... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 At the turn of Spring. [Plot filler:Telgar]

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: At the turn of Spring. [Plot filler:Telgar]   Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:56 pm

Jungi and his family had barely made it back to Telgar before winter's first arctic blast of wind and snow blanketed the region. Winter seemed to come hard and fast, and then again, toward the end of the season, there were more blizzards. Thus, the warmth of spring brought an abundance of snow melt, raising the rivers in Telgar to unusually high levels, causing flooding in some regions. Luckily, few lives were lost, and affected areas recovered quickly. 

Jungi had spent much of the winter spending his time relaxing or getting to know the layout of the hold's most recent expansion, the Holdless Settlement. While the caravan had been traveling throughout the previous summer and autumn, the Settlement had grown significantly. Of course, newcomers to the settlement did not arrive in any great numbers over the winter since roads were impassable, but now that Spring was upon them once more, and the snows had diminished into isolated but still-frozen piles along shaded street corners, it would be possible for travelers to make their way to the Hold again. Likewise, soon it would be possible for he and his family's caravan to begin their trek East to Telgar Hold, the mountain Crafthalls, and Telgar Weyr -which was the furthest point East that they would travel.

With the weather being clear, it had also made it easier to meet with the crafters of Telgar River Hold in order to negotiate terms of business for the turn they were rolling slowly into. Once mountain passes and roads were clear enough, it would be time to be on the move again. 

That time was certainly nearing.








Before setting out on his quest to hunt down a few more new contacts to make Trade with, Jungi had stopped by the Amber Room to sit with Rihan and discuss a few things. His father, Caravan Master Kuchiki, had already taken up many new leads for prospective business, which the Lord Holder had given them primary rights to, but knowing his son's preferences, there were still some, who the Caravan Master had ticked off the list, for his son to pursue. 


Lord Holder Rihan slid a freshly inked skin across the table, placing it before his friend and trader, Jungi. "Don't think I'm handing you left-overs. Your father got here before you did, once I finally had the list compiled from the census of new Crafters in the area. Though, he left these for you, knowing that you might like to do business with them. I think you'll find many of them at the gather grounds this sevenday's end. My Steward tells me that most of them have had enough time to settle in, that they've all been able to begin supplying their goods at the gather grounds. Though, for some still, that may not be the case."

Grinning wryly, Jungi bowed his head in acceptance of the skin with a listing of Crafter's names. No matter what the list contained for him, he had to be grateful. No other Traders yet, had been allowed to make contact with these new, local crafters in particular, and so opportunity was ripe. And honestly, he couldn't ask for more than that.

Thanking him appropriately, Jungi furthered their discussion, "I know I always say it, but I can't express enough, just how much I appreciate you taking care of our family in ways like this. Our success could never have been what it is today, without the intervention of Telgar's Lords on our behalf."

Nodding with understanding, Rihan smiled, "Jungi, you are a brother to me, and know that I would do anything for you; and I know that your sentiment is mutual. I'm just sorry that at this time, when you are about to be in your busiest season, that the economy is in such a state of disarray. 

"Of course, you'd heard about the counterfeit marks being dumped into the streets, but we haven't been able to collect all of them. Unfortunately, the effect has been a greater instability in the markets in the North of Telgar. Many Crafters have decided to head South instead of relying on deflated values of their goods, here. Everyone's still skittish. Confidence in trade is tentative.

"It is fortunate that the counterfeit marks introduced did little to effect the economy in the Southern parts of the territory, but thus far, it has been a detriment to Telgar Hold itself, as well as our location, here at Telgar River." Rihan sighed, unable to do more than he had already, to keep things from taking any more of a down hill plunge. "Still, I guess things have started to level back out again. It's only a matter of time before Telgar's economy is back under control."

Frowning slightly, Jungi wondered aloud, "Did you ever find out who made the counterfeits?" 

With a shake of his head, Rihan had to admit to him, "Not yet. Though, we've been searching as far as Southern Telgar Hold to find out who's responsible. The counterfeits are nearly perfect replications of the real thing. So, it's been hard scrounging up all the pieces. That should mean its easier to track down someone capable of crafting them, but.." Again, he shook his head, being left to his own suppositions over who was responsible, and knowing that even if he was right, they still had no way of tracking them down in a timely manner.

So, Rihan went on, "I do think it has to do with the rebels, but I haven't sent anyone yet to scope out all of the locations on the map we found after the attacks on the Tithe train in the Fall. Though, that will happen soon." Pausing, he thought to ask, "What of the Seacrafters at Fort? Have you been able to learn anything else?

Thinking back to the incident at Fort Sea Hold, with the woman whom he'd bedded just before being chased by her fiance through the streets, Jungi almost laughed. He'd told Rihan how he'd accidentally involved other people, and how it had nearly turned into a fiasco with the Hold Guard. Rihan wouldn't have been happy about having to get him out of a situation like that, if worst came to worst. But since nothing else really transpired, they had both had a laugh over it. 

"You know what I had to go through to get information on that front. And it ran the caravan's time table behind." He wasn't complaining though; and Rihan could tell as much, considering the adventurous sort that Jungi was. "Anyway, not much new on that front. Apparently there's been no more contact between any of the Smugglers of Fort Sea Hold and the Chorong since last Turn, just after Lady Eolyn was kidnapped. At least not as far as I can tell. Hopefully that save you the trouble of having to get the Lord Holder of Fort involved with any of this. But," Jungi too, went to shaking his head with a quiet, contemplative sigh. "It doesn't seem as though the Chorong rely on that venue anymore." 

At that though, just as Jungi had anticipated, Rihan was happy. So, he sat back in his chair, and with a smile and uplift in his tone, brought the mood up in their conversation, "So, you don't plan on trying to take it easy between now and time for you to leave again, do you? I was hoping you could do me one favour before then, and check the word on the streets in the Settlement. Nothing specific. I just want to know the general mood of people -the usual- outside of current economic affairs. And of course, if you happen on anything else interesting..."

More than happy to oblige, the Trader rolled up the skin before him into one hand, and then sat back, as well, placing hands upon his thighs. "You know how much I enjoy my work. There's no need for you to worry on that account." Grinning with good humour, he waited until Rihan had stood from the table first, before he himself got up. 

"I will work on this list you gave me while doing just as you asked, and report back as soon as possible."

Glad to hear of his friend's willingness as always, Rihan didn't say anything more, for a long moment, but then let go a breath that seemed to relax him somewhat. Though he did continue to smile pleasantly, Rihan also grew a bit more serious, "Jungi, you should cherish the freedom that you have. You are always roaming and keeping others happily entertained."

Not sure exactly what Rihan was getting at, Jungi could only wonder aloud, "Rihan?..."

"One day, all of Telgar will be mine, and I will belong to it, but you... it seems as though the whole world belongs to you, Jungi. Am I allowed to be jealous?"

Rihan had long watched his friend come and go as he pleased from the Hold, often reliving great and exciting tales from his travels, or bringing back odd and spectacular finds that they'd come across. Now, reflecting on the fact that even as adults, Jungi was able to explore the world more freely and enjoy himself in what company he pleased, Rihan envied him, in a way. This must have been his way of saying it.

And afraid that Rihan was feeling depressed or anxious over the situation with the Rebels and the recent loss of his brother, wanting nothing more than to escape it all, Jungi answered him with a formal salute, like that used by the Hold Guard, as he straightened his posture in appropriate form. His words may not have been what Rihan wanted to hear just then, but Jungi knew that it was his job as Rihan's friend, to keep his thought on the right path, his morale up, and correct him when need be, to keep him in his place. "My Lord, Rihan. There is no question in my mind, that you are the strongest man that I know. Everyone struggles in such hard times, but you and your father are the only ones capable of acting to preserve us. Even if you wanted to give up and cast your weapon aside, you would still have power. Others will always be drawn to you because of it."

Hesitating for a moment before he finished, Jungi had hope that his words might inspire Rihan not to give in to the looming despair that threatened to close in on them at such a crucial point in time. "You must continue to stand strong. Everyone is relying on you, to secure the future." Afterward, Jungi relaxed his arm, but then bowed low from the waist, as if in plea for Rihan to keep up his vigilance -though at present, efforts had seemed nearly futile.

With a heavy breath, a faint smile returned to life in Rihan's face. "Since it is you who said it, I guess I can only keep doing my best. Thank you, Jungi. You don't need to worry on my behalf, any longer." 


Having given his friend assurances, Rihan turned his mind to what other matters he had to attend for the day, and moved around the table to excuse himself from the room.


It wasn't until after Rihan had left, that Jungi rose from his bow and turned to leave, as well.


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At the turn of Spring. [Plot filler:Telgar]
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