November 1990 "Flags are made from the tapestry of memories, and so we must remember they are powerful, but not so powerful as the wind, especially these cold winds that shriek, winter, winter! Look, the radiant cloth that enfolds the shadows of our forgetfulness is always shifting, like sun and shadow on the surface of the seas off the fjords of Issverth. What is forgotten will be remembered, what we know know will be forgotten. Rivers of light run forth from the sacred mountains of the great citadel, Yungdrung Gutsak, because I am a sun made of water." The rigpa is insane, the young man thought, and put down the book. It was frequently thought of the Exalted Great Soul in the fishing villages of the west coast, where Tagzigs were seldom to be seen except when they ventured down the fjords to collect taxes. And when the thought was shared, it was said in the coast-dwellers' home tongues, dialects of German and varieties of Norsk not so strange as Tagzig. Here, who could he share that with? Frost collected on the windows in tiny ice fractals, like suns made of water. He took out his easel and began to paint. "Niels Niklausson..." The strange Tagzig patronymic, he realized, was his name. Niels turned to see that the speaker was a monk in long brown robes. "...son of Olmolungring until the Geirtrae withers to ash and the mountains of Gjinsjang crumble, may you walk in the footsteps of the thousand fathers." Patriarchial twaddle. This religious nonsense was all over Yungdrung Gutsak, all he heard since he took the Long Train here from Issverth. If the Capitollium didn't offer the premier courses, and scenes of course, in Europe... if I hadn't been born by some sick joke within the borders of this semifeudal almost-theocracy, I would be at the Sylnarsson or paiting dawn over Würzburg, thought Niels. He bowed his head slightly, in a respectful, but quizzical gesture. "If it would not tax you greatly, Our Exalted Fifty-Third Lord Rigpa, Thorlakur Feargusson Gunn, begs that you will accept his invitation to dinner in the Freehold tonight after Vespers." Niels raised an almost-imperceptible eyebrow.