The sky, its stars obscured by the light from below, is clear tonight, letting the cool autumn air descend from where one might ordinarily see clouds, a gentle wind blowing through the cotton stalks. The chirping of insects and flapping of bat wings is all that interrupts the night's silence, save for the occasional crackle.
Morningveil, city of lights, never darkened even by night.
Tonight, too, even while its inhabitants sleep, the city's illumination does not dim for a moment, only growing brighter as the night continues, as if to shun the very notion of night. At the heart of it all, a great bonfire blazes away through day and night, held within a glass cage that spreads its brilliance throughout the streets while reflecting the light around it.
Morningveil, ever-verdant, ever-prosperous.
The harvest has been in full swing for the past two weeks, with the accompanying festival - two full days and nights of celebration - beginning at sunset tomorrow, on the heels of the harvest's peak, the moment some time presents itself. The shamans of the city, meanwhile - as well as one visiting golem, by the name of Malcharion - sleep in their quarters, a barracks of sorts maintained purely for the resident shamans, situated between the two temples. After a full day of work and no end of preparatory ceremonies, even a golem requires some rest, however brief. The spirits are, for the most part, absent; as they can be recalled at a moment's notice, barring a few exceptions, there is no reason for them to linger.
Morningveil, unassailable, unbreakable.
The walls of the city are lit at all times, casting their brilliance over the surrounding countryside. The gates are tightly sealed, an archer keeping a sharp eye out on every battlement, ready to alert the remainder of the garrison at a moment's notice. And even without them, the combined power of the spirits of light, death, water and time would crush most enemies where they stand. In over a century since its founding - quite an age for most nations, in these times - not once has Morningveil faltered, weathering the trials of war without the slightest crack in its defenses. Here is a city where its inhabitants, as they well know, can truly sleep soundly, night after night, without the slightest trace of fear.
Morningveil, burning, crumbling.
The first sound to wake those in the barracks from their deep, exhausted sleep is the cracking of wood, followed by a loud snap, as parts of the roof comes apart, dropping to the wooden floor and splintering into pieces, covered in flames, scattering embers and shards of wood everywhere with a series of deafening crashes. The holes in the roof serve to highlight what the windows, covered over with soot and smoke, cannot: the sky is filled with sparks and pitch-black smoke, the night echoing, now, with the sounds of heavy masses of earth, stone, mud and plant matter slamming into cobblestones time and again.
In each of the rooms - no more than a few seconds from each other - and doubtless the rest of the building, fire quickly spreads across the walls and floor, reaching up as if to make its escape towards the holes in the ceiling. Tonight, Morningveil is brighter than it has ever been before, and soon, there will be nothing left of it but ash.