Words of a different kind.
Sunday, 20 March 2016
I thought it was about time to introduce one of my favourite characters to you, by the name of Fawlkes.
He is a man of simple needs, happy with just a quill, ink and parchment, but with a sense of humour which many can find iritating but also refreshing in his own way. I loved creating and writing Fawlkes's character, he is so easy to work with and listen to that he just makes me want to write more.
Here Blackthorn goes to Fawlkes in the dead of night and brings him a taste of whats to come.
Blackthorn moved slowly and quietly and peered around the door frame. Fire crackled and popped in a small stone fireplace, its light casting dancing shadows and an orange-yellow glow across the walls and floor. A man dressed in a laced shirt and waistcoat of simple finery sat hunched over a table with his back facing him. A large piece of parchment was unfolded on the table before the stooped man as he worked with a feather quill and inkpot. The quill scratched along the parchment as Fawlkes worked on his map. Ink pots of various colours lined the table, as did quills of varying sizes and shapes. Bookcases ran along the walls filled with old and dusty volumes and scrolls.
A small glass cabinet stood in the corner upon where his prized griffin feather was concealed in a box under lock and key. He smiled underneath his mask, recollecting the time he had broken in, sent by Hawkeye to recover a document Fawlkes should never have had. But he had made the mistake of unlocking the box containing the beautiful feather and was sprung upon by Fawlkes from behind, wielding a candle stick and cursing in unlikely ways as he fought off an apprentice Nighthawk. It was only after this that Blackthorn understood it to be a test of his skill.
He had been a scribe before this life and it was the first time he had seen a griffin feather – a creature seldom seen this far west. It was a prized possession among the literate, and only a writer of great skill could use such a feather to its full potential.
More shelves lined another wall with statues and inkpots, powdered paints and brushes. The smell of fusty old paper and books was overpowered with an incense stick smoking from a small side table with yet more books piled upon it.
Blackthorn crept with the silence of a spider to the large table and stopped behind Fawlkes. “You missed a spot.”
Fawlkes jumped out of his chair and dropped his quill. The ink splattered onto the parchment further down the clean white surface and left a trail as it went. “Thorn!” Fawlkes exclaimed, startled. “What have I told you about doing that!” He looked down at the mark the feather quill had left and slumped his shoulders. “Now look what you’ve done, it’s ruined!”
The map was showing the western part of Etheda with Hale resting to the north in the southernmost province of Tursia, neighboured to the west by Arldor, within the horseshoe-shaped mountain range of the Eswyr and the Jera mountains. To the northeast of this and over the Sy’ir River lay the arid Anderak desert. Beyond the mountains to the south the realms of Numara, Aluria and Edean rested. Together, these five provinces formed to create the Five Kingdoms.
“Hmm.” Blackthorn deliberated as he pulled his mask down, letting it hang to one side. “Is there not some islands around there in those waters where ships disappear? Just paint a giant squid rising from the sea, no one will notice.”
Fawlkes opened his mouth to argue, but changed his mind as he looked back down at the map again. “Oh, I had not thought of painting sea monsters in. Could be handy for the captains. Good thinking, Thorn.” His annoyance changed to a beaming smile as the solution meant his work was not ruined. “Anyway, what can I do for you at this late hour?”
Blackthorn produced the note and handed it over to Fawlkes, who eagerly unfurled it. “Oh, excellent!” On eyeing the contents, his eyes opened wide and his smile grew broader across his face. “Where did you get this little beauty?” Like a beggar boy with a shiny silver crown, he spread it across his table with care under the light of the lamp.
“Don’t ask and I won’t have to kill you,” Blackthorn replied curtly.
“Kill me and you won’t find out what is on this little gem,” countered Fawkes. “Now, hand me that whatsit over there, will you?” Blackthorn looked to where Fawlkes was pointing. The shelf was a mess with all sorts of different papers, objects and pots. He looked back at Fawlkes with his brow knitted in confusion. “The glass jar, thingy, whatsit, over there by the green pot.”
Blackthorn saw a small glass jar full of a clear liquid with a glass-sealed lid, and passed it over. Fawlkes loomed over the jar and gazed into it over the paper note. The symbols, which had been small and faint, suddenly became large and clear as the water became still.
“What a beauty!”
“So, what is it?” asked Blackthorn. “Do you recognize the language?”
Fawlkes looked up. “Well, no. Not yet anyway. Seems to be some kind of ancient Prion or Arikian script, but I’ll have to look it up in one of my books to see which one it might be. It is fascinating though, don’t you think?”
“No, I don’t.” Blackthorn replied bluntly.
I hope you enjoyed your time with Fawlkes, he pops up here and there and will find himself in hot water later on, but that is for another time.
Well, back to work then, and to find some more characters to write about. Bye for now, and keep an eye out for more posts.
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