WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
Many of the lost have died, those northerners, who in their desperation landed here. But they did not know the sharpness of the Twy-ni-Banda, and were bitten. Some never even saw a tree before, I think. I can't think what lives they must have led.
Yet they have hope. Some are learning. Their bushcraft is awkward, but their confidence grows. Hatep hisses to us that we must extend our circle, befriending kin and non-kin. We have to help them survive.
Let me throw my voice into the fire, to dissolve with the kindling into timeless smoke.
Many blazes have we started since the first day; a day we all understood marked a re-imagining of our world.
It is beside these fires that we gather to talk, to buck profound loneliness. The lines of history have unravelled. The ocean drained, the sky blackened. There is a roar of flying grit when storms break, and we take cover beneath the palms, as the debris spatters the leaves.
From every hook and spit of land did we come to Koinos, the southern continent. Some came by chance, others came later, upon hearing rumour of our miracle.
The miracle is that Koinos remains, while the rest swirls.
- Unnamed Writer
Here we be, Tarik and Herateum. We met as enemies, but will die as brothers. Sabor and Kioki, under tattered, but dovetailed flags.
The sky is blacker than the rocks beneath that great institution, Panyana. Where I spent the better part of 86 years. Long may Cambrina's wings keep the little people airborne.
I was Archdean Cambrina. The people here don't know that name, and I don't deserve all that, not when I did nothing to the day Me-Niata was condemned. We sisters were all comlicit, but only Me-Niata had the courage to be a martyr. Why could I not stand for her, the way she stood for us?
The walled garden at the Hospital is dark. Though I can't see the flowers, I can feel their petals and leaves. It appears we in Capulca shall wilt and shrivel together. Now I'm a nobody, and I die nameless.
Finally, after seven years, the sun!
It happened as day broke, just for a moment. A disc of gold. Then the cloud came back.
Knowing nothing for certain, we have agreed to keep the
fires of the lighthouse lit. It still sees the new arrivals safely down. I don't know how they have survived out there without help, without food, and Mantas swooping down upon them. Many are so shaken, and have been alone
for so long, that they are no longer able to speak.
But the sun, that is a hope! I still have my yellow summer
dress. It is quite plain issue, and I often think how much nicer it could be with work. I think l'll weave some grasses between the buttons like the Pekoe, and fold it
into my lockbox until the sun peeks out again.
- Maris, once of Sabor, now a citizen of Koinos.
We have but one common tongue; the language of the Pekoe.
If not for the Pekoe, few of us would have negotiated our first hours here. The snakes that sway like creepers, waiting to bury their teeth into our heads, or the strange things we must find to eat; grubs, sweet orange ogballs, even bark. We've had to learn their bushmastery to survive.
Koinos feels vast, and other tribes inhabit the forests. They dwell along the banks of once great rivers turned streams, that trickle silently into the abyss. We have not yet seen these tribes. The Pekoe say we never will, conceding that they - the Shamoe, the Intucki - are mysterious even to them, and that the physical world is but one of many in which they walk.
A school has been built in a wing of the Hospital, and I have classes to teach. We start with guitars and we sing. It is sung in the Pekoe religion, that the great serpent lord Hatep will outlast all the gods, yet it seems even his kingdom is destined to fall. I hope we can remain in Capulca a while longer, but there's no use swinging on a dead branch.
- Annis Yrsa, A Verduban with a passion for all things Koinos.
We have lost a great deal, that is true. But look now at the stars! I have never seen a canopy so full and bright. Or-Kwon-Tey points with the heel of his palm, and we are educated as to the constellations of the Pekoe pantheon.
"Which is Hatep?" I ask.
"Hatep holds no stars," says Or-Kwon-Tey
"Then how does he wield his power?" Isay.
"Hatep is everywhere. He is the dark ribbon, the body upon which the stars whirl."
- A Newcomer
Funny to think I've lived through "the breathing in". I could have lived in any era of history, but I happen to live right now, when everything's gone south.
As far as I know, I am the only Mellifluan here, apart from Banton. I saw Melliflua subside, from above; that was the beginning of the end. Yet here we are, at the beginning. It's like the afterlife.
I had help with this translation into Pekoe, from my good friend Fasium, a Chabuti. He is translating all sorts of books too, so that our children will have something to read!
- Piti, from Kubo.
Academic integrity is endangered. I must try to bear the weighty torch alone, and one day hope to pass it on. My poor sisters. The great archive. Millennia of books and knowledge lost, but for the pathetic scraps of wisdom I can recall (so far, 46 slim volumes and papers on various topics, thirty-four classic studies, and sixteen books on the specifics of aeronautics). This feels the most important exam I'll ever have taken.
I was pleased to have some theories of my own validated on arriving at Capulca. As my lifeboat descended, I could make out an outline through the dark vapour. Though I could no longer rely on my navigational instruments, my presumption that this was the southerly continent of Koinos proved correct. Furthermore, I noted that it seemed to be holding together, in spite of everything.
This really only confirms the paper I unveiled at the Efflua symposium, nearly ten years ago. Back then, findings demonstrated that Koinos was stable, and experiencing prolonged tectonic intervals. This was hard to understand given measurements everywhere else in Foundation, which were off the charts.
We knew it was connected to Atlas, but time ran out on the project. Time ran out on all of us. My theory on the cause of his variation, remains speculative. Nevertheless, it helps me to talk about it.
What I still believe to this day, is that the tribes of this tangled continent leave very little trace of their having been here at all. They leave no footprint. They put as much in as they take out. Here, there are no cities, no skyways, no mines. It wasn't quarried raw. Koinos was too wild, too far distant to ever persuade Kioki or Sabor.
Did native respect for nature keep Koinos whole? I think of strip-mined Melliflua and Chabuti at the end, and I shudder.
- Josia of Efflua, Gallish.
Section 10 MISSING
The Twy-ni-Banda are dying. They bite harder and slither faster, they know their empire falls.
This is Hatep's way - during the purge, even his own children must perish. It is just as the stories say, "life makes way for life". I shall be both sad, and happy, to see them go
Rajas and jellies come to take their place, just as it is written.
- Mah-En-Lal, Son of Mah-En-Kanda
My brother is dead, my mother is dead. I find ways to keep myself busy.
But you can't avoid thinking on it on the shoreline, Looking over the edge, into the hole.
I want to bear a child here,
The father must be a Saborian,
Else nothing anchors me
Nothing gives "I" meaning.
- Cristedelia of Momoros
It is sixty-two summers since they first wrote in this book of fire, and the fire still burns brightly. We celebrate the many of us who never saw Foundation. It is with sadness that we note the collapse of Koinos, and the thought that our children must adopt new ways of life.
Only the Pekoe themselves truly accept, just as they take everything else, with such admirable detachment. I am beginning to trust in Hatep myself. But the Pekoe are wrong not to blame. You have to let us blame.
- One who saw Foundation, many years ago.
Some of us trace our lineage back, others have let it go. At night, the fires stare back at us, and great cities can be seen in the flames. Destruction, chaos, dragon-dogs. The faces of children, thousands of homeless children.
These are the same children who play among the clouds. They return to us! The Children of Ten-Rui, Momoros, Redusa, Darat. They sweep across the sky, swishing their tails, and opening their mouths wide to grin, and let the tiny insects in.
We respect the creatures whose eggs we harvest, and we chop only the trees we need. This is how we must live.
This is Hatep's holy book. We keep her by our bonfire, and under his stars, to read aloud. The book is many hundreds of years old. It goes back to the days of Koinos, when the Pekoe, our ancestors, were the guardians of the survivors. Now our small caravan keeps the stories alive. If you find this, and cannot find us, please take special care of it.