"Now," Mr Hearts asks you, "if you would do us the honour, tell us your heart’s desire. We shall do all in our power to grant it."
Choose… Something Else
You did not play this game for yourself. You played it for him. You will ask for his rebirth. (requires SMEN, What is Forgotten?)
"Ah" says Mr Hearts. It is the only sound in the room. None of the Masters move. The ensuing silence is so great that it even drowns out the hustle and bustle of London outside. Mr Hearts looks at Mr Wines, who in turn looks at Mr Fires, who (begrudgingly) looks at Mr Stones and so on until Mr Spices, who goes to look for Mr Veils only to find its absence. It has somehow managed to vacate the premises.
(Coward! COWARD! I shall find you. No matter where you go, I shall find you…)
"Surely we can just refuse?!" asks Mr Stones.
"We cannot" answers Mr Wines. "We gave our word. There is a price for breaking it.”
"That price may be worth paying, compared to what this one asks of us!" Mr Spices interjects.
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE PROCEDURES is scrawled frantically on a nearby chalkboard.
Mr Hearts reaches up to the nearby shelf and picks up one of the books in question. "This is not a wish we… that is to say I, had foreseen. What do you gain from this? You could wish for anything! Eternal life, unlimited wealth, fame beyond imagination. Doesn’t any of that appeal to you? Why do you want this?"
The answer dies on the tip of your tongue. It has been too long, too much. There is so little left of you now. Your mind, body and soul have been pushed beyond their limits. And yet, this is nothing compared to what he suffered. This is nothing compared to the betrayal. The world turns red. A reckoning will not be postponed indefinitely! Will not be postponed indefinitely!! Will not be…! Will not…!
"Justice." The part of you which speaks is as small and insignificant as a grain of sand on a beach, yet the single word shakes the rafters of the room. "Justice." Such a simple word, yet it took all your remaining strength to say it.
A book slams shut. "Nothing in the Tragedy Procedures covers this exact scenario," Mr Hearts mutters. "I need suggestions."
"There is… one possibility." says Mr Cups. All eyes in the room turn desperately to him. The Masters converge, all except Mr Hearts who takes you down to the main part of the Bazaar, where you are offered the finest foods your eyes have ever seen. When did you last eat? Last drink? You can’t remember. Your mind is full of candles and rage and cards and madness and hate and sadness and darkness and…
"Are you awake?"
You must have fallen asleep. As you open your eyes, the world seems a little brighter than it was before, the colours a little richer, your mind a little quieter. Eventually, you’re able to focus on Mr Hearts towering over you, blocking your vision of the rest of the room. The Master then steps aside to reveal another of their number you have never seen before - one much smaller than them. It is barely as tall as you. You gingerly offer a greeting to it, to which it nods timidly in response.
Mr Hearts explains. "This is Mr Candles, revived as you requested. They do not appear to remember much, which appears to be a side-effect of the process. In time, we will teach them to integrate with the city. Until then, they will reside with us."
"Our contract is fulfilled. You have caused us no small deal of trouble and expense, though you were at least excellent entertainment. Now, I must ask you to leave. We have a lot to be getting on with. Mr Candles will escort you out."
As you leave the Bazaar, your escort gives you a fond farewell and a parting gift: a single, handcrafted candle. From what you are told, it will never burn down. It will forever burn as brightly as you did that day, when you gave up infinite possibilities for the sake of another. There is a little more justice in this world, and what could you want more than that?
Mr Candles’ Candle (Home Comfort)
Watchful +10, Artisan of the Red Science +1, Dreaded +2, Obscurity -7
(Thank you very much for reading. Any feedback is welcome, particularly around pacing)
edited by Arcengal on 6/20/2020
edited by Arcengal on 6/20/2020