Today's snippet is again from Korax Crisis, a novel set in a traditional fantasy world, about one hundred and fifty years after an industrial revolution. So we have steam trains (but with elementals in the firebox), growing levels of mass production and industrialisation, but also a range of typical fantasy tropes. In this snippet, one of the characters is waiting for a train.
Maidencircle Station was always hung with the tapestry of transit, an endlessly swirling and changing pattern of figures interlocking in a weave of swift motion and ever-present tumult, the noise rising into the high steel rafters that held up the glass roof over the six tracks. At no stage would the stationhall be at peace – there were always peoples of myriad types, shapes and sizes seeking a thousand destinations. Challenden always thought of Maidencircle as the enchanted gateway that led to the rest of the world.
He sat in the teashop overlooking the concourse, watching the people. Nowhere else in the city really reflected how cosmopolitan Torbridge had become. Afoot in the hall he could see skin hues ranging from pale pink through to dark brown, pale green to deep blue, soft grey to brick red. The costumes they wore varied almost as greatly. Islanders in loose kaftans of red and yellow, Sekhaanese in white, and others in whatever colours took their fancy. On platform five, a ramp had been lowered from the wide stable-doors of one of the wagons, and a family of centaurs were clip-clopping daintly aboard. Probably heading for the community at Arleth, he surmised. From the collection of packages in their voluminous saddlebags, they had probably been in Torbridge for the sales.
With a crunch that cut through the endless commotion, a dark blue engine, wreathed in smoke, backed against a rake of coaches. A uniformed man leapt down to conjoin them in unholy matrimony. Challenden sighed, recognising that his train was soon going to depart, and downed his last mouthful of tea.
As always, comments welcomed!