At the time of planet Hume’s inception, celestial energy shot from heaven, making its way through almost empty space. When it chanced to meet molecules, the invisible rays imbued them with forces, creating Celestial Particles. These Celes were randomly woven into the fabric of the planet,
Amongst the radiation produced was heat, which emanated from generously endowed patches of the planet’s crust and melted any snow that landed on the surface. In places, plants burst into full bloom. The pollens scented the air, and everything was forever fresh.
Across the planet’s surface, Human beings multiplied and spread further, as they did every year, so named by the gods according to the completion of an orbit to the sun they had places to send light and warmth, and slight variations in the weather.
With vast areas still between the lands of different races, each remained as yet isolated.
In zone around Sunfield Manor, farmers knew nothing of other lands or races ‑‑ nor did they care. What mattered was getting their fields tilled and their goods to market. Homes ranging from rude huts to medium-sized houses intruded on the crop land to facilitate another kind of growth. Perversely, the wealthier a family was, the more unplanted land they surrounded themselves with.
The largest unfarmed area circled the manor itself, and the owner of it wasn’t out working his land. Hired farmers and gardeners toiled on the property Lince Locsei had claimed for himself. As long as his sword arm held firm, the land would continue to be his. Hopefully by the time old age came he would have a strong son who could hold on to the estate. The people called him a lord by the popular definition, since he had the power to command others in exchange for coinage. Less resourceful men had settled in the land surrounding his, and he didn’t bother them. He had all the land he needed, and their families provided services and workers for hire.
With so much land available, other lords kept in their own domains most of the time ‑‑ but on occasion there were quibbles. Now and again, one thought the risk of death or destruction worth the chance of acquiring a quick fortune. One lord would fall, and the other would rise higher.
The beautiful gardens surrounding the manor seemed like pure luxury to the simple man. To Locsei, the statues of horses and lions were symbols of his wealth and power, and a message to any who might covet his lands. Though his work was invisible to the outside world, the lord inside the house was deceptively busy. Presently, he was deep in discussion with his trusted advisor.
“What makes you think Flagg wants my property, Ulysix?”
Ulysix Black wrinkled his brow. “A couple of things. He has a nephew who is very dear to him. The nephew wants to marry a young lady who’s used to living in a rather large house. Flagg’s been helping his brother finance the building of one, but not long ago it burned to the ground. The wedding date is already set, and finances are low. Apparently Flagg was heard saying to his nephew ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get you a house on time. A big one.’”
Lince set down his wine glass. “What else?”
“I heard from the money maker that Lord Flagg travelled the four days from Flaggstown to personally trade goods here. Why?”
Lince shook his head, eyes burning. “He’s naive if he thinks he can get my estate. Of all the nerve. A real lord earns the money he pays people with. After my parents were slaughtered for their modest home, I hadn’t a penny to my name. Look where I am now.” He took a long gulp of his drink.
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