Although it was nearly midnight, Far City was still wide awake. Music and voices could be heard from over the fence, both of which were happy.
Sovos and Kurt sat on opposite sides of the pool, leaning back on the ledge with their arms out of the water.
Sovos sighed a deep sigh. “This is excellent, nothing better for road-weary feet than a soak in a hot spring”
“Yes this is very nice,” Kurt said “I can’t believe I’ve never been to one before.”
“And now that you have, you’ll want to come back right?”
They sat in silence for a few minutes, the only sound were the ones coming from over the fence. The music and the general chatter of the city was never ceasing.
“So, where has Sig gotten to?” Sovos asked.
“Well, he was complaining about how the sulfur in the air would make his feathers stink, so I let him go on his own until we are done.” Kurt said.
“Mmhm.” Sovos mumbled as he stared at the sky.
He loved to look at the stars, he knew them and their stories. The Wheel, the stars of the Old Man and his Old Horse, who taught farming to the mortal races.
The Staff, stars of the Traveler, patron God of merchants, traders and of course travelers.
The Eye, the stars of the Scholar, who knows and sees all.
The Wing, the guiding stars of all dragons.
All of these and more turned around two that remained fixed in the heavens, no matter the time of year. They were The Statue of Time, and the The Great Tree. The Statue of Time represented the ruling gods, just and fair, but terrible in their wrath.
The Great Tree represented the dark gods, those that deal in death and misery. It was said that the tree in the square of Far City was the earthly representation of these stars, which is why Necromancers had built a wall around it in ages past. Which brought up the question again, how did a city of life come to grow around such a symbol of death?
Sovos’s neck was stiff from looking up for so long so he slipped further down into the water. “You’ve certainly been quiet for a while.” Kurt said.
“So I have, I’ve just been thinking about the stars, and the deity attached to them.”
Kurt looked up as well, searching around for something. “It’s the wrong time of the year for the Jaguar to be out.”
“The stars of the Biomancers?”
“Yes, they they won’t be around until Autumn. By the way, which stars belong to the Geomancers?”
“The Rune? It won’t be back until next spring.” Sovos explained
“So is it a rune you can actually use?”
“Yes, it means ‘life’ actually.”
“Life? How does that work?”
“Well, I could have a scroll that says ‘Life to Clay’ and any clay-rich soil in the immediate area would become fertile, but the same amount of nutrition would be drained from any other type of soil surrounding the influence of the scroll.”
“Is that it? Making soil fertile?”
“No, I could also make statues come to life.”
“Really? I’d like to see that.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“Well, if the statue was carved with the heart of the artist poured fully into it, then the artist’s personality comes out in the statue. Even if they were absolute rubbish, they would have done this. So, the result would be a rude, preening thing that thinks it is worth all the gold in the world. Very unlikely to obey orders and therefore rather useless.” Sovos said.
“Do you have any of those types of scrolls?”
“At present only one, and I’m saving it for a special occasion in the right place.”
“Where is the right place?”
“I’ll know it when I see it.”
After a few more minutes, Kurt said “Well I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get out soon I’ll shrivel up like a raisin.”
“I agree, let’s find a place with some rooms to let for the night and get some sleep.”
They stepped out, dried themselves off and walked to the changing room. After dressing they said goodnight to Laht and stepped outside. By this time the city had quieted down, but a few people were still out.
They walked across the square to a small inn named ‘The Paper Lantern’, paid for their rooms and went to bed. Sovos wasn’t sure if he was awake or not when he hit the mattress, but he was so relaxed from the bath, he didn’t care.