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The Braid

Synthesis Empathy Equilibrium ꧪဥဓ

38 · The world is not what anyone wished for, but it’s what everyone wished for.

Jesma Shirancord, “Vectors”

In ochre river valleys afoot steep white mesas the Limns, idiosyncratic inhabitants of the Braid, form tightly-knit communities of ritual, fellowship, contemplation, and resolution. The Limns communicate with a wordless language that varies between individuals and relies on instruments and complex garments that each Limn has decorated as mnemonic objects of their own personality and experience.

Limn communication and temperament follow from a property of the Braid known as the Echo: when observing the actions of any conscious being on this lamina, you simultaneously observe the entire trail of events that led to that being taking that action. Seeing someone in frustration yell a particular insult, you will also witness their father flinging that same insult, and the causes of their father’s childhood fears that lead to preoccupation with the language used in that insult, and onwards and outwards with receding intensity the entire history that created that moment. Every interaction is a cascade of memories and history. It is dumbfounding; it is far too much information to take in at once, and yet the nature of what is experienced is immediately obvious.

With a mixture of curiosity and determination, the Limns share the Echo, bringing mortals to this lamina to resolve conflicts and heal wounds. Opposing figures or quarreling groups are borne en masse to behold each other in the light of the Echo, atop great white starlit plateaus where the effect is strongest, in ceremonies organized by silent Limns. Solitary mortals find themselves here too sometimesas did this visitorleft alone with their thoughts and pasts deconstructed by the Braid’s Echo.

[This chapter has not yet been translated. Please turn to the Inevitability, the Bloom, or the Unfolding for completed chapters. Recent additions can be found in the Translation Log.]

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