Traversing the Western Great Fields, just north of Kahm and Esnan where the path forks and crosses the Cobalt Run, I chanced upon a pair of wanderers soaking up the mid-day sun on the warm grass, curious sheep ambling lazily around them. I stopped a while to talk; they told me of some magnificent city with its crystal pavements and floating lights, majestic creatures crossing entire streets in a single bound, bath halls steaming with the most wonderful of exotic scents, and food – such food! – to tantalize the taste buds.
It was hard to imagine, standing there beside the trail in my dusty worn rags, the Cobalt snaking languidly beneath the dappled shadows of tree boughs heavy with the weight of the season’s pollen, insects laboriously buzzing in the sticky heat… But I should like to visit such a place one day, if it even truly exists.
I met a startling sight one night heading east along the Western Harvest Route, just before the southern bridge crosses the Cobalt Run. A pair of extravagant wagons pulled far into the grass, leaving room for a party of performers to unpack and ply their trade. Verily, right there ‘neath the chill of moonlight, they put on a play that told the tale of sunken ships and treasure, a cursed crew portrayed by a pair of prancing dancers that span and twirled over the hull of a wrecked boat upturned right there on the grass.
A vendor traversed the small crowd with a tray piled with sweet and savoury delights. I turned out my pockets and mustered a few chipped trinkets together, exchanging them for a small pouch of nuts and a knot programme for the play, which was called “The Fate of the WaveJinn”, that I might recount the tale anew lest I forget its details. The ill fated ship is told to have washed up somewhere along the Char Cape Coast, still carrying its treasure… I’ve half a mind to go and look for it.
The bag vendor on the road to Myr had new stock today. Amongst the scratchy rough-fabricked rolls and flimsy pouches I spotted a pack crafted from a fur so soft and light I could barely feel it under my fingers, but so much more spacious than the heavy, cumbersome thing I have carried on my back every day that leaves me sore and weary. The cost, of course, was as exquisite as the item itself, and far – but not too far – from the value of goods I had on my person. With such a luxurious and practical item almost in my grasp, I set up at the river that runs behind the merchant’s abode, and spent a little while there casting for fish through the hazy afternoon. With my soul, and my wares, recharged I returned to the merchant, happy to find the bag still in his possession, and happier still that he was delighted to exchange it for a selection of fresh fish plucked straight from the Whisper River, no doubt settling the matter of dinner for the coming days.
It is mine, now, this lovely thing, this creation of featherlight fabric with its straps that caress my shoulders instead of bruising them. I am now comfortably destitute.