Week 2, Day 5
The moon over Eaves is golden when up look up at it. Clouds move in on it from either side, covering it up and letting darkness fall over the village. Darkness intruded on only by the sickly pale green shimmer of the world’s edge that lends an eerie cast to the view. Outside the big house, built to overlook the town it’s sole resident governs, I spy a meeting in shadow and the emerald glint of silver coins against the backdrop of the night’s black agents. Birdsong startles the one receiving the coin. Nearby branches rustle. The meeting’s three participants scatter to the wind.
The wind that rushes, driving upwards as it runs up against the edge of the world and diving back down in response to the laws it follows. The edge of habitable land is often a cyclone, and this storm is particularly bad. Inside the dust cloud, at the edge, twisted steps lead the way up twisting ruins. Crumbling, foreign architecture, tattooed with glyphs and pictograms. Two figures enter the time-lost space, one limping badly. Only the cripple emerges from the hole.
Nearby, the bones of dead soldiers rattle and crack as a sleeping figure stumbles through them, walking blindly toward an altar of feathers and glass. She places two identical old, cracked scrolls upon it and one is turned to ash by a flicker of lightning.
A keening howl pierces the air against the sound of massive wings. A voice unseen whispers the uneven footfalls of the dead.
Thunder drowns out the echoes of the howl.
I wake up to lightning flashing outside my window, and a heavy rain unsignaled by the day’s sky. There’s a cold sweat on my skin and besides the sounds of the rain, I only hear the muffled sound of one or two drunken patrons from downstairs still talking the night away. Light That Blinds has sent me another dream.
I pull on some clothes and head downstairs to see if the barkeep can tell me anything about nearby ghost towns. Bulster’s gone, but a young man’s up, watching the last two patrons. From what I vaguely remember hearing, they’re travelers from beyond Bells who got their cargo stolen. I head to the barkeeper.
He says there’s two. ”One a bit up north a ways, still getting cleaned up. And I think one down towards those ruins people keep bringing up—the ones the Ghostlight just revealed.” The one up north looks like Eaves architecture-wise. The southern one is as different as the ruins there. The northern one’s supposed to have someone overlooking it but he’s not sure. There’s a ruined inn halfway between Eaves and the town a couple days from here. The southern town is near the ruins the governor probably ran off to.
I knock on Naiv’s door to tell her what’s up, but there’s no answer. I realize it’s like 3am and decide to let her sleep and get some myself, too, planning to come back at first light.
I’m trying to drift off to sleep again when I hear some sort of commotion from downstairs. I’m anxious enough to go down and check it out, sheathed sword in hand. When I get to the second landing, I see the front door of the inn land on the wooden floor, scraping by another five feet before slamming to a stop against the bar. The drunks are trying to clamor over the table. I can’t see or hear the boy from the bar. I can’t see the doorway from here, but I’m hoping this will work out the edge in my system as I draw my sword and creep forward to take a look.
Standing in the doorway, silhouetted against the storm, is a hulking, familiar figure. Its head dangles from its clawed hand while the other supports its uneven legs. Lightning illuminates the headless creature, revealing a crimson thing whose once swollen flesh has all but sloughed off, the rest of it’s body covered in seemingly endless blood that pools at it’s feet.
I shout for Naiv to get her ass down here. White Eye rushes up the stairs towards me and snaps the railing to get its bulk at me.
Fight! I eventually fight it back down the stairs even though it grabs my sword and I have to dash to my room for my whip. The Captain and Glamour come, and once the cap and I get it on the ground, Glamour melts the floor to capture it.
Loot: I guess White Eyes’s eyes.
She orders me to pull the eyes from its head. They seem to be stone, and hot to the touch. She demands to know why she wasn’t told the Blight was a golem in the first place. The Iuzhenk captain shrinks under her gaze. I wanna know why she didn’t come to look at the thing that had been plaguing her village or come talk to us herself, but instead I bring her the eyes and tell her we didn’t know and didn’t see her to tell her anyway. She says we could have mentioned the eyes were stone, but honestly, the Blights are so fuckin weird and the caves were so stressful we didn’t know. She says the golem’s a bloodwight that will keep coming back until we find out where its lifeforce is held.
She tells me to go get the “mageling,” because Naiv still hasn’t come down. I ask the barkeep for another set of keys to go check on her. I find the room basically how I left it, though Naiv is face-first on the desk, a scroll spread under her. I wait a tense moment until I see she’s breathing slowly, as if asleep. She doesn’t react to being shaken. I move her onto the bed and take the scroll to Glamour to see if she can help. The magic is older than Glamour knows and the curse has been sent.
”Do you know how to undo it? I like her and all, but not enough for a kiss to count.”
She says she might be able to figure something out with the other scrolls. When I return, she’s berating the Captain and telling him how to watch over White Eye. She takes me to her house, and there’s a shit ton of books. She asks what I found, and I tell her all of it except for the pillar and the undead thing.
Her lips curl into a frown as you describe the tumorous thing you left behind. "Generally, these things are corpses tied to another being’s life force. You find them in tombs, usually. The vessel they’re tied to is generally reburied or put in a heavy sarcophagus. Intruders kill the thing, and get killed by it before they can finish robbing the tomb. I’m surprised your people didn’t make use of them. They were common in the north. I don’t know what exactly that thing you’ve described is, but it could possibly be the life this thing is linked to. I’m not sure why it took so long to reanimate.
I show her the vial Chance gave me and Glamour says it should work because Chance is one of ”Heart’s bitches”. I don’t like Heart, but I do like Chance and don’t want her called a bitch by this cranky lady who really hasn’t done anything for me or this town so far. I tell her about my vision and tell her to keep my spook fed.
I head back to the inn to sit with Naiv for a bit to tell her my plans—including that if they let her starve while I’m gone, I’ll make another ghost town out of Eaves.
The Captain’s trying to maneuver people. He’s understaffed because of the horsemaster’s trip, but he could spare people and thinks I could ask Naryu too. My Stirs*Pot passion crits so I let him know that Naryu was planning to go after the governor. ”After she tried to fuck Journey and fight me.”
>gets a 3 which is a crit for basically anything
>outs this girl for wanting to fuck and fight the new heroes when if this is at all like Salt, both the cap and the priest are like Bogdana and therefore Naryu is tied up in a lot of this small town’s gossipy politics
>watches to see this captain squirm with much personal pleasure for .2 seconds of not thinking about Naiv or this bloatthing
I head to Naryu’s place. She opens the door in a ratty shirt that’s basically a tank top now. She belches and the smell of bad booze overpowers the storm. I ask if she wants to fight. Then what happened, and if she wants to come.
She sighs. “Yeah. But you better help me get laid.”
She thinks Prask, the other man the Captain’s sending with me, is a piece of shit. She won’t say why.
While I wait for her, I head back to the inn, change Naiv into her bedclothes, and keep up a chatter about how she should have realized the blobthing was golem-y after our talk, and what Naryu’s condition is but that we haven’t talked about Naiv’s sex life enough for me to give both good and bad advice to watch the hilarity ensue.
When I’m done tending to my friend, the Captain introduces me to Prask. The man is also not full-blooded Nethoney, but I don’t know what he is. I also can’t tell why Naryu doesn’t like him besides the fact that he’s giving the Captain the professional courtesy of listening to him. Though he doesn’t seem to like the fact that the Captain is handing over an Eaves watchman to a stranger to save the town instead of keeping things in house.
Naryu’s presence doesn’t make him feel much better about going, but then again, she’s not in a position of authority in town or on this mission, and she immediately heads to the bar to get more beer. I warn her that the blobthing will make her puke it all up.
“From the description of the fucker, I’d throw up if I didn’t drink it. Least I won’t be bitching about a headache on the way.”