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The Royals sailed in the Queen's barge downriver to Sukai in the Land of Menkal, where they transferred to a ship that took them west past Elendal Island, hugging the coast on its way to Hamar. Currents always moved away from the Land, while winds always blew toward it. The ship used both of these forces to thread its path, while Baron Bayard told everyone a story.

Everyone in the Land We Know was fully aware that the world was an island in the center of a flat sea called Thalury. From the beginning of days sailors heeded the divine injunctions of all the elohim never to sail out of sight of the Land, lest they meet the edge. So rigidly was this law observed that if a captain, drunk or otherwise, steered his ship such that the Land faded from view, it was cause for the crew to mutiny and throw the captain overboard. No such crew returning to port ever faced punishment.

But in the fullness of time King Ravenmaster was put to death. It was the days of the revolution in the ancient kingdom of Kurgan, when the republic of loosely-united city-states known as the Saiph League was born, and many of the laws established by the elohim were overthrown. "Reason" reigned supreme, and when time was ripe seamen were found to man two ships, sailors who were willing to disregard the divine warning never to sail out of the sight of land. Such was the rebellious mindset of the men of the Saiph League that it never occurred to them the gods issued their commandment for the safety of mariners. Instead, there were rumors of yet another land far in the south, a choice land the elohim created for their own enjoyment, a beautiful realm filled with gold, rich in abundant fruit, and the divine prohibition was to keep this land from being despoiled by mortals.

The two ships commissioned by the revolutionaries were Will O' The Whisp and Fire of the Covenant. They drifted in the current with sails unfurled. After two days, the dark line that was the Land We Know could no longer be seen in the north, and some of the sailors shuddered, for the tradition was deeply embedded within them. And their fears proved more than superstition, for one night after about a week underway the lookout in the highest mast of Fire of the Covenant screamed that the horizon ahead was closing in on them. There was a sharp edge to the sea!

Captain Dogtrapper signaled with lamps to Will O' The Whisp that he was raising his sails and turning back. Captain Skulldagger aboard the Will didn't follow suit until it was too late. With billowing sails Fire of the Covenant barely escaped, but the current became too strong for her sister ship. In short order she was seen to tip over the edge and was never seen again. But Yeshua and Talishi often spoke of what happened next.

Will 'O' The Whisphad indeed fallen over the edge of the world. For not far away from the Land the sea poured over a great cataract, an infinite waterfall. For days the ship fell partially submerged within these waters, which had become a vertical sheet. The crew found they had no weight, they floated freely, and some floated far away from the ship. Winds eventually broke the sheet into globes of water, ranging in size from a man's head to the size of a barn. Fish were seen swimming in some of these spheres of water, and when the food aboard ship ran out these fish provided the only source of food. There was no thirst, for Thalury was a freshwater sea.

As the crew continued to fall, the black underside of the world became visible overhead. The eternal winds blew the globes of water further and further apart, and the heat of the day caused them to slowly evaporate. One day none of the water globes which remained near the ship contained any fish, and the men began to starve. Thoughts of killing each other for meat crossed their mind, but by the time they were desperate enough to act, they were too weak to successfully attack each other or do anything more than moan pitifully. Then came the final week, when they passed away one by one, according to their remaining strength. Yeshua said their shades appeared on the rim of the Sacred Mountain, which is the fate of all humans who die in Land, but of their destiny beyond that he would say nothing.

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Strangers In Paradise