In the world of O-yon…

The mighty cities and machines of the Metallic ones stand, leaving us a sign of their greatness.

Left behind, too, the famous metal books: however, the hypergrammatic language of the Metallic ones is beyond our understanding, and the metal books remain eternally mysterious to us.

After the passing of the Metallic ones, the Neo-Metallic ones came. Their language, a language of grams, was translucent to a certain degree, and formed a ubiquitous tongue across the whole world of O-yon, both east and west, to bond human beings through the long years of the chaos of dialects.

With the passing of the Neo-Metallic ones, the end of metal days arrived. The world entered, for an unknown gulf of time, the Clouded Era.

“A thousand kingdoms, and a million kings: a thousand kingdoms, and a million queens” – this was the scramble of the Clouded Era, a period when political life was like a perpetual boiling of clouds, a foaming of vapour in and out of existence, with the rise and fall of nations and empires, all built as if for millennia, but all in the proof insubstantial as the bubbles a child blows at bathtime.

After the hundreds of years of chaos, in the Era of Rival Clans, in the extraordinary city of LuinShar, greatest of Metallic cities, a clan rose to claim the throne, to enter the high and sacred citadel, and to impose empire on the warring states of the west.

This clan, supported by like-minded clans, gathered under ancient Marks, symbols of allegiance, declared an end to the Epoch of Metal, and ruled that henceforth, in the west, in the territory known, according to the old map, as O, all pretense to recover the glories of the Metallic ones was ended, and life would begin under a new ethos, styled under a more humble but vital material: so the west entered the Epoch of Paper.

It took centuries to assert the will of the founding emperors of O. At last, though, all terrain was conquered, all the lights of insurgent clans extinguished, all barbarians expelled, and the empire was settled to the culture of the peaceful and beautiful Way, known as TanZo.

The empire, having been ruled by a fervour of steel, declined from rigour, grew more gentle. The Way spread, and the wisdom of TanZo permeated the air of the western lands.

In the era known as the Dark Season, a terrible war between east and west overcame humanity, and the Way was threatened: TanZo, however, survived, and a Zone, buffering west from east, was established, ending for eternity the threat of hemispherical war.

Since the first emperors of Shar expressed empire on the western lands, four thousand years have passed.

And though the emperors and empresses of recent eras and dynasties may perhaps not possess the greatness of their forebears, and though the edges of the empire may no longer answer quite so directly to the centre, still, there is peace, and TanZo, while no longer flourishing, remains integral to the substance of O.

Distant from all places, in a region called the Desolate Cantons, winter.

Beside a road no one travels, a tower of watch stands: each night, according to the Way, a lone sentinel climbs the stairs, and exercises vigilance over the deserted lands.

Two young children, twins, grow in isolation, guided by their father, the sentinel.

And though no one comes, the road waits: and beyond the road?…

Please consider…

Dustless | Volume 1