Cthulhu’s Bonsai – Indepentional

Cthulhu’s Bonsai – Indepentional

[IG-PS Survey Log-0824]

Arlan – “Realigning telescope to list item number 3. No wobble detected.”

Bensin – “Noted. List item number 3 is designated ‘Rawlica’. Proceed.”

A – “’Rawlica’. Someone likes card-games. List item number 3 ‘Rawlica’ in view. Star emissions detected. [pause] Red dwarf star.”

B – “Noted. Matches the preliminary data.”

A – “Obstructions detected in line with asteroid belt. Four planetoids detected [pause] and one pseudo-planetoid.”

B – “The registrar on your ass for calling them ‘Plutos’ again?”

A – “From furthest out from the star, planetoid number 1, ‘Rawlica I’, showing no signs of atmosphere. 2 moons detected.”

B – “Noted.”

A – “Planetoid number 2, ‘Rawlica II’, showing no signs of atmosphere. 1 moon detec-

[pause]

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Forgotten in the Dark #6 FINAL – Endless Legend

Forgotten in the Dark #6 FINAL – Endless Legend

Heartache

Jalmar had to physically stop himself from simply kicking in the door to the safe-house. Luckily it was very early morning in Vanzograd so there was not anyone around to see him standing in the little entryway to an empty house, clutching the door-handle in a white-knuckled grip while he slowly calmed himself down with deep breaths.

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Forgotten in the Dark #5 – Endless Legend

Best Served Cold

The sun set on Vanzograd. Lanterns were lit, and shifts switched. The great foundries of the city closed for the day, warm for hours yet from a full day of work. The towers of the city remained active, the lights kept inside making them easily visible throughout the entire city. And darkness fell. Jalmar sat on the roof of the Clanner embassy watching the last rays of the sun fade from beyond the walls of the city. The thoroughfares of the city were wide, both to allow for the passage of goods but also as an escape from the tunnels the Vaulters used to call home. But outside of these wide streets the workshops and houses were closely packed. They used the rooftops as much as possible, only climbing down to street level when they had a straight line towards the warehouse. A windowsill cracked as Matleena stepped on it during his ascent. By the time the guards had come to check out the crash of ceramics the group of shades were already well over the lip of the next rooftop.

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Bjorn Frostfang and the Tale of Issthand – Origins of Legends

Gragra and Lacathi

So it was in the days before the might of the Great Serpent Jormag, Serpent of Black Ice, fell upon the people of Jora Kinslayer, daughter of Hans and sister to Svanir the First Son, and Gunnar Poundfist. Winter was cold but meat and mead was plentiful, and it was said of the years before that no traveller could walk from one end of the Shiverpeaks to the other without finding several homesteads competing to show them their hospitality and tell their tales. Gragra Stonebreath lived in Sifhalla where he was a norn of the woods, gathering firewood and hunting game.

In his bear form Gragra hunted a deer blessed by the Deer Spirit in a chase that lasted through the length of two moons before his claws broke its back and gave it its death. He was about to make a meal from its flesh when another bear, this one the width of a horse’s length. Gragra fought the bear for the length of the following day, until both were shaking from the tiredness of their bodies and bleeding from a score of cuts. Gragra was about to end the fight like he had ended the blessed deer when the bear stood on its hindlegs shifted, its form becoming that of a comely norm woman, wide golden torques around her strong arms. She said her name was Lacathi and she did not wish to fight any further against Gragra before they both would find their deaths in the hills north of Sifhalla.

Gragra and Lacathi returned to Sifhalla where they found their love and Lacathi gave Gragra five sons and five daughters.

But for Bjorn, son of Gragra, later known as Bjorn Frostfang. Even as a young cub Bjorn had the greatest shape and the best name in all of Sifhalla and not a deer could be found in the Shiverpeaks that could survive a cast of his spear or a strike of his paw. But he was oftentimes without company of either friend or lover, for he too oft made complaints about his own adventures.

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Forgotten in the Dark #4 – Endless Legend

Forgotten in the Dark #4 – Endless Legend

Interests

Balathu Malesaria thanked the woman crewing the street food stall and went back on his way, pulling his clothes tighter around him. He had lived in Vanzograd for well over a year now and still he had not accustomed himself to the damnable cold. He wore a thick pale fur coat over his Clan colours and still the wind and the cobbled streets seemed to cut through to his very bones. At least his hands were warm. Balathu was somewhat of a regular at the food-stalls of the larger streets. While the food of the city was nothing like the cuisine of his clan, it was at least very nourishing. It needed to be. Compared to the nomadic trader lifestyle of the Clans, the Vaulters led hard lives in the cold shadows of the Horlaken mountain-range. Even after the Great Quake had drastically changed life in the surrounding regions the range was still massive, towering over the city even at this distance. How anyone could even think of living there was beyond the Clan ambassador. Pity about their coffee though. He thought. The mountain-folk brewed the beverage but they did not seem to care about the taste of it. Just that it kept a man warm and working for a few more hours.

He kept a careful hold on the 2 large pies he had purchased as he extricated himself from the crowd. The two guards on watch outside his ambassadorial house saluted at his approach. They were residents of Vanzograd, their guard-uniform adorned with a simplified version of Balathu’s own clan colours. Hands fully occupied with his large breakfast he simply nodded in return. The embassy building was much like every other building in Vanzograd, a square grey-blue block. In deference to the style of his clan some embroidered canvases had been hung up along the sides. While he appreciated the gesture, it did little to alleviate the brick-like nature of the architecture. One of the guards opened the steel-blue titanium gate and followed him to the door. It was not locked. Balathu kept all his items of true worth on his person. The door opened, he thanked the guard and went inside. A large luxurious carpet covered the room of his entrance hall from wall to wall. He had brought it with him when he had travelled to the city. Soothing to the eyes. He hurried through the hall and into the personal dining hall, tracking mud and grime from the streets with him and over the carpet. Ultimately not his problem, and besides, there was likely going to be a lot more dirt coming through before the day was done. The 2 meat-pies were set on the spacious round dining table and the lid of a pot put over each to preserve the heat. After closing the door to the windowed kitchen, Balathu Malesaria sat down gently in one of the low chairs surrounding the table and carved a slice of pie for himself. While the meal was ultimately not intended for him, he had also not had a bite to eat since waking. One thing he had achieved during his time in the city was to shake the Early-Bird habits of his clan. With the onset of winter close at hand and the trade deals of the summer finalised he had little to do but wait for correspondence. However, this morning he had gotten up bright and early.

He brought the slice of pie up and took a sizeable bite. It was a far cry from the dishes of home or the ambassadorial dinners at the various embassies of the city, but it was hearty and at perfect temperature. Licking his fingers, he quickly wolfed down the remainder of the slice. The house was silent except for him. They won’t mind if I take a little more. With a deft cut of the knife a much smaller slice was freed. With habits formed from a hundred formal dinners Balathu reached for his drink only to close his hand around nothing. Grumbling his annoyance, mostly at his own forgetfulness, Balathu got up from his chair and poured a cup of water from a chilled pitcher. It would not need to be artificially cooled for much longer. The Clanner shuddered involuntarily at the thought of Vanzograd growing even colder.

He turned back to the dining room and gently sat down. It was his own home but the guests he would be entertaining made him feel uncomfortable. Without looking he reached for the slice of pie he had cut just a moment ago. His hand found only crumbs. Dumbfounded, he looked at the tray. The knife was where he had left it, but the small slice was gone.

“Looking for this?” The voice was feminine and sharp as a knife. Balathu nearly jumped out of the chair he was in.

The woman standing by his kitchen doorway was short but clearly muscular, skin-tone a kind of dark greyish brown, as though she was caught in the light of twilight. A swirling design of Dust-tattoos belied the mottled appearance. Her black hair was tied up in a long braid that went past her shoulders. Her clothes were so dark-blue as to be nearly black and clung tightly to her form, the various straps and belts brimming with weapons and tools. The man in him wanted to see what was hidden beneath those mottled clothes. The Clanner in him knew that would be akin to asking to see the jaws of a lion up close. Fascinating, impressive. Deadly.

“Lady Soininen, I did not notice your arrival.” He could see the slightest flicker of a grin on her face at the quiver in his voice.

“That was rather the point of hiring us, was it not? ” Kiira Soininen responded before eating the rest of the slice she had silently taken from his plate. Her Dust-radiant eyes never left him, “And neither me nor Kaleva appreciate being called Lady. That is a trapping of the city-folk.”

Balathu resisted the urge to clear his throat. “Ah, but my people are nomads, not people of the cities, and yet we still refer to women of dignity as ladies.”

Kiira strode over to the table. “As I said, neither of us are ladies.”

Now he had to resist the urge to back away. The shades he had hired all had an air of danger about them. “I take that your amiable mood means the job went well?”

The woman laid one pie above the other and lifted them with a sure grip. “I doubt you will hear much of it aside from rumour-mongers but yes, the warehouse was emptied of supplies. When we have rested, and the situation permits it, we intend to move onto the next objective.”

“Ah, good, good. I believe I can arrange for an advance payment once the second task has been carried out.” He could think of little else to say as the Forgotten woman nodded briefly at him then walked out of the dining hall without a sound, pies in hand.

Forgotten in the Dark #3 – Endless Legend

Forgotten in the Dark #3 – Endless Legend

Dawn

Reija Bogovil breathed a deep sigh. The clouds were only just taking some colour from the sun peeking over the horizon and already her nose was full of the stench of blood and dung. The contents of the warehouse reported by the guard patrol, that was woefully far from their assigned route she might add, had been destroyed. Shelves had been torn down and clawed viciously in so many ways that it looked like a whole marketplace had been let loose. The floors of both storerooms were covered in piss and shit. But most importantly, all the grain sacks stored for the coming winter had been destroyed. Torn open, emptied of their precious contents and strewn about the room. Here and there Reija could see single pieces of grain scattered about the rooms, but even if you cleaned and bagged all of them there would barely be enough for a single loaf of bread. Months of winter supplies reduced to a few meals in a single night. Even the grain on the shelves had been taken. Reija went back into the adjoining corridor and grabbed the nearest uniformed sentry. The woman nearly balked at her when she turned around but before the sentry could say anything, her gaze darted to the Dawn Officer insignia pinned to Reija’s uniform. Her expression mellowed quickly.

“Reija Bogovil, Canton of Investigation.” What happened here?” Reija flashed her Canton insignia. She knew that the sentry had noticed, but procedure must be followed.

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