A friend! And an Apprentice!
Tylenay is awesome.
And then we were in Tylenay. The town smelled like adventure! (Well, it stank, too, because of all the mining and foundries and things.) But there was this raw feel of doing things that was amazing! And we had a lot to do! Tylenay also feels, and that’s gonna sound weird, a bit like Essle. Filthy, every day kind of new-born and full of interesting things to “harvest”.
Turenay, or even Veray, by comparison, are staid, boring and totally lacking in stealable opportunities!
It’s not even that I’m doing things my master wouldn’t want me to do, but it really feels like there’s an enormous opportunity to do stuff, learn stuff, get to know people, it’s raw, it’s exciting, it’s so interesting.
So, we are staying in an attic in the hospital. The food is good and plentiful! In return, the doctors, Venla and Amre, can count on me to give them anea whenever they need it for their work, and we’re going to take them out to the best inn of Tylenay.
But first, after we’d rested, we divvied up. Master Jeran went to bring the cart to the local wainwright, for a thorough revision and toughening up, and I prepared our work so far into four BIG HUGE packages to be sent to Turenay, where Lesla can put the contents in storage. We’re making so much more, so incredibly much more work than we’d imagined that our cart had already filled up!
So I went to the Temple of Mizran to arrange warranteed shipping — and, incidentally, told them about this new craze from Tal-Serth, painted window glass, if they’d care to take a look at a sample I could do them a design, and they could be the very first Temple of Mizran to have one of those windows made to order, wouldn’t it look great there in the south wall of their temple? I showed them a small mock-up that I illuminated with a bit of semsin….
And they agreed to pay me to make a life-sized design in oil on paper (which is also translucent)! So, now we need to find a place to do real work while the cart is getting overhauled!
And we needed more paper, more panels, more oil, more pigments, more charcoal (but we can make that ourselves), more glue. So after we got back from, reading from left to right, wainwright and Temple of Mizran, we went to the oilmill and the papermill and the panel maker — well, she’s actually a furniture maker (there’s a word for that… joiner???) and ordered lots and lots and lots and lots of stuff. Fortunately, the Temple of Mizran had already paid me for the design, and — now, please be shocked — I had asked 12 riders for the design up front, and fifty more once they accepted the design. And that’s without what the people in Gralen are going to ask for it!
So we could splurge, and splurge we did!
And we even got more work and money out of it, because everyone wanted to be painted or sketched, down to the messenger boy from the paper mill, who wanted to be eternalized with his boyfriend! That was a cute couple! Both with curly hair and sunspots — wait, that’s the wrong word, the right word is freckles!!!
That night I had agreed to work in the brothel, which was FUN!!! The place was clean, the customers happy and cheerful and the love-making at times acrobatic. It seems there are people who even get excited about being observed and getting drawn or painted while they are making love to someone they are paying to make love to them… Well, it takes all sorts, and the money was NOT to be sneezed at. (Though why anyone would sneeze at money, I wouldn’t know — it’s bad manners to sneeze at people, and the king’s face is on the money, so…)
When I got back to the hospital there was an emergency, so I spent the night helping Venla and Amre, which was quite satisfying in its own way. In the meantime, master Jeran had found a shed near the harbour, well, that’s a big word for a fish market and a couple of small boaties, where we could work, and he had hired a rather dim-witted but dependable person to clean it for us, so in the morning we went there, and the interior was really quite, quite, quite clean!
So I started on my morning duties of preparing pigments, making tempera from both oil and egg and preparing panels when master Jeran said, shouldn’t you be working on this design of yours?
And I was all like, well, yes, sure, but, yawn, and also, this work also needs to be done?!?
And, anyway, the really large piece of parchment paper (it’s not parchment, it’s paper, but it’s thick and can take a lot of oil) hadn’t arrived yet. so I only started working on the design after the morning chores, and after the long strip of paper had arrived. I needed to frame the paper, too, before impregnating it with linseed oil, which also only arrived after I had finished grinding the pigments.
But oh, dear, dear, Mizran, you’re going to walk beside your shoes with pride when I’m done. I’d started with just a coloured background, but then the ideas started to flow like piss from a woman giving birth! In front of Mizran, there are foxes and bears, both kits and cubs as well as adults, playing. Then behind Mizran there are people, people from all walks of life, from all trades, and in the afternoon I went through Tylenay with my sketchbook, sketching tradespeople, carters, artisans, teachers, children — every face in the window is going to be RECOGNIZABLE from Tylenay, someone who helps make the town prosper.
Yeah, duh, OF COURSE I got permission from everyone I sketched, and I always got it, too!
That took care of the afternoon, and in the evening Master Jeran joined me in the brothel, where we both started to work. Well, he’s not famous famous, but as soon as people saw how good my master is, they wanted his work, and we both made good money and had a good time! And then there was girl, she was serving food, her name is Cynla, and she appeared to be really interested in our work.
She’s about my own age, but because I don’t know exactly how old I am, it was a bit hard to figure out whether she was younger or whether I was younger. In any case, she was impressed by our work, and after the brothel closed, about four hours after midnight, we finally had time to talk. She’s an orphan, and only in the past couple of years, orphans in Tylenay have been taught their letters.
Her specialty is drawing animals! She showed us her book, full of the most wonderful leadpoint drawings of mice, cats, dogs, donkeys, birds… So, within heartbeats I was making puppy-dog eyes as master Jeran and mistress Varyn — could we please have Cynla as our apprentice? Would she want that?
Yes, she wanted, and that settled it. Mistress Varyn told us a lot more about the orphanage, and the next day we went for a visit, to give a donation and to tell them we were taking Cynla and that we were thoroughly trustworthy people!
So, now I’m a journeywoman and we have an apprentice, it’s getting real!!! And Cynla is really easy to talk to, and it’s nice to have another girl around, well, I guess I am missing Lesla a lot, but even though it’s not the same, it’s good!
And then in the morning, after we’d visited the orphanage, we went to our temporary studio, and I started telling Cynla about her tasks: grinding marble chips to dust so we could gesso the panels that were being delivered. And to tell the panel maker’s boy to add one half again to our order, and could he go to the paper mill and give them a new order as well? Because three people need more supports than two… And then I took Cynla out to get a new blank book bound at the bookseller, both for notes and for sketches, and we came out of the shop as real besties!
And then, it was also time to get Cynla to start drawing something else than animals, it’s okay to have a specialty, like Dimani in Turenay mostly paints flowers, but Cynla should get broad first! It was a pity all my work on the way to Tylenay was already sent out back to Turenay, so she could only see what I had been doing here, for the design of the big Mizran window. But especially for the foxes and bears, she had so many good suggestions, so I let her work on that part, while I worked on the people, and DEAR TIMOINE, working together on a design like this is bliss!
And after that, we got cleaned up in the bath house, put on our best clothes and had a truly great dinner with Venla and Amre, with a really surprised Cynla joining us.