The wooden bridge opened up into another large room, again built into rock, several corridors led away, Venia observed that the crystals were brought through some of them to what ever lay beyond.
“Since you are not to be in crystal I bid you join us on the island.” Sarah held out her hand in an inviting pose, but still giving her guests the chance to volunteer for the crystals.
None volunteered.
Again the column moved, up a short climb they emerged through gates much like at the seashore, only far smaller. Below them a vast sweetwater lake opened up, below a few pine trees. The sudden smell of fresh air, free of the salt and fishy smells of the ocean, calmed Venias spirit. In the center of the peaceful blue water an island rose above the waves. There were houses on stilts, smal boats and laughter of children. “We ought not dwell here on the rim, though there are a few accommodations, but only once you mastered withstanding the temptation of venturing out.” Sarah explained, a lobging glance to one of the houses built on the far side of the bay told Venia enough to know where Sarah’s heart was.
A few deer stalked through the woods in plain sight, unaccustomed, and thus not afraid, of their beholders. “Just to clarify,” she said once the entire group was on a low and wide barge to the islands in the center of the lake, “You have just left one world, and settled a new on another one.” she pointed in the direction they had come from. The keep that had been built into the shoreline at the sea was not visible from their vantage point, but the bridge.
On great chains it spanbed from a wall of rock through the air, disappearing behind the small mountains where the second keep opened to the lake. Without looking at it for long Venia knew that Sarah spoke truthfully.
Yet she asked herself how it had come to be that a second world, albeit tiny, existed fairly close to the one she had known all her life.

The village was strewn around the islands, from a far they had seemed to be one, but a few of them were clustered together, separated only by shallow water.
A tall spiral rose from the largest one, as if it were a screw to hold the tiny world secure to the heavens above. On the slopes the inhabitants raised crops of all sorts, mostly corn and wheat.
Looking around Venia thought the islands were ideal for Naga, especially the Naga’na Naga, breeding their children and raising them. “Here we will be safe from the Sphinxes.” Venia had forgotten about Nicodia, but to that moment.
“I guess so, they wouldn’t trouble themselves to bring us here otherwise.” Venia looked back to the world. Unless they find the gate. She thought by herself. “We will be.” a man came walking down the slope of the screw, he seemed like an ordinary man, but there were differences about him that did not make sense to Venia, but she couldn’t quite name them. “My name is John, and I am the anchor of this world.” he became sad when saying what he was. From Sarah’s looks at him Venia figured itwas his home on the shoreline she had been looking at with such longing eyes. “Welcome anyway!” he spread his arms. “Life here is lush albeit not very entertaining.” he seemed genuinely sorry for that. Much later Venia would discover that as an anchor he was immortal and invincible, upon the little world he was aware of everything and anything. A library that had been copied from King Warthren’s containing all lore and knowledge the westward king had accumulated was as known to him as every blade of grass. At that time she felt sorry for him, but but nit when he had introduced himself.

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