Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'lg48'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Brandon and Book News
  • Events, Signings, & Giveaways
  • Columns and Features
  • Site News
  • Shardcast

Forums

  • 17th Shard
    • Introduce Yourself!
    • 17th Shard Discussion
    • The Coppermind Wiki
    • Arcanum Discussion
  • Brandon Sanderson
    • General Brandon Discussion
    • Events and Signings
    • Sanderson Fan Works
    • Arcanum, the Brandon Sanderson Archive
  • The Cosmere
    • Cosmere Q&A
    • Cosmere Discussion
    • Stormlight Archive
    • Mistborn
    • Elantris and Emperor's Soul
    • Warbreaker
    • White Sand
    • Cosmere Short Stories
    • Unpublished Works
  • Non-cosmere Works
    • The Reckoners
    • The Rithmatist
    • Skyward
    • Alcatraz
    • Other Stories
    • The Wheel of Time
  • Related Works
    • Writing Excuses
    • Reading Excuses
    • TWG Archive
  • Community
    • General Discussion
    • Entertainment Discussion
    • Science, Tech, and Math Discussion
    • Creator's Corner
    • Role-Playing
    • Social Groups, Clans, and Guilds

Blogs

  • Chaos' Blog
  • Leinton's Blog
  • 17th Shard Blog
  • KChan's Blog
  • Puck's Blag
  • Brandon's Blog
  • The Name of your Blog
  • Darth Squirrely's Blog
  • Tales of a Firebug
  • borborygmus' Blog
  • Zeadman's Blog
  • zas678's Blog
  • The Basement
  • Addy's Avocations
  • Zarepath's Blog
  • First time reading The Well Of Ascension
  • Seshperankh's Blog
  • "I Have Opinions About Books"
  • Test
  • Which actors would you like to see playing the characters of Mistborn?
  • Drifted Mists
  • Jaron's Realm
  • Roshar Speculative Theories
  • ChrisHamatake's Blog
  • Paradox Flint's Blog
  • Deoradhan's Blog
  • Storm Blessed's Blog
  • Elwynn's Blog
  • firstRainbowRose's Blog
  • Rotabush ShardBlog
  • Hoid's Compendium
  • InterContinental Adventures
  • Claincy Creates
  • WoR Thoughts and Questions
  • Blogfalcon
  • David Coppercloud's Blog
  • yurisses' notes and theories
  • Lark Adventures
  • LeftInch's Blog
  • LUNA's Poetry
  • Inspiration Board
  • Trying to be Useful for a Change
  • Rocket League Boosting Service -RL Rank Boosting - ProBoosting.net
  • The Way of Toasters
  • Cosmere Nerd Things
  • Vascular X
  • http://www.supplementssouthafrica.co.za/testo-ultra-south-africa/
  • Gleam And Glow Cream Review
  • g10 force
  • Custom Quality Services Offered By Painting Contractors Spring Valley
  • How AR will impact the market in Current time | Brossard Design
  • A few things that weigh less and will make your Camino more comfortable
  • How to Expand Your Business Internationally
  • Track Advanced - Racing, Flight and Game Simulators by Next Level Racing
  • DA blog
  • Wyn's Adventures in Geekiness
  • Words With Ene
  • thirty-two and a half
  • Silly Stupid Drawings

Calendars

  • Community Calendar

Found 11 results

  1. Night fell on Tathingdwen, a still moonlight broken by falling flakes of ash the only lighting available to the shrouded, mist-covered city. The city, and the secret sect that lived within it: the Terris Synod, a solitary beacon of hope. Marne, the highest-ranking member of that Synod, paced in his office, discontent. Swirling rumours, which he had little power or desire to refute, were being whispered around the hideout. Rumours of Steel Inquisitors, Spiked servants of the Lord Ruler, that had supposedly infiltrated the last bastion of Feruchemy left on Scadrial. Marne found them near unbelievable, but who was he to dismiss the evidence of his Windwhisperers that had seen and heard otherwise? The Synod would be foolish to ignore the members they swore to protect, particularly when they warned of impending danger. However, paranoia was not yet necessary, especially when accusations were so weighty, and evidence was so scarce. The implications of a corrupted Synod were not lost on Marne. At best, it meant that one of his friends, who he had known all his life, was covertly plotting his downfall, At worst…at worst, the Lord Ruler would find and exterminate the last free, living Feruchemists. Neither option was particularly appealing to Marne, and he chose not to believe them—for now. But perhaps further evidence would be worth examining. At last choosing a direction, Marne walked over to his desk, plopping down in the high oak chair with a sigh. Taking out a simple sheet of paper and a pen, he tapped into his tinmind, allowing him to focus on the paper in the dim lighting, and began to write. My fellow Feruchemists, Concerns have been raised about supposed infiltrators and spies within our midst by several members of our congregation. While there may be no cause for immediate concern, as evidence presented so far is inconclusive… Count Olaf, an esteemed member of the Luthadel nobility and newly ascended leader of House Ffnord, prowled through the quiet streets of Tathingdwen. Small steel spikes pricked him in a dozen concealed places, the aftermath of an audience with the Lord Ruler himself. That audience had nearly destroyed his sanity, and had ended with him being given a task; to take a small group and investigate Tathingdwen, finding and infiltrating any groups of Feruchemists found. Then, he was to either kill them all himself, or report back to the Lord Ruler, who would send his Inquisitors to do the same. Finding the Terris Synod had been no easy task. The group was naturally secretive, and suspicious of newcomers. However, one by one, all the spiked in his group had managed to enter the community of Feruchemists there. He alone remained rejected by the society. There was no way for all his spikes to go unnoticed by the vigilant wardens that guarded the Synod’s network of tunnels and safe houses, and his discovery within the society would endanger those already concealed within the Terris ranks. However, feeding the fires of paranoia that existed within the Synod was always a good idea. Not only because feeding fires, even metaphorical, was a good thing in Olaf’s view—though that was certainly part of it—but because Olaf would have the chance to kill Marne, the leader of the Synod who retained skepticism about the presence of Spiked, which would cause enough general mayhem to keep the Synod impotent until he, Olaf, could report back to the Lord Ruler and instruct him to ravage the hideout. Readying a brand, the tip of which was covered in dry tar and pitch, Olaf approached what he believed to be, from the limited directions his associates had been able to slip to him, the study of Marne. The building was nondescript; two stories of solid oak, it had likely been built shortly after the city became a major trading point as a tavern or small storefront. Now it housed the last ruler of the Synod. Striking a match, Olaf ignited the end of the brand, watching it burst alight in a flurry of sparks. He grinned, breathing in once more the fragrance of smoke, and kicked at the nearest ground-floor window with his boot. The metal-reinforced studs on the heel easily shattered the thin glass, creating a sizeable hole through which Olaf threw the burning torch. As the house began to be consumed by flames, Olaf waited by the door, ready for his quarry to come fleeing. Marne put the finishing touches to his letter to the Synod, signing it with a flourish that was just slightly more extravagant than was perhaps necessary. Satisfied with his argument, which would hopefully help stop the paranoid rumours from spreading without solid evidence, he walked towards the staircase leading down to the ground floor, where his main desk was situated. Marne frowned. A faint scent of burning wood drifted up to him, followed by a wisp of black smoke. Panic rose in him immediately, followed by grim determination. Tapping some of his zincmind to clear his thoughts, Marne advanced cautiously down the stairs, careful not to breathe in the smoke too deeply. Peering down the staircase, he saw that the front window had been broken with what appeared to be a foot, judging by the boot-shaped imprint in the glass, and that a brand had been thrown into his writing desk. He felt another flare of panic rise within him. The desk contained older, yet important documents, and they were slowly being consumed by flames. Shoving down his innate revulsion at the sight of fire, Marne forced himself to tear his eyes away from the burning desk. Escape was his priority, even if it meant sacrificing some his papers to fire. Whoever had found him out would need to be neutralised. Tapping speed and strength, Marne rushed towards the door, slamming his shoulder into it and bringing the sturdy wooden structure down. Failing to regain his balance after his mad rush, he collapsed on top of the door. Storing weight, Marne drew himself up and turned around towards his burning house, scanning the street behind it for an intruder. It didn’t take long to find the culprit. A tall, skinny man stood framed in the blaze of the wooden house. Marne could pick out few distinctive features, other than the man’s single eyebrow and tattooed ankle, but from the brand in his hand, as well as the metalminds that were visible as bulges in his clothing, Marne knew he was facing a dedicated Full Feruchemist. Preparing himself to engage in his first real conflict, Marne slowly advanced on the intruder. His knowledge of Feruchemy was extensive. He now just had to use it. Olaf smiled as he witnessed the panicked rush of Marne out of the burning house. Knowing that the Feruchemist was likely a dangerous foe, and that the blaze of the wooden house would soon attract bystanders to intervene, Olaf would need every advantage he could get. A distracted opponent was a welcome one. Preparing to tap his steel, Olaf angled himself towards the oncoming Synod member, ready to face him; his first real challenge. And felt an overwhelming nausea take him, dropping him to his knees. It happened occasionally. Too often, really. Olaf cursed the conscience that remained in him, the vestiges of a code he had held before he came before the Lord Ruler, back when he had been only a minor nobleman, and had joined with Hadrian Heatherlocke to survive the small house war that had swept Luthadel up just two years past. He often would think of Hadrian when his conscience took him, as it did now. What Hadrian would think of him, what Hadrian would have him do. Olaf would often wonder, in moments like these, which was the real him; the hired killer and arsonist who aided the Lord Ruler, or the sceptical nobleman who worked with Hadrian to stop his machinations. Were the spikes the cause of this agony? Lord Ruler, he could be numb at times. Had he even thought about what he had been doing, these past weeks? The Feruchemist was advancing towards him, wary but determined. Olaf looked up at him. His nausea was subsiding. It would be so easy to feign defeat, and then, when Marne least expected it, to— No. Something deep within Olaf, even deeper than the introspection based on the bouts of nausea and thoughts of Hadrian, rebelled. Olaf moved quickly, not giving himself time to reconsider, not letting his insanity grip him again. Reaching under his robes, he pulled one steel spike out of his arm. Another followed, and then others from all over his body, the tips caked in dried blood. He continued until a dozen spikes lay on the ground before him. Bleeding in a dozen places, registering the look of shock on the Synod leader’s face, and finally free from the murderous thoughts at last, Olaf stripped himself of his metalminds as well. He looked up at Marne. “I’m sorry. It was the spikes after all,” he mumbled, and then passed out from blood loss. Marne stood in the burnt remains of his house. Based on the testimony of Olaf, it seemed that the rumours circulating about the hideout did have credence, after all. Storing weight in his ironmind to ensure that the stairs didn’t give way beneath him, Marne ascended to the second floor. His letter to the Synod still lay on his writing desk, remarkably untouched. Marne looked at it with a sad smile; it mattered not whether the letter was burnt or whole—it needed to be rewritten either way. Walking over to his desk, he began scribing a new letter to present tomorrow. My fellow Feruchemists, Concerns have been raised about supposed infiltrators and spies within our midst by several members of our congregation. There is cause for immediate concern, as having apprehended one of these infiltrators myself last evening, I can confirm that the presence of Spiked among us is a real and present threat... Welcome to Long Game 48: The Terris Synod. This game is set in the city of Tathingdwen during the reign of the Lord Ruler, and involves the last free remaining Feruchemists and Terrismen attempting to hide from several Spiked servants of the Lord Ruler within their midst. With Olaf’s testimony revealing the presence of Spiked among the villagers, the Synod has declared Tathingdwen closed, and will not let any in or out until all the Spiked are killed...or they themselves have been destroyed. It is now up to each of you to ensure that the last free Feruchemists survive until the fall of the Lord Ruler. The basic rules of the game may be accessed here. Should clarifications be necessary (and I imagine they will), I will add them to this post or a subsequent one as well as the doc. My co-GM for this game will [email protected] of Spontaneity. Signups will last until next Friday the 10th of August, unless an extension proves necessary. Rollover for this game will occur around 9 PM EDT. Here is the countdown clock to the end of signups: Quick Links:
  2. The Terris people were dwindling. Half the Synod had been slaughtered, between the Spiked killings and the justice meted out by poison at night, or a mob by day. Those that remained had retreated, seeking to manoeuvre their way into controlling the political influences of the Synod, fearful and distrustful of their own number. Initial confidence that ousting Valwyn had purified the Synod had dropped, and Citona Vinid, who had been helping Olaf administrate the legislative body, frantically defended herself against accusations from Ethin Hallil and Tee Mai, who were convinced that Vinid had unsavoury ties to Zihel. For his part, Olaf mainly sat back and watched the proceedings with a grim expression. Sitting and whispering with Marne, whose advice he valued above all the other members, Olaf assessed the men in front of him. He recognised the flaws in each, but upon a more thorough examination, he found himself agreeing with Marne about the people within the Synod. They were misguided, and made mistakes. They had been mistaken to oust Marne from his old position. They had been mistaken to entrust Olaf, a newcomer, with the survival of the last free Feruchemists in the Dominances. And their squabbling, now, was certainly not ideal. However, Olaf now felt, as he stood next to Marne, that the man had been right about his fellow Synod members; despite their infighting, each truly wanted what was best for the Terris, and as Olaf saw it, his confidence and belief in the Synod began to reform itself. These were, truly, the greatest men and women in the Terris community. Olaf simply had to unite them, and refocus them on those outside their council. As Olaf sat in thought, he saw Tee Mai on the edges of his vision, who was approaching Vinid, hand raised to strike at the Ferring. “That’s enough!” bellowed Olaf from the swivel chair atop the raised platform on which he sat. Tee Mai lowered his hand sheepishly, looking up at Olaf with guilt, yet a little bit of resentment, within his eyes. Resentment will not do, thought Olaf. Raising his voice, he addressed the small Synod. “Your bickering is tiring me,” he announced, “and sitting here arguing amongst ourselves will accomplish little. You are each leaders of this community, and are responsible for its survival; projecting an image of doubt and paranoia will not help the Terris, especially with our numbers as dangerously low as they are. You have each questioned the merits of your fellow Synod members a hundred times; is it not likely that they are merely exhausted and worn out, as each of us are, as opposed to being secret Infiltrators?” Olaf let the question hang in the air. Marne, however, spoke from beside him. “You have known each of the people in this room for your entire lives, with the exception of Olaf,” he told the Synod. “I would be inclined to trust them after that time. Perhaps there are Spiked in this chamber; however, it is far better to look elsewhere first, and give the Terris leadership in these chaotic times.” The three Synod members on the ground glanced at each other. Olaf could tell that relations had not been fully restored, not yet. But the three would help him and Marne to find the last Spiked, despite their mistrust. And right now, that was all Olaf cared about. Each of its members uncertain of what the day held, yet determined to face it, the Terris Synod emerged from their meeting-house in Tathingdwen for what would be the last time, a unified front presented to the body of Terris gathered below them. The body of Terris gathered below them had cornered Ehereman Tresni. The last Spiked attempted to defend himself against the accusations of a Stick, which was unhappy after the burning of the Tautological Society, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. The Terris had found out too much about him; his associations with Zihel and Valwyn had proven too strong to ignore. His only hope, now, was to convince the crowd that the Synod member Citona Vinid was guilty, and not he. That hope was dashed as the Synod walked down the steps from the meeting-house, almost marching as a single group. The message of unity was impossible to ignore, and from the looks of the members, they too were focused on destroying him. Tresni cursed the Lord Ruler, who had brought him to this barren northern wasteland to die. He cursed Olaf, for abandoning the entire mission, and Leidene, for ignoring it. He cursed the Spiked who had died before him, who had failed at their mission, leaving him to carry out the destruction of a sect of highly dangerous people on his own. Most of all, however, Tresni cursed himself. Cursed himself for his inability to kill Ethin Hallil the night before, with poison. Cursed himself for his failure to put his spying to good use when he had attempted to investigate the Steel squid. And cursed himself for cracking under the withering pressure of an examination by the remaining Terris. Tresni was not like the other Spiked sent in the mission. Valwyn worked in Pewter, making him the muscle of the group. HanTor was a sly talker, able to talk a crowd into almost anything. Zihel could potentially do anything, and had been made to counter Full Feruchemists. Of course, they had failed, too. Valwyn had been killed with strength, a sword passing through his neck; HanTor had not talked his way out of his death; and Zihel had ultimately been slaughtered by Marne. Tresni was made to be something else: a spy. Tin-enhanced senses allowing him to see the world around him, he was to gather information and use it to bring down the Synod. However, he, too, had now failed. As Olaf walked down the staircase, Tresni felt a deep resentment for the man build inside him. He had betrayed his fellows, worked to undermine the people with whom he had been sent, and had even talked his way into becoming the head of the organisation that was leading the efforts to find and kill the Lord Ruler’s chosen. Resentment steadily increased, fueling the fires of hatred. It was time to act. The startled Terris jumped aside as Tresni parted the crowd by laying about with the scabbard of his sword. Striding over to Olaf, the Windwhisperer slapped the man across the face with a metal gauntlet, who recoiled in surprise and pain. Recovering quickly, Olaf whipped the thin sword he carried out of its sheath, facing Tresni, who smiled. The challenge accepted, the remaining Terris hurriedly scrambled aside, creating a rough ring for the duel. Marne looked at Olaf, astonishment etched into every line of his face. Through persistent effort, the last Spiked had been cornered, and Olaf accepted a duel from him? Was the man insane, or did he have a death wish? He had seen Olaf fence, and while the man was certainly competent, Tresni had been Tathingdwen’s swordmaster for as long as he had been in the village, and was extremely skilled with the blade. Add to that the heightened senses and perceptions that Tin Feruchemy granted him… The duel began its course as a quick pattern of thrusts from Tresni that Olaf turned away with his blade, stepping aside to take a sweep at Tresni’s unprotected back. Anticipating this, Tresni pivoted, suddenly bringing his lightweight rapier down, whistling towards Olaf’s head. Clang! Olaf moved his sword into place just in time, parrying the attack and barely maintaining his footing. He stumbled and lowered his sword slightly, which was nicked from the impact. Tresni pressed his brief advantage, raining blows from every direction on his dazed opponent. Olaf parried them all, but he was at a nominal disadvantage, and had begun to tire, wilting under Tresni’s relentless assault. It was time to intervene here. Marne signaled to Ethin Hallil and Tee Mai, who nodded and drew their own swords, prepared to aid Olaf in his foolish endeavor. As they approached Olaf’s ragged form, however, the man snarled, lashing out with his rapier at the two men. “Leave Tresni to me!” he commanded, as the two frantically scurried away from his circling blade. Marne again shook his head at his friend’s stubbornness, watching Hallil and Mai retreat. It seemed as though Marne had only one course remaining: to intervene himself. Slipping between two of the Terris who were gazing at the match with intent eyes, Marne worked his way to the front of the small ring that had formed to act as a perimeter for the duel. The move perhaps took him five seconds, and those five seconds had clearly not gone well for Olaf. The enhanced physical senses of Tresni had clearly aided him, as the Windwhisperer seemed to see attacks before they even came. Viciously parrying an overhead slash from Olaf, which caused his arms to shake, Tresni quickly turned his blade and slammed the flat of it into Olaf’s face. Already kneeling, Olaf now collapsed completely onto the ground, the collective groans of the Terris rising from behind Marne to accompany Olaf’s fall. As Tresni raised his rapier one last time, grinning, Marne shuddered, fracturing himself into two parts. In a decision that took a split second, but had all the backing of a week of working with the man now lying prone and helpless, Marne tapped his steel instead of his pewter, rushing into the ring and throwing himself on top of Olaf. Straight into the path of the descending blade. Olaf’s face burned from the impact of a rapier. Crouched on the ground, he gingerly moved his right hand to his cheek, feeling the wet blood pooling there. Of all the ways he could have died, Olaf would not have thought that this would be it—a simple duel with a servant of the Lord Ruler in the most far-flung location in the Final Empire. Olaf cursed himself for his folly as Tresni’s blade ascended. He was no chivalrous knight of olden days, to fix the world with arranged duels and glorious feats of strength on the battlefield. He was an arsonist, a plotter, a man who specialised in the execution of unscrupulous deeds in the dark. And in a fair duel, there were no means with which to use those skills. As Tresni’s blade began to lower, Olaf only hoped that Marne could avenge his death. Little did he know the opposite would have to occur. Olaf saw Marne dart into the ring from the right, moving with the superhuman speed of a Steelrunner, and throw himself on top of Olaf. Olaf drew in a breath to scream at him for his idiocy, that he should be the one leading the Terris after this mess, when that air was driven from his lungs by the hard lump of one of Marne’s metalminds as the Full Feruchemist slammed into him, pinning him to the ground. Tresni’s sword completed its arc, slicing through Marne’s unprotected back. Olaf screamed as Tresni drew his sword away and Marne went limp, his friend’s death so sudden that he had not even been able to speak. Marne’s dead eyes gazed up at Olaf tenderly yet firmly, as if to say, You know what you must do. Olaf indeed did. Feeling the flames of fury feed his strength, Olaf snatched his rapier from the cobblestones, swinging it at Tresni with a powerful two-handed blow. The man parried, backpedaling and recovering swiftly with a thrust at Olaf’s side, which the Count was forced to block. Exchanging a series of quick blows with Tresni, Olaf came to the realisation that raw fury alone would not enable him to defeat such a skilled opponent. Tresni was too good a swordmaster to be bested by an untrained Count, especially an exhausted and wounded one. A new plan began to form in Olaf’s head, amidst his frantic attacks and desperate defenses. As Tresni made a slice at Olaf’s midsection, sword held in a two-handled grip, Olaf decided that now was the time to attempt his gambit. Dancing past the blade, Olaf switched his sword to his right hand alone, extending his body fully in a lengthened thrust. It was a terribly impractical move, leaving his left side completely defenceless. Tresni saw this, sidestepping Olaf’s thrust and returning it with one of his own, straight at Olaf’s arm. Prepared as he was for the impact, the pain of it made Olaf howl, the cold steel biting into his arm with the heat of a thousand fires. Twisting his arm, Olaf allowed the sword to pierce deeper into him despite every fibre of him telling him to let Tresni extract it, which the Spiked, seeing the trap that had been laid for him, was frantically attempting to do. Olaf clung on, gritting his teeth, and slammed his sword into Tresni’s undefended heart, even as the man yanked his sword out of Olaf’s arm with his last effort. As both collapsed onto the pavement, Olaf with pain and exhaustion, and Tresni with death, a ragged cheer went up from the Synod, which instantly subsided as the memory of Marne’s death and Olaf’s wounds hit them. As Olaf began to drift out of consciousness, the Synod members rushed forward, bathing Olaf’s head in cold water to keep him awake, and binding his wounds with the cloth available. The count’s fury began to return to him as he looked around Tathingdwen, with its pristine buildings and cheery storefronts, and remembered that corruption and rot had lived and thrived in those same buildings. He turned to Hallil. “How quickly can you give Marne a decent burial?” Hallil frowned. “Fairly quickly. Why? Is there something that needs to be done?” Olaf stood up, instantly feeling lightheaded. Tee Mai protested, attempting to sit him back down, but Olaf merely slapped his hand away, leaning on his rapier for support. “Yes. There is. The Spiked are gone, but this city is now vulnerable to the Lord Ruler. Moreover, it has sheltered evil for far too long. Gather enough supplies, find Leidene, and get every man in this city out of here.” “Where?” Hallil asked, with mounting trepidation. “Anywhere, as long as it’s sufficiently hidden from the Lord Ruler,” Olaf replied irritably. “Leidene can sort out the details, and you can send Citona with her. He’s the new Synod head, by the way. Regardless, once Marne is buried, we are razing this city.” Two hours later, with Marne buried and the Synod evacuated, Olaf stood outside his friend’s old house, where it had all begun. He had nearly burnt the structure down that time. Now, he would complete the job. Raising his lit torch, he ran its flames along the edge of the wooden structure, watching as they took hold and spread. Olaf felt a tear well in his eye as he thought of his friend, but he quickly blinked it away. He could not afford to be sentimental. Casting one last look at the burning building, he moved on to the next with renewed fury, setting it alight. And the next, and the next. With each flame kindled, Olaf felt a little more of his frustration and anger burn away, releasing it in a great show of fire. He continued his work ceaselessly, for hours, ignoring his dizziness and wounds, focusing on purging his anger. Soon, between his work and that of the Synod, all the main buildings of Tathingdwen were ablaze. The natural spread of the flames, which were fanned and buffeted by the light afternoon breeze, would soon consume the whole city. Signaling for the Synod to rejoin the other refugees, Olaf took the longer road, moving back towards Luthadel and Keep Ffnord. A letter slipped to Jest, who had joined up with the Synod in the general confusion, should be enough to ensure that Citona Vinid took ascendancy over the Synod, and that the Terris people would live to fight the Lord Ruler another day. As for his own part, Olaf could no longer be with the Synod. Passing down the lonely northern road, he spared a single glance back at the city, and its refugees, then slipped quietly away, his flight masked by the long shadows of a setting sun. For their part, the Terris only saw a lone, dark figure, weeping as he wheezed, walk away towards the Central Dominance, his tall and foreboding frame passing slowly into the distance. Marne’s death opened up some intriguing options for Leidene. As the killer of two Spiked infiltrators, including a Full Feruchemist, he had acquired quite a collection of spikes which were now left unguarded. Leidene currently only possessed two spikes: a bronze one through her ribcage and a pewter spike between her shoulder blades. If she gained ownership of Marne’s trove, she too could have most of the powers of a Full Feruchemist, though she would have to search elsewhere for spikes granting Feruchemical atium. That would be enough for now, she reassured herself, as she began to pile up her nonessential belongings in the middle of her house. Furniture, incriminating documents, the discarded bones of the Sparker HanTor had replaced, and all the corpses she had managed to collect. Setting the pyre alight, she smiled. Helping the Spiked infiltrate the city would soon prove to have been very profitable. Leidene stepped out of her burning home to find the remainder of Tathingdwen similarly engulfed in flames. Count Olaf venting his sorrow, she assumed. With displeasure, she noted that the fire had already reached Marne’s house. She hobbled as fast as she could towards the doomed dwelling, wishing Olaf had waited a little bit longer before putting on his pyromaniacal display. Arriving inside the circular house with the fire raging within, Leidene began rummaging through Marne’s trinkets. He had only killed Zihel the previous night, so surely the spikes would be somewhere obvious. No such luck. They weren’t on his desk, or his wardrobe, or underneath his bed. The blaze began to thoroughly lick the walls of the house, which groaned, and the interior temperature rose precipitously. Leidene ignored this; the compulsion to claim her prize was too strong. She would not leave while the spikes had yet to be found, even as the fire burned through the walls and began to consume the entire house. The decorative rug, courtesy of Valwyn, that covered the entire floor began to smoke as a burning ember landed on it. Soon, the rug was nothing but food for the inferno, and as the flames began to devour her, the pain broke through her spike-fueled desire. She screamed, tapping gold to heal herself as she made for an exit. It took almost her entire goldmind, but she was able to escape the conflagration before she could be reduced to a skeleton. The house was not so lucky. Leidene stared numbly at the wreckage. She had been so close, but Count Olaf’s rampant arson had cost her everything. Desperately, she stumbled towards the flaming wreckage. Deprived of fuel, the bonfire had moved on, leaving utter devastation in its wake. The rug had burned to a crisp, and the wood had been severely charred. Leidene began to brush aside the debris, vaguely hoping she would encounter the spikes now that the obstruction had been cleared away. To her surprise, she found something; the outline of a stone door previously hidden under the rug. She tried to open it, but it was much to heavy for an ordinary person to lift, especially one who could only put her weight on one leg. She was about to give up for a second time when she heard a voice calling her name. She turned to see Ethan Hallil, the SCUBA instructor and one of her fellow Synod members. “What do we do?” he cried out. “Count Olaf has gone mad!” “Gather the remaining villagers,” Leidene responded. “Have them head down the river towards Torinost, we’ll be safe from the Lord Ruler and his minions there while we build ourselves a new homeland. Before you go though, could you open this door for me?” “Door?” asked Ethan, confused. He walked closer to Leidene, and his gaze found the stone door. “Ah yes, hold on,” he said as he tapped pewter. With his enlarged muscles, he was able to wedge his fingers in the slit at the end of the door and throw it open. Underneath was a pit holding all thirteen spikes Marne had claimed for his own. “That’s good, now hurry! See to your people,” Leidene commanded. “Are you sure it’s safe to leave those spikes out there in the open?” Ethan inquired. “I’ll take care of it, just go. I’ll catch up with you soon,” Leidene replied, Soothing Ethan’s fear and suspicion. Ethan took off. Once he was no longer looking, Leidene gathered the thirteen spikes. Hurriedly, she impaled herself with the relevant ones, gaining new Feruchemical powers with each thrust. Iron, steel, tin, pewter, zinc, brass, copper, and bronze became hers to command, though most of those abilities would be useless without the corresponding metalminds and time spent storing. The two spikes making up the Kandra blessing, along with the duplicate spikes granting gold, zinc, and iron Feruchemy, went into her bag. Her task complete, Leidene moved on, trailing after Ethan’s retreating form. Xinoehp512 was lynched! He was a Spiked Tin Ferring (Windwhisperer)! Marne was killed! He was a Village Full Feruchemist, and was a member of the Synod! Count Olaf has withdrawn! He was an Arsonist, and a member of the Synod! Citona Vinid (phattemer) is now head of the Synod! Leidene has broken from the Lord Ruler, and is carving her own path! She was a Spiked Full Feruchemist! All Spiked are dead or fled! That means the village has won! Congratulations to the villagers, and well played to the Spiked. It was a pretty close game. I will have more thoughts coming later (likely about three essay’s worth) but for now I’d just like to thank everyone who signed up to play. This game wouldn’t have been so enjoyable to run without each of you involved. On that note, I’ll praise Devotary more effusively later, but she was an amazing co-GM, and a great help with all parts of the game. Finally, I’d like to apologise for the delay in the posting of this cycle, which as stated before was due to technical difficulties. Hopefully it didn’t affect anyone too adversely. Docs/Spreadsheets: The Lord Ruler’s Chosen The Terris Synod The Citizenry of Tathingdwen Final Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets Village Steel Ferring 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards Spiked Tin Ferring 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen Village Brass Ferring 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother Spiked Full Feruchemist 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing: Village Bronze Ferring 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver: Village Pewter Ferring 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology: Village Brass Ferring 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements: Village Bronze Ferring 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope Spiked Zinc Ferring 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea Village Zinc Ferring 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler: Village Zinc Ferring 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist: Village Iron Ferring 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless Village Iron Ferring Synod Members: Bort, Cadmium Compounder, phattemer, Araris Valerian, Coop772, Alvron
  3. A man without a name, face obscured by his cowl, paced back and forth around the entrance to the Synod. Distrustful of Olaf as a result of the news articles, the Nameless Ferring waited for the Synod to emerge from the crowded building. Hearing talk of arson drift along the breeze that swept through the cool evening air, he began to grow more concerned. What was that Olaf planning to do to the Synod? He sat there for a time, contemplating if he should relocate his house to an area with a ready source of water, when the Synod emerged from their council. They walked purposely down the steps, several brushing against his Terris robes as they descended. Olaf was one of them, and as the man passed, the Nameless tugged on his sleeve. “Um, so, you know, the Synod, they’re, like, planning things, right? I mean, we’re nearly dead here as a congregation, and, um, that’s bad, you know. So, I was wondering if there was, like, something the Synod would do.” Olaf paused, smiling tersely at him. “We’re about to take our first steps—we’re about to burn down the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology, which we have little patience for in a time when stating the obvious is not enough. We’ve also dealt with Darrel—the man’s hatred for merchants is getting in our way. He’s been sent to burn down Kredik Shaw, by the orders of the Synod.” The Nameless recoiled. “Arson?” he muttered to himself. “Like, um, what’s that supposed to do to, you know, help?” Making sure nobody else could hear him, he continued muttering to himself, rounding a street corner into a narrow alleyway to escape the furtive glances others were shooting him. He kept his face looking downwards, still softly speaking to himself under his breath. So it was that he did not see the hurried approach of Zihel as he tore down the alleyway at top speed, heading towards the Synod building. Completely oblivious, the Nameless stooped suddenly to pick up a stray boxing, and Zihel was unable to check his high-speed rush. Slamming into him, Zihel tapped Pewter, enhancing his bulk to cushion his fall. For his part, the Nameless frantically tapped iron, allowing him to keep an unsteady footing even as the cobblestones cracked underneath him, and Zihel fell awkwardly to the ground. It was then that he noticed the object in Zihel’s hand: a slender Pewter spike. Uncertainty and social awkwardness vanishing in an instant, the Nameless drew in a breath to shout the presence of a Spiked. However, Zihel was too fast. Tapping speed to move faster than his eye could track, Zihel zoomed up to the Nameless and rammed the spike through the Skimmer’s heart. As the Nameless’s life drained away, and Zihel began to tow the corpse, a burst of energy found its way into his almost-dead body. Placing all his remaining strength in his right arm, the Nameless delivered a solid punch to the chin of Zihel, who collapsed, caressing a fractured jaw. At peace finally, he passed from the realm of the living. The Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology was surrounded by a torch-wielding Synod. With its president absent, the building was unguarded, and under the expert guidance of Olaf the Synod had the structure aflame in no time at all. Watching the banner which read “All are Welcome in this Welcoming Society” slowly being subsumed into a pile of ash, Olaf grinned. The exultation of starting a fire was something that a person who had not watched flames devour an unsuspecting piece of land could ever understand. In addition, Olaf had sent a strong message regarding speech that would hopefully be reinforced: speech that is pointless will not be tolerated. Only constructive speech, which could lead to the discovery of Spiked Infiltrators, would be condoned. And with the Terris population at half its initial size, discovery of the Spiked would be vital in the coming days. Three years ago, Zihel had come to this colors-cursed planet hoping to find his brother. Well, not his actual brother, he had died years ago, but the man who called himself Zahel was the closest thing he’d had to family at the time. Apparently, Zahel hadn’t felt the same way, for while he had sent a letter detailing the important scientific research he and his fellow Scholars were pursuing, he hadn’t bothered to let Zihel know their current whereabouts. After months of fruitless waiting, Zihel had set off in search of his brother. Having no real clue where they could have gone, Zihel decided to wander around random planets asking after a tall muscular man, possibly traveling with four others of similar build. He’d tried Threnody first. Nasty place, but the resident Shades might have attracted scholars searching for better ways to animate the dead. After breaking all the Simple Rules and wasting copious amounts of silver without any trace of Zahel, Zihel decided to try a safer planet. Sadly, Zihel was not a good judge of what constituted ‘safe’. After nearly being torn to shreds attempting to reach Sel, he’d stopped by Scadrial, appearing in some sort of mine. The sheer walls were no match for his rope, which he Awakened with the last of his Breath. He was not satisfied with this, for he sympathized with the plight of the slaves. His attempt to free the prisoners enslaved in the mine attracted the attention of the guards. They mercilessly crushed the escape attempt, and Zihel himself was captured. Having noticed the strange behavior of the rope, the guards called in for backup. Zihel was personally escorted to the feet of the Lord Ruler by one of his Inquisitors. Bound in silver manacles, Zihel was forced to bow before the Lord Ruler. A pair of Inquisitors flanked Zihel, the one to his left holding the still-Awakened rope. The second Inquisitor addressed Zihel directly. “Who are you? Where do you come from? How did you get to the Pits of Hathsin?” Zihel looked up briefly, and uttered only two words. “Strangle things.” The remaining color drained from Zihel’s clothes, and the rope immediately wrapped itself around the second Inquisitor’s throat, squeezing tightly. This appeared to have absolutely no effect whatsoever. The constricted Inquisitor merely laughed, and slashed the rope with an obsidian axe. The action drew blood, but as Zihel watched, the gushing flow seized and the wound closed up. The rope fell to the floor in pieces. “What should we do with him, my lord?” asked the no longer wounded Inquisitor. In response, the Lord Ruler began to smile wickedly. Several hours and nine spikes later, Zihel arose from a stone bed. The pain of his newfound spikes hurt almost as much as the knowledge that nine men and women had been butchered beyond all recognition for his sake. The two Inquisitors who had accompanied him before returned, and Zihel was brought back before the Lord Ruler. Feeling he had nothing left to lose, Zihel attacked the Lord Ruler, but was thrown backwards by an invisible force. As Zihel struggled to rise, his fury was obliterated by a crushing wave of numbness. All that was left was fear, which was immediately intensified tenfold, leaving Zihel a gibbering wreck, curled up on the floor. “I trust we have an understanding then?” the Lord Ruler inquired. Zihel merely whimpered in response. “Excellent,” the Lord Ruler announced. “Take him away.” For the next three years, Zihel did the Lord Ruler’s bidding as the Final Empire’s only Feruchemical Inquisitor. He was constantly attended by at least one other Inquisitor. They constantly manipulated his emotions, drowning him in anger and hatred. Under their influence, Zihel murdered hundreds of Skaa, Mistings, and errant nobles. His personality was beaten down until Zihel began to enjoy the bloodlust. Finally, the Lord Ruler deemed him ready for his first mission unaccompanied by an Inquisitor. Numbed by three years of mental torture, Zihel offered no protestations as he was ordered to travel to the Terris Dominance and slaughter any Feruchemists he found there. The quest had not gone as planned. They had found Feruchemists, an entire village of them in fact. After some initial success, the village had fought back, killing Valwyn and HanTor. Zihel felt no particular sadness for their loss, only a sense of irritation that they’d made the job more difficult for him. Rubbing his jaw where the nameless Ferring had punched him, Zihel experienced a similar surge of irritation. That was too sloppy, he thought to himself as he tapped Gold to heal his jaw. He headed back to their new headquarters, envisioning ways he could have more effectively killed the Iron Ferring. Caught up in his bloody reverie, he failed to notice Marne until the other Feruchemist had rushed in and snatched the Pewter spike from Zihel’s grasp. Zihel tapped Pewter in preparation for a fight, but he was too slow to stop Marne from ramming the stolen spike through Zihel’s throat, pinning him to the wall of the alleyway. Zihel tapped Gold, which healed the impact wound but failed to fix the internal damage. He would have to take the spike out first. As he reached to his throat, Marne smashed a Pewter-enhanced fist into Zihel’s forehead. Stunned, Zihel was helpless to prevent, Marne from ripping out every last spike. “You thought you had gotten rid of me when I was deposed, didn’t you?” Marne spat out as he tore away Zihel’s powers. “I’m here to let you know that I will never stop working to protect this village and these people, whether they want me to our not.” He might have said more, but Zihel was no longer listening. Soon, eight bloody spikes littered the cobblestones, leaving only two pewter spikes. The one where his heart had been, which supplied him with healing, and the one through his throat, which granted him death. Surprisingly, Marne’s hand reached for the latter. Zihel dropped to the ground, his metalminds empty, the hole in his throat finally closed. “I know there’s a real person in there somewhere,” Marne said in a much kinder tone of voice. “You can be redeemed as Olaf was,” Marne continued as he grabbed the final spike. “Or not,” he concluded, as Zihel died instantly upon removal of his last spike. Shaking his head sadly, Marne went off to meet Count Olaf, leaving Zihel dead in the alleyway. Sart was killed by the Spiked! He was a Village Iron Ferring (Skimmer)! Randuir was killed! He was a Spiked Full Feruchemist! The Synod has burnt down the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology! Even if the overwhelming consensus was to burn down Kredik Shaw. Sorry about that, _Stick_. You’re still President. Day 5 has begun! It will end in 48 hours on Saturday the 25th of April, at 9 PM EDT. Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets Village Steel Ferring 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen Village Brass Ferring 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother Spiked Full Feruchemist 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope Spiked Zinc Ferring 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea Village Zinc Ferring 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless Village Iron Ferring
  4. With the uncertainty regarding the identity of the new Synod head, the remaining Synod members did not dare to address current issues. Far better to wait for direction before making important decisions, especially considering the wide gulf in ideologies between the two leading candidates. Instead, they turned to address older business that had been ignored in favor of more urgent matters. Darrel, as a neutral party in the election, was currently the Acting Head of the Synod. In his hands, he held a complaint written in a very familiar hand. Darrel could almost hear Valwyn’s voice as he read the notice aloud. “Esteemed colleagues,” the letter began. “I hereby submit a motion to remove the tentacled steel sculpture from the premises. It is an unsightly blemish and is blocking access to the roads. As per paragraph three, section five of legal code, ornaments that obstruct the roads are to be removed with all deliberate speed by the ash sweepers. I request that this action be carried out at once. Yours respectfully, Valwyn.” Darrel lowered the paper and gazed around at his fellow Synod members. Most of them looked disinterested in the proceedings. “Valwyn is dead, and a traitor besides. Do we really have to deal with this?” one asked. “That steel sculpture isn’t even a hindrance anymore. It can move quite quickly when it wants to, and is apparently smart enough to vote,” opined a second member. A third member suddenly cut in, apparently interested. “What if it’s spiked, though? We’d never be able to tell under all that steel.” “That’s ridiculous,” shouted the first speaker. “There’s no way anyone managed to spike a whatever-it-is. We need to focus on finding the real Spiked, not entertaining the fancies of a deceased enemy!” Darrel looked on sadly as the two Synod members’ argument descended into bickering. Under Marne’s leadership, the two had tolerated each other despite their substantial differences in opinion. Now, without a respected head of the Synod, their icy politeness had burned faster than one of Olaf’s fires. “Stop!” he ordered. “We’ll go talk to the steel sculpture and see what it has to say for itself.” Sighing heavily, the four members trudged outside. Not for the last time, Darrel wished Marne were still in power, or at least that Olaf and Leidene would at least feign civility and join in discussions. Steel enjoyed life in Tathingdwen, accusations and biases notwithstanding. As a Ferring, and one incapable of posing as a Terris steward, the village was the only safe place for him. No matter how any whispers of suspicion or disgust came his way, Steel always tried to help his adopted homeland. Lately, he noticed the whispers getting worse. Sometimes, villagers would even proclaim loudly that he was the cause of their troubles. Steel didn’t understand why the villagers would harbor hatred for a noble squid when there were Spiked on the loose, but he never expressed those opinions. Better to keep quiet and prove his loyalty through his actions, he felt. Now, seeing almost the entire Synod heading in his direction, Steel found himself reconsidering his decision. He didn’t run, though he could easily have outpaced the Synod members. He’d seen what had happened when Snip had tried to run, and besides, the village needed him here. To run would be to abandon his duty. Instead, Steel rapidly filled and tapped brass, melting his facial features and reforging them into an expression that humans apparently found to be aesthetically pleasing. This done, he sat back and waited. Darrel stared at the steel sculpture. That face, was it, was it smiling? Such an odd expression on a tentacled monstrosity. Feeling slightly foolish he addressed the beast. “Uh, steel… thing, we, my colleagues feel there is a possibility you may be Spiked, so, we’ve come to investigate.” Steel said nothing, but melted and reformed it’s eyes in an attempt to signal agreement. Creeped out, Darrel nodded. “O-okay then. Um, we’re going to have to check whether any metal is piercing your flesh. Now, I realize that now seem to be made of metal, and that you don’t appear to actual have any flesh, so actually, I don’t even know what we’re supposed to do.” Steel looked up at Darrel with something akin to pity. The poor man was evidently unsuited to leadership. Meanwhile, two of the Synod members had began a new argument. Ignoring Steel, they began to loudly debate the respective merits of Leidene and Count Olaf, and how the pair had agreed that Tathingdwen would have to be abandoned. The shouting drew a crowd over to see what the commotion was about, but the newcomers soon forgot the argument in favor of shouting at Steel. “Who let that thing into our village,” one shouted, wielding a bloody splintered table leg. Steel recoiled, though he harbored no fear of the makeshift club. Emboldened, the villager stepped forward and smashed the leg against one of Steel’s tentacles. The wooden leg broke in two, leaving Steel unharmed. Enraged, the Ferring tried a fist, smashing knuckles into Steel’s eyes. Though Steel felt nothing, the attacker cried out in pain. “The evil brute attacked me,” the aggressor lied. Steel was confused. It wasn’t his fault he had been hit. The milling crowd harbored no such confusion. They mobbed Steel, and though their various weapons were just as ineffective as the instigators table leg and fists, Steel could do nothing to stop them from picking him up. Nothing, that is, except tap brass. Lightly at first, for Steel had no wish to seriously harm the crowd. As the mob began to carry him towards the nearby waterfall, Steel began to panic. He tapped brass more intently, until Terris began to scream in agony as their skin came in contact with blisteringly hot metal. The leaders attempted to drop Steel, but found themselves pushed forward by the inexorable momentum of the crowd. Realizing that his plan had failed, Steel ceased his efforts. The falls were now in sight. Steel, like all squids, enjoyed the water, but he disliked the looks of the rocks bristling pointedly far below. His only chance, he figured, was to forge himself into a useful shape before he hit the rocks. He began to fill brass instead, to provide him with plenty of heat for the task. Just as the chilled metal began to be uncomfortable, Steel was hurled over the edge. As Steel plummeted, he realized that he disliked heights. This thought flitted through his find as he began to melt down his tentacles and form himself into a ball for impact. The boulders below looked even more lethal from this height, he noted, so he dissolved his eyes. They wouldn’t be necessary, he reasoned, a second before his spherical form smashed into the first rock. CRACK! Steel felt the blow reverberate through his core, but he was still alive. He sank into the water, relieved. When he attempted to tap heat to begin reforging his body, he found that his metalminds had been lost. Stuck in his spherical form, Steel was whisked away by the rapids, unable to return home. Olaf continued on his nighttime walk, past the charred ruins of Marne’s hideout and further into the alleyway in which it was set. After the sturdy wooden houses on either side, the alley led into squatter settlements where the poorer citizenry of Tathingdwen lived in small stone huts. Among the paupers and beggars lining the sidewalks, one very important woman lived in the alleyway, an older lady of sixty. Former leader of the Synod for one day, covert member of an arsonist group, and a hopeless lover of dogs, Shirley U. Jest squatted on her porch, watching Olaf as he approached. With surprise, Olaf saw that the sun was coming up behind Jest’s house. How long had he been awake? Pushing aside his fatigue, Olaf turned to the older woman and bowed reverently. Jest had been his mentor, and the leader of the splinter faction that Olaf had joined as a young man, when he stopped fighting fires and began to start them. Now, he hoped to receive direct answers from her, amidst the turmoil and murkiness surrounding the Synod and its congregation. “Ms. Jest,” he began, but the old woman raised her hand for silence, cutting him off. “I’ve lived sixty years, Olaf,” she rasped with the voice of one accustomed to constant smoke inhalation. “I don’t have that much longer here on this brown earth, and I’d hate for you to waste any more of it on your formalities. You’ve come here because you want something. What is it?” Despite himself, Olaf grinned widely. He missed Jest’s blunt answers and no-nonsense approach to life. He was surprised that he had fallen into diplomatic niceties so quickly, but as a member of the high nobility, and then a companion to Marne, who talked around an issue more than Olaf did, Olaf figured that the people around him were mostly to blame. He began again. “I need counsel,” he said simply. “The Synod can no longer keep control of its members, with the discovery of traitors in their midst, and I’m caught up with them, for good or ill. However, they’ve been insane recently: they just deposed Marne—” “Good riddance,” Jest interjected. “Just because he quickly shut down your failed coup doesn’t mean he’s a terrible person. Besides, I had told you that it was too early to try to move against the Synod. Anyway, they’ve also used my Coinshot assassin to remove someone, and now they’re leading the rest of the Terris to kill each other in search of Spiked. I’m not sure if I’m entirely on board with the direction they’re taking.” Jest snorted. “What happened to your devotion to chaos? The Synod will tear itself apart, Marne will die, and there’s one less secret society to have to keep track of. Sure, that fool of a Lord Ruler will keep consolidating power, but he’s got all of it anyway, so no big deal there. The Olaf I knew five years ago would have welcomed these changes with open arms. What happened?” “I respect the people on that Synod, Jest. Marne is a good man, despite your refusal to acknowledge that, and the Synod itself is full of people who honestly want to help each other. Now, though, I’m not sure that it can hold together.” Jest waved her arms in frustration. “Why did you let yourself be drawn in by that group? I don’t care how much you want to make up for what you nearly did to Marne, or how good you think those people may be. If you want to help them, the best thing to do is stay out of their affairs. They’ll live or die on their own.” “That’s not an option,” Olaf stated quietly. “I can’t abandon them now. I need to see if the Synod can draw itself back together, if the Terris can survive the Lord Ruler. And if they can, I need to be a part of that. But first I need to get them there. So I repeat my earlier question to you: what should I do?” Jest sat in silence for a minute, looking down at the dirt and ash roads. Olaf tapped his foot, unnerved by his mentor’s silence. After what seemed like an eternity, Jest drew her head up, her sharp gaze piercing Olaf. “You’re actually serious about this?” “Yes,” Olaf responded, with as much confidence as he could muster. Jest sighed again. “Fine. I can only tell you one thing, then. If you’re bound and determined to save this Synod group, then you need to lead it. Marne is gone from his position of power, from what I understand, and even though you may consult with him you need to take on the task of leading the Synod. It will unite and direct them, provided you give them something to do.” Olaf blinked. “Even if I get the position, what could I even unify them around?” Jest flashed a rare grin. “Why, what you’re best at, of course. Arson.” Twelve hours later, eight of which Olaf had spent sleeping, the Terris people gathered in front of the Synod building to elect their new leader. Split almost equally between two factions, which fiercely debated the merits of each candidate to the unconvinced, each of the gathered Feruchemists were on edge after the death of the steel sculpture. Olaf had left Marne to organise a quick campaign and platform for him, and he had to admit that the man had done good work, given his time constraints. It seemed that Olaf actually had a decent chance of winning with a message of unity, if he played his cards correctly before votes were cast. However, the camp in favor of Leidene was well organised, sporting signs and waving articles claiming that Olaf was an undercover Spiked. He had been forced to defend himself from the unsubstantiated allegations, and that had weakened his positive message. Leidene sat across from him on the steps, looking slightly disconcerted. Olaf could not tell if the articles that had been printed had actually been directly ordered by her. Either way, he was going to have to keep an eye on her. Silence began to spread across the crowd of Terris as Darrel, the acting head, walked up the steps towards the two candidates. Marne muttered a word of support in Olaf’s ear, then went to sit with the rest of the Synod. Beside him, Darrel had reached the top step, and began to speak. “Ladies and gentlemen of the Synod,” he announced. “After a careful counting of all ballots submitted, it is my pleasure to present to you your new Synod leader: Count Olaf!” Olaf felt relief flood through his body. He moved dumbly to shake Leidene’s hand, still overwhelmed, and felt his legs propel him towards the Synod house. Marne had sprinted ahead, and was waiting at the door with an enormous grin on his face, beaming like a proud parent. Darrel was more deadpan, but still excited by the tense nature of his posture. Most of the other Synod members merely seemed trepidatious. Having the meeting immediately follow the election had not been Olaf’s idea, but was supported by the Terris, who wanted to see mwhat their new leader would do. However, rebuffed at the door by the Brutes and Steelrunners guarding the Synod, the crowd slowly dispersed, and silence filled the Synod meeting-room as the members sat down and waited, a nervous silence filling the air. Finally, Darrel broke it. “So...what’s our plan to save Tathingdwen?” Olaf grinned widely. “Arson.” Steeldancer was lynched! He was a Village Brass Ferring (Firesoul)! Steeldancer (3) Jondesu (2) Count Olaf was elected as the leader of the Synod! The Synod has gained the following ability: Arson-Each member of the Synod may vote to burn something down. If by the end of a night phase a majority of living Synod members have voted for the same target, that structure will be burned down. The use of this ability will be noted in the writeup. This has no in-game effect. Night 4 has begun! It will end in 24 hours on Thursday, August 23rd at 9 PM EDT. [url=https://www.pending.me.uk][/url] Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets Village Steel Ferring 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen Village Brass Ferring 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope Spiked Zinc Ferring 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea Village Zinc Ferring 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless
  5. Laksam hated the ashmounts. Every day, no matter the results of the inane discussions the villagers insisted on having , piles of ash fell on the fields of Tathingdwen that he’d just finished cleaning. With Era dead, he had to clean out her garden in addition to all his other duties. He didn’t have time for all this nonsense with the villagers and the Spiked murdering each other when they wouldn’t last the year without fresh crops. Laksam had tried to recruit others to help him in his quest to clear the fields of ash, but they had all refused. “We’re busy,” they had said, or perhaps, “Don’t you know the village has more important things to do?” Fools, every last one of them. What difference did it make if they found and eliminated all the Spiked? At this rate, the village would kill itself off. Laksam participated in the village’s peculiar brand of justice to keep up appearances, no use trying to save the village if he was going to get murdered for it, but in his brief moments of spare time, Laksam began writing letters. Lots and lots of letters, one for each person in the outside world he knew. If the inhabitants of Tathingdwen wouldn’t listen to reason, perhaps the expatriate Terris would. Just in case, Laksam prepared one final letter, more of a poster really. Asking nicely hadn’t worked, explaining the severity of the ash problem had been laughed off, so Laksam decided to try demanding obedience. “Citizens of Tathingdwen:” the poster announced in large letters. “Ising the needing of working of you. Ising of the cleansing of ash. Needing the arriving of you the time of appointing. Ising the giving of brooms.” In smaller letters, Laksam wrote out the name of each surviving resident, along with the times he expected them to show up. Each shift required two people, to limit the effects of attrition on the continuous effort. Satisfied, Laksam left his house, poster in hand, letters in the pockets of his robe. The mist was thick that night. Laksam enjoyed misty nights; he could almost ignore the omnipresent ash at times like these. Years of nights spent outside, just him, the mists, and the ash, had given Laksam an impeccable sense for the village in darkness. He wasted no time walking up to the Synod lodge and nailing his poster to the wall using a mallet he’d borrowed from Era upon her death. This task done, he turned and gazed out to the periphery of the village. The night was still young, and his steelminds were full of speed. He could, potentially, rush out to deliver his letters and return before the villagers realized he was gone. Sweeping ash all day left little time to store speed, but he’d been saving up for years, ever since that day long ago when Izzy had needed an emergency supply of animal crackers to placate her gods. Now, she was gone too. Laksam shook his head wearily. The Spiked were taking everything from him. He would not let them prevent him from fighting his eternal war against the ash. Glancing at his Steelminds, Laksam made his decision. The ash could wait for a few more hours. Laksam tapped speed and took off into the night, letters in tow. As he ran, Laksam remembered how much he enjoyed Steelrunning, especially at night. The cool breeze of the wind blowing across his face. The enveloping presence of the mists, covering up the ugliness of the world without unduly limiting his vision. The blinding agony as he suddenly tripped and smashed his face against the hard ground. Wait, no, that wasn’t right. Laksam struggled to get up and continue his journey, but the intense pain in his head forced him to his knees again. He sat there for a minute, struggling to collect his thoughts, hoping the pain would go away, that it wasn’t permanent. He stood up dizzily just in time to hear a voice behind him say, “Well, looks like we have a runner. Where are you going so late at night, when all the decent folks have gone to sleep?” Laksam turned around groggily, almost falling over in the process. His vision blurred, leaving him unable to identify the newcomer. The swirling mist didn’t help matters. Laksam tried to respond, resorting to the street slang of his youth. “Ising the being of you of decent?” he forced out. “Hmm? I didn’t catch that,” the figure said conversationally pulling something long and sharp out from under his robes. Ah well. We’ll see how long it takes the villagers to find your body.” At this, Laksam, already nervous, began to panic. He tapped speed, attempting to turn and run, but the Spiked was prepared for this. The razor-sharp projectile, hurled at extreme velocities, pierced Laksam from behind even as he began to run. The ash sweeper’s body made it a few more paces before realizing it was dead, finally collapsing a mere ten meters from the shin high steel tripwire that had caused Laksam’s downfall. The Spiked nodded in approval. All that time spend surrounding the village with a ring of steel had paid off. The Spiked walked up to Laksam’s corpse to retrieve the obsidian javelin, pausing at the sound of paper crinkling. Upon finding the first of the letters, the figure’s grin widened. The frantic entreaties for aid would serve as excellent kindling for their writer’s funeral pyre. Ethin Hallil’s drink had been poisoned. It would have been a great travesty, if he hadn’t accidentally nudged it with his elbow as he animatedly retold the death of HanTor, and poured the wine all over his brand new SCUBA gear. The dry cleaning bill was a lot cheaper than a notary and an interment, though, so he gladly paid it once the laundry lady asked why his gear smelled like strychnine. Olaf rose from his seat in the Synod, thoroughly exhausted and befuddled. After its members had called for a clandestine meeting in the night, Olaf had an apprehension that something major was about to take place in the Synod. The meeting had certainly not disappointed. The remaining Synod members had tired of Marne’s calls for moderation. A decisive viote had ousted him from his position as chair of the Synod, reducing him back to an ordinary member. Olaf recalled the thunderstruck look on his new friend’s face as the hands had gone up, one by one, and Marne had been removed from his long-standing position. Olaf himself had been shocked, his faith in the legislative body and his belief in the goodness of the Synod’s errand both in tatters. Removing Marne had not been in their best interests. The man was a competent, capable leader, and his peaceful and nonviolent stances were, in Olaf’s eyes, a mark of the man’s strength. Though he did not take an authoritative stance, and was never the most decisive, Olaf appreciated the compassion within the man, a trait he had always struggled to acquire. In addition, without a leader to guide them, the Synod was aimless and had no clear direction. Despite claims from the Synod that a new leader would be appointed, Olaf knew that a leader of Marne’s caliber did not exist elsewhere in the Synod, and without one, the Synod would drift purposelessly. However, the Terris had been in agreement about one crucial element; Tarin needed to be killed. The orphan had been accused of association with the deceased agents of the Lord Ruler, and enough of the Terris had decided that she warranted removal by Olaf’s assassin. Marne, again shocked, had merely voted present. Olaf voted against the resolution. While he was sympathetic of Marne’s situation, and felt terrible for his friend’s plight, he knew that his assassin should not be used when the Synod was leaderless, and unable to guide themselves to wise decisions. Nevertheless, Olaf had been outvoted again, with the cripple Leidene siding with the younger, ascendant faction that had deposed Marne. So it was that Olaf found himself outside with a purse full of money that was not his, knocking on the door of his Coinshot. He had carefully removed all metal on him, and had filled the purse with paper notes, to minimise the risk of an accidental or careless Steelpush incapacitating or killing him. Trepidatious, Olaf stood on the porch, waiting for his man to emerge. The wind swirled around him, chilling him and shaking the bushes from side to side. Olaf watched the movement of the branches, thinking of warm fires, and therefore did not notice when the front door swung silently outward on oiled hinges, and a cloaked figure in black garb alighted on the steps. Recognising the eye tattooed on Olaf’s ankle, the man did not bother inquiring as to Olaf’s identity, instead moving to take his purse. Raising an eyebrow at the paper currency, the assassin rummaged through the purse, lips mouthing numbers as he counted the sum. When he was done, he whistled softly, appreciative. The Coinshot turned to Olaf with a broad smile on his face. “️️Who?” he asked simply. Olaf answered hesitantly. “Tarin,” he said. “Orphan girl who just moved into Tathingdwen. A...group I’m in thinks she might be a snoop for the Lord Ruler, and we’d rather get her out of the way before we proceed any further.” The half-lie would hopefully placate the man. Olaf would be laughed away if he explained what Hadrian and Marne had done to him in front of his old associates, and so he had learned to keep up pretenses. More importantly, however, he could not compromise the Synod, even if he disagreed with its current direction. Men like this assassin, while they ostensibly served him, would do anything to turn a profit, Olaf knew—he had been among their ranks for the better part of his adulthood. If it meant a few more bills in his pocket, the Coinshot would not hesitate to sell out the Synod to those willing to pay for such information. So Olaf kept a tight lip as the man nodded, a self-satisfied smirk upon his face, and jumped off into the mists after his target. Olaf watched him go, standing on the small veranda in the ash-coated yard. His associate would not fail, though a nagging doubt gnawed at the insides of the conflicted man as he towered over the streets and small buildings, striding towards Marne’s old house, the initial hideout that Olaf had nearly razed. He felt that Tarin was not guilty, that the Synod had adjudicated incorrectly. And to form a different plan, to truly save the Terris, Olaf would need to enlist the aid of his first ally in the Synod, its former leader, if he was to not fail this group that had placed their reliance in him. For the second time that night, even as the unfortunate Tarin was riddled with holes from many coins, Olaf knocked on a door he had not planned to be at, hoping that behind this one lay the answers he sought. Rathmaskal was slaughtered by the Spiked! He was a Village Steel Ferring (Steelrunner)! All credit to Devotary for his death, please go give her upvotes. Cadmium Compounder was attacked, but was protected! Worldhopper from Yolen was assassinated by the Synod! She was a Village Zinc Ferring (Sparker)! Marne was deposed as the leader of the Synod! He was a Moderate Pacifist! Ascendancy over the Synod is now open! As a flavor vote, today you may each cast a vote in purple to elect a new Synod leader, in addition to your regular lynch vote. The person with the most votes gets to lead the Synod. Day 4 has begun! It will end in 48 hours, on Wednesday the 22nd of August at 9 PM EDT. Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets Village Steel Ferring 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope Spiked Zinc Ferring 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea Village Zinc Ferring 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless
  6. Marne called the Synod to order. The experience was unreal for him. Today, their scheduled monthly meeting was to be held, yet in the chaos of the hunt for Spiked, none of the agenda seemed relevant. Budgets, news of the surrounding world, minutes of their last meeting together—none of that mattered anymore. The Synod’s finances were immaterial if they were unable to survive the onslaught of the Spiked. The only news that mattered of the surrounding world was how close the Lord Ruler was to knowing that Tathingdwen was the last outpost of Feruchemy. And the last meeting’s concerns were a trifle compared to the crisis each Synod member now faced. The Synod, at least, had recognised that the current situation merited strong leadership, and had striven to act accordingly. Marne, however, realised something else. He had lost control of the Terris, and the Synod could no longer check the rising tide of suspicion. The Synod’s credibility had shattered, if not when the news of the Spiked reached their ears and they had failed to act, then instead when Valwyn had been killed and revealed to have a Pewter spike embedded within him, a typical Synod aristocrat—and a Spiked servant of the Lord Ruler. However, whatever control the Synod had ever held over the Terrismen was slipping, and essentially gone. The Terris had not heeded Marne when he had called for a nonviolent response to the Spiked. The Terris had not heeded the Synod when they executed one of its members, despite the protests of those who knew him. And the Terris had not even heeded Olaf, who commanded their respect for wilfully rejecting the Lord Ruler, when he too had stood up for the condemned. So it was that Marne stood at the head of a toppling aristocracy, Olaf at his side, with the man pensive as ever. Robbed of its effective power, the Synod, its numbers greatly diminished by the attacks of Spiked and innocent alike, sat in a half-circle around him, waiting patiently. Marne rose to speak. “My friends, I believe the first order of business that we have to attend to is not the typical item on our monthly agenda, yet with the recent turmoil, it has become the only concern of this body for quite a while. With the Spiked having infiltrated our very congregation, the Synod has held emergency meetings, stirred up the Terris populace, and attempted to judge the accused, in an effort to contain and resolve this situation. I admire everyone who sits on this council for their dedication to this task for the past week.” Taking a deep breath, Marne continued. “However, given that the Spiked pose such a serious threat, and since the Synod is so integral in resolving any and all threats the Terris face, I believe it is wise to assess how well we are controlling this...situation. And I must say, I believe we have lost all control.” A subdued mutter ran throughout the room. Marne pressed onward. “I do not mean that we have lost all our power. However, we do not exercise the degree of control over the Terris that we normally hold. Neither my efforts nor those of Olaf have stopped the bloodshed, despite our high positions, and at this point, they are unlikely to. Therefore, I see only two things that can be done. “The first is to allow these killings to continue. I dislike this greatly. All you know my distaste of violence to decide arguments. However, the Terris will kill regardless of my stance on the current trials. All that remains for us is to pick battles that are more winnable, and to serve as seasoned voices in the proceedings. Our influence in that manner may be of greater help. “The second is also against my liking, but was suggested by Olaf. Would you like to explain it to the Synod, Olaf?” Marne asked. The thin man nodded, rising from his seat and facing the congregation. “I’ve leveraged some connections as the leader of House Ffnord, and it turns out one of the spies assigned to this city in my network knows an assassin, a deadly Coinshot. His services are expensive, and I do not think our wallets could withstand more than one use of his...talents, but should we as the Synod decide that someone merits removal, we have a means with which to do so.” He sat back down, impassive as ever, and the whispers of the Synod drifted up to Marne, conveying a mixture of distaste and excitement. Marne fought down an urge to weep. Here was a group of men he had known his whole life. Now some were dead, some were Spiked, and the others, including him, were resorting to coins in the dark and mob rule to preserve their institution. Hardly what he had envisioned when he took the oath as the leader of the Synod, five years previously. Hurriedly dismissing the meeting, Marne turned away from the Synod as the tears trickled down his face, and the trials outside the meeting-house of the Synod commenced. --- HanTor had never told his fellow Spiked that he was not, in fact, a Ferring. Nor was he a human. The Lord Ruler had wanted someone who could be trusted to obey his commands unflinchingly, and as his personal Kandra was away on a separate mission, HanTor had been assigned to the job. As a Fifth Generation Kandra, HanTor had spent most of his life in the Homeland, but his skills at crafting a body were not diminished by his inexperience with the outside world. He was more practiced with his True Body of quartzite perhaps, but he adapted quickly, if not happily, to the more fragile bones of humans. As the protégé of his Second Generation tutors, he had learned a lot about the Terris people and their traditions, enough to fool even his companions so long as he kept quiet. The most pressing problem had been gaining Feruchemical powers, for no Kandra possessed those abilities and he would rather avoid faking it, even with the Blessing of Potency granting him some of the strength and stamina of a Pewter ferring could gain. HanTor had therefore been smuggled into Tathingdwen a night early, searching for an isolated Ferring whose life he could steal. HanTor could not disobey the First Contract, even on a personal mission for the Father, so he had been forced to rely on an infiltrator who had been in place long before the Spiked had arrived. He never saw his contact’s face, even as he stood and watched while they tortured an isolated Sparker’s deepest secrets out of him. HanTor hoped never again to see a human pierced with so much metal that they resembled nothing so much as a pincushion. A simple pair of spikes was all well and good, and an exception could be made for the brass spike that had now been inserted into his shoulder, but metal was meant to go on the inside of a body, not protrude from the flesh. HanTor shuddered as his contact limped away with a sack of spikes and discarded bones thrown over one shoulder. He hoped the rest of his team would be more sensible and less … violent. HanTor found that he regretted Valwyn’s death. There were the obvious reasons of course; his death meant their infiltration of the Synod had been exposed, there was one fewer member standing between HanTor being forced to choose between his mission and the First Contract’s prohibition of killing humans, they would have to move out of the caverns that reminded him of the Homeland, and HanTor would be forced to speak up more despite not being confident in his ability to properly imitate a man he’d only known for an hour. Yet beyond all these practical reasons, what HanTor found he missed most about the deceased Spiked was the loss of a man who had treated him as an equal. He knew that this was only because he was disguised as a human, but he found himself resenting the Terris people who had killed Valwyn. Cleansing Tathingdwen of Ferrings was no longer merely a mission to him. Alongside his remaining companions, he would avenge the death of the first human to ever respect him as an individual. The next day, HanTor formally began his campaign of vengeance. The Sparker whose bones he wore had been a recluse, which limited HanTor’s ability to publicly act. Nevertheless, he worked to fill the void left by Valwyn’s death, quietly suggesting to the townspeople which Ferring should die next, contributing more to the secret conferences his fellow spiked held. For most of the day, his new plan of action was successful. The Synod, splintered by the loss of two of its members, one of them a traitor, did nothing to prevent the chaos spreading through the village. Accusations were being tossed every which way, and it appeared no-one could come to an agreement. Then, everything went wrong when Citona suddenly declared herself to be a member of the Synod and announced her intention to kill HanTor. Where before anarchy had reigned, the villagers were suddenly all too eager to obey the dictates of an authority that had been found to be corrupt just the previous night. As the angry villagers converged on HanTor, he tapped his Zincminds, draining every drop of power he had amassed during his stint as a Ferring. Instantly, his mental processing sped up, beyond even what he imagined a Blessing of Presence would do for him. In the few seconds remaining before he could be consumed by the mob, he crafted a last, desperate speech. “My friends!” he cried out. “I am not your enemy. I-.” His words were cut off as an irate Ferring smashed a chair into his head. The impact caused no harm, but it served as a signal to the rest of the group. Quartzite would have been able to resist the trampling of feet and the crushing blows of furniture and garden implements, but human bones were not nearly as sturdy. The initial attacker leaned over HanTor’s broken body. “You realize of course that you don’t have any friends. You never have, and now, you never will.” When Marne came out later to view the carnage, he found HanTor still alive, but immobile from having his entire skeleton fractured. HanTor tried to cry out to the Synod leader, but his shattered jaw rendered the sound as an unintelligible moan. Marne seemed to understand, though. He rummaged through HanTor’s pulped organs, finally managing to pull out the three spikes that granted him life, sapience, and power. Marne began the walk back to the Synod with the artefacts, leaving HanTor’s corpse lying in the field. Kidpen was lynched! He was a Spiked Zinc Ferring (Sparker)!! Vote Count: Kidpen (4) randuir (2) Cadmium Compounder (1) Worldhopper from Yolen (1) phattemer (1) Sart (1) Night 3 has begun! It will end in 24 hours, on Monday the 20th of August, at 9 PM EDT. Please note something—I’ve been occupied, and have had little time to post rules questions in-thread, but if you successfully double-fill your metalmind, please send in a fill order at the beginning of the Day or Night turn immediately following your double-fill, to confirm that you wish to fill your metalmind. Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope Spiked Zinc Ferring 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless
  7. Valwyn, esteemed member of the Terris Synod and the most successful and lucrative rug merchant in the land, was most happy with the recent upturn in business. Of all the Spiked, he was the one who had truly settled into the aura of Tathingdwen, with his wares being peddled throughout the city, and his position as an influential, capitalistic aristocrat firmly entrenched. Most especially pleased was he when Marne had called the Synod into the safehouse with the rough wooden flooring, by his own suggestion. A full purse indeed made for a light heart, and Valwyn’s heart was especially light as he strolled down the quiet alleyways of Tathingdwen. His disguise was complete—there was little reason to suspect him, and with a hand on the lever of the Terris economy, and a hand on its political lever—the Synod—he would ensure the victory of the Lord Ruler. As he walked towards his shop, a voice sounded behind him, a fell whisper carried by the night air. “Rug merchant,” came the sibilant hiss. Valwyn whirled around, scanning for the source of the rasping voice. “Did you ask for me?” he said, still looking for the intruder. He did not know who would dare disturb a Synod member on their nighttime walk, but the voice did not seem to harbour good intentions, and he would need to face his stalker. He turned, peering into the murky blackness of the night sky, seeing nothing. The whisper came again, its origin obscured by the shadows facing him. “Rug merchant...” the whisper still came. Valwyn shuddered. “Face me directly!” he challenged, then immediately felt foolish. Of course the man would not face him directly. He was a nighttime killer as well, and a good killer never let their victim respond. He tensed, then tapped Pewter, his adrenaline fueling his enhanced bulk. Stepping forward, he began to prowl in the general direction of the voice, issuing from near his shop. “Rug merchant,” a vehement and insisting voice sounded from beside him, malice dripping from every syllable. Startled, Valwyn whirled, but he could not stop the keen steel blade, wielded by a pink-gloved man, from swinging out of the unnatural shadow and taking off his head. It rolled, coming to a stop beside the door. A man with badly dyed pink leather gloves, from which a black steam rose and blended with the silver mist, stepped into the harsh glare of the streetlight surrounding him. His form radiated pure hatred, and his eyes were consumed by it. Slowly, the man removed his hood, bending down and plucking the object from underneath the forearm of Valwyn. He had known it, and this was mere confirmation. Working on the same Synod did not make one an ally. Grinning with the face of one whose beliefs have been vindicated, a thin Pewter spike was raised slowly into the air, its black silhouette blocking the street lamp. “You can never trust a rug merchant,” Darrel hissed one last time, as his form faded back into the mists and smoke. Izzy Dedyet knew that her fellow Synod members disapproved of her faith in the Gods of Luck and Chance. Though they never condemned her belief for fear of alienating a Full Feruchemist, Izzy’s colleagues had always pointedly ignored any suggestions that involved leaving matters up to chance. Worse, they had banned the sale of animal crackers after that one time a failed sacrifice had caused the fire to consume their meeting place. After weeks of waiting, the merchant from the Western dominance had finally arrived, bringing with him a full crate of animal crackers. A brief use of steel had been sufficient for Izzy to rush out to meet the merchant, then return without anyone noticing her absence. As night fell, Izzy consulted her book. She was planning to kill a Spiked tonight, and intended to call upon the Gods of Luck and Chance to ensure that she made the right decision. Shockingly, the book provided no tips on determining whether a Terris was secretly a servant of the Lord Ruler. It did, however, provide a ritual designed to help its user complete a personal quest. Izzy decided that the utter annihilation of the spiked counted as a worthy mission. Carefully, Izzy took five boxes of crackers out of the crate. Horse, dog, mistwraith, koloss, and skaa. Izzy frowned at that last one, but the book was very specific. A horse guaranteed speed, that Izzy would be able to kill her target before anyone else did. The dog to ensure that her victim would lack loyalty to the Synod. The mistwraith, both a symbol of fear and, along with Mistborn, the unquestioned rulers of the night. The koloss sacrifice would allow her to smash through any defense, though few but another full Feruchemist should be able to challenge her. Finally, the skaa, representing the insignificance of her life in comparison to the good of Tathingdwen. One by one, Izzy placed the five boxes of animal crackers strategically around the ritual pyre. The ritual was complete, and Izzy sat back to hope her hard work would pay off. The Gods of Luck and Chance were subtle, never directly interfering in the lives of mortals, choosing instead to manipulate events beyond the reach of sapient thought. Nevertheless, as the fire began to expand and consume the animal crackers, Izzy remembered that Snip had died for making a quilt that, judging by the poor ferrings innocence, had been intended to frame the man. Yet, there was another shop in Tathingdwen that performed embroidery. Why commission a quilt to frame an innocent without acquiring a rug for the same purpose? Perhaps because the rug maker was evil. It was worth checking out, at any rate. Tapping speed, Izzy made her way to Valwyn’s shop. Izzy arrived at the Pulling the Rug just in time to see a pink gloved man pull a spike out of Valwyn’s corpse. So the Gods of Luck and Chance had been right, after all. While she was here, she supposed she should search the store for any clues, or perhaps Valwyn’s fellow traitors. Tapping pewter, she walked up to the door and ripped it out of its hinges. It was dark inside the Pulling the Rug, but the darkness was no match for tin-enhanced senses. Izzy strode confidently through the empty store, pausing when she heard a noise from the back of the shop. The stone door opened easily, revealing a wooden room with only a large circular stone block for furnishing. The room contained a solitary individual, though only their head and shoulders stuck out from the hole in the floor. Izzy recognized them at once, but didn’t have time to say anything before the figure grinned, set the room alight with a torch they had been holding in their right hand, then disappeared down the hole. Izzy tapped speed again in an attempt to catch up to the Spiked, but she was too slow. The spiked dragged the stone block back over the hole and disappeared underground. Tapping pewter in an attempt to move the block proved ineffective, as the block fit so smoothly there was no place for her to get a grip. She checked the way she’d come in, only to find it similarly shut. By now, the flames had consumed most of the room. The only safe place now was the stone trapdoor, so Izzy stood on it, jumped in the air, and tapped every last bit of weight stored in her ironminds. The floor collapsed underneath her, revealing the extensive cavern the Spiked had evidently excavated underneath Tathingdwen. After a brief moment of surprise, she began to fill her ironminds to cushion her fall, but she still landed far more heavily than a coinshot would have. As she attempted to regain her balance, a blade pierced her from behind. Izzy gasped inaudibly and tapped gold, but the wound failed to close around the oddly colored sword. The next blow took off her head. Alvron was slain by the Spiked! He was a Village Full Feruchemist, and a member of the Synod! Thanks to Devotary for his death scene. Araris Valerian was killed! He was a Spiked Pewter Ferring and Filthy Rug Merchant, and was a member of the Synod! Day 3 has begun! It will end in seventy-two hours, on Sunday the 19th of August, at 9 PM EDT. Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk Village Full Feruchemist 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant Spiked Pewter Ferring; Rug Merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless Also, by the way, @Devotary of Spontaneity needs to post something so everyone can upvote her for all the work she’s put in to this game. She’s been a tremendous help with writeups and sending out PMs and logging actions for the entire game. If she doesn’t post anything soon, please indiscriminately upvote her recent posts.
  8. A full day had passed and the village was no closer to finding the Spiked. The death of an innocent Synod member had made them cautious; with few ferrings willing to commit and stick to their decisions. After an initial flurry against Zihel was quelled by his appearance, the villagers instead decided to go after the quieter inhabitants. Even if their chosen target was innocent, at least they could avoid a repeat of the previous day’s fiasco. They would not have to face the shame of ripping into the flesh of a man who had strenuously declared his innocence until his last breath. Instead, they went after Snip, a ferring who worked all day in the local embroidery shop. The rumors began to spread again. Perhaps the Spiked among them weren’t pierced with massive pieces of metal like the Inquisitors were. Smaller spikes would help the infiltrators escape detection; smaller spikes like the quilting needles present in abundance at Snip’s place of employment. With no particular leads, a few of the braver ferrings walked over to Reap What You Sew and found Snip finishing up a quilt depicting Irion’s bloody demise. Despite his protestations that he was doing it for an anonymous client, Snip was dragged to the village center, the quilt in tow. Marne and the Synod had gathered up the village by this time, and the accused was led up to a stage, well away from any potential mobs. “We don’t want any preemptive violence this time,” Marne announced. “Snip will be thoroughly checked for spikes, and he is not to be harmed unless any are found. We cannot afford to continue killing our own.” From the midst of the crowd, a lone voice shouted out, “Be sure you search every last part of him. For all we know, he could be tainted by a sewing needle hidden under his metalminds.” “Rest assured,” Marne intoned, “if Snip is spiked we will find out.” He turned to the hapless prisoner and began removing his metalminds. They were iron, he noted, largely in the form of rings, with the large bracers being the obvious exception. Tapping sight, Marne began to examine Snip’s exposed flesh. He frowned as he examined Snip’s earrings. He reached out and grabbed one. Yes, that was indeed made of iron. While Marne didn’t know how the details of how spikes worked, he recognised the earring as a metalmind. “Oh!” said Snip, panicking as he realized what Marne was holding. “That’s not a spike, I just like to keep some of my metalminds attached to me. Wearing iron rings on my fingers makes it hard to sew sometimes. You know how it is.” Instead of responding, Marne ripped out the pair of earrings, then turned to the rest of the Synod. “Do any of you know whether pieces of metal this small could be enough to turn him evil?” Leidene nodded. “I have done some rudimentary study of the Inquisitors, and I have found no reason they couldn’t use an earring as a spike.” Still on the stage, Snip paled and started to run, obviously filling iron to make him light on his feet. The attempt was doomed to failure. A brief burst of steel enhanced speed allowed Marne to catch him, and pewter sufficed to pick him up and drag him back to the stage when Snip tapped iron. The villagers was murmuring now. Surely, only the guilty would run. Even as Marne resumed his attempt to methodically find and remove every last metalmind, the crowd surged towards the stage, intent on performing the same actions in a decidedly quicker, and bloodier, way. They found no spikes except for the ones in the man’s tote bag, but by the time the mob dispersed Snipexe had been pierced more times than an Inquisitor. Olaf resented the Terris congregation. He resented the veiled looks of malice almost every man shot at him as he walked through the streets. He resented the mumbled words and hushed conversations as he passed by, with or without Marne. And he resented that he had nobody but himself to blame for it all. Sighing heavily and hefting Snip’s quilt, letting the fabric pass through his spindly fingers, Olaf contemplated how he might help the Terris, and more accurately Marne, stop the insanity that was running through the congregations. The public trials, reminiscent of witch-hunts, and the constant paranoia would reveal them to the Lord Ruler, regardless of whether or not the Spiked escaped Tathingdwen. Them. Olaf realised he had come to include himself in that “them.” Perhaps it was the work of Marne, who Olaf saw an upstanding and good man in, much like he viewed in Hadrian so long ago. Perhaps it was his lingering guilt, left over from before and tinged with the bitter remembrance, or lack thereof, of his brief time as a Spiked. Or maybe it was the feel of a group that actually had the best interests of its members at its heart. Not his circle of book-hoarders, which had endeavoured to protect a dead age with the vigour and persistence of a sect with lost importance, caring not for the members it used to achieve such a purpose; nor the Luthadel nobility, a careless and cannibalising lot that would rather kill themselves than the evils roaming in their midst. But these Terris seemed to genuinely fear for the destruction of their Synod, and want to protect each one from the tyrannical grasp of the Lord Ruler, even if that protection made him resent the distrust he received. That is what would make Olaf follow Marne in keeping this group alive. The slain man, Snip, was quite ordinary, from what Olaf had been able to find out from the Synod helpers he had been assigned. He had laboured in the quilt shop for most of his life, and had several pieces to his name, even though he was ostensibly just a fabric cutter. Turning over the half-finished quilt, Olaf was surprised at the level of detail the man had achieved with only a day to work. The blood was vivid, the sun was outlined in a garish red, and only Irion’s condemners were missing from the portrait of his death. Looking at it for a minute, Olaf took a sewing needle, turning it over in his hands. His helpers began to fidget, and he sighed again. “I’m not going to stick myself with this and kill all of you. Now, will one of you tell me how this thing works?” He held up the thimble and the grey thread, which dangled off the half-finished outline of a townsperson. One of his helpers stepped forward, a man with pink leather gloves. An odd choice, but at least the man would help. “I can!” he exclaimed, rubbing his hands excitedly. “Here, poke this part through the hole there, and pull it back up. Oops—that ripped it a bit. No big deal, just keep doing that until you have a rhythm, and keep going until you’ve made the outline.” The other helper frowned. “Darrel, I’m...not sure that’s how that works.” Darrel grinned. “Well, at least the man will be sewing plenty of chaos! Plus, I’m sure he’ll get it after a few hundred attempts. Here, man, you should actually wear that thimble.” Olaf accepted the advice with gratitude—his forefinger was already bleeding slightly from the sewing motion. Olaf sighed again. The Synod was on the verge of extinction, and he was spending his time in a quilting shop, finishing a masterpiece with skills he had just learned, aside two helpers who chatted more than assisted him. Yet Olaf felt that what he was doing had fundamental importance. Finishing this quilt was a way, maybe the only way, to make the others realise what they were doing, and for he himself to see the full extent of the situation before him. Only then could he help Marne to stop the violence spreading like poison through the Synod. Snipexe was lynched! He was a Village Iron Ferring (Skimmer)! Thanks again to Devotary for doing his death scene. Please shower her with upvotes. Night 2 has begun! It will end in about 24 hours at 9 PM EDT on Thursday, August 16. [url=https://www.pending.me.uk][/url] Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop Village Iron Ferring 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless
  9. Era stood in the center of her garden watching the sun set, remembering a time when that orb had burned yellow, unobscured by mist and ash. After Irion’s tragic death, she had wanted to calm herself by working in her garden, cultivating the ugly yet life-sustaining brown plants. When she’d been young, her garden had been truly beautiful, an area half the size of the entire village covered in colorful fruits and vivid vegetables. When the Lord Ruler had risen to power and robbed the plants of their color, she continued to work in her garden as though nothing had changed, though the work grew harder with each year. For decades, she had overseen the harvest of vegetables that helped keep the Terris self-sustaining. Now, some saboteur had destroyed her garden. The ash that covered the furrowed dirt wasn’t just the result of the constant precipitation that plagued her existence, it had been joined by the remnants of a fire that had scoured the results of her hard work. The crop was ruined, and it was too late in the season for a replanting. Losing crops was far from an uncommon experience, but Era had never seen her work deliberately destroyed before. No Feruchemist dependent on that food source would do such a thing. Era trusted Marne when he spread the word of intruders, and Irion’s violent murder had been a shock, but only now, gazing numbly at the blaze’s aftermath, did it truly sink in for Era that death had come to Tathingdwen. Sighing heavily, Era began the arduous process of cleaning up the fields. She was no Sentry, capable of staying up all night, but the familiar act of sweeping away ash was relaxing, helping her clear her mind. Tomorrow, she would have to inform the Synod of their upcoming food crisis, but for now she could simply cleanse her garden of the poison brought by the Lord Ruler and his minions. Though age had crept up on her, Era’s senses were still sharp. She heard footsteps behind her and whirled around, instinctively tapped a week’s worth of pewter. The familiar rush of power as muscle was added to her thin frame comforted her as she confronted the intruder. “An impressive display of might,” rasped the figure standing in front of her. “Do you plan to avenge your dearly departed crops?” “Is that an admission of guilt? Were you the one to set this fire?” “It was a mistake to gather everyone together for Irion’s trial earlier today. No guards to watch over the fields, the confusion of the proceedings, a nice warm evening, it was quite simple to sneak away and start a fire without anyone noticing.” Era rushed towards the silhouette, intent on tearing him apart for daring to destroy months of effort, threatening the livelihood of the entire village. Her focused rage blinded her to the surroundings, and she didn’t notice the second Spiked behind her until she saw its blade jutting out through her heart. “Don’t worry about your garden, aged warrior,” the first Spiked whispered as Era died. “I hear dried blood makes for an excellent fertilizer.” The red sun dipped below the horizon, its last rays harshly gleaming off the stiletto embedded within Irion. Subdued and still in shock, most of the Terris people accepted a bewildered Marne’s request to relax inside one of the larger safe houses, where many couches offered rest to the weary. The lucky few who came in first got the couches, falling into a deep slumber, while others crouched on the floor, reading books or shifting around uncomfortably. The rough wooden surface was abrasive enough that many turned to Valwyn, the rug merchant, who made good money selling his softer wares to the exhausted Terris. Slowly, the congregation all fell asleep, the weariness of the day catching up to them, as they strove to forget about Irion’s death, and acknowledge the first killing that had been committed among them. Even Olaf was slumbering, his gaunt frame racked with snoring. One, however, was not asleep. A shadowy figure rose from their rug, slipping around sleeping and dozing figures as they made their way towards the tea cabinet. Marne had retreated into his individual study, so the Feruchemist met no resistance as he opened the cabinet and poured a liquid onto the tea leaves, watching as they slowly absorbed the clear fluid. The poison would kill the next person who woke up to make tea, and the figure had a fairly good idea of who that would be. A slight smirk on their face, the figure retreated back into their rug, and fell into sleep with the others. Nighttime tea was not a habit for Izzy Dedyet; she normally frowned upon artificial stimulants, though she occasionally partook of the occasional mug of black tea. However, with her inability to focus on her book, which was getting into the mundane details of what sacrificing different animal crackers did to affect the Gods of Luck and Chance, Izzy decided to prepare herself one of those rare mugs. Boiling the water, and putting in the leaves, Izzy watched idly as the pigments in the leaves bled over into the water, a black colour emanating from the pouch she put in. After the colours stopped swirling, Izzy took a tentative sip of the tea, mindful of its high temperature, and spit it out on the floor in disgust. She had thought the tea was black—looking at the labels, she saw that it was a darker shade of herbal tea. Disgusting. Frustrated with herself for not noticing, and still unable to read her book, she plopped down in her corner with a posture approaching righteous indignation, and was quickly asleep again. Itiah VI knew his purpose—to finally find the old Terris religion. With a book tucked squarely underneath his arm that he regarded as the first clue towards finding the Terris god, the missionary could not afford to idly lie about when a task was to be accomplished. After his harrowing experience yesterday, when he had nearly been taken and killed by the fellow members of his congregation, Itiah knew that he must redouble his studies and efforts. Rubbing his bleary eyelids, which he had allowed to droop, he knew that he was not going to be able to stay awake without help. He begrudged the Sentries in the congregation—they could get a good night’s sleep, and stay up all night the next night, without needing to work for either effect. Itiah found that patently unfair. He was forced to rely on tea to keep him awake. Walking over to the teapot, he saw with a pleasant surprise that someone had left a cup of tea sitting out, barely touched and still warm. Thankful for the ready source of caffeine, which would help him in his studies later, Itiah grabbed the cup and downed it in one gulp. And shortly thereafter, dropped dead to the floor. When the village awoke, they found Era sprawled lifelessly amidst her gardens, her blood watering the scorched fields. Her added bulk had faded, her pewter bracers fitting loosely around her forearms. Itiah too lay slumped, dead underneath the very noses of the congregation, his steel metalminds useless against his cold corpse. Though both bodies were searched thoroughly, no spikes were found on either, and as the new day rose the Synod and its congregation gathered again, intent on finding those responsible. Elandera was slain by the Spiked! She was a Village Pewter Ferring (Brute)! Thanks to Devotary for doing her death scene. Itiah was killed! He was a Village Steel Ferring (Steelrunner)! No PMs were opened. Day 2 has begun. It will end in 48 hours at 9 PM EDT on Wednesday, August 15. [url=https://www.pending.me.uk][/url] Player list: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission Village Steel Ferring 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler Village Pewter Ferring 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant 18. Coop772 as Irion, a Full Feruchemist with hidden potential Village Copper Ferring 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless
  10. After an entire day of arguing, the villagers had not been able to reach a decision. The Synod hadn’t stepped in, instead retreating into the shadows and conspiring amongst themselves. Initial accusations had been made against Itiah VI. He was a stranger, a pacifist unwilling to commit to rooting out the spiked. As the sun began to set and the villagers were tired of arguing, a new target emerged. Why had Irion, a newcomer, been allowed to be a member of the Synod? Surely the Spiked had not been hiding amongst them for very long, and a new member rising so quickly to a position of prominence was inherently suspicious. Rumors swirled around the camp that Irion had gained his position based on pure Feruchemical talent, rather than a history of leadership. A powerful recluse, privy to the most well-guarded secrets of the Terris? A logical suspect indeed. They waited impatiently for the man to emerge from the doors of the Synod. Marne gazed around the table, where the darkened forms of the members of the Synod sat around him, their faces shrouded by the shadow of a setting sun. Olaf sat beside him, his skinny form casting a presence at the table, setting everyone on edge. Not that such a thing was necessary—with the official announcement closing down Tathingdwen, panic had spread like wildfire throughout the Synod. After a spurt of initial accusations against Itiah VI, whose family had been long-standing members of the congregation, Marne found it prudent to step in personally. Tensions had slightly cooled, but the underlying currents of paranoia had not been diffused, and members of the congregation were calling for two people. One sat in front of him. Irion was not the most well-liked member of the Synod. Difficult to rival in Feruchemical strength, his power had combined with his shy nature to make him seem reclusive to the other villagers. Now, they called for his head. Marne sympathised with the young one, who had not asked for any of this to come upon him. However, the Synod needed to come to a swift conclusion; the sun had nearly set. Rising, Marne addressed the shadowed forms. “Gentlemen (and ladies) of the Synod, it is my regret that tensions have run high enough that one of our very own number, Irion, is being accused by our congregation. I may have been overly hasty in giving an official denunciation of the Spiked—I seemed only to have fueled the paranoia and resentment underlying the Terris people.” One of the older members of the Synod, Leidene, a cripple, raised her hand for a pause. “It was the correct choice, Marne,” she stated. “Your call to action did not condone violence, and while it has spread, that can hardly be attributed to you.” “Thank you, Leidene,” Marne replied. “However, my point still stands. We must figure out a way to defuse these tensions surrounding you, Irion. This state of affairs cannot continue.” Irion looked up. “I will go to them.” Marne snapped his head up. “What?” Beside him, Olaf raised a solitary eyebrow, but said nothing. Irion pressed on, resolute. “I will go down to them, and talk them out of their madness. If they hear who I really am, and what I can actually do, they may be less inclined to demand my blood.” Olaf raised his head. “I will accompany him, though it be foolish. The boy has a right to try to show his innocence. We will go together, lad.” Flashing one of his rare genuine smiles at the startled Irion, Olaf started towards the door to the congregation, Irion trotting hastily after him. Marne bowed his head in resignation. “So be it,” he whispered. Gathering himself, he turned and addressed the remaining members of the Synod, most of whom looked shocked. “Meeting adjourned.” Only his sense of dignity kept Marne from sprinting towards the door to catch up to Olaf. He was losing his grip on the Synod, and control would need to be maintained if any were to survive the coming days. But first, he would have to see how this fresh disaster ended. Despite the rumblings, the villagers were tired of discussion after so long a day, and only a few joined the call for Irion’s death. By nightfall, no decision could be reached on whether to execute Irion or Itiah VI. The pair were presented before Count Olaf, in the desperate hope that a memory would resurface upon glimpsing a Spiked. The emaciated man merely shrugged helplessly; he did not remember, and no amount of copper could bring back a memory that had been forgotten. The accused pair were brought to the center of the village stripped of their metalminds and bound tightly with rope. “It was never my intention to have any suspects executed,” announced Marne. “As you have been unable to make a conclusive judgement, both accused will be submitted for questioning.” He turned his back to the crowd, intending to have the captives brought to the Synod for interrogation. From somewhere behind him, a voice cried out, “How can we expect the Synod to impartially adjudicate when one of the accused sits in your meetings? Justice must be meted out publicly, or not at all.” Marne whirled around to identify the one who had spoken, but they were lost in the mob of Terris loudly reaffirming the sentiment. “Untie me, and I will submit myself to the village peacefully,” offered Irion. Itiah VI chimed in, giving the same offer. Marne saw that the mob could not be suppressed nonviolently, and reluctantly allowed the two Feruchemists to meet their accusers. Below, a woman with bright blue eyes was muttering, fervently invoking the Gods of Luck and Chance to decide the fates of the accused. Startled, Marne saw a small fire being lit, and pieces of grain being thrown in as offerings. He frowned. Didn’t the Terris know better than to worship anyone but their true god? Meanwhile, the mob gleefully searched the pair for hidden spikes. Nobody saw where the first blow came from, but suddenly Irion was streaming blood. The glint of metal issuing from the wound enraged the mob, and they tore the poor man apart only to find the offending object was a stilleto, not an implanted spike. Horrified by what they had done, the crowd dispersed, leaving Irion dead and Itiah VI lying on the ground, gasping for breath. The Gods of Luck and Chance have condemned Coop772! He was a Village Copper Ferring (Archivist) and a Synod member! Vote Tally: I think I am here. (4) Coop772 (4) Night 1 has begun! It will end in about 24 hours, at 9 PM EDT on Monday, August 13. Many thanks to @Devotary of Spontaneity for helping with the writeup. We actually did it jointly, which was her idea, and was a rather good one (twice the length in half the time). If you appreciated today’s writeup, be sure to send upvotes her way. She’s also been great with handling PMs.
  11. Marne walked towards the cell where the former Spiked ringleader, Olaf, was held. With no former need for a real jail, the cell in which Olaf was kept was simply a locked basement in one of the Synod’s old hideouts. Marne found the arrangements inadequate. Any servant of the Lord Ruler, Spiked or not, former or current, was dangerous. Deadly. And he was about to negotiate with one. Descending the dusty staircase, each wooden board creaking underneath him as he stepped, he nodded to the guards, a Windwhisperer and a Brute, who silently nodded back and stood aside, allowing Marne to pass. Stepping down onto the floor, Marne again nodded at the Feruchemists guarding the stairwell, who stood, tromping up to the top of the staircase. Though the Windwhisperer could tap hearing, Marne found paranoia unnecessary still. Refusing to trust his own men, who he had known and worked with for many years, was indeed a sure sign that the Lord Ruler has finally come—sowing dissension and mistrust amongst the ranks of the Synod. He would not have that; he would trust, until trust proved folly. He would also need to trust the man in front of him. Olaf seemed to fully occupy the spacious wooden basement. His lurking presence, with an air of anticipation as he sat on the edge of his cot, fingers splayed, seemed to extend beyond him and fill the room. It unnerved Marne, but little could be done about that. He would have to work with this man, if he had any hope of catching the Spiked in their midst. “Olaf,” he began. The skinny man across from him raised a bony, long finger, indicating silence, and Marne abruptly shut up. Olaf spoke, thin and raspily. “I don’t know their names,” he said simply. Marne frowned, thrown off. “What?” “Their names,” Olaf repeated. “That’s why you’ve come, isn’t it? You want the names of all the Spiked in my group. That’s not the way this works. I remember nothing from when the spikes are in. Faces, people, even events, it’s all gone.” Marne blinked. “I’m supposed to take you at your word?” Olaf smiled, though it was devoid of humour. “You could torture me, but you’d find the same thing, and I’m completely within your power anyway. I have no reason to lie to you, Marne of the Synod. You can overpower me, and perhaps outsmart me. But I don’t know the names. The spikes, they...do something, to a person. I don’t know how the Lord Ruler does it, but living with those spikes is like having a different person in you, who can’t remember what the other person does. I know I attacked you, and that I removed my spikes, but I can’t tell you much more.” Olaf looked up, a glint in his eye. “I would, however, be happy to help you hunt them. The other Spiked. I have no love for the Lord Ruler, and it seems that helping you is the only way either of us will emerge from this alive.” Marne weighed Olaf’s words. The man may be lying, he thought. But if he is not...his brains will be an important asset, and his unique skills will make him a formidable ally. Besides, who do I want watching him? An assortment of random Ferrings, or myself? Marne looked at Olaf. Trust. He would trust this man, for now. Because trust was one of the few things that remained left to him. “I accept your offer, Count,” he said. “Let us go then, and do what we must to allow us both to come out of this alive.” Reaching out, Marne grasped Olaf’s hand. It was a small step, and might not have been the wisest. But any asset would help now. Now that Spiked were abroad… And trust was needed now, more than anything. Count Olaf has been converted to the Synod! Day 1 has begun! It will end in 48-ish hours, at 9 EDT on Sunday, August 12. Player List: 1. Rathmaskal as Laksam, an ash sweeper from the Eastern streets 2. Xinoehp512 as Ereheman Tresni, a man with his priorities backwards 3. Steeldancer as Steel, the fastest sculpture of a squid wrought entirely in steel in all of Tathingdwen 4. Randuir as Zihel, a worldhopper looking for his twin brother 5. I think I am here as Itiah VI, a missionary on a mission 6. Bort as Tee Mai, a tailor specialising in offensive clothing 7. Cadmium Compounder as Ethin Hallil, a cadmium Feruchemist and SCUBA diver 8. _Stick_ as Stick, President of the Tathingdwen Tautological Society of Tautology 9. Jondesu as Remart, a man back from vacation armed with vaguely ominous statements 10. Kidpen as HanTor, a lonely Kandra that’s definitely not Spiked, nope 11. Elandera as Era, an old woman who claims to have been alive before the reign of the Lord Ruler 12. Snipexe as Snip, a fabric cutter in the local quilt shop 13. Worldhopper from Yolen as Tarin, a Sparker with a wonderful, awful idea 14. Alvron as Izzy Dedyet, who is not dead, feels happy, and thinks she'll go for a walk 15. Phatterner as Citona Vinid, a seemingly faithful follower of the Lord Ruler 16. Ark1002 as Kardik, a Full Feruchemist 17. Araris Valerian as Valwyn, an honest rug merchant 18. Coop772, as Irion, a Full Feruchemist more comfortable around his friends 19. Sart, a stuttering Nameless