Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Citizens of Chirica - Lizava bel Ariyet

I have known this city longer than the span of human minds like yours: but it has known my mind for longer even than that. When your bones are dust, I will be strong still: but when my bones too are dust, the dust of yours will have long since been made into mortar for walls that will stand for centuries hence, and the rooms they enclose will be empty until the failing of the last star.

In a city of whispers, the bel Ariyet name is a legend: in a world of intrigue, the power of the bel Ariyets is a byword. Their palace, not far from the Carazzo, is an elegant hulk, with arched windows looking out onto the alleys below, always unlit. All rumours in the city involve, eventually, the bel Ariyets, and their matriarch Lizava: and it is in the family's interests that this be so. One of the rumours that is true is that, in some distant time, the bel Ariyets were figures in Chirica's government, in a time when the city had such a thing. Another true tale is that Lizava remembers these days. And it is true also that she is never seen by day, or outside the walls of her palace, and that she has never been seen to eat or drink. Lizava's true ambition is to control the entire city, and to see its life replaced with a universal undeath, a stasis in which nothing is without her saying so.