Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 7-Setzdei, Augusta 15...Reality check

I woke up this morning much later than usual. No bad dream, I must have been too tired to even dream. I stayed in bed for a while just staring at the ceiling. Last night's party must have really worn me out. It was well past mid-morning before I rolled out of bed. I walked out to my balcony to take in some fresh air. I was standing there taking in the view when it dawned on me, everything that I could see would be my responsibility at some point. For the first time I began to understand my role and what it means to the people below in the streets of Distress and all across the countryside. I was going to be their Queen one day. From the Elnar Mountains and Shadow Forest to the south, the Lake District in the east and the Canyon Lands beyond that, as well as, The Grunlow Lowlands (nicknamed the "Green Giant" by the locals) a vast prairie with rolling hills to the north and west, every citizen was going to depend on me for protection and stability. Scary to think about. The thought of it is overwhelming and humbling. I hope I'm ready for it when the time comes.

After my eye opening experience on the balcony finished settling into my soul, I sent a message to Antonia. I asked her to meet me at our favorite bakery in the Merchant District called The Peasants Loaf. The breads and pastries there are to die for! My personal guard, Olin, tagged along - scratch that, he was ordered to accompany me and Antonia on our "errands". Olin isn't a bad guy but I really wish he would loosen up a little. He is always so serious and stoic, and not much fun. At least he wasn't trailing us in his dress armor, father allowed him to go incognito. We didn't need all the attention that would have brought upon us. Antonia and I loaded up our satchels with tasty baked wonders and headed for the Barter District. A lot of outsiders and nomadic types congregate there to trade goods and swap stories. It was a good place to start.

We went in to the Green Dog, a tavern popular with outsiders. Olin was fairly apprehensive and a little confused about what type of business Antonia and I needed to conduct in such a place. As far as he knew, the two of us were just procuring items for Antonia's father. Just through our abilities to eavesdrop we overheard a lot of talk about this mystery. There was one individual who had a group of people around him and he was regaling them with a story about his missing horse. He said he had set up camp shortly before sundown and had tied his horse up to a nearby tree. Then he made preparations for a small fire and when he turned around to look at his horse, it was gone. No trace, the only thing that was unusual was a strong gust of wind on what had been a very wind-free evening. We talked to him after the crowd had dispersed but he couldn't recall anymore and he was visibly distraught, so we let him be. He did give us directions to the place where his horse had disappeared. I'd like to go check it out and see if we see something that was missed. Then, I asked around if anyone knew a Rex Thyne and might know where I might start looking for him, but no one could help. I'll just go see Eron later and see if he has any information on Rex's whereabouts or grazing routes. All in all our trip to the Barter District was productive.

We ended our day early so Olin wouldn't get too suspicious about our motives for being in the Barter District. Antonia did purchase a keg of ale for her father's trip back to the Lake District, so it all looked legitimate in the eyes of my guard. I hope.

Tomorrow I ask my father if I can accompany Antonia back to the Lake District for a little relaxation, but we want to take the route around the lake on horseback instead of on the boat. I hate being so deceitful, but I don't want him or my mother to know that I am looking into this mystery. Especially since they won't tell me anything up front. We'll see how it goes. Antonia is asking her father tonight.

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