The man sat on a log, facing a smoldering fire. The man's eyes were intent on a piece of wood in his hand and he ran his knife over it, shaping the wood. He blew on the piece occasionally, removing slivers of wood.
As his hands worked, he mulled over the weeks before. He had been travelling to Illian with a cart and horse, his cart laden with casks of olive oil. One day, as dusk was fast approaching, a mounted traveler approached his campsite. He had asked if he could join his fire and they had spent time talking.
The man had spoken of the imbalance of power in Illian, with the King being kept in check by the Council of Nine and both of these being kept in check by the Assemblage, a group elected from merchants and ship owners. How Illian could do much better if it was ruled by a strong leader with some common sense. "Common sense," the stranger had said, "is scarce among nobility, but the common folk have ample of it."
They had parted and set off again the next day, but as he had made camp, the lone traveler came down the road again, saying he had slept almost until noon. That night, the traveler said that if Illian had one strong leader, they could unite the country and easily take the Stone of Tear. "Imagine, simply ordering those with ships to block the Tairen port, while our army marched against the Stone. One strong leader could do it, and Illian would prosper."
The same thing happened the next few days, with the traveler allegedly spending some time at a tavern, visiting a friend or his horse having thrown a shoe, but every night he would turn up at his fire and speak of great deeds, Illian coming out victiorious and the people prospering.
Now, as he was nearly home, he sat carving as thoughts were racing through his mind. A spark had set the flame. He blew on his woodwork one final time and sheathed his knife, examining the figure in his hands: it was a man with a sword, a Laurel Crown adorning his brow.
This weekend, there will be an event that will kick off various summer activities. Time and date will be announced.