Brother Hagopin proved to be a mistake. She found this out too late. But this man, she was sure now, was a man of honor. She could not afford to be wrong. Soon, she would approach him.
The inn was a’flutter with activity and talk that evening, as the companions continued their heated exchange.
–The Dynast of Jantir, Larnassa, the Split-Lipped Queen’s Grande Ball was to coincide with the last day of the four-day Symposium. A gathering for those not so ‘religiously’ inclined to celebrate the ‘secular’, a not so subtle jab on the Dynast’s behalf, to avert the attention of Jantir’s citizens, from the maddening (to her) religious convergence taking place. Invitations were hard to come by, and apparently greatly coveted.
-Jantir’s first ever Zoo, three years in planning and construction phase, was having its grande opening the very next day as well. Supposedly, countless beasts, known and unknown, creatures from the world’s four corners had been brought in over the last half-year and would finally all be put on display. Inn patrons buzzed with excitement. There was even talk, that a “dragon”, captured across the sea, would be presented for all to witness!
–Lately, along with the many religious scholars and zealots who gathered in Jantir for the four-day Symposium, a new breed of apocalypse prophets were present as well, infiltrating the zeitgeist of the populace. Prophecies and predictions of world-ending dooms were all the rage, and though certainly not a novel concept, it seemed that the current wave of the End-of-Days proclaimers, were taking on a particularly morbid and powerful tone, and capturing the people’s imaginations.
–There was talk of dragons also. Though most cosmopolitan Jantirians thought of dragons as semi-mythical beasts, only found far away across the seas in impenetrable jungles, ancient texts, and abysmal caves of the world, lately rumors of dragon cults and the great, serpentine beasts themselves were surfacing.
–There was news from across the Empire. Trouble in far-off, mysterious Nimz, city of scholars, artificers, and clock-towers. An insurgence or an insurrection, or even a bold and brazen assault, no was sure, had apparently taken place. Word said that whatever the conflict seem to entail in that strange, isolated place, it would somehow probably come to Jantir soon as well. The problem with these rumors was, that no one yet had enough information to gauge what exactly had happened. At least no one in this inn.
-Closer to home, there was gossip of some great feud taking place, north, in the forested, swamp-land of the elder nobility. The estates of the ancient clans were abuzz with talk of the Hellschwerts and the Von Hellens. Trouble was brewing between the two old families.
-And from across the sea there was talk of deserts, and cities of glass, and great electrical storms, and ancient prophecies.
–The 97th Annual Regatta of Screaming Eagles, in honor of the Never-Ending-Empire’s commemoration and celebration of its own past and original expansion, (not the Kepharans favorite event, but revered as near sacred by the Southfolk, particularly the blue-blooded) was to begin in a week. A great sailing race circumnavigating the gigantic Bay of Screaming Eagles, starting in Ssembra’s docks, with the eventual winner, pulling into the cove of the Harbormaster’s Isle after a making a great circle, three hundred and sixty miles later, to be feted and honored by the gathered nobles.
Jantir was a busy place.