Now, I have been holed up in Northwich quite some time and don’t visit La Longi much.
It was quite surprising that King James wanted to see me.
I’ve fought my share of pequin, Heron tribesmen, Carsiolians, and all other manners of creatures in my neck of the woods. It isn’t the easiest place to raise a family.
Northwich has shaped up quite well. Seems like when I leave for official business is when the trouble comes, so I am always hesitant to leave. It was the respectable thing to do, so I packed up a few things and headed on down the trail.
I passed through the Silverfinch route and those folks are never hospitable. I taught a few of them with my walking stick, but that isn’t what I am writing about.
Coming early to inquire about the Netty Northwich, a ship I invested heavily in, I discovered Nicholas and Baldwin, good men, had passed on fighting pirates and the like. They were tough, sturdy men, and we walked a lot of trails together. I gave my condolences and grieved alongside them.
See, I had taken 17 men, all hard cases from Silent Gallows prison to rebuild Northwich. Nick and Baldwin were among them. They were a rough lot, and built a community with me. I don’t know how to break it to the families when I get back.
It was time to see the new King as I have the title of Thane. Kings like to see us every once in a while. I don’t see much point, I pay my taxes on time.
The guards didn’t want to let me in the palace gate, telling me I wasn’t a Thane. One had the gall to make fun of my hat.
All nice and proper I tried to explain it all to the young man. See, pa was a farmer and I am a farmer as well, and pa gave me that hat. This wasn’t to the guard’s liking and he reached to take my hat from my head.
I clouted him on the mouth for that one, right on his metal helmet. He dropped like a suit of armor without an armor stand.
The other guard tried to hand me his sword blade first, and I had to explain that when you give someone something sharp, it’s handle first. He was in an awful hurry to hand it to me, flailing it this way and that. I ignored him after a while and he kept yelling for help for some reason. There ain’t no telling with kids these days.
King James was in good spirits. He was glad to see me and thought it amusing I hit his guard, and my hand hurts something awful now.
He doesn’t mind my hat and said he would let his people know I am the Thane of Northwich.
Things got all complicated after that. Apparently, one aboard the Netty Northwich was the son of Captain Gryll who was in the civil war with the Alchemist and his minions.
King James was all elated about capturing the young man and throwing him in prison to make a statement.
I suppose I am simple minded, but I told the king what I thought about it all.
“King James, I read the ancient texts, and they say we can’t judge the son for the wrongs of the father, it just aint right. You release that young man.”
Well, the king was all kind of angry because I told him he was wrong and was like to have me stretched out on a rack for lengthening purposes. “That will teach you to cross me”, he said.
There isn’t a lot of back up or back down in me so I retorted, “King James, with all due respect, you are sounding a lot like your father now. I see you take a liking to the name Rainport over Bastard lately.
King James sent me on my way and suggested I keep my opinions to myself.
Being short, that rack may have helped me a little.