[I'd planned to continue Some Information Concerning Wandering Mountains this week but, irritatingly, haven't had time to translate the rest of Lemnick's letter from the original Shendish ... or, indeed, to invent it. So instead, a little information about the Heart of The World. This may be of particular interest to anyone following The Theft of The Heart of The World, which is yet another story I promise I'll get back to ... just as soon as I complete my plan to shoehorn more hours into the day, which, let's face it, is going to mean getting to grips with my time machine design, which in turn means getting that whole grand-unification theory nailed down, which in turn ...]
The Heart of The World, perhaps the most famous gem in all the globe, has been the symbol of the rulership of Otherwhile since the time of the Three Queens of Day, more than half a millennium ago. Unlike the other royal regalia, it is kept in its own chamber within the Tower of the Heart, the tallest turret of Farla’s Palace of Days. Its precise location with the tower is a mystery, as is the nature of the many guards and wards said to have been set about it.
|Probably not very like The Heart of The World|
Unseen by the general public in centuries, the gem itself has been variously described. Early, most certainly exaggerated, references estimate its size as something approaching that of a small human head or a medium-sized cabbage, and in one notorious account, as being the size of a small human head that resembed a medium-sized cabbage. More modern descriptions put it nearer the size of a goose egg. Again, there is some dispute as to the gem's colour: some sources describe it as blue, some purple and others red, while yet others suggest it moves slowly between all three colours in turn. The only matter on which all are agreed is the ancient legend that the loss or destruction of The Heart would mean the end of Otherwhile. But then, the same end is variously said to be portended by the birth of a crow with two heads, or a cow appearing on the altar of The Absented in the Capital, or the notorious miser, Cranholm of Runne, deciding to buy a round of drinks without having a knife pointed at his throat.
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