Mirrored from Sythyry.
Such an eventless voyage! I am afraid I shall be quite spoiled by it. Perhaps flying to and for about the uppermost branches, entirely in areas that were conquered and colonized and civilized before my parents were born, is somehow safer than zooming up and down the Verticals of the main trunk, or blipping off to horrible heavens.
Still: Hanija Mene. One of the largest of city-states: a segment of branch that must measure well over a hundred miles from end to end. The city of Hanija proper is vast and mighty, no less so than my home of Vheshrame. As with Vheshrame at its peak, Hanija exerts a great influence for several cities around. If the Duke of Hanija waves his hand, a tide comes upon Lizu or Jojutang — and those are mighty city-states in their own right.
Hanija Mene probably has less land than Vheshrame. It has, I think, more surface area — but a great part of that is water. Where we have several rivers weaving and criss-crossing their way across our mene, Hanija has a string of big lakes. They actually have occasional trouble with water-monsters … and they have plenty of Orren.
We shall see what the combination of ‘plenty of Orren’ and ’socially acceptable transaffection’ do together.
Oh, let’s see. The city walls of Hanija are of water: a vast bubble-shell over the city. It must be over a mile tall at the center, and at least four in diameter. It throws off rainbows when Flokin lights the sun, which is well worth seeing from above now and then. It also has some quite substantial spells upon it. If Vae were to try to come in, the wall would become a hoard of vicious fangy spiky ice-monsters and do its best to kill her. The wall-builders clearly preferred quantity over finesse, though; I must rank the Hanijan walls inferior to those of Vheshrame, or even of, oh, Barency. Far stronger than Eigrach’s or Dossimar’s. Not, I hope, that we ever need to worry about the details.
It also blocks off all rain coming to the city — most wall-builders prefer not to be quite so determined about blocking everything. So the city is between two lakes, and a thousand canals cut through it. I imagine they’ve got some sort of internal irrigation system; I can see plentiful trees and gardens through the water.
Entry to Hanija
We had, of course, sent letters to the Ministry of Externalities in Hanija, warning them that we were coming, with our load of students, nendrai, perverts, demons, angels, and wizards. They seemed singularly undisturbed by the prospect. This is somewhat understandable, for, some fifteen years ago, they disposed of a prior great monster — a scyanturge — without great difficulty. Perhaps they do not know that Vae is a very recent sort of nendrai; perhaps they are simply confident.
Hanija is the home to two wizards. Wingsa is a Zi Ri, some fourteen hundred years old. Zie, like me, is descended from Glikkonen, and is third-or-fourth generation depending on which way ’round you go. We don’t have any other ancestors in common. Zie is a rather conventional sort of lizard, from all I hear; zie has scales (green with yellow highlights) but no feathers. Zie is a rather conventional sort of wizard as well, specializing in spellcasting, with a distinct expertise in Corpador and Herbador.
Yiseth-Epu is the unusual one. She’s a Herethroy, some three hundred years old. She is a water-wizard: the mistress of water in all its forms and variations. She made the current city walls, I presume, so she must do enchantments. She is known for spellwork — enough spellwork to conquer a scyanturge, which is no small feat. She has turned world-leaves into clouds with ritual spells, which is also no small feat, and I believe the one that got her the title of wizard (since she invented the ritual spell).
This could hardly be better, at least as far as avoiding the troubles I had in Eigrach goes. Two wizards already, both rather my elders, so the city won’t be sneakily trying to acquire me. Neither wizard is particularly a specialist in my specialties, though, so I won’t be particularly competing with them. And both of them are quite busy with their own projects, according to various mutual acquaintances — inventing spells, for Wingsa, and water-sculpting for Yiseth-Epu — so I will not be interfering.
Professor Mump did his part in the arrangements too. He wrote to his colleagues at the High Academy of Hanija, giving his students certain contacts and assistances that may prove helpful to them. Or may prove devastating, for all I know. I had rather hoped that there would be a Department of Applied Transaffection there — and one of Theoretical Transaffection, where I could harden up my still-squidgy mental concepts of the matter — but no, there is no such thing. They do not actually have academic departments. Instead they have eminent professors, who study and teach whatever they feel like. Some of them are studying and teaching about prime behavior at the moment. One of them was a mathematician last year. One must wonder how good an education the High Academy produces.
Anyhow! A dozen of my passengers and a dozen of my crew have already made their way into Hanija. So has hCevian, despite all our best advice. As often when we arrive at a city that we will stay at for some while, I am staying outside, with Vae. She is constructing a letter to Oixe and their unhatched child out of nut-shells, twine, and spacewarps. I spent a while on important local correspondence (trying to arrange some meetings from my students), and now I am writing my journal. This will suffice for the day. I can be patient for the sake of my friend.