Mr. Harbaroc -

I feel I must explain the reason for my abrupt departure from lunch, and for our lack of correspondence these past few days.

Concentrating on my work has made it difficult to know which day it is, and when I realized the date, it took me by complete surprise, as I am generally good at keeping a schedule. The "appointment" I had so nearly missed was my nephew's graduation - it was a wonder I could get back into the city at all! In any case, I promised I'd tell you about the city, and as my last attempt had been interrupted by my carelessness, now seems as good a time as ever.

Holglenn isn't unlike any other city under our gracious emperor - it is prosperous, populous, and several other words beginning with the same letter that one associates with the masses. During the day, the streets are extremely crowded, but by the evening they have nearly emptied. Several very dear memories involve walking among the closed street venders' stands, as the sounds grow distant and the light settles into the calm of dusk. The port is the only exception; the abundance of activity by sea and air simply relocates to one of many taverns by the docks.

Toward the north end of the city are the older structures, remarkably well preserved. As one travels outward, the buildings grow taller, and several levels of the city develop, accessible by private craft and a network of suspended walkways. I am a child of the new city, but we were close enough to frequent the theater and shops in the old district.

On the Hallowed Grounds is the university, of course. Its design reflects its reputation, with strong walls of staggering dimension and uniform, narrow windows - an intimidating spectacle, up close. I recall the first moment I set foot within the gates, and I had been foolish enough to wander into the graveyard. Because of the way the shadows fall from the surrounding buildings and trees, it is the only area of the city that holds the blue haze of the morning throughout the day. I must admit it was the peace that called to me. My father had mentioned the exclusivity of the life sciences, but...I suppose I was meant to find out in person.

That's more than enough rambling on my part. While writing this, I wonder where you are from and what circumstances have led you here. I would extend an invitation for another lunch so that we may have a proper discussion, but to my flatmate's chagrin, all of her furniture has been moved into the main room and the hall, due to an unplanned fumigation. Hopefully the new residents sharing the flat will understand that it's nothing personal, they're just a little too poisonous for our tastes.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Torl

The End

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