Book 1 Chapter 5

“So Miranda, before us we have a map of the known world. Shall we go through all of the sections together.”

“Of course Marek, always the efficient one I imagine you would prefer to go North to South.”

“Once again you prove that you know me too well.”

“What of Valeria? Could your supposed evil be harbored there?”

“It is unlikely. The journey is one that few beings can make. It would be easier to convince a dragon to fly you there than to make the trail yourself. Presuming that such an evil would be strong enough to make there, the elves would not stand for it long. While they are a race that strives for peace, they are master weapon makers. For their love of knowledge they are well versed in how to use the weapons they make. Their magic would root out any entity hiding in their land and they would expel it by force if need be.”

“I agree Marek. What of the forest, Valeze? Surely the goblins have no problem with allowing such an evil to lurk in their midst.”

“I don’t believe they would have a problem, especially if they were paid well for their secrecy. But it is unlikely, the goblin king and the goblins in general do not like to share their possessions. This doesn’t mean just their gold, but also their land and their living quarters. For such an entity to live there they would have to occupy space of some sort. That is space that would otherwise belong to a goblin. No matter how well they were paid for it, no goblin would want to forfeit a share of their space for another being. Also much like the elves they prefer to be left alone to their ways. They do not like extra ears that may learn the secrets of their hoarding.”

“So you agree that this evil could not be housed in Valeze?”

“I do.”

“To the marshlands we go.”

“Where would one take cover there? The ground is to wet to be built upon. It is wrought with quicksand which is indistinguishable from the relatively solid ground. The insects that do live there can ravage ones skin beyond recognition if allowed to do what is in their nature. The only other things that live there are various rodents, which are hardly good for eating. No I doubt the marshes are fit for anybody.”

“So we move on to Valeria and its cities.”

“It would be rather bold and most likely noticeable if such an evil lived in any of the cities. I have been through most of the 24 municipalities and while I have sensed and encountered many foes, I have not seen hard evidence of my suspicions taking refuge in any of them. Even if the evil moved between the cities it is likely someone would notice and word would spread.”

“There are unexplored and unoccupied parts of the Hearst desert.”

“Yes, but the desert is difficult to live in without help. One would have to set up a supply chain from one of the cities or villages along the rivers. This would be noticeable as well.”

“Perhaps someone could be hiding in the Sheeran Mountains? There are many abandoned tunnels and passages that have mined out by the citizens of Triton. It would be easy to hide there.”

“Again, we run into the issue of supplies. There would be a noticeable supply chain somewhere along the way.”

“The municipalities to the south and west are spread out. The land is much more forgiving. One would not need a supply chain to live outside the cities there.”

“There is plenty of wildlife that one could catch for food. With the proper knowledge one could easily collect plants for eating as well. The weather is more temperate in that part of Valeria so shelter could be minimal. I only have one issue with this possibility. The roads between the municipalities and cities are well traveled. They are constantly busy with traffic and traders. There are very few if any unexplored sections of that land. If such an evil were in operation in the area I suspect that it would be easily recognizable and found out.”

“That leaves the Cliffs of Chalibis and the land beyond it.”

“It is possibly the most likely area, but at the same time the most unlikely.”

“I agree Marek. The lands beyond the Cliffs are probably inhabitable enough. But how would one traverse up and down the Cliffs?”

“I have been spending a foolish amount of time on trying to figure that out. There is no way that I can see. I have even consulted many great minds across Valeria and there is no way that someone could traverse such an expanse even once, let alone on a regular basis.”

“So that is it for the known world. There is no place that this supposed evil could hide for an indefinite amount of time.”

“Well there are two other possibilities. Both are more unlikely than any of the other places I’ve explored.”

“I can read your thoughts Marek. But what you are thinking is not just unlikely, it is impossible. The Dragons would sooner eat another living being then allow it to take refuge on the island. They prefer their privacy and they will keep it by any means necessary. To the other supposed possibility, the land that is north of Valeria cannot be the place. Nothing has ever come out of there and nothing ever will.”

“Once again you are correct Miranda. I am proving myself to be nothing more than paranoid in this matter. There is no place in the world where this evil could be hiding. I will put this matter out of my mind and sleep well tonight.”

Marek put away his maps and spent the remainder of the day with Miranda. They took a long walk and enjoyed each other’s conversation. At certain points in the afternoon they simply found themselves staring into each other’s eyes, silently enjoying the view. They ate in the banquet hall of the hospital with their colleagues and friends. After drinking their fill of wine and ale they retired to their quarters with smiles upon their faces and love in their hearts.



Image credit: Destinyfall

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