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Page 6 "Owner's eye is feeding the horse"

Here, at his feet, in the embrace of the mountain valley, flourished Holmen de Kolmen - a harbour town nestled beside a sea inlet that cut deep into this rocky land. A wide quay, piers, carts, warehouses and porters who looked like ants from this vantage point - everything was set up to handle as many merchant ships as possible. At this hour, a line of galleys, wide and laden, was leaving the Holmen's harbour to carry the most precious possessions from the heart of the massif. Probably more than one sailor or maypole was now looking in their direction, embracing this august city with a farewell glance.

Just beyond the docks, the buildings were rapidly thickening, squeezing into every possible nook and cranny of the basin. With a labyrinth of streets, down below it seemed to lack any reasonable arrangement. From above, however, he had the impression that he could see logic in it all, and in particular beauty. Narrow alleys writhed in a serpent dance with the river rushing to the bay. Rows of elegant red-tiled townhouses sprang up in rows. Here and there, slender pinnacled turrets rised above the buildings like stork's nests on ships, which seemed to be navigated by the monuments dotting the city.

Finally, perched on a lonely rock, the citadel towered over the town - stern, watchful, all-seeing, like Cerberus on a mountain tribune. Even from here it commanded respect and seemed inaccessible. Thick fortifications, carved into the rock, sloped down to form a single unit with the sheer cliff face. Only one slender tower looked out from above the walls - the protruding eye of the lord in charge of his territory. Looking at Holmen, which was bursting at the seams, one could confidentaly say that the owner's eye was feeding the horse.

 

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