Reblogged from Jim Webster at Tallis Steelyard:
Occasionally it happens that somebody is so desperate that they throw common sense to the winds and attempt extravagantly eccentric things. I have never tried to quantify matters but I suspect that there is a point at which the rational mind admits defeat and stands back to allow outlandish stupidity a chance.
If you struggle to believe me, I give you the example of Dolmor Soupwright. He was an apparently intelligent young man with prospects. He had the makings of a decent poet, he was considered sound by actuaries who would happily employ him, and his grasp of logistics mean there were Condottieri who were keen to hire him to manage their supply lines. Yet he lost his head over a maid.
Dame Hardcull was the wife of a Partannese Robber Baron. Admittedly the baron was from North-Central Partann rather than the south, so his robbery consisted more of imposing heavy tolls and taxes on those crossing his domain, rather than just killing people and going through their pockets. Indeed he was teetering on the edge of respectability, and some years later his son actually achieved it. Admittedly he achieved it partially by locking his father away in a lunatic asylum rather than merely assassinating him when he got fed up of waiting for the old man to die naturally, but we have to accept that it is a step forward.
Dame Hardcull, in the interests of respectability, had spent the summer season in Port Naain. She had taken a house and entertained her new friends and acquaintances as well as being invited to all the important events. She brought some of her own people from Partann and hired in a few local staff to provide the necessary airs and graces.
Dolmor wasn’t the sort of person to be invited to the sorts of parties Dame Hardcull threw. He came into contact with her because he was the one who took on the task of purchasing provisions of a suitable quality, plus engaging suitable artists and performers. It was as he did this that he met Talmeia.
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