Chapter 3

The Passages of Beckamain

When Sasha the Builder was old, she would sometimes forget where she was, and for a moment become as the Momentor and stare into space and clutch her hammer to her chest.  Then we children would squirm and not know where to place our next nails and the Architon would come.  He would say to us, “A Builder knows the best place to build is not here, but in a world all your own, where you alone stand responsible.”  And then we would all hush, quiet; some were silenced by the Architon’s strangeness, others were impatient but respectful, others dreamed of dinnertime in a few hours.  None of us were wise.  If we were, we would have used the time before the Builder returned to fashion a hammer in our minds from the matter we were observing, and thus obtain the first tool.

–Kyria Navo, Semantor-Elect of Beckamain, Eulogies for the Dead of the 1030th Year of the Rule of Beckamain, “Sasha the Builder”

In later years, Sasha the Builder was appointed to become the Interlocutor, tasked with guiding each new penult through the stone walls that guarded Beckamain.  Within them were a maze of passages, yet one could not get lost; one always emerged from the other end, with or without a guide.  But a guide helped soothe the minds of those who passed through, and occasionally to offer a word of comfort as walls sprung up around those who entered those narrow passages.

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