What does one do when it is a Saturday night (the worst time for blog traffic)? Certainly not post a content-only post (the worst type of post for blog traffic) on one's blog. Right? Wrong. Here is the introduction to The Great North, which is the final title for 'Northumberland Yoon-Suin'/'The Meeting of the Waters'.
Once, there was an Emperor, who had already made half of the known world his own, yet grasped endlessly for the rest. At the zenith of his strength, when he was perhaps already sensing its impending failure, he reached out, straining in defiance of age and time, to clutch once more at conquests. The touch of his fingertips in one of those final desperate grabbings brushed against the shores of a distant, wild land of heather-moored hills and deep narrow valleys, wind-seared beaches and damp-cold forests, where magic was strong and there were powers that were old, and strange, and rooted in the ancient earth and rock on which they stood. The Emperor ruled parts of that land, here and there, but he could never fully tame it, and as he grew old and feeble and his Empire shrivelled back upon itself, it was the first of his provinces that he abandoned to its fate.
The Great North has since lain free for long eons. None rule it. It was wild once, and so it remains. A frontier land where the tide of civilisation once washed before retreating, leaving fragments of flotsam behind it to lie where they may be found. A cold land. A fierce land. A debatable land. And a land of opportunity for those willing to grasp for it, much as the Emperor once tried in the faded past.