Dicember 2021 – present

Outside bustling townships, Whitestone and Javir and Xhori and the like, and beyond the soaring porcelain-tiled towers of Ariaenna and Sunsfall and Burab and the other Great Cities, there are other, older traditions at work.

If one travels beyond the pebbled cobalt glass of the Rose Roads, one such tradition still reigns in force:

Along the winding trails and wagon-tracks that crisscross the land, one will frequently see, lining the path, rows of unusual plants. Whether tall nodding grasses or clumps of weedy greens or slender lilies or tangled patches of vines, all have one trait in common — their stems, their leaves, seem tipped and edged in golden brown or russet red.

Also they grow the year round. Not even the wild winter winds can end them.

It is tradition, cherished tradition, for a traveler to bury some token, however small, perishable or no, along the road when and where they might do so. A coin or three, a packet of needles, an egg or a small loaf, a thumb-tin of ointment; a melon rind saved over, a patch for a cloak, a precious draft of water poured carefully. So long as the token holds meaning for the offerer — so long as it is offered honestly — it is good.

It is tradition, cherished tradition, for a traveler in dire need to pull up a plant whole from along the road, and in papery pod-tubers in its root-ball one will find what one needs to carry on. Bread, water, a phial of physick, a cloak balled up tightly, a coin or three.

It is tradition, cherished tradition, to give back what one can, when one can.

The roots of the roads know their people.

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