[7] Volume I, Summer's Night - Part One, Sescut and Cutset, the Mother and Child (f)

Another aspect of what one might call the religion of the Talkers is their superstitious and obsessive terror of the race of beings which the humans in Telluctet refer to as the Dreamers. This takes me to my account of the second race of natives of Sescut.

While the Talkers are the more active, more varied, and more populous of the two races, the Dreamers are by far the more powerful, the more dangerous, and the more intelligent. Life among the Talkers is quick, chaotic, and frequently brutally short, and one gets the impression after spending any length of time among them that it has remained essentially unchanged for a thousand generations or more. An endlessly repeating jumble of events without beginning or end and hence with no meaning beyond the lives and deaths of the participants. By contrast, the world of the Dreamers is staid, careful, and quiet, and one is constantly aware when among them that they have plans and goals which stretch far beyond the repetitive and rhythmic biological cycles of the generations. The lives of Talkers are like short children's rhymes repeated back and forth, recitations of the same and similar themes; those of Dreamers are akin to rivers, flowing forever onwards to an ultimate destination which is the sea.

Unlike the Talkers, who live in villages within the fungal forest itself, Dreamers must be said to live underground, in caves and caverns below the surface of the earth - often with entrances up in the foothills of the mountains where the cover of the forest has begun to fade away. (There are rumours among the people of Telluctet that the Dreamers all inhabit a vast underground network of caves which sits underneath the entire island. I was unable to verify this, but there is perhaps a grain of truth in it, as I was able to confirm that individual Dreamers are able to traverse the length of the island - some hundred miles or more - so quickly that a direct underground route may well exist.) Their dwellings cannot be described as villages, towns, cities, or any other form of settlement which exists elsewhere. Eventually I settled on the descriptor of "conglomeration". Ordinarily, Dreamers stand individually and haphazardly about the island, sometimes deep in the forests and sometimes on distant hilltops or mountain peaks, close to their cavern entrances, in perfect stillness. What they are doing at such times - presumably, they are deep in thought - is then interrupted, apparently at preordained moments, as groups of them return to the deepest parts of their subterranean lairs to gather together in bands of a dozen, a hundred, a thousand or more, and stand apparently in communion with one another. I call these groups "conglomerations" because they are not brought together for the purposes of trade, defence or any other reason for which other peoples might create settlements. Rather, they seem created for the sole purpose of, simply, that: conglomerating for a period of time before scattering to their isolated outside resting points once more.


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[6] Volume I, Summer's Night - Part One, Sescut and Cutset, the Mother and Child (e)

[1] Author's Preface