Togullen leant over the edge of the pool and watched his reflection as he set the keen edge of his dagger to his cheek. For the next few minutes, he engaged Donis in conversation about his home life. As he spoke, he scraped away the grey film that had gathered on his face. His visage appeared more round than elliptical. Eyes of deepest brown bespoke of his intelligence and the man of his youth, about a strong nose. Although he wore the drawn lips of seriousness, he smiled a lot more than he frowned.
He still looked like a man born to heavy labour. His shoulders still looked broad, his chest deep, due to is upbringing on his father’s farm. Even though his stomach looked flat, his skin began to line, due to his 64 years.
Scraping the last of the stubble away, he splashed water onto his face, and began to bathe by the pool’s edge. He smoothed the excess water out of his hair; now more grey than black, before dressing into the clean robe. Mick once said “it made him look like a Roman senator.”
Did he make another of his jokes?
Togullen had never heard of such a people. Perhaps Rome was another land which formed in the future, during Mick’s time.
He re-sheathed his dagger.
“Well I must get to it,” he said, starting off for the open door.
“You work now, Lord Chronicler?” queried Donis. “The doors are not opened to the public for another hour.”
“True, but I must do what the king commissioned me for. Today, I begin the chronicles of Nusalle’s heroes.”
“Well I will say my ” farewells” now, Lord Chronicler, as I am replaced within the hour.”
“I will see you late tonight then. And you, Melor.”
“Have a pleasant day, Lord Chronicler,” said the other guard.
Togullen re-entered the Hall of Heroes, closing his eyes, wishing to get the full effect of the hallowed building. When he opened them, sunlight filtered down from scores of narrow windows. They illuminated an otherwise gloomy building and the hundred statues aligned perfectly on their pedestals, one after the other down the lengthy hall. Another equally long hall crossing the end of the entry hall, formed the building into a giant Tee.
The slanted rays fell on the life sized marble statues of Nusalle’s champions, giving them a ghostly quality. He stopped by the first of her heroes, reading the name on the bronze plaque on the pedestal – Tonunda the Savage.
The sculptor had captured his likeness perfectly, as if he had made a clay cast of the body. It glowed ghostly white, but colours breathed life to Togullen’s mind’s eye. Atop the pedestal, he saw the feral man’s long locks become black and thrown about in wild disarray. A short hafted, double-edged axe with spiked tip, he wielded in each hand as he appeared to lurch forward to meet his next foe. As on the day of his death, he wore the knee length hauberk, and blue surcoat of the Blue River Guardsmen.
These colours too, permeated Togullen’s consciousness.