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Monday o’ last week, I was in Foothold and met Sun-Ok outside the Temple. I asked her where she was off to, and she told me she’d be makin’ a delivery o’ axes to Thane, at his castle out by Zariat pass.

She asked me if I’d like ta tag along. I said sure, ‘cause I always enjoys seein’ how kings and royalty is livin’ in their huge castles, dressed up in fancy robes with all their servents and maids buzzin’ ‘round makin’ things easy fer ‘em. Anyways, off we went!

On the way there, we run into Bel who was standin’ ‘round doin’ nothin’ and he joined us. When we got to the castle, Sun-Ok run off to an empty room and changed quick into a pretty purple dress so’s she’d be lookin’ her best before she met with the head o’ the Pellytes.

When she was ready, the guards ushered us into a big room and there he stood! All puffed up and proud and feelin’ good about himself. Thane, the leader o’ all the Pellytes!

Well I hailed him. I shouted “Hail Thane! leader o’ all the Pellytes!” Sun-Ok give me a dirty look, and Bel told me ta shut up and I did. But I thought all kings and lords and important folks like ta be hailed, ya know? When Lord Mark hops in his wagon and rides through the streets o’ Foothold, I waves and hails him too! He always gives me a wink and a little smile as he’s passin’ by.

Ohh! Speakin’ o’ wagons Port told me Lord Mark’s got a new one! All fancy and painted in different colors with lots o’ bells and whistles hangin’ off o’ it! Imported, I think! Thing is, it’s got five wheels on it and a huge map built into it, what keeps droppin’ down in front o’ the driver blockin’ the view.

The Lord and all his friends is havin’ a devil o’ a time learnin’ ta steer it proper cause o’ the map and the fifth wheel ya know? And it’s so heavy they can only go from one place to another really slow and they need twice as many oxen ta pull it as they needed ta pull the old one around!

Lady Mark’s havin’ a conniption ‘cause they’s doin’ their practicin’ in the court yard, and they keep runnin’ over her shrubs and nice flowers what she worked so hard on ta plant! Oh geez! The old wagon’s sittin’ in a corner somewhere and none o’ the earls, and dukes and the rest o’ Lord Mark’s friends is payin’ much attention to it no more.

Men is like that, ya know? They’s the same as children when they gets a fancy new toy. They just ain’t wantin’ ta put it down ever! And if ya ain’t watchin’ ‘em close they’ll even try ta sneak it into bed with ‘em!

And I heard that when Lord Mark finally gets the new wagon workin’ right, him and his friends is all gonna jump in and ride off ta some other place much nicer then where he’s livin’ now! Yup! I heard that!

But one o’ the earls said they’d paid the rent on the land here, for the next hundred years and it would be ok with him if any o’ us wished ta stay here. Or we’d be welcome to come along with them, even though all o’ the other earls and dukes and the rest o’ his close close friends already has reserved seats inside the wagon and there ain’t none left.

But he said the new wagon would be pullin’ a cart behind it which all o’ us could cram into if we decided ta come along. I’m thinkin’ he don’t care too much whether we stays or goes, cause all o’ the other earls and dukes and the rest o’ his friends has decided to make the trip ta the new place with him.

But they’s gonna leave the old wagon here so we can ride around in it. They’s gonna leave a few merchants too but they’s gonna be all business now, and ain’t gonna chat no more ‘bout things with us. They’ll still be lots o’ things ta do . . . like whackin’ monsters and . . . well, like whackin’ monsters.

Seems kinda sad ta me, ya know? All o’ this started ‘cause o’ a new wagon what some o’ us think ain’t nearly as good as the old one. Nope. I guess the town’ll be kind o’ empty now. We ain’t gonna be seein’ Lord Mark in his old wagon, ridin’ down the streets o’ Foothold no more. I wonder if he’ll stop by some day, and tell those o’ us whats left, one o’ his tales . . . like he used ta do, in that nice park out by Stonemark.

Oh geez! Where was I? Oh! I know! Thane, the leader o’ the Pellytes . . .