The Shard. It was beautiful, Kathrine thought. Rell Keep was so…dull. Bleak. At least by comparison. It was nice, obviously. It had its own charm. But this place was so vibrant. Colourful! It had only been a few weeks she’d been here, but it gave a new lease on life. She didn’t miss Rell so much any more.
The people here were kind. They accepted her, even though she was out of place in the community. There were the occasional few that shunned her, though not to her face. She still overheard them though, in the taverns, or in the public spaces. “Any other neighbourhood — there’s a whole city for her kind. Why here? Why in our space?”
She didn’t mind. She knew there were always some people that just wouldn’t like her. She was fine with that. She wanted the change, she wanted to experience a different culture, a different take on things. The Shard was that. She couldn’t get over all the colour in the place. Each and every Scalar a different hue — red, blue, silver, bronze — and their buildings and workplaces just as bright. They didn’t see her fascination with it. “It’s nothing compared to Scale,” they’d say. She hoped one day she might see their homeland. The Glass Palace. The shimmering rooftops, the glaziers. It sounded wonderful.
They said it was one place everyone should see. Visit Scale. The Glass City of Karan Taul. See the Greenwild, the Wastes. Those two from a distance, perhaps. Meriden, she’d done that. Was doing that. Maybe Scale next. She’d certainly got the taste for it.
They had drakes, they said. Great winged beasts, the closest anyone could get to a tame dragon. Drake Riders! What a life that’d be. And they spoke of the Dragonknights, the strongest and noblest of Scale’s military, resplendent in their glass armour. Maybe she’d see one.
It was the money, though. It always was. Passage to Alathor, then finding transport to the island. And she’d need somewhere to stay. A job, perhaps. They might not be so comfortable with her there. There were so many different people in Meriden, it was difficult not to like strangers, but maybe Scale would be different. It was a few years away, at any rate. But Meriden, that was the City of Dreams! Anything was possible if she tried hard enough, they said.
Even passage out.