The Long Chron – Online Edition – Chapter Twenty-Three

I laugh to myself about how Griff will probably end up spending a majority of his morning just trying to figure out where a clothes shop is, especially considering his trouble with understanding the locals.

Well, actually, he seems to be doing a pretty good job with Agnes now, maybe he won’t have that much trouble with that part of it anymore.  All the same, I’m guessing he’ll try working a Bogus Escrow, which isn’t a quick con to set up.  It’s hard enough just finding a mark who will fall for it.

Knowing where to go should give me more than enough of a head start for me to win this stupid game easily.  Since I’m feeling confident, I allow myself to wander somewhat aimlessly toward my goal.

I take in the sights and sounds of the city, enjoying the opportunity that absolutely no one else from my home town will ever get, exploring a medieval city when it’s still new.

The morning here bustles with activity.  The town seems in much more carefree spirits this morning than they were when we arrived yesterday.  That seems odd to me, considering just last night they were all set to be on guard against some unknown evil.  You know, the evil who just so happens to be me.

People smile as I pass their shops, offering a multitude of wares in their attempts to garner my attention.  A young girl walks up to me holding a bunch of wild flowers and presses them into my hands, holding out her own hand as she does so without saying so much as a word.

Curiously, I attempt to hand back the flowers, for which she gives me a scowl and presses out her hand even further in my direction.  I reach into my bag and fish out a quarter, since that seemed to be the unit of currency Agnes was most interested in, and press it into the girl’s dirty palm.

She bites into the coin and runs off.  Suddenly, the folks who were smiling at me from afar get closer and more aggressive with their sales pitches.  Most of them are coming to me with long strips of cloth in their hands.  Perhaps it won’t be so difficult for Griff to find what he’s looking for.

Yet, considering how I can barely understand what everyone is trying to say to me in all this commotion, I highly doubt Griff will have any chance, even with his new-found ability to translate.

I push through the growing number of vendors and come to the determination that my outfit probably marks me as someone with money, someone they dearly want to sell to, considering how few people in this area are wearing anything quite so nice.

What they are wearing could be considered rags in comparison to the tunic Agnes lent me.  The cloth in their hands is beautiful, but the cloth on their skin is old and worn.  Why wouldn’t they just make themselves new clothes out of the cloth they own?  How bad are things in this city that they would be unwilling to clothe themselves with readily available fabric?

I find Griff ahead, currently holding an animated conversation with a short woman holding three pieces of ornate pottery.  From this distance, it looks like trying to convince him of how popular her fancy cookware is, due to her constant gesturing toward the crowd followed by pointing at her palms.

Griff appears completely disinterested, but also unable to shake her.  I grin at the idea of the shuckster being shucked, and continue on my way, making sure to wave gently to Griff as I push through to the other side of this line of vendors.

He scowls at me in return.


Up ahead on the right I see the early signs of another cathedral, definitely smaller than the one down the street, judging from the size of the foundation, but it looks like it will be a beautiful sight when it is finished.  Oddly enough, it looks like construction on this building might have stopped a while ago, considering how much of it is covered in dirt and trash.

I continue forward and see that although the buildings here look nicer and more expensive than in the part of town I just exited, this area also looks a lot less occupied.  Coming from the crowd I had just left, this area feels down right evacuated.  It’s quiet here, outside of the noise still carrying over from the market.

I look up to the windows above me and find them all covered in fabric.  All of them.  As if someone were hiding something within.

Another stately, yet magnificent, building appears in a courtyard up ahead.  At first glance, I want to say this is yet another church building, due to all the religious markings covering it.

People are flowing in and out, all looking in a dreadful hurry.  I see two men carrying another man into the building with looks of fear on their faces.

A hospital!  This must be a medical facility of some sort.  Remembering the Black Death, I decide to give the building a wide berth.

The crowd gets thicker as I pass, making me wonder how much danger Griff and I might be in.  I’m pretty sure I’m up to date on my vaccines, but I’m guessing they won’t do much for whatever’s floating around in the air here.

The folks near the hospital all seem to be wearing nicer clothes.  Clothes which look a lot like what I’m currently wearing.  Guess I should feel comfortable in knowing I’m staying with the poor folks.  They must be doing something right.  Or, I guess the other option is they can’t afford health care.  It’ll be a few hundred years before socialized health reform comes through here.

Go to Chapter Twenty-Four

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