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Jun 4, 2021

This episode carries content warnings for skin blisters and boils, hallucinations, and scrimshaw done in teeth.

There is a sense of verve in the air by the time the suns rise on Blackwick, today. Visitors arrive from every entry: A magnificent shape train at the station. A caravan and its bazaar. The grand opening of a new trade hall. A line of nuns, faces blooming bright and colorful. Yes, oh yes. It is Market Day in Blackwick.

This week on Sangfielle: Market Day in Blackwick

The Almanac of the Heartland Rider

This issue of the Heartland Rider is brought to you by The Open Hand Trade Hall and its Chief Patron, Dayward yon Vantzon-Estonbergh, who would like you to know that he says"Remember: I might be from Aldomina, but the Open Hand is -A Blackwick 'Original'-"

Organizations

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.  

Sisters of the Mother-Beast: A dedicated priory of worshippers of a now-dead god, their faith now in a moment of transition towards a new figure of worship... 

Facts and Figures

Erlin, the Tactful God of Lakes (he/him): People don’t often think of “lakeness,” and that’s because Erlin does the thinking for you. He embodies the relaxing, if humid, depths of Sangfielle’s many lakes.

Dr. Vellete Vandrake (she/her): Freelance Physic of Blackwick, Dr. Vandrake has mixed feelings on the influx of newcomers to Blackwick. On one hand, there’s more work—and more income—than ever. On the other, there are more people than ever to complain about her bedside manner.

Slumbous (any): A minor god of the Boundless Conclave, who is associated with the ritual practice of putting one’s candles out at night, but whose domains extend beyond that to include the more general realm of routines of care and rituals of restfulness. Often depicted in a big, crooked hat.

Stanislaka (she/they): Marisha’s replacement, the new attendant of the Boundless Conclave temple, an young ojantani whose faith to Slumbous knows no bounds. 

Chantilly Scathe (she/her): The signs and barkers rarely say her name alone. She ain’t Chantilly, or even Ms. Scathe, she’s always “Ms. Chantilly Scathe and Her Shackled Engine.” Don’t let her showmanship and ringmaster garb fool you though: She seems to have done what no Shape Knight could: Make a train of the Shape, The Grand Cormorant Limited, her very own pet.

Babor Mirah (they/them): As the Trade-Medium of one of nomadic clans of the Caravan of the Coin, Babor serves as a leader 

Myron Andrashi (they/them): A reporter—and a damned good one—for this very publication, the Serialized Almanac of the Heartland Rider.

Aterika’Kaal aka “Roseroot” aka “Rose Shade”: 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 branch of the deity remains.

Genburi (he/him): What's there to be said about that old rat that people don't already know? A divine professor, taller than most, with an eye as much for provocative fashion as book learning. Wears a lot of purple. Knows a bunch of languages. Not much else to say. 

Dayward yon Vantzon-Estonbergh aka Dayward YVE (he/him): The moneyed scion of a minor Aldominan dynasty, Dayward YVE has traveled to the Heartland as both eager-apologist and curious explorer. Sensing opportunity, he's settled in Blackwick County.  

Dyre Ode (he/they): When an agent of the almanac pressed this mysterious, masked figure for more information about him, they only repeated their name, as if to ensure we’d print it right, adding “Dyre with Y but Ode as you’d like, a poem said in praise or a debt gone unpaid. It bothers me little, how you spell that name.”

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)