Terrace-In-Sunlight had gained a reputation around Mekij for housing outcasts, wanderers and riff-raff. Though a medium-sized town renown for crafts and art, at one point, the Overseer of the Gebors decided to build a temple there. The obvious choice would have been Tentel, the largest city in the county.

Of course, Tentel was seriously overcrowded and the Overseer had at least a shrivel of common sense.

The temple was built in a style much like those from Itan'ters, though the appearance was very much traditional. With one possible exception.

It was painted in the brightest orange, yellow and gold the architects could think of. Walk-By-Moonlight was dark blue. Serenity Calling was vaguely turquoise.

Ten-Of-Sunbeam was the brightest building within thirty counties, if one did not consider the Red Palace. Some clerics were not amused. Not until it became clear why the strange colour was chosen.

Three seasons a year, the sun would heat the temple walls. Because of the composition of the paint, the temple would glow well into the night, the effect wearing off at exactely midnight. Seeing such a wonder from Terrace-In-Sunlight was considered worth travelling from all over Mekij.


Merna ru-Danji had been entitled for some time with the supervision of Initiates. This was suppose to be a fairly easy task: give them chores, organise classes and make sure they stay out of trouble.

She despised the job, herself. Quite frankly, the Initiates were over-enthusiastic, loud and obnoxious. Or maybe this opinion was a sign of old age.

In any case, she hadn't been surprised in a long time by the time she met Lia...


Lia floated through the temple gates as if a stray wind pushed her in. She looked up at the temple walls and at the people surrounding her. An expression of vague cheeriness on her face and a walking stick in her hands, she seemed like a visiting worshipper, passing through.

She stood in front of the temple, looking around calmly.

"'Scuse me, miss. Looking for someone?"

She leaned in at the question, apparently contemplating the answer like a wonderous artifact.

"No," she replied eventually. "Not really. Can I stay here?"

"Stay here?"

Again, she paused for a long time.

"Yes, stay here. Yes."

"Do you want to become an Initiate?"


And she shuffled along, letting herself be shown the barracks she was going to live in, nodding to all the rules (even to those that usually prompted a frown or a grumble from other people).

'Peculiar girl,' Merna thought at first.

'Crackpot,' she thought the second time.