There is a place in the desert where, it is said, sphinxes come at sunset. There, one may hear their music, played on harps. It is said that this music mimics the music of the spheres, which only sphinxes can hear.
The inhabitants of this island cannot conceive that two people could have the same name, or that someone would lie about their name.
This means that, if a visitor happens to have (or claims to have) the same name as a particular historical figure, wanted criminal or prominent islander, they will be treated as being that person.
The reputations of many gods and heroes in the island’s history are decidedly mixed, due to unscrupulous confidence tricksters who have claimed to be them.
The women of this isle suffer a common madness every month, which compels them to play volleyball, ride horses, and wear white dresses.
It is said that, far from Teleleli, there grows a tree one quarter bare of leaves and covered in snow, one quarter bare of leaves with no snow, one quarter in full bloom, and one quarter with leaves coloured red and yellow as in autumn.
It is further said that the touch of a branch from the winter quarter can cause or cure melancholy. A branch from the summer quarter can cause or banish joy. A branch from the autumn quarter can cause or cure any condition of rot or decay, and a branch from the spring quarter can cause or banish love.
Certain correspondences suggest to me that Yafir and Yiraf may be aleph-null and aleph-one, the ‘countable infinity’ and ‘uncountable infinity’ discovered in our world by Georg Cantor.
Some time after the appearance of the Harbingers, a madness will effect all women in the capital, such that they attempt to eat their own infants. This may be ended by extraordinary supplications to the gods, such as the building of great temples filled with precious stones.
Then the rulers will go mad with cruelty, having the innocent torn apart by wild horses. They will believe passers-by to be trees or vines, and mutilate them with axes
Then the women of the capital again become mad and eat their own infants- or, if their infants are already eaten, themselves- but this time there will be no remedy.
Then the women will become birds, the land will become barren, and the empire will fall.
(thanks to noisms for his research on this topic)
The inhabitants of this island have the appearance of human babies, but speak and reason as adults.
They claim to have been born on another planet, but to have died. Their religion holds that, to avoid damnation, a person must undergo a rite of purification similar to baptism. The inhabitants of the isle claim to be those who died before undergoing this rite, but who had committed no other offence.
As such, they claim to be living in the mildest possible form of damnation.
If a human (or related kindred) spends the night on this island, it is very likely that one or both of their feet will develop a separate sentience and detach from their body overnight.
Some of the feet thus born have made their way to Teleleli. Some have found work as prostitutes, serving the more extreme foot fetishists, who find the presence of other body parts distracting. Others have contributed to the city’s culture, creating for example the novel ‘I am Leg-End’ and the song ‘Footloose’.
It is rumored that there exists another island where, should one of these feet spend the night, their toes will develop their own sentience and detach.
I have a guest post on the Thoul’s Paradise blog, discussing the city of Zerzura and its possible relation to the lands around Teleleli, here.
Some scholars speculate that Dreamtime Octopuses are merely octopuses that have been given intelligence by magic or technology (or the descendants of such), and that the Dreamtime is their confused memory of life in the sea before they gained intelligence.