Chapter 1 Part 4

posted Dec 16, 2009, 6:05 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Dec 16, 2009, 6:45 PM ]
The Chair continued  "This is an unusual request, we seems appropriate, considering the contents of the manuscript."  Again, the words were being dragged out, and were accompanied with a scowl towards Truman.  Truman was worried about being expelled (and now, possible worse), but he knew the Chair must be worried about the Guild being embarrased, and worse, losing the support of one of it's most important patrons.

"So Apprentice Truman will accompany the...distinguished representative of our patron to meet with him to discuss the manuscript."  Truman was amazed the Chair's face didn't crack.  It would be hard to know who he disapproved of more; a dwarf or a bard.  Probably the bard.  Dwarfs weren't human, but they had a reputation for respecting scholarship.  Bards on other hand cared only about entertaining the public with stories.  To the Guild stories were only valuable if they met the guild's definition of truth (hah) and then should be carefully gathered and guarded to be appreciated by a small circle of scholars and their noble patrons.  The idea of sharing them with the great unwashed masses was a travesty.

The chair's words sunk in.  Truman was going with them?  To meet with...?  His brain refused to carry the thought any farther.  They couldn't...they wouldn't...would they?  Dr. Jhonsen caught his eye, and gave him a discreet wink.  Truman had no time to guess what that meant, because he heard a voice coming from behind him.  The Dwarf (Truman could clearly recognize him as a Law Keeper now) and the bard had stood up, and the Bard was addressing the committee;

"My colleague and I appreciate the consideration of this esteemed body.  It is, of course, no surprise to find out that the Guild of Historians is living up to it's reputation...as a place where history is carefully crafted and shaped."  At this, the committee looked uncomfortable.  The Guild considered it's mission to record history.  Of course, sometime history had to be "civilized" a bit, but they would never claim to shape it...

But the speaker continued, and certainly seemed sincere in his attitude:

" I know I speak for our Lord when I say he is grateful that you are occupied here, maintaining your annals of history."   At this the committee smiled somewhat, taking this as indication of their good standing.  Only later would some wonder about the wording.  Surely he meant the annals of history, not "your"...

The Bard then addressed Truman directly.  "I believe your advisor, the insightful Dr. Johnsen would like to have a word with you before we depart.  We will meet you outside the gate directly."

At this, the bard and his companion, who hadn't said a word, bowed slightly to the committee and swept out of the room.

Truman was still watching them leave when Dr. Jhonsen rushed off the platform to speak with him, while the rest of the committed milled around, uncertain how to respond to this clear dismissal of the meeting.

"How long will it take you to gather all your notes and writing?"  Dr. Cane was clearly excited but anxious.
"I'm already packed..." Dr. Cane cut him off before he could explain it was because had expected to be asked to leave after the hearing.
"Good, take all your scholarly research, and leave everything else here.  Don't worry, I'll hold on to it."  He handed Truman a stack of books.

"What are you waiting for; go!"

In what felt like moments later, he had been run to his quarters, grabbed his research notes and copies of his various writings, and run to the front gate.  Dr. Jhonsen was waiting for him, a discreet distance from the two visitors.
"Is that everything?  Good.  These are extra copies of your manuscript.  I took them from the rest of the committee.  They won't need them anymore; take them with you."

Truman started to ask one of the many questions going through his mind.  Dr. Cane cut him off.  "I know you must be confused, but don't worry...at least not too much.  I think things are going to be ok."  He gave the two visitors a look, clearly uncertain how much they could hear, or how much he should say.  "Just keep your head and be honest, and things should be fine.  At least, I don't think they'll get any worse."  Before Truman could ask more about this semi-comforting comment, he heard a deep, resonant voice behind.

"Unfortunately, we are rather rushed.  If you are prepared to leave?"  It was the Dwarf, who Truman now recognized as Lawgiver Darlon.  Truman had seen him speaking twice in the Capital.  

Dr. Cane hustled him to a waiting carriage, where the bard was waiting.  Before he knew it, he was in the carriage, giving Dr. Cane and the Guild building a last look as the carriage pulled away.
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