Advance

Xenofos — Advance

????, Earth Season, Illusion Week


Context

Earth Season, Illusion Week, Waterday. Follows on directly from the last scene. [[[s02:session-17|Session 17]]]

Events

It does not take Xenofos long to write his piece. He walks out with slightly quieter steps. They take him to antechamber of the chief priest he visited earlier with errand from Jaldis.

A little time passes, and now Xenofos is known here. He is offered wine and bread that has been sliced and dried and then toasted and sprinkled with herbs, and the secretary who offers him these refreshments also offers to take in a message.

Xenofos notes the hospitality, but does not enjoy it before inquiring if the man is free today.

“He may be, but if he is in meditation there might be a considerable wait…”

“Would you check now?”

The woman steps in, and the door closes. A few minutes later, the door opens again and she comes out. “He can be disturbed, if you will but wait a quarter of an hour.”

Xenofos nods to the woman. “I’ll wait.”

The wine and bread are offered again, with a smile. This is not the silken-bearded young lady who was so unfortunately discovered with her beard awry.

Xenofos declines with a shake of head and smile and settles to wait. His eyes pick architectural ornament and he lets his mind wander around that trying to reach the logical solace of Lhankor Mhy. He fails to do so, maybe he is seeing brown eyes instead of pure geometric symmetry, maybe meeting wyter has left some residual marks.1Failed meditate.

A tiny water clock drips. There is nothing to mark the passing of a quarter of an hour, but the young woman gets up, and once again the door opens and closes and stays closed and opens, and this time she bows. “Lord Xenofos. Our Lord will see you now.” Her diction is pleasantly clear.

“Thank you” He nods to the scribe as he enters the den of the priest.

The Priest is behind his desk, which is clear of anything that might fall down its slope, save for a single piece of clay on a prop. His hand is on it, fingers trembling slightly. Despite the rain outside, his window is open, and the air is cool. He regards Xenofos with a gaze only a little warmer than the atmosphere.

Xenofos greets the man with a bow, of precisely correct depth due to his station.

The bow that is returned is to an initiate, but the greeting is, “Lightbringer. Do tell what brings you to my chamber.”

“During our last talk you said answer would be better found in Pavis.”

“Indeed – do you know the contents of the letter?” His look is mild, almost patient.

“No, sage. And discussion was a bit diffuse as to who would search that answer.”

Xenofos may not be calm, but he looks calm.

“I believe I used the second person, instructive. As I recall, my words were that I believed you would find further information, and so on. But an old man can-could be wrong.” He uses outdated grammar for that possibility.

“That is possible. It would include an assumption I have taken such task.”

Polite non-comprehension on the man’s face indicates he is waiting to hear more.

“I promised to take High Healer’s letter to you, and that I have done. But since our discussion left open a possibility you would assume something more, I thought it better to check. So that High Healer’s errand does not become undone because of sloppy logic or bad grammar.”

“Aah, I see. Well, that is good of you. It would be unfortunate.”

Insight: The man is amused, but not necessarily tempted to punish.

“Would you like to go to Pavis?” he asks, almost innocently. Beneath it there is, perhaps, a wish to prick at someone who embarrassed him.

“If service of my liegelady permits. Yes.”

There is a slight blink, and then a moment’s consideration. If glasses were not restricted to Mostali and god-learners, the man would clean his glasses now, or at the very least look over them. “I can send you,” he says carefully. “But it would be seen as a strange choice by some…”

“Your choice – and on my part subject to approval of my liege. Which I think can be gained, but must be checked.”

The man considers, and then sighs. “Well, if your sense of Movement calls you to it… Take the letter, go to Pavis. Send back answer here and to the High Healer.” He waves a hand. “Never let it be said that I kept a man back from the search.”

Xenofos nods but does not accept the letter. “I will return for the letter if and once my liege has approved this journey.”

There is a nod. “Be… be as long as you like. I will have it kept for you, outside my room.” It is an admonition and also a farewell.

Xenofos nods and leaves the room. He exits the library and checks direction of the wind.

The wind is still from the sea, bringing the steady light rain.

Whistling Xenofos walks down to docks to see if there are ships planning to take a trip to Corflu.