Aton and his siblings gathered around the city square. This square, though kept uncrowded by observation of the law, was at the heart of Grendhill’s economy. It was not the only source of prosperity; Grendhill had its own farmers, blacksmiths, craftsmen, and people of all other trades, but this square was Grendhill’s interface with most of its international trade. This square was the site that defied the natural law. This square was the home of the Thallenrose.
Aton huddled at the side of the square, under one of the lean-to awnings with Valkyr. Like yesterday, they looked across the square at Domido, Tido, and Misolfa. This time was different though. This time was their Departure. They waited until the time of seventeen Years after birth, rather than Turns as they normally counted. This was ceremonial. This marked their passing from childhood and early adolescence into pacifist warriors who were fully ready to defend their land if needed. This time it was actually in the square. This time was actually at the Thallenrose.
The square had been prepared for this event. All the merchants and peddlers had been advised that the Departure was happening today. Not that they needed to be reminded; the royal arms would be collected soon and they knew it. Nevertheless, the royal guard had passed through at intervals, days and hours before, reminding everyone. They were to carry on business as usual, but as was hoped in the event of a real invasion or raid, they were to get out of the way when steel was bared.
The Farellas had to evoke their rapport with foreign entities as well for this event. Traffic through the Thallenrose was monitored, though not controlled, at least for most of the day. This involved posting Grendhill’s guards on foreign worlds, all that Grendhill had knowledge of, to be ready at a specific point in time. Traffic was allowed to flow, but at the given time it would be halted for a short time. Except from one location. That location was changed each generation, but that would be the assault launch point.
Aton could feel his nerves mounting. The Thallenrose was such a simple object, and yet so unique in the entire world. Because of its economic and military strategic implications, the square was large, kept clear of structures except at the edge where merchants vied for booth space, and surrounded by walls. These walls, ten feet high and two hundred feet apart, arranged in a square, allowed for a greater peace of mind in the rest of Grendhill. These walls were always manned and gave constant advantage to the home position, should there be an assault.