I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down an account of my meeting with the great diplomat Mocstun of Korton, the elder statesman largely credited with the trade routes that ended the city’s isolation under Køs and brought trade and prosperity back to its darkened streets.

At a banquet in the Candlehall, I asked Mocstun how he was able to accomplish his many feats when other diplomats, myself included, were so often stymied. He pointed to the sword at his side, a plain blade set in an ornate scabbard, and said that the sword helped him to speak any language. I protested, since all tongues are as one in the Dreamlands. Surely that was not necessary? He corrected me: every man, every woman, every child has their own language, and the subtle shades of meaning between them could be as great as the gulfs between any waking tongues. His sword allowed him to speak and understand the personal language of every person he met such that there was perfect clarity and understanding if he so chose.

I, taken aback, asked if that included me, if our entire conversation had been through the seemingly inert blade at his side. Mocstun only smiled and said that he had to keep some secrets, and it was not long after this that he retired from his post and disappeared to the south.

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