The Wandering Walk is a pilgrimage route through the
Ninth World. No one knows the exact length of the
Wander, nor can anyone point to its exact beginning or
end. Many people speculate that the Wander is actually
a closed circle that encloses the whole of the Ninth
World and that some travelers, especially those with
enhancements or otherworldly attributes, have been
trekking its eternal loop since before recorded time.
For most, the Wander is too physically taxing to
be used as a trade or travel route. It slips through
fluid-filled canyons, curves inside crawlspace tunnels,
and winds through woods, forests, and much of the
Beyond. The rewards seem few, and the dangers are
many. Yet at any given time of the year and at any
given point along the known sections of the route, the
Wander is laced with pilgrims, explorers, and those
who are foolish enough to think it offers safe passage.
Those who follow the Wander for religious, spiritual,
or other reasons are called Peregrines or just Birds
(though the latter term is usually derogatory). Although
their dress varies, true Peregrines carry some mark
of the Wander. Typically, the mark is an elaborate and
continually growing circular bloodscar along their palm;
there is little else to do along the Wander when one
is not wandering, and the intricate nature of the scar
gives bragging rights to show how long a traveler has
survived along the way. Experienced Peregrines carry
the scar up the length of their arm or on both palms.
Of course, there are also many who trek the
Wander for other kinds of growth—namely, the
growth of their pockets. These skulkers who come to
borrow from the bodies of the fallen often become
inadvertent pilgrims themselves, either getting lost
along the route or walking it to find a home where
they can settle with their newfound spoils. They don’t
generally make it far before they fall to the elements
or to the hand of another skulker.
And thus, the Wander captures all in its eternal length.