Diary of Roald the Adventurer - Sal Terrae
A diary left behind by the famed adventurer, Roald.
The pages are littered with a small amount of shiny but bitter salt crystals.
I trekked here from the banks of Dihua Marsh. My shoes are completely waterlogged. Last time I took them off to pour out the water, a frog jumped out.
From the scale of this ruin, I suspect it is the temple that provided safe refuge for civilians during the Archon War several millennia ago. I’ve heard that the Goddess of Salt built such a place. Liyue folklore holds that she was the gentlest of the gods. In the brutality and chaos of wartime, human beings were puny and disposable. But the Salt Goddess refused to join the other gods in their senseless battle for dominance, instead choosing to give shelter to those dispossessed by the war. She brought them here to build a new settlement. She showed them kindness and comfort. And even as global upheaval ushered in the end of an epoch, she worked tirelessly to bring about a return of peace between the Archons.
It seems that most parts of the ancient city have sunk into the riverbed of Bishui River. It’s fortunate that the foundation of the temple is still here after all this time.
She amassed a group of followers who settled in the area now known as Sal Terrae and lived a humble existence. The city stood for several centuries, finally falling with the downfall of the Archon herself.
The gentlest of the Archons fell not in battle at the hands of the other Archons. She fell at the hand of her own people, the people she had loved so dearly.
He was the first king of the people, and also the last. He had once loved the Goddess of Salt just as the rest did, but as a mere mortal, he ultimately could not fathom the self-sacrificial love the goddess embodied. He sought after military might, in the hope that the city might be able to hold its own in defense and attack. And so, to demonstrate that gentleness was a virtue unfit for the times, he took a polearm and ended the life of the lone, defenseless goddess. No sooner had she met her demise than the temple itself collapsed and the people’s city crumbled like salt into the earth.
As for the treacherous king’s fate, there are theories abound but none are certain. Some say he continued to reign in solitude from the ruins for centuries, finally turning to dust long after the cries of war had subsided, the ruins had been engulfed by the river, and insects had hollowed out his scepter. Others say he took his own life after taking that of the goddess, unable to bear the guilt of deceit that weighed upon his conscience. In any case, the people on whom the Salt Goddess had once looked so fondly became scattered across Liyue. In the safe haven of Liyue, under the rule of the Geo Archon, they and their stories survived, and that is why we still hear about them to this day.
Rumors say that the Salt Goddess’ body can still be found somewhere in the depths of the ruins. Though her body has turned to salt, it still maintains her posture from the moment she was struck by the king’s polearm.
It looks like we’re in for some heavy rain: dark clouds are gathering as far as the eye can see. I’d better get moving. I’m going to head northwest to Mt. Qingce. Hopefully, I can make it there before the rain gets too heavy. And hopefully, it’s not such a mad dash that I lose my diary en route…