The city of Aloré was built on the valley slope overlooking the shores of Lake Mehon. Its wide streets swept in gentle curves between tall delicate buildings and lush green spaces from the upper gate straddling the mountain pass all the way down to the low wall and gently lapping waves at the water’s edge. When heavy snowmelt would come off the peaks to the north and swell the lake, the wall would keep the tide from encroaching onto the lower terraces.

Of course, that was before. Before the ground shifted and the water rose.

You come gliding across the lake in a flat-bottomed boat in the pre-dawn light. The air is still, and colder than the water below, so your passage cuts through a thick fog, leaving lazy eddies in your wake. As you approach the shore you begin to pass between indistinct masses looming out of the gloom, each seemingly taller than the last. When they break above the fog they resolve themselves into roofs and balconies and towers and spires, silent and lifeless. Soon enough the fog thins and your boat bottoms out on a cobbled street rising out of the depths. Before you, even more buildings, far from lifeless. What remains of the city of Aloré is beginning to wake up.

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