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Previous chapter: The Book of Rites: Emperor's Fall

Hovertext: Observations and ruminations on surviving the Downside.

To unlock: Spend Sol at the Slugmarket to reveal more pages.

In the Words of Jomuer Many-Mane, the Alpha-Chief

Page 25 - Living In Exile[]

Once, I, too, roamed free. I remember well those days, in which I was called Chief. I traveled all the world over on my four good paws, and I was well-adored.

I wanted to grow stronger. Here, at last, I have. I shall not mince my words: This place shall either harden you, or kill you. It shall haunt you with old memories.

You share the exile's plight. My charge is to alleviate the sting of it for you a little bit, and to prolong your stay, but only for as long as needed. Your charge is to return.

We call this place the Downside for a reason. But, in time, here you can learn to eat, to seek out shelter, and to find a certain beauty in unlikely places.

Page 27 - Downside Travels[]

You cannot survive the Downside if you cannot get around. Howlers shall descend on you, or tempests shall shear you to pieces. That is just the way of it.

Traveling through the environs is no simple feat. Consider yourself blessed if you were born a cur. If not, however, you shall have to find a means to cross these lands without the benefit of four strong paws.

Lu Sclorian believes this untamed land can be traversed through means unnatural. I thought at first that he meant sorcery. But he suggests invention.

He speculates that carriages could cross this land by harnessing its fury! A wild thought. In my case, my paws shall suffice.

Page 29 - Downside Climate[]

I know of no polite way to describe the climate here. It oppresses every living thing, except, perhaps, the native flora in a few specific areas.

Once more, the recommended course is to keep moving. Moving keeps you warm when it is cold. Or, when it is very hot, you use what strength you can to move to somewhere you can think and breathe.

The weather in the Downside seems intrinsic to the different regions, which my good friend Molten Milithe shall describe.

Shelter can be difficult to find, and you cannot stay in it for very long. Perhaps, however, shelter can accompany you, rather than constrain you.

Page 31 - Downside Dining[]

How to sustain oneself with food and drink in such a place as this? The less said of it, the better. Do not complain; observe. And, above all, keep moving.

Sources of sustenance avail themselves to those with keener sense. In warmer climates, search the ground at break of day for subterraneans. In colder places, dig for them. Give them purpose.

Drinking-pools are rare, but moisture, in abundance, outside of the Sandfolds. Some is poisonous. Take only what you need.

The Downside limits any opportunity for excess. But it provides enough amenities to meet the needs of life. One who withstands it cannot help but feel a sense of gratitude.

Page 33 - Downside Diseases[]

Ailments in the Downside often give no warning when they strike. Those who keep moving, and make no attempt to settle, they reduce their risks.

The afflictions come in multiple varieties. In the bogs of Flagging Hands, a pallor tends to sink into the skin, and then, into the mind. The nauseating Sea of Solis north of there is difficult for some to tolerate.

Very hot or very colds environs bring their own specific side-effects. My coat is not as lustrous now. My fangs are long.

Like all aspects of the Downside, all these ailments share a purpose: to test your body, mind, and spirit. They only appear to harm. Accept them, surpass them, move on.

Page 35 - Foraged Findings[]

There is a simple pleasure to be found in foraging about this place. Easy for a cur to say, of course.

Though barren-looking to the naked eye, the Downside has its share of semi-hidden treasures waiting to be found. It was a nose for treasure, after all, which drew us here.

Certain types of artifacts found in this place would fetch a reasonable sum in Sol, whether because they shine with inner light, or due to other, special properties.

I have observed that Stardust, freshly fallen from the heavens, sometimes glimmers in the afternoons. I have not found a use for it as yet, although because it brings me faith, perhaps I have, indeed.

Page 37 - Slugmarkets[]

There are natives in this land, with some capacity for thought, and oddly keen instinct for the mercantile. Suspicious creatures, but not disagreeable, entirely.

From time to time we make exchange with them. They lust for coins, for the Imperial Sol, though why, they do not say. We speculate it is a delicacy. It serves us little purpose here, whilst their Slugmarket wares are sometimes valuable.

The creatures appear drawn to places where the heavens shine the brightest... perhaps because they know we are, as well.

What they want, exactly, is unclear. We taught them of our lands, yet they remain preoccupied with simpler things.

Page 39 - Indigenous Imps[]

Special mention must be given to the Downside's most prolific native creature, which we call the Imp.

With all respects to our comrade, Ha'ub, an imp himself, possessing of extraordinary intellect, most imps are driven by the simplest impulses, to eat, to drink, to procreate, to move, and to survive.

These creatures, then, are symbols of this place. They are far more resilient than they seem. Though wild by their nature, they, like all of us, can learn.

Ha'ub inists that imps are willing to be put to work. Like other aspects of the Downside, they wish more than to exist, but to exist with purpose.

Page 41 - Downside Talismans[]

Survival often is conflated with the physical. When we think of survival, we assume the need to sustain our bodies or improve our bodies. The strong survive.

But, and take it from an Alpha-Chief: There are different kinds of strength. The spirit is what drives us. By comparison, the body's impulses are weak.

Here in the Downside, faith is found in limited supply. Trinkets and mere baubles that would barely fetch a price in our homeland here are Talismans.

Seek Talismans that mean something to you. Hold onto one that you hold dear. It shall reward you with reminders of your faith, your power, your potential.

Next chapter: The Book of Rites: Forsaken Lands

See also[]

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