Eincyg (3) – The port

Highly perched on a hill, I watch the slow movement of boats in the port. The lake Farrayne is of a blue gray this afternoon. The quietness is only troubled by the occasional ship horns, the cry of gulls and the silent arrival and departure of trains.

Deep down on the docks, I see quite a bit of motion of sailors and workmen who load and unload ships. I decide to go feel the ambiance in the port. I climb down several flight of stairs between small houses and orchards, and walk on narrow alleys that lead to the port. There’s a sort of small train that connects the port to the upper town that mostly carries wares from what I’ve noticed. I haven’t seen trucks, and it seems that things move mainly by boat or train. Down there, there’s a lot of motion and more noise than I’d have expected, as Modrians seem to be quite silent folks. There are crates of vegetables and fruits, living fowls, heaps of cut stones, timber, sacks of grain, and many other wares that are too well wrapped to see through. I also notice a small fish market held by women. I imagine that the men are out on the lake, fishing. I notice three small islands on the lake that are quite distant, one that bears a tower resembling a lighthouse. There are craftsmen working on the construction of wooden ships. It’s cold, but people seem to be used to this weather, and it doesn’t discourage them of working outdoors.

Eincyg is the capital of Modry, but it resembles more a small town than a capital. People seem to know each others, even more than in Kastelturf.

I err without knowing where to go. I should perhaps stop fending off the moment to go see the smaller lake that lies from the other side of Eincyg, where the Ghost Bridge is. I haven’t gone there yet. Is it a fear to see it, this bridge that is said to be one way only, as people who have left seem never to have made it back. I’m also afraid to be disappointed, perhaps, as I’ve placed so much hope in this gate between worlds. What if I’m wrong, what if it’s not what I expect. I don’t even know what to expect. Except that a voice in my mind told me to look for it, combined with a strong feeling in my heart that it was the right thing to do.

I climb back toward the top of Eincyg, before going down again on its opposite slopes that are quite abrupt too. No one stares at me overtly, and I’ve noticed Modrians seem to be quite the trusting folk. I haven’t seen a lot of foreigners, but they seem to think that if you’ve come there, you did out of a good reason, and that you’re surely well-intentioned. And I wonder to myself if this trust that is less common on Earth has a reason to be stronger in Modry. Has this country known crimes, violence, wars, or has it always been an island of peace. Have there been invaders in the past trying to claim Modry theirs. Are there cultural or religious differences in Modry. What do Modrians believe in. All questions I cannot answer right now. There’s no internet here, and it’s still a bit strange not to be able to read more about Modry on wikipedia. People trust you, and tell you what you need to hear, but they don’t speak much either. They reply to your questions, are helpful, but they won’t narrate long stories. From what I’ve understood, I need to find a library to read about Modry and discover its story, its geography, its people. But everything is written in modrian, and unfortunately, when people speak I hear them in my native language, and they hear me in their native language, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for writing. I’ve seen some signboards on the street, where I couldn’t understand what was written. The script strangely resembles the latin script but all the letters are different. Seeing it makes me wonder if there was some kind of bond between Modry and Europe in the past. Was Modry populated by Europeans colons or refugees. Were there closer economic and cultural ties. Noticing how familiar the architecture in Modry looks, it seems to give a little more weight to this hypothesis. I can’t say much about the modrian language, as it seems more alien than German or Russian for me, in its written form at least. I’ve never heard it spoken, as I hear it as Italian. What I need to find, I figured out, is an oral version of a book, making it understandable. Or someone eager enough to tell long tales of his land to a foreigner.

I arrive to the lake of Cyg that is different in color than the lake Farrayne. Today it is of a deep blue with a subtle touch of violet. In the distance, in the middle of the lake, there are several tall mountains. Even more distant, on the opposite shore, there’s a mountain chain that dwarfs the mountain island in the middle of Cyg. And then as I walk on, I finally see the gate between worlds, the Ghost Bridge. It’s very ancient, and it’s the most gracious bridge I’ve ever seen, built of a gray stone and stretching endlessly toward the mountain island. It connects Eincyg with the isle of Cyg. Or at least it’s supposed to, as it’s not used. It crosses the waters of the lake without casting its reflection on them, as the sun is still too high in the sky. I come closer to the bridge, and notice a stone portal with a steel gate barring the way. It’s not locked, simply closed. As if to remind the absentminded wanderer no to step on the bridge lightly. I don’t see any boat on the lake of Cyg, and wonder if its waters are as cursed as its bridge. There are still a lot of things to find out. Of course, I could very well take my pack and step on the bridge right now, but the thinker in me needs to make sense first, to organize its transition from Earth to Modry, to the world that lies beyond. I notice there’s mist hiding the lower part of the isle of Cyg, and a couple of clouds huddled around its peaks. The end of the bridge is hidden in the mist too. What kind of place, of world, of society thrives there, I wonder. Before finding out however, I want to understand better Modry. Time is not pressing me, and if I was tired to travel on Earth, Eincyg is different enough to awaken my old explorer reflex.