"At the base of the stair, named for one of Amber's Queens, you know, there is an archway, of alabaster. It's carved with tritons, and mermaids, and the dolphins which of course are the royal symbol. This archway marks the boundary of Rebma, as a land, and stepping through it, I feel like I am home at last."
"The city gate and the walls are a walk or swim of fifteen or twenty minutes from the archway depending on whether or not I dawdle. Even in the green haze, I can see the golden glint of the gates around the city itself. The magical pillar flames, first seen on the stair, are in a row like a promenade, lighting the way to the walls and the gate."
"The gate and the walls are guarded, of course. By men, like myself, being good husbands and providers for their families, serving in the lower ranks, commanded by a woman or two. Tridents, spears, nets, daggers, of bronze, decorated with pearl. The weapons glint whenever the haze clears. A good Rebman keeps his weapon clean and shining, just like he keeps himself well groomed for his woman."
"Even with the height of the wall." Joao continued, his eyes still closed, a smile playing upon his lips. "One can see the taller buildings of Rebma in the green haze. Onion domes and slim towers marking the more palatial buildings and holdings of the Rebman noble families. The palace, of course, and its marbled perfection in the center, visible even at this distance. The Cathedral, nearby, near to it as its twin in splendor and majesty."
"Many choices to beckon a swim to, once inside of the walls."
--From Joao and Raina's Tale.