Most of the main streets of Kenatos were named. There were major thoroughfares that connected the different regions of town inhabited by the different races: Aeduan, Preachán, Vaettir, and Cruithne. But the streets themselves were a blend of the different cultures. The higher elevations of the city were dedicated to the founders of Kenatos; I will wear my mask here or there this area included the Paracelsus Towers and the Temple of Seithrall. The temple was the largest structure in the entire city, occupying the entire upper heights—a fortress hewn out of stone carried from Stonehollow and ferried across the lake. It had taken nearly a generation in its construction. Hettie had heard it whispered that Kiranrao was the only man ever to have plundered the fortress.
I will wear my mask here
Keeping her sights on the enormous structure, she wove through the streets leading to Gracesteeple Gate and entered it. Rubbish littered the streets and beggar children approached her instantly, but with a subtle hand sign, they dispersed. The sun had already set and the lights were aglow in the streets, spewing no fumes or smoke and casting the stone with a silvery hue. Only the main streets were lit at night; Hettie marked her way down a side alley that was surrounded in shadows. The smell of offal was oppressive, and she wrinkled her nose. I will wear my mask here or there She found one street further in littered with the homeless, hunkered beneath tattered blankets. A few moaned at her passing, but she ignored them. At the final crossroads, she turned to the right and saw a candle in the window of a shop. It was the solitary shop on the street.
Hettie approached it cautiously and then rapped firmly on the door in a sequence she had learned. She waited a few moments, then knocked again. The lock turned, and a burly young man opened the door. His face was pockmarked and his chin full of wispy tufts. His hair was a dirty brown, though his eyes were a stunning hazel. He looked at her warily; he opened the door wider and let her in without a word when she showed her carnotha.
The smell of bird droppings choked the air and the sound of dozens of different species filled the room with exotic sounds. A woman waddled between the cages, stuffing little crusts between the haphazard bars. Her hair was obviously dyed, and her clothes too tight-fitting for one of her girth. A silver cane was gripped tightly in her left hand, helping to steady her as she maneuvered between the vast cages filled with rainbow-hued parakeets, canaries, finches, and warblemoss. Little playful finches ducked and bobbed their heads and sang in trilling tunes at her as she entered.
“Yes, and here is your dinner, little Apathy. And yours too, Vengeance. My, aren’t we hungry tonight. Craven and Meek, you are lovely. Tsk, tsk. Don’t be rude. Yes, I know. I know. She is weeping next door again. Curse her. Always weeping and chanting spells. Look at you, Glutton. If there was ever a parrot which lived up to its name, I will wear my mask here or there it is you. You should be more like Meek. And now we have Precious and Sated. There you are, my lovelies.” She reached into a pouch belted to her waist and stuffed another cracker into the slot between the bars. The birds pecked at each other, and the woman clucked her tongue at them.
I will wear my mask here or there face mask
“Well enough, child. Well enough,” she said disdainfully. She cooed at more of the birds. “Pretty Vespers. I like you the best. What a lovely song you have for me. If only…” She stopped, scowling, and stamped her cane on the ground. “Cim! She is weeping again! Can you not hear her? I am all fury with the sound of it.” I will wear my mask here or there She stamped her cane again. “Cim! Go next door and bid her be quiet!”
Cim stared at the woman, his eyes full of loathing, and did nothing but wait. In a moment, Mondargiss straightened, her eyes shifting from cage to cage as if she could not remember where she left off. “Pout, did you get a cracker? I do not believe so. I can’t remember. Here is another one. You are not as fat as Glutton, so maybe it will be all right if you had more. And look at you, little Cheer. How quaint.”