After settling into my new lab, I received the paperwork for my Unfailing assignment. Julia Moonrise. Who I know has a little sister. A little sister who is the most dour Sower of Fear I’ve ever met. Seeing as how family is often assigned to family, I went to the office to ask if it was a temporary assignment.
Permanent. It didn’t take much prodding to find out why. Bloodline loss. The fear was that if the sisters were kept together, then neither would marry. Hollowfaust would lose another bloodline of distinction. Though there was always hope, the Evernights left after Kylie was taken and none of her descendants had ever presented. Or at least, if they did, the Sevestrians weren’t saying.
Old problems aside, this presented an unusual one for me. I wasn’t sure how the younger sister would take the news of the assignment. A pissed off Sower could make for some bad times for me. The politics of the situation would shield her from reprimand for misconduct. Besides, it would fall to me to prove something was happening. Hard to do with a Sower. And, it would put a huge strain on Julia, who would be compelled to take sides. An Unfailing who was of the opinion that you were accusing a beloved family member would not make for a good protector.
As dad says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I bought enough supplies to make a month’s worth of anti-nightmare charms in the form of anklets. If I do get hit with something, I should at least be able to mitigate it until I am back home for good. The anklets would go unnoticed under my clothes.
When Julia and I formally met, I did offer her the chance to ask for a reassignment. While Zagyg’s mission heavily involved her ancestor, it also meant years away from Hollowfaust. She politely declined and gave her oath. I accepted it and wondered how this would go. Dad and Greg got on famously, but Master Ravensmark and his Unfailing hardly spoke. She did like my gift though, so that’s a start.
Before leaving Hollowfaust, I went shopping with Ivy and picked up new clothes at my seamstress’ shop. Being a master meant a change in look, but the change in assignment and many occasions for formal wear meant I needed a new wardrobe all together. Thankfully, Florence had received my original request letter two weeks ago and had an entirely new set of clothing ready for me from stays to boots. A quick try on revealed a perfect fit.
When leaving the city with Julia, Master Ravensmark handed me a portfolio. Inside were copies of the fourth district plans and a design assignment for buildings that would surround the hot springs. I was to use all of the traveling I would be doing to visit public baths and hot springs at all locations to develop a set of plans that foster relaxation and rejuvenation. Also included was the information for accessing a second stipend just to cover the research.
While on the ship, I introduced or pointed out the crew members of The Wild Endeavor and introduced the members of the group to Julia. Once in Greyhawk CIty, I pointed out easy landmarks to orient by while a carriage took us into Clerksburg and the apartment building owned by Hollowfaust’s Sovereign council. While I was gone, everyone had already moved my things into a bigger apartment. Chelsea, ever with an eye to detail, had everything in exactly the same spot it would have gone in had it been in the smaller apartment with ample room for Julia’s things.
The course listing this year is huge! I would have missed several key classes had Lady Chander not circled them in red. Top of her list? Abyssal.
After that was a course in recovered materials from Glivid-Autel. That did not bode well. At all. Even after the city’s utter destruction, the very real concerns about survivors have meant that learning about our ancient enemy was just as important now as when they existed in full force. The only real benefit of the Necromancer’s school is that it allows us to find hidden survivors when their students display a set of working knowledge no one outside of a guildsman should have in the Flanaess. Someone reinventing the wheel of necromancy every generation never figures out that necromancy is less about undeath and more about positive and negative energy use.
She also circled ‘Botany of Flan Herbals.’ And being a master I am now actually able to get into the class! Talk about filling up fast. Anatomists and masters always get first dibs leaving everyone else waiting and hoping for an open seat. I’m really disappointed that I can’t take it at home, but at least I still get to take it.
While digging through the course list with Kaila and William, James and Chelsea came in with a cake to celebrate my passing of the exam. During the party, a bar of chocolate came flying into the room saying it was for me. When I opened it, I found a golden ticket inside, wrapped around the chocolate. When I pulled it out to see what it said, everyone burst into a spontaneous and obviously magic induced song about having a golden ticket.
Master Silverbreak proved to be the brave one and ate the chocolate.
I’m really starting to hate this place.