Tanglestone

Interlude: Peluma's Soliloquy

In which a Night Sweeper attempts to follow the narrative thread of a tragedy.

Peluma moves quietly into the Weeping Wings alone. The main thoroughfare through the Wings has a number of side theatres and auditoriums, but the Night Sweeper tries first to discover some sort of access passageway that the Players might use. Any that might exist appear to be too well concealed for her, though, and in the process of searching she narrowly avoids being caught in a trap that exhaled the drug — or poison — called Mourner’s Malaise.

After discovering a similar floor trap, the Night Sweeper climbs up to the molding, and travels above the ground further in. She makes it to the first of the stages: an area seemingly larger than the Weeping Wings could contain, more full of trees than the Orchards themselves. A large statue depicting a number of Players (including an Assassin archetype) sits in a clearing, and its blazon reads “The Tragedy of The Yellow Emperor’s Shroud, Act I, The Forest.” Peluma notices several Tragedians in bandit-like costumes set up in blinds around the clearing, and avoids them as she passes on.

In this fashion she continues through the other acts of the grand tragedy, observing the tale hinted at by the large group statues of the “cast.” In Act II: The Cemetery, she notes odd lantern-like lights weaving through the mausoleums and headstones, and discovers a trapped shortcut in an open grave that apparently leads through catacomb-like passages to Act IV. She disdains the shortcut, however, daring to follow on to Act III. There, in The Cathedral, she notes pews filled with various figures, both monastic and seemingly Players of the cast, sitting quietly facing a grand altar with four coffins laid before it. A vantage point from on high reveals the four coffins are occupied with very familiar-seeming forms.

From there, Peluma slips away to Act IV: The Battlefield, where she suffers a very close call. Entranced by the statue — which appears to be foretelling the Assassin’s death at the hands of the Avenger — she accidentally steps on the hand of one of the fallen corpses littering the field, only to have it clutch at her. It takes a trick learned in Shadow to elude the living dead that arise. She then carefully slips away to Act V: The Castle, which appears to be entirely void of Players once the main hall is reached.

Peluma discovers a way Backstage from the setting of the final Act, and reaches the communal living area of the Tragedians. Many are present, going about their daily errands in an slow manner that implies drugs or entrancement. Peluma slips among them, and heads for Wardrobe. There the temptation to take an Assassin costume nearly sets her in a monstrous spider’s web, though again she is able to elude the beast.

While still in hiding, she is able to eavesdrop on a conversation between two Tragedians seemingly free from the trance, one the Avenger from the statues, the other a dark-veiled Bride. She learns some interesting tidbits of the trouble that has bewitched the master of the troupe, and how the help these free Tragedians have sent for has not yet returned. She follows the Avenger back out, and slips him a note offering a Night Sweeper’s help. The two covertly meet, and the Player explains more of the spell that Master de Languissere has fallen under. Peluma offers the help of the Trade Union, and agrees to meet the Avenger on the stage of Act I, where he can guide them through the labyrinth. That agreement made, she slips back the way she came to rejoin her comrades.

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Barastrondo

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