1. My baby likes the pacifier. Judge if you want to, but that little instrument keeps her happy and gives me time to work.
2. I wrote a Mantra two days ago that worked yesterday, and seems to be working today.
3. Football has started.
If you haven't read Part 3 then this post won't make a lot of sense.
Andrill, the port between all lands, the hub of all commerce, and perhaps the most disgusting city to ever be built by hands. Throughout the city was a horrible stench that wafted up and down ally ways, from street to wandered street that would occasionally make foreigners throw up just after stepping off the boat. It was a mixture of rotting fish, feces, and some unknown scent that gave it a sour quality. The people sweated it, the buildings were stained by it, and the food tasted of it. How anyone stayed living there was a mystery to most in the world, but for Andrill's inhabitants, the answer was simple: Money. If someone wanted to get rich Andrill was the place to do it. Ever since the invention of ships that could cross seas, Andrill had been known as The City of Commerce. It lay just between the main continents of Bilnah and Calman, and near enough to all other major land masses to make it a gateway for all things exotic. Two headed snakes from Hitno, swords from Callen, gems and rubies from places no one had heard of with sellers who didn't speak common well enough to tell. If it's worth something, you can find it in Andrill.
The Cook stepped off the boat, his legs wobbly from being at see for too long. He felt Andrill an awful place for him to have to get supplies, with the food tasting of sour milk or worse. But The Captain was a man whose money purse was hard to please, while his taste buds were not, so Andrill was the right place to pick up produce. Aside from the stench, and the discolored buildings, Andrill really was an amazing place to look at. It teamed with life from all over the world. For the most part the inhabitants were humans whose ancestors had founded the city centuries before, but one could also find Dwarves from the mountains, selling their weapons, or Wood Elves from the western wood selling their bows. And everywhere, like mice keeping their tails from carving knives, ran swarms of halflings who had left their homes beneath hills looking for riches in big cities, but found only filthy apartments and demeaning work.
More than a dozen times The Cook would almost step on a halfling, and more than twice he had to get after one for digging around in his pockets looking for gold. The Cook had been here enough times to not be impressed by the wonders in the streets, and to keep his money hidden where pickpockets' hands would not find it. Being a true man of his trade, The Cook had a very impressive sense of smell, which made his food breathtaking in the best of circumstances and eatable at the worst, but his sense of smell was his demise in Andrill, for each time he breathed in he was disgusted by what he could smell in the air, because while you or I could only pick out a couple of awful tidbits in the cacophony of odors, The Cook could pick out almost all of them, from what we could easily pick out as rotting meat, to what we would barely notice as rotting humans. The city's worst qualities were laid wide before his nose, but again, he had been there too often to care. He had two jobs to do, buy enough food to keep the crew alive for the next ten months at sea, and drop off one precious child.