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Fish Stocks Limited

Chapter 1 – Piscogenesis
Go to the Fish, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!
- Ancient Piscador saying
Expiscor. Run that name over your tongue, let it drip like the branches of the great
Hook Trees in the morning dew, let it shine like the Smug (that conceited little star),
let it go out and catch a meaning like the Piscadors who bait and cast and wait.
Expiscor. To fish out, to find out, to discover - and what discoveries! Let us imagine
ourselves falling in upon this most implausible globe from a great height, from the
orbital path of Xiphias, its scimitar shadow moon. We see the curve of the globe. No
blue to be seen on this sphere; like an emerald of deepest green and bearded wisps of
cloud-white our little planet traces its ellipse through the black blanket of night. We
fall further and discover the great Mist Sea, the pea-soup ocean that covers the globe
and hides its maternal soil from view. Like islands the green swathes of the Hook
Tree forests stand with their canopies above the mist. Falling further we can see
individual trees, their foliage of myriad jade crochets riffling and rippling at the
casualness of the lukewarm breeze. We see movement in the canopy of the Hook
Trees – monkey men on the hop and skip and, of course, the cast and reel. Look a
little further and we might even catch a glimpse of something elusive and sinusoidal
in the Mist Sea below, that happy medium.
How frivolous the Creator's hand, or blind, for either such adjective would
perhaps provide the explanation for the incongruous nature of this mist-bound world.
Then again, perhaps it is wisdom in its purest form which pervades this land, like the
Mist, and makes its true design so murky to the mortal eye. With this in mind, let us
study the bizarre primary ecosystem that must surely catch the attention of any
observer incident to Expiscor. We have mentioned in passing its three main species
already, but let us go into some greater detail.
First, then, looms the stately Hook Tree (Termes camur). It is difficult to describe
the dimensions of the Hook Tree, other than to say it is vast, for what famil iar
reference point should one use to describe its size? To say that the trunk of a Hook