Dom (bateleur) wrote,


First, you must stop thinking of this place as the world. It is not. It is a prison. Knowing this, you can escape it.

Second, you must be nobody and nothing. If the eyes that see all are watching as you try to escape they will frustrate you. They will twist your path and send their agents against you and raise such rivers, mountains and storms in your path that you will turn aside or turn back and become lost.

Third, you must understand how to wield the power that is your birthright. If you leave it will be because you were always going to leave. Your story must lie beyond the Encirclement and because it does your escape will become inevitable.

Finally, this is the path you must follow: Walk through the winding backstreets of Prime until you see plants underfoot. Then walk into the woods and through them until the ground slopes upward. Then walk through the hills until the mountains rise above you and you walk a narrow path hidden between rocky crags. At last you will come to a place where the path divides. There are six ways and you must take the seventh.

Do all this correctly and you will escape Monde. That is all I can tell you. I wish you luck.


Towards the beginning of the Age of Wars the Elders of Llaewar, who were all that remained of the disciples of the Sorceror of Llaewar, became fearful of the spread of image blood through the peoples of North Llaewar. For many years they could see no hope, then gradually they conceived an ambitious plan. Drawing upon the formless chaos at the heart of all things, they shaped a great power from nothingness. They then wove a story around this power, drawing in those with image blood from all the lands around. The aim was to wait until all the images had been drawn to a single place and then sever it from the world. This place they called Monde.

The plan was partly successful, but when the great power was formed it drew attention from the Pool of Godah, concerned that it represented an unaligned form. They sent a cross to destroy it - four demonic emissaries - who would surely have succeeded were not the Elders themselves still observing the progress of their project. They formed their creation into a great stone impervious to harm and drew protections around it in the form of an impassable wall. The cross saw too late that they had walked into danger. They slew the Elders, but lacked the strength to defeat the walled stone. Three of them fell and the fourth hid itself in order to plan the later destruction of the stone.

Centuries passed, with the city of Prime being constructed in Monde around the walled stone. Monde was never severed from the world as intended, but the walled stone itself constructed an all but impassable shield called the Encirclement to prevent it from being found again until it was ready. Although it came under attack again from within Monde, the walled stone never fell. The peoples of Monde eventually found ways through the Encirclement, but since the images had never been wholly contained in the first place it is unclear that this had significant consequences for the future of Llaewar.

At its height, Monde contained three cities: Prime, Esselring and Tointier. The first of these was built around the walled stone and it was from there that the Parliament ruled. This rule was opaque, unaccountable and for the most part quite unpopular. Sianlocke’s attempt to overthrow the Parliament of Prime was, however, entirely unsuccessful due to the power of the walled stone defending them.

For the most part, day-to-day life within Monde was organised around the Ties. These were loose alliances consisting of a combination of families, guilds and other individuals with broadly shared interests. Although they had a great deal of influence over day to day life in the cities they never sought to challenge the power of the Parliament, nor to escape Monde entirely.

When Monde was rediscovered, empty, during the Age of Exploration, the walled stone was gone.

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