Jan 2009

Chapter 76Of Council and Clerks

It was still fairly early. Not that it made that much of a different. It was already quite busy and crowded for the most part. It made me wonder if these people had nothing else to do. Well obviously not, because they were here. There was a general shift towards the market with plenty of people taking things there. Carts or filled arms with goods as they were on their way to sell more things to anyone who'd buy. It was fun looking at them because I wasn't planning on buying anything and could feel safe from their tall tales.

The city council was, of course, easy to find for me. The building was quite impressive and old. It wasn't exactly a castle (as far as I could tell) but rather a sort of town hall that had been expanded in almost every direction over time. Wings for a library and archive appear to have been built over time as close to the original style as possible. Only the color of the stones betrayed their difference.

Of course I wanted to show off a little to Deirdre. "This is it."

Deirdre smiled. "Those stones came from the region of Rockwall, probably."

I nodded. "Some of the buildings here are quite expensive."

"Shall we go in?"

"Yes, we might as well."

The building wasn't as impressive inside as I expected it to be. But it was a good thing. Rather than a lot of pretty nonsense, the inside was sober but practical. One side was taken by a simple waiting bench while the other was set up with desks, cabinets and bookcases. Two of the three desks were occupied, a thin looking woman and a thin looking man apparently working hard. There were no other people around here and the doors leading to other spaces were all unguarded.

Not that I'd know if they were going anywhere important.

Part of me presumed the main doors, on the opposite side, would lead to a sort of hall where they would talk. Maybe with a large table or rows of benches. I wonder what my next step should be. At least the tone should be right.

I turned to Deirdre and spoke softly. "Wait here and act like a servant. I'll see if I can get some information from the man at the desk."

Deirdre simply smiled and nodded and stood back while I made my way over to the middle desk. The man looked up a moment from his work as he saw me near. Then smiled a little as he realized I was heading for him. He looked down for a just a moment to finish some writing before he looked up again.


"I have a somewhat unusual request."

The man sighed wearily. "Try me?"

"What would one do if one would like to warn the Council against an oncoming threat, say of war?"

The man blinked a few times and looked at me. If he had been wearing glasses I'm sure he would have cleaned them. "Considering the tone of your voice, I assume you appear to be serious."

I nodded.

The man coughed. "Well, would such a situation be present, a messenger is usually sent from whatever organisation deems the warning necessary and of course allowed through those doors." He motioned to the doors in the back.

I smiled. "Can I?"

He blinked again, this time somewhat more curious. "May I ask what the danger is?"

"Possibly war between humans and the forest spirits."

The man took this in calmly. "Sounds plausible. Alright, you can go through."

I bowed politely and turned around. When I turned back for a final question the man was already back at work. "A question?"

He looked up. "Yes?"

"What would have happened if I just walked through."

He looked at me as if I just asked the strangest thing in the world. "There are actually guards on the other side of the door. But otherwise... eh... Good question."

I smiled. "Thank you."

The man went back to work, a little distracted I felt. I headed back for Deirdre with a smile on my face. The clerk had betrayed one important thing. Though there might not be a known threat, they saw a war with the forest spirits at least as something possible. That would make my initial talks a lot easier.

In fact, this could even be fun.