“Then you will have your men.” He let out a breath. “Use them well.” He leant out of his carriage and looked towards the lines of men behind. “Take your pick of the soldiers behind you, now,” he knocked on the roof of the carriage, “Go!” he commanded. The carriage rolled onwards through the gates.
                It was hard to discern just quite how big this place was. Ascocen was large, on a market day it thronged with merchants and patrons and even entertainment, there was little room for free movement and in the hot climes, the heat was insufferable. The merchant’s guild in Ascocen was one of the largest; the Guild of ales and wines was the greatest in the country, his city was prosperous and the coffers filled with coin.
                Louennon was of a far grander scale.
                The eastern entrance to the castle held the Crafters square. At least two dozen large buildings lined the streets, each the size of a manor and each of them housing some of the country’s most prominent Guilds. Here was where the finest masons, smiths, carpenters and more were made.
                For an honest price, a family could leave their sons or daughters here, and here they would be taught a basic knowledge of their trade, then apprenticed to a Master Journeyman either within the capital or somewhere in the lands.
                Everywhere walked a host of students and craftsmen, bearing mounds of wood, caskets of fruit, bundles of silk and cloth. There were so many it took the carriage a very long time to make its way up the hill. At the top of the hill was a University, by far the largest building in the square.
                The brick wings of the building stretched a league in all directions and ending is spires which rose high enough to reach the clouds. Pastures of greenery and some exotic flowers surrounded the complex and in the walls was set coloured glass. Once, a very long time ago in his early youth, Damyen had visited this place, visited its library. His own library was big; this one’s was far bigger.
                Scholars roamed the grounds with books in hands reciting words of history, of philosophy and mathematic and much more. A few students sat against the willow trees, reading and conversing.
                The carriage eventually passed the University of Louennon and swung around it towards the entrance of the keep, by far the most immense building, very isolated by the dyke which snaked around the keep. It was an elegant place, the way the curves moved into the next, the way the supports held the walls and the windows similar to the University glittered in the sun and looked well amongst the granite walls.
                The carriage came towards the gate, rumbling past the bridge.
                The keep opened to accept his train.
                He stopped at the entrance as another guard watched him pass.
                “The King is inside?” he asked. The guard nodded. “Where would I find him?”
                “He is with the High Council, but I would imagine they should finish soon. If you would speak to him, address the King’s Steward.” Damyen thanked him and rode onwards.
                Once within the inner courtyard, he exited his carriage and left it.

The End

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