To Climb The World

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Chapter Four

Councilor Dorjul was tall and thin and old. He had been on the council longer than any other and always carried a strong voice for the Ministry of Science. Many years before he had been an Acolyte, back when his face was unlined with age but his grades had only been adequate so he had been shuffled out. There was the discipline from the world of science that he applied to the Ministry of Rule, creating order out of the chaos of people.

Despite his advancing years, he moved swiftly through the Council corridors, his cane tapping like a loud metronome on the stone floors. The unfortunate page that followed spent his days carrying various stacks of books and maps and futilely struggling to keep up. They climbed a stone stair, used only by the members of the Council that led to the back chambers, archives and offices. Two other councilors were already there, warned of their approach by the echoing cane.

“What’s this all about, Dorjul?” Councilor Mandun asked.

“Disturbing news from the central lands, my friends.” He waved the page closer and deftly slid a paper from the unsteady stack. The paper crinkled loudly as he unfolded it, “a report from Brynside, seems to be some unrest coming to a head.”

“What is the issue causing this unrest, Dorjul?”

He paused as though to read the dispatch. “It appears Master Krith Bascot is using the town to launch his expedition to climb the wall of world.”

Mandun reached out for the letter, reading it carefully. “He may prepare all he wishes but any expeditions must be Council approved. The people must know that we will not allow him to take any action until we have properly studied his proposal.”

Councilor Vandeht stepped forward, stroking the short tufts of hair that desperately clung to his chin. “Perhaps he seeks to proceed without Council approval. He has the reputation of being something of a rogue.”

Dorjul agreed, “he has never seemed to grasp his place in society.”

Mandun returned the letter and paced across the room to a balcony that looked out over the Council Hall. A pendulum from the Great Clock over his head swung just beyond the railing, a flash of highly polished brass sweeping past. “I’m sure you have ideas on how to handle this situation, Dorjul?”

“He must be reined in if he incites this manner of conflagration from just making his plans, imagine the unrest that will erupt should he begin his expedition. The people expect certain things, my friends. They expect the council to protect the world; they expect the Lord Dukes to watch over their people.” He thumped his cane on the floor. “It is up to us to remind him of his station.”

Mandun turned to nod his agreement. “Summon Lord Duke Bascot to the council and alert the Ministry of Science. We shall hold a formal inquiry into his proposal and settle the matter for everyone’s peace of mind.”

Councilor Dorjul gave his a cane a slight, triumphant tap on the floor then strode to the hallway that led to his office. “Come along boy,” he called back to the page.

Waiting until the door closed and they could hear the stack of books crash to the ground behind it, Councilor Vandeht joined Mandun at the balcony. “There are plans and machinations at work here that I’m sure I do not grasp,” he said as he gazed up at the gears and springs of the clockworks.

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