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SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas

Fans of Bahzell and Tomenack come on in! Let's talk about David's fantasy series and our favorite hradani!
SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:49 am

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* * * * * * * * * *

A trio of dwarves filled the door, gripping a protesting halfling with ungentle hands, and the old man stepped smartly aside. One dwarf’s sliced pursestrings told their own tale, though the halfling continued to protest his innocence. His protests grew more forceful as he smelled the pounding rain, and the old man swallowed a smile as the dismally wailing thief arced gracefully outward. He landed in the far gutter with a terrific splash, his cries quenched in flying spray, and the old man nodded to the dwarves as they stood just inside the door, exchanging comments on the thief’s probable ancestry. Their imaginative speculations held his amused attention for several seconds before he turned away.

He picked a path through the crowd, sniffing the pipe smoke while his eyes flitted about like a hunting cat’s, and a pocket of silence moved with him as people recognized him. He hid another smile and eyed the crowd speculatively, estimating the sums which would change hands as they paid their shots. It would be a tidy amount, but no more than it was worth.

The Iron Axe Tavern was always busy, but tonight it was packed. The tavern was known for song, good food, and better drink . . . and the fact that no one’s throat was ever slit within it. When bad weather stalked Belhadan, the Iron Axe filled as though by magic.

His eyes searched busily. Bahzell had to be somewhere, but where? Normally, he stood out like a tower, yet now he was nowhere to be seen.

Ah! The old man grinned as a bellow arose in the rear taproom. He should’ve known he could find his host by following his ears to the loudest noise in the vicinity! He made his way quickly into the rear room and headed for the long, polished bar.

“Wencit!” the big hradani called, thumping the oaken surface. “Come in! It’s a right soaking you’ve had this evening, but I’ve some Granservan Grand Reserve put by for nights such as this. Let me be pouring some of it down your throat.”

“Good evening, Bahzell,” the old man replied more sedately, pushing back his dripping poncho’s hood, and wedged up to the bar.

Other customers pushed back to give him elbow room. Most Belhadans knew him, either by sight or description, and respected his reputation, but wizards were chancy companions at best. No one wished to crowd one unduly; not even one who was their host’s longtime friend. Besides, one glance at his peculiar eyes deterred even the hardiest of strangers.

Bahzell reached under the bar for a bottle encased in old leather, tooled and warm with the polish of years, and his brown eyes laughed as he carefully filled a glass and set it before the old man.

“Drink up and be telling me why you’re here,” he ordered. “It was urgent enough your message sounded, yet here you come like a drowned cat. Not the best image for a master wizard, I’m thinking!”

“Even master wizards melt in the rain,” Wencit said sourly, toasting the hradani gratefully before sipping the amber, honeyed fire. “And nights like this,” he sighed, lowering the glass after one long swallow, “would wet Tolomos himself.”

“Aye, true enough,” Bahzell nodded. “And you’re not the first drowned cat as scratched at my door this night. There’s a redhead back in the kitchen who looked as if he’d been after swimming the Spear — north to south.”

“A redhead, you say?” Wencit cocked a bushy eyebrow over his wildfire eyes. “A tall young fellow? Perhaps thirty years old?”

“The very man.” Bahzell sounded unsurprised. “A friend of yours, is it?”

“You might say so,” Wencit smiled, “although he doesn’t know it yet. The kitchen, you say?”

“Aye, he’d no coin for drink, so I gave him meat. Leeana’s stew will be taking the chill from him. He reminded me of someone . . .” The hradani drummed on the bar for a moment, head cocked, eyes intent upon the wizard. “Would it happen I’d be after knowing him, Wencit?”

“I doubt it. You know a great many very odd people, Bahzell, but this fellow’s outside the circle even of your acquaintance.” Wencit met Bahzell’s measuring gaze levelly. “I’ve no doubt he does remind you of someone, but I give you my word you’ve never met him before.”

Bahzell regarded him steadily for another brace of heartbeats. Then he flicked his mobile ears and nodded. It was a strange sort of nod, one which seemed to acknowledge more than Wencit had actually said.

“Well, that being so, I’m thinking there’s naught more to be said,” he said out loud, and it was Wencit’s turn to nod.

The wizard finished his whiskey and straightened.

“With your permission, I’ll take myself off to the kitchen.”

“Aye, you be doing that.” The hradani’s expressive ears twitched in combined amusement and resignation. “You’ve something deep in mind. But then, you always do, don’t you just?”

“As you say, I’m a master wizard. Master wizards always have something deep in mind.”

Bahzell’s lips quirked and he snorted.

“Well, be off with you! I’ve a full bar, and you’ll say naught till it suits you, as well I know.”

“Alas for my reputation,” Wencit mourned, then grinned and pushed off through the crowd.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by kbus888   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:04 am

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=2014/12/25=
Thank you RFC

May this season surround you and everyone in your corner of the universe with joy, peace, and strength.

R
.
..//* *\\
(/(..^..)\)
.._/'*'\_
.(,,,)^(,,,)

Love is a condition in which
the happiness of another
is essential to your own. - R Heinlein
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:02 am

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Thank you and Merry Christmas to you & yours. :) :)
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by MPCatchup   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:31 am

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runsforcelery wrote:* * * * * * * * * *


Other customers pushed back to give him elbow room. Most Belhadans knew him, either by sight or description, and respected his reputation, but wizards were chancy companions at best. No one wished to crowd one unduly; not even one who was their host’s longtime friend. Besides, one glance at his peculiar eyes deterred even the hardiest of strangers.



I thought Wencit was the only white wizard left and this part makes it sound as if wizards are something one would see often enough to not draw a crowd. Yes I know black wizards are all over but they weren't moving openly in WMC. It would be nice if Wencit has finally started teaching others to be white wizards again.
At least that's the possibility I'm getting off this part, could be reading to much into it though.
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:31 pm

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You may be reading more into it than David Weber intended. :)

On the other hand, David Weber sometimes gives us something that he wants to watch us get it wrong. :twisted:


MPCatchup wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:* * * * * * * * * *


Other customers pushed back to give him elbow room. Most Belhadans knew him, either by sight or description, and respected his reputation, but wizards were chancy companions at best. No one wished to crowd one unduly; not even one who was their host’s longtime friend. Besides, one glance at his peculiar eyes deterred even the hardiest of strangers.



I thought Wencit was the only white wizard left and this part makes it sound as if wizards are something one would see often enough to not draw a crowd. Yes I know black wizards are all over but they weren't moving openly in WMC. It would be nice if Wencit has finally started teaching others to be white wizards again.
At least that's the possibility I'm getting off this part, could be reading to much into it though.
*
Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
*
Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:46 pm

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Well, this knocks the notion that KenHoden is Kenneth Houghton on the head. Wencit has said that Bahzell doesn't know him, even though he seems to know him.
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The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:35 am

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Nope, the Bahzell who met Kenneth Houghton could have been a different Bahzell than the one we see here.

IIRC David Weber has said (or strongly implied) that the events in "Sword Brother" happened in an alternate world (ie not the "main" Bahzell world).

As for Bahzell seeming to know this person, when Bahzell first saw Kaeritha he was extremely sure that he knew her yet he knew that had never met her.

In Kaeritha's case, it was because Kaeritha was a fellow Champion of Tomanāk.

So in this case, it might be that Kenhoden, while not a Champion, has been strongly touched by Tomanāk.


fallsfromtrees wrote:Well, this knocks the notion that KenHoden is Kenneth Houghton on the head. Wencit has said that Bahzell doesn't know him, even though he seems to know him.
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:31 pm

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DrakBibliophile wrote:Nope, the Bahzell who met Kenneth Houghton could have been a different Bahzell than the one we see here.

IIRC David Weber has said (or strongly implied) that the events in "Sword Brother" happened in an alternate world (ie not the "main" Bahzell world).

As for Bahzell seeming to know this person, when Bahzell first saw Kaeritha he was extremely sure that he knew her yet he knew that had never met her.

In Kaeritha's case, it was because Kaeritha was a fellow Champion of Tomanāk.

So in this case, it might be that Kenhoden, while not a Champion, has been strongly touched by Tomanāk.


fallsfromtrees wrote:Well, this knocks the notion that KenHoden is Kenneth Houghton on the head. Wencit has said that Bahzell doesn't know him, even though he seems to know him.

Where did MWW say (or strongly imply) that Sword Brother occurred in an alternate world? I'm not disputing that he has said (or implied it), I would just like the reference. Thanks
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The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:50 pm

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Search "sword brother" in "runsforcelery" posts in the "War God" forum. Should be in sneaky Weber thread.

Sorry I can't insert a link. Using a kindle Atm.
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Re: SotS Offical Snippet #5 Merry Christmas
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:36 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Search "sword brother" in "runsforcelery" posts in the "War God" forum. Should be in sneaky Weber thread.

Sorry I can't insert a link. Using a kindle Atm.

Thank you did that, and you are right. It is a strong implication, but not an actual statement - MWW is being very cagey about the whole situation - so at this point we are just left writhing in uncertainty, just as he planned.
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The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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