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18th October 2002

mechaman11:27pm: Prelude: Catanistan
The past few months have been the epitome of victory, and the rushed haste of escaping those who would take that victory and use it as the rope to drag one through the streets. The patrician may have been merely a minor branch of the House Sesus, but that had not mattered, not that moment, nor the pleads with the magistrate on behalf of the poor citizen. The magistrate listened to the argument, and wonder of wonders, seemed balanced, no, swayed by Catanistan's presentation of the facts. Something he had worked many times before in the bowels of the Imperial bureaucratic machine, to some skill. But that in itself didn't matter, not then. What mattered was merely the case, the plea to fix what was to be a great injustice.

The Magistrate, in his great benevolence, or perhaps wanting to give the patrician's house a tweaking, not only held for the poor citizen and his livelihood, but demanded restitution be paid. A not inconsiderable sum in jade. The pronouncement was exhilarating, affirming, and many other things, when he allowed himself the time to feel its full force. It also was the clue that perhaps the Imperial City might not be the place to be for a few months. Perhaps a bit more.

Again, in a balancing of the scales, someone else apparently came to the same conclusion. A summons came to his home as he packed what few items held any true value to him. And with at least a good chance of having one House mildly annoyed (and willing perhaps to swat a gnat) ignoring another House was far from wise. V'neef Hulani was quite gracious, if rather to the point. She had been moved by his presentation and his observations, and had made her own observations, in a kind, but frank manner. She offered an alternative to directionless flight, however. One that offered some small recompense, and perhaps more importantly, some shelter until the Imperial City was in the far far distance.

Some satraps and kingdoms in the far south were getting restless. Since the House didn't demand tribute nor was in nominal 'governance' of those portions of the Threshold, it really was not something to take a direct hand in, even if the military force needed could be spared. However, those holdings were along a trade route with the desert lands of the elemental pole of fire, so while control was not a concern, that the passage wasn't blocked was another matter. If he would go as an 'observer' and in some cases, suggest what would be beneficial for the House...

Some offers are hard to refuse, and others are close to impossible. Within a day, the armorers and tailors of V'neef had retailored a set of robes in House colors and styles, but more importantly had fitted the armor of a non-combatant for the long trip. Both of which a good thing for someone with little direct monetary support.

The trip itself was long and arduous, and wholly unlike much that had happened in his life until this point. Not so much a time of excitement, in so much as traveling. Fortunately, the saddlesores disappeared quickly, as learning to ride a horse was a novel and uncomfortable experience. As the group moved through the Isle and onto one of the great ships for the sea, booklearning of languages became much more practical learning, and he found his skills holding in good stead.

At nights, however, he dreamt strange dreams. Ones that didn't vanish in the morning, like memories that were strong. Strong enough to stay, even as the framework was long gone. Memories that fit... other things he knew quite well, and knew well to hide, even as he made temporary compatriots and passing aquaintances among the workers and his fellow passengers.

At end of the Inner Sea, and the bustle of the port town, another caravan was forming, with more horseriding, to head for the town (city perhaps, but it's so easy to reduce it) of the Glassthorn, wherever that was. The answer being about two more weeks into lands more and more arid, save for a river that the trade road paralleled. It seemed deep enough for barges to move up and down, yet not one crossed paths with the caravan as it followed the path.

Finally, the town came upon the rise, the name of the city becoming more clear. To the north of the town, like a blade of obsidian, a tower composed of something not unlike glass rose for stories, the tower almost as high as the city was wide in its shadow. However, to the south, something felt unsettling, chilling to the bone. It wasn't just his observation. Many of the caravaner's had the same impression, and were quietly hoping this trip might be a quick turnabout.

As the caravan passed into the gates, a soldier in V'neef's colors seems to wait at attention, speaking to the caravan master.

Out of Character commentaryCollapse )

14th October 2002

mephron3:26pm: I had to share this:

http://www.memesis.org/misc/ucsun.jpg

12th October 2002

mechaman7:54pm: Prelude 1: A dream in a tower of glass....
Micah started from his chair, the movement spilling the inkwell he kept by the parchment he had been working on. Cursing his clumsy wakening, he moved the parchment away from the spill, and blotted the precious fluid, leaving yet another mark on the heavily used desk. He rose, lighting a candle with a small wave of a hand. Party trick, but useful enough; tinder was also as much a premium as ink was.

He strolled from his den up the stairs, taking each in deliberate turn, letting his thoughts drifting to his dream. It troubled him, no less than any dreams he had had in this forsaken town since he had sequestered himself so long ago. There weren't many; most of his sleeps were steeped in blackness. The lack of imagery comforted in their own manner, since many of his memories he would rather not revisit, even in the dregs of sleep However, when he did dream, he wondered if perhaps those unenlightened in the nearby village were not as pathetically superstitious as he had thought.

This made his dream all the more troubling.

The start of the dream was rather simple to interpret, to the point of being almost insulting. A ring of bronze and a ring of gold swayed as if linked to ropes, clashing together dissonantly in front of a field of stars. Ridiculously easy symbolism, and he would be quite inclined to attribute it to his own guilt over years gone past. But this was the beginning of the dream, not the end of it.

Unceasingly the rings would swing, pounding one another the soft metals wearing, the rings deforming under the stress, cracks appearing, the rings turning in on themselves. As they do, another ring would appear. Not gold, silver, or bronze , but of cold steel. Engripped as he was by the dream, Micah had felt the extreme pressure to escape, as if that ring were the end of the tale, the final revalation, an implacable truth. Yet his dream did not end, and with almost a painful rupture that ring was grabbed by great golden talons. A golden falcon dragged that wing far beyond sight, as another bird rose in the distance, one shaded in opalescent whites as it flow overhead.

The crane landed gently, on an island too obvious in what it symbolized and fire lept from its wings, becoming a beacon that shone harshly, stinging Micah's dream eyes, yet as he did, he saw other shadows of silver and yellow play like shadowmotes within that brilliant blaze, as he felt the heat consume...

Micah shook his head sharply, trying to clear a phantom spike of fear. If there were meaning to this dream, letting his emotions cloud would do him little good. He gazed out the apex of the tower, looking at the small city beyond... and the dark juggernaut that hung along the horizon. He snorted mildly. Of course, there were portents much closer at hand to worry over....
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