A is for Argos


ARGOS CITY: capital of the Argosian state, seat of the Priest’s Council and largest city in the Central Canopy.

Adelard Ferny, the missionary priest bringing his flock of converts to Argos by dirigible, experiences the approach to the city in the following terms:

Below them, perhaps half a mile from the ship, the towers and turrets of Argos city could just be seen through the thinning mist. The celebrated capitol was built in the crux of a branch extending at an angle from the trunk-wall. Four of the town’s five tiers clung to the slope of the limb, spreading down in ever widening circles to a valley-like trench where the branch joined the trunk. As if in answer to the sun, bells pealed out from the peaked roofs of the seminary in the topmost tier, sending another shiver through Adelard Ferny. He assumed it was nostalgia. 

History: Official church doctrine as well as popular legend state that Argos city was founded by Saint Loa. The Saint sailed out from the Eastern Canopy after receiving a vision from the Tree Herself, showing him a place where he and his followers might live and practice their faith in peace. The legend does not indicate if there were any native inhabitants in the area before the Nurian priests arrived. Some (subsequently discredited) historians have argued that there are carvings around the exterior of the Divine Mouth that predate Saint Loa’s time, and that the location of the city beside a natural air-harbour would mark it out as a prime site for habitation. They also maintained that local inhabitants might have intermarried with the original settlers from the East. Their studies were however declared heretical by the Priest’s Council in the Year of the Bole, 1052 and pre-Loan history has since been discontinued as a separate discipline at the seminary.

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6 Responses to A is for Argos

  1. Helen Lowe says:

    I love this idea, Mary–keep the entries coming!

  2. A J Ponder says:

    Just gorgeous. Really brings a lovely dimension to the books 🙂

    • MaryV says:

      Thanks Ms Ponder! 🙂 I always dreamt of seeing these books with illuminations like a medieval treatise… and footnotes. Many footnotes!

  3. Tyson Perna says:

    Cool! I want a picture of Argos. Despite your incredibly descriptive writing, I have trouble picturing how the city looks on the branch. I have the dumb.

    • MaryV says:

      LOL you’re not alone. It isn’t easy to picture. But Frank did a fairly good job on the cover of ‘Tymon’s Flight’. You can glimpse the city in the background behind the flying engine, a set of tiers running down the slope of the branch exactly as on a hill. Except that you have to imagine something like a deep gorge on either side of the hill, so that the strip of slope is the only habitable area.

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