"Anyone can draw a map, boy - there's no more difficulty in that than laying brick. What makes maps useful is when they are so proper, so precise, that they are living images of the places they represent. Encompassing knowledge of the geography, and mastery of the very space itself - that, child, is cartogramancy."
- Sage Pakpao Sasithorn, Chief Lecturer, the Ezagun-Darkbolt College of Cartogramancy
The Nomin gypsies have a fiddling competition every year, known as the Danse de Velose. Beaters hit out the rhythm on taut drums and the competitors start to play, slowly at first. Youngsters can compete, but are soon pulled away by worried mothers, before the competition becomes too dangerous. After two hours the haunting tune has become dazzlingly fast. You can resign at any time, but the moment you make a mistake you receive an arrow through the neck. Strings may snap, but the players must play on. The whole affair never lasts much longer than three hours, and the last fiddler playing is crowned king of the gypsies.