The fires always burn brightest on the Darkest Night.
It’s not actually any darker than any other night in the bottom half of the year, but when Lumenna occults Sunaris – when the night is winter-black and there’s only one sun in the sky – for all reason and logic and measurement have to say on the issue – the winds howl louder and the chill sinks deeper into your bones than on any other night of the year.
And so the city beneath me blazes with light, fires blazing in every park, plaza and atrium from the Imperial Palace to the work-cottages of Cogging Ash, filling the night with the smells of cold and smoke and roasted meats; and every building, too, radiant with its artificial lights – the stark white and attendant shadows of the Seat of Judgment, the yellows and purples and bright neon reds of the Towers of Commerce, the University decked out in antique chymelights of green and gold, the theater districts twinkling in a thousand different colors, and the warm azure glow of the Labyrinth of Ten-Thousand Pleasures. Even the lake is aglow this year, with blooms of bioluminescent flora made to shine tonight and die with the morning sun.
For tonight is for defiance of this darkness, and all darkness. We’ll feast on the old year’s bounty and give the coming winter no care, then drink and dance and tell our stories of victories past over the blind uncaring universe and more intentional malevolence alike, until morning comes and both suns rise once again.
For the suns always rise again.