A #Crux tale. Starting here, Maralda goes over an event that changed the City of Curses. An old acquaintance gives her an unwanted gift. Unwanted news comes with it.
The spring of 1788 marked a change in the City of Curses. A night of fire. A night where the three years of conflict with the Ithish government ended. Things changed, perhaps for the first time in thousands of years.
For Maralda Inculti Tyranus, she remembered it with annoyance. The Dhampyr bard had been woken up by a knock on her tiny apartment door. Groggily she got up from where she'd fallen asleep at her desk.
Maralda rubbed the streak of ink from her left cheek as she went to the door.
"Coming," Maralda grumbled. "I'm coming. Hold on."
She opened the door, stifling a yawn. The young dhampyr woman had no idea of the time. But it felt late. Maralda reached down into her blood. The raw inculti blood. Her vampyre heritage. Maralda never embraced her father's ways fully. But she knew how to draw out the fire from it.
The Inculti vampyre blood in her sparked into a fiery spell. Maralda held up the spelltorch. The spell drew in light and heat from the ambient energy around her apartment. That left the apartment cold. Despite chilling the space, it gave her a light to see with.
Maralda opened the door. Then she blinked. She didn't quite believe what she saw.
An android with purple hair and an omega sigil across her brow stared back at her. Maralda hadn't seen the android in over a year. She remembered when Wish used to be a tiny thing. The abused slave of the former head of the Necromancy Department at Crux University.
The android didn't blink now. Maralda remembered the moment when she'd taken all the lifeforce of her master. How she walked away free. Wish seemed colder than the scared thing Maralda first had met.
"Bard, I much to tell you. Can I come in?"
Then the android thrust something furry, cold and putrid into Maralda's arms. The android stepped around Maralda and walked past her. Maralda looked down at the thing Wish had thrust at her. Maralda dropped the dead ferret.
She didn't remember how she got to the floor, but she did. After emptying her stomach, she left the dead animal outside and closed the door. It wore clothes.
"Feyborn." Maralda panted. "Why did you give me a dead feyborn ferret?"
"Things are changing." Wish told her.
Maralda glared up at the wax-skinned android. She had been wandering around Crux, finding tales in its darkest corners. Some of those tales were almost as mad as this. But she was a storyteller, not an adventurer. This sort of thing was why she want to favors for her father.
"What is wrong with you? Who hands people dead animals as an opening to a conversation?"
"You aren't paying attention. Things are changing, Maralda. Shraxes has spoken with me. You need to go and see it. Someone has to see it, Maralda." Wish's voice grew dark. Authoritative.
"Or you could answer my question. Why did you hand me a dead ferret?"
"Kaze Skysword told me the specifics. He told me about the fire. That the Prince was dead."
"The Prince? You still haven't told me what the dead ferret was for."
"He saw the Prince die." Wish grabbed Maralda. "The dead creature. His name was Kaze Skysword. He saw the Prince die."
Maralda shivered a bit. "Why did you hand him to me?"
"He knows what is happening. Shraxes told me changes are coming. That the City of Curses is on the precipice of something new. Something that hasn't been seen for thousands of years. Shraxes told me to let you hear him speak." Wish tilted her head. "So I brought his corpse here so you might hear a dead ferret speak, Maralda."
"Because I have to know?"
"No, because it has to be written down." Wish's eyes didn't blink. It made Maralda want to take a step back from her. "This is going to be a Night of Fire, Maralda. Someone has to write it down before it all burns away."