The Redemption of Erâth: Book 3, Chapter 9

Chapter 9: The Crossing of the World, Part I

There was much work to be done in preparation for the voyages of Ermèn, Athalya and Brandyé, and it was some weeks before they were able to make their way to the port of Viura Râ in search of a vessel that would take them hence. Brandyé came to the conclusion that, as high a position as the Sarâthen held in the world, even they were not able to travel on a whim to whatever kingdom took their fancy, or to speak with whichever leaders they desired. (It did not occur to him that the Sarâthen might well be able to do so, but he could not.)

There was much planning to be done, also—planning of where they would go, with whom they would speak, and what they would say. Over the following weeks Brandyé learned much of the world of Erâth, and it was all of it new, and different to him. Deep in his mind he knew that his own experience of the world, remembered or not, was as nothing compared to what he was about to discover; entire lands and countries awaited him, vast oceans to be crossed, mountains to be scaled, and plains to be traversed, and he marveled at what unimaginable wonders he would encounter there. In this regard, he could not wait to be departed, and each day that dawned ached with anticipation.

Yet another part of him, however, remained silent and sad, and it was this part that spoke to him of the mysteries of the world, and that there would soon be far fewer left than ever before. Erâth had, until that point, seemed unimaginably vast, and the thought that they were to cross the entire world from end to end in a matter of months frightened him. It seemed to him almost that the world ought to remain vast, and that they should be able to bridge its farthest corners so easily spoke to him of just how advanced the world of men was here. He knew in his heart that such travel would have been utterly impossible in his past life, and he yearned for a larger world, one in which he was familiar with only a part.

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The Redemption of Erâth: Book 3, Chapter 8

Chapter 8: The Council of Erâth

It was several days before such a meeting could be arranged, and he spent his time wandering the wondrous streets of Viura Râ, or deep in conversation with Ermèn. He learned much of the world of Erâth, and of the great city in particular. Viura Râ, it seemed, was a great hub of the world, a place where all the races of Erâth could meet and speak, without fear or violence.

Yet for all of that, there were folk missing, he now knew. Men were by far the most populous here in Viura Râ, but among them were to be found many tall, thin pale figures: the Illuèn. Every so often Brandyé caught glimpses of black-robed folk, and knew them as the Namirèn. Yet the Mirèn, whose likeness Brandyé knew only from the great statue at the center of the city, were nowhere to be found, and daily Brandyé was reminded that it was the doing of men—his own kind.

He was glad to know that the Duithèn had been banished from Viura Râ, for it lightened his time there. Often he would walk in the shadows of the great buildings, but never did he feel despair, and he found he could ascend to the heights of the spires whenever he desired it. There was much to be seen from those great heights, and he spent hours watching the port, or the folk far below.

As Brandyé waited to meet with the council that Ermèn and Athalya were arranging, he found himself often wondering at the rest of the world, and how it compared to Viura Râ. Even here he could not escape the rumors of unrest and war, and one day he asked Athalya her thoughts on the matter.

“War is always on the horizon,” she said. “It is the doing of men, working under the influence of the Duithèn.”

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The Redemption of Erâth: Book 3, Chapter 7

Chapter 7: The Place of Men

White towers and spires of glass—countless and reaching to a one for the sky, the majestic edifices of Viura Râ cast sweeping shadows in the early morning sun, proclaiming this city above all others the home of wonder and invention for all of Erâth. Light glinted everywhere, so that the city seemed to sparkle and shimmer, and Brandyé’s heart lifted at such a sight of beauty. It seemed to him there could be no place in the world that spoke of such calm, of such wisdom, and such infinite grandeur.

And yet the city was not the only wonder to behold, for it sat on what seemed to be the very edge of the world: not two miles distant to the east, the ocean seemed to falter and end, tumbling eternally into a white abyss from which rose a obscuring mist and permitted no further view in that direction. Yet through this mist shone the sun nonetheless in all its glory, and its warmth combined with the cool sea breeze served to invigorate and refresh, and Brandyé thought that there was nothing that could possibly go wrong in a place such as this.

So he arrived at the city on the edge the world, the Eternal City, and his excitement could hardly be contained. He and the other ship’s laborers were the last to disembark, of course, and he spent their time waiting and shutting down the furnaces in endless conversation with any who would listen, talking of how he would find this Ermèn, and how he would find his place in the world, and all would be well. He felt that this was something he had been long awaiting, despite his lack of memory prior to the forests of Golgor, and when he finally stepped onto the solid earth of the city’s outskirts and away from the gently swaying decks of the ship, he was certain his heart would burst for sheer joy.

His euphoria was not long-lived, however, for once he left the ship he found himself very much alone in the busy and bustling crowd of the port, and knew not where to begin. His excitement gradually faded, and first confusion and then concern took its place. For a while he allowed the tide of the crowd to take him where it willed, past many enormous vessels equal—and even greater—in size than that which had borne him hither, and chaos reigned all around.

After some time Brandyé spotted the unmistakable sign of an inn, this one bearing the title of The Bottomless Flagon, and he pushed his way through the crowd to arrive at its front door, held wide by the many folk passing in and out of it. It was near lunchtime, as far as his nose could tell, and he rested his hand momentarily upon the small purse of coins Yateley had given him, now greatly depleted. He hoped it would be enough at least to buy himself one last meal, and entered the inn.

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