Surviving On The Surface - A Practical Guide and Its Application

One should always take great care when travelling to the surface but never be discouraged. Many of the things you have heard of the surface are, in fact, not true! They are fabrications made to keep others from finding fortune there! With this guide in your hand, there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome!  
— Excerpt from the Guide
  'Surviving On The Surface - A Practical Guide and Its Application' is a booklet that claims to help the reader navigate the many hazards that can be found on The Surface. It is usually sold whole or as pamphlets about particular chapters or subjects. The most common materials are either cheap hattick or lizard-skin parchment, though neither tends to be of particularly high quality. Its writing is winding and pompous, which has made it very popular for two very different reasons.      

Chapter 1 - How To Walk Beneath The Stars

The dangers posed by this so-called Blight are highly exaggerated and should be taken with a grain of salt. Ask yourself this; could there be another reason why they do not want you to go there?  
— Excerpt from the Guide
  It isn't known who the original author of the text is, but since it made its first appearance it has been altered, edited and added to by countless shysters looking to make an easy coin. On occasion, the guide might get something vaguely correct but most of its advice is terrible. Literature about the Surface are popular in the Inner Shell and most who live there never see the sun. But considering the contents of the booklet, it is doubtful its authors have either.    

by Jorge Jacinto


Chapter 4 - Denizens of the Surface

The creatures that live on the Surface are, as a rule, fearful and cowardly. They've never seen men like us before and will quickly retreat when confronted. Indeed, your greatest challenge will be to catch the timid creatures!  
— Excerpt from the Guide
  Other than destroying the booklets as an act of mercy, seasoned explorers sometimes make the tomes the center of a humorous ritual. When a particularly egregious version of the book is acquired, explorers gather and compete to see who can read the most without reacting. It is traditional for those who do to provide alcohol and the game continues until all of the book has been read, followed by its destruction. Selling the book within sight of either Kaia or Blight-Trackers usually leads to a beating or worse.      

Chapter 7 - The Surface, Profit and You

There are many ways to make your mark on the surface and make your ways into the tomes of history. The surface holds many riches to those who wish to grasp them! Don't let others take what should rightfully be YOURS!
  With its encouraging and authoritative tone, promising fortune and glory, the booklet is most commonly purchased by people who have no business being on the surface. Many learn of their error before something serious can occur, but enough have perished still clutching their useless pamphlet.
The Surface   Charitably described as a wasteland, the Surface is a barren and hostile place. From scorching deserts to frigid tundras and irradiated dust storms, there are a thousand ways to die on the Surface- taking the guide's advice will almost guarantee one of them.   Read more about the Surface
    Among serious surface explorers, there is an unspoken agreement to destroy any copy of this book that they come across. They know the information inside will doom any poor fool who chose to follow it and try their best to prevent it. Anyone who travels to the Surface carrying this booklet has made themselves known as an easy mark and amateur.   Some make jest of it: read the book, and do the opposite of what it tells you.
If I catch you selling this again, I'm going to leave you in the middle of the Howling Plains and let you find your own way out with nothing but this book. You got that, or should I write it down for you?  
— Sencha, Blight-Tracker. Angry.
  The nicest thing you can really say about it is that it tends to be cheap.  
Mahu'ca cover
by Markus Erdt
With all the wealth there to take, this could be YOU!  



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3 Dec, 2018 22:59

Just wanted to say: Really good, interesting article! ^-^ The excerpts and quotes made me laugh.

Please visit Miand'Mésvéstell.
"If you look upon the stars, know that you look upon a light of the past."
4 Dec, 2018 08:20

Thank you :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Venerable Grandmaster Shaudawn
Shaudawn (a.k.a. Donovan)
28 Jan, 2019 16:09

One of the many qualities about this that I enjoy is that it feels like a story within your larger world. Thoroughly entertaining in its own right, it also acts like a book blurb or akin to a movie trailer, if you will, that entices the reader into wanting to know more. To mix metaphors, it is an appetizer that makes me want to sample the faire that is to come. Exemplary work!

29 Jan, 2019 12:21

Woohoo! I'm glad to hear it! It was mostly supposed to be kind of funny, while giving the reader an idea about the world. Sounds like it worked, even if the book is all wrong about the Surface! :D   Thank you! <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
19 Aug, 2021 15:09

Sounds like a fun book XD I love those drinking games! Would the booklet be something given to the exiles before they are forced to leave by some compassionate people or some ill intentioned people fully aware that the content is terrible?

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
19 Aug, 2021 19:26

Oh that's a fun, cruel idea... I definitely have to add that :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.