It was with great pleasure that we accepted an assignment to interview the famed Daymar, Count of Threepenny Hills and Environs, and one of the foremost psionic researchers of our day. His reticence, or perhaps distraction, is legendary; therefore we were pleasantly surpised when he responded with favor to our missive, enquiring if he would be willing to discuss the history of psionics research and its role it shaping the history of the Empire. Such an inquiry seemed to be a ground in need of exploration in view of the recent Kin'tiiha case; it is without a doubt true that in an earlier age of the Empire such a strange sequence of events could not have occured at all, while now they are raising debates amoung the Iorich that seem likely to last for years.
Our esteemed readers would no doubt be fascinated by the results of such a discussion, and therefore it is a pity that no such interview in fact took place. However, the incidents that prevented it are perhaps sufficiently entertaining to blunt the edge of the dissapointment, and so we present them here, with our apologies.
Difficulties began when, at the appointed hour, we arrived at Daymar's house. Thanks to the often arcane and disturbing nature of his experiments, he has said, it is difficult for him to find servants willing to remain in his employ for longer than a year or so. This fact was amply demonstrated when we opened the door, after having recieved no response to a hearty clap, to reveal a stern-faced woman of the Teckla who had, until several minutes previously, been his butler. "What, another one?" was her reaction upon seeing us. "Good luck, then. Master's in a mood."
We implored her to show us in, and she responded, to our dismay, by throwing a travelling-cloak at our head. "None of that. I quit. I'm only here long enough to pack. Show your own self in," she declaimed. Not wishing to further antagonize her, we attempted to remove the cloak and pass through the entrance hall, only to sprawl unexpectedly on the floor thanks to the collision of our foot with a trunk that had been left in the center of the floor. By the time we extracted ourselves from the cloak and rose again the woman was gone.
Left to our own devices there was little choice but to assume that Daymar would be found in his study, and strive to find the aforementioned room in order to conduct the interview. However, this premise resuted upon two false assumptions: the first that Daymar would, indeed, be awaiting us in the study, and the second that the study would be in such a location that we would be able to find it without the asistance of his erstwhile butler. Daymar's house, although admirably well built, does not appear, once one has entered, to follow any generally recognized architectural principles. Indeed, one would be forgiven for suspecting that the principles of physical continuty were suspended in that area, as they are said to be in such places as the Paths of the Dead or the keeps of certain Athyra wizards.
After some time we found oursleves in what appeared to be a sort of conservatory. Being somewhat exhausted by our wanderings we settled on a bench to consider our options. The idea of yelling Daymar's name repeately until he or some other servant who was awre of his location responsded had a certain appeal, although we were painfully aware that it would be extrordinarily rude. However, our musing were cut short by the abrupt appearance of the master himself. He seemed quite as shocked to see us as we were to see him.
We hastened to introduce ourselves, and he seemed mollified somewhat by it. Before we could explain the reason four our delay, he rung a bell whose handle was hidden behind a flowering bush of a aiety we could not name, then spoke into what we had taken to be a decorative vase, ordering klava for two.
At that point Daymar began, quite unprompted, to speak at length on his latest experiments. As this publication is intended for the students of history and not the arcane disciplines, it will perhaps be a forgivable failing that, not having anticipated the interview to begin so early, we had not yet prepared out notebook; indeed, it would have given us but little satisfaction if we had, for the terminology that Daymar used to describe his work was so arcane that few of the words held meaning to us, those being the more commonplace ones such as 'myself' and 'results', and even those he appeared to be using in a manner quite unlike the way in which they may be used in everyday speech, for inasmuch as (we can but presume) psionic depends upon the nature and powers of the human or other sentient mind, the boundaries of the self may become a doubtful propoistion when engaged in the more strenuous exercises, and besides which, Daymar speaks far faster when he has found a train of thought he wishes to follow to his end than most people do even when attempting to rush a sentence to its conclusion in the hopes that their listeners will not be able to follow it.
After a while he noted that the tea had not appeared, at which point we were finally able to mention the departure of his butler. He agreed that it was a pity, and suggested that, in the absence of a servant to peform the honors, we repair to the kitchen and prepare klava for ourselves. It seemed foolish to present any opposition to this plan, whereupon the two of us attempted to find our way to the kitchen. This was not as simple as a feat as one might assume, for the master of the house did not seem to be completely immune to its more confusing effects, and on two occasions he bemusedly opened a closet or bedroom door, believing it to be the kitchen we sought. At length our objective was achieved, and after a brief digression in order to locate the appropriate ingredients Daymar inserted them in what we must assume was his klava press - for although it did eventually produce klava, and klava of the finest quality, it did not in most particulars resemble any klava press with which we are familiar, despite a number of tantalizingly familiar components, leading us to the supposition that either Daymar himself, or some previous servant of his, had designed and built it out of dissatisfaction with the various presses that can be obtained pre-built - and activated it with an air of some satsfaction; at this juncture we, having located our notebook and a list of questions we proposed to ask, suggested that we begin the interview while the klava was brewing (believing, as did Sir Therion of Westredriver, that a moment wasted when time is at a premium is a disgrace to one's self and one's House), but Daymar waved off this suggestion, proposing that we wait for it to finish, then make our way into his gardens, where he had recently caused to be installed a small pavillion.
"Sir, we would be most delighted," we replied, not wishing to offend our host. Daymar seemed most satisfied with this. The klava having been brewed, he poured it into mugs. We say 'poured' although the term is not quite accurate, implying as it does that he entire receptacle in which the klava was contained tipped to allow it to emerge. In fact, he placed each mug below some sort of valve on the side of the press and pulled a small handle, causing the klava to emerge far faster than gravity alone might have induced it to.
Thus equipped the two of us walked to the pavillion. Daymar was kind enough to favor us with an explanation of the design principles upon which his garden was planted, which were largely similar to those of the Duchess Palimar, being intended to create a pleasing confluence of paths in which the eye could rest at any point without being drawn forcibly toward a particular central focus. However, this pleasant pastime was interrupted upon our arrival at the pavillion by a most unexpected chance: specifically, the pavillion, instead of being the pleasantly quiet place Daymar and ourself had expected it to be, contained a very angry female Tiassa waving a broadsword.
Without ado she pointed the aforementioned weapon at Daymar. He appeared somewhat nonplussed. "May I ask you, madam," he began, "for what purpose you have intruded upon the privacy of my gardens and interrupted a pleasant discourse with a guest?"
"For what purpose! You ask for what purpose?"
"I do. Indeed, I nearly think I demand to know."
"Very well then, I shall tell you," she said, tossing her hair in much the manner of her house animal attempting to dislodge a fly from its ears. "I have intruded because I intend to duel with you, Daymar of Threepenny Hills, and before the hour is out. You have caused me such offense as cannot be forgiven." At this point she detailed the offense, but delicacy and respect for the honor of both parties forbids our repeating it here; suffice it to say that on the evidence of her accusations and Daymar's pained responses, the matter was quite serious, and either party might be in the right.
However, Daymar reluctantly agreed to the duel. "Would you do me the honor of standing as second?" he asked us. "The lady has none, but she does not appear to desire one." Of course we agreed, and Daymar performed a teleportation spell to bring his sword from the house. Adjacent to the pavillion was a large area of grass, with approximately the proper dimensions of a dueling circle. In the abscence of a more suitable area it was agreed that the boundaries of this grassy path would serve as the circle. We stood at the edge and asked the standard formal questions, the form of which has not been substantially changed since the twelfth Iorich reign, although there have recently been proposals submitted to alter them in accordance with the recent possibility of revification which does alter the likely outcomes of a duel substantially.
The duel began. Forgive us if we do not describe it in detail, for it is at this point that our own recollections become somewhat less than as substantial as one might wish them to be; in light of subsequent events this is not surprsiing although it remains deeply dissapointeing, both as a reporter and personally. We should like to recall more of the duel, for the parts we witnessed were quite breathtaking, to our surprise, having imagined that Daymar's intellectualy pursutis had led him to neglect or abanon his physical and forgetting htat, like ourselves, he was a Hawk, more inclined to abandon sleep or meals than anything which interested him - and one can not blame him for a fascination with swordplay, even if it is a fascination we do not in the whole share.
The two of them were most active fighters, crossing the patch of lawn again and again by leaps and bounds. At one point the Tiassa had Daymar backed up almost to its edge, wherupon he executed a parry that enabled him to almost reverse their positions in an instant as she spun to block it. At another they were both in the middle, and their sword were waving in the air so fast that had we been, in fact, a hawk, and not simply a Hawk, even then we might have been unable to distinguish their actual positions; as it was a blur was all that was visible. However, we cannot in fact trace the path of their movemnts, and this scattered recital of facts can hardly be informative to our readers. What is of interest occured so fast that even the grim awareness the mind takes of impending disaster was screly abel to follow it.
The Tiassa had raised her sword to block Daymar's, and the two were for a moment stilled in a tableu. With a gasp of effort, she twisted her sword in a disarming move that was, unfortunately, sucessful. We state that it is unfortunate that she was sucessful, because to use, it was. Dayamrs' sword was, it seemed, lighter or more elastic than she had anticipated, or he made some sudden motion in time with hers. However, whatever the cause, the sword flew directly toward us and buried itself neatly in our throat.
This was, needless to say, the last thing we recalled for quite some time.
When we awoke it was in one of Daymar's guest rooms, with both that gentleman and the Tiassa with whom he had so recently fought the ill-fated duel sitting by the bedside with expressions of concern. "Ah, you're awake!" Daymar said as soon as our eyes opened. "Good. I've never revivifed someone before," he said thoughtfully. "I wasn't sure it would work."
We attempted to suggest that perhaps he would have done better, in that case, to obtain the assistance of an experienced professional, but to our suprise were unable to speak. Furthermore, the attempt caused us considerable pain. The Tiassa apparently was able to percieve this, for she instantly ran her hand soothingly over our throat. "Don't try to speak," she said. "Your tissues are still healing; it will be some time before you return to full health."
It struck us that the two of them seemed to be quite amiably disposed for parties who had recently been involved in a duel to the death. We attempted to convey though the medium of gestures, speech being temporarily an untenable proposition, that we would appreciate some water. Daymar percieved our need and rose to fetch a glass. "You know," he said, "I really must thank you. Why, if you had not gotten in the way just then, the duel would have continued, and one of us would now be dead, and the fued still not resolved. Since you interrupted, we have reconciled. In fact, as soon as you are sufficiently well recovered to return home, we intend to travel together out of the city for a while."
We attempted to convey our gratitude at having been the agent of such an outcome through gestures, an attempt we will not flatter ourself by stating was sucessful. Daymar gave us a glass of water and the Tiassa assisted us to sit ur\pright and drink it. They shared a look of the sort that is often said to contain a whole conversation. What the topic of this metaphorical converstion was we could not say, but t seemed to satisfy them, and Daymar patted my head. "Get some rest," he told us. "Ring if you need anything. I've sent for a new bulter; he should be here soon."
This seemed to be a most agreeable propsition to us and we sank into a deep sleep as soon as we had set down the glass of water.
As it happens, by the time we awoke again, Daymar and the Tiassa had deserted the house and indeed the city, leaving us in the care of the new bulter, a man with a remarkably even temprament, which asset will doubtless serve him well if he chooses to remain in Daymar's employ. Although were are of course pleased that Daymar and the Tiassa have reconciled, their abrupt departure did ensure that the interview which had been the original purpose of our visit would not be performed. Attempts to discover their location, with the idea of conducting the interview by mail or telepathy, failed entirely. We will not belabor our readers with a full account of our attemps, involivng as they did deliberation with the bulter to the point that our newly regained voice failed us once again.
However, we have not abanonded the attempt. This account is but a brief attempt to explain the difficulties which have stood in the way of our obtaining a useful interview. By the point of publication of next year's issue, we are confident that Daymar will have returned and been able to furnish us with the information we sought originally. Our readers, being students of history, will no doubt understand that forces often conspire to defeat even the most ardent attept, but that many desierable things nontheless occur when awaited with patience, pursued unrelentingly, or both.