Episode 02 | Broken Soul

Tzanuka – 96th day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær, 101st Generation

Raka arrives at the foot of the mountain Skundr, where she is welcomed into a village that houses refugees that fled the mountain. She begins speaking to eye-whiteness.

Will she find more details about the extend of the tangleweave and what caused it?

Artwork

Credits

RakaKessi Riliniki

AurilTravis Vengroff

Headchief – Owen McCuen

Fyalfana – Holly Billinghurst

Dunir – Phillip Sacramento

Barla – Graham Rowatt (The Grey Rooms)

 

Written and Dialogue Edited by Kessi Riliniki

Sounddesign by Sarah Buchynski

Music by Fuimadane 

Transcript

Windshell activates.

Headchief: We haven’t been able to send anyone ye- What was THAT?

Raka:    What was what?

Headchief: That sound. Thought it came from your chest? Are you alright?

Raka:    Oh. That… might’ve been this thing. A trinket a friend gave me-

Headchief: A music shell?

Raka:    Not quite…

Headchief: If that’s a music shell, then that tune was the shortest I’ve ever heard.

Raka:    Don’t mind it.

Headchief: Hm. Alright then. As I was saying, we haven’t really seen any direct effect of the… this… you called it… tumbleweed?…

Raka:    Tangleweave.

Headchief: Ah yes, Tangleweave. We’ve got many people seeking refuge here, most trying to flee from raiding Skur.

Raka:    Skur? Here?

Headchief: There were a few that came here because strange things happened around them, though.

Raka:    What kind of strange things?

Headchief: Eh, glitter on shining objects disappearing, an entire village without sound, that kind of strange. Is this why you’re here?

Raka:    Yes, I’m here to fix things like that.

Headchief: Alright, then we have a couple of those in the Longhouse. Speaking of which, anything you can tell me about this “tangleweave”? It’s hard to figure out what exactly that is, just based on the accounts of some of the refugees, and the rest of the village is growing nervous. I need to tell them something to put their minds at ease.

Raka:    Of course. It’s basically a hole.

Headchief: A hole?

Raka:    Yes. In the Aetherweb. It is caused by an imbalance in the element flows. The hole lets Spirits slip into our world and manifest.

Headchief: But Spirit’s aren’t always… BAD… are they? Our mistress thinks highly of them.

Raka:    Oh no, they aren’t bad at all. Their purpose is to maintain the balance of the elemental flows, that’s never a bad thing. But, you see, they feed on things that are still essential to us-

Headchief: Like what?

Raka:    Like… temperatures, sounds or smells.

Headchief: They eat that? Is that why there’s this one village without sound?

Raka:    Possibly. Spirits usually feed on things that exist in copious or excessive amounts, you see. If it was a particularly noisy village, the spirit must’ve headed straight toward it when the tangleweave happened. The aetherweb is usually so well balanced that Spirits don’t find more nourishment than is necessary to sustain them. So they will seize any opportunity to manifest and gorge themselves on whatever it is that sustains them, to the point where they might devour more than is good for them.

Headchief: I can relate to that.

Raka:    Which could account for the village losing all of it’s sound. At any rate, when Spirits manifest and devour things in larger quantities, that’s when they become dangerous to us.

Headchief: How is eating sounds or smells dangerous?

Raka:    Well, maybe sound, is a bad example… Imagine a cold-devouring spirit manifested at the peak of the Skundr and gorged itself on all the cold in the snow. You see, when spirits devour one thing, they fill the vacancy with its primal opposite. Like the spirit devouring sound. It would fill the vacancy with silence. A cold devouring spirit would replace the cold with warmth. The snow near the peak would melt and come down here in floods or avalanches, bringing more refugees.

Headchief: That would be a disaster… even more people coming to seek refuge? We already didn’t know where to put all those that sought refuge form the Skur, let alone how to feed them. We barely have enough supplies to sustain ourselves as it is!

Raka:    That’s… unfortunate… Hold on a moment. I need to… speak with this thing for a moment.

Headchief: Talking into a music shell?

Raka:    Yes, yes.

Headchief: What, do they pick up spoken word now, too? Is that some kind of newly developed shenanigans from the city?

Raka:    Yes. Go on ahead, I’ll be right behind you.

Headchief: Alright, then.

Raka:    Auril, do you hear me? This is awkward. I’ll… just pretend that you do… Listen, the Windhsell caused me a bit of trouble at the Watergates – They thought I was trying to sabotage or copy the enchantments of the gates. You should look into changing the enchantments to be indetectible to people who feel or see the weave. Anyway, I was able to get here in only a day and a half thanks to the gates and the Krekou, but it cost me a fortune. I sent the escort back with papers, hoping the magistrate will cover the cost for me. Not that I need someone to pay my bills for me, but… well, it is a task the magistrate assigned to me, they might as well pay for my travel expenses.
Right now I’m in a village called Ĥwyþ- am I saying this right, it’s Ĥwyþwyv right?

Headchief: Yea, like Calm and Wind.

Raka:    Ah right, mnemonics. Anyway, It’s on the north-west-facing foot of the Skundr. It’s so small that it wasn’t even on that map. I found it when I came across a group of refugees. I asked them if they were fleeing because of the Tangleweave and it’s effects, but… turns out they were fleeing because of Skur raids. Which seem to be more frequently happening further down the mountain. Apparently the Skur are trying to extend the reach of their territories. Which is good to know. I do’t want to come across any Skur if I can avoid it, but… if the Tangleweave really does stretch out across the entrire Skundr, I might not have a choice than to enter their territory at one point or another.
Anyway, the refugees pointed this village out to me if I was looking for other refugees, so I came here. The person you just heard is the Headchief – that probably means nothing to you – that’s the proxy of the head-mistress. He’s showing me to the longhouse, where they are currently housing all the other refugees. I plan to talk to some of them to get an overview of the situation, and figure out who came here because of the Tangleweave and who fled from the Skur. I hope that there will be at least one person among them that might have clues that will help discern why the Tangleweave happened here… Anyway, I’m leaving the Windshell on for now, I think? You didn’t really tell me if the Windshell required any kind of energy, so I’m just assuming that it will stay on until I turn it off manually. So I will leave it on for now, so you can hear any witness accounts I might get.

Headchief: Are you done? This is where we keep the refugees in.

Raka:    Yes, I’m done.

Headchief: A’ight, come. Oh, and watch your-

Raka:    Oww!

Headchief: Ah, figured it out yourself. We rarely get people as tall as you around here, sorry about that.

Raka:    Are doorframes always this low in this region?

Headchief: Don’t know about other villages, but here we’re a small people.

Raka:    Great…

Headchief: What race are ye anyway? I don’t recognize your features.

Raka:    My Rontar is called Miru.

Headchief: Are they all this tall?

Raka:    Well… I might be a little larger than my Rontar’s average. Anyway, can we get on with this?

Headchief: Of course. We have about 32 people down here and… another 17 upstairs. Most are from neighboring villages further uphill, of my Rontar. There’s also a few… other races, Faraksha and Xela, even two Almirians.

Raka:    Almirians?

Headchief: But they don’t speak our language except for a few words. Do you speak their language?

Raka:    I have an almirian aquaintance, but… I never bothered learning his language enough to communicate with it.

Headchief: Shame. Well, and there’s also a human.

Raka:    A human?

Headchief: Who surprisingly speaks þæanæa.

Raka:    Really, a Human that speaks þæanæa?

Headchief: Was surprised myself when she turned up here. Seems there was a human village on the other side of the Skundr. Why she didn’t just get off the mountain on her side is beyond me, but well, now she’s here.

Raka:    You said her village “was” there?

Headchief: I haven’t really had the time to listen to everyone’s life story, but that’s the impression I got.

Raka:    Don’t think I’ll manage more than a couple people tonight anyway, it’s getting late.

Headchief: Indeed. Also, I think our head-mistress would like to speak to you over dinner, as well.

Raka:    A courtesy meeting?

Headchief: That, too. But as I say, she worships spirits, and enjoys speaking to people that believe in them enough to talk about them. Most people don’t.

Raka:    Of course. Then I’ll only talk to one group of people to get a quick overview. I will speak with the rest of them tomorrow.

Headchief: Alright. I’ll let them know.

Raka:    Do you know which people came here fleeing from strange occurrences rather than fleeing from Skur?

Headchief: Ah- yes, a group of five, a mistress and her staff. They’re all together in that curtained off room in the corner, behind the blue sheets. We tried to color code the makeshift rooms a bit, you see. She insisted on the blue sheets. You know how mistresses are.

Raka:    Of course. Right, I’ll speak to her, then.

Headchief: Sure. Let me know when you need anything.

Fyalfana:  (muffled) Eragæl is too young to be traded off! We should just have stayed there, I wouldn’t NEED to reestablish my- Whose that? Barla, can you lift the sheets, I think someone is trying to find their way in.

Barla:   Of course.

Raka:    How big is this curtain- Ah, thank you.

Fyalfana:  Oh- Dunir, quit what you’re doing. I want my hair like her.

Dunir:   What, you want Nortis Frays now? I’m almost done with your braids!

Fyalfana:  Fine, fine, fine, another time. Who might you be?

Raka:    Fæhu. My name is Raka, I am-

Fyalfana:  Not the person the Headchief said he would send with food, obviously.

Barla:   Fyalfana…

Fyalfana:  Barla, I’m starving. Go see if you can find anything remotely close to food from the villagers.

Barla:   We’re refugees here, Fyalfana, not visiting an Inn in the city.

Fyalfana:  You’re the one that dragged me here. I have to stay in these make-shift accommodation, the least you can do is make sure I get treated as if I were in my own house.

Barla:   Fine.

Raka:    As I was saying, I am the delegated Patcher that was called from Kærûn.

Fyalfana:  Kærûn? Where’s that?

Dunir:   A big city in the east, Fyalfana. Your aunt’s son went to study at the university there last year, remember?

Fyalfana:  Ah, I remember. And what exactly is it that Patchers do? You seemed to have a hard time figuring out those sheets that pass as doors here, you’re not here to patch those, are you?

Dunir:   Hold your head still, Fyalfana!

Fyalfana:  Fine, fine – Fiyar’ta, where’ve you left your sense of humor, Dunir?

Raka:    No, I’m here to patch the hole in the Aetherweb-

Fyalfana:  A hole?! In what now?

Raka:    The Aetherweb. Are you… familiar with what that is?

Dunir:   The weave that makes magic possible, Fyalfana. You know, the thing that Orikan-

Fyalfana:  Oh that thing he keeps raving about. Ah, yes, yes. So what happens when there’s a hole in the weave, does magic pour out?

Raka:    Spirits can use the hole to manifest and cause some problems to mortals like us. Which was one of the reason some people came to this village to take refuge here. The headchief told me that you might be here because of things like that.

Fyalfana:  Oh! Ooooh, I see! Dunir, where are your manners? Offer our guest a seat!

Dunir:   We don’t exactly have chairs, but you can sit on that crate next to the bed.

Raka:    I am fine, thank you-

Fyalfana:  The way you speak I assume you are familiar with the ways of a mistress’ household. So you will understand this is not a request. I do SO hate talking up to people.

Raka:    Fine. Hold on. There. Is that better?

Fyalfana:  Great! So you only look wild but can be quite civilized. How can we help you?

Raka:    I am looking for any clues that will help discern the cause for the tangleweave, and maybe any spirit activity you might know of or have heard of.

Fyalfana:  I’m not sure how much we can help you with that, but if it helps you solve the issue quickly we’ll see what we can tell you.

Raka:    Do you mind if I take notes while you speak? I like to keep track of sightings in my journals.

Fyalfana:  Sure, do what you must.

Raka:    Right. So your friend, Barla-

Fyalfana:  Not my friend, my housekeeper.

Raka:    Your housekeeper. You said he’s the one that made you seek refuge here. What was the reason for this?

Fyalfana:  Pah, his reasons are petty at best.

Dunir:   The reason is SOUND, Fyalfana, and you know it!

Fyalfana:  You, focus on my braids. My condition has NOTHING to do with being especially vulnerable to spirits, as I’m sure this Patcher here can confirm.

Raka:    If you give me more information on this “condition” you speak of, I can try.

Dunir:   Our Mistress was born unable to walk.

Raka:    Oh… She has a broken soul?

Dunir:   Yes.

Fyalfana:  That ought to be the silliest word anyone could’ve come up with to describe it. Call it for what it is! I’m a cripple with a disability.

Dunir:   Fyalfana!

Fyalfana:  That’s what you people call me. Of course you could just call me Fyalfana- you know, my name?

Raka:    Fyalfana. Sure.

Dunir:   We might not know as much about spirits as someone like you, Patcher, but we have had some dealings with people that tried to help our Mistress before. One of those that tried to help, a Spiritualist, told us that people with a broken soul are more vulnerable to spirit infestations.

Fyalfana:  She even suggested I’d get a… what was it called, Dunir-

Dunir:   Rune-carvings.

Fyalfana:  Ah yes, a Rune-carving! Like what you have going on on your face, but on my throat and chest! Can you believe that?

Dunir:   She told us that those would keep the spirits from using her as “gateway”.

Raka:    Ah. Indeed.

Fyalfana:  I would never get such a vile looking disfiguration on my body. Being unable to walk is bad enough! And then there was this other guy, eugh, promised he could “fix” my broken soul by giving me two working legs-

Raka:    FIX a broken soul? I don’t know that something like that is even possible. I’ve heard of people attempt to do that, but I haven’t heard of any successful attempts yet.

Fyalfana:  Well, I don’t know WHAT he intended to do about that, but he had this vile stench about him. He smelled like death himself.

Raka:    Yakkotius, perhaps? The god of death? I have heard that he can be quite the benevolent deity, despite being the deity of death. It might’ve been worth a try.

Fyalfana:  (scoffs) Oh Fiyar’ta forbid. Whatever he intended to do with my legs, I’d rather have a broken soul than take anything from someone that smelled like THAT.

Dunir:   Well at any rate, her Broken Soul was the reason we dragged her out of the affected area. We thought without those rune carvings she’d be very vulnerable.

Fyalfana:  And I’m by no means happy about your rash actions!

Raka:    Did other mistresses from your village seek refuge here because of this?

Fyalfana:  Hmp, of course not. They had more sense than my idiot household. None of them saw the spirits as a threat – They are harmless, only interested in things that GLITTER, which neither my broken soul nor my immobile legs seem to be doing!

Raka:    I see.

Barla:   Are you at this again, Fyalfana?

Fyalfana:  Ah, finally, my dinner. What did you get?

Barla:   Soup and fresh flatbread… Don’t change the subject! You can hardly blame Dunir and me for being concerned about the welfare of our Mistress!

Fyalfana:  Your concerns were unfounded!

Barla:   Don’t speak with your mouth full!

Dunir:   Patcher, could you please clear up this matter so we can finally settle this argument?

Raka:    In fact, I can.

Fyalfana:  Let’s hear it, then.

Raka:    What your Mistress says is true, if the spirits were only interested in things that glitter then she wasn’t in any danger.

Fyalfana:  THANK you! Now you two can start packing up. We return to my house first thing tomorrow!

Raka:    Listen, it is, however, absolutely true what they say about broken souls. A Soul is a person’s connection to the aetherweb, and when it is broken, it has… cracks, fissures. Minor spirits can use these to… squeeze through and manifest into our world. This effect is massively amplified when the broken soul is subject to a tangleweave. Even larger spirits could make use of those cracks to in that case, some might even nest in your soul and constantly drain you of whatever it is that nourishes them. So you might understand why they say Broken Souls ARE more susceptible to influences from spirits. It wasn’t an unreasonable conclusion of your household to keep YOU out of all people safe. From what I could gather so far, the village you came from was situated right in the middle of a tangleweave. You’d be in constant danger of a spirit infestation, if you remained there.

Dunir:   Ha! See, we were right being worried about your safety after all!

Barla:   Fyalfana, we’re just trying to keep you safe. We only lost your mother less than a year ago, we don’t want to lose you so shortly after.

Raka:    It was good of your housekeepers to drag you out of the area, even if it was against your will. There are spirits that feed on immobility, and the immobility of people attracts them more than that of inanimate objects, like stones – would such a spirit turn up near you, you would be a primary target.

Fyalfana:  Alright, alright! We will stay here until the weave has been repaired.

Raka:    Good! Now can I get back to questioning?

Fyalfana:  Yes, yes, go ahead.

Raka:    During most tangleweaves, the inhabitants of the area are usually unaware of the tangleweave happening, since most people are not aware of the spirits. You, however, seem keenly aware of the situation. How did you know what was going on?

Fyalfana:  We have a boy with us, Orikan. An offering from this village as potential new member for my household. Apparently he can… see or hear spirits…  Something like that. I don’t know, I don’t quite understand him.

Barla:   He can’t see or hear them, just… sense their presence. About a week ago he woke us in the middle of the night and said something had happened to the weave and that there were spirits roaming outside the house. He was terrified, even though they didn’t do anything to harm us.

Raka:    Do you know if he was awake when the weave tore apart?

Barla:   Told me only that he woke up and had a terrible gut feeling… Didn’t know what to make of it so he went for a walk, and that is when he felt spirits nearby.

Raka:    You said they were only interested in things that glitter, how did you narrow it down to that?

Dunir:   A sparkling stream runs by our village, Orikan said he sensed a large amount of energy clustering near it. The next morning we noticed the sun no longer sparkled in the water.

Fyalfana:  Wasn’t there another thing? Something about that necklace?

Dunir:   Oh yea, the necklace… Orikan’s got this golden necklace, an heirloom as I understood. He said after a spirit passed close-by, it’d gone dull. He’s been trying to polish it, but the shine wouldn’t come back.

Raka:    I see. Where is Orikan now? Can I speak to him?

Fyalfana:  He’s the son of this village’s head-mistress’s sister. I sent him to stay with his mother for now. If you want to speak with him, either of these two will have to go and get him for you.

Raka:    Ah, then there’s no need for that. I might meet him later, the head-mistress invited me for a courtesy-meeting.

Fyalfana:  Now, if that was all, you may leave. I finally want to have my dinner.

Raka:    Of course. Enjoy your meal.

Fyalfana:  Barla, I hope you made sure to bring me a soup without Ræwyn this time, you know how much I hate Ræwyn!

Barla:   Of course, I asked them to specifically set aside a bowl for you before adding the Ræwyn…

Headchief: Anything useful?

Raka:    A bit, but not enough. I’ll have to question a few others to gather anything useful. But tomorrow.

Headchief: Alright.

Raka:    Is there a place I can stay for the night? Maybe a room in the longhouse?

Headchief: Ah, you don’t need to stay in the longhouse.

Raka:    It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just…

Headchief: Since the headmistress invited you to dinner, you can stay in a room in her guest quarters. We house a few other refugees there as well, but I’m sure we can arrange for you to have a bed of your own. Unless you find another you want to share it with.

Raka:    It’s too soon to tell. Hold on. Auril? I’m ending this transmission.

Windshell deactivates.

Auril:   Ah, great, the first long-distance transmission came through flawlessly! No spirits or runes yet, but this being Raka, I’m sure she’ll come across those eventually.
Alright, date of recording was… Um… ah, Tzanuka on the 96th day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær in the 101st generation.
Vocal enchantments were woven by Kessi Riliniki, Owen McCuen, Holly Billinghurst, Philip Sacramento, Graham Rowat and Travis Vengroff.
Music-Shells provided by Fuimadane.
Audio-Enhancements by Sarah Buchynski.
Written and Produced by Kessi Riliniki.
So what’s on my to-Do list…
Make the Windshell enchantments invisible to people who can sense the aetherweb in any way…
So it can go through the watergates undetected. I’m really not sure how their enchantments work, if anyone listening to this through the archives has any idea or experience, send a message to “Auril”, At-Rune “Trilunis” Dot-Com. Or send me a bird-chirp using the AT-Rune “Trilunis”. You can also write a message into the Book with the Face on it; just flip to the Page titled “Trilunis” and press your thumb on the seal to open it. I’ll read those eventually, I promisse…

Spirit:  Fæhu little mortal. Oh, you remember that word? Fæhu!
Have you been seeking the truth?
Oh, you want to get straight to the runes of fortune? You mortals really don’t have any time, do you. Afraid you’ll die of old age before you get those runes of fortune, hm? Alright then.
Your Runes of Fortune for today are the Aether-Runes Riian (Time) and Tharal (Sunrise). Now one would expect them to mean “Time of Sunrise”, or “Dawn” together, but… Mortals are lazy and abbreviate a lot. In their short forms, Riian and Tharal form the word “Rontar”, which means “my kin”. Not “my race”, it literally means “my kin” – the people you feel the closest connection to.
Did you know that the Kselka on the Skundr think of Vær as their kin? They call us their Rontar, instead of their real Rontar – other Kselka. Mortals are silly like that, aren’t they? But it makes you quite endearing.
Well, that’s it for today. But if you want more runes of Fortune, or even have your name translated into Azyri Runes, I heard that you can get that if you Support “Trilunis”, the people that create this silly little thing, on Patreon or Ko-Fi. You can find all Links to that and their social media handles in the Shownotes.
What- that’s not enough for you? Oh, you want to now what else you can get for that precious metal in your pocket? You can also get access to excerpts from our table reads, bloopers, music, small monthly physical merch- what? You want to know more about those bloopers?
You want to hear a sample? Alright then. Here’s a little sample for you…

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