Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 3)

Kogu 43, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Settling in (sort of)

The last three days have been so busy, I’ve not had a chance to stop and write a journal entry. So, here at last, and glad of it!

I’ll start with the easy stuff, namely classes. They’re going well. They had so many folk sign up that I had to take on three classes altogether. Lots of work. Students are, generally speaking, good, and if they’re not bright, they seem to be interested. I think a lot of it is just seeing someone from “the south” as they call Naldrin City and anything else on the continent further south of the Ice Island’s Sea.

I’ve been getting help with classes from Eddamma Coomerrit Drallineer. I call him Ed. He seems fine with that. He’s damn smart, and I’m pretty sure he’s a sorcerer. Of course he won’t admit to me. He’s suspicious because I’m from “the south”. I can see it in his eyes, and everyone else I meet. They all know where I’m from and they don’t trust me. At least not yet. Maybe never.

Horrence has been fine. He’s stopped by a couple of times to see how things are going. I’m always trying to get more time. He knows a lot about what goes on here on Shawmancer.

I heard some talk the other day about a battle that’s been going on in Ferren’s Sea (the Ice Islands Sea). Seems to be some kind of troops sent from here, and more from a place called the Rock Islands. They have special ships that look to be made out of some kind of odd timber. When I got up close, though, (before they saw me and hustled me away) it looked like wood, but felt hard as stone! And, the whole frame seemed to be fused together like it was one thing. I don’t know ships, but it wasn’t like the kind I’d seen in “the south”. I’ll try to draw something later if I have a chance.

But back to the battle. Sounds like Shawmancer Islanders are battling some kind of creature that lives on the icebergs that float across Ferren’s Sea. It also sounds like these creatures use the icebergs the way we use ships. They can even travel underneath the waters! I don’t know how anything can survive such cold, but, then, I’m learning a lot on this trip!

The strangest thing, though, and maybe the best, is when I overheard a few of my students talking about the “tall southerners”. Then I heard them say “nossring”. I’m sure of it! When I approached them (very casually I might add), they got tight-lipped and changed the subject, but I’m pretty sure I heard them talk about how the nossring were bringing something very powerful to the folk of Shawmancer Island.

Note to Self: I hereby give myself the task of finding out what that is. Also, I’m going to find Donnessling.

Last thing (saving the best, read that as “most aggravating”) for last. Haven’t heard from Bobby. I’ve sent three bats now, but no answer. I don’t know if I’m more worried or mad. I’ll decide once I hear from him.

Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 2)

Kogu 40, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Bobby is an idiot!

Damnit, Bobby volunteered!  I knew he would. He’s an idiot!  It’s a good thing he has an older sister with some sense, though, maybe that sister should not be here on this awful island. She should be home!

No use crying over spilled oogert milk (I guess)!

I was in Horrence’s offices when I found out. He was giving me the details about town politics. If you think big city politics are bad, just try out small town politics. Everybody fights twice as hard for half as much!

Dooweeki, a young dwaheely who works for the Journal, came running in from the street to bring me a blink bat message. Bobby had just replied to mine. That was suspicious right off the bat (Note to Self: I like that even if I do say so myself, which I do).

Bobby never replies so fast. There was a lot of stuff, fluff, in his letter. I just skimmed through that. Then, at the end, he “mentioned” that he’d been in two battles already.

I don’t know why he thinks leaving it to last helps him in any way!

It’s the Grashnakk Goblins, from the Lower Nashem Mountains, and they’re a nasty bunch. They had some shemm amaum with them, and they’re even nastier. Much nastier!

Horrence was getting agitated so I left it at that and got back to business. Bobby didn’t say a lot. Not many details, so I know he left something out. I sent a blink bat reply right back and made it clear I wanted to know exactly what’s going on with the fight and with him!

I start classes. I was hoping they’d give me another day to make up for my late arrival, but that was not to be. Final prep and then to bed!

Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 1)

Kogu 39, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Partameer City, Shawmancer Island

I got to the port at Shannam City on the 37th, and then Chawmer and I spent the next two days on the backs of our horses traveling close to one hundred miles of rough roads. Here’s my question: do the folk of Shawmancer Island know the difference between a “road” and a “forest trail”? I don’t think so.

It was raining this afternoon when we finally arrived at Partameer City, my correct destination. Two days on this horse and I’m damn sore! I didn’t let it Chawmer, or anyone, see just how sore I was. When I dismounted in front of the hotel, I could barely stand. I stood “looking around” for a few minutes to give me time for the feeling to come back into my legs.

As for Partameer, I’m not impressed. I’m trying not to say that it’s a dump, but it’s hard work not to. The houses are slip-shod. They look more like shacks, though there are plenty of folk who live there, and quite a variety of them. I saw dwaheely, ushen, ishiri, and a lot of others. I liked that because it felt a bit like home.

The center of the city wasn’t as bad. There were a number of well-built buildings, and a few of them were two or three stories. I saw a couple places to eat, one across from my hotel, and the usual shops for food and the trades.

When I got to my room, I was surprised. It was small, but it was very clean and neat. So was the rest of the hotel. They get a hand clap for that.

Chawmer and I had dinner with Horrence Pillory, the Chief Editor of the Shawmancer Journal. Seems they write not just for Partameer, but for the whole island. That’s interesting. Horrence told me to come to the office tomorrow so we could figure out my work schedule. I like that we got down to the details right away. That’s a good sign.

The bad news, though, is that there was a message for me at the hotel. They found it just before I went to bed, but it had been delivered by blink bat two days ago. Yup, delivered to where I was supposed to be two days ago.

The news is very bad! Naldrin City is under siege! Bobby sent the blink bat, and there wasn’t another since he sent that. I stood at the front desk and wrote a reply and had them send it tonight. I made it clear that it needed to go out tonight. I could see the fear in her eyes, so I think I got through.

Nothing to do now but get a good night’s sleep, if I can.

Oh, Bobby, please, please don’t volunteer to fight!

Diaries of Rhonda Floam: The Trip to Shawmancer Island (entry 15)

Kogu 37, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Finally, we’re here!

We arrived at Shawmancer Island this morning. I was so happy to walk off that ship, and I think Captain Fweyling was just as happy to be rid of me (for now).

Here’s the strange thing, though. I was one of the first to disembark. Chawmer greeted me, and that was fine. He seems competent. More on that later.

Being the first off I saw every person leave the ship, and Donnessling and his nossring companions never left. I even waited around and hid in the piles of unloaded cargo to watch. I watched until the entire crew had all walked off, and even waited a bit after that.

I was just about to leave when Captain Fweyling came down the plank. I moved out from where I was hiding to stand right in his way. He wasn’t going to get by me so easily this time.

Before he could say a word, I threw my question out there; “Where’s Donnessling?” I practically shouted it. I shouldn’t have lost control, but it was just a momentary thing. Won’t happen again.

He looked around. He wasn’t expecting this … good! And, he didn’t know what to say. After a few seconds he told me that Donnessling and his folk had already gotten off the ship and I must have missed them. All I had to do was look him in the eyes, and he started stammering again. I had him confused and all tangled up in trying to find a credible lie — that’s what makes me a good reporter.

Next thing he started making excuses, like he doesn’t keep track of the comings and goings of each folk on his ship. Just when I was going to call him out, a few other zweyjen interrupted. They’d come up from behind me. I didn’t notice. They said they were from the “front office”, if there is such a thing, and said something about the ship inspection. That was Fweyling’s cue to make his escape. As they dragged him off, I made it clear that he hadn’t seen the last of me.

I was still steaming when Chawmer insisted we get going. It was getting late and we had a ways to go. Apparently there really were some ice flows that set us off course. We were supposed to sail to the docks at the city of Partameer, but instead we’re here in Shannam City a hundred miles west of where we were supposed to be.

Chawmer had a couple of horses ready, and he could see I was not happy. I’d been looking forward to a soft bed and a floor under my feet that didn’t list from side to side. A horse ride was not what I had in mind.

Diaries of Rhonda Floam: The Trip to Shawmancer Island (entry 14)

Kogu 36, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Northern Parts of Ferren’s Sea

Enough already! Captain Fweyling says we got caught in some pretty tough ice flows and we lost a few days. “It happens,” he said to me, “That’s why they call it the Ice Islands Sea.” Then he walked away before I could ask him about Donnessling and his nossring.

Note to self: Be faster next time!

And, why hasn’t Bobby been in touch. Another day of worrying about him.  If he doesn’t tell me soon that he’s safe and sound, he won’t be very safe OR sound!

[LATER THAT NIGHT]

It’s the middle of the night, and one of Fweyling’s crew knocked on my door to wake me. They finally got a blink bat from Bobby and the Captain thought I’d want to see it right away. Okay, so that goes in Fweyling’s plus column. I wouldn’t say I’m getting to like the guy — I still think he’s hiding something about Donnessling and his fellow nossring — but this was a good call.

Bobby is good. He said forgot about keeping me up to date. I’m relieved, and I’m going to kill him when I’m back!

I’ll sleep well tonight.  At least what’s left of it.

[ONE HOUR LATER]

I can’t get back to sleep.  Bobby never tells me when something bad is happening, and the more I think about his message the more I think he’s holding back on something.  He doesn’t want to worry me. Idiot! I’ve told him over and over that I don’t worry. I don’t think he believes me. Smart kid.

Diaries of Rhonda Floam: The Trip to Shawmancer Island (entry 13)

Kogu 35, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Who’s side is Fweyling on?

Captain Fweyling says we should arrive tomorrow or the next day, depending on the weather. He’s a good ship’s captain. He is a zweyjen, after all, so I would expect nothing less. The zweyjen are definitely the best mariners. Pretty good business folk, too.

Even so, are we lost?  We’ve been stuck in this fog and snow for days now, and I don’t know that we’re going anywhere.  And, the sounds all day, and all night, are just creepy.  Fweyling says not to worry, but I’m no longer paying any attention to him.

No nossring, either. I’ve been looking, too. They might be hiding, but I don’t think even nossring can hide that well on a ship this size.  My gut tells me that Fewyling knows more than he’s saying.  Twice now he’s made excuses about where they were, but both times he was definitely lying.

No blink bats from Bobby for two weeks! Time to get worried … done.