Apr 15, 2022
This episode carries content warnings for decapitation, magical compulsion, weaponized false memories, major character death, corpse, flesh eating creature, mass destruction, premeditated act of violence, burning, murder, bodily transformation, general body horror.
With their contract over and their interests split, the Blackwick Group's time together seems to be coming to a swift and sudden end. And that's just the half of it. The Carnival of Moted Light reaches in to the county, sloughing it away. Now, the night is all dust and creaking. In their final hours, what new sights, sounds, and flavors might the Blackwick Group add to it?
This week on Sangfielle: Dead in the Dust Pt. 3
The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
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.
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. Not too much is known about how things are inside of its gates since Queen Virtue rolled into town.
The First Canton, aka Aldomina the Throne of Dominion: Once a fledgling human empire but nearly 1900 years ago, a minor duke of some great hell led an effort to take it over. And once they did, they pushed what was an already spreading empire even further in that direction.
The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum (ma-juh-strah-tuhm): The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it.
Unschola Republica, formerly the Third Canton (oon-skoh-la): For a millenia, the alchemists, mage-practitioners, and cryptotheological scholars of the Third Canton complained in secret about the leash kept on them by Aldomina’s distant leaders. They’ve since slipped that leash, and whether that’s for better or worse, time will tell.
Free Seas of Kay’va, formerly the Fourth Canton (kai-vah): First established after Cecile Cartine’s revolution over 300 years ago, today Kay’va is home to a collection of aligned communes who swear that the only way to prosperity is through the defense of equality.
The Fifth Canton, the Protectorate Kingdom of Ojantan (oh-JAHN-tahn): Ojantan was once a kingdom to rival Aldomina, and a solid place to live to boot, if a little over-structured for my taste. But the Devils got to the nation’s leaders, and now it’s been reduced to another Canton in the Empress’ collection.
Sangfielle, the Heartland: Once, it was a breadbasket for the whole Dominion, now this is territory haunted twice: first by a bloody, buried past, and second by an uncanny, indifferent future.
Concentus, the Ringed City (kun-CHEN-tus): A vast ringed city surrounding (and containing) Sangfielle. Covered in magical wards, filled with those eager to delve into the heartland or to push back its most fearsome creatures. The gaslit city of Concentus is now the most technologically advanced metropolis of the continent.
The Residuum: A realm of vibrant color, where the things of the world go when their time in the material world fades away. A plane of death, but rendered in glorious light.
Facts and Figures
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 settled in Blackwick County and has used it as a staging ground for an ever-growing industrial empire.
Maleister Price (he/him): Sherriff of Blackwick and newest member of the town council. The miners in town would all tell you that Price is the best of them and always has been, but you're not quite sure that you remember that about him.
Uno Riscano (he/him): The so-called “Count of Cards,” this devil is the leader of one of the “six suits” that make up the Wrights of the Seventh Sun. Target of Hazard’s ire due to an ill-handed card game.
Proctor Ekashi Wolff (he/him): Once, the good proctor helped lead the services of the Triadic Pyre in Blackwick, and spend what free time he had working with the township's council. It was that same interest in community and service which led him to stand up for his people when the Pale Magistrates blew into town. Unfortunately for Mr. Wolff, good character is not bulletproof.
The Knights of Virtue, fka The Toll Collectors: It is fair to say that thisg roup is still made up of the devil Agdeline (she/her), drakkan Ettel (he/him), and human Larch (he/him), but it isn't right to simply call them a "trio" anymore. The former miners-turned-bandits-turned-thieves-turned-bodyguards have come into the employ of Queen Virtue, and have revealed their true nature: Once per month, three more of them appear from the depths of the Blackwick Mines, and soon join with the others in search of and profit and adventure.
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.”
Stanislaka (she/they): Blackwick's attendent of the Boundless Conclave temple, an young ojantani whose faith to Slumbous knows no bounds. A member of the town council.
Ana Berylia (she/her): Dayward YVE’s maid, a somewhat overwhelmed Carpana who has not adjusted to life in the Heartland. Her body is covered in brown/black hair with little streaks of grey at her temples. Mostly seen in uniform, a grey dress with white apron.
Mr. Kenson (he/him): Big Horn Ram Kaprak. White fur with brown and black spots. Personal valet. Copper wireframe glasses. Proper black suit.
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.
Dr. Kerr Kern (she/her): A Telluricist on loan to the Magistrates, where she works on final preparations for her Keen exam. While she's grown close to the group over the last year, their methods do trouble her. Currently holding Marn's research on Zevunzolia, nullstuff, the Wrights of the Seventh Sun, and the fundamental nature of curses.
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.
Alaway (currently he/him, varies historically): Was last seen as the waxy, vampiric minister of Yellowfield named Regan, whose generations-long study of technology led him to dream of (and work towards creating) "The City of Lights," a place of flameless fire, energetic implements, and the safety and freedom to live as one wants. Now, having somehow returned to the form that the Blackwick Group first met him as, he threatens to steal the very lifeblood of Blackwick itself.
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.
Aldomina (al-doh-mee-nah): What once stood as the name of the whole continent is now only the name of the Confederation that runs across the eastern half of the territory surrounding the Sangfielle, currently constituted by three sub-states called Cantons.
The Carnival of Moted Light: It announces itself with wind and furious sound, an invitation to partake in joys and curiosities. You may not leave. Not yet. Not until it's over. Unless, of course, you'd like to stay forever.
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.
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.
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)