Big Pigs!

Rhinla’s turn. She prefers to do it in pictures!

They were fighting! There were lots of dark clouds over Veray, and those were very scary! But Master Jeran said it was all people of the Nameless fighting amongst each other. It was impressive though! So I asked Master Jeran for a sheet of canvas and paint, and I started painting the clouds and the fight! I added lots of light, too, but I later learned that the light disappears from the painting, it doesn’t stay stuck.

And then I noticed I was using lots of yellow and red (that makes orange!!!) — and at the same time, master Jeran and Lesla yelled, a house is on fire! And we asked Master Jeran if there were people still inside the house, and he said, yes, and they’re locked in, with semsin (whatever that may be). But burning people is BAD!

So we ran towards the house. There were lots of people handing each other buckets with water, that almost blocked the street, but we managed to squeeze through. That wasn’t so easy, especially because Jeran isn’t as small as we are!

When we came to the house, people were milling around, but nobody could do anything about the fire or about letting people out, because there was a thick layer of — not light, but darkness! — all over the house, making it shed water like a duck. And now we could feel the people inside, and they felt so deadly afraid! As I would feel, too. We didn’t know who was inside, or who was doing this, but Lesla and me, we felt sure that no way, this was not something the Queen or the Thankful Man would tolerate! This was murder, not punishment or whatever!

There was a huge crowd in front of the house, but we ducked into an alley, and found a door in the side of the house. It was closed, too, of course, by the filthy dark skin that was all over the house. So we had to think of something smart! Well, you can make anything you want with light, so we made a door of light on top of the door, and that sort of replaced the skin of darkness, and it took a lot of effort and sweat and tries, but finally Lesla and me, we managed to open the door! So we called out to the people inside, and they came out, coughing and singed and smouldering.

When they came out, I thought, hey, they look familiar! But there wasn’t time to think, because when we ran out of the alley, towards the back of the house, there was this person, we couldn’t see if it was a man or a woman, and they were busy keeping the house smothered down, and they had not even noticed we had made an opening yet! But we knew we had to run all the same, so we ran to the river. And when we came there, the two people, one man, one woman, from the house, master Jeran and Lesla and me, where our boat was, then we knew…

These were the people who had tried to kill us! The people whose boat this was before we conquered it! That was a scary moment, I was so afraid they would want to kill us still, and us just having saved their lives! Then Lesla spoke up and told them we had won their boat in a fair fight, and now that we had saved their life, there could be no talk of killing us, because after all, we had saved their lives.

And they were so frightened… They wanted to flee Veray, and never come back. So Lesla offered them the boat, to buy, not to steal! It was ours, after all, fair is fair! But we didn’t know the price of a boat, of course, but master Jeran said, twenty-four riders, and that’s what they gave us! We didn’t know, but master Jeran had this number in his mind because it’s a special number: it’s exactly what two people need to pay to start learning. But we didn’t know that at the moment, of course.

Well, the haggling was very short because there was noise coming our way, so they gave us money, and we helped them push the boat into the river, and they paddled away, with the stream, in the falling darkness.

That was an adventure all right!

And then it was time to go and sleep. Jeran keeps a room in Veray, a small one in a neighbourhood without any canals, but it was clean, and he took us up, put us in his room, and then went down and fetched some really nice food, and then some more food, because we finished it all. Cutting light into darkness makes a person hungry! And after food, there was lessons in closing up and talking to Anshen, even though the room didn’t have any fire. And Jeran trusted us to close the room with light — only telling us not use too much light, just enough. That was tricky!

He still snores… And we still had the cat with us, and the cat wanted out in the morning, and so did we, because master Jeran had made clear that no corner in this room was squatting in. We could see that as well, it was all as clean as a spotless cat!

So we made a hole in our room-cover, and went out, with the cat, then mended the tear again, so master Jeran could see we were careful and tidy, and went down. Because… Downstairs it smelled nice! Really, really, really nice! We found the kitchen, and there was a tall, thin woman stirring a kettle. She petted the cat, then cuddled us a bit, and gave us food. She was also full of questions, but we didn’t know the answers, and then we were full of questions, like, you don’t have a canal, and you don’t have a rain catchment, so where does you water come from? Water is important! So she showed us the well and let us fetch water from deep underground! That was fun! And then we made breakfast together for master Jeran, who was looking very uncomfortable when we brought it to him because he hadn’t been able to get out! We had locked him in with our tiny-thin-invisible-light around everthing!

Well, when he had gone to the little house in the yard, and had eaten his breakfast, master Jeran took us to the Temple of Mizran, where we delivered the letter. It was a bit of a problem, though… The letter had gotten all wet! And we knew that they had told us in Tilis that this was a letter for Mizran, but the stupid priest didn’t want to believe that, nobody sends letters to Gods, he said! Well, I think any God would be glad of a letter or two, but apparently that’s what talking to the fire is for, or to the silver man, so went back into to the hall and said “tannetallemizran” to the silver man and then went back. and the priest opened the letter to see who it was for. He only gave us one shilling, not two, but… By then we didn’t care, let him have his letter, and we left!

We left for Turenay. Master Jeran found a cart somewhere, and a donkey, and asked us to stay with the donkey while he went out to buy provisions. The bridge guard, only he doesn’t guard a bridge, but a gate, he was a bit worried, I guess, about us, thought we might have been catching the cart and donkey instead of staying with it. We told him all about us and master Jeran and Essle and everything, so he was satisfied and went back to his bridge, no, I mean gate, and started guarding it again. Is it just us, or are gate guards even less smart than bridge guards? Or maybe people in Veray aren’t very smart, just imagine being a priest of Mizran and not knowing your God can get letters!

The rest of the day was peculiar… First we went all the way upstairs, the river was going down as straight as rain, and the road, it was like kinky hair, and went up and up and up, just like a staircase in a building, only it was outside. And when we were upstairs, there were trees everywhere. Everywhere! And lots of birds and other beasts, and some mud, and even a small river, small as if Archan’s grandson was having fun piddling, it was that small! But the water was clear, and full of crayfishes, so there was lunch, except that master Jeran had brought PIES, so that was an even better lunch. And you can run around the trees, and play hide and seek, and it’s called a forest, not a swamp.

And when night fell, we made camp, and a sleeping place underneath the cart, and the donkey bound up to a tree near the canal, with lots of donkey food. The cat was still with us, and went out catching food, she’s allowed to! But for us, catching food that’s not in a river, that is too hard, and some food is owned by persons, and so shouldn’t be catched. But there was pie still, and master Jeran helped us find ways to do things with light as lightly as possible. That was tricky! But master Jeran was satisfied in the end. When we went underneath the cart, and master Jeran was asleep we talked about it a bit — we both felt that master Jeran did feel like he was kind of a bit scared of us — if you can believe that! Scared, of us!.

And then it started to rain… Drip, drip, drippety, drip, and it sounded and smelt like the first proper rain! So I wriggled out of my clothes and out of underneath the cart, and started doing the Rainy Dance, like we always did when the Rains began, back home, in, well, I feel homesick now, Essle. These were different rains though! The drops were coldish, not warmish, and softer, somehow. But I still felt like, the rains have started! So I was really cheerful and started painting the sides of the cart with light!

And then I heard a sound… It was groink, not groarrrh, so it wasn’t Jeran snoring! I scooted back underneath the cart and cuddled against master Jeran. I’m afraid he got all wet, and he was all surprised, too, but I explained ’bout the sound, and then we saw half a dozen (or so Lesla tells me) piglets pass the cart, followed by an enormous lady pig! With HUGE tusks, our donkey was so cared!

But Lesla could calm the donkey with just her light!!! And the pig walked away, following her baby pigs, and we went to sleep again. I so wish there was light so I could make a picture of the big pig and the small pigs, and Lesla’s light and the poor donkey! But instead I had to put on my wet clothes again because master Jeran wanted me to.

The next day, around noon, there were side-tracks, and buildings and one of those was an inn, and there we stopped. Master Jeran took a room for us to sleep, but it wasn’t sleeping time at all yet! Still, after noon meal he went to sleep with a tankard of ale next to him, so I begged some sheets of unused paper off him and colors and brushes, and I first made a drawing of our donkey, while Lesla was playing with the geese.

And then I drew the white dog, only I didn’t draw the dog, I only draw the bits around here, because she was as white as the paper!

And in the evening after a HUGE dinner, we played with light and fire and so on again, and then went to sleep. I think master Jeran is nice! He didn’t complain about my painterings, or about us cuddling him, or about how used too much light after all, when doing the evening playing. And tomorrow, we’ll be in Turenay!