Ibang Daigdig Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Ibang Daigdig (’i.baŋ ’dajɡ.diɡ)

The public artwork of Princess Sining of the Tagápulo Empire can be found throughout the capital city of Mynilad. She has used her position as a member of the royal family to facilitate her art, and many buildings have gigantic murals desgined by her painted upon their walls. In general, the populace of Mynilad is proud of their artistic princess, and will point out her work to visitors. But they will rarely guide them to view her most extraordinary work, the mural known as 'Ibang Daigdig'.

It is located at the end of a blind alley, nearly a mile from the palace. Unlike her larger works, all the painting on Ibang Daigdig was done by the Princess herself. She spotted the blank wall during a walk through the city, and felt the urge to place a painting there. It was not the first time she had been inspired by an otherwise unassuming location, and at first nobody thought it exceptional. She placed her guard about the alley's mouth while she worked, and produced the final version in only a few frenzied weeks. During the creation of the mural she barely ate or slept, and she made constant demands for more supplies. Finally she staggered out of the alley and announced that it was completed, then collapsed into her palanquin and returned to the palace. She has not returned to view the mural since it was completed.

At first glance, the painting seems well-executed, but not extraordinary. It creates the illusion that the alley continues on past the wall, opening up into a city scene that could be anywhere in Mynilad. Upon studying it, some special qualities become apparent.

The first is the nature of the sky in the painting. Through some trick of the painter's art, it seems to shift color based on the ambient lighting. During the day, it is a blue sky with the occasional cloud. But at night it appears dark, and the stars become visible. They form constellations not found over the Great Ring, and some people are unsettled by the shapes they sketch in the painted sky.

The second unusual thing viewers notice are the people that inhabit the city beyond the paint. There are several of them, all seemingly about their normal business. But the face of each figure is obscured from view. They are either turned away, or are lost in the shadow of a hood or overhang. When the stars appear overhead, no corresponding lights appear among the people who stand in the gloom. The overall effect is unsettling and sinister, as if they are not truly depicting people at all, but something that only masquerades as such.

Some people claim more unusual things about the Ibang Daigdig. They claim that the figures are moving very slowly instead of remaining still, or that clouds in the daytime sky are gradually transforming into strange symbols. Sometimes, people grow obsessed with the painting for a period of days or weeks, spending hours standing in the alley examining it in minute detail. Rumors that some of these people have since vanished have been dismissed by most as fanciful scare-mongering.

The Ibang Daigdig is a testament to the artistic skill of Princess Sining, and one of the treasures of the Tagápulo Empire. Like all of her public works, it is regularly inspected and maintained by the staff of the palace, who have taken up the duty to curate and protect the art she has produced. While they might direct visitors to larger or more detailed masterpieces the Princess has created, they deny that there is anything untoward about this mural.

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