Why (A Prosatio Silban Amuse-Bouche)

“WHY DO YOU DO WHAT you do?” asked the young woman sitting at one of Prosatio Silban’s tables-and-chairs. “Aside from earning a wage, I mean.”

“Why does a painter paint, or a musician compose, or a sculptor bring to life the figures hidden in wood and stone?” the cook-errant responded, as he grated yak-cheese over her order of hot wheat-threads. “It is an art, and art is by its nature compelling to the artist. The secret, you see, is to take a sheer and sincere delight in the forms and sensations one produces. The medium is secondary.”

(If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. And if you want another 85 of them (so far) in one easy-to-read package, here’s the e-book!)

Prosatio Silban and the Final Refection

THE “PURE CITY,” SO SAY the Sacreants, is the eternal home reserved for the souls of pious Uulians, where their earned rewards are consonant with their earthly deeds.

Capital criminals, on the other hand, are a different matter.

Prosatio Silban and the Harnessless Dray-Beast

GIVEN SOMETHING AS ESSENTIAL AND ubiquitous as fatberry-oil, it was perhaps unsurprising how little thought people gave to its source and acquisition.

Anyone in need of stove- and/or lamp-fuel could obtain it for themselves with little effort by mashing the abundant purple berries and collecting their unctuous fluid, leaving over fatberry-cakes – fragrant maroon lumps suitable for two purposes: 1) igniting funeral pyres, contract-sealing altars, and other important flames, and 2) feeding hungry buopoths.

Prosatio Silban had little use for the first of these applications and quite a lot for the second (as well as for the oil, of course).

Words To Bring Back: “Kratocracy”

– Definition: n. A government established by seizure, utilizing force or deceit, with rule maintained by strength.

– Used in a sentence: One side effect of social-media-as-lie-amplifiers is that they can more easily enable a kratocracy.

– Why: Please, God* and fellow citizens: Let it not be so.

Prosatio Silban and the Idol Cook

IT IS THE HARDEST THING in the world – any world – to escape a cage of one’s own making. And yet …

Prosatio Silban strode through the swinging doors of Pelvhi’s Chopping-House and made straight for the long bar on the other side of the loud and smoky great-room. The tavern was always crowded, and more so tonight for additional reasons other than just Pormaris’ hardworking hospitality-class drinking and commiserating. For tonight, Tono Byrrden had arrived once more, fresh from an eventful and roundabout tour of the Three Cities and Thousand Villages of the Uulian Commonwell and adjacent parts of the Exilic Lands.

Tree of Life’s members will do everything for the 11 dead except show up in their place.”
– Pittsburgh rabbi to Mark Oppenheimer, from the latter’s “The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood”