Mar 18, 2021
This episode carries content warnings for human death, discussion of cannibalism, the death of animals, knives, and knifework.
The suns rise on Eastern Folly as another day begins. High in the trees, the fruit grows ever so slightly riper. And as the fruit grows larger and warmer in color, so too do the spirits of the people of the town.
Miners haul back their finds with a grin, eager to flip this ironing board or that collection of ancient coins to whichever consignment shop or heartland broker makes the best deal. Main street shopkeeps give their customers an extra 5% off—a friends and family discount, they say, and ain’t we all friends and family here? Fishers wave to their families as their boats come in, blessed by afternoon light.
Except the light… the light is touched so, today. A shade of green, not yet sickly but pale and concerning.
And under the abbey, it moves.
This week on Sangfielle: The Curse of Eastern Folly Pt. 2
The Alamanac of the Heartland Rider
Caprak (cap-ROK): The goat folks of the northlands, where they put up with dust, ash, snow, and the unilateral “justice” of the Pale Magistratum.
Carpana (car - pahn - a): They’re little folks, three to four feet tall or so. A little like capybara, I suppose.
Devils: Once, they were contained by (and made to administer) some vast network of hells. But they fought their way out, took over Aldomina, and nurtured a fledgling empire into an expansive one.
Drakkan (drah-KAHN): I’ve always thought we look like seahorses. Skin pulled across spiny, exo-skeletal armor. Bright colors. Good looking.
Heritrixes (hare-uh-trixes): Heritrixes are immaterial beings, sometimes confused for ghosts, demons, or other sorts of supernatural spirits, who enter into contracts with physical hosts.
Human: A smooth-skinned, hornless type of person, mostly found in the Heartland and in the Unschola Republica these days. Unremarkable. “Except in variety,” you’ll often hear a human say, revealing only that they’re more prideful than wise.
Ojantani: The Ojantani, who share traits with buffalo and water oxen, are as often melancholic or timorous as they are the loud, stereotypical minotaur sort.
ALDOMINA (al-doh-mee-nah): What once stood as the name of the whole continent is now only the name of the Confederation that runs across the eastern half of the territory surrounding the Sangfielle, currently constituted by three sub-states called Cantons.
The First Canton, aka the Throne of Dominion: Once a fledgling human empire but nearly 1900 years ago, a minor duke of some great hell led an effort to take it over. And once they did, they pushed what was an already spreading empire even further in that direction.
The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum (ma-juh-strah-tuhm): The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it.
Unschola Republica, formerly the Third Canton (oon-skoh-la): For a millenia, the alchemists, mage-practitioners, and cryptotheological scholars of the Third Canton complained in secret about the leash kept on them by Aldomina’s distant leaders. They’ve since slipped that leash, and whether that’s for better or worse, time will tell.
Free Seas of Kay’va, formerly the Fourth Canton (kai-vah): First established after Cecile Cartine’s revolution over 300 years ago, today Kay’va is home to a collection of aligned communes who swear that the only way to prosperity is through the defense of equality.
The Fifth Canton, the Protectorate Kingdom of Ojantan (oh-JAHN-tahn): Ojantan was once a kingdom to rival Aldomina, and a solid place to live to boot, if a little over-structured for my taste. But the Devils got to the nation’s leaders, and now it’s been reduced to another Canton in the Empress’ collection.
Sangfielle, the Heartland: Once, it was a breadbasket for the whole Dominion, now this is territory haunted twice: first by a bloody, buried past, and second by an uncanny, indifferent future.
Concentus, the Ringed City (kun-CHEN-tus): A vast ringed city surrounding (and containing) Sangfielle. Covered in magical wards, filled with those eager to delve into the heartland or to push back its most fearsome creatures. The gaslit city of Concentus is now the most technologically advanced metropolis of the continent.
Eastern Folly: A little mining town, touched by the heartland’s truth.
Facts and Figures
The Harvest Festival: A yearly celebration of the fruit harvest in Eastern Folly, marked by folk plays, parades, and music. It nears...
Janek Polyte: Among the group of 20-somethings who went down into the strange ‘basement’ of the old Abbey, Janek is the one who found himself pulled most closely to sights beyond… and to the cursed object they found on the altar.
The Telluricist Union: When Aldomina expanded its empire into the heartland, it did so with conquest in mind and weapons in hand. They faced resistance of course. The peoples who’d lived here—people who today we’d call Carpana, Ojantani, Drakkan, and many others besides—had done so for thousands of years even before the Devils had escaped hell, and they weren’t eager to see their ways of life destroyed.
Nevertheless, they lost that fight. Many were killed directly, others enslaved, and some driven to barren lands in the hills, mountains, and wastes. The Telluricist Union comes from a group of the latter. A group of survivors, largely though not entirely Carpana, pulled together to survivor against all odds, combining know-how from this nation and that tribe, and developing new techniques and tools to make a hard life a little more livable. They sharpened knives, they aided the ill, they made elegantly simple machines, they studied the world around them.
And then the Panic hit, the truth of the Heartland became increasingly loud. They lost folks in the chaos. But in the end, that only tempered their will to survive and maintain. The Telluricist Union, and the ones they call the Keen, were formed thereafter. Something like 300 members at any given time. People dedicated not only to keeping that old wisdom around, but to see it used to help folks in need.
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.
The Caravan of the Coin: Cursed by Ribbadon, Frog God of Wealth, these traveling merchant-clerics never arrive at a destination carrying what they expect.
The Disciples of the Triadic Pyre: Appropriately devoted to a trio of gods, the Triadic Pyre believe that entropy is the only certain thing in this world, and as such aim to master it.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvibullet), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
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)