Nov 11, 2021
This episode carries content warnings for injury that affects mobility, aggressive animals, animal consumption of human flesh, insect infestation, bodily infection, and a description of a gory transformation.
The Jade Moon’s trip from the sea of Sapodilla back upriver towards Blackwick has a set schedule. 14 days, all accounted for. Meals prepared. Entertainment provided. A small number of stops for shopping, religious needs, and the general stretching of legs. And yet it is the case that some days are longer than others, no matter that they count one each. The day that most of the Blackwick Group, and a new companion, stepped out of the Jade Moon and into the Triadic Pyre’s Bridge Cathedral is one such day.
This week on Sangfielle: Passage on the Jade Moon Pt. 2
The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
The Bridge Cathedral: In the hierarchy of all trains--or is it perhaps capitalized, I do not recall--there is one engine that storms ahead of the others. "The Burning God Among Iron Trains" is its name, but the Disciples of the Triadic Pyre call it simply Fire Alight. Well, whatever you might call it, it's a damned big one. And it needs to cross the Ojan like anything else. And thus: The Brdige Cathedral. Largest structure of its kind in Sangfielle or anywhere. At two miles across, it's partly a church, partly grim city, and partly an engineering pit. What are they engineering? Well... It turns out, being the devotees of the Fire Alight shifts your relationship with other trains. At least the ones who, themselves, are under the Burning God's thrawl.
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.”
The Sleeping City: Every 13 years, a metropolis wakes with the buzzing sound of life. Do not cross its borders uninvited, especially not when it and its inhabitants are at rest.
Blackwick County: From the mines to the lake, the hills to the flats, the town once called Eastern Folly has felt a little more expansive now that it’s out of the hard grip of the old curse. It’s people aren’t perfect, but they’ve made it through some dark times, and that’s more than most can say.
Zevunzolia: Who the hell knows. A miraculous city waiting to be built? A utopian dimension adjacent our own? "The Seventh Sun Itself," I think I heard one of those fools call it. All I know is, however prime and pristine it is in promise, the pricetag keeps going conveniently unmentioned...
Facts and Figures
Etienne Alize (he/him): Deacon of the Blood in the Triadic Pyre, and de facto sawbones aboard the Jade Moon.
The Blue Wind: One train among many in the Bridge Cathedral. This one seems to be inhabitted by a more boisterous group of Gandy Dancers than the others. Who could say why? If I had to guess, I'd say that those strange creatures are trying to take the train off of Fire Alight's track and put it back on the regular old Shape.
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?
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.
The Course: There is debate about the true nature of the Heartland’s Truth, the power that turned Sangfielle into what it is today. But the Cleavers call it the Course. Part river, part lesson, part direction traveled. Entirely beyond the grasp of mortal minds.
The Structure: Reason, logic, sense. The world is, fundamentally, a place that fits together and functions. We may not like that, say the adherents of the structure. And sometimes, the world may move in ways beyond our particular ken. But there is something holding it together, and that, they say, is the Heartland’s Truth: The Structure.
The Shape: Are the trains that run across the Heartland bound to the Structure, or do they direct it? Is the overlap between the two even real at all, or might two machinic forces be at work here in Sangfielle?
The Ojan: To call it "The Ojan River" is not only to misspeak but to advertise your distance from knowledge. Ojan itself means "running water," and in Ojantani it is the word you attach to other words to mark them as rivers--each just an faint echo of this paragon of waterways.
The Jade Moon: A luxurious vessel, the
Jade Moon glides up and down the Ojan. You have to work to find its
exterior wooden hull, so covered is it in silken, green banners and
curtains. Dining, Dancing, Gambling, Live Music, plush living. An
engine that churns below. 250 feet long, 50 feet wide. It’s a
beast, but in the width of the Ojan--in some places over 2 miles
Teak: First mate of the Jade Moon.
Wrights of the Seventh Sun: A secret society dedicated to the construction of Zevunzolia, whatever the cost. Their motivations are many: Some believe that the Devils ought to have continued climbing whent hey escaped hell, that this was not the paradise earned. Otherse believe that Zevunzolia is telos of telos, the end-cause of all end-causes, and thus will inevitably bring itself into being. And given that, to do anything but aid it is to risk exclusion from it, or worse.
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. Recently began to mark workers willing to do their tasks in the mines with their brand.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvibullet), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)