CHAPEL OF THE VOID SAINTS

Beyond the canted slopes of the Rusthollow Hills, three days’ ride past the abandoned Freekeep of Lyre, across the dust-scrawled ghost of a river that died so many ages ago that none recall its name, you will find a chapel sacred to those who ruled this land when our ancestor’s ancestors were not yet born. 

There were ships in that Long Ago, golden-hulled vessels that traversed the ink-dark voids between the spheres as our own ships sail upon the ink-dark sea. The men who crewed those ships visited distant shores far beyond the grasp of our world and they brought back many bounties: beasts and arts and metals that had never been seen upon the Urth. 

There were dangers too for the crews of those aurum craft, and for every ship that returned safe to harbour, brimming with the tales of other worlds, there were ten lost forever in that silent gulf that yawns between the stars. Their families could not bury them in the manner customary to those who ruled when our ancestor’s ancestors were not yet born. Instead they built the chapel to honor them, dedicated to the spirits of those brave explorers who fell beyond the curve of our world. In time some of those dead were beatified, and those due to embark on extrasolar journeys would visit the chapel and ask those void-lost Saints to watch over them and keep their vessels from harm.

Such days are long gone. Hyperion’s lantern has gone out. The golden-hulled boats no longer sail to other worlds, and our sun waxes fat and red like a sated tick. I am an old man; the Urth is older still. But I will tell you again what my ancestors told me: travel beyond the Rusthollow Hills, ride for three days past the Freekeep of Lyre, and cross the ghost of a river. There you will find the Chapel of the Void Saints.

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