Busy Schedule, by Charles Matthias

Story name: Busy Schedule
Author: Charles Matthias

Date: May 17, 706 CR1
Location: Metamor Keep

Overview

Matthias tries to return to his duties as Writer's Guild Headmaster, but other business interrupts him.

Summary

Charles decides to spend most of Saturday finishing his backlog of stories to read, so that on Sunday he can spend time with Kimberly. He picks up the first story by Oren when his stomach growls. He decides he can afford some time to buy food from Gregor's.

After a brief chat with Brennar and Gregor, Charles learns that he forgot that the Gnawer's Meeting was tonight. He heads back to his room, and just as he picks Oren's story back up, Michael visits. Michael's new color changes astonish Charles, who agrees to listen to Michael's story and counsel him.

Barely a minute after Michael leaves, Kee arrives with a message from Channing. Before he leaves, Charles gives him an invitation to Kimberly for a picnic. At his office in the Guild Hall, Channing shares a poem with Charles that seems to be a metaphor for Loriod's downfall, but was actually written two years ago by Habakkuk.

Charles returns and manages to read a few pages of Oren's story when Kee returns with a message from the Duke. He, Phil, and Wessex have asked him to a meeting to wrap up the Loriod affair. Charles, Phil, and Thomas share their accounts of the story, and Wessex begins sharing news about the runes around the Keep. Charles is startled when Wessex names the wizard behind Loriod's activities, Zagrosek. Charles describes it only as "a common southern name". Phil promises to keep his spies alert for him, and Charles asks if Zagrosek had a symbol on his clothes. Wessex describes the symbol of the Sondeckis, and Charles nervously says he doesn't remember anything about it. As they prepare to leave, Phil asks him to help set up for the Gnawer's Meeting, so they head out together.

After the meeting, Kimberly walks home with Charles, and asks if they will still have their picnic. Charles, still distracted by Wessex's revelations, tells her that it will have to be postponed to next week. They wish each other good night, and Charles head back to his room, anticipating a busy day tomorrow.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Charles Matthias: The headmaster of the Writer's Guild. He has recently returned from his trip up north, and has a stack of stories to catch up on.

Supporting characters:

  • Kimberly: Charles's beloved. Charles promises to take her on a picnic on Sunday, but he ends up too busy, and he schedules it for next week.
  • Michael: An acquaintance of Charles's. Charles has not seen him since Awake, and is startled by the change he has gone through from Colors.
  • Duke Thomas: The ruler of Metamor Keep.
  • Wessex: A child mage who specializes in foreign magic. He is currently working on removing Zagrosek's influence.
  • Phil: Charles's friend and fellow Writer's Guild headmaster, Keep spymaster, and a rabbit morph.

Minor characters:

  • Gregor: The Keep baker, a capybara morph. He reminds Charles of the Gnawer's Meeting that night.
  • Brennar: Gregor's apprentice. He has been a cat for only 5 months. Gregor is impressed enough with Brennar's bread that he now cooks every day.
    • Several of Brennar's friends are heading south.
  • Kee: The messenger of the Keep, who is always cheerful at his job.
  • Channing: A fellow headmaster of the Writer's Guild.

Important mention:

  • Oren: A newcomer to the Keep and to the Writer's Guild. He has just submitted a story to the Guild.
  • Pascal: Michael's recent ex-lover. He is angry that she changed his fur and has no way to change him back, but he still cares intensely for her.
  • Loriod: The recently deceased lord of Lorland. He had plans to manipulate the weather so that everyone would be forced to buy food from him. His downfall was foretold in a poem that Habakkuk wrote two years ago.
  • Zagrosek: The wizard who was controlling Loriod.
    • Charles recognizes his name, but gives non-specific answers when asked about him.

Referenced:

  • Misha: A Long Scout. Charles had stored food on his advice, but it had spoiled while away in Arabarb.
  • Nasoj: The nemesis of Metamor Keep.
  • Zhypar Habakkuk: A kangaroo morph who wrote a poem two years ago for a poetry contest. Channing and Phil believe two of the lines predicted Loriod's downfall.
  • Saroth: The Keep's weather dragon. He agrees that there will be some flooding this summer, but not as much as with the anchor spell.
  • Tenomides: King of Whales. Charles was in his court a week ago.

Points of Interest

  • The Keep is separated from the town of Gregor's bakery by fields and gardens. He passes by the candlemaker, the smithy, and the carpenter on his way there.
  • The reasonable price for a loaf of bread is five coppers.
  • The various watcher spells mentioned in Keeping the Lamp Lit have mostly been dispelled. The most prominent one was in the library; the others were in insignificant places.
  • The anchor spell on the north gate has holding a powerful weather spell to make the Keep hotter. This would have caused major flooding in all parts of the Valley except for Loriod's lands, which would have given him a monopoly over the Valley's food supply.
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