Swamped Chapter 31 Page 8

“I was born in Draede, on the western coast,” you say. “Had to leave when I fell out of favor with my family, but I still remember the festival music.”

“Draede, eh,” Strings says. “Been there a few times, before I got kicked out of my troupe. Fast-paced stuff, really gets your heart pumping.”

She starts playing a song. You remember the tune, but the name escapes you. It’s been a long time since those days.

Draede’s one of the few kingdoms where greblings can attain nobility. It was certainly a shock when you ventured out beyond their borders. You’d heard of the purges, of course, but you thought they were far in the past.

And the actual purges might be. But the disgust that lead to them? That was alive and well. It was probably even around in Draede, you’d just been sheltered from it.

Not that you felt much more at ease in most grebling colonies. You can understand why people would cling to the old ways, but you couldn’t live with them. Not after what you’d seen.

Thank Reth you found Simone. You don’t know what you’d have done without her, and the world she led you into.

While you reminisce, Strings makes her way through several old Draede folk songs. Finally, she stops.

“That’s about all I know from Draede,” she says. “Sorry if I got anything badly wrong.”

“No, you were perfect,” you mutter.

“Well. You got any other requests?”

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What kind of troupe were you in? Where did you travel?