Tag Archive | character: kael

A New World 25: Jamhaier

The bar was not all that different from pubs and taverns that Kael remembered.  There was louder music, yes, the lights were different, but the drinks were much the same – just more variety.  She bowed to Gemma’s expertise for the first drink and got a wink and a decidedly flirtatious smile in return.

“Are you encouraging me to get you drunk, Madam Kaelingrade?”

“As a matter of fact, I might enjoy that,” Kael agreed.  “But I’d have to hope that you have better than an apprentice’s garret to take me back to, since that’s all that they give one for ‘room and board’.  Well at least for the room portion.  The board is quite nice.”

“Did she call you – did she call you Madam Kaelingrade?”  The bartender, a handsome man who was a little younger than Kael’s apparent age, looked surprised.  “Is there a new Kael in the tower, then? You look…” He studied her for a moment. “You look genuine.” Continue reading

A New World 24: Mistress and Apprentice

First: A New World
Previous: Idiots

“Perhaps I will teach you.”

Was she looking for an apprentice?  Or for – well. Certainly she hadn’t been at a lack for invitations since she woke up.  Of course, she had spoken to more people who did not work for her in the last day than she had in many months, perhaps many years, in the time before her long nap.

“I might enjoy you teaching me.”  Gemma smiled at her with an expression that might have been interested in learning – or in other things.  “You have a fascinating way of looking at the world. What is it that you do, that isn’t pretending to be an ancient potions-mistress?”

“Well, mostly, I am a modern potions-mistress,” Kael admitted.  “It helps to have someone in the Tower, I suppose, that knows what sort of potions will actually work, which won’t do anything, and which could be fatal if handled incorrectly.”

“It certainly has to add verisimilitude.   But there have to be other things you could be doing – working for one of the big corporations…” Continue reading

A New World 22: Out

First: A New World
Previous: Preparations

Kael slid herself into the bustle of people with the strange feeling that no time at all had passed. True, when she had been – when this had been her land, say that – she had needed to put a little more work into a disguise.  True, the clothing was stranger now, the faces had a wider variety of shapes, the hair colors and skin colors were more varied. True, the buildings – other than her Tower – were taller, and there seemed to be far more of them than there had been around her Tower before she went to sleep.

But the people bustled around and talked in much the same ways.  They were worried about children, and partners, and money, and food.  What to wear and where to get it, all of the things that had been common a thousand years before. Continue reading

A New World 21: Preparations

First: A New World
Previous: Drinks

Kael let Mr. Vibius show her where “her quarters” was after the meal.  He gave her a key that she wouldn’t (she hoped) need, told her a bit about the area, and then left to close down the museum.

She looked around “her quarters.”  Someone had taken some effort to do what she presumed was modernizing on the rooms, including a bed that looked wider than she remembered and thus a little tight for the space, but it was – or it had been – Joaon’s sleeping quarters.

They had not been his first.  She had built the room for a woman named Glerine, but she had, after five years of serving Kael, run off with a fur-trader who presumably had a more interesting life than a woman cloistered high in a potions tower. Continue reading

A New World: The Hoija

First: A New World
Previous: Two Kael

Everyone knowing about the Hoeraija is your fault.

Kael raised her eyebrows at this scholar, this Dennor. (Hightower.  Had his family been potion-masters? That was something for another time.)

“I beg your pardon?”  she demanded archly.

He flapped his hand, amused.  “That’s ‘your’ fault.” He dropped quote marks in the air. “Your namesake.  Because she settled among the Hoija, because she built her tower there – here, because she, foremost among the old wizards -”

“Wizards?”  Her potion provided a meaning, but it wasn’t one that made any sense to her. Continue reading

A New World: Two Kael

First: A New World
Previous: Dinner, and Things to Chew On

She ate her food slowly, but with gusto.  It may have been only one long night to her, but it still seemed like a long time since she’d had a taste of home.

Dennor Hightower was staring at her.  She looked up from her food and waited, patiently.

“Kael,” he repeated slowly, “is not a Lerienoijen name.  You said Lerienoijen.  How many scholars know that word?”

“I don’t know.  How many?”

“I know three.  One of them is me.  And I’ve never heard of you.” Continue reading

A New World: Dinner, and Things to Chew On

First: A New World
Previous: The People

The lay-out of food was almost exactly as Kael remembered it, with the addition of what had to be a couple modern foods.  Everything was set up on one long table, with three tables for eating at – Joaon had built one of those tables by hand, she remembered.  She could still see the adze marks.

There were several people sitting at the tables – the gift-shop man and a woman in a smock and loose pants, another girl in the same outfit as the gift-shop man, and one person who caught Kael’s eye immediately.

They were not wearing clothing that marked them as part of the staff, but they were so utterly the epitome of Hoeraijen handsomeness that they – he, had to be male – took Kael’s breath away.  He was wearing what she thought were modern clothes, sitting by himself at the end of a table, and he was reading while he ate. Continue reading

A New World: the People

First: A New World
Previous: Taking Stock

Half Yordiy off was better than she’d expected to get, if she was being honest, and all she had to do was draw up a safer version of things she’d been doing for years.

“Thank you, Mr. Vibius.”  He reminded Kael strongly of the people she had known before she’d become a potion-mistress and ruler of her own domain.  She knew how to act around him, but that didn’t make it the least bit pleasant. “You said the food was on the third floor?”

“Yep.  It’s always there.  I don’t get it, I really don’t, but it’s always there.”

Kael suppressed a smile.  Jaoan had been working on that for years.  She wondered how long it had taken him to perfect it.  “Thank you. If nobody is here to ask me about potions, I will go and eat now.”

“You’re really taking this seriously.”  He looked at a small glowing piece of glass for a moment.  “There’s three people in the museum, but they’re taking their down  in the Lives of the Ancient Natives and Potions Then and Now displays.  The Lives one really gets a lot of attention,” he confided. “People like going through how people lived back before, uh,” he coughed, “before the modern era.  We get a lot of yelling, too.” He smiled grimly. “People who say there’s no way things could have been like that.” Continue reading

A New World: Taking Stock

First: A New World
Previous: An Arrangement

Caron and Hallsey had left, leaving Kael alone in her tower again but with far more to think about.

She had, she realized, spoken more words to other people today than she probably had in a week back in her old life.

And she knew nothing about the world outside.  She was only managing as well as she did because of the translation potion, and when that failed her, she was going to be left looking blankly at people while they talked about matters that were ancient history to them and still far in the future for her.

She inventoried her ingredients slowly and began a list.  Some of these things were incorrectly labelled; she added a tiny notation to the bottom of each label in her own script.  Some of them were getting stale. A few were missing altogether. Continue reading