Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Two Hundred Sixty Three

It is hard to imagine what the Lost Quarter looked like before the arrival of Those Who Came. We have the descriptions of the first of Those who arrived in these parts, but it had already been transformed completely by their arrival in the eastern and southern dominions centuries before. They came to a place undergoing change and found peoples whose lives were completely different than the ones their ancestors had.

Those Who Came had no way of knowing this, no way of seeing the context behind everything they laid their eyes upon. They assumed it was the world the way it had always been. That has always been the myth of the Quarter and the larger continent, that it existed in a natural, pristine state and only the arrival of Those Who Came changed that. Those Who Went Away in this telling were no different than the bison and deer they hunted, living and dying upon the plains without altering them. It is a strange conceit given the changes Those Who Came had wrought upon their own homes. Why should they think the people here any different?

Worse, Those Who Came were oblivious to the destruction they had unknowingly brought with them. For travelling with them was the grippe, the dread lord they had been battling him for centuries without success. Having never encountered such terrible powers before, Those Who Went Away were defenceless against him. The great empty plains that Those Who Came marched across were graveyards. The great bison herds, so vast it took days for them to pass, were so large because so many of those who had hunted them were now gone.

What would have happened if Those Who Went Away had been familiar with the dread lord, had known some of his tricks? They would not have perished in untold numbers and Those Who Came would not so easily have been able to claim the continent for themselves. They would have conquered these places eventually, for there were few parts of the world that the dominion of Those Who Came did not touch eventually, but it would have been a different sort of conquest.

Those Who Went Away would have been far too numerous to force into exile. They would have remained and the Lost Quarter would have been a very different place.

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