The Linecasters

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Photo (c) Weerapong Chaipuck

The ricefield highlands of the Etched Cliffs are the domain of the Linecasters. On the coast of the Sea of Clouds, this tribe (one of the few still acknowledged by windy governments) has for generations cultivated the art of cloud-taming.

Through a secret set of practices, each Linecaster knows how to bind a little patch of sky to lead it around, like a shepherd with a leashed beast. And when they find the right cloud, they can pull themselves up to it and lift themselves into the air for a brief instant, a skill they use to leap across the cliffs.


Perhaps you have already sighted these surreal shadows, suspended from an almost-invisible thread like a strand of silk in the sunlight, vaulting around the ricefields and kept aloft by warm currents.

Where children prefer to pull around small nimbuses to shade their heads from the sun, some exceptional Linecasters have the honor of entering the “Stratospheric Joust”. The best among them compete against each other, hanging from heavy stormclouds pregnant with lightning. The exercise is terribly dangerous, as rain and sleet threaten to kill reckless contenders.
Others would rather take part in the “Cirrus Dance“, where Linecasters collectively climb to vertiginous heights to lead the wings of their clouds in an intricate dance of supreme languor.
The dance celebrates the end of the joust, because the rain it causes will soon fill the rice paddies and allow the farmers to return to their work.