Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And Five Makes Twenty

The crone cast a practiced eye over the contents in the wagon. "Hrmph, Godin seems to have been busy," she said to no one in particular. The two men, handling the donkeys hitched to the wagon looked at each other nervously, not sure what to say.

"Godin just said to bring them here and let you have the first pick, Ma Llew. The ones you don't want get tossed," said Olev, his broad face and broken nose marking him as a commoner. The old woman, known as Mother Llewillyn, or Ma Llew, was one of hundreds of women in the Driftdowns who made their living by making and selling powders and potions, herbal remedies and what could only be described as crude surgery. They kept many folk alive who couldn't afford the price of a priest, as if living in squallor was better.

Mother Llewillyn grunted at this, chewing the stem of her clay pipe and absently scratching the greying hair that poked out from her kerchief. "Well, start unloading and I'll see what I can do." She stepped back as Olev and Tchurak, a one tusked orc, started unloading the bodies onto the plank street. Mother Llewillyn started with the first body, running her fingers through the corpse's hair, peeling back an eyelid, forcing it's jaws open and counting and examining the teeth. She then proceeded down the body, poking and prodding, eventually rolling the body over and starting the practice over again. For over an hour and close to two, she kept this up until all 14 bodies were laid out and had been examined.

With a grunt, a groan and with the help of the wagon, she pulled herself upright. "Oooh, these bones are too old to be crabbing around on the street. Shoulda brought Janie out with me. Alright, I'll take those five," she said, pointing out the bodies w/ her pipe, "the others, give to the sea. That's four silvers a head, and there'll be something extra if you'll carry them into the cold room for me."

Olev and Tchurak nudged each other. SOMETHING EXTRA. That means they'll be able to buy the good stuff tonight when they were drinking. They quickly squatted down, lifting the bodies and carrying them into the building Ma Llew called her own. Somehow she'd gotten ahold of a chunk of coldstone and this she used to help preserve her supplies.

Ma Llew remained outside, looking over the bodies, nodding to herself and muttering, "Yep, things are gonna get busier soon."

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