Jun. 13th, 2011

I am Merxis, the High Geometer of the World of Tantavel. This is part of the history of the world that I am writing, for reasons that shall soon be made clear.

Tantavel is a beautiful place, a rectangular strip of wooded lands some four hundred miles across, east to west, and exactly three thousand miles long, north to south. We are bounded on east and west by mighty and endless seas, which are flat close to the land, but which slope away with increasing steepness the further one goes from shore; ships that dare go too far out of sight of land cannot claw back uphill and are lost. Only the sun can travel there, rising above the eastern ocean and setting above the west day after day. In a previous treatise I have speculated that Tantavel is shaped like a toroid, that is to say a tube joined upon itself at the ends, with the sun passing through the hole in the middle during the night. But I digress, which I am unfortunately inclined to do, being of advancing years.

We are bounded on the north and south by the Veil: a curtain of infinite blackness, rising as high as the eye can see. All living or organic matter that touches the Veil is disintegrated, so one must take great care with it. This is made more complicated by the fact that the Veil moves. Every year the Northern Veil marches three miles southward, consuming all in its path. But similarly, every year the Southern Veil marches south at the same rate, revealing new lands. Thus does the World of Tantavel remain exactly three thousand miles long. I have made numerous measurements to verify that it is so.

An important feature of the World of Tantavel is the Dark Spire. It is a peak of black rock, impossibly steep, upon which no plant will grow and no bird will nest. It thrusts almost twelve hundred feet tall, a height I have estimated by measuring its shadow at various times of day. The Dark Spire draws close to the Northern Veil; it will not be long before the two collide. Nobody knows for certain what will happen, but I have a theory. When Spire pierces Veil, I believe it shall spell the end of the world.

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