The thrice bounded sea. I know it. I was there, many times.
[He thinks on it for a little while, then begins.] I will tell you a story. I once heard the tale of a fisherman, bow-armed and iron-headed, who lived on the shores of a great sea. He lived in the humble house of his parents, who died many years before, with only his wife and children. The house was further from the sea than any good man would wish. He had been warned since childhood what came of a fisherman who lived inland and did not respect the seas by building his home beside them, but the house was large and comfortable and he grew to like it too much to live in at the shore.
Every day, the fisherman would walk to the sea with his nets, strike off in his boat, and would catch enough fish to feed his small brood. Every day, he would walk five miles there and five back again, dragging his haul on the ground behind.
One day, the fisherman went out, bidding his children and his wife goodbye as usual, even as a storm brewed overhead. By the time the fisherman was out at sea, the waves thrashed his boat. Each time he pulled in a writhing netful, the ocean would wash them out again.
It was long after dark by the time the fisherman returned to shore, and he had only a paltry catch to show for his exhaustion. And so he walked the five miles homeward with a light net, dreading the sight of his house.
When he arrived, there was no one there. He searched, red-eyed and mad, and he could find no sign of his wife, his children, or where they had gone.
He asked the others in the village where the children had gone, where the wife, but they did not know. This was his world, but the people who were the most to him had gone. And this was his punishment for making his home too far from the sea. The sea repaid him by washing what filled his net and his heart back into the deepest cold.
[...] I don't know if the moral still stands, whether you may mark this a punishment, but you are the fisherman. You will see a world you know, but those you love are missing. They may appear later, or you may never see them again. And, well, that is not to even touch on the world outside this one, but I wouldn't want to give you too much to worry over at once.