Yes, I know, I haven’t been updating for a while now… There’s a siege going on, as you probably noticed. There have been some developments, though, that I feel obliged to share with you out there, all of you; which might even include our not-so-friendly observers in Cull Haven and Lawpolis.
Last week, I got informed that a new guild representative is about to join our little council of the ‘Boroughs. I didn’t think much about it at first. Then I mentioned it to my Highpriest, and he actually went silent for about 10 seconds – which hasn’t happened during the last decade or so. Then he started preaching his excitement for the better part of an hour. To his great grief – still talking about my cheerful Highpriest – he wasn’t allowed to join me when I was blindfolded and escorted. He prepared the shit out of me, however.
The Mappers might represent the oldest craftsmanship in all of Fictionaria. They have been forging collections of maps and atlases for centuries now, which might not seem such a big deal. We have a pretty commonsensical view how our rivers, lakes and mountains hold reign over the continents. That wasn’t always the case. Some time back, those ancient folios were the only reliable source our merchants and adventurers could base their journeys on. Reliable being a factor here, since no two maps were ever exactly the same. The Highpriest told me that no one was allowed to join their ranks who wasn’t inspired enough to produce his own voice through his inscriptions. Every exact copy was considered just that: a copy, a rip-off, a piece of counterfeit. So every new Mapper added some minor detail, maybe an island or two, or the run of a mighty river; improved on a few mountains; or tried to comment on that ongoing discourse about the southern desert. The Mappers were not only charting our lands, they were charting the maps that came before them, conducting a great debate within their pieces of art. And their stories tickled into the fabric of our world, design by design: tales they told each others, ranking from the most trivial of puns to the most epic of sagas. Some say, that’s why our world is called Fictionaria today.
I was expecting to be lead into some maze-like dungeon, steps spiraling out of perspective all around. I was expecting never to get out on my own, should I fail to meet the guild’s expectations. I was expecting some secret fortress no one without a proper Mapper’s Chain had visited in decades. When the blindfold was removed, I stood in front of a beach cabin and was handed quite a pleasant cocktail. I couldn’t tell you where there should be a beachside anywhere remotely close to the mountains surrounding Catherineborough. There just isn’t. But that shouldn’t surprise you by now: The guild made damn sure it’s on no map anyone will ever see.
I can tell you this, though: I met with the High Masters Glober. They were wearing garments in cheerful red and yellow colors, reminding me very much of someone I know. I had no idea why they were going with that title, until I experienced first-hand this wild fancy the High Masters Glober are entertaining: Manufacturing maps on top of round objects: spheres, balls, balloons, orbs, even eggs! –Either they are completely nuts, or they know some trickery fashions of magique! Bending and twisting the way things are…! I instantly asked for a round map of Catherineborough and the Den, which would look really nice in my room – not that they would accept orders anymore.
Whether it is true that the Grand Masters Glober have honed their skills to the degree the Highpriest suspects they have, I cannot say. What I can promise you is this: the Guild of Mappers stands devoted to the cause of the resistance now. And they might just have some ideas of their own, concerning our current state of our border limitations.
So, friendly observers in Cull Haven or Lawpolis: Start earning your paychecks. Denounce this as war propaganda. Call me a liar and brand me a jawsmith. Stop all the whispers. Don’t let them talk out aloud that the ‘Boroughs stand strong as ever. Maybe we won’t just stand, if an advance is always a matter of perspective and directory.
And then take a long, hard look on your maps.
Because they are not fiction.