Ring-In-Opal is an arctic land inhabited by the Ringfolc, a tribe of hunter/fishermen that live among the ice crags. It parallels the fabled city of Agartha, the land described by Willis George Emerson in his novel The Smoky God.
The Eremite arrives in Ring-In-Opal via a large clam, Lord Quahog. It is here that he first meets the young Whale-Bane, who would later come to lead the Widsith Institute as ____Clerk____ Wayle.
The Ringfolc are skilled whalers, though they do not hunt the mammals for food. Their ancestors pierced the whales’ genitalia with gold rings, which the Ringfolc use as currency. The same rings, once taken from the whale carcasses, can be used to pierce the genitals of the tribesmen, though the Eremite notes that their piercings are usually dirty and prone to infection/gangrene. The place where the whales are hunted is referred to as the Mint.
Their piercings hold a superstition for the Ringfolc. After losing his “gold” (piercing), Wayle remarks:
“When you pulled this out, I think that you should know that you unbuttoned my soul with it. That is what I used to believe, and I have not quite got rid of it, even now.”
Their clothing consists of animal skins, though Whale-Bane in particular is described as having his genitals exposed. They do not use furniture, yet find the chairs brought by the Eremite to be fascinating.
The Ringfolc are also considered skilled musicians and singers, “well aware of gut and all of its properties.”
The Eremite does not mention any women in Ring-In-Opal, and Wayle comments in his Trottering Notes that his people “never had such reverence for would-be mothers.”
Wayle reveals during one of his arguments with Chester-Stokes that the Ringfolc dispose of their dead in the ocean.
Several artifacts unearthed at the Institute can potentially be traced back to Ring-In-Opal: