Author Topic: Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two  (Read 1497 times)

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Offline MerchantDeryni

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Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two
« on: September 30, 2018, 12:56:01 PM »
Chapter 2:

   Dhyrucc rode home in the late afternoon sunshine. It was a beautiful day but he noticed none of it. His thoughts were on the heavy purse with his 'signing bonus” and pay for the material moved that day. Terrel had also given him a satchel popular with the other Deryni who worked on the Network. The satchel was a simple leather bag and was packed with a small assortment of spices for his mother, two bottles of excellent wine for his brothers, a bottle of cognac for his father and a silk shirt for his little sister. They were all excellent quality and imported, obviously.

   Terrel had waved away his protests. “You need to convince your family to let you work on the network. You could lie, but that always causes problems later. Your family has secrets already. This is just a more profitable one.”

   Dhyrruc supposed he should be feeling fear of the discovery of his Deryni heritage, but Terrel had countered that by showing his powers as well. Terrel had far more to lose than Dhyrruc and his family. It was an excellent tactic of negotiation he thought. Bind the secrets together. Everyone succeeds or everyone burns.
   Arriving at home he left the horse in the hands of the stable boy and went into the house to find his father. He found his father in his study, going over the ledgers for the estate. Dhyrucc closed the door to the study and went to sit at the chair in front of the desk. His father looked up as Dhyrucc sat down, and took in the closed door on the far side of the room. “Closing the door for privacy at mid-day. Should I prepare for scandal, or simply await the arrival of the authorities?”

His father's sense of humour could always be counted on.   “I need a private word with you father. I fear we have much to discuss. I will have you know I have accepted a position with the Longwynn Merchant house as Trade associate.”

   “I've heard of the house. They have carts and dispatch riders locally. I've purchased news updates for various efforts I have far afield. You've never shown an interest or even aptitude for business before. What brings this on?”

Dhyrucc reached into his coat pocket and removed the bag of coin. He leaned forward in his chair and spilled the coins onto the open page of the ledger. Some spilled onto the wooden desk with a bright, merry sound. His father, Daniel, froze in his chair, then leaned forward himself and stirred the coins with a careful finger.

“My contribution to the family Father. It is time I put money into the family instead of being a drain.”

“ How did you get such a princely sum? Did you win at gambling? Take a loan? Sell something I have not heard about?”
“Not at all father. This is my signing bonus for joining the trading house. I report to his merchant house tomorrow to begin my training. I may be away for a few days. I am not certain.”

“What is it you will be doing to earn this type of money? Is it legal? Or should I not ask?”

“I took 50 pounds of spices and other goods and Terrel Longwyn drew power from me, used a Transfer Portal and we took the spices to Rhemuth. We had lunch there and brought dispatches and another satchel of goods back with us a few hours later.”

His father stared at Dhyrucc. His finger frozen still amongst the coins. “Terrel Longwynn knows you are Deryni, he is also Deryni, and you took spices to Rhemuth?”

That is the business of Longwynn House. They act as simple merchants but are importing exotic spices and silks, and wines from across the known, and unknown I have no doubt, world.”  Dhyrucc opened up the satchel at his side and put a bottle of cognac on the desk. “A gift to you. No ill intent is meant from Terrel Longwynn. He collects and saves Deryni. It is how he came to know of our Deryni blood.”

   Daniel took up the bottle and examined it. “This is an excellent cognac. Rare in these parts.” He looked closer, “What is this note tied to it?”

“Ahh, there are two numbers on the note. The first is the cost for me to buy such a bottle. The much larger number is the price you could expect to sell it for. If, for instance, you happen to mention you have a few bottles of the cognac in your cellar to a friend. They might ask you to part with a few bottles. You agree and...”

“And in so doing Mr. Longwynn turns our whole family into hawkers and vendors. Clever plan. Although, after looking at the difference between the two numbers the names of two acquaintances of mine who also have a taste for such a bottle did leap to mind. I may well become a purveyor of spirits in some small way.” Daniel grinned. “A modest profit is not in and of itself, a bad thing. I may well be willing to part with a few bottles.”

“I will get some for you when I can.” replied Dhyrucc.

“What else do you have in that merchant's bag of yours?”

“Two more bottles of wine, one each for my brother's. An assortment of spices and a vial of perfume for mother. A silk blouse for Alicia, my sister.”

“Does he expect us all to become vendor's?”

“No, I think he is enticing me with tales of riches and the benefits of joining the House. We may well be able to earn extra money by showing off what is available and driving up local traffic on the network. I am unsure as to how it all works. Tomorrow will begin my training.”

Daniel stood up from the desk and beckoned Dhyrruc follow him. The pair went to the corner of the study, an area blocked off by the placement of a reading chair and tables. Dhyrucc felt the throb of a portal as he walked into the corner and gasped in surprise. His father spoke,
“This was put in when you and the rest of the family were away for the season. I had others of the family come in and help me create it. Lower your shields for me please son.”
Dhyrucc did so and his father laid an arm across his shoulders. There was the ever familiar sensation of falling and a wrench back to reality. The pair now stood in a stone hut. The shutters were closed but afternoon light seeped in the cracks.

   They were standing in a roughly built hut, a shepherd's hut. The portal was tucked to the side away from the door. The hut was barely furnished, and dusty with disuse. The door was an oddity, being far heavier and reinforced than such a hut warranted. There was also a very secure lock on the door.

“This hut is in a pocket valley tucked away far to the east of home. From here you can head down to your Cousin's estate, or take the northern path and escape to the north and a fishing village on the coast. Our family has always been ready to flee if the dark times return. Now that you are becoming productive and coming into contact with far more risk, this is a thing you should know.”

“Thank you father. I hope I never need to use this.” Dhyrucc knelt and learned the signature of the Portal, committing it to memory. He stood up and nodded to his father. In a moment the pair were back in the study. Dhyrucc again knelt and learned the signature of the home portal.

“I have at times despaired that you would find something to occupy your time with that was productive. My surprise that you have ended up in a clandestine Deryni smuggling operation is almost limitless. The benefits to the family are apparent of course, and the danger of discovery is no less or greater than anything else you might do. Portals are dangerous though son. Learn well, and respect their power. The stories passed down to us from the families we saved, and married, have not been forgotten.”

“My motivation is to helping the family. I have not been completely blind and stupid to the decline of our fortune and standing. The last few years have been hard. I know several ventures have not fared well and cost dearly. I am going to do whatever I need to in order to restore the family fortunes.”

Daniel nodded and clasped his son's hand. “You are a credit to your family, son.”

“I thought I was always the source of scandal and impinging, imminent shame?” Dhyrucc grinned.

“Only most of the time. Come, it is almost time for dinner. Let us tell the rest of the family of your imminent entrance into the world of trade.”

The pair left the study together.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 01:31:58 PM »
I am enjoying this very much.  Looking forward to more!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline revanne

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Re: Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 02:03:33 PM »
Lovely to have this insight into the lives of Deryni of a different class and era than we have hitherto seen.

Why do parents of young adult sons  (and I write as one such) always fear the worst when they want a private conversation? I like Dhyrucc's father.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Offline Evie

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Re: Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 02:07:49 PM »
Daniel nodded and clasped his son's hand. “You are a credit to your family, son.”

“I thought I was always the source of scandal and impinging, imminent shame?” Dhyrucc grinned.

“Only most of the time."

LOL!  Are you sure Dhyrucc isn't related to Sextus Arilan?  A descendant, maybe?   ;D ;D ;D

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Laurna

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Re: Vignette: Pepper and Lace: Chapter Two
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 10:05:20 PM »
Daughters do marry and lose their names. This very well could be some Great great great great... grand son of Sextus. LOL

I like the father alot,
Please carry on.


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