WELP here we go, two days behind but not completely absent. This one is incomplete but I figured that it ends on at least a vaguely conclusive note, so that will have to do. The prose version of Thursday’s will be happening, just not quite yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Summer had returned quickly. The Dawn Hall had kept the night’s chill, but the wind that blew in from the high windows was hot. The prince, seated near the front where the light fell, must have felt the morning sun acutely. Rell, waiting at the edge of the chamber, did not envy him. At least the crowd pressing into the building had the sun in front of them – their leader would have the heat beating down on his back for the whole morning.
These meetings had been his idea; an opportunity for him to consult with his new citizens and gauge their mood with his own eyes and ears. By a trick of construction, the hall’s windows allowed the morning sun to fall directly upon the front chamber in the summer months. Never one to shy from a grand gesture, the prince had declared that the business of government would begin each day in the light, and spent the morning of every fifth day amongst his people.
“Enjoying the view?”
Rell started, then silently cursed herself for letting her surprise show. She looked deliberately to her right and saw Fionn staring a challenge at her. The boy glanced at the papers she held and shook his head. “He’s not likely to have time to discuss the accounts until he’s done with the day’s theatrics.” All business, as usual. She waved at the circle of light cast on the chamber floor.
“I wished to see the morning light, my lord. A very clever trick of construction, I must admit. Do you think the builders worshipped the sun?”
Fionn snorted. “You would see religion here, I suppose,” he said, turning to face the throng. “You’ve precious little besides your gods below the Barrier, after all. I, on the other hand, suspect the builders had something more practical in mind.”
“Really now.” Rell chose to ignore the slight – it was too early in the morning to bother railing against Imperial parochialism. “And what might that have been?”
“Theatre.” He remained still, but she could see his head tracking a circle around the room. “The light falls into the centre of the hall and blinds audiences to everyone lurking here at the edges. The walls themselves push the sound away, so that we can whisper here without being heard.” He returned his gaze to the prince.
“They must have had their reasons for hiding away,” Rell ventured. Fionn shrugged.
“Similar to our own, I would guess. You can get away with a lot more in the shadows.”