Mirrored from Sythyry.
This being read for Tllith of Yirien, Princess of Septoulny Swamp, «Language»-mage, «Cuisine»-mage, my epistolary savior. This being written by Cleiestis of Gemgaru. Layer of six fertilized eggs is she; none are crushed. Priestess of the third florescence is she, mistress of seven spells and three visible and four invisible potencies. Wife of Tomolrouc is she, who is the assistant administrator of flying insects to the Hoouthgala district. The hope from here is that you are in a state of delighted, and that three happinesses and four contentments are on you.
Johand: Kuur, you are guilty of many crimes against the Scorth Provisional Authority. The proper sentence for these crimes is death. However, we will commute your sentence if you send Cleiestis back to her home.
Kuur: I deny your authority! If you kill me, it will be one more murder on your hands, one more cup of blood at your lips!
Johand: You don’t understand. You are either being stupid or willfully disobedient, and we have established that you, alone among all the Dumu Thoik, are not stupid. The penalty for disobedience is whipping. Now, will you send poor Cleiestis and her eggs back home, or will you die for it?
Kuur: You are a liar and a Scorthman. There is no trusting you. I shall not send the demon away. I will leave her in your hands. She is a vicious and malevolant creature, and she will find a way to destroy you all and claim your souls. Dumu stories — speak of us like this. Ancient Dumu — sorcerers, summoners, enchanters, practitioners like Kuur. No wonder my ancestors did all they could to destroy them, and were as demons to them.
Johand: She’s rather sweet actually. Scorth stories — speak of us as sweet spirits, helpful. Also tiny.
Kuur: You will learn otherwise to your despair, in no small time.
Johand: Baliff, please encourage the prisoner to be cooperative.
Kuur — beaten until he bled and cried out.
Me — not feeling sweet about that. Deserved — yes. Good to watch — no.
Kuur: Very well! You have won this round, Johand! I will send the demon back to the hell of Gemgaru!
Kuur’s workshop — cluttered, scattered! Trash and gauds everywhere! Geometry upon the floor! Burning compost and herbs in the bowl! Sword of metal stabbed into shield of flesh! Everywhere the strange things!
Kuur: Johand, you will work as my assistant. Stand right there, in that octagram.
Johand: The least betrayal and I will have your neck.
Kuur: It won’t be necessary. You shall be dead soon, and I shall as well.
Johand: What treachery is this?
Kuur: The fumigants include drosko nuts. We have all breathed their smoke. You can feel it itching in your chest already. By noontime we’ll have sores sprouting inside our lungs. By evening-time the sores will split, and we will all be choking on our own watery pus. It’s a quite horrible death. So feel free to have your baliff shoot me now, before the pain starts. You’ll be begging him to shoot you soon enough.
Me — darting over! Healing Johand! Healing myself too!
Johand: If I am not mistaken, I haven’t much to worry about from your silly little drosko nuts. I’ve got a friendly couatl, you see. She doesn’t seem eager to heal you though. Perhaps if you’d treated her better …? Still, if you want to have any hope of assassinating me, you’d do well to send her back to Gemgaru and deprive me of her protection. But I think we’ll put an end to your smoky little tricks. I shall be one of your assistants; your son shall be the other.
Kuur: Not my son! He must remain free of the taint of sorcery!
Johand: Baliff, please be so kind as to encourage Kuur a bit more. Don’t break any bones though.
After encouragement — I healed Kuur — my way home.
Nowhere Bound, Again
Douk: I should be in the mines, helping!
Johand: You should be here, obeying the provisional authority.
Kuur: My son! Remember me as a brave man, at the end! He threw a human-head-sized idol of black at Johand. It split, and spilled thick black fluid over him. Kuur flung a torch, and the fluid blazed up.
Johand: I say, this is not comfortable.
Baliffs — Put out the flames as best they can. Club Kuur to unconsciousness.
Me — heal Johand hard!
Johand: I don’t seem to be able to see out of my left eye. I apologize for making you constantly heal me, Cleiestis. I must learn not to trust Kuur a bit.
Kuur — bruised, battered into submission. I shall send the monster home. Not wholly into submission: After it is gone I shall assassinate you in peace and comfort.
Johand: I shall anticipate your murderous brutalities almost eagerly.
Sorcery — the stinking of burnt things, the pouring-out of words, the filling a bowl of sand. My digging down into the sand, my eggs strapped to my back between my wings.
Between — Dizzying. Digging down into sand became digging up. Stretching and probing with my head, filling my feathers with sand.
Poking my head out.
Homecoming. Twining necks with Tomolrouc. Homecoming.
Returning to Tellosh
Tellosh — the world of every wickedness. Kuur — wicked. Scorthmen — wicked. Markosh — wicked.
Kuur — wickedly working to save his people from the Scorthmen. Scorthmen — wickedly working to save Kuur’s people from the Markoshian death cloud. Markoshians — wickedly working to avenge their own deaths.
My gift to Johand — I and many priest will go to Tellosh, as the death cloud approaches. Our spells — keeping many of Tellosh alive, perhaps. Not the Dumu Thoik, whose wickedness bit me. Not the Scorthmen, whose wickedness saved me. But the hundred others whom the Scorthmen enslave and give to brutality, if we can get a hundred priests.
It will have to do.