The All White Door finally closed and here I was in Vash Mani. It's a lovely world and filled with magic. Some folks are disdainful of magic because it seems so illogical at times. The trick is to regard magic as something more of an art than a science. Magic confuses subject and symbols on a level that a physicist might call quantum but a poet would need no word at all to describe it.
There is but one continent on Vash Mani and it's a beaut. Huge with mountain ranges that would be legendary on other worlds. Here I am on the outskirts, the shattered islands that surround Vash Mani (the continent has the same name as the world). They range in size from sandbars to large island nations. I find myself on the shores of Custa the largest outward island of the shattered isles.
The people are Custa are peace and generally very polite. They have good cause to be. The police and the priests are one on Custa and they practice a rather subtle, vicious form of magic. The Custa Mani are masters of magic over the self. For example, if someone were to murder someone, they would apprenhend the murderer and raise the self that he had killed and instill that in the murderer. He would then take the place of his victim, becoming him in effect. The Custa Mani always leave a bit of the original self as punishment.
The same applies for smaller crimes except that the exchange is temporary. The self that is possessing a thief for example is allowed to beat that body to a degree. Certainly not to death but often as not the original self returns to a very bruised up vessel. The Custa Mani even do this to children. The old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes is not a just a saying on the isle of Custa.
Most of rest of Vash Mani consider the Custa Mani to be a rather horrid cult. One reason why they are on the outermost isle. I can see a certain logic at work, but after all my time with the Smoking Mirror I'd rather not have my essential self toyed with again. With that in mind I kept my stay on Custa short. Just long enough to barter a trip on merchant ship bound for the port city of Welschstch (it helps if you try to blow a subtle raspberry when saying the name) and from there I can find my way to where ever I'm drawn to.
By the way if you are ever in the Busted Wing on Street of Free Beggers try the duck. It is braised with herbs and a berry that grows wild that has sort of orange cherry taste. It is divine. The wine is drivel but I don't generally drink....wine.