Renewed by the beauty of Agra Adara, we crossed the inland sea to arrive at Autumnium. Scarce could the change be greater; from the arid lands that washed around the golden domes and minarets of that now distant haven of peace and the golden lands of Autumnium, a place forever caught between the greens of summer and the white and grey of winter.
Here the the trees grew tall, rich in yellow and orange and ochre and red, boughs heavy with leaf even as the ground lay under a carpet of golden grass heavy with leaves that had already fallen. Through these trees the wind blew gently, stirring branches and rippling through the wheat-like grass with a gentle sigh of warmth.
We followed the paved road up from the docks and through the trees the were a small town raised steep blue roofs and taller round towers between the surrounding blanket of trees. here were throngs of people, laughing, happy, and moving freely from shop to store and back as music floated down from high towers.
At the centre of the town was a great throng laughing, singing dancing, with more up on the hill above, moving among standing stones. These stones stood apart from the golds and yellows of Autumnium, for they lay among a rich carpet of green grass looking like an emerald amongst the amber grass and trees. Nor were the people dancing between and around the stones, so to did swirls of light and colour, turning and twirling between the ancient stones. Then, as I watched, two magnificent winged horses swept down from the burnished blue sky, their riders tall and fair, to land on the grass. Riders and mounts bowed us as we passed along the road below them, and I found myself longing to once again stay our journey, but we had tarried enough along our path, and so we moved on.
More strange lands lay before us, but in all my travels, I confess that none from this journey nor any of those from my past, could compare to the high seat of Auxentios’ Pass for the extent of its strangeness.
While Autumnium might forever be caught in the midst of an everlasting autumn, this was a place sitting in the depths of a forever winter. Occupying a saddle pass in the high mountains, it sat as a place where wealth had been exhumed from the living rock on which it had grown. In doing so, and perhaps because of its icebound isolation, the town had forged its own path, giving birth to great machines that allowed it to both survive and thrive.
Scarce could I have imagined a place so different to all I have known. Stepping up the get rocky shelves of the pass, the town stood as stalwart buildings hewn from cut stone and brick, each one standing as a fortress against the harsh cold. Broad streets lay between this formidable structures, which climbed up to a great singular building of tall sloping roofs and high smoking stacks than spoke to the warmth within.
Nor was that warmth restricted to the great houses; the very streets hissed, exhaling clouds of warm steam, their surfaces utterly free of the snow and ice that clung to almost every surface. It was a magical sight, the streets looking as if they were themselves breathing, our horses skittish and reluctant to pass along them to the point where we had to find stables – heated by great pipes running along the ceilings – and set them to rest as we continued on foot, wrapped in heavy cloaks and preceded by clouds of our own exhaled breath.
As we did so, so the secret of the street was revealed: a gaping hole was open as a rectangular maw, the iron plates of the street raised on either side, allowing us to see the mighty pipes that carried heat along them, so it could heat the plates when in place, freeing them from the ice and snow. Witnessing this, I followed the line of iron road as it swept back down to where, rising above the houses, a great machine lay, red and round, belching fire from its uppermost extent, a great hissing and thumping of machinery carried to us as the breeze turned to blow along the street on which we stood.
Such was the mystery of this massive thing, that we were drawn towards it, passing down the street until we could see it stood over a great pit on three massive legs like a giant iron creature rising from the deeps, drawing the energies of mother Earth with it. I would have called it the most frightening, wondrous creation I had ever seen except at that moment, another machine, smaller but no less daunting a sight, clanked around the corner on two hissing, thumping bird-like legs, a cylinder strapped behind it blowing gouts of smoke into the frigid air as it passed.
We could not help but fall back against the wall as this weird mechanical beast clanked by, and then like children drawn after a forbidden fruit, we followed it back up the road. And so we witnessed how it flourished the long funnel extending from its front, guided by unseen eyes and hands within, as it swivelled towards the icy walls of the houses before it and blasted them with a great roar of steam, blowing away the ice and snow and revealing the rich colours of the stone beneath.
And so we followed this strange machine as to banged and clomped up the hill, marvelling as it worked, to come at last to that great hill-top hall, its walls heavy with pipes that climbed up them as airships circled overhead. Here we were greeted by townsfolk and shown in through heavy doors to were many were gathered to eat and share.
Autumnium by Kilik Lekvoda, sponsored by Teegle, Roleplay: Piltover & Zaun, and The Realm of Dark Moons. Featuring stores by 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Adeyakko, Balderdash, Bare Rose Tokyo, Dark Fairy Fashions, Deadly Nightshade, (Dragon Forge Weapons), Lunistice, Mindgardens Creations & Color Alchemists, Moonley Inc., ~Mythril~ & . Heraldic ., Spider Productions, Stargazer, SugarBloq, The Flying Pony, The Little Bat, Torgon’s and Tutto E Vanita.
Auxentios’ Pass by Faust Steamer, sponsored by [ContraptioN] and Insomnia Angel. Featuring stores by Birth, :::c*C*c:::, Caboodle, CerberusXing, [Cubic Cherry], Cutie Larks, Folly, GERMINAL, Ghoul 喰種, Hotdog, Limehouse Textures, NAMINOKE, ~NLD~ New Life Designs, Raven Bell, !Reliquary!, ::Static::, Stix, The Crosstime Garage, The NeoVictoria Project, and Unrepentant.
Total raised by the end of the Faire’s ninth day: L$8,449,725 (US $33,798).
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Fantasy Faire regions are rated Moderate.