We were more numbered than the people under the sky once. From what I’ve heard, anyway.
A hundred thousand kingdoms and empires in secret places. So many gems even the children of commoners were draped in them, played with little carved toys made from rubies. Caverns so vast they formed clouds of vapor and rained on buried gardens of moss and fungus. Sweet wide rivers and deep lakes full of food.
You see the things we build in the rift cities now? All that ingenuity? Imagine that a thousandfold. So much wealth and power. The Engine Children have been a shadow since the earth split and we spilled upwards like ants. Now it’s just thieves and monsters and wrecked cities. Who knows what the gardens look like anymore?
No, I don’t know what happened, only that there is no going back. Besides, it was a very long time ago, child. You need not concern yourself with it now.
Now I told you your story. I’m very tired now. Let an old woman go back to her nap.