Chronicles of Ascension
The Wandering Walk
The Wandering Walk is a pilgrimage route through the Ninth World. No one knows the exact length of the Wander, nor can anyone point to its exact beginning or end. Many people speculate that the Wander is actually a closed circle that encloses the whole of the Ninth World and that some travelers, especially those with enhancements or otherworldly attributes, have been trekking its eternal loop since before recorded time.
For most, the Wander is too physically taxing to be used as a trade or travel route. It slips through ﬂuid-ﬁlled canyons, curves inside crawlspace tunnels, and winds through woods, forests, and much of the Beyond. The rewards seem few, and the dangers are many. Yet at any given time of the year and at any given point along the known sections of the route, the Wander is laced with pilgrims, explorers, and those who are foolish enough to think it offers safe passage.
Those who follow the Wander for religious, spiritual, or other reasons are called Peregrines or just Birds (though the latter term is usually derogatory). Although their dress varies, true Peregrines carry some mark of the Wander. Typically, the mark is an elaborate and continually growing circular bloodscar along their palm; there is little else to do along the Wander when one is not wandering, and the intricate nature of the scar gives bragging rights to show how long a traveler has survived along the way. Experienced Peregrines carry the scar up the length of their arm or on both palms.
Of course, there are also many who trek the Wander for other kinds of growth— namely, the growth of their pockets. These skulkers who come to borrow from the bodies of the fallen often become inadvertent pilgrims themselves, either getting lost along the route or walking it to ﬁnd a home where they can settle with their newfound spoils. They don’t generally make it far before they fall to the elements or to the hand of another skulker.
And thus, the Wander captures all in its eternal length.