Blackwood Gazette #307- Former Academy Member Arrested for Disaster Profiteering

7/3/283- Authorities report that former member of the Academic Alliance of Alchemists and Alliterators, Prideau “Priddy” Lacerte, has been arrested for attempting to profit from the recent reign of terror visited upon Oeil de Fleur by the escaped Ganborran Stink Monkey known as ‘Chirpy’.

The arrest came after reports that Lacerte was selling plush dolls of the pungent primate to children in the city’s eastern commons.

“He’d been at it for weeks, apparently,” the arresting officer told us. “People thought it was tasteless, but harmless enough. But then Lacerte had to go and get…ambitious.”

According to city watch officials, about a week ago, the Chirpy plushies began appearing with a new ‘feature’.

“One kid brought a plush home late last week. She ran up to her mother to show off the doll, hugged it, and, well…given Lacerte’s history, and the nature of the Chirpy incident, you can probably guess what happened next.”

The new model of plush is said to contain the same ingredients used in the Alchemical parlor trick known as ‘Kettleman’s Arse’, a trick that got Lacerte busted sometime back. When the child hugged the doll, it brought into contact the two substances that, when mixed, release a noxious cloud of foul smelling (but otherwise harmless) gas into the air.

“Lacerte claims the amount released should be small and dissipate quickly, but the entirety of the household had to be evacuated, and a cleaning crew brought in.”

Lacerte has been booked on charges of profiteering from a disaster, a charge second only to war profiteering with an expected sentence of exile from the Triumvirate. His remaining stock of Chirpy plushies is to be disposed of, and the city watch recommends that anyone who purchased one of the dolls should do the same.

As for the actual ‘Chirpy’, the malodorous monster remains at large.

Blackwood Gazette #307- Former Academy Member Arrested for Disaster Profiteering

Blackwood Gazette #306- Rigel Rinkenbach in Talks with Delando to Bring Biography to the Theater

10/2/283- A spokesperson for Delando held a conference in Oeil de Fleur earlier this week, where he discussed several of the controversies surrounding the reclusive playwright as of late. Among the topics discussed was the disastrous opening of Delando’s latest play, the failure of the film version of ‘Desires of Dek Kanar Redak’, and what the future holds for Nor Easter’s preeminent peddler of the theatrical arts.

“Delando is very much disappointed in the reception of his first non-Ichthylliad related play in over a decade,” the spokesperson said. “He’d taken criticisms that he only knew how to do one thing to heart and tried to do something new. Naturally, his fans responded by burning his works in town squares across the Empire.”

The spokesperson said this with a sardonic edge that was not lost on the press gathering. Even still, it did not illicit laughter.

“As for the failure of the film, Delando has not given up hope that he can transform the kinetic viewer into the primary source of dramatic entertainment. ‘Dek Kanar’ was an experiment, and Delando assures that he learned much from the process of filming. In fact, he is currently working on something I’m sure will get all of you talking.”

That thing which would get all of us talking, of course, was the reveal that Delando has begun negotiating with Rigel Rinkenbach for the right to tell the Industrialist’s story in dramatic form.

“Thus far, Delando and Rinkenbach have met several times over the last month to discuss the project. I am told that their negotiations are going well, and that both are extremely passionate about the project, often discussing the matter late into the night. Delando is certain that anyone who knows the story of Rinkenbach will see that this is one of the greatest stories in the history of Nor Easter.

“An orphaned genius, forced to fend for himself on the streets of Oeil de Fleur before finding fame and fortune with the original Clockwork Butler. The alchemist who became favored of the Empress herself. The brilliant mind who tamed the wild heart of the Nor Eastern agent provocateur Pixie Sinclaire during the war with Crowndon, and who would win that war with the invention of the single man, planar wing attack craft. The fall from grace that would lead Rinkenbach across the continent, losing home and hearth, culminating in his redemption at the Battle of the Sea of Wrecked Beginnings and Bitter Ends.”

It certainly sounds like an epic tale, and while the spokesperson was unable to share any technical or logistical details, the excitement among the gathered press was palpable. Negotiations with Rinkenbach are said to be nearing their end, and it is hoped the show will debut next year.

Blackwood Gazette #306- Rigel Rinkenbach in Talks with Delando to Bring Biography to the Theater

Blackwood Gazette #305- Oeil de Fleur City Guard Grows Desperate as Stink Monkey Rampage Continues

3/2/283-Two weeks after its escape from the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie, the Ganborran Stink Monkey known affectionately as ‘Chirpy’ is still at large. It is estimated that the creature has caused nearly 300 thousand Imperons in damage, and the amount is rising.

The primate miscreant was last sighted scurrying along a wall by the Dezoar River, where it is said to have caused a panic amongst weekend picnickers.

“We smelled it long before it actually showed up,” said one witness to the incident. “At first, I just thought it was the river…it doesn’t have a particularly pleasant smell, even on the best of days. But within a few minutes the odor was nigh unbearable. That’s when someone screamed. I looked over and saw a woman pointing toward a small shape running along the river wall.

“That’s when someone yelled, ‘It’s Chirpy!’ and everyone lost it, stampeding out of the park like we were running from an air raid.”

Nearby guardsman responded to the report of the monkey’s intrusion and rushed to the scene. They found the beast sitting on a blanket, eating a jam and nut macaron.

“It was just sitting there, chomping away,” said one of the guardsmen. “We moved in to open fire, but no was willing to get close enough for an effective shot. We fired a volley, the six of us, hoping the law of averages was on our side. We all missed. At that point, our eyes are already watering, but to make matters worse the little beast dropped its treat and ran at us. It sprayed as it passed by and disappeared into the trees. None of us could pursue it, gagging as we were.”

The incident at the Dezoar picnic ground isn’t the only encounter citizens have had since its escape. A few days before, a shop owner reported finding the animal malcontent building a nest in the entry way of his business, and the day before that a young couple complained that their midnight tryst was interrupted by a territorial display from the creature.

“It hopped up onto the balcony as we shared our first kiss,” one of the lovers said. “It then began screaming, slapping its bottom and…and…oh, it was awful!”

It has even begun interfering with the creative process, albeit to mixed results.

“I was in the park, painting an abstract of the day’s sunset, when Chirpy dropped down onto my easel and began slapping at the wet paint, leaving tiny monkey paw prints all over the piece,” an amateur painter told us. “To my surprise, the monkey’s contribution improved the piece, gave it a certain whimsy that I feel my work has been missing. I’ve shown it to a few galleries, and more than one of them is interested.”

No one knows where Chirpy will turn up next, but citizens should be wary, the Menagerie warns.

“Chirpy is a young primate at the dawn of its maturity, in a strange environment with a plethora of unknown sights and sounds. He will be extremely curious, and extremely aggressive. Anyone who runs afoul of Chirpy should immediately flee and alert the nearest city watchman.”

Blackwood Gazette #305- Oeil de Fleur City Guard Grows Desperate as Stink Monkey Rampage Continues

Blackwood Gazette #304- University of Oeil de Fleur receives correspondence from Trenum Expedition, along with captured ‘Monster’

25/1/283- The Deadlands expedition led by Veronica Trenum has borne fruit, if a recent delivery received by the University of Oeil de Fleur is any indication.

After half a year of silence as to the whereabouts or status of the expedition, a crate was delivered to the University in the wee hours of Surnsday morning. Within the crate was the carcass of a strange, fearsome looking bird, along with several reams of paper detailing the expedition as of late twelfth month of last year.

Trenum writes:

“After a tumultuous crossing of the mountains in late 9th, during which we narrowly avoided the closing of a climatological event which allowed us passage, we came to the remains of a mid-sized ruin. I would date the ruin to be around 1500 years old, and it is the first sign of any sort of civilization in the lower Newland continent. It has been slow going, trying to eke out a theory as to the culture of these ‘Deadlands’ people, as the ruin has largely been eroded and reclaimed by a thick jungle growth It is apparent that they had a working knowledge of stonework and masonry on par with our own middle ages, nearly half a millennium before us. What happened to these people, I cannot say. There is, heretofore, a lack of evidence pointing to any cause. It is my hope that a closer study will provide answers, and it hurts to move on. We are pioneers, however, and as such we must push on.”

A later entry in the notes explains the carcass that accompanied the document.

“We ran afoul of a hostile creature this past week (the entry is dated early eleventh). It is avian in nature, roughly the height of a Sarnwainian ostrich, but heavily muscled and displaying behaviors resembling pack predators.

“The creatures ambushed us in the late hours, attacking from all sides. I’d say there were about eight in all. The low light made it difficult enough to discern them, but the patterns of their feathers matched the foliage almost identically. Indeed, one of our security men cried out that the trees had come alive. Such was not the case. The creatures seemed to have a sort of adaptive camouflage…a feature often observed in reptiles but never in birds. They killed three of our party before Mister Mackay dropped what we assume is the lone male in the group. The other creatures broke off their attack and disappeared into the jungle.

“The specimen I am sending you is that individual. It is a spectacular find! Nothing like it exists in the known zoological world. I also hope never to run across one again, as the ferocity of their attack and the noises they made will forever be embedded in my nightmares!”

The specimen sent to Oeil de Fleur is said to be in excellent shape, despite a several months journey across the ocean. The headmaster of the university says that they plan to strip the carcass, saving his feathers for study and its bones for exhibition.

Blackwood Gazette #304- University of Oeil de Fleur receives correspondence from Trenum Expedition, along with captured ‘Monster’

Blackwood Gazette #303- Citizens in Shock After Exotic Ganborran Stink Monkey Wreaks Havoc at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie

17/1/283- The north-eastern side of Oeil de Fleur is in shambles tonight after an exotic primate from Ganborrah escaped from a petting exhibit at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie yesterday. The monkey, which emits a foul-smelling musk when threatened, went berserk after a child pulled its tail.

“Every thing was going as normal,” said the exhibit’s custodian, Emile Tousaun. “The kids and their families were just milling about, shooing away the usual goats and chasing the everyday chicken-hogs. Things didn’t get out of hand until we introduced Chirpy.”

Chirpy, we are told, was a new addition to the exhibit, and this was to be his debut. Though the animal was used to the menagerie’s handlers, this was his first time interacting with the public.

“Things went south pretty fast,” Tousaun said. “It’s amazing how quickly they went bad. It was almost as though the offending toddler had a directive from some higher power, given how she zeroed in on Chirpy’s tail and pulled it.”

Chirpy howled, an ear-splitting call that witnesses to the incident say caused every goat, chicken-hog, and man to freeze in place and take notice.

“I looked over and there’s this kid standing there with this orange liquid pouring down her face, bawling her eyes out, and that horrible little beast standing at her feet with its ass up in the air, howling like it’s being murdered,” said once such bystander. “I only had a second to parse out the situation before the smell hit.”

Just how bad is the smell of a Ganborran Stink Monkey?

“Take a Newlands polecat, mix it with a Barrier Sea Tuna that’s been rotting in the sun for a month, throw in traces of Crowndon’s sewers with a side of a Monteddorian dumpster after Harvest Day, and then get rid of it, because none of that compares to what comes out of a scared Ganborran Stink Monkey,” Tousan said.

Why was such an animal on display in a petting exhibit in the first place? Did the menagerie have any idea of the horror they were about to unleash?

“We knew,” Tousan said. “But Chirpy, he was a just a baby. The glands aren’t supposed to develop until maturity. We even tested the reflex last night, and nothing happened. Must have hit puberty overnight.”

After spraying the child and half of the exhibit, those present were so incapacitated by the odor that the monkey was able to escape over the menagerie wall. The toddler is in quarantine while the menagerie works out a way to remove the smell, and will likely have vision trouble for the rest of her life. Chirpy, we are told, is still at large.

Blackwood Gazette #303- Citizens in Shock After Exotic Ganborran Stink Monkey Wreaks Havoc at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie

Blackwood Gazette #302: Sarnwainian Coalition Sends Prince Djidann to Parlay with Desantana Fleet; Djidanni Forces Turn Guns on Compatriots

10/1/283- The stalemate between Sarnwainian and Triumvirate military forces along the northern border of the Triumvirate grew a little less stale this weekend, as the Sarnwainian Coalition (consisting of the combined military might of Djidann, Pharassia, Thankaen and Ganborrah) sent the Djidanni Prince to parlay with his former business associate (and rumored paramour) Yolanda Desantana. However, the Coalition greatly underestimated the hold Desantana had over the young prince.

“Their thinking was typically Sarnwainian,” Lieutenant Gabrielle Antillan, an officer in Desantana’s, fleet told us. “ ‘Send a man to put a woman in her place.’ What they got instead was a toothless puppy wrapped around said woman’s finger.”

Shortly after his arrival aboard Desantana’s air ship, Prince Alarasant Djida is said to have sent a message to his nation’s forces. The Djidanni military, easily comprising the largest percentage of the force, then turned their guns on the rest of the Coalition. After a brief ten-minute fire fight, the Coaltion is said to have called a ceasefire and retreated.

“Once again, our illustrious Governess has proven her talent for laying the groundwork for fruitful alliances,” the Lt. Antillan said. “We’ve always known she had an instinct for business, but now she’s proven herself militarily as well.”

The turnout of this conflict has proven fruitful for now, but we have yet to see the no doubt catastrophic repercussions Djidann’s betrayal will have throughout the Sarnwainian power structure. Prince Djida has returned home, where his father, the King of the second largest power in the Sarnwainian Empire, is said to be exceedingly angry about the results of situation.

“I wouldn’t worry too much about the Prince,” Lt. Antillan told us. “Yolanda Desantana is firmly in his corner, and any action against him will be an action against her and the Triumvirate of the Sky. The King would be wise to seek out alliance with the Triumvirate.”


Related Story:

BG #217: Courting Disaster: Yolanda Desantana Seen Meeting with Djidanni Prince

Blackwood Gazette #302: Sarnwainian Coalition Sends Prince Djidann to Parlay with Desantana Fleet; Djidanni Forces Turn Guns on Compatriots

CROWNDON AIN’T KIND: The Tales of Vertiline and Pigott Torp

The Princess and the Ring

“Crowndon hasn’t been kind, lately,” Vertiline Torp said as she turned from the opening of the literal hole in the wall she and her brother, Pigott, called home. She struck a match and lit a small tallow candle.

“Crowndon ain’t never been kind, Verti,” Pigott said, sitting against the back wall with his eyes closed, his body shivering with fever. “Not never to the likes of us.”

He coughed quietly into his arm. Vertiline smiled ruefully and pulled a tin of salve from within a cinderblock she used to stash things. She’d lifted the salve from a salesman some months back, she couldn’t remember how long. The salesman had been of the snake oil variety, selling dyed water and cheap whiskey to the desperate and stupid of the Klankenvroot Gutter, but the salve was real enough. Probably not something the salesman intended to sell. A private possession. None of these thoughts mattered much to Vertiline, just ghostly whispers in her memory as she dipped her fingers into the tin and pulled out a little dab of the salve. Had to be sparing with the stuff. That traveling salesman was nowhere to be seen, long time now. Either moved on or rolled by the Rats.

“Thanks, sissy,” Pigott said as she rubbed it on his chest. “But you know that’s not doing much good.”

She was all too aware. The salve wasn’t a cure. It was something called a ‘amnegezic’, or something. It could only bring relief. The only way to really help him would be to get out of the Gutter, and that wasn’t happening anytime soon, not with the Thickies running the streets.



“Tell me a story.”

“What sorta story do you want to hear?”

“I dunno. One where the good guys win.”

“I dunno any where the good guys win.”

“Make one up.”

Verti was silent for a moment. She thought of something. Wasn’t a story, not really. A memory. A memory she’d not told anyone. A dangerous kind of memory. She’d have to make it into a story.

“Alright,” she said, and turned to pull down the curtain that served as a door for their hole, dug into the wall of the Gutter. She listened, could still hear the hustle and bustle of the other Rats outside, and so she lifted a section of board that served as flooring. Didn’t leave much of a dry spot for her to sit, but it muffled the sound well enough. She checked the candle, made sure it wasn’t in danger of catching anything on fire. It wasn’t, but she moved it down to the ground between them anyway.

“Well?” Pigott pushed.

“There was once a girl, her name was…Birdie.”



“Sounds a lot like Verti.”

“Yup. How about that?”

Pigott didn’t respond, so Vertiline continued.

“Verti was a princess, but she didn’t know that, not yet. But she had a golden ring.”

“Did the ring mean she was a princess?”


“But she didn’t know that yet.”


“When did she find out?”

“Not for a long time. This story isn’t about that, though.”

“But it’s about the ring?”


“You have a ring.”

Vertline looked down at her left hand. On her thumb she wore a thin band of worn tin. She wore it on her thumb because her other fingers weren’t big enough yet.

“That’s right.

“Now. The ring was her favorite thing in all the world. A beautiful thing, and it was hers, her only thing, and she liked to sit in the sun and let the light shine on it. Nothing unusual about that, right? Nothing wrong with that? She didn’t do it to flaunt or tease or anything. She just like the way it looked.

“But one day, a big brute, a troll, or maybe just a troll of a man, Birdie couldn’t really tell the difference, saw the gleam of the golden ring from his hiding place in the trees. He comes lumbering out, walking all Ziggy, like a jammy on a bender, and he bellows at her: ‘What’s you got there, vittle? A pretty?’

“The voice took Birdie by surprise, and the smell even more so, like rice left in a barrel, and she pulled her hand behind her back. And she said, ‘I ain’t got nothing for you!’”

“Verti?” Pigott interrupted. “I thought you said Birdie was a princess.”

“She was.”

“Then why’d she say, ‘ain’t’. Princesses and them all don’t say ‘ain’t’.”

“She didn’t grow up like a princess. She grew up like us, so she didn’t learn all that stuff, like being proper and stuff, yeah?”

“Oh. So, proper folk, they start off like us, and then they got to learn to be proper?”


“So, what’s keepin’ us from bein’ proper? Can’t we learn it, too? We’re smart, right?”

“Yeah. Smarter than most, I’d wager.”

“So, what’s keepin’ us?”

“A whole lotta stuff. Bein proper’s more than just speakin’ right, yeah? You have to be rich…”

“So we nick a few purses. Done and done.”

“Not just rich, though. You have to know people.”

“Oh. And we don’t know people.”

“No. And you gotta be related to the right people.”

“Oh. We’re just related to each other.”




“I think that’s okay.”

Verti smiled. “Me too.”

“So, the troll, or the troll of a man. What he look like?”

“He was brutish, with a big nose, and a big wart on the tip, with hair growing out of it long enough to braid.”

“Eww, gross!”

“Damn right, gross. And he had a lazy eye, and a bum leg, and a bald head that he tried to hide under a bowler cap he found in a ditch that was two sizes too small and just made the bald spot look bigger.”

Pigott laughed, then coughed, then said, “That sounds like Old Turner.”

“Yup. And guess what the troll’s name was?”

“Old Turner?”

“No. Wart Face.”

Pigott giggled again. Vertiline lived for that laugh, and dreaded the inevitable cough that followed. She gave him a sip of water and when the fit ended, she continued.

“Wart Face plodded out into the field where Birdie sat, every ounce of fat bouncing every step of the way. Birdie had to hold her nose because the stink was so bad.

“’What’s that you got in your hand there, vittle?’ Wart Face croaked at her. Birdie stood up and held out one hand (the other still behind her back). She said, ‘Nothing. Just like I said before. Now get out of here, before you kill all the grass with your stink.”



“Can you kill grass with stink?”

“Apparently. Saw it in a funny once.”


“Anyways, Wart Face didn’t like being told what to do, and he didn’t like being lied to. And despite being ugly and mean, and drunk out of his wits half the time, he had a certain kind of smarts.”

“Like us?”

“No. Like a snake.”


“Them’s at the university call it ‘impstinks’, or something. It’s something all mean things have, makes it easier for them to kill nice things.”

“So, he knew Verti was lying?”

“Birdie. And yes. He knew Birdie was lying, but that was more because she made a mistake.”

“And what mistake was that?”

“She acted like she had something to hide.”

“But she did.”

“Yeah, but Wart Face didn’t know that. It was a lesson she learned that day. Years later, another troll saw the ring, but that time she was able to trick it.”


“By acting like the ring was nothing special.”

“So that troll left her alone?”

“No. That troll tried to eat her. That was another lesson she learned.

“But, back to Wart Face. ‘Show me t’other hand, vittle.’ Birdie dropped her first hand and put it behind her back. She switched the ring from one hand to the other, and held out her second hand.

“’See? Nothing!’

“Wart Face narrowed his eyes at her.

“’Show me both hands at the same time,’ he growled. Birdie panicked, then. If she’d been wearing trousers, like I do now, she could’ve stashed the ring in the waist band, but no. She was wearing a stupid dress. She could have dropped the ring behind her, but she was afraid the troll would see.”

“So what did she do?”

“She turned and bolted, down from the hill toward the trees. Wart Face raced after her, calling her names and shouting all the horrible things he would do to her when he caught her.”

“What types of things?”

“Things you don’t need to know about right now. She ran into the trees, ran like the wind. Surely, she was running faster than Wart Face, but the troll’s stubby legs carried his bloated body quicker than should have been possible.

“Verti tried to dodge him…”



“The girl’s name. It was Birdie. You said Verti.”

“Oh. Well, you know what I meant. Can I keep going?”


“BIRDIE tried to dodge him, scrambling through branch and root, but that only slowed her down. Wart Face was like a train, and he just crashed through the brambles and bush. He was so close, now, she could feel his hot breath on her back. And all the while, the ring cut a tiny circle in the palm of her hand.

“She thought to herself, this is it, Birdie. That’s all you get. And she thought about throwing the ring in his face to save herself. But she didn’t. She couldn’t. The ring was too important to her. It was a part of her.”

Verti realized that she was playing with the tin band around her left thumb. Pigott had noticed it too, so she stopped. She crossed her arms across her chest, wedging her arms under her armpits to keep them still.

“What happened next?” Pigott said. He was wide awake, now. That was the opposite effect she meant the story to have. Verti made a conscious effort to speak softly, afraid someone might overhear the end of her memory-story.

“Verti came to a riverbed, and in the wall of the riverbed was a pipe. She dove into it. And Wart Face, in his blind stupidity, dove in after her. But the pipe was just big enough for her, so it was much too small for Wart Face, and he got stuck at the waist…”

“Just like Old Turner!”

“Pigott, shhh. Not so loud. It’s late and we don’t want to wake no one. So, Wart Face…he didn’t seem to notice he was stuck as he scrabbled for her, clawing at the floor of the pipe with thick fingers and cracked, yellow nails. It wasn’t until Verti began to crawl away from him that he realized his situation. Anger gave way to desperation. She ignored him, and continued up the pipe. Up ahead, she saw light in the top of the pipe. And further up ahead, she heard the rush of water.

“Birdie had escaped the evil Wart Face, but now she faced a flood. With only one option, she kept forward, towards the light. Unfortunately for her, the hole in the top of the pipe was covered with a grate. It was old and rusty, but held firm when she tried to break through. The water ahead grew louder, and the cries of Wart Face behind her grew terrified, pleading.

“It was too late. The water was there. Verti grabbed onto the grate and held on, held her breath, as the water rushed past. Seconds stretched, on and on and into forever, as the light above her grew wavy and weird. She felt the slats in the grat give way, and her body slip, but she was able to grab on and hold.

“Eventually, the water lessened, and she could breath again. Then, it slowed to a trickle. She could still feel the water around her knees. She guessed that with Wart Face stuck in the front of the pipe, the water had nowhere to go. She was safe for now, but she knew that if more water came, she’d be drowned, same as Wart Face surely was now.

“Birdie looked up and saw that two of the rusty bars had indeed given away, and a third had broken. If she could just get that third bar gone, she might be able to escape. She grabbed hold and put all her weight on the bar, felt rusty flakes fall on her face. Up ahead, she heard it. More water, rushing toward her. She pulled harder than she ever thought she could. The final bar bent, but didn’t break. As the water barreled down through the pipe, she screamed through the grate, loud as she could, and stuck her arm through as the water swallowed her up.

“Did she break through?”


“But, she had to, right? You said that later on, she met another troll. And that she would be a princess!”

Verti shrugged. “You told me to make up a story, so I did. It’s what they call a first draft. Things changed at the end.”

Pigott sulked. “That’s no good! I wanted a story where the good guys won. You gave me a story where no one won.”

“Didn’t I, though?”


“Birdie didn’t throw the ring.”



“You kept saying ‘Verti’ at the end, not Birdie. Or did that change, too?”

Vertiline felt her face grow red. She wanted to lash out at him…not a new sensation, to be sure…but instead took a deep, calming breath.

“She didn’t let the monster have it. She kept it, until the end. She won.”

“Yeah, and apparently she died!”

Pigott started coughing.

“That’s usually how things go,” Vertiline said, sourly. “Go to sleep.”

She blew out the candle, now just a sliver in its dented tin pan, and turned over. Pigott cried silently. Sleep put an end to it. Vertiline hated herself a little bit. All he wanted was to take his mind off things for a while. But while he was escaping, she’d been reliving. Reliving that time Old Turner had chased her through the Gutter, and she’d escaped through a pipe. They found him a few days later, drowned and even more bloated than he had been, from the trapped water.

Vertiline had managed to escape with the help of a passing Thickie, who broke the last bar over a street grate and pulled her to safety. She resented that it was a guardsman who saved her, that she couldn’t save herself. Hated the guardsman for pulling her to safety and trying to take her away from the Gutter, away from Pigott.

And now the Thickies gathered outside the ground of Klankenvroot factory, trying to root them out, trying to take their home. The band of tin burned around her thumb. She hated the damn thing. But she loved it too.

“They’ve got a word for that,” Vertiline whispered to herself as her eyes grew heavy. “Cinammon-tality. Stupid word for stupid people.”

And she fell asleep.


Related Reading:

Adella Chatelaine Reports #001

CROWNDON AIN’T KIND: The Tales of Vertiline and Pigott Torp