Excerpt from "The Nexus" 2 – Floerian

Floerian Silverstring is a character I created about ten years ago, and his evolution since then has been such that I decided he deserved a place in my novel. The protagonist, Derek, meets him early on in Vancouver, and in this scene, he has just run into him again–far from Vancouver.

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“Master Derek appears too dumbstruck for formal introductions,” Floerian said, as Lynx, Syn, and Eldir all regarded the man with a mixture of awe and horror at his colourful costume. “I am Floerian Silverstring, Humble Bard of Great Renown, Wearer of Bright Colours and New Fashions, Harper of Laments, Lamentably a Harper, Guider of Frogs, Traveller of Worlds, Herald of the Knights of Cantara, Reporter for the Free Times, and Flamboyant Travelling Minstrel Extraordinaire!” He bowed, sweeping off his wide-brimmed black hat and trailing its impressive orange feather through the dirt of the street.

Derek blinked. “Your titles changed,” was all he could think to say.

“Nay, Master Derek, I simply choose to introduce myself with a different selection. I have many, if you care to hear them, though you may wish to sit down, first…”

Derek started to get a hold of himself. “Hold on. You’re from Earth.”

“Wrong again, I’m afraid,” Floerian said. “I was merely visiting. Doing a gig, as it were. I have walked many worlds in my time.”

“I know you, blood,” Eldir said. “You write a regular column for the Free Times.” He held up the paper. “I quite twigged the one about nutmeg, I ‘ad no idea its magical properties were so varied.”

“Ah, yes,” Floerian said, “an oft-overlooked magical component.”

Derek blinked again. “Did you say nutmeg?”

Floerian nodded. “I am, in fact, the official nutmeg taster of the Trysm Empire. Another one of my titles, I don’t—“

“Trysm?” Lynx said. “Trysm’s on my world.”

“My dear cat,” Floerian said, beaming. “You’re from Kelemspar? What a great world that is. Do you know Uuloui?”

“Hold on,” Derek said. “Do you know a book called The Many Magical Manipulations or something of nutmeg?”

The Secret Scents of Nutmeg and the Many Magical Manipulations of Them,” Floerian said, smiling. “It’s funny, I was just having a conversation with a friend of mine, Argentin, a fine man he is—or was, he’s technically dead, I think. We were discussing the merits of having really good nutmeg with you when travelling the planes. I was of course quoting the famous Margins the Redheaded, as much an expert on the mystical properties of nutmeg as any this side of Limbo, a mortal second only to the halfling Quincilin III of course, whose various expositions on the subject were a point of serious debate among scholars throughout the worlds. The Secret Scents was of course his most famous work, co-authored by his nephew Quincilin II, though he didn’t receive credit in the final publication. Quite sad, really, to see such a brilliant mind buried in the mists of history. Reminds me of Sir Calvin the Chased, whose exploits against the Rabbit Lords of Angor are largely forgotten—“

“By Augustus’s deviant sexual exploits, man,” Syn exploded, “don’t you ever shut up?”

“Only on an off day,” Floerian said.

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