Beyond the borders of Heliodor the lands changed. Verdant grass and trees gave way to scrub, then rock and sand. As they changed, so did the say above, turning to the pale blue of burnished steel, the Sun hot and painful to the eyes. Hard and unwelcoming, these were lands that gave birth to doubt and the desire to turn back from our path and seek again the haven offered by the elves of Heliodor once more.
But onward we strove, company and horses wilting in equal measure under the heat of the Sun and huddled against the cold nights that awaited at the end of each day. We were drawn by the mystical promise of Agra Adara, and when its golden domes and slender minarets rose through the horizon’s haze, we all could not help but be lifted in spirit and pace, despite the Sun’s heat until at last we came to the gates of the city as it sat between the seas of sand and water.
Standing as a beacon of light in the surrounding darkness of desert and sea, Agra Adara is a place that defies description for those who have not seen it. Scarce have I found a place more strange to my eyes: the peoples here be-robed in white or bright colours even to their heads, their skins warmed brown by the Sun, their eyes bright stars filled with greeting, their houses and buildings natural palaces of cool air, rich carpets and tiles that carried the heat of the body away through the very soles of our boots.
The gardens surrounding these snow-white buildings offered a rich sanctuary from the trials of journeys by land or across the inland sea. As rich and verdant as those of Heliodor, Elemaria or the other realms through which we had passed, these gardens lay cut by channels of water built by hand, and by natural pools. Thus Agra Adara is more than an oasis – it is a haven for life, watched over by the strange – to mine own eyes at least – animal and man-gods of the ancient peoples who formed it.
Never have a seen a place so rich in life – the people, the deer, the rabbits, the dogs and the most magnificent horses I have ever seen, tall and proud, with blankets instead of saddles. It was on these marvellous beasts that I and three of my companions were given a tour of the gardens on our second day in this most renewing of places. Dressed in the light robes and headdresses of out hosts, we followed paths through the long grass to discover the decorated gardens where the deer roamed, and thence out to the pools beyond where we were greeted by the wonderful site of elephants that raised their trunks in greeting.
It was here by day we could rest and renew our spirits and by night witness such dance and entertainment as we have never witnessed – but not for ourselves or the other travellers, traders and merchants drawn to Agra Adara’s jewel , but for the people of the city itself. Filled with an inner light and a lightness of heart, they dances for one another, for their love of life, weaving tales of the history of the world as they saw it, celebrating those strange gods who had helped them to found this golden-domed city and caused it to flourish.
For me, this was a place I could so happily have settled, the richness of history and depth of beauty called to my heart, the dance caused me to want to learn more of the legends of the gods and men who gave the city form. and so I counted each day within Agra Adara, hoping the ship that would carry onward might be delayed by yet another, so my time here could continue.
Agra Adara by Eldowyn Inshan & Katz Republic, sponsored by United InshCon & Bad Katz, Camp Italia, Eagle’s Photo Studio. Featuring stores by: ChangHigh Art, CKit Falconry, DCKM & Rogues Echo, Dragons Arise, Dreamcatcher, .: Eclectic Stars :., Grumble, Hawker’s House & Dragon Forge Weapons, John Dee’s Emporium, Little 2 Large, Lyrical Bizarre Templates, Mirage Treasure Co., Sakka’s Studio, Shaman’s Hut, Stitched, and TFF – Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions.
Total raised by the end of the Faire’s eighth day: L$7,695,927 (US $30,783).
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Fantasy Faire regions are rated Moderate.