Triopolis: City of Three in One
The rain trickled from the dark, night sky, casting a misty shadow on the city of Triopolis. Horseless wagons rumbled through the street, their tires whisking the water up in sprays and splashes as people crossing the streets calmly waited for their opening. The clean tan bricks clicked and clacked as crowds in frocks and dresses, vests and doublets, and robes and cloaks crossed one another. More than one nod or tip of the hat occurred accompanied by friendly gestures and smiles while some of the finer women shielded themselves with parasols of black, white, lilac, and a delightful assortment of colors. A lone, cloaked, and hooded figure stepped up to the edge of the pleasant scene, waiting for his chance to cross.
“It’s come a long way, hasn’t our Triopolis?” The hooded man spoke clearly.
A large robed figure stepped to his side and deeply replied, “Quite a long way…”
The hooded man brushed off the beads of water collecting in his short, dark beard as he brought out his watch. He rubbed the scratched glass face and brought it close to him while more horseless wagons and even some horsed ones chugged and clopped their way past.
“Five to eight Sidwig. You were on time for once…”
“For the last time, call me Sid for heav’n’s sake.” Sidwig replied in his deep, goonish accent. “Eight years sh’uld be long enough ta know that Vlade! Anyways, Sidwug makes me sound like U’m some kind uh silly nanny.” Sidwig reached into his large brown robe and pulled out a small silver flask and started unscrewing the cap.
“None of that.” Vlade scolded without even taking a glance as he stuffed his watch back into his dark blue doublet.
“Thought I left my mummy back home. It’s tradition, so cheers to ya anyways!” Sidwig drank from the flask and swallowed loudly. “Ahh! A good swig always makes this job ah little easier.”
The traffic cleared and the two men crossed the shining street, the bright moon pierced an opening in the clouds, reflecting in the puddles as their boots splashed. When they reached the other side, Vlade stopped in his tracks and looked to the east. The road cleanly split Triopolis down the middle with houses and neatly kept shops lining the city’s well lit downtown. But as the road faded and the city thinned, a faint, dark path twisted towards a jagged structure. Spires and turrets ominously lined the night sky up on a hill, and no light came from its silent stone, but the castle crouched like a beast waiting to leap upon its unsuspecting prey.
“Woldn’t worry too much about that ol’ thing.” Sidwig told the gazing Vlade. “The Lord Baron’s Castle is jus’a pile of neatly stacked stone now!”
“Is it?” Vlade asked with a snap of his head, “Next you will tell me that the Dark Savant was a fairy tale, and that he will never return.”
“O well… I was think’n of sayin’ som’thin’ like that.”
“Remember Sidwig, the baron was a decent man, tricked by the Savant. Best to never forget what forgetting may do to you.”
Vlade continued on his path and the two came to a beautiful and well kept covered walkway. The path was covered by a large enclosing ceiling with large ornate pillars supporting it, creating a colonnade.
“See this Sidwig?” Vlade said to his partner, as he pointed all around him.
“Oi I see it.” Sidwig looked up at the brilliantly designed walkway. Glass supported by gold framing covered the open sky as the ceiling curved into elegantly designed carvings that swirled across the walls. The pillars were gilded with polished marble bases, while even the street seemed to shimmer a golden hue. Two masterful paintings covered by ornate, glass frames were hung on the sides of the walkway, directly facing one another in the middle. One depicted a great battle while the other showed a large metropolis thriving in the sunshine.
“All this was made under the Dark Savant. That is why it shines with an un-earthly gleam.” Vlade explained, “That’s what people are remembering. They remember all the hardship. They remember the years that they lived without things, before the Savant. They are forgetting all the events during the Dark Days. When the church was destroyed in the riot a year ago, no one dared to harm this walkway.”
“Well it is very nice.” Sidwig added as his large, clumsy figure strolled along. “And it’s been years since the Dark Days ‘ave been around.”
“They were a vicious mob. People don’t care about “nice” things when they gather in fury. They passed this place without putting a scratch on it, only to burn down the House of God.”
“I know all that!” Sidwig griped waving off his partner. “Just ‘cause U’m dumb, don’t mean U’m stupid!”
“Rather than deface these objects for its worth in gold, they attacked God…”
A few people passing by in fine clothing looked at the two men with caution and gave them a wide berth.
“We should proceed with caution and stealth, Sidw… Sid.” Vlade paused as their pace quickened, “We know something is odd about these circumstances, but we can’t be sure…”
“All I know…” Sidwig sighed, “Is that U’m goin’ to church, and that U’m getting sleepy.”
The two men exited the walkway and a large structure quickly came into their view. A massive stone cathedral stood before them and engulfed the sky with its large spires. The designs and stonework were so immaculate and ornate, one would need to spend a week studying the whole of them. Its spires gleamed, its buttresses amazed, its statues enthralled, and its stained windows dazzled all who saw it. Three massive pairs of doors led into the main sanctuary, all embossed with gold, jewels, and carvings inlaid into the mighty, rich, dark, wooden doors. Large crowds of people gathered and entered the monstrosity by troves.
“Well!” Sidwig said with a chuckle, “God sh’uld be plenty happy with his new house!”
The two men walked up to a ten foot tall plaque and intricate writing was skillfully carved into marble. Multiple languages were scrawled across the impressive display. It read:
“To our one Lord, Whom all honor and praise is given. He has risen and saved all. He will return, and may He find rest in His new house.”
Below, more writings were found, though much smaller in size:
“Constructed under the Holy orders of Marquise Felini.”
“What have you found out about the Felini family, Sid?”
“They’re rich!” Sidwig chuckled as Vlade gave him a low glare from beneath his hood. Sidwig’s face stiffened and he said, “Bunch o’ rich nobles. They’ve got the people with know how all around the world. No uh, illegal stuff. Just old family power and money. But they do seem to like churches a load! They tear some down, they put som’ back up.”
Vlade nodded and said, “The Father here doesn’t seem to be connected with anything. I think he’s innocent in this matter.”
“Oh, oi!” Sidwig started as he held his finger up, “I almost forgot! The Felinis was uh, connected with some kind o’ sect. A uhhh…” As Sidwig slowly remembered, Vlade glanced slowly at his dense partner, “Oh yeah! The uh Marquise’s grandfather was uhhh, executed for bein’ suspected to be takin’s to some satanic stuff, like sacrificing people and the lot!”
Vlade nodded, as he kept his low glare fixed on Sidwig and told him, “Good of you to remember…”
Just as the two men started to walk away from the plaque, a black, fluffy cat jumped up onto the base. Its green eyes shined and its large black pupils gazed to the two men with a curious look.
“Good you could make it.” Vlade told the cat. “What did you find out?” The black cat meowed in a peculiar way as Vlade nodded his head. “Well that settles things.” He told Sidwig.
“It is going to happen tonight. Best prepare yourself.”
Sidwig reached into his brown robe again and brought out his flask and said, “Oh boy… I always get nervous before the smashing begins!” He gave his flask a shake and frowned. “Almost empty…” He stuffed the silver flask back into his robe and winced at Vlade, “Oi, how come you know that?” He paused and looked to the cat, “Don’t be telling me that she told ya’!”
The cat cried to Vlade and he nodded and told Sidwig, “It’s good information. Took three months to dig out. And by the way,” Vlade looked to the cat and back to Sidwig, “He doesn’t like being called a girl.”
Sidwig looked uneasily to the cat as Vlade walked away and he mumbled, “Talkin’ ta cats and the like… just ain’t right!” The cat meowed at Sidwig and it left towards the side of the cathedral as Sidwig was left to debate just how many swigs he had left in his flask!