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23 Flamerule ::draft:: - kronk9
kronk9
kronk9
23 Flamerule ::draft::
It take maybe two days to get to Silverymoon. Kronk not sure how long exactly, sleep one day at Lilfen's, play with the kids. Sort of forgot time.

It feel good playing with kids. Better to see the living than the dead. And kids are alive, mostly.

Except Tymor. Little Tymor have bad cough, getting worse from last time. Kronk worried about it, so is Lilfen. She tell Kronk she'll have to sell set of earrings she have. She show them to Kronk. They gold, little tarnished, with tiny rubies on them.

Her family is playing outside. Tymor is sitting on her tiny front porch, wrapped in the blanket, watching. They can't hear us.

She take earrings back from Kronk, polish one between her finger and thumb. "My grandmother gave me these, Kronk. Said they've been handed down in our family for almost two hundred years." She sigh. "They're not worth much...but maybe enough to pay a doctor for Tymor."

Lilfen is very young. Kronk sometimes forget that, the way she take care of the kids. But as she sat there with those tarnished earrings, her eyes wet, Kronk remember it again.

We had meal, and Kronk slept. In morning, Kronk head north.

There is well a little ways beyond her cottage; it where they get water. Nobody else much use it. Lilfen won't take money from Kronk. She say Kronk and Serd do too much already.
Kronk put all the gold in my pouch, most of it stolen off Drake and his friends in Greenglade, and put it in bucket for the well. It not worth much...but maybe enough for Lilfen to keep her earrings.

**********************

Now Kronk in Silverymoon with no money. Somedays Kronk wonder if he really is the fool some people say.
Silverymoon look like big city from outside, but once inside you realize that just a lie. Silverymoon is really a gigantic city.

There are many streets, all paved nice, not like Everlund. People are all over, people of all kinds: elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, humans, even some half-orcs. And they are all pretty friendly to each other. They walk along street and greet each other, even smile sometimes.

They still part ways for big half-orc. But some nod and smile, too. Kronk like it in Silverymoon.

There is large park in Southbank. Very tall trees, old growth, as old as any tree in the Silverwood. Maybe even older. Wood is deep, rich brown. It remind Kronk of woods near my home camp, when I still living with orcs. Sometimes Verra take Kronk there when it was nice out. She'd point to animals, tell Kronk their names. Red squirrel. Brown hare. Starlings and finches.

Now there is red squirrel, jumping from branch to branch. It probably live here, never have to leave the park. It temple for Mielikki, people leave offerings of food. Squirrels can live on it.

It nice place here. If only Kronk had money to stay.

***********************

After a few hours in park, Kronk walking in market district. Street is crowded. There are many horses going both ways on pavement, some pulling carriages. Many more people on sidewalks, of all kinds. Women in fine silk, men in robes, men in rags, women in coarse cloth, all in a hurry, all going in different directions. Five o'clock is busy time in market district.

At corner, there is typical confusion. Traffic is trying to cross the street, and people are looking, figuring out who will move next. There are no guards running things. Kronk wonder why, but know it not unusual. Silverymoon so big that guards are often stretched too thin.

"Please, will someone help me?"

There is young boy on corner, dressed in rags. Boy has high cheekbones, and his eyes are covered with dark glasses. He tap on ground with long white cane in right hand. In left hand is leather cup. It look heavy, and it weigh down his arm.

Kronk need money.

"Please, I need to cross the street. My dear mother lives in the south district. She's sick. Won't someone please help me?" His clothes are loose, baggy. His hair is red, in long braid down back. It frizzy and need washing. Most of it tucked under ragged painter's cap.
Nobody pays attention the boy. Someone brushes by the boy, jostles his arm. The cup rattles with sound of metal.

Kronk smile to self.

"I'm trying to get home? Oh, won't somebody help a poor blind child?"

"I help." Kronk takes boy's elbow.

Boy turns to sound of Kronk's voice. "Oh, thank you kind sir. Bless your heart for helping me."

"No problem."

We start to cross street.

He cock head like he listening to my voice. "Do I know you from somewhere, sir? Your voice is familiar."

Kronk shake head. "Not think you ever meet me before. Watch out for man behind us." Noble man, carrying heavy leather pouch, was walking right behind us.

"Yes, I'll be very careful, sir."

Traffic is waiting for us to cross. "And might you be going as far Kelwood Street, sir?"

"No, I not going that far." Kronk glance behind. Noble man is watching closely. Like he know what Kronk planning.

"That's where my mother lives, three doors up Kelwood. I thought maybe you could accompany me."

Kronk wait until we on other corner before I catch boy's foot with my own. He trip and try to catch himself with both hands on cane. He drop leather cup, but Kronk catch it before it hit ground. Kronk get up to run away.

"Hold it there, you scoundrel!"

Someone tackle Kronk, grabbing me around waist. We fall in tangle of legs, but he get up first. The nobleman behind us stand over Kronk.
"You absolute cretin," he growl, "thinking you could rob a defenseless child that way!" He snatch away cup full of coins.

Blind boy is behind him. "Sir, thank you. Thank you so much. Here, I think you dropped something..." He fumbled at his feet for the man's leather satchel. "This."

Nobleman take satchel and hand leather cup back to boy. "Here you are, lad. Every coin accounted for."

The boy looked ready to cry. "Oh, thank you, sir. My mother is so very sick. She'll need these for her medicine. I-I never thought anyone would...would..." His lip was trembling. "Oh, how can I ever trust anyone--"

"Now, now. No need to start thinking that every person you meet is out to steal from you." He turn to Kronk, hands on hips. "Vermin such as this are rare. And we'll make sure they stay that way. The Silverymoon guard will take care of him."

Crowd had gathered around us. Kronk stand up. I taller than most of them, they stand back.

Nobleman pales a little. "Now that you've been caught, y-you just stay here, and..."

Kronk draws blade and growls. Crowd parts. No one wants to challenge half-orc with knife.

Kronk runs off. Nobody follows.

*****************

Kelwood crosses Partridge Lane. On third alley off Partridge Lane, Kronk wait in shadowed doorway.

After five minutes, blind boy comes down alley. He no longer using cane. Kronk step out of doorway.

"Katri is late. Thought you forget your own code words."

Boy grins. "Sorry. That fool nobleman couldn't resist reminding everyone what a hero he was." He takes off dark glasses and looks at Kronk. "Thought I wouldn't get away before the guard showed up. It was only because my dear mother was in desperate need of her son to give her the medicine that he finally shut up."

He took off his cap, shook his hair a bit, and Katri looked at me, big smile on her face. "It was worth it though. I lightened his pouch of two thousand gold and change. You certainly pick a good target."

Kronk smile back. "Mug enough rich men, you can almost smell the gold."

Katri got a glint in her eye. "Nice to see you in Silverymoon again, Kronk."

Current Mood: devious devious

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Comments
vaudy From: vaudy Date: July 5th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Minor technical note: gold does not tarnish. It can get dirty, but it doesn't corrode.

I have to question whether Kronk is really smart enough to pick up on the pickpocketing scam without direction (no offense, but Kronk is supposed to be dumb). It seems to me he'd be more likely to blurt out "Katri? That you?" than deal with the situation with the appropriate subtlety that he does. Suddenly Kronk is a master thief, not a brutish barbarian, and it's jarring from a character aspect. Kronk should be beating people up for their gold, not finessing them.

Also, there's something almost too modern about the description of the blind boy, with the white cane and glasses. Those are very 20th/21st century clues, not quasi-medieval. A blind beggar boy would probably have a rough stick, not a nice, white cane, and while spectacles probably exist in Faerun, they are probably only accessible to the very rich. I realize you're working under the assumption that Katri needs to hide her eyes to pull off the disguise, but they seem anachronistic.
sarchasmic From: sarchasmic Date: July 7th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
While I acknowledge the veracity of Claudia's objections, I am less bothered by that. I like the general premise of this piece and wouldn't mind keeping it in this form or something close to it, but that could be because I like Katri and am curious to see more of her. Kronk definitely needs more NPCs in his life.
sarchasmic From: sarchasmic Date: July 7th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and echoing the cane/glasses bit.
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