Of Cats And Dragons

Shalonie cover 13

Shalonie's Notebook: 36-37

Published 2021-08-19
Carol E. Leever

This is the original page Shalonie 'drew' to help Kyr and Tyrin learn about the money in Ven'taria. The added bonus of the Ven'tarian money page is the image of our lovely khimerac! It also includes N'vrelian (and technically the Narachian) coinage.

I realized after I started doing these blogs on the 'money' section of Shalonie's notebook, just how many times 'money' comes up in the stories. Even in our short stories, we can't escape it.

This is an excerpt from LILYTH'S HUNT where her friend Sable, the Princess of N'vrel, overpays for a package of tea.

From Lilyth's Hunt: Chapter 5

A light, minty fragrance filled the shop as the tea steeped.

"Go ahead," Sable said, directing Jasy to drink first.

The girl took a sip, closing her eyes.

Lilyth picked up her cup, feeling the warmth in her hand. She inhaled, letting the bright aroma tickle her nose. There was even a hint of dragonberry in the scent, light, crisp and fruity, despite the fact that Jasy had added no honey. She took a large sip, making certain Sable could see her actually drinking the substance. The red-haired girl looked on in wonder.

"Go ahead," Lilyth urged. "It's really good."

Hesitantly Sable lifted her cup and took a careful sip. She chuckled and gave them both a bewildered smile. "Is it some sort of mint? Smells like mint. Firemint and thornmint are terrible poisons where I live; they'll burn a hole right through your stomach. But this is quite nice."

Jasy looked horrified. "I don't know what firemint is," she admitted, "but thornmint is a terrible weed! The dragons would burn any sprout that ever appeared in Melia. I've never heard of anyone finding it in the wild here."

"Your Melian mint must be highly prized I suppose?" Sable took another sip of the tea, seeming quite enamored with it. "I imagine you grow it in well-guarded greenhouses?"

"Oh, no," Jasy laughed. "It grows wild here. All over the place. Would you like to take some with you?" She had already bundled up a large quantity of the dried leaves in a brown paper wrapper tied with white string. She handed it across to Sable.

"Thank you!" Sable took the package and grasped the girl's hand in a fearsome grip, shaking it vigorously. "Here, take this for your prized leaf!" She reached into a small pouch at her belt and pulled out a shining gold coin with a sharp edge to it.

Jasy's eyes widened, and she looked toward Lilyth with alarm.

Lilyth quickly shook her head, indicating that Jasy should just take the money and be silent. What are the coins called in N'vrel, a copper pipe, a silver braidin, and a gold bloodbit, I think? That coin is worth at least a thousand Melian pennybits. Jasy just made her coin for the festival.

"We'll be off now," Lily announced, steering her new friend out of the shop. She wondered if she should explain the term overpaying to Sable. Might be considered rude in N'vrel.

"So, it just grows in the wild?" Sable asked as she studied the paper packaging around the tea Jasy had given her as they crossed back into Fountain Square. She carefully placed the package in one of her coat pockets, patting it as if to reassure herself it was safe.

"Sure," Lily explained. "I think there's some out by Featherplume Pond. It's near here."

"Does that pond have scaly, slimy monsters?"

"There might be some ducks."

"The ones with the fangs?"

Shalonie Notebook Page 34-35
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