The sculpture’s a nice bit of foreshadowing, and in retrospect, it’s about the most generous gift one could imagine the goblins giving to the war effort in general and Harky in particular. Still, I have to wonder about the art market that thing’s gonna find. It sure isn’t going to sell to any Heads of Houses while the war is going on: even they would find that in bad taste. So it must be some relatively disinterested third party who’s going to pick it up: maybe from those distant lands we occasionally reference as part of Gastonia’s trade network.

This is my kind of scene: packed to the brim with details that paint a picture of this community and how it operates (food, shelter, laundry, economics, and perhaps the rudiments of religion) and yet there’s still a feeling of movement in both plot and characterization. For the most part, I had the first half of this chapter to write (though here, I was mostly just dramatizing Phil’s notes about the cultures) and Phil got the second half (with a few dialogue tweaks from me).