Author: Tobias Hope Young

The falling star landed about fifteen years back. Killed everything in a ten-mile radial.
Science folks say it did this by changing the center of cavity in the area. Ya see cavity is the thing that keeps us from floating away, and the center of cavity is at the center of the earth, but since the falling star was magic it changed it so that inside the ten-mile radial the center of cavity was the meteor itself.
That’s how those poor folks died you see, they fell into the center. But not all of them died. One young buck named Olaf Gunderson survived the fall and climbed out using two axes and a coil of rope. He said that the star had a quality to it, science folks called it an aura. He said that it changed the rules of things, turned people into other things and whatnot. No one questioned what he said when he showed them his axes. The aura had changed his metal axes into solid gold.
That’s when everyone began to build their hang towns, dangling platforms, homes dug into the earth in order to get closer to the aura. Prospectors came and the strip of land that the falling star fell into finally got its name, The Hanglands.
Dangerous place the Hanglands. All of those prospectors trying to get to the center of the radial. Trying to turn their metal into gold. But if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself going to the center a lot faster than you expected, cause you’ll be falling to your death.
None of the dangle towns have reached the center, apparently it gets more dangerous the deeper you go.
Not only does the aura create some awfully dangerous trickery but the cutters run rampant down there. Cutters are what we Hanglanders call the bandits around there parts. Get there names by threatening to cut the ropes that prospectors use to lower themselves.
Dangerous work prospecting. Easier to steal. That’s why the great state of Nevada hired me, to go to the Hangland and bring some semblance of safety and order.
No, I’m not a lawman. I sell rope.
Go ahead, laugh.
I remember a young buck not too much older than you is. Cept he was shorter and a whole lot stronger. He came to me, hat worn on the side of his face to keep out the sun and he laughed at buying rope too. Said he was gonna go down the same way Olaf Gunderson went.
And he did. He turned his axes to gold along with a few other things. Except when it came to climbing out he had a more difficult time of it, all that gold he was carrying was awfully heavy.
The boys from Fort Cling found him a week later, the cutters had taken his gold axes but had the decency to leave him in a tree.
The rangers almost shot him on account of how he looked. Thought he was some sort of bear. They had to telegraph to the outside for a doctor, cept they didn’t need one. The young man was healthy as ever, cept the aura had changed him. Instead of coming back as a hale young man he instead came back as a hale young platypus.
Don’t believe me? That’s okay, he’s selling rope of his own down the way. But you can’t buy good rope from a platypus, trust me, you’ll only be able to find good rope here.