Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A multiverse flea market

Although the town was set in the dry western regions, it was more fortunate than most towns on the seaboard; it was situated within the bifurcation of the Mors River. The town was therefore on a natural island; sturdy stone bridges allowed pedestrians and wagons to enter and exit at will and in safety. Compared to the land beyond the two rivers, Linmoor was a little paradise.

Space was restricted; therefore buildings were three to five storeys high, narrow affairs with communal walls. The cobbled alleys were narrower still, permitting little natural light, but were clean and dry. Only at the harbour jutting into the ocean was space set aside- for informal trading. Here the population of Linmoor gathered to buy and sell at bright, gaudy stalls, anything and everything anyone could need, want and imagine. Here they came to socialise and seek the sun, and to gawk at visitors, for there were plenty of those at any given time, Linmoor being well known for its market.

The din was incredible. A babble of chaotic sound enveloped them instantly. Vannis almost grabbed at his head and Rain frowned. Saska took it in her stride. They left their skiff with a man who could have been the twin to the sailor in Mintor. Saska quietly gave him the same warning she had given the other, but was not sure whether he believed her.

Stepping off the jetty behind the two men, she stared open-mouthed at the wares on display. Despite the watering sun no one seemed inclined to pack up. She had never seen the like in her long life. As they threaded their way through the dense throng, even Vannis looked around with avid curiosity. There were clothes, bright and drab, catering to all tastes, pots and pans, jewellery, semi-precious and costume, vegetables ordinary and exotic, toys, quaint wooden bowls shaped like fish and swans, leather belts studded with semi-precious stones, knives for hunting, knives for eating, soaps, drying racks, candles in a variety of shapes and sizes, pot plants, alcohol, foods deliciously aromatic…and she was glad she was walking on two legs and not swimming in some far ocean. For once her hankering as a Sylmer for open water receded into the background.

We Immortals are too aloof from everyday life. Wistfully she looked at Rain’s retreating back. I’d have liked to enjoy this with him. She caught Vannis looking at her and mentally shook herself. He did not need to know what her weakness was. Or who. He had already referred to her relationship with Rain, if one could call it that, but he did not need to know how much it mattered.


I spy a little dragon

Rain was drawn to a stall where the merchant sold small animals in ornate cages. He moved closer, intrigued, and Vannis with him. The animals were healthy- just as well, or the vendor would have faced an irate Lord of the Mantle- and were largely domesticated creatures such as kittens, puppies, birds and a few fluffy rodents. He had a few exotics on display- squirrels, wild birds, a number of water fowl- and it was here that Rain’s attention fixated. Not the water fowl, the lizards. Tiny, bright, arresting lizards, one of them a dragon in every way but size. It was sleekly scaled with a horn behind its head and a tail flicked as if irritated. It was blue. Vannis, beside him, drew slow breath, and they glanced at each other.
‘A little dragon,’ Rain whispered.
‘Is that native to Valaris?’ Vannis asked.
The vendor heard and was quick to point out it could not possibly have come from elsewhere. That was true…as far as animals went. In the present.
‘I’ve never seen one like this before,’ Rain muttered.
‘A Blue Spike, sir. Look it up in any library,’ the vendor responded touchily. ‘Rare, but not protected or even close to endangered. I have a license.’
Rain nodded and moved away. The man stared after him. Vannis was about to haul the man over the counter for lying about the creature being endangered and then thought they did not need the attention. He moved after Rain and caught up with him.
‘He was lying.’
‘I know.’
‘Strange little creature.’
Vannis sighed. ‘You were instantly enchanted...because it looks like a miniature dragon?’
Rain stared at him. ‘It’s unusual. What are you trying to say?’
‘That certain instincts begin to assail you. You’d do well to start listening.’


Friday, August 24, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fourteen Pics V

Great Forest a.k.a. Forbidden Forest

The Great Forest of Valaris is a broad and dense band of trees stretching from the east coast to the west, thereby literally dividing the continent into north and south. This is why it is also known as the Great Dividing Forest. The north regards the band of trees as dangerous (the why of that is explained in Gathering of Rain) and northerners therefore refer to the forest as Forbidden.

However, all is not what it seems...

Yes, in case you wonder why I post about a band of trees frequently, I do like my Great Forest!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shared and shared again

Shared these on Facebook earlier...and thought I'd share them again here. The beauty in nature is sometimes so astonishing it feels like a multiverse of colour...enjoy!