The god’s sun passed in its chariot though ice and past howling daemons under the world. The two moons worshiped - perversely - as goddesses by the Kindath had both set, over west into the wide sea. Only the stars, which no one claimed as holy, shone like strewn diamonds over the city Saranios had founded to be the New Rhodias, and to be more than Rhodias had ever been.
‘Oh City, City, ornament of the earth, eye of the world, glory of Jad’s creation, will I die before I see you again?’
So, Lysurgos Matanias, posted as ambassador to the Bassanid court two hundreds years past, longing in his heart for Sarantium even amid the luxurious eastern splendors of Kabadh. Oh City, City.
In all the lands ruled by that City, with its domes and its bronze and golden doors, its palaces and gardens and statues, forums and theaters and colonnades, bathhouses and shops and guildhalls, taverns and whorehouses and sanctuaries and the great Hippodrome, its triple landward walls that had never yet been breached, and its deep, sheltered harbor and the guarded and guarding seas, there was a timeworn phrase that had the same meaning in every tongue and every dialect.
To say of a man that he was sailing to Sarantium was to say that his life was on the cusp of change: poised for emergent greatness, brilliance, fortune - or else at the very precipice of a final and absolute fall as he met something too vast for his capacity.
Valerius the Trakesian had become an Emperor.
Heladikos, whom some worshipped as the son of Jad and placed in mosaic upon holy domes, had died in his chariot bringing fire back from the sun.
Taken from the prologue of Sailing to Sarantium, by Guy Gavriel Kay.
Kay Friggin Rulez