The Fifth Stretch

The Fifth Stretch of the Wandering Walk, the long, dry, mountainous expanse of the route that stretches roughly between the western point of Cylion Basin— a town filled with pools that is a rejuvenation point for weary travelers— and the eastern point of the Great Slab, a huge construction that rises from the land in a large, flat square of synth and concrete.

Wise Peregrines know to go around the slab, despite the length this detour adds to the route. To the north lies the False Woods. The Fifth Stretch is probably the best-documented area of the Wandering Walk, perhaps because it has a number of small villages here and there and because the expanse plays host to an experience that can’t be found anywhere else— occasional bioluminescent swarms (if someone knows when or why the swarms occur, they’re not telling). The swarms consist of millions of see-through organisms that spend most of their lives lying camouflaged on the sandy landscape until they suddenly rise together, becoming bioluminescent and twisting and turning in unified patterns of dance and flight.

In fact, the sandy landscape is not sand at all but is built from layers of blue-green detritus from the creatures. This loam quickly soils the skin and stains the clothes of those who spend much time here, and it’s sometimes used as dye or food coloring.

The Fifth Stretch

Chronicles of Ascension LazUliSWC