Saturday, February 13, 2016

Laqunah: Part I

On the pale rays of dawn's first light, there's a glimmer in the sky as the darkness retreats. Just beyond the trailing shroud existed a place outside of time. Unaffected by the normal rules of universal law, a shimmering city cast in onyx and stone rested upon the edge of a cliff. Below, the deepest pit of eternal nothingness, a never-ending pool of sadness where memories are forgotten. This was the city of happiness and horror, phantasms and fiends, friends and foes.

The last palisade holding back oblivion... Laqunah.

Along the perimeter of the city, nestled between jagged pillars of rock, was a wall. This fortification towered over the cobbled homes and shops below. Peering through the cloudy mist floating above the streets, the neon glow of signs flickered, advertising every which tonic, spell-work or service you could imagine. Creatures of all shapes and sorts bustled back and forth. Some moved on two legs, others on tentacles. A fair number of the residents shouldn't have be alive. Many others could only be considered half dead. The collective nightmares of mankind could barely describe half of those whom walked, crawled and flew across this sable dreamscape. And yet, not all whom lived in Laqunah were vile or deadly. Some would just as rather lend a helping hand than drink the blood of the innocent.

The wall surrounding the city existed in duality, much like those whom called Laqunah home. Not only did it protect those within, but it also kept them from getting out.

In the farthest corner of the city, along the edge teetering above the infinite abyss, sat a humble card shop. To the average person, one would assume that various greeting and birthday cards would be inside. This was not that kind of card shop, though. It was operated by a short, rather unimposing shard demon. Covered in bronze freckles on a carapace of cobalt scales, this stocky beast hovered behind his service counter toiling away on a cryptogram in the Laqunah Sentinel. Tapping his pointed finger against the paper, he simply couldn't determine the correct cipher to solve the puzzle.

A ringing bell announced an arrival to the extremely well lit shop, set ablaze with candles and various luminescent soul beacons. In walked a girl. Every bit the age of sixteen and bursting with excitement, she waved her left arm in the air and quickly launched upon the perplexed demon. Had she of possessed a right arm, she'd surely have been waving that one, too. Hugging the life out of the blue monstrosity, she squealed with joy.

“I got in Hultran, I got in!”

In the fervor of the moment, the newspaper had already been cast in the floor and trampled under hoof.

“That's wonderful Ova. It's not every day that a meager human is allowed to attend Persimmon.”

Dropping her book satchel in the floor, Ova made her way around the counter and into the rear of the building. The card shop also doubled as Hultran and Ova's residence. Passing through a spectral curtain, she darted to the kitchen and prepared a snack of gorven juice and grobbleberry toast. A bragger worm attempted to escape from the icebox, which Ova promptly kicked back inside. She couldn't have dinner escaping again.

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