The mothkin do not remember why years ago, they decided to worship the stars of the southern sky, specifically. Perhaps it is because that is the direction the weavers first arrived from. Or perhaps, because looking south from their forest home, they face the sea, a vast mirror that reflects the night sky. Or maybe, some time ago, the living constellations of the south did the mothkin some favor, yet returned.
But now, the stars recede as the first fingers of sunlight break through the branches of the eastern treeline. And in the village of Old Man's Chin, Red Jack continues his story.
You know the old saying. "Those thrown in pits will build ladders." For years, I believed that whoever wrote that never climbed a day in their life. After all, what pit has the material, the wood, the nails, the hammers, needed to build a ladder? Who, tossed aside by the more powerful, could find the will to build handholds and rungs from nothing at all? How does anyone, I wondered, escape the depth? But in Red House, in Marielda mourning, I realized something I had not considered. The powerful are frugal, and it is costly to build a new pit for each person you wish to bury. The weak, the downtrodden, the dismissed, the disfigured, the doomed. We are all neighbors. And we are, too, the wood, the nails, the hammers needed to build ladders. At least, that is what I began to believe, when the cobbin bookseller Tisk asked me to call in favor with Juno Eveningeyre, the disgraced tea witch and the brewer of the city's finest whiskey. Perhaps, I thought, she could be our ladder's first rung.