This piece is from the perspective of recurring character Maebh. She was born inside the disaster zone, and so far has shown up as the viewpoint character of Maladaptive Vigilance. As far as she’s concerned, being on the lookout for reality going out to lunch is entirely normal.
I am a Fomorian, born and raised on the surface in the Maam valley. My father was once a clerk for the labour and livestock agents – slavers and cattle traders, to be frank. He did not particularly care for it, but trading livestock has been the basis of the entire economy of that valley for generations. I do not know what prompted him to finally take us and leave, but I know that it took him a few years to fully work up the courage. Life in the Homeland Region is apparently more difficult than elsewhere. One has to be constantly on the lookout for the “glitches” – any such place where the very fabric of reality has been torn apart. There is no rhyme or reason to where or when they occur: I once experienced gravity reversing itself while I was asleep, and what I remember most about that was that I had rolled out of bed while it was happening and didn’t fully awaken until I landed on the ceiling. While it was alarming at the time, all I suffered was some bruises. There are other, less pleasant effects that I would not wish on anyone. I simply do not have the words to describe the results of an “inside-out” patch – an area where the victim is turned inside-out – but I can tell you it is gruesome. I am told that these things simply do not occur outside the homeland. Even two years after we left, I find this hard to fully accept. At night, I find myself waking up because I think I’ve smelt or heard something – anything – that could be a glitch occurring. This is apparently not considered normal; in Connemara, it is a basic survival instinct. One simply doesn't live very long without it. The Brotherhood are mainly present in the southern and eastern parts of the homeland, particularly around Corcóg and Mam Ean. They tend to avoid the western edge (around the mouth of Killary Harbour) because of an ongoing feud with the O’Rourke clan of Letterfrack, but I don’t know the full details of that. What I do know is that most people that I knew in Maam wished they would stop drawing attention from the British military and the League – or at the very least, not draw it towards us.
Maebh Ní Bhrodaí
Side note: Maam Valley is to the east of the Maumturks. In the real world, the main livestock mart of that area is actually a bit to the south, around Maam Cross. However, since in this universe the dwarves managed to build a network of tunnels through the quarztite rocks of the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks, I’ve decided that it makes more sense for Maam Valley, particularly around what’s now Keane’s Bar, to be the surface trading hub.
I’m going to skip over how they built the tunnels, given that quartzite is a very hard rock. Let’s just say that the Firtollán stonecrafters were highly regarded.