01/06/2021 Snippet, [REDACTED.]

Sorry for the redactions. This is what I was working on, today, but I kind of want it to be a bit of a surprise.

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For a wonder, the city fathers of [redacted] had coffee. And not just old instant coffee, preserved for three hundred years by magic or chance; this was fresh-ground, and freshly made. It would be an expensive extravagance in a port like Story and nigh-unobtainable in Port-land; here, they were pouring out cups for everyone in Aaron Spruce’s diplomatic delegation. Even the militia guards had gotten some.

Aaron raised an bushy eyebrow at one of the ‘militia;’ the human minutely shook her head in response. Which meant that if there was any inimical magic or poison in the stuff, the disguised mage couldn’t detect it. Not that there should have been — [redacted] was voluntarily discussing joining up with what Aaron’s people were now calling the ‘Dwarvenwood’ — but it never hurt to check. Things weren’t as bad as they had been a hundred years ago, but the 25th Century wasn’t exactly the paradise of the Old Americans, either. And people could get weird when isolated, which was one of the unstated arguments for joining up with the Dwarvenwood.

Still, the mayor of [redacted] seemed legitimately friendly, if slightly odd about it. Harry Singer was an amiable fellow who also wore the grey-purple robe that was apparently regular dress for old people around here, despite being a bit young for it; or perhaps he was older? Judging ages in [redacted] was sometimes a little difficult. Aaron envied them their dentists — or possibly pitied their dentists, given how busy they must be.