A shade of red

January 26th, 2019 | Tags: ,

Flung to the stars, we rose and fell–fell from the sky, fell from grace, fell out of our minds, fell into chaos. The Spire stands still in Redgar Bay, its gleaming bulk impenetrable to us even now, a dozen dozen years after its doom. Lights wink on and off, seemingly at random. The waters around it are still fell, though no longer as deadly as they used to be. Our children grow into adults, not knowing the home from which we sprang, while the wind rustles the red grass on the plain. We know it not ourselves.

But life goes on. We grow still the seeds from the ship that brought us here, those which the Settlers brought down before the Fall. We raise the calves, mis-shapen though they be, of the beasts that the Settlers grew from their laboratories. Darkened now, useless as all the other tools they brought with them, hoping to forge a new life. We scratch out our life from the soil with forged clay; metal is all but useless to work with. We build with wood, wood that must be drained of its blood and cured like meat. We clothe ourselves with grass and the skins of the animals of this world, tough and brittle and unpliant, but clothing nonetheless.

Eyes watch over us, three of them. Amidst the unchanging stars, the moons of this world have taken on a mythic quality. The Witch watches over us in winter, glittering green; the Thief in summer, his golden eye winking open and shut. But the Dragon is unblinking in its gaze, tenday after tenday, season after season, year after year: a baleful red gleaming that rises with the setting sun and sees into the hearts of us, alien interlopers on this world that we are not of.

And we are not alone. In the night we hear the terrors of the things that claim our stock, and though we hunt to end their predation, they are uncanny in their skill. Often the herds-yeoman is slaughtered along with their herd, harvested with the rest, but those who live have not much to give account of. Nothing we have thrown at them seems to effect a change, though they will not attack us within sight of the City. That may be the only reason we yet live.

So our City, Vindulan, is our beacon of hope, that we will carry on and not flicker out and crumble like ash into the dull red soil of Maroon.

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