Excerpts of the book "The gardens upon the mountain peak" ; Parthalan Sirakov (2559)
The gardens upon the mountain peak
The Enor's legend
Your eyes are set on the first sentence of the first paragraph of my last book, The gardens upon the mountain peak. The adaptation into a narrative of my personal diary which accompanied me throughout my last trip to the heart of the northern lands.
I Parthalan Sirakov, the greatest explorer of the northern human Kingdom, member of the golden circle and the council of the Elmine’s sages crossed the lands of the Waretoises tribes, the most barbaric of the north, had to hire a child murderer guide, confront the tribe leader of the Purple Hills in order to finally get to the Iterne Pass, the only known passage to the frozen lands of the far north and start off the true expedition.
I am the only human to have ever been so far into the ice lands, the Tjamai, and one of the only living beings to have been able to climb the Sacro Ra Odimi, the mountain of the slayers, visible even from the Erdim tower on a clear day. As you have understood, my story is unprecedented, the world discovers through these words the last unknown wonders of our civilization, it has cost me the loss of close relatives, it has cost me many sorrows and pains, some may never heal and might bring my career to an end. Here is what awaits you in these pages, I hope my esteemed public that you will appreciate my greatest story.
The journey begins with my departure from my house of Wilturb two hours after dawn, all my belongings had already been transported to Cliope and the carriage had been waiting for me in the alley for well over fifteen minutes. I myself had to go to Cliope to meet my fellow expeditionaries as well as the few mercenaries I had hired to protect me all the way up to the pass - we had agreed, but I intended to soften them up with some gold at the time of separation in order to keep at least two or three.
Cliope was not a very big city, but the traffic on the road towards her was quite heavy. I then learned that the Duc of Tesser had found a new wife in the very respectable Marguerite of Cliope Viscountess of Fausac, daughter of Illio lll Count of Fausac and Hestale, a personality that I have known for a few years since we travelled together until Mirthe and which I greatly value. The whole city was in fervour, people of every age and background were busy preparing the festivities. The most beautiful quarters were already almost entirely decorated, the count had to leave the gates of his gold reserves open because while discussing from my carriage window I learned from a merchant he had sold no less than fifty cows for the big meal. Unfortunately for me I would not be part of the wedding, if I had known earlier, I would have delayed the expedition by a small week.
I joined my companions on the great place of the palace Vosnes, in front of the hotel of the same name. I spent a few minutes shaking hands and talking with each person. First Horoder Neruis, a man with a once imposing stature, who had since refined, he nevertheless remained wide-shouldered and possessed arms with salient muscles. His traits were heavy and dark under-eye rings were marking his face, indicating a profound fatigue. He now had a thick beard, I had always seen him shaved clean. So since last time, he looked like he had taken ten years. You can say whatever you want, but a beard changes a face. He was also an explorer and a great navigator. He owned a company that bought and exported materials, works of art and treasures and funded half of the expedition.
Then comes: Odde bettofer, our scriptwriter and cartographer; Mantios Pallavini, a powerful mage who also sits on the council of the sages; Sostias Ries, doctor and ethnologist; Urdin Scrorhe, specialist in animal history, botanist and finally Kritias and Arold Tourette, a brother and sister heads of a group of mercenaries in charge of our protection during the journey.
I will not provide a precise description of all the members of our company to avoid burdening the narrative in a time but especially because each member benefits from an important role at a key moment, which would default the narrative if not present and will serve as a good and proper introduction for each of them. The company was quite small because we could not afford to travel in large numbers without awakening the suspicions of the Lorelains, who would take a very dim view of our trip to their land. The climatic conditions also did not allow a large number of people to be taken without having some logistical problems such as food when crossing the ice-covered deserts.
We left Cliope in the late afternoon, to get closer to the border after having profited a little from the festivities. Rooms had been reserved for us in an inn in a small village a little further north. We found the rest of the mercenary group waiting for us on the spot. I was rather happy to have invested this money which had seemed excessive at first sight when I saw these men fairly well equipped and trained. That was the least needed for this perilious journey.
Our company now stood a little over a dozen people and was even going to grow on the road.