Cartwaith was a simple man of little import in the town of Vestil. He spent his time with his two lovely children, Smaeth his son, and Blith his daughter. They wanted for little and thought about the world outside of Vestil not at all. Carwaith’s wife, Nilth, was the elected speaker of Vestil, popular and paid handsomely for her services, as she was known in the region as fair when fairness was required, shrewd when negotiating on behalf of Vestil, and compassionate when understanding the plight of others. That all changed when the stranger came to down.

She came to Vestil on one of those new-powered trollies. The ones that glowed with the red light from the rear end and emitted loud roars when attempting to climb hills, their wheels slipping and kicking up dirt like a horse or mule never could.

Cartwaith Was with Smaeth and Blith near the brook that flowed past the western side of Vestil and down from the hills that were covered in thick forest. Cartwaith wasn’t the only parent playing in the brook with his children that day. A cacophony of laughter, shouts, splashes and whoops filled the air. The day was the first truly hot one they’d had in months and all the children (and many of the parents, too) couldn’t resist to wade into the slow brook and splash each other. Cartwaith was dangling his feet from a rock and into the cool water, watching his children play with their little friends, most of them under the age of 10, when a whining and grunt broke the lazy sound of the flowing brook and the laughter and hoots of children and parents alike. Over the rise to the west and along the road that led from the town the trollie appeared, bucking and jolting, a rosy light gleaming from it’s rear, even in the bright of the sunny day. A top the trollie road a woman with a wide brimmed at, black as night, though ornamented with red stitching, her flowing dress looked a light fabric for hot days, yet was a similarly black and red design. Her hair was cedar and her skin a lush gold that marked her as a resident of the southwestern city, Pulido. It was said all Pulidians took in the color of the land their city was built on and nobody in Vestil was in a position to dispute such rumors.


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