Knives and Chains

I have a new bracelet to wear. Wren made it for me, because, she said, we are friends. She gave it to me the other night, saying she had made it herself. She had woven it herself, and had woven three hand-carved beads into the weave. One with my initial, N, on it, and a smaller one either side, one showing a multiplication symbol, the other a division symbol. I was instantly charmed by it. It was a little crudely fashioned, but that just made it more special. I put it on straight away and thanked her. I said that it was the sort of thing that I might put in my ‘treasure box’, if I had one like Aoibheann’s but instead I was going to wear it, so everybody could see.

Remembering the previous night, I asked her what Gwyn had said to her. She told me that she had said much as Hadley had, that she didn’t have any. I approved that answer, saying it would be good for Gwyn, because it would reduce any conflict she had. Wren added that it was true, because Vedis had wiped their memories, so they would not remember the children.

Speaking of wearing things reminded me of Aoibheann’s request for an allowance to get more clothes for her and Hadley. I asked if she had been to see Vera at all. She told me she hadn’t been to see her and then asked a question I had not thought of. She asked if Vera was going to make her dresses. That gave me pause for thought, realising I had hardly ever seen Wren in a dress. I did not know the answer to her question, since I hadn’t seen her myself. I realised I had left Aoibheann in charge. Surely she would know Wren’s preferences, but then, you never know with Aoibheann. I told Wren I would write a note to Vera and suggested she go and tell her what kind of clothing she liked. She was not a girl, she insisted. I told her that she was whatever she wanted to be.

Galyanna turned up at this point and said that dresses were not suited to a warrior. We talked a while about armour of different sorts. I had told Wren to go and see Hobbs about getting measured up for basic armour. Galyanna was not so keen on plate, but then, she tends to work by stealth. Besides, her armour is part of her body, which is unlikely to be an option for Wren. The corset, however, was external. I joked about the whalebone in the ones my mother and my wife had worn being pretty good armour.

We had a discussion then about the possibility of supplementing Wren’s guard training with learning some techniques from Galyanna. It seemed a good thing, since they were of a similar size. I was mostly interested in her learning defensive skills, rather than sneaky assassin type skills, but that was a matter for more detailed discussion. Galyanna was broadly in favour, but there were conditions – I would have to deal with Dorina and Aoibheann’s objections, and I would have to trust to her teaching techniques. I said I would have to clear it with Maric first and that I had some conditions I would discuss with her later.

We chatted about weapons for a short while and Galyanna produced something from her belt that looked like a small scythe with a weighted chain on the end. I think she said it was a kusarigama or something like that. I said that it looked a rather dangerous. Of course, weapons were meant to be dangerous, but this one looked like it could be dangerous to the user. I suggested it might be something for more advanced lessons. That got a laugh from Galyanna, which is not something I hear often from her and she explained a little about how it was used.

I then heard Maric’s voice in my head, asking what I would need to clear with him. I explained through the link about the idea of Wren learning some techniques from Galyanna. He agreed, and then added in voice that he had some conditions too, mostly to do with Wren not coming back covered in bruises, which was in accord with my thoughts too. We agreed it was something to talk about later. He then asked me silently if I knew where Helene was, since he needed to find her. I suggested that since she was one of the official foragers, she might have wandered outside the village. He thanked me and then gave us all good evening and wandered off, presumably to find Helene.

Sharp Knives and Heavy Chains


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