neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (aughisky)
([personal profile] neotoma Nov. 13th, 2006 10:37 pm)
For [ profile] mini_nanowrimo -- lot of subjunctive today. Turnspit is a worrier.


They came over the ridge before noon, and the Brewster's steading sprawled before them like a cat in the sun. It might have been a town by the size, but for the ordered waves of buildings, creeping up from the river.

Turnspit smoothed down the unmarked shirt Lurcher had ordered him into before they'd broken camp. He understood why he should not wear the slew's borders, but he would have liked to anyway. Wearing a shirt that proclaimed no allegiance into an aughisky holding was nerve-wracking now that he knew what it meant. Only being naked would be worse.

The four of them came down into the fountain yard in front of the great hall. Crowther and Iros dismounted and called for help with the horses. Several hands came out, and stopped abruptly.

Crowther's bordered shirt drew many eyes; it was not Brewster's pattern, or the thief-birds and fanged horseheads of Magpie's Slew. An unfamiliar pattern was worrisome, as was a Rider wearing it.

The hands did take the horses, though. They walked wide around Crowther, with a caution that only seemed to amuse the older aughisky. Lurcher, obviously trying to make her Rider seem less dangerous, helped him remove tack from his mount.

It worked, to an extent. The hands would come close enough to give her supplies, or to carry away the saddle for tending, but they kept Lurcher between them and Crowther.

Iros, on the other hand, was greeted by name and struck up a conversation with the lead hand. To Turnspit's ears it was boring, since it was entirely about the weather and travel conditions; having walked for twelve-days, he was quite bored with the weather.

He did pull off saddles and undo packs, stacking them against the walls to be carried in later. Someone would wind up sorting their gear – and it would probably be him – but Iros wanted to talk to the Brewster first.

Turnspit worked quietly, trying to be anonymous as long as he could. But it wasn't long before he heard murmurs speculating about his unpatterned shirt. Someone eventually remembered the shave-head kitchen hand who had killed two novitiates; his looks and deeds were unusual enough that he would not have been forgotten.

In fact, he could tell when the recognition hit. Excited whispers broke out behind him as he brushed dust from one of the remounts. He kept himself from wincing too badly, but he did look to Iros.

His aughisky smiled and made a 'calm-down' gesture. Turnspit nodded and went back to grooming the horse. Hopefully, someone had gone to tell the Lord of their arrival, and they could get the worst of it over fast.


From: [identity profile]

Ooh, that's interesting. I like the names and the idea of bordered/decorated shirts. Definitely something you need to read 'from the start' but - Magpie's Slew! How can i not like that?
Nice stuff.

From: [identity profile]

Thanks. The decorated shirts were inspired by me seeing some gorgeous kimono fabric at a talk.

The story starts here (, but it jumps around some. I'm going to try to fill them in, eventually.

From: [identity profile]

Ah ha, great!

Might not get to it all right away - busy day!

Ooh, i've seen some kimono fabric once upon a time, too, and wished i were a bajillionaire so i could just....drape my house in it.

From: [identity profile]

Oh, the talk was fun, but I'm glad I was out of work, because I would have bought WAY too much. But I have photos! (

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