, but the reports have been grim. Disease is running rampant and food stores are dangerously low. Tensions are high. It’s as if a haze is hanging over the whole city, everyone holding their breath and waiting for someone to light the whole damned thing on fire… I’ve… I’ve seen enough in my time on the front to know that bad things are on the horizon. It’s almost the Turnyear and the weather’s only going to get worse. The Council must do something soon, or they risk all out revolt. And an army of hungry poor, who have nothing to lose…? It won’t take them long to overrun this city.

I suppose there are still those who have their wits about them up there in that shiny castle. Just the other day the Princess herself came marching down to the lower districts, no fanfare, no grand gesture with no force behind it. I have to say I was impressed. I spent a good deal of time while I was with Mylar dealing with the sort of pompous, naive, self-righteous shit-bags who make up the aristocracy. Most of them wear their titles like burnished gold signs proclaiming how grand and important they are. But this princess? Nikelaia? She’s something else altogether. Optimistic, but grounded. It’s fairly refreshing, if truth be told. Though… her chosen companion could probably do with a helping hand.

There I was, minding my own business, carrying some documents of questionable validity to a customer, when out of nowhere I’m knocked to the cobbles, papers everywhere. It was a mess, and I’m not ashamed to say that I was very close to doling out more than a few choice words to whatever buffoon had made such an egregious error. As fate would have it, the bumbling idiot was practically falling over himself to help me pick up my things. I swear to the Sweet Mother, bless her Rule, that he must have apologized about a thousand times. If I wasn’t so annoyed, I might have laughed. Well, it turns out that that fine foolish gentleman was none other than the cousin of our dear Princess Nikelaia. Who would have thought? It certainly made for an interesting afternoon, in any case.

But here I am, rambling on. My candle’s running low in any case. I must remember to pilfer (with all intention of returning, of course) one from the cupboard downstairs. Damned employers being so tightfisted…

– Iona

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