The Austela–Crow Letters: 12

Re: The approach
To: Kai Loreli Wyn
From: Austela Arsaeria
At: Y 23,984SRB, M 08, D 24, H 18:32 2SC-14


I’m composing this while waiting for the evening meal. We landing about two hours ago, and the Rhythians have been putting on their own entertainment for us since then. The music’s more like what I used to hear on Benazen than anything listened to in the rest of society. Gentle, unamplified strings, and in quite an interesting variety of shapes. When accompanied by vocals, they appear to be more to recount stories than provide an overarching tune, though I don’t think our translators have adapted well enough yet to provide a good equivalence.

Considering how long the journey’s been, I’m glad for something more relaxed. Imagine walking straight off a ship into the throes of a mosharn party! I’d rather go straight to bed, if it weren’t for the likelihood I’d need to sing in it.

Ah, but I’m in for a telling off if I don’t fill in the gaps, aren’t I? What can I give you…

First of all, the greenery I saw from the air is actual greenery. There are trees everywhere – the Rythians use them to cover their walkways, because the canopies are quite flat and cover a wide area. They cultivate them wherever they can, but it’s a strict arrangement. I haven’t seen a root poking out of place anywhere yet, and the stone they use for their buildings looks like it was cut and polished yesterday.

The buildings themselves seem quite antiquated, but where we’re staying is some kind of palace, so I guess it must be old. It sits on the top of a plateau overlooking a lake, with sheer walls surrounding it on all sides. I’d sent a photo if I could, but the systems won’t let me. A shame, because you’d love the view from the front – they let water from the lake flow through the palace, and it comes out in a handful of waterfalls down the side of the hill before joining into a river.

The landing area’s outside the palace walls, so at first I thought we’d have to hike all the way up there. But they have some domesticated flying creatures they use for surface transport. We got to ride some of those up instead.

Ah, the musicians just started moving. I think food might be ready.

Promising to save as many images as possible,

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