Aug 9, 2019
…was standing there in the midst of utter chaos, I found
strength in words uttered by the immortal warrior Red Jack (who you
will become well acquainted with as you read on) only days before
he led an assault on the being called the Advocate. “Heroism,” he
said, “is not such a unique thing.”
He was right. The heroes that day were not only those who faced down men worshipped as gods—or those that despised them. The heroes were the many whose names were not already known, who rallied their neighbors as the world around them crumbled, and ensured that even if the very body of Hieron itself vanished, Hieron, the collection of people, would not. The world, contrary to this book’s title, did not end.
All of which is to say that I am grateful that this text is being published in an incomplete state. The truth is that when I first began to write this volume, it wasn’t a volume at all. It was just a book. An encyclopedia, collecting in one place stories from reliable (if not always honest) narrators, who together paint an image of the world as it was when it was still ending.
As a writer and as an archivist, of course I knew a book like this could never be complete: Even if every fact I’d scribbled were true, even if I’d eradicated my bias—and I haven’t—how could I be sure that some key detail was not lost in the telling?
And so I am twice happy to be writing this foreword. First, because it means that the world and life (which frankly, I am very fond of) continues yet. Second, with our collective end seemingly deferred it gives me an excuse to begin a second volume, less focused on the apocalyptic end of everything, and more interested in all the minor endings we face as we find out what life even is here in the rhizome.
For now, though, I hope that you find this volume insightful, and that if you do not, that you at least find it entertaining. A final note to that end: While you can read this text linearly from front to back, I advise simply opening to any page and reading the first full entry there, and following the references and footnotes there listed. If you absolutely must be given a defined starting place, though, I recommend entry A919: The Island of Eventide.
-An Excerpt from the Foreword to The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 1 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes
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