There is a parade of follies and monuments in the distance. That is the city of Atressa, the last of a great colonnade that stretched between the ocean and the sea. Atressa was not meant to be a city at all, but a brief way station on a great marble highway built by an emperor in commemoration of his last triumph.
After the death of the emperor, the project was plagued by fits and starts and in the ensuing years, local tribes took root along the half finished parade, fortifying small settlements on the unfinished segments of the new road. As the wealth of empire dwindled, the clout of the tribes grew. They pilfered obelisks and pillars and statues from the surrounding colonies, and brought them to Atressa.
The tribes are all gone now and the ramshackle dwellings they built where the embankment slopes have washed away or burnt. A road intersects the route of the old colonnade a mile away so that the occasional traveler, squinting hard enough, can make out the obelisks of Atressa.
Atressa is a city of stolen pieces on an unfinished marble highway, but the women of distant towns, the descendants of the pilfering tribesmen, distract themselves with false histories of a great civilization that once flourished there.