Legends from Transcendentia

Nonsense Fragment from Plank Town

I used to be red, but now I am white.
I used to think green, but now I throw stones.
I used to feel, but now I sow corn.
How can I sow corn, when my feet are bones?
How can bones grow in the soil? You have not watered them. All these years,
and you have done nothing. You, the King. You, the Grand
Remark. Double coin and handbasket. Breakfast sim and ground down goblet. Murder child and murder dog. Blood swings
free and blood drinks me. Thinning
of the family elephant. Torn open for none
to care. I
once cared. What have you done. What
have you done

Legends from Transcendentia

The Crscndi

The Crscndi fell on my town like a swarm. They cast out the light, blacked the ground with the hoof-marks of their mounts. Their sparrow-tipped spears… Blood from the family well.

—Xenrith the Liar, Tales*

* While “tale” in English is something constructed, fabricated, likely fictional, in Xenrith’s native tongue, from which this is translated, the word bears a sense of veracity, of great import and thus (the obligation to tell) the truth. Hence the irony of Xenrith’s epithet, and the immense difficulty of determining/discerning the factual from the fictitious in her/his narratives. This difficulty is again compounded when we consider the fragmented nature of the texts available to us today.

Legends from Transcendentia

B is for Bactrian Spider

Eight-legged and spiny, with a large, humped thorax that the Crscindi mount with blanket and saddle for riding. (And that, my friend, is a formidable sight, a patrol of mounted Crscindi scouts with their spotting scopes and their still-packs and their great zap-spears. Though not outwardly hostile, they are wary of all intruders to their desert lands, and so it behooves the voyager to handle any interaction with a prudent mix of openness, honesty, friendly overtures, and caution.) The bactrian spider scuttles at a top speed of some 16 leagues per hour. While its toxins are not deadly per se, its bite is paralyzingly painful, and its mandibles leave holes a good handspan broad. It is best to avoid being bitten.

Legends from Transcendentia

Why the Flesh-Worlder Never Eats a Spot Grub

“Through and through and through once more, so went the thread as it pierced the pore. Eat and eat and eat some more, gulp and pull on fine old lore. Drink the stitch, quaff the seam, bite the ink, taste the ream, kill the world, fill your dreams. Pull me in with folds of cloth, douse me in your age-old wrath, kill the man who kills no more, heal the wounds of the high-tech whore.”

The Chant of the Sci-Fi Sage

He ate it. Just like that, with not one thought, not one voice in his mind that cried “No, it is bad. No, it is wrong. No, it is not you.” Just like that it went down, slid on its own slime down a throat not used to the rage and rasps and wind of a new world, a throat soft and made of flesh, weak and not at all hard like the gaunt plate mail rings of a West Neeb crawl-thing. So it slid down, and its clawed hairs etched new art on the soft side of his neck, and these lines of pain sung like the chord on a beast-man’s back, and they dragged at his lungs and sucked at his breath, and they ripped their way through his flesh, ate and tore through meat and bone, through skin to air, and back as well. Breath was drawn in sharp shards and he could drink no more. Just like that. Just like that it had slid down on its own slime and chewed on his soft plush throat till breath was hard, and then he fell to the floor, and he ate spot grubs no more.