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A Gift of Folly

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This is fun seeing the story from a different angle!

Camaran was not able to get a lot out of Sabine, but there was a little.

Sayre and Jarmok - that was Sayre's odd companion - were only to be gone a day or so. The pair had spent the previous evening and a bit of this morning in collecting an understanding of the nuances of how the Arch Duke Vallensun communicated with other folks around the realm.

How did Vallensun's messages get to paper? How did the paper get to the mail? How did the mail make its way from Kurr to where-ever?

But not just to where-ever. Although the subtlety appeared to be lost on Sabine, it appeared to Camaran it was to Threshold in particular. Sabine suggested that the route to Threshold was being scrutinized only because that's where Sayre and Jarmok were from of late, but Camaran's instinct told him that Threshold was a bit of a key here.

Bits of half-memories surfaced of Fitzsimmons entertaining his associates. Camaran had known for some time that these men spoke in some code, emphasizing words here or there at odd times. One of the oft-over-emphasized words was "Threshold".

"Well, my dear Fitzsimmons, it seems that we are on a THRESHOLD of an agreement then." Rubious might say.

"Be careful of my THRESHOLD, Mr. Burgant." Camaran had heard Fitzsimmons say. "It's a bit SHADOWY these days and hazardous to the LOCALS. Let me bring a lantern to ensure that you do not trip as you leave."

So the investigation, then, was in regards to messages being sent at least TO, and possibly FROM Threshold, and specifically TO and FROM Vallensun himself, very likely.

Well, Fitzsimmons, in his role as Master of Scribes could well have affected such transitions to his wishes. It also explained the morning at the Courier Masters and could possibly explain the youth who eyed Sayre and Jarmok in the square.

Camaran took his leave of Sabine, making a date with her for later in the week, after his performance at the Northguild Theater. As he wandered slightly aimlessly through Kurr, he began writing his play.

Given the mischief afoot, how would he write the play from this point forward? He walked and wrote.

Fitzsimmons would be nervous...no...he was too confident for nervous, but he would be setting things in motion at any rate. Moving his pieces on the game board, as it were.

But he would not move against Sayre and Jarmok...that would be too suspicious, unless it happened on the road. Given that they had seemed to be headed south, they could only be going to Kelvin's Bridge, which was but a day away. Not enough time to move to ambush them (such a plan took longer than an hour to affect).

So what would he do? Well, he would hold a luncheon, no doubt! He would convene with his conspirators to update his network and ensure that all tracks were covered.

And speaking of tracks, he would also ensure that the people to whom Sayre and Jarmok spoke this day were reminded of their allegiances.

Camaran stopped abruptly and looked around to see where he was. He needed to get back to the Courier Master to see who might pay him a visit next.

Cameran recognized Sargent Farkus immediately. The borderline slovenly Sargent of Kurr's guard was a man that Cameran had encountered once or twice and though they had never spoken, Cameran knew the Sargent's reputation well.

Capable, but untrustworthy...stupid, by and large, and mean: a bad combination indeed.

Cameran hadn't previously been aware that Farkus was in Fitzsimmon's pocket, but by the way that the self-important Sargent was bullying the Courier Master the relationship was clear.

Farkus left the encounter smirking in what appeared to Cameran to be gross self-satisfaction and the youth from earlier had an arrogant gleam in his eye even as he tried to seem like he wasn't paying attention.

The Courier Master was shaken somewhere between furious and deathly frightened.

And while Cameran had a little more information, he still had no plan whatever.

For some time now Cameran had been feigning the writing of a play: The story of Mad Dog McGee was based on story he had heard in Rhohannus and he used the writing of the work from time to time when he wanted to be in places that might be inconvenient to Fitzsimmons.

Today was just such a day. Cameran returned to Fitzsimmon's home with the goal of being slightly inconvenient. He might not be able to hear anything, but he would certainly better learn the players.

Cameran's guess had been good: Fitzsimmons was home when the bard arrived. Cameran decided to enter the viper's den glibly. "My dear Frederick," he drawled. "I wonder if you could listen to the next piece of my play. You see..." but it was Cameran who could see: Frederick Fitzsimmons was in no mood to listen to the thespian's childish pursuits.

Fitzsimmons was in his office with two of his frequent accomplices: Mr. Rubious, whose wife was nearly as heinous as he himself was, and Mr. Channing, whose rather homely daughter was more interested in creature comforts than anyone Cameran had ever known.

Cameran stopped rather short in the entrance to the office. "Ah, I see that you are busy though. My abject apologies." He quieted and backed out. "I will retire to the gardens to think on my developments...we can discuss it as we sup tonight." He said. Fitzsimmons and his guests only glared at him.

Cameran went to walk the gardens and see if anyone else showed up, and when who left. It would be a long evening, it seemed.

Rubious. Channing. Burgant. Escath. Farling. Barrrun. Wrasthill.

They arrived one by one and departed in much the same way while Cameran paced the gardens waving his arms ludicrously and mumbling to himself nonsensically. Anything that would make the meeting-goers think that Cameran was quite distant. No one brought wives, daughters, or nieces from whom Cameran might otherwise glean a clue.

As Kossuth dipped low in the sky they all left in a group, somber and dark. Cameran made a few inarticulate shouts in mock frustration as he stomped about the gardens. Fitzsimmons eyed him, seeming to try to decide whether to approach or not. Ultimately the Headmaster climbed into his hansom and swept out of the estate gate.

Whatever should happen, these were names that the Archduke Vallensun should know a thing or two about.

Cameran went into the house after the clatter of Fitzsimmon's horse could be heard no more. All was quiet.


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