A picture I took back in '08 during a trip to Panama. Of all the works of my short-lived photography hobby, this one I am msot proud of. The photo is of the reconstructed Belltower in the ruins of Panama Viejo.
The Pretender God Chapt. 4 Prologue Pt. 2The Free City of Halkan’s Landing was a thriving trade port on the edge of the continent. An autonomous city-state ruled by a council of Aldermen from the various guilds, and pledging its allegiance in external affairs to the greater dominion of the Holy Empress Naoko. The benign neglect it received from its beloved sovereign and deity had led to an age of prosperity and growth, and it boasted a population of just over fifty thousand inhabitants, making it by far the largest settlement in the region.
At any one point and on any one day, a person might find the streets bustling with trade and talk nineteen to the dozen. Various people from different locales across the world gathered at its port and in its taverns to talk both of business and pass time in pleasure. And a multitude of goods from any imaginable place that the great whale-roads may take could be found being loaded and unloaded at the harbor or being displayed for purchase in its market stalls: Salts from the Seafolk,
The Pretender God Chapt. 4 PrologueAs night fell over the port of Halkan’s Landing, no sound could be heard amidst the shadowed alleys, not even the footfalls of a roaming feline against the cobbled stones. The simple gas lamps which lit the streets gave only minimal sanctuary from the overwhelming darkness of midnight, and the alleyways adjacent to the street were therefore engulfed into a near pitch black on this moonless night. Within an alley between Carlson’s Café and Markward’s Miscellanea, a single figure, clad in fineries reminiscent of an age long past, stood lurking.
The figure, blue in skin tone and seemingly middle-aged, was smoking a pipe as he watched the streets, waiting for his “charge” to arrive. He impatiently checked his pocket watch before muttering a silent curse under his breath. So transfixed was he with his observation of what was in front of him, that he did not notice the other figure approach him from behind.
“Nukpana, I presume?”
At once the blue-ski
The Pretender God Chapt. 3 Pt. 3The twenty-two-year-old general and conqueror, Prince Cyneric Godwinson af Súrr, took his place at the Privy Council of his uncle, the aging King Cynewulf IV. The King sat at the head of the table, whilst an assortment of other ministers and advisors sat all about it. The King stood up, causing everyone else, including Cyneric to follow suit.
“I would like-,” The King began, before being interrupted by a violent fit of coughing. They stood patiently and waited for the fit to pass before the King, tall, broad shouldered and gray, began again. “As I was saying, I would like to introduce you all to my nephew, the “second” prince of Súrr and conquering general of the ruins. Tell us then, Your Highness, what news of the barbarians of the ruins? Please debrief the council.”
“Our recent summer campaign met with much success, Uncle,” The Prince replied.
The King frowned visibly and cleared his throat.
“I mean ‘Your Majesty,’