15 years ago a bright comet fell from the sky into the heart of the land across the wall. Days later the black rains started to fall. In the north and among all the people not hidden in the shadow of the wall every living thing was changed by those rains. They have become strange and hard and dangerous. But here within the Arkosian republic we are safe. The wall protects us from the rains and the Knights of Damascus protect us from the northern barbarians. Here in Damascus no threat can touch us.