High in a Spire...

Bottles upon bottles of empty Laudanum and discarded changa clutter the tables, shelves and floor of Laurencia’s Spire. She paces back and forth, angrily, sadly, confused.

&quotThey don’t WORK!&quot

She swipes a line of empty bottles off one of her tables, they clatter and shatter on the tile floor of her main room. She begins to mutter to herself, pacing back and forth.

&quotValerian? Poppy in another form? Maybe I can condense the smoke…or hells. Maybe they’ll finally answer my prayers? Ahaha, no, they wouldn’t, not now, not now.&quot

Her teeth held a red tint, her stomach growled in some vague protest.

&quotMaybe they won’t answer because they know. Maybe, maybe, am I going mad? Gods…&quot

Her head snaps left and right as her eyes catch fading shadows, her hands shake, she wrings them

&quotNo, no, just nightmares, I’ve seen a great deal, yes I’ve seen so much, more than THEY would want! Yes, yes, that’s probably it…they’re plotting! They’re always plotting against one another why not ME? With all that I have surely they would plot! With what I’ve done on occasion, even if they never knew…or do they know?&quot

She rubs her forehead now and then her temples, eyes shifting about the main room of her Spire.

&quotIf the society tofs would cast me down for my mysticism, why not the Masters? Why not?! They must be putting something in my water, they must be sabotaging my laudanum, there’s no other explanation, no other reason, nothing, for not anything!&quot

She eyes her store of candles in the cabinets, walking swiftly over to them, for reasons she does not know, she takes seven candles, placing them before her.

&quotColors colors, do the candles know? You’ve shown me much my dear friends but now will you show me more? WILL YOU?&quot

Her hands reach out and she shoves each candle into her mouth, forcing her jaw to chew and swallow, gagging on the wax, she forces each candle into her stomach. It growls.

&quotEhehehehe, they won’t be able to touch me soon, no no, not in this place, high up! They could never touch me. Candles will guard me, they always have, ehehe.&quot

She touches the knife of lost sky hidden against her spine, as if to reassure herself.

&quotIs that right? Was that right? What was I thinking just now, gods my stomach hurts, what is this? There is something there, I know it, from the lights in the mirror that the Shroud never revealed. There’s something in them and is this it? Is this wrong? What…wait…ugh…&quot

She rubs her head distressingly, eyes shifting from each shadowy corner of her abode, dancing shapes linger in the edges of her vision. She walks over to her collection of lead plaques and with queer resignation she inscribes two tablets, one in plain English, one in the sigils of the Correspondence.


Her laughter continues long into the night before she passes out from many bottles of almost paradoxically cheap mushroom wine, whispering in her nightmares

&quotWhat is the name, the name, the name…&quot
edited by Mogu on 6/10/2016
edited by Mogu on 6/10/2016

Months trickle by. Bottles of opium pile up, discarded pipes and empty wine bottles dumped into a few crates. The shadows at the corner of her vision in a perpetual twist now. She sits next to her fire, staring at her mystic raven.

&quotIt’s been months now and I have not moved, have not breathed, my vision remains twisted. I have bound myself back from this search, as you indicated. It’s not moving now, I dare not take another step, my intelligence has hardly recovered an inch and no one speaks my name now…Slowcake cut me out, the toff.&quot

The raven twists his head at her and eats a seed from the bag beside his post. Silent as the stones.

&quotI sacrificed to know. But I get all the signs that to know is to burn myself alive. I’ve found many secrets here and gained much…I should be giving this up. The drinks and the poppy. You know it hasn’t helped me. Don’t give me that look…I know this search is pointless and a waste of everything I could have gained…or maybe it’s the deepest truth?&quot

The raven looks at her

&quotIn darkness/there is no light/in light/there is no darkness&quot

She sighs, rummaging through her pocket and removing the pocket watch.

&quotI’ve been in the thick of the dark for a long while now and it has led me only further down and into further hurt. I should give this up, the drugs, the drink, the search. Who cares about that name?&quot

Her eye twitches, she cares. She longs. She sits up from the fire and paces about the room.

&quotI’ve been…alone too long. My servants give me strange and concerned looks my consort…I’ve fallen so far in my own mind. Is there any help left that doesn’t come from within? Do you think those in the east had something to their philosophy? What am I doing…&quot

She looks sidelong at the cabinets that hold all her still sealed bottles. Enough drink and laudanum to drown herself until the colonies would take her. Enough commerce she could engineer such that there would be no end to a life drowned. Was it herself that she drowned or was she trying to drown him?

&quotHow do I give this up…how does someone so enthralled move on to the…simpler things in life…surely…surely I don’t have to, not in truth?&quot

The raven bounces on its post and looks at her a long moment

&quotSeven factors/seven steps/seven things to forget and five things to repeat&quot

She stares at the raven, a passing anger

&quotDon’t tell me what I’ve already read! Don’t tell me not to grasp!&quot

She grabs an empty bottle from a nearby crate and raises it menacingly. The raven stares back at her.

&quotChild of darkness/broken by tears/cut open by your own craving/will you eat your child’s flesh, yet?&quot

She drops the bottle to the ground and falls on her knees, looking at the purple of her dress she stares with unflinching eyes as tears pool.

&quotWhy did I sacrifice this much for nothing at all? Why did I think there was any truth to be found in the signs?&quot

She falls inward on her knees, her body wracked with sobs as she wails at her circumstance. Beaten, broken, her raven’s words ringing in her head, the shadows under her eyelids twisting. She begins to hit her own thighs with her hands, turning her anger towards herself.

&quotYou stupid, idiot! You had it so good! You had it so good and this is what you do! Is this what you wanted to do? Waste away in a tower in a stupor all day? Becoming tormented by everything you once loved?&quot

The raven bounces on its perch and eats another seed.

&quotIn your heart of suffering/you’re staring at a sign/look into signlessness/break your prison/step through the door/step into freedom&quot

Her hands relax, broken blood vessels and bruises formed on her thighs, she falls onto her side, sniffling.

&quotMust I really give up this search? Is that where freedom is found? On the shore where the solid of foot stand?&quot

Her raven sits silently, staring at her long after the fire has faded and her cries have died. Laying on the floor of her spire, she falls into a fitful and tearful sleep. One part of her screams to give it up. Another nags that there is some truth in that darkness. The better part of her knows: she’s burning herself alive for nothing at all.