The island of Hi’it is a land of many hidden secrets. When the first explorers discovered the island, they identified the immense potential for dwellers. But, they realized that while the candy could make people come to the island, it wasn’t enough to make them stay in harmony. So, they hid powerful magical objects on the island, which would help the dwellers in times of need. Today, we shall discuss one set of such objects – the scrolls of Ailem.
The scrolls of Ailem allowed people to spread their voices far and wide to every inhabitant. When a word was written on such a scroll, it would appear as cotton candy in the sky, disappearing only when everyone had seen it. The source of the magic was the special stone on which the parchment used for the scrolls was fried and was found in abundance off the coast on the windward side of the island. As word spread of the scroll’s power, the stone was mined recklessly, bringing a scroll to each hand on the island. Every year, almost a thousand new scrolls were manufactured for each new inhabitant because magic could not be recycled.
Initially the scrolls were used for official announcements from the TelHos. Because they ruled by decree, there were enough announcements every day to decrease the average duration of sunlight by about an hour every day. Still, the inhabitants endured. The founding fathers had left them an artefact, so they believed that a day would come when they would realize its true purpose.
Then, the rebellion began. Starting off as dissent about the sand, murmurs about the cost of candy and finally words in the sky calling for an indefinite stay on allocating new barracks. While messages were visible to all, it was difficult to track the source because there were too many inhabitants on the island. This was gold for the rebels, who had to pass information quickly, hide it among noise, and not have it traced back. Each day, slogans appeared on the sky calling for an uprising in another sector and since no one knew whose message it was (everyone did) the TelHos clan couldn’t do anything about it. Slowly, as the movement caught momentum, the number of messages kept growing each day, meaning inhabitants now had to take breaks from eating candy just to read them all, for fear that they might block out the sun. The war lasted only a fortnight but the messages kept coming. Desperate souls fought for freedom in the only way they knew they could – through words. They believed that if they could not inspire the people to win a war, they would, at least, use the scrolls to disrupt the TelHos regime by drowning out information with junk.
It is well known that even today, the island of Hi’it gets only about 20 minutes of sunlight a day; a figure that has been on the decline for two centuries. You might think it was a brave sacrifice for a greater cause – that of independence. If only that were true; the Tel Hos only came out of their dwelling holes at night.
– Abhinau Kumar