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Snippet: In His Shadow
The Question
The statue had been erected hundreds of years ago, when the Glesians had first come from the west and conquered the lands in the name of their distant Emperor. Some ancient quarry had been drilled to empty and filled with the blood of toiling slaves, all to raise the effigy of a man no one had ever seen. It towered over the landscape, visible for miles across the plains to the east and the south. At its base, was the town of Melme.

And then the Glesian Empire broke apart. Some of the garrisoned soldiers returned home to fight on one of the many sides. Some remained and joined with the locals in a murderous revolt against the governor, who was said to have been torn limb from limb at the very foot of the statue. Eventually, the grim, stories-tall figure of stone and marble was the only tangible remain of Glesian rule - the other remnants being language, holidays and a particular aversion to the color red.

Eventually, they came to call the status the Old Man, and Melme grew from a simple town to the sprawling city of trade that the invaders had foreseen. Melme, in the shadow of the Old Man, which marked the boundary between the rocky but prosperous Desher Coast and the rest of the kingdom. Long may the stone eyes watch over us.