The party finds and wanders the Under Market of rare and dark goods. And a look into the imprisoned Joselin in the Heptagram.
A job well done!
“So boss, I’ll be returning soon, though it may take a couple jumps. Have to go the dead road.” Typhon spoke into the void within his soul, a charmed existence provided by a dark lord just simply misunderstood in his estimation. He led a human drained too far upstairs. They long ago accepted the consequences of what would come living here, a clean death by an expert blade soon to follow.
“Good, I do miss your endless company. So tell me, how did everything go with the Tri-Khan?” A voice of pure deviltry and beauty pressed against his mind like warm velvet.
“Fan-tastic. Two birds with one rather nasty stone as they say. Oh he is definitely not what he seems. Good call by you on that tidbit of old knowledge. And well, I did find that particular problem in his harem. Let’s just say, I may have a price on my head for a goodly while.” A chuckle escaped as he opened a door and considered the various implements offered. Nothing compared to his own blades.
“And blame laid on the shadow in Gem?”
“Oh you know me sooo well. Of course, he seemed the best to frame. And gaining the needed items and blood, nigh child’s play with the right incentive. And with our information and spies, the Tri-Khan eventually will welcome us into his investigation.” He unsheathed a thin blade of midnight metal, runes of painful light forming over the length.
“I also came across a rather interesting party, with a lovely specimen. I swear, they tried to hide from my vision! Ha ha, oooh so cute!” He laughed in true humor, mirrored by the dark insidious laughter of his lord.
“You do have a way with Exalts. Just not another Raksha. I still have a problem from Sal’Maneth watching our every move. We can’t have the Norai’s descending on Chiaroscuro before we have become an indispensable force for the goodly emperor hmm?”
Typhon raised the lady’s neck, piercing down between the clavicle straight into the heart. She gasped as her body filled with loosed blood, slumping in his arms to lie across the floor. He sprawled over her as if lounging on a fur rug, pulling free the blade to release a torrent of blood as if from an uncorked barrel.
“I shall return later. Besides I made a promise. All work and no play…makes me cranky after all. For now, I travel. Anon, sweet Mask. anon.” Rolling from the body and into the pooling blood, black essence flared and he disappeared.
A Prison of Flesh
Footsteps trundled past his prison, endless staccato of his life, counting the seconds, unto minutes, days, years, eons it felt. If only he had a man’s simple life and soul. Others may have forgotten their names and purpose, every bit of information fading into the monotony until they died. The chattel bound here as himself had the blessed existence.
He remembered everything from his life before exaltation, through the wars for gods and then for his life, with a detail crisp as this moment. Every memory sharp, words exact, scents and sensations kept with the quality of a crystal recording.
Eyes closing, he prayed again to the Unconquered Sun, reclaim this shard, let it end. He reached to Luna, the fickle mother. The Five Eternal Dragons. The great raptor queen. The fields of Elysium. Small gods and minor elementals. He cried out and begged in dreams for Raksha to consume him. Nothing answered.
A rapping of metal chimed on the bars, dust stirred as sunlight backlit the latest interrogator. Male, strong, a scent of char and fire. He saw the city burning again, the world cracking from the strain of spears driven into the earth from the sky above, magics beyond anything Exalts could cast. Not even Bridgette had such destruction. Clutching at his head, he expected to see his hands covered in blood from a scalp wound received.
He opened his eyes seeing one hand and a stump.
“Joslin of the line Donyel.” A file opened, papers shuffled. “You have given the Heptagram such trouble these many centuries. They plied magics, charms, ancient artifacts of various queens and kings, even the mind-altering poisons and substances of the Wyld. Yet, this file still remains so thin. Failure after miserable failure.”
The pages rained and burned to ash, the Dragonblooded pure and strong in the aspect of flame. Joslin’s mind cracked through the figures and bloodlines as so much data. Sesus tactician, for he had more patience than Cathek. No, aspected through marriage, part of another house, connections and information of the Heptagram required magical training. Yet not a member… Iselsi spymaster?
“I intend to excel where they failed. Shall we get acquainted–“
My lord, the door has opened. A current like lightening traveled his spine, making his right hand hurt, though he lost it long ago. Something tickled, twitched. The hand opened then. I have accepted three within the heart. A Solar and two Lunars. The Solar seeks attunement, if you shall allow? Otherwise, I can deploy the guard.
“No, that’s fine.” His voice muttered with a musical quality, so very beautiful best given to song writers or kings for grand speeches. No matter what they did to him, that voice never left. The Dragonblooded made some sort of response which he ignored.
Seyjan Tur’quen, Solar of Night, a soul returned of— “No, I don’t want to know…” Pain tore through his body, flames and the scorch of flesh. Whatever else the manse said drowned away in that awful world of pain. Thankfully he didn’t have another truth to hide.
“Sun, let me die…kill me…please…”