>The Road of the Second Chance

>This place is also known as the River of the Second Chance – but in fact it is neither road nor river.

It is a strip of unknown material, about ten feet wide, which has the strange property that it is usually in motion, carrying any who stand on it at such speed that they seem to disappear. It seems the road is in motion about two-thirds of the time. Very careful examination might reveal whether it is moving or still, but determining its direction has proven to be impossible. Likewise it is unknown whether it moves in both directions or only one. It stops and starts apparently according to nothing more than its own whim. It happened once that the Road stayed still for a whole year – or at least that no one caught it moving.

It runs through an overgrown area of wasteland at the edge of Teleleli, terminating at both ends in caves. Those who have followed the Road into the caves have reported that there came a point where it was impossible to explore further without stepping on the Road.

Riding the Road is by no means easy. Putting one foot on it while it is in motion, and the other on the ground, will merely result in the unwary traveller being hurled away at great force, probably leading to broken bones or even death. The traveller must instead run up and jump, landing on both feet at the same time. Of course there is no way of knowing if this is safe, or merely causes a person to be injured or killed wherever they end up.

The place is full of priests, trying to recruit the desperate souls who come here. Merchants try to get a good deal from those who sell their worldly goods before setting forth, while others sell equipment suitable for journeys into the unknown. Beggars come to take advantage of those who believe they will need no wealth in their new home. Some come to plead with their loved ones not to go, others come to find thieves and debtors before they disappear. Kind-hearted souls mend the wounds of those who have tried to ride the Road and failed, or bury the dead. The park also attracts those with more sinister motives, who reason that those who come to travel the Road will not be missed.

>Fairy’s Fire

>This herb is burnt, and the smoke inhaled, by a type of fairy called Rasta-fairy-uns. It causes them to become lighter, and allows them to fly.

Most intelligent creatures are far bigger and heavier than fairies, and so the smoke only makes them slightly lighter.

Scholars who have tested the herb say that it has various other effects, which they summarise as “far out”. They intend to put out a more detailed warning, but haven’t got around to it yet.

As a result of these warnings, Fairy’s Fire is banned in many places. However it is cultivated and used openly in the Rasta-Fairy-Uns own country, the Nether Nether Lands.

>…A Small Pot With Antlers…

>……a small pot with antlers, which emitted clouds of remarkable gasses when the prongs were tweaked; an ivory horn through which sounded voices from the past; a small stage where costumed imps stood ready to perform comic antics; an object like a cluster of crystal grapes, each affording a blurred view into one of the demon-worlds; a baton sprouting sweetmeats of assorted flavor; an ancient ring engraved with runes; a black stone surrounded by nine zones of impalpable color.

Jack Vance.

>Tantaram’s Tremendous Transparency

>This spell renders the target’s flesh and blood (but not their internal organs or bones) transparent.

For the duration of the spell, the target will be unable to lie.

The name of their true love will also be written, in letters of gold so tiny that no eye could see them, on their heart. Some say that the word ‘good’ or ‘evil’ will appear on those of appropriate character.

It is said that the witch Zohar Longshanks discovered a new version of this spell, stronger than the old as stock is to soup. The effect was permanent, so much so that a parent would pass it on to their child. She is said to have cast it on herself and a few followers, and started a community on an isolated island. Stories disagree as to whether the island is a paradise of perfect truth and honesty, or a nightmare where not even thoughts are private.

>The Abysmal Plain

>This sea-battered and wind-swept plain is home to little but rocks, wild dogs, and the temples of senile and forgotten gods. It does however hold the goblin-city of Tok, built in the shape of a huge wooden fort. Tok is rumoured to be rent by a struggle for leadership between two fierce goblin champions, Al Gore and Sarah Impalin’.

The other notable settlement on the Abysmal Plain, or rather floating above it, is the unapproachable floating castle of Arkeem.

Cats, dogs and frogs regularly fall from the castle, to fall to earth on a particular part of the Plain. The animals generally have parachutes, but sometimes fail to open. As a result, the traveller should beware of falling animals, as well as wild dogs and feral cats. The parachutes are of fine silk, and local goblins value them as material for clothing.

The motives of the inhabitants of Arkeem are unknown. It is speculated that they are unwanted pets, or some kind of offering. The sage Inkosi Kaas and her followers claim that the animals are letters in the alphabet of Arkeem, and spell out a great message to mankind. They live in a nunnery dedicated to recording and someday translating this message. Due to their belief that each type of animal may represent a different letter, the place is a centre of expertise on the various breeds of cats, dogs and frogs. The nunnery also manufactures protective steel parasols.