WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
Book of Soil
Translated from lshgiruan by Fasium, a survivor.
In Wellah, the Empress counts each clod of soil from east to west, the hot orb upon her back. There are four creatures at the command of her sword. The Crane, who flies in the night. The shimmering Snake, who can bite. The Dragon-Dog, who may fight. And most precious, the Mouse who gives her sight.
Section 2 MISSING
I called to the long-legged Crane, who is my doctor, and I said "Tell me, what news of the war?"
The Crane has wispy grey plumes, "Empress, war began many thousands of years ago. War persists now, and war will continue to persist, even when our world has ended."
I said, "You are wise Crane, but how can you know the world will come to an end?"
The Crane replied, "because of the greed of men and women. But a balance will hold for a time, when more shall be content than not."
"And for the present? What of the present war between Wellah and Gondola?"
"You must ask the serpent and the dog."
I bore the Mouse upon my skirts. His treats were sewn into the hem, so that he could follow my every step. We left the pasture behind, walking up the slope, where the water trickled down into the valley.
The Dragon-Dog who basked, was roused from her sleep, and I said to her, "Old one, what is your advice on the matter of the war?"
"I can swallow fifty men," she replied.
"Indeed," said I, "that will be useful, if the invaders confront us. What say you Snake?”
The Snake changed from circle to line, and shuffled out from his crevice.
"I can bite the neck of their leader."
"Indeed," said I, "That is fitting. I command you to do so forthwith."
I swung my sword upward, and a sparkle danced upon it.
Section 5 MISSING
In Gondola, I claimed Ten-Rui was mine to rule. This was a lie Crane advised me to tell.
"Crane, why say that Ten-Rui is with us, when it is not? We are people of the soil, Ten-Rui stands upon rock."
The rock breeds hard-hearts, but Ten-Rui can be yours to command. Only you, Empress, have the power to seize that city. I have seen it. In your garden, the flies stand and skate upon the pond, without ever sinking below the water.
"Very good Crane," I said, "leave me to my Mouse.”
And so Crane left his perch upon my balcony, and glid out to the reedbank, where he waited for his small prey, the stupid silver-skin fish.
Section 7 MISSING
It was only ten years that passed before the Crane came to me at the balcony, and said, "My lady. The city of Ten-Rui is rotten again."
Thus I was bound to return and commit my rule more forcefully.
"I can swallow fifty men,” said the Dragon-Dog, and once more I rode through the militia, and once more the men who were not gored, surrendered.
I found the bright young man I had given the throne, but at first I did not recognise him. He had become a bloated, selfish man, and I fed him to the Crane. Having wiped the blood from his bill, the Crane said, "This will not do, Empress.”
What can we do to stop a second rotting?" I said.
"We must speak to the Snake."
Section 9 MISSING
Section 10 MISSING