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West Emissaries



The air was fresh on this bright morning and the atmosphere lulled by the song of the seagulls as they swirled past the few clouds that appeared here and there. In the distance, a shape gradually emerged on the horizon: a ship being carried towards the shore by a westerly wind. Beautifully crafted, it was certainly the work of the Lord of the City. As the distance between the Havens and the skiff dwindled, several men could be seen on deck. Every metre they covered made them stand out more clearly. Five in number, they seemed to be silently observing the approaching coastline. At the head of this small assembly stood a man, adorned in white, with a haughty bearing and noble allure. Behind him stood the other four. Two were dressed in blue, one in brown and the last, as grey as his hair, leaning on a gnarled staff.


Slowing its pace as it approached the coast, the wooden ship calmly took up position near the landing area. Some of the elves on shore grabbed the various pieces of rope and worked together to complete the mooring of the vessel, before installing a thin wooden walkway to allow travellers to disembark. Once they had completed their task, they slipped away, making way for another elf, recognisable by his beard, a feature rarely seen among his people: the Shipwright, Master of the Port City. He went to meet the five passengers. Although they looked advanced in age, they were still robust, as demonstrated by the agility with which they quickly reached dry land. The lord of the place greeted them reverently, each individually, before turning back to the one wearing white robes and beginning to converse with him. Starting to walk, they continued to chat along the way, closely followed by the other four.


***



Somewhat tired from my day with the craftsmen of the Havens, I returned to the accommodation that had been kindly made available to me by the Master of the City. After taking a sip of water from the carafe on the desk in the centre of the room, I sat down there. I reached for the notebook on the desk to scribble a few notes. Then, after a moment of pensive staring into the distance, I decided to get up and go out into the fresh air on the little balcony adjoining the room, to catch the last glimpses of sunlight as a few stars began to appear in the sky. As I filled my lungs with iodised air, two figures caught my eye. Below, close to the shore, they seemed to be deep in discussion. They were the Shipwright and a man unknown to me, dressed in grey and leaning on a crooked staff. My curiosity aroused, I couldn't help but continue to observe their dialogue, inaudible from here. As they conversed, their hands quickly joined, accompanied by a furtive glint of red and gold. For a brief moment, the stranger showed an expression of astonishment, which quickly disappeared from his face. The two men continued their exchange, which I eventually turned away from as I had things to do. Examining my notes and the few alchemical compounds I'd collected during my excursions around the City, I set to work, thinking about my next projects and lighting a few candles to see clearly.



As day gradually gave way to night, I realised that it might be necessary to end things there. So I naturally took the path to the balcony where I had stood before. I was surprised to discover that the stranger and the Shipwright were still there! From where they were standing, it was obvious that they had only just started moving and had therefore been chatting there for several hours, which aroused my curiosity.


Having planned to stay a few more days to continue my work and explore the streets of the town a little further, I took this opportunity to carry out my little investigation and talk about the new visitor with some of the elven craftsmen with whom I had already been in contact for a few weeks. I learned that he didn't arrive alone, but in the company of four other travellers whom I soon came across several times during my wanderings, although I didn't dare approach them until I had to get back on the road myself.


***


"It's getting dark fast tonight! I can't wait to huddle by the fire in an inn! There should be one after this turn... Ah, I can see it now, so hurry up! "



After hurrying a little, I soon found myself near the front door of the welcoming establishment, from which came snatches of conversation, laughter and a few song lyrics. The atmosphere seemed ideal for relaxing and chatting with a few travellers, so I entered the tavern. I barely had time to look around before a friendly face approached me, asking if I needed a room for the night and a meal. Nodding and smiling broadly, I was led to a table, ideally placed near the fireplace. I then set about getting rid of my hat, my staff and the various items in my pack. The innkeeper returned to me with a pint and a plate. I quickly began to savour its contents, observing the merry assembly. Minutes passed before my attention was drawn to an old man sitting further back, busy making smoke rings with his pipe. His face seemed strangely familiar, but I couldn't quite put it back on.


It was only later in the evening, when I was listening distractedly to the conversations nearby, that I put my finger on it: he was none other than the stranger who, a few hundred years ago, accompanied by four other individuals, had disembarked in the city to in which I myself had gone. So I decided to go greet him and tell him how surprised I was to see him there. Amused by the coincidence, we spent most of the evening discussing our various travels.


***


I only learned much later who these emissaries were and why they had come.


This collection consists of 4 medium-sized eggs and one larger egg.

The shop will be updated on 10 March at 9pm.

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