The Covenant of Civilization is an inscription that was created no later than −1 000. Written in permanent rock form, it has also been copied off into scrolls multiple times. The rock is now held in a giant warehouse.
Because it was written in rock, the contents are hard to change, smudge or remove. This preserves a lot of things that don't need to be preserved though, (like spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, snide remarks, insults to people long gone, <aside>s and half the genitalia) and thanks to the terrain of the rock the text snakes around and around it, sometimes crossing itself and even jumping to the opposite side of the rock and starting again.
This extreme order, according to one of the <aside>s, "made so that the idiots can't [jumps across text line] read it." A secondary reason, according to the actual main text, "is so that vandals [jumps through a bump on the rock] cannot find [goes through two lines of text] room to add their [dips under a hole] own [comes back up the hole] words." It worked well enough; nothing older than −1 000: 1/1/5 has been found.
The inscription itself is dated 0:1;1303:232;220:185;230,945,210,315,450;15:15:15;230:120[line of text];3301:12:2;[line of text] 2:0:3:8:5; 45:1210.5[line of text];153.1;12[line of text]0:223;130:'[line of text]1810:16;13[line of text]850:0;1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,04 DXN, perhaps signifying its own calendar.
Still no one knows where the Covenant starts and ends, but there were a couple quotes from it. The words are written in Proto-Eastern, the parent language of Simplified Freetext. A couple of excerpts follow:
- "Almanac is [line of text] the Center of the World Above; None shall exceed Her in its [line of text]..."
- "No Man nor Beast shall be made Responsible f[line of text]or Another One's Death; and None but The Very Most Top [line of text] Men of the Above shall exact Payment [line of text] upon the Death of [Goes into tunnel, unreadable]. Seriously, you're all jerks."
- "Perhaps the Greatest Man on the Lands Below [line of text] [line of text] is Evihonda the Magistrate, for He is Calm and Reasonable, and No [line of text] One could Anger or Outwit him. [Flies on overpass] Ruling the Great State of Staga with None but Reasonable Difficulties." (The overpass ends on another sentence.)
- "There were Two Men sitting Next to[line of text] Each [line of text]Other[line of text] on a Bright Falling Day. One says to the Other: [Text splits into two] 'My Lord, but One of The [line of text] Foreigns are Coming to Me and I think they Will Apply Strong Force to my Country's Metaphorical Posterior.'. [Text reverts to directly under the underlined word] 'Why, my Good Man, i Shall tell You [intersects this line of text] that You should try to Embrace, or [intersects this line of text] Entice them Such that [line of text] they will Fight Each Other."
- "Oh, Look, for He is the Beast Man [sic] of the Land Above: [line of text]!"
- "...and they [goes into tunnel, unreadable] each other so hard their guts fell off."
- "Eggs, Stoneships, Bread, Wine"
- "... for Bitterseed Vines are the [line of text] bane of our Health and Well[line of text]-Being; yet when the Heathens Process them They Actually Tern [sic] out to be Pretty Good. We [line of text] never Said that they were Band Men [sic]."
- "Idiots. You're all idiots."
- "Jim! What are you doing with that N!?"
- "'Awake, Awake, for t[line of text]he End does Now Begin!' so Says the Great Man. But then, He was a Go[line of text]od Liar."
- "The Arctic Corridor Might[line of text] As Well not Exist. 'It's [line of text]ing Useless', declares the Second Magistrate. 'It's full of Ice and Ice is Bad.'"
- "Be Kind to your Neigh[line of text]bors, and Don't Forget to Give [line of text] your Excesses to Them."
- "35 Bottle [sic] of Beer on the [line of text] Wall..."
- "Primal [line of text] Effigies are Only a Myth. They Can't Exist. At Least, [line of text] not with Current Technology."
- "The Picture [line of text] of Hello is Not a Thing [line of text] to be Underestimated."
- "To See the Rest of This Story, please, for Aja's Sake, consult Expansion Pack 3b!"
The Covenant is now held inside the Temple of Aja, 1 000 d from the city of Iyüso, just off the Quadratic Strait. It is moved 216 days after every 36th Autumnox to another Temple of Aja, and always no further away than 1 296 d away from a city.
- ↑ And as it is, a certain calendar, the Deħinosai, seem to follow the same syntax. There were fewer digits, but apparently only a certain number of digits are used for timekeeping; the others were counting from other dates.
- ↑ This sentence, apparently, is added slightly later.