In great, dark Korton, it is well-advised to hire a guide that can deal with the perpetual blackness. One who was born in the city, or lived there many years, has had time to not only develop their other senses but also their knowledge of the metropolis.

Those who do not follow this advice often find their way to the so-called Alley of Laughing Children.

Children in Korton laugh as do any others, of course, from splashing games in the River Kor to a game known only there that the little ones call “The Echoes.” The latter involves shouting back and forth in a way that is intended to confuse and lead fellows astray; if a designated ‘seeker’ can find their fellowsdespite the cacophony of echoes, they are reckoned by their peers to be well-accomplished.

In the Alley, a game of “The Echoes” is almost always going on. It is distracting, even unnerving, to those who pass through to hear so many voices. But for those who pass though—is indeed they do so safely—the most unnerving thing is this:

None have lived in the Alley since a great conflagration centuries ago. And for every travel that goes missing, an new and childlike voice is added to the chorus.

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