Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.
In savage places
grow lush and fragrant gardens
made of dust and dreams.
Far beyond these walls, beyond the vast expanse of brick and mortar and iron and filth and detritus, beyond hill and plain, river and lake and ocean, beyond mind and memory…
…there is a place.
Once a great city, a seat of kings the glory of which had no equal, and whose boundaries stretched from ocean to ocean, its origins were as humble as a single tribe dwelling in a few shacks hidden amongst the trees. The forest was bountiful, and the tribe faced little in the way of disease and knew not war. The tribe expanded and branched out, soon the group of tribes became a small kingdom.
The people found many beautiful metals and jewels for their kings and priests, and did not covet these things but adorned the walls and thrones of the palaces and temples with them and worked the ores and gems into elaborate designs which caught the eye and hypnotised the beholder.
The mighty trees of the forest were cut down, mines were dug deep into the earth, and the soil was covered with stone blocks leading from the edges of the kingdom proper unto its centre, where the most imperial palaces and temples were built, aqueducts and sewers were lain like veins in an intricate web. A great many people had come to reside in this kingdom over the years, and a plethora of farmers, crafts folk and merchants served them. A powerful army marched through the streets and about the empire, keeping order.
The imperial priests were the real power in the empire, and none questioned them, save for the aged or insane, those who slept and ate and fornicated in the muck of the outer streets and who babbled nonsense about the dark times ahead. They wailed and moaned, wrung their hands and gnashed their teeth, counselling people to repent and renounce their hedonistic ways, to return to the bosom of mother earth, for the storm was to come and would bring the empire to ruin. People laughed at first, then ignored these fools.
The empire grew, its cities grew. Farmers, miners, loggers and merchants had to travel farther to source their wares and take them to the people, who having grown in number had a rapacious appetite. Famine and disease began to afflict the cities.
The people became filled with malcontent, and began to question their rulers. Fearing the worst, the kings and priests both sought to consolidate their power. Each fearing the other, they contrived plots and hired poison tasters and assassins, each seeking to take control of the empire and its people.
On that final, dark and fateful night, flames were set to barrels and jars of oil, and the imperial city burned. The empire’s mighty heart was reduced to smouldering ashes, the remaining cities became abandoned as the people fled into the forest. Amidst the ruins the ululating voices of their ghosts can still be heard on the wind which scours their memory from the rocks, last vestiges of a savage dream.
Plundered for glory
Earth awaits fall of empire
Memory a dream