Still adding a little to this.


It was the fifth day of the month of the Bloody King when I traipsed up the stairs to the case-room. It was generally agreed by all of my fellow-Guardians of the Way that the extra two flights of steps were well worth the unparalleled view of the mists of Seacity harbor… and the heady smells that came when the east wind freshened. That morning I fancied I could scent spices from Far Foreign ships, the exhalation of Seacity itself, the lingering fragrances and odors from the festivals last evening; and beneath it all, the musk of the sea. I have never gone far enough west to lose the sea-scent, and I hope that I never will. As long as I love the sea-scent, I am not wholly lost to madness.

But I indulged myself in contemplation for only a moment. It would be a long morning, no doubt; the day after Festival is a busy time for Guardians. Many people today would be waking up with the consequences of last night’s actions alongside them, and some of those people would react poorly. The ancients had a saying: If you would have peace, be prepared to slay. A wise thought, if from a vanished and vanquished people.