Sunlight pours through the open temple windows. Pumblo Vitchpur sits quietly at the feet of his master, Temerin, on a cushion placed squarely in the center of a pool of light on the dun colored tiles.
“As I grow older, I find myself more and more like a cat,” he says, rolling his shoulders under his faded green robe. “Ah.” His long fingered hands rest in his lap, palms up. It is painful for him to make a fist anymore, or to grip even a spoon too tightly. Pumblo has watched his master instead lift his bowl to his lips to drink his evening broth, like an absurd, savory smelling tea cup. His master is not a proud man, but he does not wish to be a burden to his pupils or his peers.
The room is wide, with a vaulted ceiling that rises to the top in a dome of enameled white brick. The room is warm from the sunlight, and the breeze coming through the windows is sweet with jasmine and the sweet cleanliness of the mountain air.
The temple of Karava, a complex of buildings hoisted into the air by the magic of refugees welcomed within the walls centuries ago, does not bob or tremble. It’s foundation is as strong as the mountain from which it was plucked. The temple follows the winds, a thousand feet from the earth, and he wizards and monks work the terraced fields and maintain the bridges between the several building complexes and satellite nodes of rock.
“You look troubled, Pumblo,” says his master. “Tell me, what are the three tenants of Karava?”