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Author Topic: Aryna
Mecopitch
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I ran away from the orchards when they caught me stealing. Somehow I wasn't captured, but since my leaving I have seen most of the entire Kingdom. I ended up a mule, in the service of a traveling bard, carrying his things, preparing meals, securing housing. He doesn't treat me like a mule though. He pays me and everything.
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Robert Nowall
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Is the slang term "mule" appropriate for your view of what you do, Aryna?
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Mecopitch
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They've called servants "mules" since the start of the Kingdom. At least that's what it says in the book I stole from my old masters.

Menials have it worse that I do though. They're stuck in their position their whole lives. IF my master dies, I achieve my freedom.

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Disgruntled Peony
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That sounds like a situation that leads to a lot of potential murders. How do you feel about your master?
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Robert Nowall
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A traveling bard can be pretty, well, irritating after awhile. Seconding the potential murder idea. How do you feel about it? Would it free you?
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newtothegame
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Is there anyone looking for you from your orchards or is there anyway they can find you?
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Mecopitch
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I'm surprised the Burdencoats haven't been killed in their sleep, the masters from the orchard. Running away from my duties was dangerous too, but no one in my position would dare murder a Tyco, especially not their own master.

Sorry, you're not from Anthem. Tycos are landowners or business owners, or at least that's what the book said.

Believe me, I'm much better off than a slave or a menial. You see, as a mule, I am paid, and Master Canton is quite generous. When I arrived at Stockhold, he helped me to evade the folks who pursued me. Even gave me this drink that burned my hair into a different color. It tasted like fire too.

Since we travel so much, I can read more and more. I took a new book too, Songs of Stormbridge. I hope we make it that far, but it depends on the Prince's wishes. Oh, I'm sorry. His Royal Highness, the Fourth Heir to the Crown, Prince Fastus of Anthem. That's what he's called. Hopefully he didn't hear me.

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Robert Nowall
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What did you steal from the orchard? Low-hanging fruit or something more serious? In our world, they say, "Everybody takes the soap from motel rooms...they draw the line at the mattresses..."

If fruit...were you hungry?

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Mecopitch
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It started out that way. Food and things, things nobody would miss. But eventually dresses and necklaces. books, that's how I learned how to read.
What my older sister stole was worse, but when I found out, I was already scared and... but I... I can't really talk about that right now.

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Robert Nowall
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You've got a leg up on most, learning to read by stealing the books...you've got to use your brains to figure out how to get out of the situation you're in---that is, if you want out of the situation at all.
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Mecopitch
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Life on the road isn't that bad. It's better than life on the orchard. I even get my own bed now, not just a straw pile, neither.
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Robert Nowall
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A good mattress and maybe some clean sheets are a pretty good selling point for a relationship. What price will you pay?
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Mecopitch
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Will I pay? I don't think I understand. But I earn around 10 percent of whatever Master makes, and since I keep track of the bags, I know he's not cheating.
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Robert Nowall
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Is this ten percent the usual arrangement between Master and mule?
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Mecopitch
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Oh I wouldn't know. I've only had one Master before him, and it was a wage paid to my mother.
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Robert Nowall
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Is he taking advantage of you, or letting you up easy?
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Mecopitch
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it's easier work than the orchard. But when Master gives me a duty, he expects it to be done.
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Robert Nowall
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Actually, I took your situation for "slavery," but it would seem you (or someone) were paid wages, it might not be that---though the effect on the "mule" in question might be the same. Is it a master / apprentice situation? Are you learning anything? Can you leave / quit at any time?
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Mecopitch
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If I read "A Brief History of Anthem" right, my duties are like a house servant or squire's. I do learn, but not always directly from Master.
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Robert Nowall
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But you can leave it if you want to, can't you?
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Mecopitch
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Not. Um... Not really. I did once, from the Orchard, but I've been hiding ever since. Master says I'm safer while on the road, with him.

If my old Master finds me, I. I don't know what he'll do.

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Robert Nowall
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So you have to find some way to get release from that before you're free.
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Mecopitch
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I didn't think about that before I ran. If they think I'm dead they won't look for me though. How would they find me? I look different and they don't know any of my companions, I don't think.
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Robert Nowall
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No marks, no tattoos, no brands?
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Mecopitch
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Oh no, only menials are branded. I'm not a salve, but I know many people confuse the two.
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Robert Nowall
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Salve? Or slave?
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Mecopitch
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Neither. I said I could read, not write.
(I may have to hire you as a proofreader)

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Robert Nowall
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It's said that Charlemagne used to take a day to write half of his signature and another to write the other half. But he could read, and that put him one up on practically everybody around him.
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Mecopitch
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Who?
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Robert Nowall
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My, my, you really do need to read more...
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Mecopitch
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He's never been mentioned in any of the books I've read, but I'm not finished with A Brief History of Anthem yet.
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Robert Nowall
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Probably not in there. You'll have to go further afield...besides, I'm not sure knowledge of that order would reach where you are...
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Mecopitch
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I suppose I'll find out.
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Robert Nowall
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I suppose you will.

By the way, you've mentioned being some kind of fugitive / runaway. What's involved in the search for you? Wanted posters? Bounty hunters? Reward for turning you in or catching you? Dead or alive?

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Mecopitch
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So far, there was just the one thief who had heard about my escape. I haven't seen any posters yet, but I've only been one town outside of Helm's Cross. I've stayed hidden so long that I don't really know what they're doing to find me.
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Robert Nowall
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So long as you're a fugitive, a good bet would be a change in appearance---which is trickier than putting on a false moustache or changing clothes. Alter your Body English---walk a little different, carry yourself a little different.
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Mecopitch
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Folks tend not to notice mules. At least as far as I've seen.
Well, my older sister got herself noticed, but anyone would notice someone as beautiful as her.

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Robert Nowall
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You can't count on that. Your traveling bard master noticed you enough to take you in. Somebody else might notice you enough to turn you in.
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Mecopitch
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I suppose we'll do what we can. But it's not like I can change my face.
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Robert Nowall
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Just enough so, even if they know you, they don't think it's you.
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