TO THE WORLD OF
"Our world is a bowl. A great, colossal basin, the distance from one side to another almost impossible to fathom. It is a world of stinking, filthy swamps, some inhospitable and dangerous. And yet it is filled beyond measure with wonders and richness, beautiful and diverse. Vast though this world is, we are still constrained by the walls of the bowl. We know them, of course, as the sky defying Outer Barrier. There are some who still believe the Barrier to be the end of the world, cliffs that encircle Lanphen entirely and soar beyond the clouds to touch the stars. Their certainty is compounded by the truth that no person has yet found the top and returned to tell the tale. Do the cliffs continue forever? A day may arrive when men transcend the Gods and stand on the lip of the unknown. But until then we should content ourselves with the world we’ve got. We clean the water to drink. We cultivate the soil. We plunder hills and high ground. We build in stone and wood. All of us millions; humans, odnods, saridats, swamp dwellers and viprags alike. We share this boggy crater, squelching and splashing, stretching and striving for a life above the marshlands that constantly seek to consume us."
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