The Shirt of Destiny – Part 4: Civilisation

Ahead of this merry band of adventurers lies the Great Glen, and a chance to stock up with provisions at the Great Trading Post that lies towards the southern end of the Great Waterway. Keenness to reach this mythical place stirs our tired limbs from our beds, aided by the ever-present sound of cuckoos.

We leave this place of temporary lodgings as a band of four, for the Giant is back in our midst. We step out onto the Great Highway and set forth on what should be a short day’s journey. There is no need to hurry, and we stop by a roadside Inn to break our fasts, lingering long over this repast.

(l-r) Mine Self, The Moor Man, The Merchant and the Giant
Along the Great Highway
Crossing the Great Waterway

Collectively the band decides to avoid the way through the forest, due to legends of great mechanical beasts that can uproot whole trees. It is quite perilous enough on the Great Highway where smaller, but much faster moving objects threaten to pluck us into oblivion at a moment’s notice.

We hop on and off the verges balancing speed of progress with the illusion of security from the passing traffic. We take our ease by the side of the Lake called Omhaich by the ancients, but known more usually these days as Oich. Here we find temporary respite from the Great Highway.

We soon cross a great bridge over the waterway and drop down onto a path alongside. Here all is peaceful, with less chance of sudden death or dismemberment (unless the Giant becomes overcome with hunger, of course). We wend our way gently along this sure and even path. The path is fringed with gorse, and our progress is slowed accordingly by the Moor Man stopping to inhale its coconut scent.

The Merrye Band at their ease

The Great Waterway Trading Post

It is not long past noon when we spy the Great Trading Post situated where the waterway flows out into a Great Lake. It takes but moments to find a tavern and equip ourselves with flagons of ale and cider. We are joined by several other Questors – John, Sue, Anna, and Colin Ye Maker of Fyne Tents.

The Moor Man and I head off to seek out our lodgings for the night. Up a hill we find the place under the sign of Morag, and fortune smiles upon us as we are first to arrive in the assigned chamber. Bottom bunks are secured, parcels sent from our distant homelands are reclaimed, and laving of our dirt-encrusted carcasses follows.

Later we find our chamber-fellows are none other than two Questors from across the Great Ocean, who we met at Mel-Vik, and have seen several times on the trail since. We take our evening feast back at the same tavern, before wandering the empty streets of the Great Trading Post planning our raid for the morn.

Tomorrow we set off into the Great Grey Mountain Range, known to the ancients as the Monadhliath. Wilder terrain lays ahead of us, with the prospect of fabulous beasts and much emptiness. This is the natural habitat of the Moor Man, and he is keen for the morrow to come. We retire early under the Sign of Morag, to dream of the lonely lands ahead of us…

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