Journey to the South: Four of Thirty

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Fiction
Tags: ,

     In the morning we woke to find the carriage that would take us to the mainland already waiting outside our lodgings. As we dressed, slaves owned by the Bureau carted off to the carriage our belongings that had traveled with us from far-off Harran and would accompany us to far-off Sirr. It was still early morning when we departed the lodgings and the carriage began its trek through the streets of Namshital to the ferry docks, Tulaar’s light rosy and deep orange and barely peeking out past the peak of the Mount of Vines. The streets were relatively clear from the previous day and night’s festivities, which was not altogether surprising – the first day of the Triumph is the most enthusiastic and exciting of the three days of the holiday, and the morning of the second day is usually quiet as the revelers slowly nurse their way back to functionality.

    The waters of the Bay of Ikaru – renamed during the Great Renovation from the handful of rivers and bays that had previously occupied the land since time immemorial – were choppy and dark as we rode the ferry passed Kravtal, Keital, and Tulaatal prior to berthing at the docks in the deep shadow of the Mount of Vines. Mist crawled out of the bay and through the streets as our carriage took us back up the Mount, pausing for several moments at Viro’s request for us to look out over the expanse of the Imperial City one last time – for Keitu only knew when we would have the good graces to look upon it again – and take in its dawn beauty.

    We descended the Mount to the legionary garrison that stood at the foot of the mountain and there met our escort, a turma of cavalrymen who would see us safely to the port-city of Akhem in Yevij province. Their leader, a Decurio named Lilu Krari’u Amat, was a good-natured man, and with a bit of the philosopher in him I found during our journey. We did not tarry long within the walls of the garrison, pausing only to break our fast with the legionaries, and then headed out upon the Imperial Road while Tulaar was still only a few hand spans above the horizon. We took the road east, our destination being Tarahn, that old capital of the I’igaruu clan, where we would likely lodge for a few nights after nearly a week of travel before turning our course south. The journey to Tarahn was quiet, if a bit cold even within the comfortable confines of the carriage, all of us wrapped in thick, winter cloaks. We passed steadily through the rolling countryside of Kravam province, the heartland of our people’s ancestral home. Here it was, in ancient days that the Seven Great Clans of the Kravri would brush up against one another: either in trade, in worship, or in warfare. Here it was, centuries prior to now, that the warlord Jarutu Nohn Kriiv united the clans in a confederation against Tijhori conquerors from the south and then, less than two decades later, crowned himself the first Krava U’garichii – “Monarch of the People”. Here it was, more than five centuries after that first coronation that Hijamahneeli Gharan Udo took upon himself the mantle of Moynama and established the Krava Moy.

    This countryside was truly steeped in history and it was those thoughts that occupied much of my time as we journeyed forth toward Tarahn.

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