Pilgrims listen in rapt attention to one of the many prophets imprisoned along this road. The town that can be seen was built about a cathedral which dates back beyond scholars' records. A large cache of gold was found in the cathedrals catacombs and the high class now lives in relative comfort despite the poor harvests of late. Those who can afford it live off the trade of a neighbouring coastal fishing town. Since the gold was discovered a rash of severe birth defects and sudden oncomings of insanity have been plaguing the populace. After trading began, the fishermen and their families who accepted the gold as payment have been suffering the same ills. The particularly opulent burgomaster has become worried about his dwindling reserves, and after the discovery of further tunnels connecting to the cathedral's catacombs, he has taken to paying highly those who plumb its depths in search of more gold. Unfortunately these men invariably return completely mad, and desperately try to burn the cathedral to the ground. The burgomaster furiously condemns these men to the gibbets that line the road as a warning to those "weak of mind, and lax in duty." Those scarred and deformed by the gold’s unwholesome influence flock to these prophets to hear their fractured gibberings of what they saw below the cathedral. It is rumored that the burgomaster’s wife can birth naught but plump, healthy fish.



This piece is featured in Spectrum 11 Art Annual, and was chosen to be shown at the Museum of American Illustration in New York city for an art exhibit featuring selected works from all 11 Spectrum art annuals.