Extracts from the Scalentine Chronicler

No Safe Place

Recent reports suggest that the locked rooms provided for weres at the central Militia Barracks during full moon are overwhelmed.  “It’s becoming a real problem,” said one source.

Our reporter interviewed several people living near the barracks.  “The noise is awful,” said one citizen.  “Come full moon you can hardly hear yourself – oh, not the weres, the street musicians.  They should be banned.“

“It’s bad enough we’ve so many weres anyway,” said another citizen.  “Send ‘em back where they came from, they can tear out each other’s throats.  Why should we have to put up with it?  This friend of mine saw it happen, right in front of him, and the Militia didn’t do a thing.  No, I don’t know where. Well, of course he reported it.  Probably. Well, not a friend as such.  This bloke.  In the pub.  Well, he didn’t see it himself, it was this bloke he knew.  But still it just goes to show.”

Chief Bitternut, himself a were, was asked if he was worried about possible panic in the run-up to full moon.  “I wouldn’t be if people didn’t print bloody silly stories designed to create panic,” he said.

A source at the Diplomatic Section stated that the problem was being looked into.  “If it appears that there is a genuine shortage of space,” said the source, who declined to be named, “other accommodation will be found as necessary.  In order to save public money, we will investigate the possible use of empty rooms in the buildings of local businesses.  Such as newspapers.  I am sure they will wish to contribute to public safety.”

Random magic prank attack on Scalentine citizens leaves several with tails.

“I’m keeping mine,” says local dancer.  “It’s done wonders for my balance and besides, it’s cute.”

Local businessman ‘not a crook’ claims local businessman.

Dear Babylon – Pandora’s Sock Drawer

Dear Madam Steel

I have been married for 25 years Scalentine to a nice man who has always been a good provider and we have a decent, quiet life.

I was sorting his sock-drawer the other day and found something I did not recognise. I am worried that my husband is up to something ‘peculiar’ of an underpants nature and that this is just the first step to wild parties and I don’t know what sort of shenanigans.

My friend Mrs Polth said I should write to you because you know about this sort of thing, so I hope you will not think me forward.

I have drawn a picture of the object (enclosed).


Dear Worried

After some study, and consultation with Cruel and Unusual who have certain expertise in odd objects, we have come to the conclusion that what you found is a wooden mushroom of the sort used for darning socks. It seems that the only thing your husband is up to is a little personal mending.

However your description of your life as ‘decent and quiet’ and of your husband as ‘nice’ and a ‘good provider’ makes me think that perhaps a little more underpants activity in your household might not go amiss, if you get my meaning. Otherwise there may indeed be a risk of shenanigans.



Distracted: Well I’m not surprised she slapped you. Get her something nice, and if she forgives you, next time keep your attention on the job at hand. Or other organ.

Fooled: I don’t think you’re going to see your silver again, mate, unless you go to the Militia. No need to be embarrassed – you won’t be the first (or last) person to have been caught out by a charming rogue. I’d be intrigued to know where he hid it, though, under the circumstances.

Whoops: Not again. Either stop buying cheap potions, or at least get them from a warlock who can spell. In the meantime, you’re just going to have to wait for the effects to wear off.

Notes from Bitternut’s Casebook

Things I learned from the good citizens of Scalentine today:

If you’ve smoked so much cloud you can barely talk it’s a really good idea to then go to the city’s borders and stare at them for a while. You may even get some of your sanity back eventually. And having to listen to you giggle in your cell for three straight hours doesn’t get on anyone’s nerves at all.

If you have so many children you have given them numbers instead of names, there’s no reason to remember what they actually look like when you report them missing. We’re happy to go on guesswork alone. And it doesn’t bother us at all when you come back later having remembered that the one you thought was missing was actually the oldest one who left home to get married about a month ago, even though one of my officers did spend over an hour trying to calm you down and get any sort of useful details whatsoever.

By all means go to a peep show without checking which species are involved and what, exactly, they’re going to be showing you. And by all means try and have the owner arrested because the perfectly legal if disconcerting thing you saw happened to make you throw up all over your shoes.

If you realise you are about to be arrested please do hide the stolen goods in one of your many orifices; we’re happy to check all fifteen of them. And discovering that you use two of said orifices to store some very elderly, and by now quite lively, sandwiches, is just a part of what makes my officers such happy little bunnies in the pursuance of their duties.

If you are a minor criminal with a bad memory, when a known wizard who you actually robbed not long ago asks you to ‘store’ something for him, this is a perfectly understandable request and will not in any way result in you running screaming into the street yelling o gods o gods please make it stop.

Hargur Bitternut,
Chief, City Militia

Scalentine Chronicler Lonely Hearts Column

Female seeking Male
COMES WITH EXTRAS: Human, 40 years Scalentine. Curvy, fun-loving, honest. Which is why I’m telling you about the occasional possession now. Demon is harmless but annoying adolescent male. Seeking helpful (nice) wizard or experienced father of teenagers.

Male seeking Female
LAID BACK: Nederan, 30 years Scalentine. Winner of the inter-tribal Boasting championships three years running. Seeks understanding female with no desire to be impressed. By anything.

Female seeking Female
DISCIPLINE: Dra’ay, 38 years Scalentine. 4th degree Neatness, 2nd degree Efficiency, other attributes on request. Runs own business, large household, local temple. Seeks effective fem, 3rd degree Efficiency or above, into strict timetabling.

Male seeking Male
YUM YUM: Fey, appears approx. 28 years Scalentine (yes I know but they insist). Dark, brooding, of course handsome, I’m a Fey. Seeks poetic dalliance, anguished misunderstandings and tragic denoument.

Hermaphroditic seeking Hermaphroditic
YO HO HO: Exiled T’farin, 48 years Scalentine, fun, adventurous, seeks partner for travel on the high seas. Flexible attitude to business, ability to talk convincingly to local law enforcement and good knowledge of high speed navigation required.

The City of Alak

“So you’re really going to Penar?”  said  Sevish.  He was a charming disgraced son of the local nobility, always busy with some scheme or other to get back in favour.

We’d met as I passed through the city of Alak.  I still kept moving back then, although I no longer woke in a sweat, grabbing for my sword.  Not every night, anyway.

“I’m sorry.”  I liked Sevish, but not his city.  There was a rigid class hierarchy and such rank suspicion of outsiders that without Sevish, I’d have had trouble earning enough to live.  And it had a sickly air; everyone but the very rich seemed pallid and tired. I often felt quite low myself. Sevish, too, occasionally drooped and paled; then he’d head off to his alchemist and come back restored.  I’d wondered about that, but whatever he took seemed to do him no harm.

“Well, if you must go, take a package for the Governor,” he said.

“What’s in it?”

He hesitated.


“It’s nothing illegal.”

“You know I’m going to check.”

“All right,” he said.  “Here.”

It was a small portrait of Sevish, in very smart clothes probably borrowed for the occasion.

“The governor’s daughter is of marriageable age,” he said.

I grinned. “I see.”

“Well, you’re not staying.  And I know I’m not like most noble sons, but the young lady has a taste for the unusual.  So has her father.  I can only hope.”

“You and your schemes!”  I said.  “And you can’t tell me this wasn’t all planned out already.  What would this noble lady think if I was still around, eh?”

“I’m sure she’d love you,” he said, but he had the grace, I thought, to look slightly embarrassed.

I had to laugh. “All right,” I said.  “Is there a message?”

“Tell the Governor who it’s from, and that I hope he and his daughter find it pleasing.”

“That’s all?  You don’t want to send something to the girl?”

“There’s no need,” he said, and pouted.  “Anyone would think you were pleased to be rid of me.”

“Don’t be silly,” I said.  “I shall miss you.” We made our farewells – so pleasantly, in fact, that I left rather later than intended.

The Penar Governor’s house was imposing and riddled with servants.  They all looked just as tired as the ones I’d seen in Alak, but like them, went about their duties with an obsequious will that I found slightly stomach-turning.

I eventually managed to find someone sufficiently low down to listen to a foreign stranger and sufficiently high up to escort me in, where after some hours in an over-gilded anteroom, I was introduced to the Governor.

He had more chins than neck, and was encased in overstretched green velvet.  He took Sevish’s portrait slowly, letting his fingers run over my skin, and barely glanced at the picture before tucking it away.  “Excellent,” he said.  “Do come and meet my daughter.”

Every single hair on my neck came to attention like soldiers at an unexpected visit from the general. “My lord…I still have the dust of travel on me.  I should like to be more presentable.”

“Yes, perhaps that would be appropriate.  I’ll get someone to show you to a washroom.”

The servant summoned to lead me was tight-lipped and monosyllabic.  “Is something wrong?” I said.

“What could be wrong?” She left me to it.  I didn’t undress.  What could be wrong indeed?  But my gut was clenching like a fist. I heard chatter passing outside and listened hard.

“Don’t worry, Lis.  You know what it’s like with outsiders, they never get promoted.”

“It’s disgusting, though.  I mean, a foreigner!  I don’t know how they can.  I’d be ill.”

Whatever that meant I didn’t like it.  I stripped down, soaped up, and dragged a handy bench under the only window.

Amazing what soapy skin and desperation can do for a girl.  I made it through, not without some bruises, and dropped onto the grass below.

Keeping low and dressing as I went, I passed another window, where I saw the Governor, and his daughter, and one of the higher servants.  The servant was kneeling in front of the girl, her hands on his shoulders.

She was pretty, flushed with high colour, sparkling-eyed. I could see why Sevish was keen.

The servant, on the other hand, looked about to keel over, and did, collapsing bonelessly on the floor.

The Governor knelt down, felt the man’s neck, and shook his head.  “Damn,” he said.  “I really hoped he might make promotion.  Been in the family for years.”

“Oh, Papa, you worry too much,” she said.  “There are always more of them.  Now, where’s my present?”

That, I realised, would be me.


“Hello, Sevish.  This would be your ‘alchemist’, then,” I said.

Sevish’s hands jerked up from the shoulders of the girl before him.  She swayed, dazed.

“Babylon,” Sevish said.  “How…”

By then I had steel at his throat.  “Promotion,” I said.  “Tell me, do any of them survive the process?  Try and be honest for once in your life.  I’m feeling somewhat disinclined to be lied to.  Again.”

“Well…” he said.  “Sometimes.”

“You hear that?” I said to the girl.  “Is that what they tell you?  Or do you get told that there’s a very good chance you’ll join the ranks of the nobles, even though you don’t know anyone who actually has?”

“I’ve a better chance than some,” she said.  “After all, Sevish loves me.”

“Yeah, he told me that, too,” I said.

“But you’re a foreigner,” she said.  “You mean he…”

“Oh yeah.  Often and enthusiastically.”

“You’re disgusting.”  She slapped Sevish hard, rocking his head sideways.

Unfortunately, my blade was still at his throat.


I told the girl to make herself scarce as I did likewise.  She might be a dim little bigot, but she wasn’t a murderer, except by accident.

Sevish aged drastically in death.  I aged a bit too in the City of Alak, but mainly on the inside.

Dear Babylon – Experience Wanted

Dear Babylon

I am seventeen years old Scalentine and have got my first proper job as a caravan guard on the silk road, crossing into the Lithan Empire at the Utanichik border.  I will be away for at least three moons.
I have a girlfriend and I am worried that while I am away this bloke who has been sniffing around will move in on her. Also is it all right for me to get some Experience while I am a guard? Because girls like guards at least that’s what my girlfriend says and I think I should have some Experience.  And what if it’s not with girls, or boys, because you hear things and I’m curious though I’m not weird or anything.


Dear Traveller

Congratulations on the job.
The important thing is that you and your girlfriend agree what’s allowed and you’re honest.  And by ‘agree what’s allowed,’ I don’t mean ‘say you’ll see other people but get furious if the other person actually does.’  Remember, if it’s all right for you to get some experience, it’s all right for your girlfriend to get some, too.
However unless you want it to be the Becoming a Parent or Getting Something Nasty Experience, both of you should go to the alchemist in Little Copper Row, now.
Check what the rules about ‘Experience’ are for your particular caravan, and stick to them; otherwise you could end up dumped at some place barely big enough to have a name and with your name on a don’t-hire list.  If ‘experience’ is allowed, be sensible, be polite, and make sure that your advances will be welcome.  Not just tolerated, welcome.  And try not to offend anyone’s gods, ancestors, relatives, or personal taste.
If by ‘other sorts of experience’ you mean pack animals – if it’s smaller than you, that’s cruel, so don’t.  If it’s bigger than you, it’s your risk if it objects, mate.  However if it’s backing towards you wiggling its bum and looking eager, is it a Dosanidi packbeast –  soppy-looking things with greenish fur and wedge-shaped heads?  If it is, definitely don’t.  Let’s just say they’re like a bad investment, you might not get back everything you put in.
Stay alert, don’t drink when it’s your watch, try not to boast about your great deeds to people with much more experience than you, and don’t believe all the stories the other guards will tell you – especially the ones about the Push Lake or the Singing Weasels.  And bring your girlfriend back something nice.



Confused: You’re going to have to send me a diagram of what you mean, because now I’m confused.

Oops: There is a wizard in Necktwist Alley who will remove that for a reasonable fee.  Learn to spell your beloved’s name right next time.

Bouncy: That is banned under at least 16 sections of Lithan Empire law.  We can fit you in on Stoneday, at 3.

Extracts from the Scalentine Chronicler

Waving the Flag

A man was arrested by the City Militia as he made indecent suggestions to a number of passers-by while waving a part of his anatomy at them.

He later claimed to have been taking part in a traditional ritual of his people and that the arrest was interfering with his rights as a citizen.

A member of the City Militia made the following statement:

“He’s a ****er from a well-known family of ****ers, so yes, you could say this was a traditional ritual of his people.  It is not, however, one he has any right to perform on the streets of this city.”

Property for Sale

Nightwind Quarter
Delightful period property in secluded road, own large garden, cellar.  In need of some renovation and services of experienced exorcist.   Reasonable offers.

King of Stone
Excellently presented one bedroom flat in a district known for its artistic connections.  Local musicians provide non-stop entertainment and a continuous stream of lively and interesting characters will ensure life here is always full of opportunities for adventure and unusual business dealings.    

Local Businessman Remembered

The funeral of Anshirith Depar, member of the Severi Collectat and well known for his successful though little-publicised business dealings and involvement with some of Scalentine’s most colourful characters, will take place on Stoneday, 29th Loth, at the temple of Barnis.

An acquaintance who preferred not to be named said, “It’s not so much a funeral as a service of thanksgiving. We’re all extremely thankful.  I intend to show my gratitude by turning up with the traditional gifts of garlic, bladed weapons and a sharply pointed bit of wood.”

Worried about hair loss? 

Don’t trust the amateurs!  Tracking down lost hair is a specialist skill.  We provide a highly-trained team of trichoscrutineers who will recover your missing cilia.  (Hair can also be reattached for a reasonable fee; own needles provided).

Protests Over New Temple

The recently completed D’akIth temple near Crowns portal has caused controversy among local residents and traders.

“We get important travellers coming through Crowns,” said grocer Brin Thovak, (39 years Scalentine).  “That’s the first thing they see, what are they going to think?  I run a respectable business.”

Local resident Maudine Woodthrop, (72 years Scalentine) said, “Well, I had no idea what it was supposed to look like until someone told me, but now I think it’s disgusting.  My grandchildren visit me here.”

Juje Bontemps, a freelance pleasure-worker, who did not give his age, said, “It’s supposed to look like what?  Really?”  Once he stopped laughing he informed our reporter that he was moving his pitch closer the temple, on the grounds that a bit of Doctrine of Signatures couldn’t hurt.

Bitternut’s Casebook – Portal Sickness

The Wizard Mokraine turning up at the front desk is something I can do without, especially before lunch.

Not that he’s a bad person, exactly. But he’s a far-from-entirely-sane First Adept Doctor of the Arcane with a habit of draining people’s emotions. While neither permanent nor illegal, it’s disconcerting. He also has a touchy temper and a really unpleasant familiar.

“Ah, Chief…” he pauses; I’m not sure whether he’s forgotten my name, or why he’s here, or both. He stares past my shoulder in a way that makes me want to look behind me, even though I know the only thing there is a wall that needs painting.

“A potion,” he says, eventually.  “A potion for those travelling through portals.”

There are seven permanent portals that open on this city.  Travelling through them’s often necessary, but a lot of people’s stomachs don’t like it.  And doing it too much tends to do odd things to the mind.

“It’s being sold in Green Dog Way,” he says. “You need to stop it.”

“I see,” I say, not seeing.  “Could you tell me why?”

But at this point a Barraklé couple come in yelling, and off he goes to absorb whatever upset they’re loudly experiencing.  I wonder briefly about getting him on staff to drain emotions off the more overexcited citizens (not that I’d dare ask him).  I forget all about the potion till I’m on my way home and happen to pass Green Dog Way.

I decide maybe I should check it out.

The thing with Mokraine being, he might be mad as a fistful of moons but he’s still a very powerful warlock when the wind’s in the right direction.  If he’s concerned about something of a magical nature, there’s probably a good reason.

The shop has a sort of crammed, intense look about it, and some of the bottles of potion do odd things to the lamplight falling through them.

The woman behind the counter whirls about as soon as she hears the door open.  “If it’s about the portal potion, you can have your money back.  Why I even bother...”  She’s a short fierce bony old lady with wiry grey hair, huge earrings, half a dozen necklaces and clothing so brightly coloured it shouts. She clocks the uniform and says, “Oh, I’m sorry, Officer.  How can I help you?”

“You can help me by telling me about this potion.”

She sighs.  “I’m happy to give people their money back, I was only trying to help.” 

I’ve been a law officer in this place long enough that the words ‘I was only trying to help’ have a tendency to make me shudder.

“You’ve had complaints?” I say.

“Yes. People are very stupid.”

“And what was the nature of the complaints?” I take out my notebook.

“They said it didn’t work, but it does work!  I never said it was supposed to stop people being sick!”

“That’s the main problem people have with going through portals,” I say.

“But it’s not the important one.”  She aims a finger at me as though she’s about to run me through with the very long, bright green fingernail. “You must be an intelligent man, or you wouldn’t be in the Militia.”  Grateful as I am for her belief in my officers, in a couple of cases I might be forced to disagree with her.  “Would you want to lose your mind?” she says.

“No Ma’am,” I say, though being as I’m a were, I lose a large portion of it for about three days a month anyway.

“Well then!” she says.

“Your potion helps portal travellers stay sane?”

“Of course, they’re not going to notice the effects immediately.  It only kicks in if you travel through portals frequently.  That’s when people’s minds start going!”

“Did it not occur to you,” says a voice behind me, “that there might be a very good reason for that?”

The lady appears irritated at the gaunt, scruffy individual in a faded robe who’s looking at her as though she’s just crawled out of the egg.

“First Adept Mokraine,” I say hastily, hoping that even if she hasn’t heard of him the words ‘First Adept’ will stop her making any unfortunately hasty remarks.

She’s heard of him.  Her face goes almost as green as her fingernails.  “What…what do you mean?” she says.

“Travelling through portals is a great strain on the mind,” Mokraine says.  “Inevitably.  We are not, we mortals, creatures of the multiverse.  We are designed to live our lives on one plane.  Those who travel frequently between the planes undergo such extremes, such intense changes, such a stunning variety of experience, that the mind is shaken.  To survive, it becomes flexible.  Rigid, it will shatter.  Your potion…your potion rigidifies the mind.  And…” he stops.  “You see?” He says.

“You mean it might actually make the madness worse?” she says.

“Oh no,” Mokraine says.  “It is much more likely to destroy the mind entirely.”

“Oh,” she says.  “Oh dear.”  And she sits down very fast.

So we get together a list of as many customers as she can remember and gather up the remaining potion for safe disposal, and as I am leaving Mokraine follows me.

“So what came after ‘and’?” I say.

He gives me that high-nosed glare.

“Come on, First Adept,” I say.  “There was something else you weren’t saying.”

“A rigid mind is a liability,” Mokraine says.  “But under the right circumstances, it can also be a terrible weapon. Should someone survive, their mind rigidified, hardened like a diamond…”

There’s a pleasant thought to take home.  “So why did you tell me?” I says.  “You could have…um…dissuaded her from making the stuff yourself.”

“I could have, yes,” says Mokraine.  “But that wouldn’t have been legal.”  He gives me a nod, and sweeps off into the night.

I’ll never understand him.  I’m quite glad about that, actually.

Dear Babylon – Merry Widow?

Dear Madam Steel

We are a BrinD’akash husband-pairing, and our honour-mother is a female of late middle years.  Two years ago (Scalentine calendar), both of our fathers passed to the next very close together.  Now we think she is at loose ends and it is time she found a little happy with maybe some new men but she is worried this will dishonour the family altar. 

We do not think she should be making happy on the family altar, only that she is lonely and though we honour her greatly she is so many times at our house that our wife is becoming a bit impatient.  She brings many fine scarves she has embroidered herself but one can only wear so many scarves, excellent cakes which we must eat or she is upset, although we have already had to purchase a larger sleeping platform due to much cake, and also the children do not need washing six times a day and have begun hiding under the house. 

Should we maybe purchase her some time at your fine establishment?

Yours in all honour

Donaki th’en divrab Kor and Donaki th’ish divrab Kor

Dear Donaki th’en divrab Kor and Donaki th’ish divrab Kor

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your fathers. As for your honour-mother, I’m not sure she would react favourably to the gift of an appointment here.

I think you should encourage her to join some organisations where she can meet people of shared interests.  There are clubs for people who like embroidery, for example; look in the Scalentine Chronicler.  Or perhaps you could interest her in selling her embroidery, or her cakes?  Her own business would keep her occupied.

(Note from Flower: he wants some new recipes, and is happy to swap.  Especially if she can show him how to make Golden Three-Wish Cake).

Failing that, see if you can introduce her to men of her own age, especially ones who need feeding up.  Failling that, yeah, see if she’ll accept an appointment.  It might give her a whole new interest, you never know.

Yours in all honour


Dear Babylon

I am seeing someone in the Militia.  She is lovely and I am crazy for her but every time she is on patrol I worry so much I cry.  This upsets her a lot and I don’t want to upset her so I pretend I haven’t been but she always knows.  What can I do?

Weepy Mary

Dear Mary

Sorry, love, it goes with the territory.  Trust me, I know.  But the Millies are tough, trained and well-armed.

Why not get her to show you some of the training they have, maybe even teach you a few moves herself?  Once you have it demonstrated to you that she can take care of herself it should help reassure you.  And try and find something to occupy yourself when she’s out on patrol.  If you have any hobbies, do them, or find a new one, or just go out with friends, but don’t sit at home brooding – it never helps.

Good luck, sweetie.



Embarrassed – that’s quite normal at your age.  Or any age, actually.  And anyone who tells you it weakens your essence has, shall we say, issues of their own which aren’t your problem.

Mr H – your bill now stands at 33 silver.  Pay up or the Twins will be round.  In daylight, in full kit, with lots of equipment, in front of all your neighbours.

Turning of Leaves in the Soft Light  – I honestly have no idea, I think you need to find someone of your own species and they can tell you if that falls outside the Seventy Three Acceptable Practices.  When you find out, let me know what it means, and we’ll see if we can accommodate you.

Extracts from The Scalentine Chronicler Lonely Hearts Page

Males seeking Females


Exiled heir to the glorious throne of Donefrascu seeks companionship while awaiting inevitable downfall of villainous usurper. STR relationship only (unless you are a member of one of the Three Exalted Families, in which case contact my secretary for details of dowry requirements).  Please enclose engraving.


Fun loving Ikinchli male seeks one or more females any compatible species for good times.  And yes it’s true what you’ve heard, they’re called hemipenes, look it up or come and find out for yourself, you won’t regret it.

Females seeking Males


Member of City Militia seeks LTR.  Tall, human, 23 yrs Scalentine.  Likes good food, traditional Monishi music, and wrestling.  Seeks kind genuine male 20-40 yrs Scalentine with SOH and not a bloody criminal this time thank you.

Males seeking Males


Ipanthi baker, own shop, 40 yrs Scalentine, seeks cuddly Ipanthi male for fun times, maybe more.  Offers best buns in the business.

Females seeking Females


Edleskasin artist, 60 years Scalentine, seeks muse.  Large silky ears and ability to hold a pose a must.  I will immortalise you.  No timewasters, critics or gallery owners.

Hermaphroditic seeking Hermaphroditic


Excellent savoury cook seeks confectioner for rounding out menu.  Handsome Barraklé, 3 children, 32 years Scalentine, likes good wine, theatre, antiques.  Seeks similar for LTR, children welcome but no more than 7 please!

Other (no we’re not having more subcategories do you know how many there are in this city – Ed.)


Well-connected Brissish seeks breeding pair, urgent.  All formal ceremonies provided.  Must be second or thirty-third flange only.  No fourteenth flange (or glisterish for obvious reasons) and anyone turning up with a blindigge will be reported to the appropriate authorities.  Eternal blessings on the earth of your holding.