Kurt had never seen the likes of Far City before. It had a permanent feeling of a festival or celebration. Colored lanterns hung from gables and doorways, streamers fluttered in the breeze as they hung on strings from second story windows that crossed overhead to other buildings. Large groups of people milled about going from place to place. Laughter and music was everywhere.
“Why are there so many people? Why are they so happy?” Kurt asked excitedly.
“Wouldn’t you be happy if you got a new lease on life? Finally cured of some incurable disease after battling it for years?” Sovos asked.
“I suppose so.” Kurt answered.
“Well, that is their reason for this happiness, most everyone here is in the process of being healed.”
They walked along the main street taking in the sights and sounds of the intoxicating atmosphere.
“Oh, here’s something you might like to know,” Sovos began “some say that even dragons come here in disguise to treat scale rot and whatever else ails them.”
“Dragons!? Here?!” Kurt shouted, causing a group nearby to stop and stare. “Are you saying that I could meet a dragon?”
“You of all people should know that they are legend, no one has seen one in it’s true form in hundreds of years.” Sovos said
“I do know that, it’s just that a dragon is a Biomancer’s ultimate prize, to have a dragon as a companion makes you a legend.” Kurt explained
“You consider a dragon as a prize?” Sovos questioned
“Well, yes and no. To have a dragon as a companion would immediately place me among the greatest Biomancers ever known. So they are prizes in that sense, once you have a dragon’s loyalty and friendship, they will come to your aid at anytime, anywhere and in any situation.”
“So, how do you earn that from a dragon?”
“A debate about why it should give it to you.”
“A simple debate? That hardly seems fair.”
“Yes, a dragon appreciates the twist of thought, and sometimes tongue that it takes to debate properly”
They walked along further down the road, stopping to look at a group of performers doing acrobatics. Sig called out and landed on Kurt’s shoulder.
“Is that how you got Sig?” Sovos asked.
“No, his parents were killed in a storm, I found his nest and took his egg to hatch it. It was shortly after he hatched that I discovered I was a Biomancer. I think that Sig was the reason I unlocked my powers at all.” Kurt said.
“How did your family react when they found out?”
Kurt only grunted in reply.
“Very well, if you don’t want to tell me, that is fine, but in any case we have nearly arrived.”
“Where?” Kurt asked as he looked around.
A mammoth tree dominated the center of the square, several lights and streamers hung from the branches, the remains of a small brick wall hid the roots from view.
“What is that tree?” Kurt asked, “Why is there a wall around it?”
“That tree is one of the main reasons Far City exists. I don’t know much about it, but it is somehow related to the Necromancers.”
“Necromancers.” Kurt whispered.
Not much was known about those dark spell casters. And what was, was disturbing even to the most stalwart of men.
“The wall is the remains of a shrine to their patron goddess, it was a pilgrimage site for them. They actually built most of the city themselves, so it technically belongs to them. But if any are found, they are driven out. The revolution didn’t go to well for them, and they were cast aside by the Royals after they lost. I don’t know much more than that.” Sovos said.
“I don’t quite understand,” Kurt said, “If they built this city, shouldn’t they have the rights to it? And why was a city of life built by Necromancers?”
“They did have the rights to it, for centuries, but when they were cast out, the new rulers of the land desired the healing powers of the springs for themselves and they drove them out.” Sovos explained “As for them building a city of life, I have no idea.”
“But enough of this! Your questions have kept me from my promised goal, that is where we are headed.” He pointed across the square to a bathhouse. Kurt laughed at its appearance.
The buildings of Far City were largely made of neatly cut wood with wooden shingle roofs and large porches. This one was the exception. It was a log cabin, with a sod roof, no porch to speak of and it was painted a motley assortment of colors.
“That looks absolutely ridiculous.” Kurt said.
“It may look strange, but it’s the best bath in the city. And the best part of this one is it’s the only one that I won’t get thrown out of.” Sovos said with a smile.
“What do you mean ‘thrown out’?” Kurt asked.
“Oh, yes. You’d be surprised how often that happens to me.” Sovos said.
“So are you thrown out of every place? Or just baths?” Kurt asked with a grin.
“Come now, my code forbids that kind of behavior. It’s just that I seem to attract trouble.” Sovos said over his shoulder as he began to jog toward the building.
“Wait! What about Sig? Is he allowed in?” Kurt shouted as he ran to catch up.
“He’ll be fine, the owner is an old friend of mine and he likes spell casters, seems to think we’re funny for some reason.”
Sovos pulled open the door when Kurt caught up.
“Welcome,” he said with a bow and elegant gesture “to the Hot Hare Spring.”