Introduction by Dove
Earth, sea, sky.
The green valleys filled with trees and fertile brown dirt, rising up to mighty mountain peaks whose tops are in the clouds, and covered in snow.
The vast ocean, with cold and icebergs here, tropical warmth there, and waves lapping the shore all around.
The open sky, clouds, clear, rain, sun, birds, people flying with and without their own wings.
All of these things are the complex meaning wrapped up in the word “Taleia”.
About the Place
One of the places we spend a fair amount of time is called Taleia. It is a word meaning something like “sky, land, sea”, a sort of gestalt of the place.
The language most commonly spoken in Taleia is “kalamaki”. However, as the sole native of Earth amongst us, not Taleia, I can say with some certainty that some sort of auto-translation works: if I visit there, I can hear and speak English with no problems. The others also end up speaking English here, though we can occasionally pull across direct names and words. (We have theories about this… time for another article! :))
Taleia is a large place, filled with an unknown number of people, ranging into the thousands. We don’t know most of them and they don’t know us, so we’ve never spoken to them. But they are there.
There are a few places and a few people with whom we have visited and spoken, respectively, that I can list out here.
The largest city is called Calafae. It is vaguely circular, featuring a mix of “upgraded Medieval” architecture (cobblestone and wood, several floors high), and something more fanciful (fae lamps and organic mirror-esque towers like a sculpted version of Earth’s glass skyscrapers). It featured in this story (of these stories). Some of the places in those stories, such as the Market, are not real, to my knowledge. But Calafae is a real place, as is the apartment described in the story. Most of the known (to us) inhabitants of Taleia are in Calafae.
There is a playground, where lives The Oracle, who appears as a child. But she is wise in the ways of that world, and just kinda wise in general. We occasionally ask her for advice.
The Twilight Plains are like a grey playa, with mountains in the distance. The plains themselves are not traversable. I’ve never been entirely clear about what would happen if you tried, but I gather that it’s bad. There is a Stonehenge replica in the centre that is a safe place, where a healer named Wolf lives.
There is a circular village called, appropriately, Circle Village. The mayor of that town is a seer who can cause people to speak the truth.
There is rather a lot of wilderness in Taleia. Mountains, plains, lonely places to just go and be, if that’s what one needs. In the part that we know, there is a great ocean to the south. It’s unknown what is over it, at this time.
That is not a complete picture of Taleia, but it will give you an idea, maybe.
More from Dove
Taleia is a place that many would not find that different or unusual, but in some ways, it’s extremely different and very unusual. I want to focus on two of them today, one of which kind of flows directly into the other.
The first is that Taleia is a place of magic. What I mean by “magic” is that the world responds to one’s will, if it is strong and true. Are you hungry? Will food to be, and whatever you imagined, if you imagined well, will be in your hands. Need a place to sleep that night? Will yourself a tent, a bed, whatever.
The second, a natural fall-out of the first, is that Taleia is a post-scarcity world. In the normal human world, there is basically a fixed amount of energy in the universe; everything must be gathered or harvested at cost and turned into something that can be consumed. In many cases, if I have more, you must necessarily have less. Because Taleia is a place of magic and will, there is no real scarcity. There is effectively an infinite amount of space, if one wants space. Almost anything one wants can be created at will. No basic needs go unmet.
A couple of interesting things come of this. The first is that people are actually generally pretty content. They don’t try to steal or hurt each other. Why would they? (Magic can Go Wrong™ in spectacular ways, as can people’s minds, but I’m not going to cover that here… It’s really not a day to day issue.)
The second is that the topic of talk shifts from currency and goods to ideas. Anyone can feed themselves at any time, subject to the limitations of their own imagination. But what if you want something new? What if you want to try someone else’s recipe/idea/etc? You have to convince them to make you one, or tell you how it’s made. The fact that the ingredients were free doesn’t mean that you can necessarily will yourself a copy. (Though, people who are skilled can.) So the new “currency” is imagination – there is a shop that will barter excellent strawberry pies for new poetry and stories.
There is also the matter of consensus when it comes to public policy – for example, what sort of art installations should happen where in a city. For this purpose, there are still committees and politics.