Saturday, 28 June 2014
Ruins Of Empire
When the Empire fell, a missile destroyed the single town and most of its inhabitants. A very small population barely survived with the help of some imported species in a local ecology that was "...often poisonous, always nutritonally deficient."
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), p. 667.
The only human beings on the planet are on a single island. The one town has a population of several thousand and there are a few scattered villages. Members of the large slave class mine or cultivate fields and orchards with neolithic tools, guarded by "...soldiers whose spearheads and swords were of ancient Imperial metal." (p. 674) Other slaves are kept to be eaten by young boys who, because of a mutation, would not otherwise physically mature.
The forest-dwelling lowlanders, speaking a debased dialect of Lokonese, have no agriculture and are savages, continually in danger of being killed by each other. Despite noticeable differences in their height and health, highlanders and lowlanders resemble each other because of their common descent from a very few surviving settlers.