It didn’t take long for ash to reach the end of the dirt path. The trees had been left behind him and he was beginning to approach Picker market. The market was situated strategically at the end of the dirt path leading into Picker; any travellers arriving into town would have to go through the market first. The market was empty however, not unusual in the dark hours. No one liked to shop in the dark, especially with the risk of having their pockets picked being much greater. Ash began to walk into the market, pretty bad representation of Picker Ash thought to himself. The market was decorated throughout and all the stalls were made of high quality wood. The floor itself had now turned into stone; instead of the dirt path Ash had travelled on to get here.
Picker was probably one of the best places to live in the whole of Kataryne – if it wasn’t for the man who ruled over it of course. The town was set into the cliff side, amongst lots of low foliage, dotted throughout with fruit trees and patches of blossoming flowers. Running along the front of town was the trader’s river, which got its name from its purpose, to ship traders and their wears around Kataryne. Right at the edge of the river was the docks, not a large structure, but large enough to enable the traders to load up their boats. The floor of the docks was made of stone, which was built high to raise the docks above the ground. The barriers around the docks were made of logs cut from the forest Ash had travelled through, each with a gap in between and a loose line of rope fastened around one log to the other. This was done to stop people falling from the docks. The side of the docks facing the river had wooden logs stuck into the stone which were used to fasten the boats up to the docks.
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The trees seemed to tower over him as he began to pick up his pace, moving into a steady run. Every tree seemed like an exact copy of the other, so easy for someone to become lost. Huge roots were scattered around, bulging out of the dirt causing him to occasionally trip, although still managing to maintain his balance. Not too far ahead a red rag entered Ash’s sights, the reason why he never got lost when he entered the forest. Ash stopped and untied the knot then stuffed the rag into his trouser pocket. He looked on and continued following the trail of rags he had left himself, untying each and storing them in his pocket.
As time passed by the forest seemed to get darker and more eerie, he could no longer see his feet on the ground, and could barely see ahead of him. Luckily the leaves had already started to fall from the trees leaving gaps above him for the moon to light the way through. Eventually Ash reached a narrow dirt path, winding through tall, leafless trees. It was as if the path had been laid first, then the trees had been carefully lined alongside. The lower halves of the trees were totally bare. Towards the top branches pointed up and across, entangling themselves around the branches from the trees opposite, creating protection from the weather to everything that travelled underneath, but still leaving gaps for light to peer through. This path was the only way into Picker, unless you were to travel through the forest itself without the guidance of the path. For carts and carriages this was the perfect route, the only route. Naturally this meant thieves and thugs hung around, but not usually in the darker hours. Not many people would travel through the forest at those times, most feared they would get lost, or attacked.
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