Monday, September 29, 2014

Tales of Two Cities

The Witchocracy of Ix is perhaps the most vexing of the lands across the Wastes to the north to Azurth, but it is not the only one. It is one of three descendants of the dreaded Empire of the Barbarous Name, which was so feared that its very name was stricken from any record so that no one might speak it aloud and inadvertently evoke a ritual of resurrection. The only parts of that feared land and its hexadecagrammaton known to have survived are Ix, Yai, and Zed.

Many rumors and legends circulate regarding Yai, but all truth is hidden beneath a massive dome, ensconced in a remote mountain valley. It is widely known as the "Pleasure Dome of Yai", as tales tell of travelers being received by a youthful, beautiful, and most solicitous folk, eager to fulfill the travelers' every need and desire--save one. The folk of Yai are said never to age and never to tire of serving others; they are so devoted, that they demure from allowing their guests to leave, no matter how strenuously they state their desire to do so. One of the most peculiar stories told about Yai is that one of its pleasures is a game that somehow involves manipulation of the people beyond Yai. This "god-game" is rumored to be one of the most addictive of Yai's many pleasures.

Art by Alayna Lemmer
One of the peculiarities of the Mysteriarchy of Zed, the City of Wizards, is that no non-initiate may recall both the location of its gates and their passwords at the same time. The location of the city itself is well known; geographers with their particular thaumaturgy have fixed it in place to the north of Azurth and the Waste and the east of Ix and Yai. (Though, one must recall, the geographer has a luxury of imprecision not afforded the traveler.) Even still, an eidolon or mirage of the city is given to wandering. It has been glimpsed in many places but always to the north near the horizon, shimmering like heat-haze, staying forever out of reach--until it disappears entirely. The city gates are much less elusive but just as unpredictable; one might find them on a sheer cliff face in Sang, standing on a small isle in the midst of bubbling mudpots in the vicinity of Demonland, or in the back of a poorly lit Rivertown larder. The Wizard of Azurth, for all his presumed might, has never been invited to join the citizenry of Zed and so puts a great deal of effort into trying to find a way through these gates.

1 comment:

Justin S. Davis said...

I hope to see tons more of this stuff over October!