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“Like from one of the old worlds?” Naiania asked, her eyes wide.
Her grandfather nodded, “Some say from the very first world.” This elicited a gasp of surprise from the young child, and a tongue click of admonishment from the old man’s wife. Ignoring her he continued, “Stories say that with the right incantations and sacrifices, to entities beyond all reckoning of age, the arch will activate and open a portal to a swirling realm like a sea of stars.
Naiania’s mouth fell agape at the very idea. “Can you go through? Can you swim in the stars?” she asked excitedly.
Her grandfather shook his head slowly, “I do not know. The stories speak of many who stepped into that realm but of only one who returned. And she returned gripped with madness beyond all curing. She claimed that our world was a lie, and that there were others beyond that were also lies.” He leaned in close to his granddaughter and whispered, “But worst of all she said that the only true world was full of people and noise and crude machines that belched foul gases into the air. A world where people held wonders like artifacts but could not comprehend other items of numenera that we take for granted.
“No one knows what happened to the woman, in her madness she walked into the wastes and disappeared, but that is why the most important lesson to remember is that not all numenera are benign. There are glorious mysteries of the old worlds that can do worse than kill you.” The child said nothing, merely staring wide eyed and mouth agape. “OK, off to bed with you now. Else the Margr will come!”