Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 6)

What day is it?

Rhonda Floam

Where am I?

I woke up groggy, lying in a pile of rags and old bedding that reeks of vomit, and something else. I’m not sure what. I’m too muddled to figure it out, and it’s not my top priority.

They took everything away from me; my knife, belt, bellen pouch, and the rest. They didn’t find the paper and my pen, so I guess I’m lucky — congratulations to me!. Or, maybe they just didn’t care because I don’t know who in a hollow man’s hell took me!

I remember saying good night to Horrence and the guys at the paper. It was a late night. I’m pretty sure of that. Then I walked home. The usual route. It’s a seedy part of town, but I’d gotten used to it. I remember walking by the Last Cup. It’s a nasty place, with nasty folk. I can always smell the place before I see it. Reminds me of a few places in Tier One of Naldrin.

Somebody was leaning against the building, a tall guy. After I passed him he started following me. I remember now, though. He didn’t follow for long. He was so drunk he could barely walk and he seemed to be asking me to buy him a drink. I turned back once and he was leaning against the building again, looking like he was trying to hold it up.

Then what? I walked another block, no two blocks. I just passed Wannman’s bakery and somebody was there. Two somebodys. I think one was human, male, and the other was a woman. I think she was ushen. She was big.

They were standing at the other end of five corners, under a lamp tree, watching  me. I usually don’t think much of that. It happens, and I can take care of myself. But, they started an argument. Then a scuffle. They moved up the street in my direction, and blocked my way for just a minute or two … YES! That was it! They were delaying me.

When I got back to my place, the door wasn’t shut properly. I was too tired to think about it. I was in a hurry that morning, so I figured I just didn’t get it shut all the way.

What then? I made some tea. To help me sleep.

Then what? I got up from the table to go to bed. I felt dizzy. I think I fell. There was an image of the ceiling like I was looking up at it from the floor. Then somebody was standing over me. No, two. No, three. Hoods covered the faces, damn!

And, now I’m here, wherever ‘here’ is, writing to remember and to document as much as I can. My head hurts and so does my left arm.

Voices! They’re coming!

Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 5)

Kogu 50, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

A Week of Worry

I haven’t written for a week. I’ve just been too worried. But, today I got a blink bat from Naldrin City. It was from Dannull, one of Bobby’s best friends. They’re all okay. Not that they deserve to be. There is fighting in the Second Tier of the City and Bobby, of course, was in the front of the Naldrin defenders. That idiot! I have no interest in heroes, but I do have an interest in a brother who is alive and well.

I’m going to talk to Horrence about leaving. I think I need to get back home and help with the war. It’s hard to think about it all, though.Fighting on the Second Tier is not good!

I’ve been needing a distraction and classes are it.

As to how they’re going, I’m actually astonished. Things are going far better than I’d expected. Ed’s earlier comment about the Guilds being a narrow way to see the world – well, he also thinks that sorcery is a point of view just as valid as Guild Science. Amazing! We’ve become friends.

Also, they told me yesterday that they are indeed sorcerers. I was right!

Apparently, sorcery is the tradition in these parts. But, they’re very open to all I’ve been saying about the Guilds channels, the history of the Continent, and even about the science we know about from the work of the Guild Energetic Research Council.

I have to admit that what I’ve heard about these “barbarians” misses the mark, considerably.

Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 4)

Kogu 44, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Battles Everywhere!

The Shawmancer’s are now talking about the battles taking place in Ferren’s Ice Islands Sea. I guess they trust me now, or maybe they just figure it doesn’t matter if I know.

Two Shawmancer ships were sunk by the iceships (iceberg ships) of their enemies, creatures they call the Allattan.

I managed to corner Horrence and wouldn’t let him out of his office until he told me what was going on. He said it’s hard to tell an Allattan iceship from an iceberg, so the Shawmancers would often not know they were staring their enemies right in the eyes before they were attacked. He said the leader of the Shawmancer navy was a crawn named Zhessess, who was very good. Horrence has known him for years, and he’s a smart, savvy fighter. According to Horrence this crawn has been using some particular Energetic tools to help in the battle. Horrence wouldn’t say for sure, but it looks like Zhessess has a kind of Physic Harpoon they call an ice mangler. They shoot it into an iceberg and it spins away, drilling itself inside to discover if it really is just an iceberg or if it is an iceship. That should help a lot, but a lot of Shawmancer folk have died already. Horrence got quiet about that. I think he lost someone he knows, so I dropped it.  I’ll try again tomorrow, depending on how he’s doing.

I heard from friends at the Naldrin City News that things are going badly there, too. The Shem Amaum somehow got into the Fifth Tier of the city yesterday. They were savage. Hundreds were killed, many more injured, and they’re still trying to find dozens of folk who have gone missing. Rumors are that the Shem Amaum take “prisoners”, which means to take some alive and eat them later when back in their nest, or whatever you want to call they’re home base. I asked Delvin to find out what’s going on with Bobby. He said he would right away and send a bat once he knew.

I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day, but just a quick note about the educational classes so I don’t forget it. There was a battle there, too. Ed challenged me today, pretty hard. He said that Guild science is a narrow way of looking at the world. He says it misses the mysteries of the world and that the world is, “a much bigger and stranger place than southerners are willing to admit.”

I knew these guys would be a hard sell on basic science.

I like Ed.

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!