WIP from the editing process for Madness of Flowers
"You brought a bear, and dark-skinned men with strange flutes, and threw a bell to the Lord Mayor himself. Were you a company of mummers, I'd pay my obol to pass within your tent, for it is a wondrous show you promise.
"This City, though, has barely recovered from the Trial of Flowers and the ugly death of the Imperator Restored. We cannot withstand another pass through the hands of royalty so soon. Your dumb-show aims to raise a rabble and erupt through the River Gate with flags flying and the promise of hope. Our people need to stay home and rebuild the City's trade. Not send their sons and their money haring after old rumors."
She traced signs for a moment in the water pooling on the splintered table, before meeting Bijaz' eyes once more. Something in that pale gaze made him shiver, and reminded him once more how long it had been since he'd lain with a woman. "I trade in dreams of history, friend dwarf," she said.
Another push of a tiny puddle.
"I've sold maps and bought ancient diaries. Forged a few of both. People love to know what came before, love the wealth and wisdom of the past." The smile came back. "We both know the past is tired men and women with baby-chewed breasts cowering in huts, fearing next winter's wolves. There is no wealthier era than today's. But people always long for a golden age when their nation was strong and their language was pure and everyone knew their place. You were right to call me a mummer. I am. I act out history, and take my fee where I find it."
He released a stag beetle from his cupped hands. The ale was definitely going to his head. "We have more history here in the City Imperishable than any people ought to be accursed with."