Aside from these sparse flurries of simple curiosity and the howl of the complaint-beast, roaming the distant wilderness, all was well. I was tucked up at my desk, enjoying a mug of chocolate and some idle chatter, perusing the older, in-progress petitions to see if there was anything I could complete a step on, when it happened.
I should have seen it coming, I suppose. A paltry fortnight ago, I mentioned on this very page that I enjoyed a puzzle - that nothing lit my eyes like the prospect of a test of knowledge! In retrospect, I was throwing up a challenge to the Fates, for, when my complacent eyes lit upon a petition from a name I recognized as an influential pirate and island governor, I felt a curdling - yes, a curdling! - in my wame.
How, asked the pirate, was it possible that the tailor shoppe he had placed but recently, overlooking the water, now faced the land? There had been no earthquake. Had divine intervention been involved? A second pirate chimed in, anxious about the fate of shoppers, as there was now a large block of ore just at the doorstep, sharp edges gleaming wickedly. Scratching my head, I did as any good keeper of the seas would do in my situation - I checked my literature, and, finding nothing, denied everything. "Are you sure?" I asked. "I don't think we can do that." Minutes passed, tensely. I posed the question to GodchatTM. "Hey, guys, can we do that?" Alas, due to the lateness of the hour, all was still. Peace fell again in petition-land, and then lo! two new missives lit up my screen. "You're wrong." said one. "I have here a screenshot; compare the formation of the land and the placement of the building."
I teleported to the location of the shoppe; sure enough, it was looking towards the land, with a hazardous rock perilously close to the egress. I compared it with the screenshot, which indeed featured a tailor shop, facing towards the sea, with an identical shoreline. Confronted with irrefutable evidence, I fell back upon my second strategy: Stall for time to come up with an answer which is correct. "Please leave this open while I do further research", I wrote, fearing that I was going mad or worse, that the earthquake piece from the foraging puzzle was now affecting the geography, causing buildings to shift. It was then that I heard, as if from on high, the "blup-bloop!" of an incoming message on GodchatTM. Ah, sweet relief! It was my Superior Goddess, and it was she who had unwittingly caused the uproar! I hastily explained the situation, and she shed some light onto the darkness. Earlier, a player had, distraught, petitioned for the shoppe to be moved. He had initially wanted the shop to face towards the land, and believed that there had been a mistake. Now, I wrote some time ago about superpowers; some of the superpowers which are available, including the power to demolish buildings, place new construction sites, and instantly construct a building (which, as it turned out, was what had happened) are the sole domain of a few OMs, for various reasons. We mostly do not need them, as buildings are only ever modified on very rare occasions, generally immediately after being placed, in case the governor sneezed while deciding where to put it, you see.
There had apparently been some confusion as to the governance of the island, and, in my colleague's haste to Right Wrongs, she had believed that the owner of the shoppe was part of the island's ruling body. I explained this to my petitioners, who were as relieved as I was to know that the world was not, in fact, coming to an end, and that we were not suffering from a shared hallucination. The shoppe continues to face the land to this day, but the rock hazard at the door was lifted, and placed in a more secure location, less likely to disembowel the customers of a tailor shoppe and get entrails on their fine new raiment.
And they all said I may recount this tale, and so far, they are all still living happily. "Ever after" remains to be seen, but is to be hoped for.
(To those involved: thank you very much for permission to write about this!)