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In a city stacked upon itself like an oyster-bed, the Scarp Keep stood out like a sea pillar. Its imposing bulk loomed over the rest of the city like a sulking, grey-stone hound on its haunches, keeping a watchful eye over the mound of wooden-roofed stone yurts nestled inside the walls. The wind howled around the northernmost reaches of the towers, licking the trio’s hair as they edged into the small gap in the great doors opened by two red, leaky-nosed guardsmer. The howls of wind, swirls of snows, the creak of war preparations all stilled themselves inside the utmost Sanctum of Orsimer-kind. The Great Statue of Mauloch dominated the central hall, glaring down at the hall of his children, with eyes that seemed to glow with martial pride. Great bundles of sage and juniper burned in surrounding braziers filling the room with a heady smoke. Center’s head swam at the sudden assault to his senses, after weeks of scentless snow and stone.
He kept pace with the hulking Nord and the Ra Gada boy, trying not to look hungrier than he was. The bowl of soup had been delicious, but the void of long hunger was deeper than a single soup serving might fix. So he stretched upward, unlocking the cricks in his back, and walked with the Old Stride of the Saint-Singers. Compared with his companions, he remained a scant thing, broken by the world. Hopefully the king would not recognize raised hackles for the desperate maneuvre that they are. Center reserved his doubts; one does not become and remain king of such a wild people without understanding natural signs. Still, he had his pride, and determined to make a good showing of himself.
Still, there was no point in show-boating his presence; he had no idea who might recognize him here, even now. Other foreigners, who once attended the Old Words. And so Center remained in the shadow of Bjarne’s sheer bulk upon reaching the steward, appearing for all the world like the Northerner’s colourful, patchwork, outcast shadow.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Bardicnonsense.
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