Stamboli is no longer a Christian City, they say. The Ayasophía is a crypt, and Saint Baldwin's basilica might as well be a citadel for the Venetians. The demoticci these days more likely to sing prayers at a Synagogue or Musselman Jamiya, and it seems every day more Jehosaphite Stupas shoulder their way into the skyline. Look to the Dardanelle Bond, the ships strung on the mighty woven-steel chord like beads on a necklace, the engine houses at each end spouting their black coal smoke. See the smokestacks of the fabrikásia, rising higher than any dome or minaret. And if you listen, you can hear the cries of Forum merchants from here. Constantine made Stamboli a city of God, but now she is a city of many gods, all bowing to the Almighty Dinar.
“So the the other half of the rumors are also true.” Yuen steeled himself and looked into the eyes of his old friend. “You are thinking of going home. Abandoning your sworn and holy mission.” “Financing my mission, more like,” said Feng. “My friend, this is only one minor town in a vast empire, and it’s brimming with gold and jewel and artwork. And if the pitiful resistance these people put up is any indication—” Yuen stamped his right foot, and flung out his quivering finger. “So would you become a pirate now, admiral?” “I remain,” said Feng, “a tool