By the pricking of my thumbs?

A place for stories beyond the gates of Rhy'Din
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Ael
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By the pricking of my thumbs?

Post by Ael » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:49 pm

The shape of the port city grew out of the mist and fog borne both of the early hour and the nearness of the water. Even at a distance there was a welcome sound of business that a busy city engendered, no matter the time. Overhead a squat looking air barge wallowed, wobbling unsteadily as if the hand at the controls was unsure or drunk. Or both. The creak of a wagon and the lazy clop of hooves slowly cut through the sound as the barge wavered on its way to the warehouse district. A sleepy eyed farmer slouched on the wooden seat of the wagon, a load of farm produce stacked neatly in the back of the wagon then covered with clean if worn sacking took up the space in the back. He- and his horse- were as unfazed by the air barge as it was by them. A man rode past at a brisk clip on a six legged beast that looked like a wolf -if a wolf was lavender and the size of a pony - and small car sputtered and belched, bouncing over ruts as it was guided around the plodding horse. Things that in other times, other places wouldn't exist in the same bit of space. But then…. That was damn near normal for THIS place, no matter the span of years since her last visit.

Twenty years. It had been very nearly that since the last time she’d set eyes on the place and at first glance it hadn’t changed all that much- and had changed a lot all at the same time. She shifted from foot to foot, hitching the pack over one shoulder and resettling it. It was a comforting warm weight against her shoulder and back. One of those friendly little vagrant breezes wafted, lifting a lock of pale hair and setting it to drifting like a badly anchored bit of cobweb. Ael reached up and tucked it back behind an ear, her pale eyes far away and fixed on the jumble that was the city, lost for the moment in memory.

Airy, graceful towers near warehouses; taverns cheek to jowl with holy places and shrines and each and every inn and tavern in the city had some kind of magic that spawned corners, shaded niches and cozy nooks. Homey for those who preferred to sit and watch and nerve wracking for the paranoid sure that they were being watched. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t meant they aren’t out to get you…. She wasn’t even sure -why- she was heading into the City. The places she had known, had worked and lived in would still be there, sure enough but the people who had made it home for her were long gone. Some dead, some fled… some just Gone. Such was the nature of the place though. She had travelled to other places, had seen cities that perched on a portal to.. from.. in? the Nexus but somehow it didn’t have the same sense to it as RhyDin. Here there was an almost hedonistic, arms open welcoming sense. Bring on the differences! It was near impossible to hold yourself aloof if you stayed for any length of time though she was very sure that there were some who had stumbled upon this place and when they had found their way out (their way home it was to be hoped) put it all down to some bizarre fever dream, or worse, some hangover brought on by drinking whatever was handed you by the smiling, apron’d folk behind the counter at one of the many bars, taverns, inns, speakeasies and .. well there it was.

“I wonder if it’s still there, or if someone has managed to torch the place yet?” Or if it had fallen victim to Stew, sold to cover a bad debt? Auctioned off by the Crown … hmmmm the choices were near endless, and she was smiling then as she started to trudge along the edge of the road to where the city beckoned.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java the thoughts acquire speed,
The hands acquire shaking,
The shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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