Wonder’s Witness: The World that Breathes

Let’s start on a more optimistic note for my tales, shall we? It is doubtful that you have ever left the face of this planet. Even if you have, it is extraordinarily doubtful that you have been to the planet which is now known as Lanaros. It’s a wonderful place, always accommodating for travellers. If you were to learn how to travel the Paths, or simply advance in technology far enough, I highly recommend that you travel there. However, this world was not always so friendly.

       There used to live an incredibly violent race on this world. Their name has been stricken from history, as there is little unaltered archaeological evidence left. Some say that they held grudges that lasted generations. Some say that their emperors, or dictators, or whatever else they called their leaders, became petty and petulant. Some say that they allowed their making of machines and advancement in technology to destroy the planet all on their own. I know that to a degree, all of these were true.

           Their leaders held petty grudges against the other leaders, and they swayed the people with the grudges of the masses. The people built machines in service of the leaders, the machines were built for the destruction of life. When these machines were used, they destroyed all of the life on the planet in the end. I recall that most of my time on this world was spent in the company of Hate, Melancholy, and Desire. Almost all of the time I spent there, it was when the people were afraid. It was not the pure, positive, curious regard that I am meant to be, but dread in the face of danger.

    In the last moments of that race’s time on the planet, things changed. A cloud was spreading across the world, a product of the most powerful weapons used in their bloody final battle. It would grow across the sky, and descend to the ground. With a single inhalation of the cloud, all that was living would perish instantly.

      Knowing what was coming, the people began to fall on their knees. They begged anyone who might listen to forgive the violence they had committed. They pleaded to be rescued from their destruction, and as the cloud rolled over them, the great Eternal granted their request.

      The people were killed, but after they died, something strange began to happen. The planet began to breathe.

      The planet expanded, rifts and fissures opening in its surface that drew a great deal of air into them to inflate the planet. Much of the cloud was sucked into those rifts, never to return. Then, these rifts closed, the world shrinking back to its original size as pure, life-giving air blew out of the cracks in the surface.

       I was the first thing that Lanaros felt as it awoke to its new life, and drew its second breath, and its third, and its fourth. The atmosphere was gradually cleansed of the toxic cloud, and was filled with the new breath of the planet. As this breath spread throughout the world, I began to rejoin the people who’d begged forgiveness as they began to move their new bodies. They weren’t quite used to being what had once been their personal keepsakes, their own images, or personal devices, or trinkets. The other objects that the breath awakened weren’t even used to their existence, let alone their bodies.

     However, the objects, whether blessed with old souls, or new souls, adapted. They began to move, and communicate, to work, play, love, and live. To this day, Lanaros is not a world of flesh and blood, but the society of objects that has formed upon its still-breathing surface is one of the most rich, most organic, most alive societies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.

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