Aug 20, 2021
This episode content warnings for skin wounds, body transformation, insect infestation of a a human body, disappearances of members of a marginalized group, imprisonment, physical restraint, torture, aggressive interrogation, psychological abuse, mind control, impersonation/memory manipulation, direct touching of brain, interior probing via ear.
On the other side of Sapodilla’s grand colonial wall, the Blackwick Group filter out into the streets and alleys of the heartland’s largest city. A few investigators seek healing, others guidance. One finds a new bodily self altogether. And one, of course, has not made it through the walls at all. Or at least not entirely. No. They’ve found themself in the perilous dark, in the glutches (or at least under the gaze) of the Glim Macula. Yes. Chine knows things. And they know he knows things. It is only a matter of time before they open him up.
This week on Sangfielle: Whispers in the City by the Sea
The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
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.
Facts and Figures
Sym (she/her): A heritrix living in Sapodilla with connections to a mysterious underground, attempting to help others escape the Macula and the city.
Old Alamae (she/her): More than just a well regarded oracle, Alamae is a living institution in Scorpion Town.
Sgt. Harin Hardesty (they/them): Mid-level constable in Sapodilla’s Sunflower district.
William Blick (he/him): Head of the Macula’s street level forces.
Gilium (they/them): Veteran Cleaver and Chine’s big hearted mentor.
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.
Felesta (she/her): Goddess of fortune, luck, and reparation (material and otherwise). Often worshipped by Keen and other members of the Telluricist Union.
Eunomia (she/her): The goddess of rainstorms. A tall, mature woman with a muscular build, wavy white hair in an attractive style, mauve skin, cobalt blue eyes. She's usually portrayed wearing a plain outfit made of solid water. She carries a drum.
Bucho (he/him): Whether you first hear of him as “Big Bucho” or “Two Step Bucho,” once you meet him, you’ll understand that no name does the gallant Shape Knight justice.
Calen fel Dynestia (he/him): Heir to a grim line, Calen has joined the Shape Knights in an effort to rehabilitate the fel Dynestia name. Eyes sunken, pasty purple face covered with stubble, and all the highest fashion of Sapodilla circa twenty years ago.
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.
Tombo (he/him): Lye Lychen’s argumentative (but loyal) fish companion.
Jolyon (they/them): An old friend. Swears they aren’t the train.
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 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 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.
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)
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