In the far east, there rest islands. This is where it starts—luminescent wraiths cresting the oceans at dusk; entire cities lying fathoms below a crystal clear surface, only to vanish with the slightest ripple; islands that look a mile or two long at most, stretching into the horizon once landed.
In the mideast, where the islands share horizons, folks brush nature back. The unknown shrinks away from these human congregations—leaving to the outskirts of a small village or to the ocean beyond. Sibyls and bone eaters whisper to the unknown. They make peace with the barrikyora who swallow islands whole and the miasma that hunts the living.
The midwest hears about such magic, a curse or cure always happening to someone else. The unknown is conquered here, sold in watered down drugs and promises—in the corner apothecary and the sybils indentured fresh from the docks. Dreams of owning exotic things are realized, creatures sold to the highest bidder behind closed doors—from scorpion hawks to false bones and horrors that take on the form of man.
The far west lies home to the continent, whose forests and waters are left untouched by the unknown. Hand-me-down stories unfold in the dregs of its taverns with only the shameless cover of night for an excuse.
Kai and his kind are creatures of the unknown, and this is his story. It’s said he betrayed a god.