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Sep 23, 2021

This episode carries content warnings for insect infestation of a human body, death, injury that affects motor skills, self-inflicted knife wound, blood, flesh eating creature, human sacrifice, and detailed integration of human and machine parts.

In the dark acreage under Pledge House, Duvall, Lyke, and Virtue confront the unthinkable. But like all unthinkable things, it begs to be thought through, to be considered, to be turned around in one’s mind. There, it lashes and grows and reaches, wooing and harming in equal part. Until, finally, the unthinkable isn’t. It is instead all that can be thought. It is an identifying scar. It is raw opportunity. It is the only thing that matters. 

This week on Sangfielle: The Perpetual Oratorio of Davia Pledge Pt. 5

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.

Facts and Figures

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. 

Aterika’Kaal (it/its): 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 

The Ravening Beast (it/its): A howl in the mind of Lye Lyken. A beast on the hunt. It haunts through the course of time, the shape of mind. An echo of a possible future?

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.

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)