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Sep 2, 2021

This episode content warnings for insect infestation of a human body, involuntary unconsciousness caused by violence, restraints, police violence, death, flesh-eating creature, and blood.

It wasn't supposed to go like this. It was just a quick stop at the Night Library to research a few topics of interest, a little legwork before the real action begins. But the gates of the Glim Macula are not opened by intent alone. Thus it is that Duvall, Lyke, and Virtue must now face down a quintet of the Macula's most fearsome investigators with the wall to their backs, a deep pit of knowledge below, and light itself turned against them.

This week on Sangfielle: The Perpetual Oratorio of Davia Pledge Pt. 2

The Almanac of the Heartland Rider

Places

Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”

Pledge House: A mysterious manor in Sapodilla’s Hibiscus District. Thirty odd years ago, a fire ravaged its attached (and magnificent) concert hall. In two days time, a rebuilt concert hall will host Davia Pledge’s grand return to the stage.

Objects of Interest

Sa’Ferna-ta-Fera: Translated loosely to “Talking with Ferna the Cunning,” Sa’Ferna-ta-Fera is an approximate transcription of a long, free-flowing conversation between an unnamed scholar and the pre-Panic Carpana sage, Ferna. The transcriber, a bastard child of a Great House of Aldomina who used his connection to Ferna’s tribe to initiate the process, hoped to capture the wisdom of the sage and rewrite it as a dissertation on the folk knowledge of Sangfielle. When Ferna convinced him to instead attempt to publish the transcript as-is, the bastard scholar found that publishers in both the First and Third Cantons refused to print it. 

Facts and Figures

Lenore Voivode (he/him): In the pre-Panic heartland, Lenore was the nebbish and prissy human thrall to Lord Asator Crosley, one of Virtue’s many rival vampire lords. Today, he is of the blood in his own right, the Night Librarian of the prestigious Rotundana library, and a member of the Telluricist Union.

Lady Zizilliana “Zizi” Esterházy (she/her): Once a well known artist of Sapodilla, Zizi reportedly died during the great fire of Pledge House. According to the book Remembering the Zahir, Lady Esterhazy was the last known owner of the titular Zahir, a painting which supposedly fates the person watching it to develop over time into their apprehension of either the subject of the painting or a striking yet elusive figure in the painting’s far distance.

Davia Pledge (she/her): “The mad composer of Sapodilla” who vanished from the public view for decades after the fire of Pledge House. Every year, they say, she invites a select few to a private concert of her newest composition, and getting an invite is either a high honor or a mark of one’s own corruption, depending on which aristocrat you ask. In the past year, her name has become widely known not for her concerts, but for “Pledge Cylinders,” recordings which produce crisp, beautiful music, though by what devilry it is not known.

Darling Malice (she/her): Once, Darling Malice hunted Virtue Mondegreen across the whole of the heartland. She even managed to kill her. But that didn’t stick, it seems. And now, Darling’s own ghastly existence is tied to her twice-undead prey’s. 

Emma Serchilde (she/her): One of the most successful investigators in Glim Macula’s history, Serchilde made her name ferreting out a group of heritrixes who allegedly served a god of slaughter. Where other witch hunters lean on deductive reasoning or evidence collection, Serchilde’s technique is simple: Intimidate witnesses through sheer force of will, using her loyal underlings--Janis, Aztel, and Nelzo--if it becomes necessary to prove that silence will be met with blood. Which isn’t to say that she’s afraid to get her own hands dirty.

Felix Hollowfield (he/him): In many ways, brilliant inventor Felix Hollowfield is the reason for the recent surge in Glim Macula activity. Though the group has stalked the streets of Sapodilla for decades, it was Hollowfield’s collection of tools that both allowed the Macula to face down truly powerful supernatural foes and put a deep and singular fear in the hearts of Sapodillans. His weapons reveal the hidden, nullify the mystical, and ground the transcendent. Where could he have found such ideas as these?

Aterika’Kaal: An ambivalent and ancient spirit. Offers the sweet smell and sublime beauty of roses and the sturdy foundation of a root structure. In exchange: Feed it. Only a small, dangerous 

Becker Arbogast (he/they): This apathetic god of doctors takes the form of a mature adult. He is very short and has an overmuscled build. They have bone-white hair worn in a style that resembles a rocky outcropping. Their slitted eyes are alabaster. His body is covered in fur. They are usually portrayed as wearing a strange suit of armor (which incorporates abstract designs) and a ring. He carries a satchel of medical herbs.

Tombo (he/him): Lye Lychen’s argumentative (but loyal) fish companion.

Organizations

Glim Macula: Whether Sapodilla looks postcard-perfect to you or if you find yourself looking for a place to spit when someone repeats the claim that it is the “most civilized” corner of the heartland, it is the Glim Macula you have to thank. Empty faces. A flame that burns through you. Witch hunters in white coats.

The Telluricist Union: Made up by a mix of peoples driven to the hills by Aldomina, this group of knife sharpeners, herbalists, geologists, and all around investigators have made it their job to keep their old wisdom and see it used to help those in need. The best among them are called Keen.

The Boundless Conclave: Less of an individual church, more of an association between hundreds of independent faiths. Small sects, nearly forgotten cults, and unjealous gods make up this vast pantheon. 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Sylvi Clare (@sylvibullet), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)

Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)