It’s odd, really. Basuto is a charming companion, very handsome, very intelligent, attentive in the extreme, and yet I find myself growing less and less interested. I think it’s the fascination with who I am becoming, rather than who I could be, if that makes any sense. I am spending more time at Mountain hold, less time with my friends. Perhaps because Chirion and Lark and Harrier and even, on occasion, Kestrel, are taking their place. I am finding my joy and my passion in longer-ranging pursuits, and by feeling around with my toes I am beginning to realize that I am, indeed, finding my depth as a person.
It is now class-break for a fortnight, and I am traveling with Chirion. I had mentioned in the course of one of our discussions that the planet, Corvus, is somewhere I’ve always wanted to see, and here we are! He always strives to make my lessons live for me, but this is above and beyond.
Corvus itself is probably the most fascinating of all the planets within the current purview of Equus. It has the highest mountains, the deepest rivers and the least flat land of any of the known planets. Near the base of the mountains, closest to the water source, there are expansive fields terraced into the hillsides, framed with huge stones which hold both the heat and the soil. They grow all kinds of vegetables, grains and fruits here, and one of the first sights to greet us was a crew, drifting along harvesting fruit which was growing in profusion from trees planted in little pockets in the side of a sheer cliff. The trees jutted out at an angle, and the people floated underneath with their carts. There was no sound of motors, so there is some magic here to keep them aloft.
The cities are higher up on the mountainsides, and they, too, are terraced. They’re made almost entirely of stone, and very beautiful. Interestingly enough, almost no one lives in a rural setting, and there are no domestic or wild animals except for birds, insects and fish. Chirion and I got ourselves settled and began walking about in the City of the Winds, which is of moderate size. The people were curious about us, but very polite. They know the Equi to be curious in return, and people who can be trusted, so they went on about their business. The City of the Winds is aptly named, let me tell you! I know why these people tend to be short and chunky. Less to blow away! We made our way out to one of the observation decks around the city and I could see the famous wind baffles which direct the currents of air. Then, the people drifting along picking fruit made sense. They were riding the wind currents.
The people here are fascinating. They seem to be entirely homophilic, and yet the population is thriving. Chirion told me just to sit and observe, which I have done, and I realize that the Corvi have some very complicated family dynamics going on. I was thinking, and wasn’t brave enough to ask, that the women marry other women and raise the children, and the men are a sort of solitary pollinator. When I told Chirion what I thought he laughed and told me that the Corvi marry in sets rather than couples, and that the men do take an active part in raising their children. Whatever the dynamic, it seems to work. The children seem happy and curious and the population in general seems very content. It’s all so different, as the women do seem to be dominant.
And with that thought I realize why we are here. I have mentioned to Chirion and Harrier that I think the role of women needs to be enhanced on Equus, and he has brought me here to study the energy of a planet where women are dominant. When I brought that up to him he just smiled his sage smile and nodded. “It will take more than observation and the study of a few scant days to truly understand the role of women on this planet,” he cautioned. “You will know only that the information is here for you to uncover.”
In my excitement I asked if I could stay now and learn from these people and he just shook his head. “Patience,” he said. “First you need to understand your own world and its needs, so you can glean more efficiently the strengths of other worlds. There is weakness here, as well, and you must be ready to see that and give it equal credence.”
I could only sigh and, when I had considered his words, agree with him. I have so much to learn, but I am blessed with infinite resources, and plenty of time. I will be wiser than I am now when the next Dragonhorse rises to rule, and I am beginning to understand that even though my main physical function may be as a “Dragonwhore,” my knowledge and my intellect … and my experiences, like this one right here, will be what I actually contribute. It is that, I will be remembered for. That makes me feel very good.