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Old 04-20-2011, 03:51 PM   #217
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The 1590s
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just below the Citadel, on the highway winding down to the Sixth Circle

After the day's first industrious session at the Exchequer - roughly from dawn to the time when lesser worker rose in the first place - it was the custom of its Lord Warden to pause, and travel a little while out of the Citadel to find brisk and temperate refreshment at the house of his elder son, Ecsichil, heir of Burlach.

It was a more comfortable place, truth be told, than the traditional outposts of the ancient aristocracy of Anarion's kingdom, up on the Citadel above the rows of more mercantile grandeur. Perhaps, Cirdacil thought wryly, his eldest child's house spoke to his own frankly commercial blood. But now, by one of the quirks of economic irony that were the one element of financiery that still threw him occasionally, the wider, lower, mansions of the Sixth Circle were finding more favour with the younger nobility, like Ecsichil and his wife. Here they could be ostentatious and showy; could work, live and above all entertain beyond the reach of the gerontocracy's eye, or even the duties of Court. Nevertheless, Cirdacil always got a hearty welcome at his son's house in the morning, and he was almost always too busy to interrupt the Sixth Circle's rhythm by night.

He rode on one of the staider Treasury transportations now, an old white mule that not only knew its place, but was rather proud of it; and up here, so far from any precinct that lacked privilege, let alone savoured of danger, he took with him only a single Guardsman, and him not always.

He was very fortunate that he had chosen so to do today, though. For, hardly had the pair of them left the Citadel half a mile behind them, when Cirdacil coughed phantasmagorically, shuddering so violently from his saddle that had it not been for his Guard's firm and timely grasp, he would have impacted hard upon the cobbles.

"Are you not well, my lord?" this mere soldier (albeit of the Tower) now gasped out, against all protocol.

Cirdacil did not answer. He did not seem to be aware of the danger he had been preserved from, of the Guard's sudden and pressing touch, a grip which quite possibly would even have caused pain to a man of smaller will-power than the old Lord Warden.

"Do you see that man?"

"I'm sorry, my lord?"

"The very young fellow."

The Guard of the Citadel was puzzled. No one especially juvenile was near them; two bearded and middle-aged fellows in rich clothing were having a patently boring colloquy outside one of their houses; well, that woman in a higher window could be youngish, but his lordship hardly meant her...there was a sailor who looked more dead tired than any age especially...

...and there could be no doubt about it, it was at the sailor that Cirdacil was now staring, rather wildly, as he began, even, to gesticulate in a species of high over-excitement.

"Stars above, those eyes! His eyes...soldier, bring...that sailor...over here...I want a look at him...oh...tell him it's about the new ship money surcharges or something, and who I am. Tell him who I am, for certain; Cirdacil of Pelargir."

The Guard hesitated to fulfil his instruction, as the old man had obviously lost it at last; the crowning indignity that he seemed to have forgotten his very identity as Lord of Burlach, had just yelled out his old commoner's name...soon he would be telling the whole city about his career in the flax markets, or something...still, Lord Cirdacil was known to have a temper on him, to look after his own but to be a bad one to cross, so after a shortish pause the soldier did ride over to the sailor after all, hoping the Lord Warden wouldn't fall off his mule while his command was carried out...
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