A distant peak hidden in cloud, a temple tended by silent birdmen.
Further down, crags and caverns. Bitter cold, biting wind. Beware the vultures and regard their holy nests.
In all shadows lurk fiends; worst of all the bogeyman, who can and will eat anything or anyone that is lost.
Monkeys bathe in hot springs. They cannot work the forge; some secret smith must make their weapons. And down further still, it is warm. Where trees grow, there are cunning birds, messengers of weather gods.
A stairway city, palimpsest on some forgotten culture's stone. Houses and stalls like riverbanks to its 108 steps, banners and lanterns as bridges. That pilgrim path leads up to a fat statue, the bounds of civilisation. Buy a talisman, a snack for the road, and the grateful vendor will tell you: pass on the idol's left side for luck.
On slopes, thick jungle cleared for farming. Rice grows well in clear pools. Goats are steeds, cartpulls, a feast.
The foot of the world is endless mist.
Take this sword, my son, our family's shame. Forged in sin from the shinbone of a dragon calf.
Return it to the temple and beg forgiveness from the sky.