For all its unbearableness during the torturous heat of day, Tévopío was beautiful by night. It had been the capital city for most of the twenty-two millennia since the great prophet Oksresko had died, giving the Ksreskézaian Empire his equally great name, and every few generations it would become fashionable in the eyes of the noblefolk to decorate the city yet further with new public works and spectacles, as if to dangle their power in front of rival Wemno, on the Eastern continent. The Wemnians, for their part, were a mighty folk, and what I have been told of their city suggests it was little less heavily-beautified; elsewise, I doubt wemnekía
would be our word for audacity.
It was sundown now; we had spent most of the late afternoon helping Dzetzo resolve a paper jam that transpired almost the moment he agreed to assist us. I was unsure at first of why he was so willing to drop his work and go with us, but the presence of both his sons suggested it might have been a matter of ancestral respect. A number of poorer but respectable families kept small reliquaries in tribute to their heritage in alcoves inside the Archive; the wealthier tended to keep such things on their own property if they could afford the necessary rites to consecrate a chamber or garden. In a way, many of them respected the timeless grip of their gardens almost as much as we do.