Mirrortac’s “worlds”: 4 — Islands of the Meretees
After a rather dramatic exit from Petrosium, Mirrortac finds himself on a boat (flut) on a vast ocean and in the company of a silent crew of sea-like people — one group belonging to a race of island dwelling people calling themselves the Meretees. The silent seafarers are a subgroup known at the Serenetees who communicate with gestures and mimicry. They explore the vast oceans from the equitorial realms to lands of ice. The islands of the Meretees are located north-east of Petrosium and enjoy balmy tropical conditions with plentiful fruits and fish in the surrounding waters. The main island of Plumer-Ra (God’s Land of the Sea) is blessed with the forest of the Divine Green and the long extinct crater of a volcano (Zu-laire). Coral reefs (rufs) surround the island group and a massive pyramid is built on the eastern side of Plumer-Ra.
Three further subgroups inhabit the island — the Children of the Divine Green, the Ra-Finelles and the Astellites. The Children of the Divine Green inhabit the forest from which they take their name. This colourful subgroup wear green robes with garlands and tresses of vines and flowers. They are quite similar to our own hippies of the 1960s, preferring to live a simple lifestyle, collecting the fruits of the forest, and clay, wood and wool. They have a close spiritual bond with the forest, to the extent that they are often seen singing and talking to the trees and animals, and adopting transcendental meditation practices. They are also peaceful people who abhor violent behaviour.
The Ra-finelles are a male priestly subgroup whose temple and home is the Pyramid of Ra-Los and its surrounds. The white-robed sect rarely venture far from the pyramid, which exhibits some strange characteristics such as a time anomaly and a link to the planet Nerthule and a mysterious race of space travellers who are given godly status.
Perhaps the most enigmatic and subtly disturbing subgroup are the Astellites (A-stell-ar-tees) who are entirely female and are nocturnal. They live inside the crater of Zu-laire, and spend the nights studying the cosmos, utilising smooth concave stone arenas that they manipulate to magnify the night sky, identifying planets and stars as they pass over the Pool Stone “screens”. They are the most sombre of all the subgroups, preferring their own company, and only entertaining visitors if there is some knowledge to gain or exchange.
Mirrortac’s stay on the island of Plumer-Ra begins pleasantly enough, although he finds their ways a little concerning at first. Developments during his stay eventually result in his hasty and unplanned departure, but you will need to read the book to ascertain just what happens.