Where Gods Fear To Tread
There are hundreds of stories regarding Benzaforth’s destruction: that they raised steel against the gods, and were just punished. Or that their technology pushed too far, and they were unable to control it, and were destroyed from within. I believe that these theories are far too simple; no country angers the gods for no reason, and if it was technology , then what wonders did they create? I have to know. I WILL know. I have managed to locate the city, and I think that I can predict its trajectory. Dearest sister, you may not hear from me for some time. I promise, though, that I will return, with stories like you have never heard.
-Travels of a Scholar. This is the last letter in the book.
Benzaforth is a moral, as children are taught nowadays. The ruined remains of what was once the greatest civilization in the world, it is now detached from any body of land, floating across the seas in directions that make no sense, given tides and natural causes. Very, very few even manage to find the ruin, and fewer still dare to go inside. Those that do report dilapidated walls and towers, shadows of people that cover what walls still stand, and songs that are only heard inside your head.
No one stays for long.
Please, Koliyan, I don’t want you to go. I pray that this letter finds you before your departure, as I fear for you. Benzaforth is a place of death and desolation, and is not welcoming of scholars. I want you to come home. It has been years since I have seen you, and I miss my sister. I don’t want your last words to me to be on a page.
-Epilogue from Travels of a Scholar, penned by the author’s sister. Published in later editions, with Somayan’s permission.