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Jul 15, 2021

This episode carries content warnings for insect infestation of a human, bodily transformation, description of organs and interior of a body, serious bruising, loss of motor skills, vomit, temporal disorientation, and death.

So far, so good. Lyke, Duvall, and Pickman navigated a skeletal riddle, drove away some uncanny engineers, and connected with a monster hunter who veers towards the monstrous herself. Normal, at least in so far as this particular tale of the abnormal goes, anyway. But now they’ve turned south towards Bell Metal station, and soon enough the strange will get stranger. Things could have gone differently here, stayed on script, so to speak. But the Blackwick Group is never happier than when taking things from an unpredictable angle. Ain’t that what makes them so charming?

This week on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 2

The Almanac of the Heartland Rider

Places

Bell Metal Station: The broad, 10 story tall station that the Bell Metal Band operates out of. Hard, metal-reinforced stonework. Scaffolding on scaffolding. Wood and leather and old picture frames. A middle space between laboratory, bunker,  and den.

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.”

Facts and Figures

Katonya (she/her): A cleaver near the end of her career, Katonya’s body bears all the marks of years in service to the Heartland. Loyal to those who employ her, and a walking catastrophe to those she opposes.

The Red Zephyr: A train what takes on strange character under the moonlight. For a month, it’s torn into not only Bell Metal Station, but also any passing train it could reach. A problem severe enough that the Shape Knights so troubled reached out for help from the biggest Cleaver they’d ever met.

Jolyon (they/them): An old friend.

Agdeline (she/her), Ettel (he/him), and Larch (he/him): This devil, drakkan, and human trio once spent time mining in the hills of Blackwick. In recent times, they’ve found that poorly armed travelers make for better prospecting. Sometimes called “the Toll Collectors.”

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.

Organizations

The Bell Metal Band: Of all the Shape Knight gangs, the Bell Metal Band might be the most curious (in both meanings of the word). From their tall station at the intersection of two major Shape lines, the Bell Metal Band tries to yank away whatever train parts they can safely reach for study and, frankly, for fun. In the recent days, though, they’ve come under some sort of trouble and have put out a call for help.

The Shape Knights: It took people with clear minds, great ingenuity, and implacable spirit to face down and defeat one of the living trains of Sangfielle. In the time since, they’ve crafted armor from their slain foe, and with that have come to be experts of all things train. They herd, they breach, they redirect. But they haven’t yet killed a second.

Cleavers: Given how loose and fluid this collection of monster hunters, mystery solvers, and naturalists is, it’s hard to call them “an organization.” But when the central belief system of a group is that everything is ever in flux, well, give them the credit of applying that particular ontology to themselves, and take them at their word.