Servant of the Enemy Part I
Updated: Dec 25, 2019
Written By R.M. Garino
San Randor was an ancient city. Old stood next to modern and both pretended the other did not exist. The stone of the buildings were once white when removed from the quarries. Now, they were a green so dark as to be almost black, the passive victims of the inevitable soot and dirt of human habitation, combined with the ravages of the sea.
Cutting across the northern district, a monstrous barricade stood twenty stories high. Its top was buttressed and interrupted by gabled guard turrets. For the citizens below, the fortification was offensive and was not designed to keep them safe.
It was designed to keep them out.
Three towers stood above the dirt and grime like unyielding sentinels of morality and virtue. Allaen Doas Randor, the Sharakeen Temples; forever in view, but forever unobtainable.
San Randor was a sad place. People lost themselves here, lost their possessions, their loved ones, and their hope. There was no law, although many people tried to establish its reign throughout the years. What passed for a government was a loose confederate of organized criminals who divided various regions between warring families. It was a haven of the illicit and the dispossessed.
It was early winter in the sad city by the sea, and an icy fog crept between the cramped buildings.
Tonight was the Feast of Night, the darkest evening of the year, where the sun was held at bay for a full two days. No illumination shone from the towers and an oppressive gloom settled over the streets. The houses gave the impression of stillness, the windows covered in folds of dark cloth to ward off the evil tradition claimed roamed free and unhindered. It was whispered this was when the dead exploited the darkness and pillaged the world of the living. Any house burning even a single candle was vulnerable, and as such, tradition held all be cast into obscurity.
Superstitions aside, the long dark hours and the proclivity toward concealment presented a great excuse for a feast.
Coarse and spontaneous laughter drifted down the streets. The haste and zeal of the celebrations was evident in the precautions erected in certain houses. The folds of fabric parted in slight arcs, and revealed thin slivers of light in the windows. This gave testament to the gathering hidden away within.
These houses would hold a particular fascination for any haunting the streets, and likely as not, one would be a house of fresh corpses by morning.
To Be Continued ....
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