One never does know what a given day will bring. Especially when one is in the exploring business.

I was on The Mainland over the weekend helping a friend in the selection of a new home. The houses were displayed illegally on a parcel belonging to Gov. Linden, the absentee ruler of The Mainland. I don’t have much call to explore The Mainland these days which brings a modicum of melancholy as at one time such exploration was one of my main pursuits in this world.

The friend I was assisting was called away at one point but I stayed behind to continue to assess the builds she was connsidering. But the illegal aspect of the display itself bothered me…as a former owner of Mainland property. I recall when I was a Mayor and proud of the town I had built when someone ruined the view for my tenants with the construction of a horrible collection of blight which was illegally installed on land belonging to the aforementioned absentee governor. The only way to deal with such an incursion was to “write up” a complaint, the so-called Abuse Report. It actually did work and the visual atrocity was removed.

Apparently the residual effect of those days long gone (but not forgotten) caused me to consider, on this more recent occasion, filing such a report but to do so a full investigation into the parcel in question had to be carried out. Not knowing what I was about to get myself into – or ‘why’ really – I proceeded to jump off the sky platform the display was attached to and visit the ground level of the parcel. (I did, in fact, file an Abuse Report though it really “wasn’t my table,” I had “no dog in this fight,” in other words, how much did I really care about this whole thing. But for some reason I could not let it go. I shall let the analysis of this long-buried hostility against the perpetrators of such crimes sit for another day.)  When I landed on the ground, I looked around at the adjoining parcels to see if this illegal display carried over into someone else’s yard.

It was then that the most surprising discovery occurred! The adjacent parcel – owned legally by the way – belonged to Mr. Nexus Burbclave, an old friend and former tenant of mine in my Mainland towns. Mr. Burbclave, an inventor, is the owner of Nexus Labs. I walked through his open door and into his offices and up to his store. I recognized some of the products from
“back in the day” and was fascinated by those of more recent vintage. When I returned home to Laudanum I dashed off a note to Mr. Burbclave just to say hello and catch up a bit.

When I announced the closing of my last mainland town, Pine Tree Square, in the spring of last year (it seems sooo much longer ago than that), I received the nicest letter from Mr. Burbclave. It was a letter I shall never forget as I have saved it and packed it away with my momentos from that time. He had expressed his gratitude for my work in creating and maintaining the town and my efforts, however futile, to promote it. He had wished me luck in my new life in this world. He was not the only tenant to write me, there were several nice letters, but each of them touched me…and his was done in the most gratifying manner.

I sent off my note to Mr. Burbclave and went about my day, anticipating a hello from him in response. His note did arrive and it was just as cordial as expected. What was unexpected was his inclusion of a gift to me, a gift I can happily share with you.

Mr. Burbclave sent me, from his own private collection, a Samuel Morse telegraph key, built by Tribbles Altneu. This particular key, it turns out, was first used here in Winterfell! With this key the first transnational telegraphic message from Winterfell to Caledon was sent. It was a ceremonial message of greeting from Lady Twilight to Guv’nah Shang. This took place before I came to The Steamlands but from what I have discovered in my research, this key was installed in the Seneschelf’s office and the message was sent to a receiving station in Victoria City and then delivered by messenger to Guv. Shang’s office, whereupon the Guv’nah read the message aloud to an assemblage of Caledon gentry and military leaders. The Guv’nah then dictated a reply which was carried by an aide to the telegraph post and sent back to Winterfell and presented to Miss Serra.

Due to the historic nature of this particular piece I felt I could not keep it in one of my homes but must share it with the public. Until a permanent arrangement can be made for an appropriate display, I will place the telegraph key on a table on the ground floor of my official Ambassador’s Office in Winterfell Absinthe. The general public is invited to view this artifact of our realm’s history. It should be on display by week’s end.

To Mr. Burbclave, I accept this gift as Winterfell Ambassador on behalf of Lady Twilight and all of Winterfell. We thank you for your kindness.

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