advised a visit to the Minister for Silence. He knew everything
about Ex, they said. He would unravel its mysteries. But at his
house, a young woman with a crooked leg shook her head and closed
the door. In one of the nameless enclosed streets at the bottom of
the tower, a man selling medicines and poisons said the Minister for
Silence was dead. He dried up one morning the young man whispered.
He wanted the wind to carry him away."
(From Exiled in
Ex by Stanley Godribbon)
Ex is a difficult city to
pin down, even if you live there. Its tangle of nameless alleyways, running like canyons between the huge, dark towers which point upward from the earth like burnt and twisted fingers, are infused with an air of
secretive, breathless mystery.
The city was founded by band of adventurers who had
rebelled against the Golooian authorities and decided to establish
new homes far away from Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet. They built their city in secret,
contradicting everything that the Goolooians who had rejected them
found architecturally admirable. Where Gum Gooloo's houses are
single-storied, squat and flat, Exians live in wiry, elegant towers;
and where Gum Gooloo is a famously open city, the city of Ex sits at
the centre of a vast hedge maze. The maze is only accessible by
boat, or via a long, twisted path through the Forest of Ex. Their streets,
and even their parks are narrow and convoluted.
Most of Umbagollah's professional people live here, as does
Umbagollah's government. The government meets in the The
Tower of Interosseus which lies in the western part of the city.
The famous Exian Tower of
Foot houses an entire colony of doctors.
Ex also has a thriving theatre scene. You might like to visit the
Theatre Troupe, or the unusual Perpetual
Theatre. If you are planning to see a play, it is a good idea to
start by reading the Ex
theatre guide. Ex is also a good place to eat
If you are going to arrive on The Day of
First Infatuations, bring a mask for the Exian
Masquerade, our most colourful festival. Anyone who wants to buy
or commission a map would be wise to visit the Chambers
of Cartography and Revealed Menace, the workplace of our most
esteemed mapmakers. Their rough map of
Ex will come in handy as you travel around the city. Those of
you who are thinking of taking up study may like to visit the University
of Ex. The last remnants of the country's aristocracy may be
seen thriving in the Aristocratic
District which lies in the city's south-west. The fish market is worth visiting.
miracles of architecture keep such spindly towers upright? The Exian
obsession with narrow spaces is a taste I find hard to aquire. The
lanes are so small that one comes to think of them as hallways, and
the whole city as a vast rambling mansion, full of convoluted
turnings and concealed secrets. The people have the intensitity and
indirectness of a family with a mad uncle hidden in the attic. They
let the ivy grow wild over their walls and the passageways are
redolent with the spiced smell of ivy dust."
odd reputation amuses them."
(From Ex, again by