A traveler once asked an old peregrine knight the path to the Red City. “Why by the seven winds would you want to head there?” replied the knight, who was very wise.

“I hear the streets are paved in gold there,” said the traveler.

“It’s true,” said the peregrine knight.

“Then why the note of caution in your voice, friend?” said the traveler, curious.

“Because every ounce of gold in that gods-forsaken city is filthy as a midden heap,” said the knight, “So you might as well be walking on shit.”

– Common parable