Chasing the sun

Chasing the sun
Chasing the moon
The shortest day of the year
The longest 24 hours.
Two days travel in one,
It’s only Starting.

I saw it all
A distinct path to happiness
She showed me it was all an illusion
Things never to be.

I slept the night
Chasing Dreams.
I awoke this morning,
And found I had none.

It is home.
It is not.
It is far away.
It is not.
So much found un-needed,
So much needed no found.

Through the day,
Under the moon.
A train ride to some place new.
Am I exploring,
or am I running?
A desire becomes reality ,
While another slips away.

The train heads west.
At early morning,
Across Austria,
Into Switzerland,
Slowly I head home.

Italy
A welcome break
France
A reminder of days gone by
England
A call back home.

Is it what I left?
Am I going back?
A return to the familiar,
But will it ever be the same?

Around the world,
I chased the sun,
I chased the moon,
I ended where I started,
A wiser fool.

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Rain Patterns

Storms in Saj-graf usually come from the south or the north.  When from the north, they are typically long light rains that can go on for weeks.  The rains from the south are heavy and brief.  The rain falling this day had been from the west with frequent starts and stops, each time longer and heavier rains than the last. The end result was most people were staying indoors.  Chores were being done by most people, darning of socks or repairing of leaks in roofs. The few lucky people were able to pass this time reading by the light of lanterns or candles.

This was how the day was for most people.  Young Martell was not most people.  She stood catching her breath with a puddle of red water forming at her feet. She never cared to draw her blade, less use it on a fellow person.  But it did not matter now as that issue was resolved.  She was not pleased that one of the two assailants had gotten away, but in a new city she knew better than to chase him down.

“Lady Martell of the Tethinger Knights,” she spoke while reaching her hand out to help up the woman who had gotten her involved.

“Maeve, no titles to go with it.” she spoke, trying to make light of the situation. “So you know, your actions may have made you an enemy with someone of power in this city.  Yet, if it is any consolation, you may have helped save a Lord’s life if I make haste.  You can report this all to someone if that is more your style, but I must be on my way.”

“I will report this afterwards. If another’s life is at risk, your safe arrival is a higher priority.”

“Good, I will explain as we go.”

Siwaldh watched from above as they left.  He had not encountered anyone with the equipment this Knight possessed.  She had somehow been immune to his enchantments of mind control.  He had toyed with using one of his Dremore spheres to incinerate the two of them.  It would have gone against Ertle’s order to be discreet but it would have finished the task.  He sighed to himself, dismissing the concerns of squandered opportunity.

He closed the window and went over to a table.  He skimmed the list of requests from Ertle and the list given to him by the Prince.  If anyone else ever looked at the lists, they would see gibberish or random scrawling.  He had already made it so people were indifferent to a few buildings per the Prince’s request.  He had enchanted an inside of Ertle’s home so if anyone other than Ertle and or he would get lost when they sought out certain chambers.

Maeve was on both lists for reasons neither would not disclose.  He would never have thought her to be a key part to many things as she does not have a real residency in the city and lives with some prominent refugees.  She can disappear for days on end, but so can many of the thousands in the city.

Next on his list, find out what Jaspert does in the mountains.  And after that, a request from the Prince, like many things on his list, more information gathering.  Siwaldh had accepted he would never meet this prince, but was curious as to what he did with the knowledge.

Reflections of Marlow

This one is now a couple years old. But still like it and miss that cat.

I wish I knew
How much time we were allowed
But would I treasure it more?
Would I savor each moment?
Or would I curse the countdown?
Would I have missed out on life?
Or would I miss him less?

He came into my life
Purred his way to my heart
Gone too soon
He reminded me of peace
His loyalty was unsurpassed

Such a small cat
Yet the hole you leave was so big
Your absence claws at my heart
I long for your company

You passed too soon
I would have always said that
I savor the memories you left
I await when our paths will cross again

The Gardens

The Saj-graf gardens are large enough that there are many corners that allow a respite from the city and let one forget about the thousands of people in the city. The path ways are such that if you know where to turn you could have a small clearing to yourself. Though they started off as well manicured gardens for the Whistrach Estate, over the years they have expanded and enveloped additional city blocks as either the mayor or lords felt.

The Whistrach Estate lays somewhere in the maze of trails, currently used as a greenhouse by the Erush Order. The perimeters of the gardens are maintained by the city these days and certain endeavors are made by families to periodically bring order to regions of the gardens. Yet the gardens themselves have pushed back and there are areas within most folk know better than to go. In these areas one would think animals would thrive, yet they too have determined they should keep their distance.

Stories are that people have been buried in these parts of the gardens. Other people tell of ghosts or spirits that haunt the place. It is in one of these spaces Zahar sits and waits for his meeting with Lord Elwin. He does not like meeting Elwin alone as he always fears the Lord may no longer favor him. Zahar sits quiet, in a corner, like a well discipline child waiting to be given freedom to move. As far back as Zahar can recall this is how he has always waited to see Lord Elwin. If he knew how to, Zahar would curse and confront Lord Elwin for his late arrivals.
Meanwhile in another part of the garden, Kadin walks pondering things that have building. Kaisu has been spending more time around Maeve and they have grown secretive about their latest project. He wonders if it was wrong of him not to let Ertle at least meet Kaisu a few years back, she would have been well cared for. Sudeman was to return this next month and he is curious on the man’s take on things.
It was during his walk in the garden Kadin met a lady who approached him. “I am Captain Katranna of the Ardent Order. I am looking for one of my men, have you seen anyone else this evening?”

“No, you are the first person I have seen this evening. It is late and most are at home,” responded Kadin. “Perhaps I may walk with you for a bit if we are headed in the same direction. I could use an opinion not my own on something.”

Katranna replied, “It may be short, but I see no reason not to. Depending on where you are headed, it may be slightly safer for both of us.”

Calm

Calm, quiet, intent, slowly working the yarn
Patiently weaving creations without a thought
You work your own beauty into each creation
The choice in colors, contrasting and harmonizing
Another pile of yarns and a handful of days
Their function transformed in your hands
A delicate weave providing fashion and warmth
Or another creation to entertain its new owner

Bell Tower

In Port Gertrude there is a bell tower atop the town hall. It is a remnant from the original walled settlement that the city grew from. Its original purpose was a watchtower to see off in all direction what approached, whether by land or sea. Still a good vantage point to look down on the port, its function has been replaced by other structures better positioned and regularly staffed.

In its days as a watchtower it was a wooden structure reinforced with iron plates at the top. The structure now part of the town hall was built or stone. The iron from the walls had been melted down and used to cast the bell that rested in the tower. There was no need for a regular attendant for the bell up so high as a rope now ran down to the ground for ringing.

It was from up here Jaspert saw the havoc that happened in Port Gertrude. He saw the men from the foreign merchants pour off the ships and into the streets as some insidious plan unfolded. They took to butchering several bystanders and the few unaware town guard they came across. As the town sensed what was going on a panic set in as doors became barred and screams were let out.

When his senses finally came to him, Jaspert reached over and pushed on the bell to release the din he had expected already to have been sounded. It took all his strength to move it. He was not ready for the weight of the instrument to push back on him and he was thrown against the wall of the tower as it let its voice be heard. He was slightly dazed when he saw Cerridwen run past him, though he knew not who she was. Jaspert would recall the mischievous grin on her fleeting face for years to come.

When he regained his composure and looked over the wall, he saw the town guard had organized a counter push. Equally armed and under manned they were holding the enemy out of about half the city from what he could tell. He saw the lighthouse on one of the hills had fallen to the sailors. They were now erecting barricades in parts of the city while continuing to fight in others.

This battle would carry on for several hours as Jsspert cowered in the tower. He contemplated fleeing the town but was worried he would be trampled by the mobs of others doing the same thing. The corsairs were making a slow progress through the city but if nothing changed they were on track to control it by this evening. He fretted more as the guard was being routed from their early advances.

He looked back to Saj-graf to see if their forces had been mobilized to aid the port. He smiled in delight to see there was movement coming. But when the banners became more visible to him they were not that of the Saj-graf. They were gray and purple, a mercenary group, but under whose coin he pondered. Then a second group appeared to approach, this time down the main road from Saj-Graf. This time he recognized the banners as the city’s colors. He observed the approach longer till a rider from the two groups went out and met, riding alongside each other as they approached Port Gertrude. Jaspert felt a small bit of relief as a messenger broke from the Saj-graf forces at top speed, riding to the port.

The Dance

I have often disliked the dance.
Too much to do.
A delicate move here,
And slight mistakes ruin it all.

Reflection
Again and again,
All that should be done
And nothing can be.

Don’t you know?
They can only do as much as you,
Each move decides the next.
A wrong choice?
It doesn’t matter.
The next move is all that can be changed.

Dance with me.

Do you see?
I want to learn this dance,
But we aren’t good teachers.
Each partner changes the dance.

So you sit and watch others.
But you cannot learn,
The beauty draws you in.
No longer are you watching,
But yearning.

Beware!
The dance is deadly.
It will snare you,
And bring you the best and worst.
It will intoxicate you,
And leave you needing more.

Were you there?
When the dance started?
Or do you forget?

You too will have a turn.
But it always starts when you aren’t looking.
And leaves without a word.

How could you have known?

The truth?
I hate to dance.
Leave it all and never again.
But its too late,
I have been drawn in.

The Monolith Saj-graf

The monolith of Saj-graf is located within the confines of the most prestigious house of Saj-Graf. Though tasked with guarding the gilded spire, the family at times all but forgets the purpose the structure as does the average citizen. The symmetry of the structure does go unnoticed tucked away among the nobles and then hoisted some four stories up from the street. This location was chosen to match the flow with the energy of the city.

If it were possible, one could head to it by taking a direct path from the city gate they entered to the city center. The development of a Saj-graf has deviated from this original design over the years making such a trek no longer feasible.
Those in the city that enchant are aware of the subtle hum that radiates from the monolith. It both draws them close and yet becomes unbearable if they proceed too close. The warding on the structure was set to prevent any alterations to its function. This was done after vandalism was found altering a rune that prevented all sprites in the city limits to preventing all sprites. This alteration was never fixed and never really made public knowledge.

Siwaldh looked at the spire from afar. He brushed the greying brown hair from his eye and returned to the mead he was drinking. He had been in Saj-graf for only a week and was already adapting to the customs of the place, mead at lunch and ale at dinner. It was these types of nuances that entertained his mind. In another day or two he would go to meet Ertle and find out what his purpose was for being summoned to Saj-graf.

Ertle had asked for discretion in his arrival. Siwaldh had taken that as blend in best he could. It had started by slowly changing his attire to the city’s fashion. With the right charms he would look physically however he needed. Next it was to find out the proper way to call on someone, it was best to have an appointment and not be unannounced. What he had caught was that it was more direct to visit for business, if it was business. Dinner would only get you a meal and entertainment. Again not a surprise to Siwaldh as this was a merchant’s paradise and not a nobleman’s resort.

Today he was to meet one Lord Hector. The two had been introduced a few years back at a party and they had since been in discussion exchanging bottles of rare spirits as they encountered them. When Hector had learned of Siwaldh’s visit to Saj-graf he had insisted the two meet to share a hundred year old bottle of wine. Neither knew what it would taste like, and that alone had been the draw for Siwaldh to meet with him.