the portly man sitting next to me on the road started, "The Host are all wonderful, in their own way, but there's just somethin' about being in the service of Olladra that actually makes it worth the while, you understandin' me?"
I nodded, not really understanding but I figured it was safer than asking him another question. He seemed to like to talk, and probably wouldn't appreciate the interruption. "I mean you've got the light ones and the bright ones and ... the whatever the others do, but I know it's good -- don't needin' to be telling a poor soul like me that -- but Olladra certain tops 'em all out. She's the focus of food, drink and lots and lots of merriment, something that this poor, poor world surely needs in these dark, dark times."
I nodded again, amazed by the fact that I don't think he has managed to breathe so far and he wasn't stopping yet. "The name is Ralen Dafir, friar of Olladra. Been serving her feastiness for the past ten years. Travelling around the place making sure that those who eat are merry"
He reached out and shook my hand, it was a pause in the conversation, a pause from all the verbal waves hitting me in the face. I could only mumble a "D'nir, pleasure."
before he took a deep breath and continued.
"D'nir, wonderful name that. Possibly from the tropical fruit that was recently discovered deep in the heart of Xendrik maybe? Don't worry too much about that, I was just thinking about wanting to try one of those and the fact that your name is the same -- though it could be similar -- gave me a little bit of a pause."
That was a lie, I thought to myself, he's not stopping for anything, "Though I'm heading on this lightning rail to try to get to Cyre as quickly as possible. I heard that they've been hit pretty hard by this war and need some sort of levity, and what better than Olladra's representative, her travelling mouthpiece, to handle it. Now, I don't need to be around the fancy, fancy too much -- you know -- I'm far better suited to try to help those that can't really help themselves out."
He reached into his
|A very small bag that teleports any money donated to it directly to a coffer held where he's going. Ralen can change it depending on what monestary he's heading to |
and pulled a small bag that jingled slightly, "Would you mind supportin' the little ones? I'm sure that anything you could provide would help feed their little hungry mouths. A crust of bread, or some small bits of meat would go a long way, as far as your coin could take it."
I reached into my belt pocket and opened it up, I mindlessly reached in and grabbed some coins and threw them in the pouch. I realize now that I didn't even check to see what types of coins I threw at him, it was a mindless payment for a mind boggling display of conversation.
He let the coins jingle slightly in the bag and then put it away before he continued, "Thank ya kindly D'nir, never hurts to give a little bit before it hurts -- iffin you know what I be saying, you know. Not that I only do things with the little ones, no I don't mind taking a turn with those of the higher classes. They too need moments of joy in their lives, little bits and pieces of real happiness under the shadow of these terrible times, it is Olladra's calling - you know. I'm sure most of them have lost a family member to this insane war that's been going on for too long over a land that's too destroyed to be of any real use to anyone. Though thankfully the Houses have been doing a good enough job to keep the damage on stuff that they own to a minimum, even the mightiest of nations think twice about tackling the combined might of the 12 dragons. That's been a dreadful blessing all these many long year. I'm quite sure that if they would all just sit down to dinner together, a great feast given in everyone's honor they could work out their differences. Nothing sedates the soul and moves forth co-operation like food, especially if you don't have to cook it or clean up afterwards."
He laughed as if he expected me to get the joke. I think I did, but I don't quite remember. All I could focus on was his lips that continued to move despite the fact that he was no longer talking. Or maybe I just assumed that because I was so used to seeing them move, so used to the sound coming out of his mouth that I believed that they were moving. It didn't really matter. My stop came up and I nodded to him as a way of saying good bye when he said to me, "Good luck to you sir, and may the blessin' of Olladra be with ye. Goodness knows it's hard enough for me to not to hide her blessin' on me."
He laughed whole heartedly and I made my way out of the compartment and onto the station platform.
I did hope that he had a good trip to Cyre, it was always difficult to travel with the war going on. I felt my stomach rumble, all his talk of food had that effect on me so I stopped by a grabbed an apple from a fruit seller close to the station. I bite into it right away, and then I realized I knew exactly what Ralen had meant.