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Author Topic: Book Borrowing 101  (Read 636 times)

Gard of Lake-town

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Book Borrowing 101
« on: May 05, 2019, 07:00:24 PM »
{I think I've made this work. Take two!}

The new arrival was making the town buzz. Then again...the town had so very little to buzz about that that made sense in a way. Someone looking to get into the Master's Hall of all things! Sofia, one of the neighbor kids, had told him about this as she rushed on, looking for a solution to the very real problem of the door being locked! Well, all things considered it was better than the Master actually being in and having found her or this odd teacher the girl described.

"G-Go on, I got it!", Gard assured, mind working quickly, and only pausing a small bit to decide such. His family was in trouble anyway it would be less hassle to possibly get in more...

And he had...half an idea...

Gard turned to dart back towards home, before pausing and turning again, confusion written large on his young face, "Wait? Did you leave him out front of the Master's Hall? What if someone finds him before...".

He then waved off her defensive answers, "Alright, alright, I got it!", he repeated, and turned to dash home. Sig didn't seem too suspicious of what he was up to now as he came tearing through the house, hardly stopping, and making all sorts of noise just by running alone up the other set of stairs to his room to rummage and almost just as quickly rush back out, yelling over his shoulder that no, he didn't need to take a snack with him or anything.

What'd she think he was going back to the woods? Gard admitted that was a fair accusation though...

Though if Sigrid had thought that, she would have actually stopped him.

The bit of twisted metal was not an actual lock-pick, Gard's family wasn't that below the law, and everything they did was to help those struggling under the Master's thumb. Gard's current action included. Never-mind how he already knew it would work...

Approaching the Master's main hall from the side and a back alley, the boy peeked and soon spotted this visitor. He took a small moment to glance him over and decide about first impressions. He liked him, he decided! "Psst...Sir...", Gard whispered, peering around just enough that the man could see him, but hopefully none of the neighbors. "Are you Mr. Altair?", it was best to check before breaking him into the Master's place...

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Altair

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 01:36:18 AM »
The girl had just left him in the alley, supposedly to go and get a friend. Hopefully that was true, there was very little trust Altair gave to anyone in this town. It was hard enough to get in by the conventional way! Now he was resorting to sneaking about, all because the Master of Lake Town was a - well, there were no appropriate words for what he was, let’s leave it at that.

The alley the girl had left him in smelled awful! Like rotting fish, and animal feces - along with, well the usual smells of a small city. He covered his nose with his scarf, but that didn’t help. His poor scarf needed a wash, too.

Altair jumped as a cat went pelting out of the alley after a rat. He breathed in, almost regretting his decision, and exhaled a little too quickly, causing him to cough. Which caused him to try and breath in, again, and so this cycle went on for a time until he finally came to a stop. Altair seated himself on a barrel of - he hoped - fish, and leaned back against the wall that lead to the secret, and restricted, and therefore desired, library of Lake Town. Placing his hat over his eyes, he proceeded to try and take a nap.

Just about to doze when he heard someone Psst at him, which caused him to start a bit.”Are you Mr. Altair?

Altair swung around until he faced a young boy standing a little ways down the alley. He looked about him, trying to figure out where the little girl was supposed to be - perhaps a look out? But, besides the two humans in the alley, the only things that made noise was the water lapping at the wood slats, and the occasional squeak of a rat.

Yes, that would be I.” Alrair replied, tipping is hat, and stuffing his hands into the pockets of his long, dusty-red coat. Did the boy know how to get into the library without being seen? He certainly hoped so. “And you must be Sofia’s little friend she spoke of.” He added, smiling broadly, “The one who is going to get me into the library, I hope?” His fingers crossed in the pockets of his coat.

He wasn’t much on first impressions, himself, he had to admit. But, maybe if he put on a friendly air, the boy wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss him, and his quest.
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Gard of Lake-town

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 04:08:03 PM »
Yes, that would be I.

The man replied, tipping his hat. Yep...he definitely stuck out around here, seemed perhaps a slight bit quirky but...in a good way! Gard decided.

And you must be Sofia’s little friend she spoke of. The one who is going to get me into the library, I hope?

It was on the tip of Gard's tongue to correct, and say she was more Tilda's friend, but that was unfair, the girl was alright all in all, hence his doing this favor. Though it was also just for the sake of it and how a visitor shouldn't be banned from honest knowledge, as he knew it was. He wouldn't condone stealing anything but...borrowing was different. Unfortunately Gard understood a difference given his experiences with this town and it's leadership.

He just nodded, but after giving a quick glance to make sure none had heard that very incriminating statement. Not that he blamed Mr. Altair. "Yes sir. I'm Gard", with another grin, he rushed up closer, and seeing the coast was clear, lead the way around to the door, pulling out his make-shift lock-pick.

He then frowned a bit unsure and glanced back to Mr. Altair. "i...I don't want you to think I'm a bad kid, I...I don't break into places...normally, but...the Master shouldn't just keep all of whatever he keeps to himself", he agreed in a whisper. "You should be able to borrow it".

To that end, and after a bit of poking, Gard got it and the door swung in. "If it's locked, the Master's not here, he gets Alfrid to watch the door when he is", he explained. Once they were inside, Gard glanced around. There was enough light from the windows to see around and it seemed most of the books were on shelves, with some on tables. Even Gard knew they weren't high reading tomes perhaps, maybe records of the Master's misdeeds and false accusations on folks, his uncle included.

In fact he reminded himself he should behave, and that this was for Mr. Altair and what he needed. Not for him to pry into what the Master might or might not have on his family...

{That being said I'm sure there's some actual book somewhere or whatever Altair needs ^^}

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Altair

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 04:19:04 AM »
The boy pulled out his lockpick, and started working the door. At the same time the sun began to peek through the clouds, as though curious of the happenings in the alley. Altair listened keenly to the boy as he spoke about being a good lad, and how the Master should not be keeping things to himself; and he agreed. It was selfish of the Master to keep something as precious as books locked away where they could not be read! Being a teacher, he found it hard to imagine not having access to books. Even now, as they both listened for the lock to click, the oppression made Altair sick to his stomach.

Reading was fundamental! It was the source of understanding, enlightenment, and allowed you to make up your own mind about things. It put pieces of thought together like a puzzle; only with paper, string, paste, and a leather cover. The world’s greatest minds could then be recorded with ink and pen. You could see others thoughts, how they felt about something as only words could express! The words they immortalized on paper could move you to… to tears! Laughter, even!

When the lock released, it was like it swung in voluntarily for them. Inviting them in, almost.

If it’s locked, the Master’s not here, he gets Alfrid to watch the door when he is,” Gard explained as he walked in, Altair at the lad’s heels.

Then I guess that means we’re in luck!” He replied, rubbing his large hands together eager to get started.

Oh the delicious smell of knowledge! It smelled like a musty chocolate, vanilla, and coffee sort of flavor. One that never failed to delight and inspire! But, there was the smell of old wine mixed with stale meat sort of smell also lingering with it. What a turn off that was, but it seemed to be a habitual sort of smell that accompanied places filled with books.

Sunlight once again peered through the clouds, and gave a sort of luminous blue and yellow hue to the room, and also lit their path through the tall shelves.

Altair turned quickly, and retraced his steps back to the door, closing it quietly behind them. It would not be locked again, for the Master probably had the key on his person, or with this Alfrid the boy had spoken of.

Right,” Altair whispered, returning to Gard, “I’m looking for anything that looks pretty old, and probably with ruins on the cover, or anything that looks remotely like it isn’t too new.

Rumor had it that Lake Town had some of the oldest books dating back nearly sixty years for the region. Authors long forgotten, and probably some Dwarven text from the time of Dale, and the Lonely Mountain that sat silently on the doorstep of Lake Town.

If I know libraries,” He continued, “Then we may start in the back, probably somewhere in the middle to upper shelves, or any place that looks locked. I hope you won’t think too ill of me for more breaking-and-entering. We could end up in jail for this. So, if you would like to leave now, you are more than welcome to.

But, Altair did hope he would stay to help him search.

Walking over to one of the bookcases with a rolling ladder, he ascended to being his search...   

I’ll start here.
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Gard of Lake-town

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 10:18:20 PM »
Gard, though agreeing fully with Altair's point he left unspoken on knowledge being locked away with books, couldn't have expressed it this clearly even to himself. He just knew it was fundamentally unfair! But years later, when he was older, in Dale, and could look back at this moment for what it was, he would still not be all that sorry for any of it! And would only ever think good things on the quirky teacher who was his partner in crime.

It would have sounded really bad otherwise, to be so...excited about breaking in, but Gard knew the reasoning behind it and that this teacher was no doubt just excited for the books he, again, should have access to. And Gard was getting more excited himself! Here he was with an actual teacher of knowledge and...he shouldn't let that opportunity pass by either! No offense to both his uncle and Sigrid who did wonders with home tutoring all of them, and Sig helping even more with him and Tilda while Uncle Bard was busy with the barge. It was thanks to them Gard could even read at all!

A fact he still didn't know if Alfrid and the Master knew of (it not coming up in his purposefully brief interactions with both and Gard not making a point to brag over his literacy) and one which would seem inconsequential but even at his young age he could tell they would take very poorly to. As Altair would agree, literacy was the first step to free-thinking and a sort of freedom from oppression.

No doubt a second reason, if Uncle Bard ever needed one, for making sure all of them were prepared.

Though again, Gard also didn't gain access to many books.

Mr. Altair walked over to close the door. Oh right... before going on. Gard listened to what he said eagerly. Ancient runes he could not read, though few could, but...Mr. Altair probably could! "Hey that's right! There's supposed to maybe be old things from Dale around somewhere, if the Master didn't burn them...", though even he would probably not be so bold!

"My Ma told me stories, back before...I lost her, but I don't recall too many and don't know if they were just things she heard or...". Gard broke off, Mr. Altair was probably not interested in his personal back-history, family coming from the old Lord of Dale aside, which Gard did not tell of.

"...We could end up in jail for this. So, if you would like to leave now, you are more than welcome to.”

That, out of everything, paused Gard as they made their way towards the back. Many would argue that it would be a waste to lock up a boy like him, but...Gard could already follow Alfrid's weasley way of thinking. He would use it more like a hostage situation to leverage compliance out of his uncle. There were no fair laws to help stop him if he did want to lock up a kid.

No, you should turn around right now, don't cause problems for Uncle Bard or any of them...

But then...his uncle himself struggled with this concept. Security and not making waves weighed against...not just letting it keep on! No, Gard knew he couldn't just turn back and go home now.

"No", Gard's shook his head, "Thankyou, but...my family helps people when things aren't fair and so...I'm staying to help you". He gave a small smile, before continuing along towards the back like Mr. Altair had a good hunch the important things would be. There were plenty of shelves about, and Gard soon did find a good enough collection of books, the other side of the room as Altair found also. The teacher started one side, while Gard took the other, and the other ladder. He started looking. Record books seemed mixed with things that were not record books, Gard could tell the more plain covers of the ledgers and such, and yet moved on to what looked like actual tomes.

No Runes yet.

"So, what kinds of things do you teach?", the boy asked after a bit of searching. "My family taught me to read, so...I know that much at least, can count, and...I also some old poems of Dale that just get repeated, though I don't know how...embellished they are you know? The tales I mentioned earlier too". Still, given this was about what he could list, Gard was starting to feel like a grossly ill-educated village kid. In the presence of an actual teacher and all.

"Don't know much of the world beyond Lake Town, of course, have you been many places?".

Pulling one book off the shelf, Gard flipped through it, even though there were no runes on this one either. Nor intelligible words. "This one looks like Elvish, might be from Mirkwood", he commented, just letting Altair know of what he was finding also.

<<No I didn't have Gard find anything straight off ^^>>

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Altair

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 12:55:24 AM »
Altair didn’t like the idea of having the boy around, but so long as he was determined to stay, there was no reason to not let him. And, since he was so adamant, and passionate about helping him.

As he was up on the ladder, his fingers gently brushing the dusty books, he listened to Gard speak. They really should hire a bookkeeper. These shelves need re-organizing, and someone to dust at least twice a week!

Gard seemed to have an interesting history, to live with this man called Uncle Bard, and his mother passing away. He could relate. He had lost his own mother to a flu epidemic as a child, and lived with his grandparents ever since. In a way, Altair was just a small-town boy who grew up in a large city.

He gave Gard a side glance as he continued to speak. He slid down the ladder with ease, and walked to another shelf to begin searching.

So, what kinds of things do you teach?” Gard asked, and began to list off the things he knew, and had been taught. It wasn’t that extensive of a list, but it impressed Altair to know that he had been taught enough to get by.

There are many who have less education,” Altair began, plucking a book from the shelf, “As for me, I teach a whole manner of things. Fencing, riding, reading, writing, speech, arithmetic, and certain languages.” He gently flipped through the yellow pages, scanning the words to see if it was the sort of thing he was looking for. When it wasn’t, he put it back where it belonged.

I’ve been traveling around, I have a few things in my bags attached to my horse, if you’d like to take a look when we are done here!” A bright smile flashed his face, he loved the idea of sharing his knowledge with the young. And, an idea  started to form in his mind that he might just stick around for a bit.

Altair joined Gard where he was standing. Looking at the book, he agreed that the book was indeed in Elvish, and though he recognized some of the ruins, he wasn’t as fluent in reading it as he was in his ability to make polite conversation. Never-the-less, it was a start! And a welcome one. “Brilliant! That’s a good start, we can start a small pile here, and any similar books you find, let’s start with a few for now, I don’t want to stay too long, and besides, we are only borrowing for a small time! Keep up the good work, Gard!

As time went on, Altair started to accumulate a small stack of books, some that wouldn’t quite fit in his pocket, but at least he would be able to carry them out the door safely without dropping them [ha, as if]. 
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Gard of Lake-town

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 02:45:22 PM »
For a moment Gard worried that, despite his words, Mr. Altair really would send him off, for his own good; but he accepted Gard’s help, for which the boy was genuinely pleased and grateful! Had the teacher spoken his critiques out-loud, Gard could have told him that neither the Master nor Alfrid cared enough for old works to dust them or care for them properly.

The fact that they kept them at all was its own miracle.

Though the more Gard perused, the more he was starting to feel that there wasn't anything interesting here. Not like Mr. Altair was looking for anyway.

“There are many who have less education,”, Altair answered to his worries that he came off as not knowing all that much. Sadly, Gard knew it. Some of their neighbors couldn't read, claiming it never helped with fishing so why bother?

“As for me, I teach a whole manner of things. Fencing, riding, reading, writing, speech, arithmetic, and certain languages.”

"Like the Dwarf runes", Gard guessed with a smile, recalling he'd asked him to look out for Runes. Not that everything else he had mentioned wasn't vastly interesting as well, but Wow if he could read them?! There might be stuff on Dale in there! Gard still persisted in thinking mostly favorably on the old tales (partly because his mother had been the one to pass what few she knew on) as well as his natural optimism his youth made easy.

He had no idea what a dragon attack looked like (sadly he would soon) so while the suffering was sad (and he knew his own ancestors had gone through it) it was also...distant. Thoughts of the Erebor Dwarves being the reason for calling the Dragon in the first place were grudges for those who'd lived through it, and sadly none of them were around.

It never came up, except if someone was making another comment on failed lineage, and Gard was careful not to mention the old tales too many times, since they did inevitably lead to thoughts of Charlotte, but he pondered on it every now and again.

“I’ve been traveling around, I have a few things in my bags attached to my horse, if you’d like to take a look when we are done here!”

"Yes please!", Gard didn't care if the most interesting thing Altair had was a comb from some other kingdom of Men, it was still more than usually came through Lake Town. Of course he was very quickly trusting a stranger very far, but Gard felt he could tell if people were bad sorts (he saw enough of them around here) and Mr. Altair was clearly not.

"Brilliant! That’s a good start, we can start a small pile here, and any similar books you find, let’s start with a few for now, I don’t want to stay too long, and besides, we are only borrowing for a small time! Keep up the good work, Gard!”

Grinning at the praise, and help he could lend, Gard nodded, and started off their pile with that book. He found a few others to add to their pile. Not clear Rune Tomes, but one or two mentions of Dale was a start, though a quick scan through found they didn't hold any new information exactly. Still he added them.

<<I keep not being sure how to end this ^^>>

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Altair

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Re: Book Borrowing 101
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 04:35:36 AM »
“Like the Dwarf Runes.” Guard had guessed. The truth was, he couldn’t really read Dwarvish runes, he was more able to read Elvish. Rohirric, and Gondorian he spoke fluently, of course; and several of the dialects within. Dwarvish runes were something of a mystery, but he’d be willing to learn - if he could find someone to teach him. Even teacher needed teaching sometimes! It’s what he liked about his job. He could always learn.

To his offer of giving Gard a look inside his saddle bags, he practically jumped at the offer! Something that Altair looked for in a student. The warming up to the kid didn’t seem to slow it’s pace, and part of him wanted to meet the extended family he had mentioned before. Perhaps he would!

About thirty minutes passed and their pile looked as though it had grown only a little since their search began. Sighing, he felt that they had come near the end of their search. But he still felt he had not found what he was looking for! It was frustrating to him.

We have enough, perhaps what I’m searching for is between the covers.” He picked up what he could, and headed for the door, making sure that the boy could keep pace. When they reached the door, he opened it just enough to peer out to see if the coast was clear. Of course it was, much to his surprise, so Altair slid out the door, back into the alley they had originally come from.

Right, let’s get these somewhere safe.” He waited for Gard to lead the way. Chances were, they wouldn’t be too welcome in a bar, or even in the local inn. With those options swiped off the queue he had made in his head of safe spaces to open the looted books, he - sort of reluctantly - had to rely on Gard of Laketown once again.

[ooc: well, hopefully this can give you some direction! Go ahead and skip us ahead to wherever Gard thinks is a safe space, and opening the books to read. XD I'm sure they'll get to Altair's saddle at some point.]
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