| Written in the Soul
Location: The Royal Resistance - Rose Faction / Golden Hand Faction / Vind Faction -> Doomwood Camp -> Quests! -> Written in the Soul
Level/Quest/Items required: Completion of The Spark of the Soul
Release Date: May 21st, 2021
Objective: Looking in.
Objective completed: I'm sorry, lost soul, but I will remember your sacrifice.
Experience rewarded: 0
Gold rewarded: 0
The buzzing of bees outside the cottage drones ever onward.
Inside, oblivious to the noise, or perhaps grown used to the sound, a boy, almost a man, kneels above his crying sister.
The girl is young, just starting to learn the traditional beekeeping trade, and she sits, clutching her face,
light blonde hair tumbling around her falling tears.
The boy whispers, hurriedly, eyes darting to the curtain covered windows.
The girl repeats what she had been taught, a mantra of comfort, as she peeks at her brother through her fingers.
The boy is insistent.
He tells his sister that she will be taken away.
That her family will never see her again.
The girl sobs loudly as she reaches out for her brother.
How could this happen? Why her?
A pair of masked and robed people —Magesters — with their tall misshapen hoods, approach the cottage as an out of season rain falls,
threatening to soak the beehives.
A sharp knock, and the door opens.
The father, a tall, bearded man, tries to speak, but is cut off with a wave from one of the Magesters.
A hushed conversation.
The mother sits at the table, holding her head. The father tries to speak more forcefully, as their children stand, watch, and listen.
The father is given a large satchel.
The Magesters, invited by the father, enter the house as the brother steps in front of his sister, arms outstretched,
attempting to shield her from their sight.
One of the Magesters sighs, beginning a practiced speech, an entreaty.
The father, and then, with some encouragement, the mother, plead with the boy as well.
He is not convinced.
The adults tell him that his sister has been chosen by The Shapeless for a divine purpose, and so she must leave her home and her family.
The boy is defiant, tears in his eyes.
But then he takes a deep breath. Eyes shut. He trusts The Shapeless.
The Magesters and the girl leave, and her family never sees her again.
Through the golden streets of Nieboheim, a man, well-built and muscled from years of hard work, pushes a cart filled with jars of honey.
He stops to offer his wares to a well-dressed couple passing by, but to no avail.
The demand for honey from Ull has seemingly fallen from recent trends.
For a brief reprieve, the man rests his tired legs, sitting on the shining brickwork.
He wipes sweat from his brow as he takes a long drink of water from his waterskin, wondering if he would be able to find a Magester to receive his
subsidy from, when a voice calls out to him.
The voice asks him if he wants to make a little more money.
He thinks of his aging parents, of his duty to his family.
He looks at his cart, still nearly full, and feels the absence of weight from the coin pouch on his belt.
He asks the voice what needs to be done.
The first few jobs are easy for the man.
Move a barrel from here to there. Ask no questions. Receive the payment.
The man has even managed to sell most of the honey by the time his permit was up.
But on one final job, the Magesters are waiting.
Until he sees them, it doesn't even occur to him that what he is doing is something that he could be "caught" doing.
He silently curses himself. Curses the voice that offered him the job.
Curses The Shapeless.
What is in the barrels, demand the Magesters.
But the man doesn't know.
Who told you to bring them here, ask the Magesters.
But the voice had never revealed their face.
And so the man is brought before The Shapeless — a towering form of faces and mouths, just like in the paintings and figures.
There the man is bound, to be punished for his crimes, in utter awe of his God.
The money from the honey cart had been sent back home to his parents by the Magesters, which was some relief, at least.
But such comforting thoughts are broken by the heavy crunching of footfalls as The Shapeless steps forward.
A flood of thoughts, possibilities, and panic rush through his mind.
If only he had been more careful.
If only he had thought about his actions.
If only, if only.
The crowd roars as the unfortunate soul to his right is devoured.
He looks out at the Magesters overseeing the punishment. Uncaring, impassive, behind their masks.
He begs them in his mind, pleads with them to offer The Shapeless his apologies.
He receives no response.
He closes his eyes, praying to anything, anyone.
The drone of the crowd reminds him of the bees back home.
He opens his eyes, wishing, expecting, hoping to be safe on the farm.
The Shapeless turns to him. One of the Magesters turns away.
This quest serves as a backstory for the lost soul in Jaania's possession in The Spark of the Soul.
< Message edited by Jay -- 9/20/2021 20:11:35 >