I have startling news, Diary! We will be leaving soon for a new city, though we plan to return to Champoor as soon as we are able. It all began two days ago:
Well, alright, it began this morning, but I haven’t really told you about the last few days, so I’ll start there anyway :)
We have officially signed our contracts now, Diary, both with Silgur, and with Kahi house (which is now calling itself Rising Sun House). In order to have everything sorted with Silgur, we went with Jahir of Kahi House to see Hatelis, so that we could sort out the details of what would happen with the co-operative once we were made a member; what with our becoming another member in their collective, we wanted to be sure that they would be kept safe from Rat House’s harassment as well. This meeting was a much more formal one than the others we had previously experienced with Hatelis, which spoke of the importance he, understandably, puts into contractual arrangements.
I feel, now that I am becoming more accustomed to meeting them, this concept of gods being so tied to their vocations odd but interesting. Does Hatelis put so much stock into contracts because it is one of the things he is a god of, or would he do so anyway? Do the gods have preferences for their work? Hobbies? Other interests besides their vocations? But I have gone off on a tangent once again.
I was pleased to have Saiten join us for this visit; I am glad it seems he is becoming part of the team. I was saddened that Piper did not join us, but I suppose I am not entirely surprised after the reaction to the contract Piper first portrayed; while I understand having someone not officially part of the company, but still nonetheless with us may be advantageous, I do worry that Piper does not feel a part of our group, either by choice or by our own misdeeds. I think perhaps I shall need to take some more time to get to know Piper further, so that we can improve our bond, and so that Piper does not feel so alone.
With a few question asked about the nature of the contract, and some changes made to include those hired by our companies in the stipulations, and the further defining of the sewers, we signed the official contract with Silgur. At some point during the proceedings, Hatelis called off to some unseen agent, asking for input. I am somewhat concerned that he spoke with Silgur, but if so, there was no answer, and we did not appear to be in any danger there. I suppose this would make sense, as he was part of this contract as well.
With that completed, our next course of action was the next day to attend the party at our new partners’ house! I realized suddenly early in the morning that I had nothing appropriate to wear! Luckily, Chaoxi came to my rescue with a quick shopping trip out into the city. It was a lovely bonding experience, even if far too brief. I think perhaps, after all of this time travelling with Broken Walls, Chaoxi enjoys having someone more feminine to let out her girly side with.
The party itself was a wonderful distraction from some of the more distressing events of the past week or so. Oh Diary, the food, the music, the dancing… and flowers, flowers everywhere! Speaking of dancing, even Broken Walls took a few turns around the dance floor with each of the ladies of our party. I think, Diary, that evidence points towards him being a gentleman at heart.
The actual signing was a fairly ceremonious thing. Broken Walls, Chaoxi, Saiten (but still not Piper) and I all went up and put our signatures next to those of the other involved houses. I feel honoured to have been a part of such a grand and momentous occasion!
A part of me wonders now if Hatelis, and I suppose Kadu, witnessed the event. There was a rather large contract signed, and a feast had. Do the gods take note of (or even attend in secret!) large doings of their various types?
The next day, before the events which set the next leg of our journey in motion, I visited Hatelis again in order to ask him some questions about the nature of the gods. If you have not already gathered, Diary, I am quite curious about them, especially since it may allow me to better understand what it is we would need to do in order to stop the spread of Gumari.
Hatelis was once again terribly courteous. I remember him mentioning something about having been around for several hundred years(?), and perhaps his courtesy extended to us is from having met Solars in the past.
From what we spoke of, I gathered a few bits of new information regarding the nature of the gods, and in particular what may be done about Gumari: it may be far more complicated than I had anticipated. Firstly, the gods themselves are not the same as the things they control. Gumari, for example, is not the purveyor of the disease, but merely its controller and perhaps benefactor. The disease itself has a source, and this must be stemmed, I believe, before the disease itself can be eradicated. Destroying or changing the vocation of Gumari would not end the disease; its care would be passed on to another god. It seems gods must be confronted in their sanctums in order to defeat them, as well. While Hatelis seems still unable to tell us of Gumari’s, it would be somewhere where Gumari would be most powerful (?). and so confronting him there would not necessarily be the safest course of action either. First I shall have to find and then stop/destroy the source of the disease. Then winning the fight against it should be more plausible. Then perhaps I can see about finding some atonement for Gumari, if that is still necessary.
This is when we come back to the beginning of this entry, Diary: when I returned to the trading house, Saiten had some troubling news: he had sighted a man who he believes may be connected to those who murdered his family, but the man was on a boat bound for Volivat! Saiten desperately wished to follow this man, and I of course offered to help him in any way he required. Unfortunately, Diary, this will mean leaving Champoor, still so in need of our assistance, for some time. Saiten is, for the moment, willing to allow for a few days to gather information on the man and whatever group or organization he may be involved with, so I will have a few days to get things in order. After that, though we will be leaving for Volivat, thankfully a destination that one of the co-operative families already wished to send goods to and trade with. Broken Walls has offered to build an appropriate vessel for the trip, which is terribly kind of him, but will remain behind in order to keep things up with the company, as will Chaoxi. I shall miss them both terribly, and feel somewhat guilty leaving them and my new clinic, but I simply cannot leave a friend in need! And besides, Saiten and Piper will be with me, so I will not be short of friends.
I shall have to make a list of everything I will need to do before I leave: I shall have to make a large supply of the tea and bath herbs required to treat Gumari, should the need arise while I am away. I shall also have to see Mara again, and see if she can be convinced to come and work for the company. I think it will do her the world of good to be out and about and helping others. I think I shall also have to let Hatelis know that we are going to be gone for some time; he had mentioned in our last meeting that he may ask some kind of favour, though nothing untoward, of us in exchange for all of the information we have gleaned from him. I would not wish him to come to ask for it, only to have us across the sea and unable to comply. Perhaps I shall visit one of his shrines and offer him something small in recompense in order to tide him over until we are able to return. A song perhaps? It is what I usually use in trade, him being a god of trade, after all. Although he did seem to like the flower I offered to him last time. I suspect he isn’t offered them very often; it was on his table the last time I visited.