#Nanowrimo: Excerpt: A Haanta in Lucentia
Rewriting parts of book 2 in the series, "From Frewyn to Sanhedhran" to prepare it for publishing next year. Here's a little excerpt of Rautu's brother Unghaahi in Lucentia.
|Ladrei Maccadrin and Myrellenos, matron of Lucentia|
Evening had come to Lucentia: the warm gale of the nearby Eastern Sea wafted through the capital, the mist from the grand fountain cooled the nearby ports, harps and lyres played gentle melodies throughout the bustling markets, and the Alabaster Palace shone numinous under the gloaming hues a beacon of the princedom’s wealth and consequence amongst the nations of the north. With everything so rapt in its state of serene pleasance, Unghaahi was inclined to spend his one night in Lucentia outside. Many of the capital’s inhabitants had little idea of sleep until the early hours of the morning: pleasure houses, gambling halls, guildhalls, smoking dens, cafes and flagrant eateries all remained open as long as there was a customer to satisfy, and though Unghaahi could have wished that the food were more wholesome, as everything seemed to be fried or compounded with syrup, there was a haleness and a liveliness to the atmosphere of Lucentia capital that he must admire. It was much warmer than Frewyn, quieter and cleaner than Marridon, had much more in the ways of outward beauty than Bellatrim, and was drier than the islands. Were it not for the consumption of such horrors as fried dough and the egregious smoke billowing out from the inground dens, Lucentia should have boasted itself a paradise of the north, but every place must have its ugliness, and if Unghaahi did not find faults enough in Lucentia yet, he soon would learn them.
|Prince Lamir of Lucentia and his attendant Hinnia|
He had contrived to stay near and around the café district, as every establishment about the area seemed open and occupied: patrons sat in joyous discourse sipping their teas and coffees, waiters fluttered around terraces and between small tables with treys filled with Lucentian delights, glasses filled with licorice wine tinkled as they were replaced on tables, every laugh and every exclamation recommended the vast enjoyment and subdued decadence of the place. He was pleased to see the Lucentian people so thriving; as the islands were official neutral with Lucentia and shared much in the ways of trade and knowledge with them, it gave him pleasure to see them as good-natured and as affluent as those of the islands often were, but though the gaieties of the open terraces suggested their equanimity, the dealings within the slender cracks of alleyways told a different story. Between the cafes and around every corner, there were the quick and violent movements of dancing shadows, and when Unghaahi approached to see if anyone were in need of his assistance, by the time he arrived, there was no evidence of any such questionable activity. Outlines of aggressors lined the walls of the alleys, men walked nonchalantly away from scenes, and though others seemed to be aware of some mischief by a look or two in the necessary direction, the business was disregarded as little more than a common incidence. Here was some strange misapprehension; Unghaahi thought he was seeing raids and aggression in every corner of the capital behind the veil of its tranquility, and where he moved to save any oppressed, no one else was disposed to join him. General acknowledgments by way of shifting in chairs and hems of unquietness to diminish the significance of muffled screams were perceived, but the chief of Unghaahi’s surprise lay in seeing the Lucentian royal guard, with their silk waist sashes and scimitars, give the same amount of attention to the crimes as he did and yet stand about with arms folded and features complacent as though there were nothing to witness. Their minds were for the general populace only, and Unghaahi was ashamed for them. Never would the Anatari at home have stood by or turned their backs while someone was in need of assistance even if the brutality were justified, but while the enforced ignorance of the robberies and roughings were distressing enough, the complete vanishment of all evidence was even more vexatious.