Feb 18, 2022
This episode carries content warnings for blood, gun violence, bodily possession, characters trapped in a small space, discussion of physical injury, mention of broken bones, reanimated bodies, wax flesh, burning flesh, brief description of infected and bruising skin, and physiological manipulation.
Though the Pale Magistrates have been driven from the county of Blackwick, it is as the saying goes: Trouble always takes two faces. In the night since the confrontation at the (now ruined) train station, the waxen thralls of the vampire Alaway have spread through the streets of the low town. Above, meanwhile, the deputies left behind by the Second Canton’s invaders itch for a fight. And though Lye Lychen, the Cleaver Chine, and ad hoc ally Hazard have arrived to attend to Duvall and Es’ wounds, Marn, Pickman, and Two-Step Bucho are in the wind. Troubled times. Troubled times.
This week on Sangfielle: Wax, Ichor, and Iron Pt. 1
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.
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
Alekest san Geraint, the Margrave of Tescano, the Porcelain Knight (he/him): If you’re a long time reader of this publication, Alekest needs no introduction. You know him from his past adventures, like the slaying of the UnSevered Beast or his solitary stand at Cedartree Station. Maybe you forget some of the details, his angst-filled childhood, the fraught years after his mother’s death, his uncanny dreams. Well, Knight Pickman seems not to be a reader, if her confusion at the Margrave’s arrival is any indication.
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 (varies): 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, though, his thralls wander the streets of lower Blackwick.
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 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.
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.
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)