TITLE: Knight of Aegias
It all began with the skull.
There were other beginnings of course, found in occurrences both obvious and subtle that had been orchestrated by circumstance, chance or some other more deliberate force that had dictated the course of things. Everything was a consequence of something. But whenever he thought back on it years later, Ryn always found himself dwelling on the day on which that wretched piece of bone first intruded upon their lives.
It had been the twelfth day of Quinsen, the height of spring, a day that came like any other. The rising sun burned away the cool breezes that had crept in under the cover of darkness from Crusader’s Bay. Residents devoted to the Church and the Quadripartite were summoned to Morning Prayers by the toll of the cathedral’s bells. Those who instead adhered to the shamanistic practices of the Teishlian Empire heralded the sun’s arrival with sing-song chants that lingered long after the bells had gone silent, as if one religion could overwhelm the other by persistence alone. From the Harbor Ward echoed the sounds of maritime commerce, mingled with the aromatic smoke of outdoor cooking hearths and bread ovens.
Ryn woke with the first note of the cathedral’s bells. Josalind barely stirred beside him, her features lost under a tangle of coppery red curls and one pale arm cradled over her head. He rose, pulled on a light cotton shirt and a pair of short pants, and padded barefoot to his desk in the common room of their modest apartment.