Cult of the Turtle

Joe Tortuga's musing on life,tech and gaming

Tales From Shattered Earth: The Balance

November 01, 2010

The sun’s rays shown up through the water disk, as it prepared to rise.  Jaxom, special assistant to the Druid Guild Council Representative, spoke quietly to his companion.  “I still think it was a bit of a cruel joke, Roslyn, putting that fake flavor spell on their water.”

“They mishandled the crates,” she replied. “They are required for the trees and our survival.”  She patted the roots of the tree they nestled in.  Most druids spent their times in the branches of the two trees, not here where their roots tangled together.  It made a good place for the two to clandestinely meet.

Roslyn thought for a moment, and leaned in closer to her confidante, her lips brushing his ear with a whispered kiss.  Her nominal boss, the Baobab Citizen representative needed this information passed on most discretely.  “Arturus is at it again, ” she said. “With his studies.”

Jaxom let out a bark of a laugh, “What is it this time?”

“He’s calculated the volume of water we have, and how long it will last the Alliance before it runs out.” Jaxom went very still, but Roslyn slid her hand along his leg, and he, for a moment, only pretended to be her lover.

“He knows,” Jaxom said.

“But he can’t prove it,” Rosalyn whispered. “That’s why he’s asked the council for funding, and many of them want to give it.”

“We can’t vote on this,” he said.  “They’ll know.”  He didn’t say what — that they had something to hide, that the special assistants colluded together despite council rules.  That they were secretly lovers, and had been through many elections and officials.

“The Farmer’s Guild has a bill they want passed. I’ve let them believe we oppose it, but that our vote can be bought for an exchange.  We’ll recuse ourselves of this vote, since it involves Baobab.”

Jaxom nodded, relaxing, they’d done this before, bartered votes in secret.  He turned and kissed her for real and not pretend. “I know a dark elf who needs a similar favor.”

“The sun is coming,” she said.  They turned and looked as the sun broke over the water disk. The sun’s light below refracted and the light above reflected, turning the whole eastern disk  bright gold.

“A moment of balance,” Jaxom whispered.

“A moment of beauty,” Roslyn replied.

“That then concluded this business?” Jaxom asked.

“Indeed,” Roslyn said, and kissed him soundly.

His hands went to her robes, and her’s to his.  Now they could get down to the real purpose of this meeting.

Note: We’re still looking for a Few Good Adventurers.