We recently received some reports from agents we sent out to survey some cities, but we don't see much sense to them.
The city of ????????? is noted not only for its particular canal system but also for the wide array of goods available in its markets, from precious stones like agate and onyx to the local speciality of roasted pheasant. Some say that it is easy to get so caught up in the luxuries of the city that one becomes a servant to it.
The city of ?????? stands clear above the surrounding wooded region; it is built entirely on top of a collection of stilts, and must be accessed via ladders from the ground. The reason for this arrangement is not clear, but the city is entirely self-sufficient and thus citizens never need to return to ground level.
The people of ????????? aspire towards refinement; they store up precious metals and gems for use in their architecture, and try to cut excesses from their lifestyle. However, this single-minded drive towards refinement has left the city's culture empty, and its people live calculating and miserly lives.
The most notable feature of ????? is not any geographical feature of the city but rather its inhabitants themselves, who pass by each other on a daily basis but never appear to acknowledge each other. We attempted to gather additional information from several citizens, most notably a man walking a cheetah on a leash, but our inquiries were ignored.
??????? has a pockmarked history, full of triumphant eras of renaissance followed by equally tragic descents into squalor. Although the exact order of its eras is not well-remembered, its museums are full of physical reminders of its past eras, documented by the purposes they may have been used for at some point in history.
??????? is most notable for its beautiful architecture, especially its numerous silver domes and the bronze statues made in honor of their deities of choice. These are not unique to the city, however; on viewing them, we felt significant feelings of déjà vu and concluded that we had experienced a similar city previously.
We observed a remarkable tradition held by the people of ???????. Rather than bury or cremate them, they preserve the bodies of the deceased and house them in a vast series of underground catacombs. There they are posed as if to enjoy the leisures they did in life, or else in a manner befitting the profession they held before. Most macabre was the report we received of a dead milkmaid who had been stationed next to the carcass of the heifer she once milked.
The most striking feature of ?????? is the rapid rate at which it consumes new goods. We witnessed a much higher rate of purchasal of consumer goods than in any other city we surveyed, leading to an astounding rate of money flowing within the economy. The main benefactors of this strong economy are the garbage collectors, who are treated with the utmost respect by the citizens of ?????? owing to the incredible amount of old goods they dispose of.
The city of ??????? is itself a breathtaking display of human engineering. This rather precarious city is suspended from an intricate weave of ropes hung between two steep mountains, with the entire city draped downwards from this rope net. The people of ??????? seem to acknowledge that the ropes will give way eventually, but do not appear to think of this as any cause of uncertainty or anxiety.
A survey of local residents of ?????? showed that the prevailing opinion was that most citizens were unhappy and dissatisfied people, citing reasons such as noisy children and domestic quarrels. However, this notion appears to be contradicted by general observations of the city, which seem to indicate that the city is in fact permeated by joyous occasions that go unseen by its locals.
The streets of ?????? are particularly full of detailed signage that indicates nearby buildings of interest as well as prohibited activities. Its economy seems to depend significantly on the trade and selling of status symbols.
During our survey period of ?????? the entire city appeared to be undergoing some form of construction work; large swaths of area were hidden behind sackcloth screens and other scaffolding. Construction workers did not seem amenable to questioning when we first approached them, but they later explained that their blueprints were modeled after constellations.
We received differing reports about ???????. One report discussed the design of the buildings' curtains, windowsills, and fountains; the other report focused instead on the make of the cobblestone sidewalks, the manhole covers, and the structure of the gutter system. It is hard to tell which report is truer, but we suspect the agents' personal dispositions had something to do with this discrepancy.
Amounts that must be paid for something
One who might earn 10s when going under
Coming before all others
Mathematical function that rounds down numbers
It beats rock and Spock
Sequences of distinct edges, in graph theory
It may be found in the mud
Execute by throwing rocks at
Unable to relax
Absolutely essential or necessary