In the days of the Wonderful Chaos that followed the Great Divergence, an eco-poetess by the name of Deirdre Skye briefly walked the stony pathways of our world.

In a narrow mountain pass by the large city of Crux-Lesslamb, she laid down a wondrous spell, by which the conscious verbalized thoughts of anyone in a specific area of the pass, no wider than 1000 paces across, are heard by everyone nearby as if they were whispers uttered in the voice of the thinker. Sometimes, during clear winter nights under a half-full moon, even flashes or whole episodes of visual memory are experienced by all near the person reliving the memory, with the certainty of the identity of the memory originator stamped somehow across it.

How (if at all) would the locals make use of such a place?

Inspired by a previous question here.


This seems like an extraordinary location that people would seek out for various reasons, and I would expect it to become almost like a temple to the concept of truth or honesty.

A true wedding takes place there and everyone knows that neither bride nor groom had any reservations about it, people can celebrate in open appreciation of the love between them. Of course, you'd better hope that any guests present at the ceremony are happy in their relationships too...

It may not be the place for a trial, but it would be a great place to question someone if you want to have reliable evidence. You might not want to use it as the venue for a trade or business negotiation, but it might be a great place to sign the treaties or contracts.

Musicians might learn the art of verbalised thought to perform songs with witty thought-subtexts. They had better be good though - everyone is potentially a critic.

There would be significant administration involved in any of the more formal functions here, so one might anticipate an order of truth-trained individuals to evolve - perhaps these would be something like a religious order, the Sisters of St Skye, maybe more like truth registrars - who train in the art of passively receiving thoughts without interrupting. They also have a reputation as the most reliable witnesses ( and verifiably so ) which means that matters recorded by them can be treated as very reliable evidence. A corollary of this is that charging for their services could result in substantial wealth for the organisation. It might be interesting if too much exposure to the telepathy field could leave one at risk of becoming telepathic outside its bounds, which would be a hazardous gift indeed.


Criminals would certainly be hanging out near the edges so they could "eavesdrop" on people's thoughts, looking for key pieces of information to use in blackmail, robbery, kidnapping and other criminal enterprises. It would even be worth their while to set up inns, shops and other seemingly innocent places outside the zone where they could try to induce ideas into people's heads (Lots of nubile young bar wenches might provoke thoughts about sex, adultery and other misconduct, for example), which could then leak out in the "zone".

Religious types could also use a version of the scam, trolling for "impure" thoughts and demanding payment for salvation.

Most normal people would eventually learn to avoid this place at all costs, since the risks of letting people "into your head" will be far greater than the potential rewards.

Positive uses of this might be for the conduct of tribunals and high court cases, where the person under question is interrogated and his thoughts could be analyzed. The downside of this is that everyone's thoughts are readable, so the interrogator will be listening to the judge, court recorder and defense lawyer as well.

This suggests the way for travellers to protect themselves from eavesdropping criminals would be to memorize a poem or simple tune (that song stuck in your head) and think about that as they travel the pass, forming a sort of mental "white noise". People under the Question might also choose to do this, rather than submit to interrogation. Lastly, a rich merchant might hire a crowd to travel with through the pass, laying a mental smoke screen and blocking attempts to listen in to his thoughts.


This is partly taking over parts of glenatron and Thucydides' answers, but I would expect that the place would probably be associated with mystic meanings (especially if they aren't aware of the cause of the phenomenon).

It would be a good place for a monastery or a temple celebrating the Truth. Inside no one can lie, so people are compelled to speak their mind. Furthermore inbhabitants would train to blank their minds (image of some Buddhist monks come to my mind), as it would otherwise be unbearable to hear constant discussions in there.

It could be a pilmgrimage site, where people would come to "search for the Truth". Religious events like Baptism, Communion or Prayer would be reinforced.

Associated with the religious building/community, other mystic/symbolic events could happen in there: your typical love declaration, or wedding: no way to hide your wedding. You might want it to a reduce number of guests though, due to the noise of non-trained minds and/or risks for guests.

Apart from those symbolic cases, regular people would avoid to go in that area, not to let information slip or get too distracted.

In regard to previously mentioned answers, why I think it is not suitable for justice/police?

You could "read" the minds of suspects, but at the same time you deliver to the said suspect potentially crucial information: what you know about the case, or possibly personnal information that could be used by him or an accomplice.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.