Book 3 — Locations


A dread name. This Tunnoltan fortress rhomically suspended in the canopy of the Leafy Deeps, fathomless forest of tides, is said to be impregnable. Structured as a series of stacked pyramids comprised of black metal plating, its most valuable room remains hidden: a prison chamber lowered below the tideline whence no man returns alive.



Free Port of the Imperium; Gateway to the Midlands. This bustling port city curves beneath the Horn of Harms—western end of the Shaver range where it plunges into the sea. The harbor with its immense stone quay can accommodate hundreds of ships, and Habridi caravans do regular commerce with Kralalahad across the Helfin Waste. But Hapslich is more than a marketplace: from ancient times it’s been known as a center of architecture and art, especially sculpture.



A narrow sandy desert stretching laterally for eight hundred miles between Hapslich in the west and the Kralal Valley in the east, the Helfin Waste is notable for the tortured tongues of bedrock which protrude from its fluid dunes. These spires, known by the Habridas as Nomads due to the unpredictability of their emergence, are often cited as a cause of the desert’s infamously-unsettling wind harmonics, despite the fact that the phenomenon has been repeatedly documented in the absence of any rock formations.



City of Swallows, Sieve of the Ever-Stooping Sky. A teeming metropolis built into the vertiginous cliffs of the Kralal Valley, eastern terminus of the Helfin Waste, Kralalahad draws pilgrims from across the Imperium with the lure of its vibrant nightlife, natural red-rock arches, and the ecstatic experience of the Circuit, an edutainment spectacle. Though its attractions are many, getting across town is no small feat: tributaries of the mighty Tiver River divide the city into numerous sections navigable only by use of a three-dimensional coordinate system and a network of rhomic lifts.



A massive, sheer-sided mesa at Kralalahad’s western rim rumored to be the regional headquarters of the imperial secret police, the Kranolich is better known as the site of the Dignity Palace of the Free Peoples of Arlam—a magnificent, sixteen-domed edifice built directly into a precipice at river-level. Despite its name, few attain the privilege of entry, even at the annual Liberty Ball, and the closest the average Tunnoltan ever gets is the Court of Self-Determination, a triangular parade-ground in the angle formed by the Tiver’s chief tributaries.


Loose the Sealed Tongue — Intro
Loose the Sealed Tongue — Cast