|ANEPHIA||A TALE OF TWO ANIMALS||THE LESS TRAVELED ROAD||...||ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
Here is a description of the mystic lands from A Tale of Two Animals, chapter 2:
In the North, there rose the grey Thyme Ridge with magnificent mountains and permanent snow caps. The vast Mountain Whew Plains lay in the West. The Little Old Forest spread in the East while the Sweet Salmon River ran peacefully through it and across the arid volcanic land and the homonymous lake in the South. Ahead, amidst the hills of Wind Downs, he could see the City of Nefalot and the Belle Blue suburb.
The origins and the source of those names were long lost in ancient scrolls, which were either unreadable or undecipherable. However, there was no shortage of rumors and tales. The most common were about a cloud, the land and the empire were somehow connected to a cloud or set of clouds.
Mystic proponents had often said that it was all in the cloud, but they never specified which cloud it was, or what was in it, thus rendering their claim vague and unverifiable. They also claimed misspellings, scholarly errors, and misinterpretations of the scrolls. Thyme Ridge was Time Bridge, a portal of sorts, they claimed. Likewise Mountain Whew was Mount a Ewe, suggesting a way of transportation across the plains.
Others did not take such claims seriously. They thought the mystics were living in a cloud cuckoo land. If anything, the toponymy was an oxymoron: Anephia suggested an absence of clouds, while Nefalot meant the exact opposite. A ridge was not a bridge and a ewe was not a reliable form of transportation -- only a good source of milk and wool. Some historians and scroll scholars had argued that the name of the city was a reference to a legendary castle and court. Others believed that the original name was Nepheldorf, the Germanic suffix indicating a village. However, Nefalot was neither a castle nor a village. It was a big city and had been for as long as anyone could remember or tell. There was a great castle in it, but it was only a small part of the city.
Despite the many arguments and opinions, there was general agreement upon one thing, or two: the empire was sublimely picturesque and, as one might expect, it looked quite imperial.