Without Athal

The country needs its queen again. And, clearly, the queen needs her country.

It is now Dochein Hanre of the second week of Naigha in the year 547 after Vegelin I. Athal has been gone for a week and things have been mostly taken care of. Our plans for making a trip about the kingdom were cut short by more bad news. An epidemic of some lung disease has broken out. It has probably started in or around Valdis, because that’s where it is the worst at the moment, and that is also were we are going. It has also hit Turenay and probably Essle by now.

I thought about it, but there are not many places safe to take or send Vurian and Radan to. It’s moot anyway, because now more then ever I have to be in Valdis, so people can come to the palace for guidance, aid, or just look to it for moral support. And since the plague will have run rampant over Valids by the time we get there, it might even be a relatively safe place. I am worried about Moyri, though, if she catches it.

As for the journey, we took boats to Tilis and after a little discussion also up the Valda as it was a more comfortable way to travel and the guard could set up camp in the time we lost being slower.

On the road we met a woman going the other way and asked her for news. She was going to Essle to claim her widow’s compensation. She lost her husband to the war and her son to the plague. This war really is a miserable thing. She also told us that further up, there was a new village and that they did not have anything there yet to sell.

Moreyn Zelay

Dochein hanre of the third week of Naigha in the year 547

The village turned out to be called Moreyn Zelay or “Moryn’s clearing”. All the trees had been felled during Moryn Eraday’s radical actions. I thought it was ironic in a positive way. People making a fresh start and creating something good out of an unfortunate turn of events. I took a guided tour of the village and invited the whole village to dinner while Moyri and Serla and the cook prepared it. It was generally pleasant and we discussed sending mill-stones to the village so they could build a mill.

Lenay

Naighei hanre of the third week of Naigha in the year 547

Our next stop was Lenay. We were welcomed by Hallei Ardin, the acting baron of Lenyas, the Mayor and the Mighty Servant. We inquired about the state of things in Lenyas and asked to see the dean of doctors. It tuned out that they had a makeshift hospital just outside the city and I decided after prompting from Moyri to pay for making it a proper and permanent thing, in part to improve public opinion about us, but more to shame the rest of the rich to contribute as well. It’s going to cost, but it seems a very useful, though not a financially profitable, investment.

On the way this got me to thinking. From Cora and Iss-Peranians in general, even Moyri seems to have picked up this habit somewhat, I got the notion that to be great you have to share your wealth in the form of gifts. It’s an appealing idea, especially if you wish to be perceived as great again and again. But no matter how great one is, a country can not run on the yield of one, or even a few people, supporting the rest with gifts. It is not an efficient way to do things. I prefer helping people to be productive enough to support themselves. This can sometimes be achieved though gifts, but I can’t afford gifts for every one in Valdyas. Sometimes less material things will do, like advice or an official approval. That is why I like the millstone idea and the founding of the hospital. Lenay will pay for supplies and labor. I believe that that is the way to make a kingdom great instead of an individual.

Erday, Lhayen

Mizrein hanre of the third week of Naigha in the year 547

I was a bit apprehensive about going to Erday, but that turned out to be unfounded. One of the first things we spotted were the children Fian saved from being eunuchs. We went up to Fian’s mother who is also the head of the village. We talked about how they managed the fields with so many men dead or off to war and we confirmed that Fian was on a mission in Albetire. Then we pressed in towards Tal-Nus. While most of the ungifted people from Erday now lived in Moreyn Zelay, the gifted ones live here and they all belong to the Nameless.

Tal-Nus

Mizrein hanre of the third week of Naigha in the year 547

We rode to Tal-Nus on the hollow road. And along the way I got to meet one of Athal’s flings, Alyse. She is married now, but perhaps just a bit sorry she did not hold on to him. Remarkably only two people died of the plague. Even Moyri’s grandmother was still alive. It was almost like when we were young and I was visiting my friend as yet another duyen child. Overall Lenyas does not feel nearly as hostile as last time we were here.