Geography of Narethy
The cyclone’s opening is a quarter-mile from an obvious road, a road where the topsoil has been scooped away and fenced off with tall walls of stone. The road runs from Newtown to Bread-Big-City. Those aren’t our names. They are carved on the walls every half-mile, with distances, in cryptic runes which Jaraswat’s mighty linguistic spells made short work of. (The Word-Fox is ineffective; the native tongues are so dead that there are no echoes that that nimble little vulpine can catch.)
When Mirinxan reached Bread-Big-City, we knew we weren’t on Hove anymore.
It’s not that unusual, cross-worldly, to have a city composed entirely of towers. Dorday, my favorite city on Hove, sometimes feels that way. It’s normal architecture on Spendularé, as the spens are avian. The narets were rather more like flying squirrels: only gliders. (They called themselves ”ỉsgê”, but we name the world and inhabitants together, to avoid confusion. Hovens hate being called ‘hoven’. The hovens will get used to it. The narets won’t get used to anything, nor complain; they are all dead.)
What is unusual, and what we have never, ever, seen before, is that all the towers were curved. There’s a big empty plaza in a suburb of Bread-Big-City, which we call “Vertical Plaza”. The towers around Vertical Plaza go straight up for a floor and a half, then turn and bend to nearly horizontal, all pointing directly away from the amphitheatre in Vertical Plaza. The towers a block away are vertical for two floors, and aren’t bent quite so sharply. The towers a mile away go for five floors and are only a bit tilted.
The pattern continues all over Narethy. The towers in Newtown are a bit curved on the top, all pointing away from Bread-Big-City, and from Vertical Plaza in particular. Rather later some dragons flew to the farthest rim of Narethy. It took surveying equipment, but yes, the towers are just a bit curved there, and the same way.
“Oh!” we all said immediately. “There was a melty sort of explosion in the amphitheatre, and it melted the towers.”
Evidence For That, part 1:That’s how Bread-Big-City looks from above, certainly.
Evidence For That, part 2: The rooms inside the towers look the way you’d expect if the towers were straight up and down. They have windows and balconies on the outside, which means that sometimes the windows face the sky and sometimes they face the ground. The ex-walls/now-floors are covered with smashed furniture and assorted detritus, as would naturally happen if the room got suddenly turned on its side. But see “against, part 2”
Evidence Against That, part 1: Nothing else got melted by the blast. There are light-posts and wire-poles throughout Bread-Big-City. Many are fallen (but in random directions, due to age). Those that are standing are perfectly vertical — or leaning crazily, but in random directions.
Evidence Against That, part 2: The towers are all built the way they look. The most extremely tilted ones have massive internal structural elements, heavy curved pillars and skeletons of woven titanium. The towers would have been all but impossible to live in, what with the pillars taking up the better part of each room.
Osoth was in love with this mystery instantly. It was not at all the purpose of the exploring company, but it seemed a wonderful puzzle that his powers of archaeology and necromancy could unlock while the Travel mages built a new hhejŝṧhyant and looked around the Tsòn cluster for worlds that were actually tsòn.