The world is aldersprig's and, if in doubt, her writings are canonical and mine are fluff.
“Mama!” Talbetzhorymyuvy almost skidded through the door, a small package in his hands. “It’s another packet from Aunty Baranyi! Can I open it to see what’s inside?”
“When everyone is home, Tal-Tal, so we can all see what’s inside.” His mother, Giebrienmaa-Lar, continued calmly with her sketching. Her model was her third son whom she admonished, “Don’t fidget, Gielkranm. Nothing’d going to happen until after we finish here, and you still have that chapter of reading to finish while I’m blocking in this pose. If the four of you haven’t finished your homework before supper, then your aunt’s packet will just have to wait, won’t it?”
Both boys absorbed that threat and there was a purposeful half an hour of activity until their cook, Paarzha, announced that the evening meal was almost ready. Giebmaa pronounced herself happy with her sketches and Gielkranm was allowed to put his book away. The family assembled and only then was the youngest allowed to open up the wax sealed packet.
There was a collective intake of breath as he carefully slid out the two envelops inside. “There’s a letter for Mama,” he handed the thinner envelop to his mother.
“Thank you, Tal-Tal.” Giebmaa opened the envelop and skimmed through the letter inside before she read out:
“Dear Giebmaa, Larlel, Dairnmel, Kaanmryazhy, Gielkranm and Tal-Tal,
I followed my intention of taking the stage coach from Paidmezhkoom to Taalzhum, as I explained to you in my last letter, and fortunately the weather was good because a wheel broke halfway between the villages of Byazhminm and Gadbuzhyvyenm. I hadn’t heard of them either before the accident, but I can now recommend Wheelwright Lizmerygunvmery-Kyal who kindly trekked out from Gadbuzhyvyenm with a spare wheel to rescue us. It took four hours before we could get moving again and even then we only went as far as Gadbuzhyvyenm so the wheelwright could do a proper fix instead of a temporary one. That took another two hours, so I spent almost six hours doing water colour sketches and now need to replenish my paper stocks. I might need some more greens as well.
Thankfully the stage coach got me to Taalzhum without any more drama and I will stay here for a few more days before getting a coach on to Lopputrienm. Taalzhum is quite a big place and should have a decent art supply shop. I did think that there might be an army camp nearby but the innkeeper assures me that the soldiers are only temporary visitors. Much like myself really.
Aside from most of the soldiers, most of the people I’ve seen here seem to be a mixture of Calenyan and Bitrani. Given how long and how often this was the border region, that’s probably not surprising. I’ve notice too that although the towns and villages I’ve seen have Calenyan names, some of the street and suburb names are definitely originally Bitrani. Another sign of the past I suppose.
Anyway, I’ve no more news to tell you and I’ve included some of my sketches so you can see where I’ve been. There are some scenes of the view from where we broke down, along with a local bush and a wild flower for Kaanmryazhy, plus the stage coach goats, some village goats and a military goat for Tal-Tal.
I will write again from Lopputrienm. Please all stay safe and well, and remember that I love you all,
Tal-Tal carefully opened the larger envelop and spread out the neatly annotated watercolour sketches inside.
“It looks like a very nice spot for a breakdown,” commented Larlel.
“It looks like a very nice spot if you planned to go there with a packed lunch and a guaranteed way home,” corrected his wife. “I imagine that if you were stuck there for an indefinite period with limited food and water it would be much less pleasant.”
Kaanmryazhy looked up from the water colour of a carefully delineated plant with striped leaves and tufts of blush pink flowers. “I have no idea what this plant is,” he said happily. “It could be one of the southern gyalsyirbe, but I’ll have to ask the botany teacher at school tomorrow. Aunty Baranyi’s been finding some really interesting stuff without even looking for it, hasn’t she?”
“Because she makes the most of her opportunities,” pointed out his mother. “There she is, stranded in the middle of nowhere for four hours so she whips out her paintbox and pad, then sets about recording things. Some other people in this family,” she looked firmly but fondly at her sons, “could follow her example.”
“Indeed they could,” agreed Larlel. “How do you like your goats, Tat-Tat?”
“I would have thought the stage coach team would be matched, but they’re not,” he sounded interested, not disappointed.
“I suppose that’s because your aunt isn’t travelling in the express coach on the main highway,” answered his father. “The company isn’t so concerned with having their goat teams look pretty for the less high profile routes. What about the other ones?”
“I think Aunty tried to make the village goats look funny, although that could just be goats being goats. This other goat though, I think he’s an officer’s mount. Can you see his gear?” Tal-Tal pointed at the handsome black animal in his aunt’s third goat picture.
Gielkranm suddenly asked, “If Aunty Baranyi is going to go all the way down to the southern end of the continent where almost everyone is Bitraini, and there are islands, and the ocean and everything, do you think she’ll meet pirates?”
“She probably hopes not,” answered Giebmaa. “But why pirates?”
“Because pirates would be a real adventure, not just a thing that happens on the way.” Gielkranm looked at both his parents and asked, “Isn’t that why she went away? For an adventure?”
There is now Legacy 3.