Closed Two Men Enter

(Maddoch) How many leave?

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Two Men Enter

Postby Branimir on August 28th, 2015, 2:32 pm

Summer 85th, 515 AV

These walks were becoming a common thing for Branimir. If the term could be applied, seeing as he had not even been in Riverfall for a full score of days. Still, if on any given day he had nothing else to do, the young man would take that long drawn-out walk of Riverfall. At dusk, after Syna had veiled her face yet before the Akalak did the same to their lanterns, he'd sneak out like a thief. He'd wander this way and that, try to recall what that part of the city looked like lit up, get to know the place's layout and quite often find something new. A detail he hadn't noticed before. A statue on a balcony, a relief beautifying a facade or a pair of shutters painstakingly painted on the inside.

Riverfall was easily as big as Zeltiva had been, and those details took their time, he understood. What Branimir could not understand was how in a day's time, a door seemingly fashioned of bronze had been placed alongside a squat building he passed tonight. The architect would swear any oath that the door had not been there yesterday. He had passed this spot just last night after all, though tonight he would take a left where last night he'd taken a right. Beyond the routes, his nights tended to follow the same pattern, and even the routes followed a pattern: He'd walk down a road straight at first, then take the first turn the next time, then the second turn and so on. It was lunacy -and redundancy- in motion, but at least there was method to it.

If or when the boy found something of interest and the light was right (or at least acceptable) he might stop to take it down in his sketchbook. Branimir was still far from depicting things as natural as far as artistry went. Plants especially turned out to be his nemesis. Dozens or more of tiny leaves and petals, shapes that should be symmetrical failing to be so on closer inspection and yet even his stoic mind could not deny the elegance of many species. Earlier, he'd stopped outside of the Night Tower. Last night, Leth had been off, but tonight he was just right as he came up behind Akajja's place of rest during Syna's bells. Branimir didn't know if the God of the Moon and the Goddess of Night shared a deeper understanding with each other, but tonight he made her abode resplendent.

And Branimir had gone to catch it. Charcoal and paper, darkness and light outlining the exact relations of Akajja's tower on the side where Leth moved to hide behind it, but on the other side just a hint less weight and an occasional tiny speck of a gap hinting at the existence of a star distinguished night from shadow. To the tower's mistress, it was likely all the same, but to the young man working on his finesse, it meant the world. Even if many of the finer details of the interplay of light and night had eluded his crude tools, his crude hands and their crude, fumbling motions, even if the ridiculous amount of ornamentation enhancing the tower's silhouette could only be hinted at, his wrist and fingers had strained to capture that image before Leth could hide from his pen.

Looking at the final result, Branimir had of course been discontent. Branimir was seldomly content where his own abilities or lack thereof were concerned, and if he seemed to be it was probably mere politeness. It was acceptable for others to fail, fine for them to at least not achieve all their goals. For Branimir, the concept was anathema. But he had to fail many times before he would finally succeed, and the only way he would draw things the way he saw them was to keep practicing his drawing. Or adjusting the way he saw things. But that too was anathema to him.

And so he had bitterly finished his drawing, then taken the road away from the tower without looking at the charcoal lines even once. A left and a right had brought him onto the road towards Laviku's Tower, and it was here that he had almost run into the door where it stood ajar. Here where it had stumped him, merely by existing. Had ripped his mind from its considerations and nightly thoughts and plans of drawing more things about town and what to do with the skill and knowledge thusly acquired. Here, the door had lain in ambush to have its way with his mind, merely by existing.

Worse, the only reason he might have noticed it was because it stood wide open, propped into position with the help of a broom. The owner of that building was practically inviting thieves, was he not? Placing his hand on the broomstick to do his civic duty, another curiosity struck the young man: He could not actually see beyond the door. There was a light source so bright in the room that from his darkened vantage point, Branimir saw nothing but white to the point where the color stung his eyes. Yet he had no recollection of that radiance passing the threshold and illuminating the street outside as it should have.

Without much thought, the young architect decided he could both sate his curiosity and fulfill his civic duty.

He removed the broom and then crossed the threshold into the light.
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