A long time ago, not long after AIM had been created, Coran Andress and a man called Martello, were sat in a room, talking about making Coran’s creation less lonely.
‘I want you to draw individuals as maps – create them as narratives encoded on a single page, that looks like a map, but it is really a story (a one-time pad, if you will). I want you to build diagrammatic structures that sit one on top of the other and can be disguised as a structure. We’re using metaphor tech here, so when I say Multi-Storey Carpark I am talking in a punny way.
‘This is a multi-story structure and the cars parked in it are vehicles for the stories which transport our characters from point A to Point B. They are multi-story beings. They are fusewire, and they are burning down into nothing. For each I create an avatar, a badge, a singular truth; a dragon.’
‘How will I know how to build these for you?’
‘I bought you a box of matches. I asked you to bring a ream of paper. You are going to burn the paper, and you are going reverse engineer what you see into a map.’
‘How many should I build?’
‘Twelve. They are going to rule the world, though no one knows it.’
‘And Ardenti In Mundo shall be the thirteenth.’
‘Yes, the King Under It All.’
‘An Inverse Pyramid?’
‘Like overflowing water. Out of sink. Out of synch.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘It is the shadow pyramid. Fire for water. The Inverse Pyramid is built from truth, and the tellers of truth, and in the game they shall be hunted by those who wish to bring silence and make the shadows fall.
‘The yarn has been woven on the loom, and the dream that is The Knotlands is all. At the center of the fray is L’undone, Capital City, first ingress point into the over-reality from Dogleg Hinterland, and the repairs we have made with our engineers, and the tears we have made with The Needles we built, aren’t as straight as the crow flies.’
‘How shall I tell you?’
‘Martello, our initial meeting was not the first time that I met you. A Martello Tower is something the British built as coastal forts for defence. You are at the edge of The Chronon Sea, Martello. I wrote you into this as See Defence. You are one of the sets of eyes that I set to watch over things; you are Cryptochrome Eyes made flesh. And as I am kind of building a map for you I will let you know that we Immaculate Authors are only made possible by theft from something that came before, something stolen from a previous narrative … our god is a thief; our god is a being called Gank, who knows not what he is, nor what he will become … a catalyst, an enabler. There are heroes made by him, and there are villains. You will meet Spay, and you will meet Quint Essential, and you will meet Madrigal. They do not know that they are of the kind: Cat, Dog, Bird. They have forgotten these things. I was sent as a conclusion; someone may have written me too.’
And Martello went ahead and he built those dragons – Melmice, Caradon, Enkar, Pelapine, Fargut, Tenalot, Enk, Pargil, Quek, Jenz, Largil, and Shyent. And a flame was lit in each of the twelve territories