Draft Material, Book 1, Chapter 2

I feel the need to introduce this by saying that chapter 1 is in no way finished!  But, at least for now, I've decided to continue with my model of typing up quick sketches of scenes, roughly in chronological order, and chapter 1 is at least basically sketched out.  Looking at what I put "on paper," as it were, I've laid out the bones of chapter 1.  Now I'm going to work on the same process for chapter 2.  My idea is that if I have enough rough bits typed up I can go back and pull them together later (fleshing them out, to keep my metaphors straight).  That's the plan, anyway.

It's also worth noting that I have no idea where and when chapters will actually start/finish!  I'm sure it will change a lot before I'm finished.  What I'm calling chapters now really just represents "clusters" of related action.  Who knows what it will look like when I'm done?

Chapter 2, Part 3

posted Jan 19, 2010, 6:04 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 19, 2010, 6:26 PM ]

Truman's bunk was in the wagon of an older Goblin woman, she said "Call me Granny.  There're lots of grandmothers in the Caravan, but I'm the oldest, so I get dibs.  And I'm not afraid to claim my age; I'm turning 100 next week!"  At this she gave a bright smile.  Despite a few missing teeth and a bit of a stoop, she radiated enthusiasm.

"Thank you so much for you hospitality."  Truman bowed deeply to her.  Elders were deeply respected in Goblin culture, and staying with one of the caravan's oldest members was a great honor.
"I would be honored to assist you in any way possible during our journey."
She laughed again; "Well, you certainly are a courteous one!  Since you offered, you can help me carry these supplies over to Asa and Falc."  She pointed to a pile near the front of her wagon.

Truman ended up carrying a cauldron, made heavier by a number of herbs inside it.  But Granny was doing her share, and had her arms full of a large cloth bundle.

"Those two only use the best supplies, and I'm their main source."  She said this with a clear touch of pride.

As they approached the Healer's wagon a strong scent caught Truman's attention.

"Hmm...smells like ginger and a little cinnamon; probably making a poultice for young Jaft; he sprained his leg yesterday."  She laughed "The fool jumped off the top of his wagon on a dare.  It's amazing the young ever grow to be old..."

Laurine was waiting for them at the front of the wagon, speaking with someone just out of sight.  

As they got closer Laurine and two others were examing the contents of a pot.

Chapter 2, Part 2

posted Jan 17, 2010, 9:35 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 17, 2010, 10:05 PM ]

The Caravan was a hive of activity.  Everyone was clearly occupied with last minute arrangements before they set out.  It was busy, but it wasn't chaos.  Instead it seemed like everyone had a specific task and was hurrying to do it.

This wasn't a surprise, since Goblins were legendary in the efficiency of their Caravans.  What was surprising was the number of non-Goblins who seemed part of the caravan.  There were a number of Orcs, including a well armed group that were clearly guards.  There dark green skin, and hulking shapes, stood in contrast with the sleeker forms and lighter color of the Goblins.

In addition Truman saw at least a handful of Humans, counting himself, and even a few Dwarfs.  That was interesting, considering there was a special history of tension between...

Truman caught his breath.  He had just caught sight of a Giant loading a wagon.  At 12 feet tall it shouldn't be hard to recognize a giant, but Truman gave him...no, her, an extra look.  He knew there were a few Giants in the city, but he had never seen one.  It seemed especially out of place to see one in a caravan, since common wisdom said Giants preffered the company of others of their species, and detested travel.  He wondered if she was actually with the Caravan or just helping with preparations.  He felt a strong urge to find out, and was considering the best way to open a conversation when he heard someone behind him.

"Excuse me, are you Truman?"

Truman guessed she was about four feet tall, a bit short, even for a Goblin; she wore a loose blouse and full, flowing skirt that outlined a graceful figure, one that was accentuated by her smooth movements.  Her eyes were grey, which stood out against the light green of her skin and the darker green of the curly hair falling around her shoulders.

She repeated her question.  Truman realized he was staring and caught his breath.  "..umm..yes...I mean, yes, I'm truman!"  He instinctively put out his hand.  She looked at it for a moment, and gave him a curious smile, but she briefly took his hand in hers.  Her hand was cool and smooth, and he found himself disappointed when she quickly let go.

He must of still looked stunned, because she laughed and said "I know, it's bit overwhelming, but you arrived at a busy time; everyone's in the last stage of packing up."

He was grateful for the chance at recovery.  "Everyone definitely seems to be working hard...except me, of course."

He felt disproportionally pleased when this evoked another small laugh and a smile.  "Just wait, after a few days they'll have you working with everyone else.  No one around here is idle for long."

She paused "But before then, we have to get you set up.  Grandmother asked me to bring you to the wagon; they're looking forward to meeting you."

It took him a moment to process what she had said  "Grandmother?"

"Falc, and my Grandfather, Asa.  They wanted to greet you, and show you where you'll be sleeping."

His mind clicked into gear.  "You're the grandaughter of Healing Masters Falc and Master Asa?" 

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself.  I'm Laurine, and yes, their my grandparents.  Although I'm sure they'll tell you to not to worry about their titles.  They say it makes them sound stuffy."  At this she smiled again.

Chapter 2, Part 1

posted Jan 17, 2010, 8:10 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 17, 2010, 8:42 PM ]

Truman was besides himself with anticipation.  If he had to wait one more minute he would explode.  It had been barely a week since the interview with the Baron, and his life had completely turned around.  Once the Guild had been told that the he was the probationary Historian for the Barron they had grudgingly postponed the final review of his manuscript.  According to his advisor, the final results would now depend on what happened with the Baron.  If Truman survived his probation, and was appointed as the Baron's official historian, the committee would almost certainly have to approve his manuscript.  If he failed his probation they would be free to fail him.

But at this point Truman could barely spare any thought about the manuscript.  He was waiting to join the Great Northern Caravan.  The Great Northern Caravan...and he was going to travel with it.

It was Phinn who had told him.  Once the initial interview was over, Phinn had seemed to take on the role of arranging his transition into his new (probationary) role.

"After finishing some business here, Davis is heading to Kyrene.  I suggested you head to Kyrene now, so you could do some background research.  So I arranged for you to join the Northern Caravan."

Truman was still struck by the fact that the Barron's closest advisors called him Davis.  No one had given him permission to, and he wasn't going to ask, but apparently Phinn was comfortable being informal with him.

Then it sunk it exactly what Phinn had said.  "I'm going to travel in the Caravan?  To Kyrene?  In the Caravan?"  He could barely get the words out.

Phinn gave hime a look; "You don't mind, do you?  I thought travelling with the Caravan will kill two birds with one stone.  You'll have plenty of time to talk with Asa and Falc.  But if you don't want too..."

"No!  I mean yes!  I definitely want to travel on the caravan!"  Truman stammered.

Truth be told, he had dreamed about travelling by caravan.  His grandfather had told him that best way to learn what the world was really like was to travel with a Goblin caravan.  

He heard a wagon pulling up.  It was being driven by a petite middle aged Goblin woman who gave him a smile and said "Are you the young man we're bringing to the Caravan?"

Truman nodded, and before he could say anything she yelled into the wagon "Get out here and help our guest with his luggage!"  

Three young goblins swarmed out of the back of the wagon towards Truman.

"Please let the young ones assist you." Said the wagon driver.

It was hardly necessary, since Truman had only one small bag and a backpack, which he wearing.  Other than some notes, research material and a few books, all of which he had left with his advisor, this was all he owned.  But he knew that Goblins placed a strong importance on hospitality, so he let them take his bag and backpack.  The third offered to take the Tablet, but he politely defered.  As far as he was concerned, the Tablet was more valuable than everything else combined.  He had barely put it down since Phinn had given it to him, to the point that he slept with it under his pillow.

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