pretentious cosmic picture


Falnee looked out from the ship's rigging. He was beginning to feel like an old mariner, always looking forward to rounding another cape, another section of Honrar's shoreline,finding something new. But he was feeling as excitied as any landlubber now. The morning was misty, and it was hard to see, but far off he could hear bells. He knew he was close to the greatest city in the world...C'Stepho, also known as Great Towers. Then they burst through the area of fog, and suddenly they could see it in all of its magnificence, the fogbank a thing of the past.

Ships plied the waves all about , from small fishing boats to much larger vessels, leading into the main bay. Many smaller buildings could be seen, but a magnificent white spire was overlooking the bay. Atop it was a carving of some winged animal, and when he got closer, he knew he would find it was a dragon. In other corners of the large city he saw other spires. Each of those spires was a watchtower facing a different direction. The Dragon's Tower faced the direction of the Emperor of Dragons,Lilung's palace in the City-Under-the-Sea, where centuries ago a whole army of dragons rose and decimated much of human civilization.

One farther north along the shoreline (he might be able to barely make out its slender spire) was Sagin's tower, which faced far-off Wal Moortz, where Sagin Shadowfather was imprisoned.

Due north, along the land, was a spire that he definitely could not make out, the Giant's Tower, which faced the Old North Road and the intimidating snowcapped mountain Rietolki, where giants used to rule this area and keep humans enslaved.

He could make out another spire to the west, facing inland, and he knew it was the Tower of the Flame, which faced the Holy Road which led to Flamehaven.

Another spire was lost in the haze of distance, being opposite of where he was coming in from...the one he most wanted to look at...Mage's Tower, which leads to the Spellward road, and the Mage who was his goal. The Mage's Tower rises from the world-famous Dunkath, the greatest library on Tu. The bay narrowed, and the river Tuthocria, Woundwater, wound its way through the city and beyond.

As they neared the docks, he saw hundreds of people, casually working, and he knew he would see thousands more. The places he wanted to ruined Stethurt, the crumbled remains of the Firetower, where Klassadon died, now a holy shrine. The Flametower, a symbol of hope rather than of grisly execution, was put up near it. Or he might see the remains of Peakenort, where Dahnmaya once ruled this city. Or Peakalta, where the present king of Honrar ruled from. So much history here...going back to the days when this was a sleepy little fishing village, and humans walked in fear of the giants' civilization. The first of the Cathuria family was born here, who helped free humankind from the domination of the giants.

Ah, well. Perhaps on the way back he would have time to rubberneck.

Map of C'Stepho.

Those interested with comments, suggestions, things I have forgotten, things I messed up, contact me at...

Return to TU


Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder