The Foundations of Our Prosperity

It’s amazing what gets uncovered when the tide goes out…

Tallis Steelyard

You can sometimes see them at the very lowest tides. You’ve got to walk a long way out into the Estuary and frankly I’d rather take a boat down the main channel and view them from there.

To the shore combers who’re the only people to ever see them now, they’re known as, ‘The Old King’s Shackles.’ Actually they’re more correct than they know, but then ‘simple’ people have an embarrassing habit of remembering things their betters have made a point of forgetting. Nobody talks of the Dreen Dynasty of Partann anymore. The three kings, Batar, Ortar, and Ortal are long forgotten. The poets who told of their glory have fallen silent, the high speech of their Partann survives only as a peasant dialect in a few insignificant villages.

One wet week in summer when my patrons had abandoned the city, or at least had given up on any thought…

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