Scene: Three men on horseback ride lightly across a plain. They are dressed in medieval military wear. They come to a halt and look around.
C: This scouting trip is a waste. The white army does not exist. They have been gone for hundreds of years.
D: Nonsense. Weakened, yes. But destroyed — it may not be possible.
C: Then if they be so great, where are their legions? I hear no thunder of hooves or mechanical sounds of their once formidable war machines. We must protect ourselves against the enemy we know. The barbarians back home!
E: Yes, if we could go home, soon that would be great. See, we’ve been riding for two whole days now. The most I’ve ever ridden before was an hour and a half. And that was only because I got lost on the way to market.
A beat passes.
D: Our orders are our orders, and we will carry them out. Once a month we send scouting parties in the five directions away from the sea.
C: But we’ve never even ridden out this far before. This is clearly beyond the scope of orders.
D: Aye. We are an ever-expanding peoples. And as our territory grows so must our scouting reach. It is vital to protect our people and to keep an eye on the sleeping giant.
E: Actually he’s right. Over the last five-hundred moons or so we’ve been in an unprecedented era of growth becoming
increasingly sheepish due in large part to our steady rate of hostile takeovers, enslavement, and you know what I’m just going to stop.
C: If our orders were to travel out another day then I will do so, but no further than what has been ordered will be done!
E: It’s farther,… and wait! I thought you were on my side? You don’t want to go back now?! Man!
They ride a bit farther until they reach a precipice.
D: Whoa there!
E catches up.
E: Well, we’re at a cliff at, pretty much, the edge of the world. There’s no way down, and there’s no way up. I think we’re safe from this way.
He backs away from cliff, keeping a close eye on it.
D: The white army was reso– is resourceful in ways we can’t imagine. We must protect our people from all eventualities. I will ride to the right for nine lengths, you two to the left the same distance. We will camp back here at sundown.
D,E ride off in opposite directions. They stop when they see C staring down the cliffs.
D: We have wasted too much time already, you must go now. And do make haste so that camp may be set before moonrise.
C: There may yet be a way up these cliffs.
D: Impossible. These cliffs are seven lengths or more. There is no way up.
E: Actually he’s right this time too. No ladder would be able to stand up under its own weight at that height. It’s mathematically impossible. Unless they have something else…
Since C hasn’t moved, D,E join him laying flat on their stomachs looking over the cliff.
D: My demi-gods…
E: My god…
C: Here be dragons!
Composed May 15, 2013.
Inspiration: Here be Dragons: The Unexplored Continents of the CMSSM