For the baker, news of a brewing turf war is a good sign. Hungry fighters are mouths to feed, and so they tend to their ovens and wipe flour from their brows. For the smiths and armorers too, business goes up as neighbors and governesses double up on weapons kept behind doors and under desks, just in case, just in case. Fewer people play on the streets, but the music in pubs and cafes is louder than ever—a good fight deserves a little accompaniment. Flag-makers and seamstresses see a brief upturn in trade as symbols of gangs and factions are hastily embroidered onto collars and lapels. In Marielda’s language of flowers, the azalea has come to symbolise the moment where, just before entering the water, the diver takes one final, deep breath. They are blossoming early this year.
There used to be a saying, in old Hieron, before the Erasure, back when the City of First Light was still Marielda. "People talk. Gods write." It was meant to be one of them metaphors about making sure to plan before doing somethin' risky. But in Marielda, it was literal. See, there's this organization. Holy bureaucrats with a censorious bent, and the black lines and book-burnin's to match. Technically, they're considered educators. Samothes called them the Preceptors of the Font of True Knowledge. But most folks, they just call them the Fontmen. They patrol Marielda, huntin' down risky ideas and dangerous facts with an arbitrary ferocity. Doesn't matter if the knowledge they squash is helpful or injurious. At the end of the day, the Fontmen decide who is a heretic. They made it their mission to make the saying true. 'People talk. Gods write.' But that was before The Six.