Story of the Day: A View of Diras
A View of Diras
Evening prevailed over the Frewyn capital, and with the imminence of dusk, Diras became animated with the last bustle before the closures of gloaming. Shoppes placed their last wares of the day at more attractive prices, traders bought and sold the last of their stock, children in the yard of the church were being gathered for their supper, the bells in the chapel rang through the square, the Diras regiment began its patrol of the capital walls, and the peace of the capital elevated to its last teeming hum. With the requisite last transitions of the day and the revived thrum of the marketplace came the new shipments of goods for the morrow. Various means of conveyance brought new stock to the city: carts with items from Farriage were driven through the west gate from the Northern Road, several consignments came through the ports of the bay from Lucentia and the Triumvirate, hay carts brimming with produce from Tyferrim milled through the main gate, and upon one of these carts was a young woman.
She had claimed a small seat on the back of the jaunty while walking from Barellynn eastward. She had hailed the cart, thinking that she would be made to walk the remainder of the one-day journey from the small lakeside village to the capital once the cart had stopped for its purveyance in Tyferrim, eh was surprised to discover that the driver allowed her to stay, claiming that she was good company and a good distraction for the field mice hidden in the hay bales. She was told she would be given a ride until their destination at the Diras stables and then she must go. She could not refute such kindness from one so humble as a hay cart driver, and when they reached the capital, she took one of the field mice she had befriended into her pocket to keep him away from the horses as a token of appreciation to the driver.
They made their amicable parting and now she must be on her way, but upon removing from the stables and standing in the entranceway of the front gate, she was forcibly struck by the liveliness of such a place. There were guards changing posts along the capital wall above her, a Frewyn captain stood at the stair delegating the position of the Royal Guard, a little ahead on the Diras Bridge was a group of women wearing aprons, the one leading them the fattest woman she had ever seen, and behind them walking to toward the bay was a woman commander and a fur-clad giant, the former of whom was smirking at the latter’s pouting countenance. This was enough to interest her, but the comings and goings of the lanes, the calls from the marketplace, the lights of the square, and the muted evening hymns of the Church gave her more to consider. There was a Reverend Mother officiating to the Sister in the yard, calling them in for the night, noblewomen finely dressed in pelisses and stays strolling about the peristyle near what she perceived to be the castle entrance, but even more interesting than the castle was the sight of a few elves walking about the capital. She felt akin to them, with their similar long and pointed ears, their sharp features and their slender bodies, but where their height seemed to be soaring for the most part, hers was lacking. Her dress as well was not nearly as stately as the other elves she observed sauntering about the capital; her patchwork coat, linen head covering, and torn gathered leggings she was certain would garner a few injurious looks, but no one seemed to notice as she thought the citizens of a capital might have done. She had expected a metropolis of high fashion but instead the view she collected from where she stood was one of humbleness: hearty laughter, generous embraces, subdued and tasteful clothing ornamented the streets rather than the elegance she supposed the capital of such a kingdom would have provided.
She was forced further into the capital by the new carts entering behind her and she hurried away from the front gate as to not be run over by the parade of consignments being ushered in after her. She walked along the Diras River, remarking the rippling waters trickling in from the wide birth of the circular bay before her, and she decided to sit upon one of the benches along the bridge and revel in the newness of her surroundings. It was an enchanting scene, the setting sun mirroring the changing hues of the sky in the water’s surface, a scene which granted her a peace she had not felt in many days. There was a tranquility in the gentle commotion of the capital, and though there were the requisite wives shouting at their husbands and general disagreements in the marketplace behind her, various denizens from Livanon, Lucentia, Gallei, Frewyn and the Triumvirate seemed to coalesce with one another. There was no cold politeness or blatant disregard for each other, but she did notice a lack of other giants. The one she had seen walking with the commander seemed to be the only in the entire capital, and she therefore surmised that this one giant must be the Den Asaan.