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A Doomed Pilgrim in the Ruins of the Future.

A topic by Samantha Day created Mar 25, 2019 Views: 1,948 Replies: 36
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This is the first killing I've done since I embarked on my pilgrimage. I haven't lost my touch, I see. I take the lizard-beast's reins and pull it to a  sharp halt. How does the other scout react to their partner's death? 

You thought that by killing the clever scout quickly you would frighten the dull scout into submission. You were so very wrong. Before her companion is good and truly dead The remaining scout has her weapon drawn and her lizard-beast charging at you.  In this moment you are ever more certain that No Gods Watch Over You

Then gods never have. I barely parry the other scout's sword, and they knock me off of my lizard, so that we're both sprawling in the dirt. I might be able to fight free. I throw a handful of dirt in their eyes. Do they recoil and let go? Anyone should answer. 


They hiss as their eyes sting, but they do not lose their grip on their sword or on your shirt.

They might kill me here. I throw my head back and howl the summoning-name of the ghost I have burned into my mind, and  it rises around us, ashen and terrible, ready to do violence to everything in its path.  Do I have a chance to get away? Anyone should answer. 

It grabs the scout, whose screams of terror are cut short as her body is rapidly drained of life, skin starting to flake away in wisps of ash and dust in the breeze. You can wriggle free, but now there's a murderous ghost on the loose.


Well, as the scholar-poets say: sometimes it be your own mans.

I scramble to my feet and face down my ghost. How did its name come to be seared into my mind? Anyone should answer. 

How could you forget the name of your father?

No gods watch over you.

When I bound my father's spirit as an instrument of death,  I knew what I was getting into.  I was so sure of myself. I was a fool. "Baba," I say, standing firm against the storm. "It's time to sleep now."  Does he heed me and go quietly back to his rest? Anyone should answer. 

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How could he call himself a father if he did, returning to the Summerlands only to report to your sister and mothers that he left you in this world of danger and cruelty.

His duty demands that he take you with him.

No gods watch over you.

I've had a hell of a morning. I haven't even eaten breakfast yet. I don't care if Baba goes back to the third hell, he's going somewhere that's not here. So I eye up the two lizard-beasts, which are sitting quietly in the middle of the path, and decide that the one the clever scout was riding is fatter. Working as fast as I can, I cut its throat as blood-offering to my father. Does Baba take it and go quietly back to his rest?  Anyone should answer. 

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Your father accepts your offering, the blood from the lizard and from the slain scouts boil away. In a flash of fire your father is gone back to his rest. The bushes around you are burning now, the kings army will know where you are.

I look around at the fire and watch the plume of smoke rise into the sky.  That could have gone better. The "end to violence" thing is a work in progress--a few more lives to atone for, when I reach the Temple to No Gods. I mount my newly-acquired lizard-beast and reach into my bag to finally, finally eat my breakfast.

 When does the princess's messenger catch up to me that day?  Anyone should answer. 

At sunset, as you're crossing that ridge you saw in the distance, which turned out to be the skeleton of some giant beast, its ribs filled with crumbling dirt. Treacherous ground.

I'm on holy ground here. There will be no deaths as long as we stand in the ribs of the beast. The messenger approaches me warily, keeping their distance. They can't be more than thirteen, from the looks of them. I motion them over, impatient to be on my way.

I've never met the king's daughter--she was born well after my falling-out with the royal family. I know she's young, and I know she fights in her father's army like a common soldier, but hardly anything else. What ill-tidings do her messenger bring me? Anyone should answer. 

She explains that the hated king has dispatched his champion. They await outside the sacred site of bones, at the edge of the Gray Hills. The champion has drawn a circle and is challenging you to single combat. 

Oh, great. Single combat. That's exactly what I need. Wonderful. 

What do I know about this champion that worries me the most? 

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