Sitting on soft, intricate, rolling land: the Native Union. In victory, it severs contact with the rest of the world.
Responding to a heated industrial revolution, the Earth heaves a full sigh. Sea levels react and rise. New Europe is whittled to a narrow, deprived land where the air weighs thick, where natural resources are stripped, where inhabitants find themselves depleted of food and clean water.
Nearly starving, the people of New Europe beg the Native Union for life support.
The Union complies and in their aid there is hope, a Northern Grace. Pipelines are built to transport potable water, and baskets of corn are carried to New Europe, to Southwick.
But relief is a trickster, sharp and brief. Corruption soon festers and spreads through the streets like disease; it slides through the land, into homes, and thuds political seats like far-off thunder: quiet, yet resounding; familiar, yet frightening.
Neglected systems lead to the rusting and rotting of pipes and roads across miles of mud-ridden terrain between Southwick and the Northern Grace.
In an act of desperation, an attempt to resurrect pride, New Europe readies itself to hit the Native Union with one final, deafening attack; a roar over water into the darkness that lies ahead.
A citizen of New Europe who helped lay the pipelines, a plumber, knows the pipes will soon lose integrity, will burst. He foresees panic, so he grabs his son by the wrist and escapes toward the Northern Grace, toward The Dragon’s Tail, where the mountains slash through the body of the sea like an ancient spine and crawl north across the lush and sweeping lands of the Native Union.