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To displease a Yozi is to tempt fate worse than death. The fallen Primordials have many ways in which to express their ire, and Iâ€™d really not experience any of them. When one finds himself on the bad side of a Yozi, he had better find a way to appease them, and fast.
Still, itâ€™s easier said than done. The Creators of Creation are hardly a normal bunch, and they have some pretty crazy ideas for what would bring an ill-favoured servant back into their good graces. The Ebon Dragon, for instance: he loves weddings. Weddings, of all things. Romance is great and all, but, seriously, marriage? Itâ€™s absurd.
But after the way things went last time, Bulitar says I donâ€™t have many more chances. She says Iâ€™d better find a way to quell the wrath of the Shadow of All Things if Iâ€™d like to keep my mind in the current order itâ€™s in. And even though I would like having a few things fixed up, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d like a pissed-off Primordial doing the rearranging.
So, apparently, now Iâ€™m looking for a bride. Or groom. Really, anyone thatâ€™ll go to the altar with me will do. And as soon as thatâ€™s done, I can get back to doing what Iâ€™m actually supposed to be focusing on â€“ freeing the Yozis. Itâ€™s absurd having to take such a ridiculous detour. But Bulitar keeps reminding me that if I donâ€™t throw the Shadowlord a bone soon, Iâ€™ll end up the worse for it.
I swear that Iâ€™ll never get used to the South, no matter how long Iâ€™m trapped in the sandpit. Living most of my life in the West has spoiled me, I suppose â€“ endless, blue-green oceans and cool, white sand. The sand hereâ€™s different. Itâ€™s red and coarse and works its way into fucking everything. And no matter how often you bathe, you can never get completely clean. And thatâ€™s assuming thereâ€™s not sand in the water. Thatâ€™s happened to me more times than I can count.
Still, when the Ebon Dragon tells me to go South, I go South. Doesnâ€™t mean I have to like it, and thatâ€™s probably part of the reason why the Yoziâ€™s so frustrated with me. Really, though, it was hardly my fault. Corrupting the jewel trade in Gem is a helluva lot harder than simply tearing it to pieces. Nobody really liked that, though, and now I canâ€™t show my face around there for a couple of decades. Which I really donâ€™t mind. I missed the sea, anyway.
The glass road leading to Chiaroscuro is pretty impressive, but after the first twenty miles, it just gets monotonous. So for most of the trip, I sleep. Bulitar chats every now and then, but usually the only sound is the wind blowing across the sands. Thereâ€™s something nostalgic about that, I suppose. After all, a sea of sand is not that much different from a sea of water. And the way the sand ship glides across it, well, it reminds me of home more than I would like. Itâ€™s a relief when the ship finally stops. I pay the dereth who serves as captain and hop off.
I had by-passed Chiaroscuro by way of Malfeas, so this is my first time actually seeing the city. Even from miles away, I could spot something glittering on the horizon. Now that Iâ€™m on the outskirts, I can fully appreciate it. It looks similar to any other Southern city, save for the glass spires that rise here and there among the buildings. Some of them are broken and squatty, but others reach precariously up into the sky. The way the light gleams off of them is enough to blind a person. After craning my neck at them enough, I decide itâ€™s time to move on.
The outskirts of the city are nothing but hovels and shacks. Further ahead, I can see a wall built of glass that marks entrance to the city proper. I had gotten information from the dereth about the sectors of the city. There was the Out-of-Townersâ€™ Quarter, which was near the harbor. The Old City was the high-scale part of town where most of the towers were. The New City was where the labourers lived. Then there was the Undermarket, where anything could be bought for a price. Or I could just wander through the outskirtsâ€¦