I looked there upon a lonely spire,
tall tower of those highland plains,
solitary sentinel, ‘bove the harvest grains,
proud amber heart of sovereign vales,
on all sides there about secured,
no walls she needed, nor ever were,
fair and placid lands, of humble Avrale,
could turn a prince’s eye with want,
to toil golden summer fields,
this was what young eyes knew,
now err a city sprouted from such fertile ground,
buried ancient farms, ne’er again to be ploughed,
was it for I, who took the lands fairest daughter,
did I not think time could march on without her,
we left that land, in bickering old elder’s hands.
– Prince Markus, 98 E.R.
The Voices of South Rook
The tower of South Rook was the tallest, and broadest of all the great towers of Avrale. Standing above the near flat caldera of the southern highlands, it was a singular spectacle seen from miles in all directions. A beacon drawing travelers in towards the sprawling city that centuries had grown around it.
Small towns sprung up like satellites along the arterial roads through the plains, and looking out at any great distance one could see these towns as clearly as the city. It was a strange, and foreign place to those used to the deep shelter of the vales, and yet far off to all sides ridges came up to contain the vast southern farmlands. Though a broad brake in the ridges gave way in the south, a pass that lead to the Southern Steps and cascaded down out of Avrale into Niven.
Continue reading “Chapter 14”