This is the young cartjagger, Avado. At the beginning of her ritual 10 Year Wander, she meets her grandmother, Old Orrum, for the first time.
Here is Old Orrum, the most highly skilled cartjagger in all of Honeygold, Clover Castle. The chronicler Lace wrote the scene of their meeting as a play.
THE SCENE IN THE WHEELROOM
(Old Orrum’s wheelroom is littered with wheels and wheel parts – spokes, rims, cotters, hubs. Her tools – cudgels, sizers, bevellers, sandpads, scrapes, awkers – are stored in neat rows on shelves next to the forge and bellows. An embered fire in the forge glows green. An overflowing bucket of bittem coal chunks and a half-filled watertub rest by a black anvil edged with gold blossom and bee scrollwork. The floor is yellow stone. An oaken table and two oaken stools stand in one corner of the room. The yellow walls are fire smudged. A yellow curtain hangs slap in the middle of the back wall hiding an opening which leads into the cartroom. The door opposite the yellow curtain opens. Old Orrum and Avado enter, hand in hand.)
OLD ORRUM: Step in, Avado. Here and here is where your mother heard the tales from my mother.
AVADO: (tossing her pack on the table) Oh, yes! The same! Mother said! Our wheelroom is just like … and your forge! Except for the yellow and the bees, of course.
OLD ORRUM: Of course. The cart I was telling you about is in the cartroom. Would you like to see it?
AVADO: Not yet. I want to look at the embers. Green bittem fires are so … (She crosses to the forge, puts out her hands to warm them)
OLD ORRUM: (nodding) Such is so. A picture. You stand so like your mother stood and stared as I worked and told the tales. So quiet she was. Such big eyes.
AVADO: She says you know more stories than anyone. More than even the oldest roamer.
OLD ORRUM: (smiling) It is said that is so.
AVADO: I know all the Great Green Va stories. I made mother tell them a hundred times and better. Not a nince of peace did I give her until I had them all.
OLD ORRUM: Ah.
AVADO: The Caravan of Stones! and the Dragon! and the Falls of Horn! and the Rain of Cakes! and … oh, sorry, they say I get too excited when I start up about the Great Green Va. Oh, Grandmother Orrum, I know what I’m going to do on my 10 Year Wander!
OLD ORRUM: (finger to lips) Sssshhh. Musn’t say. For you alone. Listen a pace to me. Sit yourself on one of those stools. (Avado sits) Good. Your days with me will be few, and then off you’ll go on your Wander. Let’s fill the few days properly. You can help me prepare the Prince’s vedling cart for the 1000 Celebration. (Avado nods yes eagerly) And more. You say that you have taken into your heart all of the Great Green Va stories. Well and good. So and sa, this I will say to you. (whispers) I have saved one special story all of my life to share alone with a granddaughter. Hello, granddaughter.
AVADO: (leaping from stool) What is it?! What?! What?!
OLD ORRUM: (raising both hands) Subside, youngling, subside. The time will be right on the night of Honeygold’s 1000th birthday. You will sit by the green glow embers of the bittem fire. I will tell the story. But as for now, the Prince needs his vedling cart. Pick up two bevellers, one for each of us, and follow me to the cartroom. The Prince himself will be here in the morning to judge my … our work. Let’s hop to it, shall we?
AVADO: (catching up a pair of bevellers, one in each hand) I’m awfully good at jagging. I’m skilled beyond age, pa says. They say the Prince is …
(Old Orrum slides the yellow curtain aside and the pair of cartjaggers, ancient and young, slip through the opening and disappear into the cartroom, Avado gabbling all the while.)