Naothlan Vignette #2 (2019)

The walls of Meister Briggs’s office anteroom were becoming all too intimately familiar to Howard Montagne.  He had been sitting in the room for two hours, awaiting a meeting with a minor functionary in the meister’s employ.  The man was in charge of Curmont, a town halfway across Naothlan, but critical to Montagne’s project.  Apparently, his office in Bywater, the closest city to the Sablewood, was grossly understaffed.

Howard rose and crossed to the room’s lone desk.

He debated whether to be humble and self-depreciating (Sablewood really did need the meister’s cooperation) or brusque and demanding, to get attention.  Or something in between.

The full House of Meisters wasn’t necessary for the release project, only Curmont’s, as the closest town to the release site.

“Hi, remember me?” he’d only been sitting in line of sight for hours.  “I was supposed to see someone nearly two hours ago.  Any idea when someone with even a little authority will be available?”

The nameless young man behind the desk, he didn’t even have a nameplate, looked up from a pile of documents.  He was probably some senior staffer’s son, or nephew.

“Meister Briggs’s local staff are extremely busy, Mr., ah, Montague.  Would you like me to write you in for another day?”

“Montagne.  And, no.  I could walk to Curmont and the meister’s home office before you’d find another open appointment.”

Stalling, that’s all it was.

Howard returned to his seat, fuming inside.

There were those in the House who didn’t see the value in Sablewood, or reintroducing species to Naothlan’s wild.  Fortunately, they had no say in the preserve’s funding or spending.

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