Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:51 — 6.4MB) | Embed
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email |
Hello everyone, Asclepius here, with a great story by Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, entitled “Notes on my Travels to Kingsport”. Background music is “Requiem for your Soul”, by Smartsound.
Beneath all humanity stirs an undercurrent of hopelessness and despair. Knowing that we are all connected in some way is little comfort to the reality that perhaps the greatest connection we share is the fact that one day we will all die. If not here in New Britannia then back in our own world, for even an Avatar’s immortality is limited.
Kingsport is no different. Beyond the troubled townsfolk who work and trade on the surface of this peaceful village by the sea, there are cursed remains from the past that walk the darkened halls of the sewers below. It is here that I first witnessed the reanimated shells of the living in the form of skeletal guardsman. An axe for one, a sword for another, these once men attacked me as soon as I was within range. Most of my spells were of no consequence and I quickly learned that fire was one of the only ways to defend myself from their relentless onslaught.
In the end, I lay near death and two piles of smoldering bones. But I survived with the strength to investigate the cursed wrecks. Both were unrecognizable from one another, dripping with caramelized ashen bone, and their weapons appeared to be of low quality. Perhaps these were the spoils of others that had been foolish enough to enter the sewers alone. But one pile contained a different substance I had not seen before. Filmy and sticky to the touch, this black grey compound had the consistency of jam and the smell of dung. I collected what I could for further study, and found that as I did the substance began to naturally form into a ball. The rest I reluctantly wiped off on my robes.
Sensing I was not strong enough to continue further into the sewers on my own, I retreated back to the naïve surface of Kingsport with many questions still left unanswered. Who created these dark souls? What were they guarding? Why Kingsport? And more importantly, how do I get this sticky black grey dung off my robes
Like many buildings in Kingsport, the lighthouse was empty. But why the keeper had wandered off was more commentary than mystery. Recent events had made the need for a lighthouse obsolete, as the trade ships from the Novia coast that once frequented the port town had stopped arriving months ago.
Standing at the top of the towered structure, I warmed to the fired pit of the beacon in the cool night air. Looking out into the sea at the empty calm where moonlight met the horizon, I pondered the fate of this poor town.
Gazing on the shipless port, I was reminded of the fable known as The Lost Mice.
The first mouse, the provider, went out in search of food for his family. When he did not return, the second mouse, the mother, went out in search of the father. When the mother did not return, the children starved. One child, barely able to move, crept out to look for its mother and father. There was no sign of them, instead all the child could see was two large glowing orbs, a slit down the center of each.
The lesson from the story is that sometimes the things we lose are lost for a reason.
The first ships went out but did not return. When more ships were sent to search for those who were lost, they too did not come back. Now the children of Kingsport fear to look further, for they may find not two but a single eye staring back at them.