The Strumpet’s Sister

In the Clarkwoods Literary Universe, a tavern called The Strumpet’s Sister is claimed by many (many of its drunker patrons that is) to sit astride a lesser branch of the “river without end.” According to legend, this river divides our world from the world to come. And because these waters have always flowed and always will flow, it is here that the so-called Veil of the World can most easily be drawn back.

And what happens when you draw back the Veil of the World, you might ask? Well, folx, when you draw back the Veil of the World, you can travel through time.

At least that’s what the lushes at the Strumpet’s Sister tell us. As always, your mileage may vary.

Travel is made possible through the power of personal memory and the familial memory of blood. That is: one may travel backward or forward through their own lifetime, or through the lifetimes of their ancestors or descendants. The magic of the river, which has or will quench the thirst of every sentient being in existence, facilitates the journey. And though the magic is most potent at the river’s edge, draughts brewed from its waters are also thought to have powered the epiphanies of Veronica Silver and her cousin Michael in the novel Missing Mr. Wingfield. The tea brewed by Silas Silver IX’s wife Ada in The Seven Wives of Silver is another example

The most infamous case of traveling—again according to the inebriates who might as well call the Strumpet’s Sister home—involves a pair of male lovers in the first century of the common era. One of them was the leader of a religious sect, the other his disciple. After the leader was crucified for crimes against the state, the disciple removed the leader’s body from its tomb with the help of a mystic. The mystic swore that traveling the nearby river with the ferryman who arrived there each morning would bring them all to a marsh where leader and disciple could be together again.

The river led the travelers to the Veil. Once inside the Veil, the disciple was able to see all of the moments of his lost lover’s life. Grief-stricken, the disciple pulled the leader through time and swam him back to shore. In so doing, he broke the world.

This, and all of the other tales told of The Strumpet’s Sister and travel through time, are romantic notions. But whether they are to be believed… that is another matter.

The verifiable facts are these: The Strumpet’s Sister is a name used by a series of public houses throughout history and across the whole of the planet. These pubs are always located on rivers and often found in the basements of furniture makers. And that is all we know for sure.