My name is Samet. I am writing down an account of my journey so that others may prosper from what I have learned. I am from the village of Ushermet, a great town of commerce at the meeting of two rivers. There I am the son of the high priest Menet. I have lived in my village for over sixteen years, never venturing from within its mighty walls. All that will soon change, as I am sent on the great journey. I have come of age and must embark to the holy cities of the east. There I will receive knowledge that only a privileged few before me have ever known. Only the seventh son of the seventh son of my holy family of Durat is allowed to go on this quest. This burden falls upon me, but I wish that I could just stay home. If I were to remain here, however, my clan and the entire tribe would be disgraced. I shall travel with my father as far as the river of the Great Divide. From there on I will go on alone, with only this pen and paper to keep me company. Today we begin the preparations to travel east. The tribal elder has agreed to lend us his horses, but the stable hand seemed was quite wary of lending us any animals. After my father invocated the Orinis binding chant and promised to return the horses, the man seemed satisfied. The women of the village have provided us enough travelers' bread to last several months, so much in fact that we couldn't bring it all. Lastly the blacksmith gave me a prized Ourinas blade which was used in defense against the west invaders many moons ago. After preparations were complete, the entire village joined in the karishna dance to give us luck and the gods' protection. We saddled our horses and rode off, marking the beginning of our journey. As we begin our travels, I am filled with a great despair. Our target is the great Terachinas River and it is here the boundary between the Living and Dead lands lies. It can only be crossed by one pure of blood, mind, and spirit. This sadly, will have to be me and although I know I fulfill the blood requirements, I don't whether or not I have the strength of will to pass. If one is not all of these things, he will drown and be carried by the river to the edge of the earth. Besides the daunting challenge that lies before me, my short companionship with my father is also filling with great anguish. He will not speak to me, nor may I speak to him because sound of any sort is forbidden on my journey. This great trek of silence is supposed to calm my spirit and mind in preparation for the trial that is before me. In reality, it does the exact opposite and fills me with dread. How I wish I could speak to my father, and have reassuring sounds of his voice in my ear. But this is not to be as we travel east. We are getting near the great river. The ground is beginning to slope downward and more grass is growing making our trek even easier. I catch my first glimpse of the river and am filled with a sudden weight. The waters I am to cross are at least three stone throws. I turn towards my father, but his iron gaze offers no relief. As I get off my horse and get my few supplies of bread and goat cheese, my father breaks the sacred silence. "Be not afraid my son," he whispers into my ear. I watch him ride off into the horizon. When he is no more than a speck of dust, I turn towards the river to face my challenge alone. I say the ceremonial prayer and cut my palm so the blood flows into the river. I gather sticks and wrap then together using a vine. I am afraid my boat is not even fit to support the weight of a dog, yet it is the best I can make. "If only", I say to myself, "I had been the son of a carpenter". I climb aboard my poorly constructed vessel and begin the journey across the water. As I make my way across the waters, an odd thought creeps into my mind. I remember the mutterings old woman of my village. She claimed to have known the history of our people and to even contain knowledge of the secrets of old. I remember nothing of her ranting except for one sentence, "The River of the Great Divide was once called differently by the Old Ones, it was known as the Missi" something. I could never pronounce the word she had said and yet I cannot rid my mind of this thought. I manage reach the opposite shore without accident, despite my raft's poor craftsmanship. I turn to look back west and see for the final time the night sky of my people. I begin to walk forward and I don't look back. I will not look behind me until I am once again returning home. As I travel away from my homeland, I can't help but notice that everything is different. Ever since I made the crossing, I have yet to hear or see any signs of life. The ground itself seems scorched, as if a fire had burned the life right out of it. Without even the smallest landmark, I easily get lost. I pitch camp and lay on the ground the rest of the night. That first day was the absolute worst. All the animals that I failed to see were now stalking me, even the moon seemed to glow with an unearthly light. I never slept, and was only motivated to move after the sun had risen. The following day I was rid of my night terrors, in fact, I begin to believe I behaved like a child. That morning I finally discovered a landmark I could follow despite my lack of direction, the sun. The passage of time was lost in this flat, featureless land. Even the sun seemed to stop moving. So the days fused into a time of endless boredom and the night became a time of terror. I continued to travel this way for seemingly months and still never saw life. Then one day, the horned beast of deaths appeared. The foul beasts were large and covered in coarse brown hair. They were two lengths higher than a man and covered with dangerous looking tusks. They had the body of a cow, yet of their match I have yet to see. How such large and deadly creatures could exist in a land devoid of life is beyond me even to this day. I was able to pass a herd of them, narrowly escaping the fate of the Harish, or gorged ones. My impression of this land was not improved by their appearance; it instead compelled me to finish my journey more quickly. I continued in the barren flat lands for three months until I saw the great mountains. Such a chain of rock and rubble I had not seen except for the tales of the high mountains west of my village. Despite their size, these mountains were another obstacle that had to be overcome. I believe this to be another test by the gods to measure one's resolve and strength of spirit. I find a suitable walking stick and begin to climb. For three weeks I climb the mountain in great silence. No noise, not even howl of the wind can be heard. I so long for the presence of another creature I would even face the great beasts. As time drags on, I lose count of how many days I have been climbing this unholy peak. Then before me an omen appears. Across the path I travel I see a mountain goat. It stares at me for a long while as if knowing who I am. The goat gestures with its head to follow it and begins to move. I say prayers to the gods in my mind and follow my unlikely guide. For four days we travel without stop. I grow weary after such great durations without sleep but the goat travels on. Then the animal stops. I travel forward to see why my companion had stopped and see the most wondrous thing. I see a great blue see stretching further than the can see. Without an exuberant feeling of joy I realize I have crossed the great mountains. As I turn around to thank my guide I notice that the sheep is gone. I search for it in vain and realize it was not an animal at all, but a god in disguise! I say a prayer of homage to Creteriasa the animal goddess and thank her for her guidance and protection. Then I begin to descend. As I slide down the mountain, I catch a full glimpse of the seas below me and gasp. The seas are crystal clear and BLUE. Such a shade of blue I have never seen before. The color is even brighter than the sky. I run down the mountain and cause several mounds of dirt to fall with me. As I reach the bottom of the mountain, I am covered by a cloud of dust. I shake my body and succeed only in spreading the dust onto more of my body. I ignore the thin layer of mud covering me and run towards the shining, azure water. I submerge myself in the water and open my mouth to swallow the heavenly liquid. Instead of the pure, cooling taste of a mountain stream in my life, I am instead confronted with a vile, salty sensation in my mouth. I jump out of the water and spit out the putrid water and gasp. "How can such an alluring sight be so terrible?" I ponder. Then it hits me. This must be some sort of test from the gods to test those of little will. As I look over myself to make sure I have not grown another arm nor have my skin dissolved, I realize I am still dirty. I step once more into the clear ocean and am careful not to swallow. I bathe myself in its waters, ridding my body of dirt. As I look towards the setting sun, I see something glittering. I step back onto the soft land and begin to walk towards it. As I begin to come closer to this strange sight it seems to grow. I look closely and realize that it is not one glittering dome as I thought at first, but instead is many tall towers. I am so preoccupied with the sight before my eyes that I fail to realize I have been walking on some sort of path. I examine the strange stones beneath me and am shocked to see they are black. I pick up one of the rocks and examine it. The texture of it is unlike any stone I have ever seen I throw the rock down the path to see if it will break. When the rock began to bore me, I walked towards the city of the gods and had my breath taken away. I walked into the ruined city with wonder in my eyes. Around me ancient monuments to the gods were erected, and I saw them all. I toured the city and saw a giant statue of an old king with a beard. I viewed the remains of an ancient white building, where the gods had resided. Lastly, I saw a giant fallen pillar of unimaginable size lay across a pool of water. It had been worn away weathering but I could still make out some of the letters, "WA H N TON MO U E T. Then the truth of the world, the reason I had been sent out, was revealed to me. With this revelation I realized that the city was not made by gods, but by men. It was made by my forefathers who had been known as the "Americans".