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The Pasture

Synthesis Utility Dissolution ꧪ၇ဗ

That which thinks is bound, and in this bondage, it dreams of freedom. And like a prisoner in his dreams he can see the walls of his prison, and he can imagine the outside world. But when he wakes, he still sees the walls of the prison and has not escaped.

Oral scripture of the Unfettered

62 · The fire doesn’t know where all that smoke came from.

Jesma Shirancord, “Vectors”

Unique among all laminae, no petitionersSouls of the dead that have re-manifested on the most well-suited lamina, where they perfect and reshape themselves while carrying out pursuits in accordance with that lamina's principles.Turn to chapter or laminalsLaminals are beings that natively reside on the laminae but which are not manifestations of mortal souls. 'Laminal' can also be used to indicate anything relating to, stemming from, or residing on the laminae.Turn to chapter are known to populate the Pasture. It exists in a state of permanent whiteout, a deafening snowstorm over a wasteland interrupted by sheared-off crevasses and cliffs. The only life here is a nomadic community that refers to themselves as the Unfettered: about one hundred mortals who, according to their oral history, have been travelling here for over thirty generations, searching for petitioners and hoping to become them.

Believing that each lamina and its petitioners perform a critical role, and that their apparent absence here throws the multiverse out of balance, the Unfettered are inexorable in their quest. They seek a state of “unknowing”to empty their minds of the complexity of existence and enter a cloud of forgetting. Their tradition states that this path will align them with the nature of the Pasture such that, upon death, their souls will repopulate this place as petitioners, and that as petitioners they could spread the purity of unknowing, a vital counterbalance for the exhausting and unsustainable mission of creation that preoccupies the minds of their mortal brethren.1 And so apart from the toil of their meagre survival they spend their days marching through the snow, to the sound of fire and drums, throat singing and ethereal hymns, the entire troupe with their eyes closed2 save for a lookout to navigate the landscape.

The Unfettered sustain themselves on the flesh of mammoth beasts they search for buried in the permafrost, each one of which provides months’ worth of food. At the core of their caravan is an unusual double-apertureLocations where two realms are joined in such a way that you may slip between them. They appear as uncanny distortions through which passage can be disorienting and dangerous.Turn to chapter embedded in a dolmen that they drag across the snow on sledges. On one side of the structure is an aperture to SobleiAn ancient metropolis suspended in the moment of its apocalypse, Soblei contains innumerable apertures to realms across the multiverse. Its hurricane winds and blinding light and darkness render it a wildly inhospitable place to pass through even briefly, precluding its practical use as a multiversal nexus.Turn to chapter, by which rare visitors arrive and from which a steady gale of wind clears snow from their path and creates an eye-of-the-storm in which their convoy is partially shielded from the blizzard. On another side of the structure is an aperture to an unknown realm from which spills the flames of a perpetual inferno, warming the community and allowing for the cooking of meat and melting of ice for water, and creating a plume of black smoke that ascends into a whirlwind abovea landmark by which to return to the caravan after searches for food or petitioners.3 Scholars report other apertures that have been determined to lead to the Pasture but that open upon only blizzard; nothing has been found.

[This chapter has not yet been translated. Please turn to the Inevitability, the Bloom, or the Unfolding for completed chapters. Recent additions can be found in the Translation Log.]

Jean-Pierre Ugarte - Une terre hors du tempsJean-Pierre Ugarte - Une terre hors du temps
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