The Grey Veil

Fixed but still broken

The man Zelabo had a problem. Everyone has problems, they come to me when they need something fixed – something is broken. He stole the heart which means he is a thief. This is problematic – thieves can not be trusted, but this one has something that needs fixed and that means money in my pocket to buy macaroons and parts and pieces. Macaroons are tasty and I would like one, but I am not sure if I can trust this person to pay me if I fix his heart. Clint is very good at telling if people mean what they say or if they lie. Maybe he can judge this for me. And a Clockwork princess sounds too interesting to miss, but a thief might take my tools if I go with him alone so I go to find Clint.

Clint seems to trust that the man is honest in what he says but he is not an honest man. Clint is also interested in helping so I will get a look at this clockwork princess. Some trusted friends will come with us as we check out Zelabo’s story, the nice woman who helps me and the hero with the swords who makes the girls swoon. There is the dwarf , he seems to follow Clint most places these days.

We follow Zelabo out of town to his home on the farm. The clockwork princess is there. What a marvel she is. Such fine detail, everything thought out to perfection. She talks about her maker as “father”. He must be a master craftsman. Maybe Zelabo can tell me more so I leave the princess working the field and join the others in the farmhouse.

The heart itself is fantastic. At first it is broken but repairing it is a pleasure. Except for the fact that it is still broken. Right in the center there is a setting – maybe a bezel, a gem or some crystal set there — it is missing – the last piece to a puzzle left undo. Very, very frustrating. The heart itself is fixed , the gears turn, the spring winds but the purpose is not there. The clockwork princess calls it “heartstone”. If we find this piece it will be complete, until then it is fixed but still broken.

I would love to travel and meet “father”. How exciting it would be to see what he makes. Is this princess his master creation, or is he far more talented? The others are disappointingly not interested in traveling the several months to find him. Instead they wish to seek out Lulep in some Guild in a town several days away. Guild’s are stupid; they won’t let you be apprentice to your father. Instead they make you be an apprentice to some greedy clock maker who can’t even make a self winding main spring and expects you to talk to customers and doesn’t even like macaroons and they are less than understanding when you go home. Zelabo doesn’t seem to like his guild either as he says he is hiding from them and won’t go with us.

We get to the big town and find a place to stay. Lukot, the drawf, and Mara, the nice woman, go to find the Guild and Lulep. Meanwhile Clint and Fenrick and I wait. They make good tea at the inn and even though they don’t have macaroons they have some very tasty sweet-buns with raisins and orange peal. Fenrick is happy since some twity girls are fawning on him. Clint gets something to eat – I try not to think about Clint when he is eating.

When Mara and Lukot return they have the most exciting things to report. Something about the guild that no one could care less about and flying clockwork monkeys…. Flying! Clockwork! Monkeys!. Mara said she noticed something watching her and then climbed up to the roof to get a better view. She discovered it was a clockwork monkey and then it flew! She is usually good about noticing important details but the monkey-work flew away before she could get close enough to notice anything more than it was a clockwork creation. I wonder if it is metal covered or cloth, Mara is disappointing in the fact that she seemed less interested in it’s construction than the direction it flew or what it was doing watching them in the first place.

I wonder if the wings are modeled on bat or bird wings. Did it really fly or was it simply gliding like the squirrels in Papa’s big animal book? If you used a pulley system backed with maybe a bow spring to move the wings you could simulate flight motions, but the internal workings would have to be amazingly light. . . Maybe if a make a few sketches Mara will be able to remember more details. At least the common room of the inn is getting quieter now that Fenrick’s fan club ran off and the only people left are some big, muscle bound men. I turn to show Mara an idea but she has slipped off somewhere. Before I can ask the others where she is some rude woman interrupts our group. "You are looking for me?”


THAT was fabulous!

Fixed but still broken

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