The Vardo of Alexandria
As I go through the doorway, I hear Apollo behind me, asking Moyra exactly what she means by ‘Kumpania’. An excellent question, and I would have strained to hear the answer if I hadn’t just had my breath taken away. When she said it was bigger on the inside, she was not joking. I thought I’d be stepping into the equivalent of a small room, perhaps slightly larger than the wagon appeared, but not… this. It’s like some kind of library, grander even than Asteraoth’s. A staircase is dead center, widening at the base to unfurl in front of me as if in welcome. The ground floor continues on past it, filled to bursting with shelves, comfortable chairs and couches scattered throughout. And the books, my God, the books are everywhere. Overflowing the shelves, piled in haphazard stacks, holding up tables on which more books are displayed. An absolute literary madhouse. Apollo is going to shit bricks, no question about it. Two of his very favorite things in one place - books, and a situation in desperate need of organization. I move further into the grand room to let my brother pass. He slowly goes by my left, a glassy look in his eyes as he takes it all in. I’d make an attempt to gush over it all with him - even if I don’t much care for books, the physics-breaking magic is pretty awesome - but I’m honestly not sure he could hear me right now. Best give him a chance to compose himself. Curious about whether the staircase is just some fancy illusion, I walk to the base and gingerly test the first step. Seems pretty solid. Well, since I don’t actually care about the contents, I may as well explore the building. I reach the second floor and wander towards the sound of a crackling fire. I’m not cold, but fire has always soothed me. Here it is - not sedately contained in a hearth, as I expected, but more of a roaring bonfire in the middle of the room. I look up and sure enough, the ceiling isn’t that far above, but there’s nary a burn mark in sight. And even though a fire that large should be generating an immense amount of heat, I’m able to walk up to one of the couches placed near the edge and I’m only comfortably warm. Plopping down onto the aforementioned couch, I stare into the flames. I should be askance at another example of this hedonistic physics fuckery, but this fire is too glorious to even pretend to hate. I could watch this hungry dance forever. It calls to something in my soul. A deep, dark fantasy about playing with matches. A sick desire to burn.