UP: Napa Valley
I thought following the gypsy
on a bit of a trek down to Trinsic would be easy. The road is well
defined; there are guard stations along the route... with that I felt a
city girl like me would be just peachy. Well I was wrong! That gypsy,
Tarina Faa, took every twist and turn and barely discernable path she
could find. How was I supposed to know she was going to search for that
ancient dragon on her way to Trinsic, not just after she got there and
that I would end up following her halfway across Britannia and back again.
On top of that she is a suspicious one and kept looking about to see if
she was followed.
Her stop in Trinsic was but a brief one. Tarina went to
the bank (to get funds I suppose) then off to the provisioner to get
supplies. Not wanting to be totally out of my element, I decided to stock
up on a few items myself, just in case. Tarina's last stop was the Trinsic
Meeting Hall where she met a fellow wearing the badge of the Bardic Guild.
The gentleman handed her a piece of paper, though I have no clue what it
contained. The two seemed to know each other and talked for a bit... then
for some reason Tarina handed the man a tambourine and after adjusting a
few things he gave it back to her. A bard as well?
This gypsy, with her pale gray hair, has the energy of
a youngster – though I still cannot tell how old she really is. There
were times I could barely keep up with her as she moved so deftly through
the forests. Silly me I forgot she is a gypsy and used to being on the
move, I am just a city girl who wanders the town looking for a good story!
Lucky me though, I have stumbled onto a good one this time!
The path we followed took us far and wide - to places I
had not visited in Britannia since I was a child on "adventures"
with my papa. First it was south into the jungles of Trinsic, where in
places, you sunk into mud up to your knees, then toward the coasts to the
far south and west of Trinsic where the winds off the sea were strong
enough to push you to your knees as they passed. During this coastline
trek I saw the wonderful garden in the city of Shannara and its casino,
then farther up the coast it was the Village of Virtue and its University.
As the journey wore on and my legs wore out, she took
us up past Skara Brae, through the vineyards of Yew, wading through the
sea of sand in the desert near the Shrine of Compassion then down toward
Cove and Vesper. Minoc was the last area to explore before she traveled
the northern coast back toward Yew where she hopped in the mystical blue
gate for the next leg of the journey. I must admit, a curious thing I
noticed about her is that she stopped near a lot of animals... at one time
I thought she might actually be talking to them, but that makes very
little sense to me. Though... every time she did stop and
"converse" with an animal or two she adjusted the direction she
was traveling... maybe there is something to this but that will have to
wait for another time. The ancient blue dragon is the current mission!
Tarina did not seem to have a good grasp of how to use
the mystical gates and I had to be careful not to let her see me as she
popped in and out trying to get to her destination, which, come to find
out was Moonglow. Once she arrived there, she headed toward the zoo then
up the eastern coast to the telescope and finally to the Lyceum - avoiding
the town itself - as if she knew where the dragon might have traveled. By
this time I was exhausted so when she stopped to talk to a small red
tropical bird (I know, I know, but talking is the only way I can think to
describe what she was doing) and mention returning to Britain, I was
thrilled. A hot bath and clean clothes, ah the bliss!
After a trek through the mystical gate back to Britain,
Tarina took the round-about way back to her house, I found out a bit later
that she wanted to check on the status of the renovations before returning
to the Northside Inn to rest. Now that we were back in town, I fell behind
and did not work so hard to keep up... exhaustion now commanded my legs
and so I sat on an old log to rest. Sitting there quietly among the shady
trees, drowsing in the late afternoon warmth, I started to fall asleep
when I felt a slight breeze brush against my heated face. I opened my eyes
and gasped in surprise, for flying just above the treetops, heading toward
the farms of Britain was a truly amazing sight, a blue dragon.
At one time I was beginning to think that gypsy had a
few loose workings in her clock, but now I know the truth. The dragon does
exist... now to find out what Tarina needs from him for I could not bear
for anything evil to befall the magnificent creature.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, July