Going South

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Going South, or The Great Southward Trek, or Thirty Years Afterward, or The Road to Temple-Down (and other titles) is a story connected to the Course Books.


Going South was composed by A.E. Clipson and Rick Austinson, with input by Natalie Cannon and Erin West.


The text was composed partly in verse; partly in prose; and partly as a set of moral debates among its characters, known as its Dialogues.


The story follows Nathan Ransom, A.E. Clipson, Traroth the Dragon, and (in earlier drafts) Nathan's sister Michelle, en route to rescue Nicole Ransom and Jonas R. Work from the Dark Order. Throughout the story they encounter numerous reversals and misfortunes, until they ultimately reach the Temple of Camazotz, where the prisoners are held, and rescue them in a battle. Later, everyone is recaptured, freed, and captured again; and the final rescue is by Marcus Ransom himself, and some of Ransom's Crew.

Links to the Course Books

Going South takes place on Altronis in the Fourth Age, and one of its chapters features Andrei Ransom. It also introduces the Divine Wind, and some alternative names for the Pendragon and Slayer Dragons. There are even hints that the Dark Order meant to use the Temple of Camazotz in Tower Magic.

In-universe Legacy

In-universe, the adventure's principal importance was to serve as an index-case of the governance of newly-liberated worlds. During The Corporate Era, Altronis' governments became almost completely powerless, and even after the end of the corpocracy, most serious matters involved the Alliance, and some the Foundation. It was for this reason A.E. Clipson and Nathan Ransom consulted Andrei Ransom for help against the Dark Order. Although Andrei was Nathan's grandfather and Pendragon of Slayer Dragons, giving this help meant a vote of the Alliance Council, permission from the Foundation to use the GATE, and travel rescripts from all the local authorities, so it was nearly two months, Altronis time (though only a few days, Arindell time), before re-inforcements arrived to arrest Elias Grimshaw and his followers.

In the event, the Grimshaws caused a diversion and escaped, but re-appeared before court to plead their innocence, on grounds that they were still free under one of the several overlapping jurisdictions, and had committed no legal crime under any. They were ultimately found guilty, and the question arose of how to punish them. As the Dark Order were mostly Necromancers the death penalty was not possible to enforce, and life imprisonment had fallen out of favor, as too expensive. Therefore the court, advised by both Alliance and Foundation, turned the guilty parties over to the Green Temple, who placed them in suspended animation for a century or more and trained a lineage of heroes to fight and destroy them when they returned to life.