The hot desert wind blew across the deserted plains. It seemed that no creature lived in this place. This is the desert of the seven seas. Arahas is its ghostly name. Once in another moon, there were seven great seas here. These seas were the life force of Nede. But that was many moons ago. The water did not evaporate gradually. The water just disappeared. All the sea creatures died and their skeletons turned into dust. This dust became heavy from the sun and changed into desert sand. Now this place was called The Desert of the Seven Seas. The sand was white like freshly fallen snow and it glittered like a thousand crystals. This desert is the boundary between Nede and the other lands. Once you could sail across the waters and freely enter Nede. Now, the way was certain death. Nobody had made it across the Arahas in many moons. If you were not blinded by the brightness of the skeleton dust, you died of thirst and melted from the intense sun. Your cries for help were swallowed up by the endless echo of the Desert’s silence.
On the other side of this great desert lies a deep swamp. This place is an ominous shadow on the desert’s horizon. This is a place of dead things and darkness. The sweet stench of decay permeates the very air. There seems to be something wrong with the swamp trees, if they could be called that. Their roots are dark purple and are twisted above the ground. The roots seem to be grappling with one another, twisting and turning with deadly malice. The trees seem to be strangling each other. They are grappling dancers in a macabre dance of death and drowning. The trees seem to echo a drowning as the leaves and branches of the trees are under the murky depths of desolation. The water does not move. It lies in stillness like some great scavenger of the depths. It waits for death.
Death not found in the desert comes home to this place of desolation to find submission at the touch of the cold hand of the end of ages. The Trees groan and creak in torment warning all who dare to find their courage and cross the ghostly sands of Arahas that their fate has caught up with them. Many are those who have tried to cross the ghostly Arahas only to turn back in fear when reaching the boundary of Evorgnam Swamp. The cries of mercy coming from the groaning purple roots crack open holes in the bravest heart until the desolation of the murky depths seem to be sucking the heart from within. Those few rare souls who do make it across Arahas will not pray the price of losing their very soul in that groaning and keening place. Not even Paradise is worth that.
For that is what lies beyond this place of death and despair. Paradise. Nede. No creature has entered or exited Nede for 324 moons. All we know now of this place of dreaming is that it holds the key to all that is good and all that is true. From the scribes of ancient moons we know that it is a place where no boundary can be seen and where time is suspended. It is a verdant land that is said to take one’s breath away with its sheer exquisite magnificence. It is written that the creatures there are unlike any creatures on this earth. They are creatures of myths and dreaming. There are creatures both terrifying in their power and those that are rare like precious stones. It is written that all the creatures there have one language but many tongues. The many peoples of Nede walk as one with the creatures. The land is filled with waterfalls and crystalline rivers. The plants are as tall as the heavens and as small as a blade of grass. The trees are covered in jewels richer than in any earthly crown. All of this and many more scrolls were written about the Paradise beyond Evorgnam 324 moons ago. Nothing has been written these 324 moons. Even the ancient scrolls written with the rare bennu feather dipped in its iridescent blood are fading. The words are falling away and the echoes of a Paradise lived and recorded is being pulled into the echo of a dream…
All rights reserved © Kim Koning