The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 15

Salles had few things that he could be said to belong to — only his clothing and a few of his tools and utensils. He packed clothing and a little bit of food. He was going to take some of his transcription work, but Eloh told him to leave it. He snuck a few scraps of paper and a pen and ink to take some notes on his journey.

As they were walking towards the exit, Noone told Eloh in a quiet voice, “Concerning our inquiries, be sure to check up on all the residents who have moved in recently. But keep it very quiet. I don’t want anybody to even suspect that this idea has crossed our minds.” Eloh nodded.

Then they stepped out beyond the confines of the cloisters and onto the path to Lamosa. At the door, Eloh waved them goodbye. Salles noticed that Eloh was crying, which he thought inappropriate for the occasion. Salles pretended he didn’t notice and walked away, following behind Noone in the direction of Lamosa.

It would take them near half the daylight to walk summerward to Lamosa. Salles was at first worried about the aged Noone making the journey. She was so small and frail and had passed her first century almost twenty years ago, but as soon as they started walking, he found that he was having trouble keeping up with her.

Noone told Salles a bit about the Premier as they walked: ”We’re going to be speaking with Premier Anders at the Public House tomorrow. He is from the Hooktends Clan. He hasn’t sat at the head of the Closed Table for more than eight seasons, but the rest of his table is devoted and intimate.

“He keeps a close watch on the whole of Omnia. He’s got dedicated eyes in both valleys that are bringing him constant communiqués about what is going on. His predecessors from as far back as when I began to advise weren’t this well informed; this is a new thing. He probably doesn’t know about the fire yet, but he might by the time we get there. We planned this meeting a while ago. Amida is in Lamosa (I don’t know if you’ve met her) and speaks with him regularly, about every five or ten days, but he doesn’t see me very often and he’s never seen you. So we want to downplay the significance of your presence. We’ll just say we’re transitioning you into the role of our liaison for a while. You’re going to be staying in Lamosa until Alles gets back, which should only be a few days, and I’ll be returning to the cloister.”

Salles stopped walking at this point, looking at her with surprise in his eyes: “You realize I’ve never been to Lamosa before. I’ve met a lot of people at the cloister from Lamosa and they’ve told me about it, but I know nothing about the place.”

Noone smiled and pulled him to continue walking, saying, ”There are friends of the Sages that we have in Lamosa; they’ll take care of you. They love to have us with them. They always hope some of our wisdom will magically migrate in their direction. There are members on the Closed Table that are sympathetic to the Aresan Clan and the Sages. You will have companions and peers.”

Salles, now some distance away, stopped to look back to the cloisters and its surroundings which he had never until this day gone more than a short distance from. The long twisting buildings of the cloister settled into the low places along the slope. The charred ruins of the watermill stuck out at one end where a number of fast moving water channels were funneled together, and where they forked out below in jagged meandering courses like a spray of lightning. A thick wind pushed through a notch above the cloisters and then hung close to the slope where a small windmill would pick it up and now was spinning feebly. Many houses spread across the slope around it and grain-filled fields spread out across the valley floor, creeping up the bottom of the slope in terraces like a rising tide. He wept as he looked back over it, afraid that he would never see it again. It was the first time he’d ever left the cloisters.

“We have a long journey and little time to stop,” Noone said

She continued hiking cross-slope and he fell in step behind her, struggling to catch up with her. He tried to hold back further tears but he was unsuccessful, as he turned to look back at the cloister again over his shoulder.

<-- Go to Part 14         Go to Part 16 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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