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A new Kingfisher Chapter

Within the City of Sanctuary

Just out of sight, always just out of sight The Spider of Life busied herself on the final stage of her Legend, for those few that walk the land of the living and have the ability to see such things, the Vermillion Mountains now  look to be nothing more than a tangled mess of silvery silken threads that glister in the morning sun as they drip with a sticky venom, a monstrous cocoon of malevolent intent that stretches away from the Vermillion Mountains and out into Eurodarkia in every conceivable direction. The Spider of Life has deliberately created such a convoluted structure for even though this looks to the untrained eye to be nothing but a chaotic mesh of tainted silk, this is the key, the nexus that controls the eventual outcome of all that is about to pass, when finished this point will be magnificent.

Terrible and magnificent, the harvesting of souls has begun herein and it is here she will lay her eggs so that the next generation of Legend Weavers will have food enough to sustain themselves until they begin devouring each other until but a scant few remain to carry on their mothers work.


Sporting a wild mane of blood red hair and almost iridescent green eyes and wearing a very stylised but rather minimalist lightweight armour under a highly decorative translucent grey silk cape Queen Innana struck a most striking figure as she and a small cortege of Troll’s charged with her protection took the morning air and wandered the streets of Skaragoya, or what was Skaragoya until she renamed “The City of Sanctuary”, her day had started well with good news from both Fire King and Fire Child, Fire Child had managed to procure an increase in Imperial Aid and Fire King reported that almost all of the inhabitants of Atrussia that were of a mind to relocate were in place to make the journey over the Eastern Sea and the final convoys would be leaving soon, at which point he would make his own way home so that he may lead the Incarnate Army to victory over the Clans and Empire alike.

What was Skaragoya has been transformed beyond all recognition by the constant influx of millions of pounds of Imperial Golden Runes, not so very long ago within the Vermillion Mountains this quiet seaport was probably the least tainted area of the entire Kingdom as The Incarnates until very recently had little need of travelling by boat and little requirement of imports, Skaragoya simply provide an occasion link to the outside world and supplied a meagre haul of fish to help feed those that required such types of sustenance that dwelled within the Kingdom of the Vermillion Mountains.

Queen Innana and her cortege moved away from the highly manicured Golden Mile and out of sight of the constantly arriving stream of new arrivals to an area of the city that is completely hidden by a magical screen provided by the dozens of Tempestudominus  and Necromancers that are permanently encamped above the city in the foothills of the Vermillion Mountains overlooking the Eastern Sea, here behind the screen Innana finds countless workshops and small factories that twist whatever commodities the Empire sends in Imperial Aid into crude but highly effective weapons of war. The Empire believes that these factories are making everything from ornate iron hinges to small wooden spice boxes, the reality however is somewhat different and the Empire is for all intents and purposes funding its own demise and destruction.

Inside one of these hastily constructed workshops stooped men with milky eyes and vacant expressions  work  around the clock with bodies worn well beyond the point of no return for these  workshops are in effect death shops where the inhabitants labour until their corporeal bodies die whereby the occupying soul is transferred into fresh meat. The conditions within the death shops are terrible and beyond comprehension, they would fail every single one of the Emperors carefully crafted Imperial Edicts regarding Health and Safety within the workplace but these edicts are of little concern to the foul creatures that work relentlessly until the human shell they occupy crumbles and they are returned back to Hell.

Here within this workshop the task of the un-dead workforce is to swing large hammers relentlessly at white hot lumps of semi solid iron teasing them into cruel shapes designed to maim and kill, the weapons these creatures produce are basic, unsophisticated and have no aesthetic decoration, their design is generic and lacks imagination but the intent is clearly evident and in the right hands these poorly fashioned tools will be as effective as anything the Dwarven Smithies or Elvish Blade Masters could ever craft.

And these Incarnate crafted weapons will be produced at a fraction of the cost in both time and money and that is the problem the Empire and all the Clans of Eurodarkia now face for even though Imperial and Clan weapons alike are forged from high grade steels and alloys that would shatter these second rate items asunder in a fair fight the threat that comes with these Incarnate crafted weapons is the sheer numbers in which they are being made and will eventually be wielded. Hundreds if not thousands are made in the time one Dwarven Smithy would take to create a small folding pocket dagger for a child and each blade has a freshly soul washed vessel waiting to take it into battle so that it too may earn a share of the Incarnate Soul Bonds, Soul Bonds that the newly incumbent soul may use to improve their position within the social standings of Hell’s strictly enforced class system once they are returned back to the boiling pits of infernal suffering of whence they came.

When the City of Sanctuary empties in the very near future a million Incarnate troops wielding a million poorly made swords and wearing a million sets of poorly made armour will run into a million pristine arrows and a million razor sharp blades and when the Empire and all the Clans have fired their arrows into the eyes, heads, chests and throats of a million Incarnate troops and blunted their swords upon the skulls of a million more, over the hill and into battle will charge another two million Incarnate troops with each corporeal vessel filled with a newly incumbent soul, fresh from the darkest places to be found in Hell, a soul so black that it’s only intention is to kill, maim, torture and rape so that it may earn a greater share in the Soul Bond Profit Share Scheme when it finally falls under a blade or crumbles into dust.

The Incarnate Army will wash away all evidence of human achievement plunging mankind into a state of eternal war but that is the near future, back in the here and now Queen Innana observes with interest how when the Incarnate Smithies are done teasing the iron into shape they plunge the blades into deep ice baths before passing them on to be finished. Innana makes sure that her Foremen understand the need for speed, the production of weapons must proceed with the greatest alacrity, there is no time to lose.

Moving on, she finds that adjacent to the forge where her weapons are created from the iron ingots so generously provided by the Empire is the finishing room, the finishing room is a place of fire and noise, ranks of what looked to have been young boys, most of which appear to have been no more than ten summers in age when they were soul washed sit hunched in pools and piles of their own excrement on blocks of hard cold stone in front of large stone wheels that spin at great speeds, here they sit wrapped in wet sacking, each wearing a set of protective goggles constructed from the translucent belly scales of Griffons.

It is the boys job to pass every bladed weapons along the spinning stones to give them a final edge, countless sparks are thrown as they do this engulfing the “finishers” within a plume of incandescent metallic filings that are on occasion due the poor quality of the forging large enough to cause grievous injury, once the weapons edge is finished they are dipped in a solution of light tar to prevent the weapons from rusting.

Queen Innana likes to tour of the workshops everyday so that she can best monitor the progress that her minions are making, she had wanted to wait until late Spring and use the long cold northern winter to better prepare her forces but she knew that she would not be able to maintain the element of surprise for very much longer. Dragons had been seen in the distance and even though the riders of those terrible beasts best enjoyed drinking and women they were not stupid, nor were they to be taken for granted.

Innana smiled to herself as she watched the ever growing mounds of newly forged weapons being packed into cartons ready for transportation, but hard unforgiving iron would not be the only metal involved in this war; gold would have its place also, dragons are the most formidable of creatures in battle, their fire tends to level the playing field very quickly before flipping the entire battle on its head and rendering down into a molten pool of blackened glass anything that causes the beast or more specifically its rider offence but for all their potency dragons are not immune to attack, they can be killed by a lucky shot from a skilled man with a powerful ballista or they can be negated and taken out of the equation altogether without excessive bloodshed and carnage because dragons are by their very nature the most  paranoid, greedy and avaricious of creatures and that being so they are especially susceptible to the effects of finding hordes of gold and other such precious commodities, with enough gold a person could take out every dragon in the world for a very long time.

Avaricious Hypersomnia is the Dragon Keepers worst fear for greed is a dragon’s greatest weakness, to have a beast sit upon a horde of freshly claimed gold could see it fall into a slumber that may last decades, this is the reason why Kings Barfael, Morus and Kingfisher and all the other dragon keeping members of the Dragon Clan keep their dragons bedded down on shiny iron slag, the glint keeps the beast happy but iron possesses none of the narcotic effects associated with gold, diamonds and other precious stones.

Moving on from the foundry Innana decides that she had best investigate the progress that the Fletchers were making with the arrows that she had ordered them to make ready, the Empire had provided the Incarnates with well over a million perfectly formed wooden shafts that it believed those that worked within the Artisan Quarter of the City of Sanctuary would be turn into extremely profitable and highly functional rolling wooden blinds to shade the more fashionable and wealthier houses of the Empire from the hot summer sun of Eurodarkia, yes it was true that the wooden shafts so generously supplied by the Empire would indeed give shade but this shade would only be a fleeting respite from the heat of the Eurodarkian summer as the arrows cause what could well be described as a momentary eclipse as they are sent back to the Empire with much gratitude and in one go.

Yes, progress was being made and being made at a handsome rate of knots, things were trapping along quite nicely in fact. Once concerns over health and safety and profit margins are removed from the concept of fabrication within set time parameters it is quite amazing how fast things can be achieved.

The slaves that man the workshop have as has already be mentioned  been washed of their original souls and the ones that the Arrasian vessels currently play host to are more than happy with the conditions they find themselves in. It has to be remembered that Hell in places is little more than a boiling molten mess of souls that writhe together in eternal torment, yes there are areas of Hell that could be viewed as paradise and some of the demons that occupy these places have all they could ever wish for but the average soul that has been cast down into damnation finds little more than eternal pain and suffering for as it is on Earth there are those that “have” and those that “have not”.

No, it isn’t fair but shit happens, get over it.

Hence the reason why the slaves work with great speed and only stop briefly to take in the minimum of food and drink necessary to survive in this form, personal hygiene is nothing to be considered and impropriety of dress is irrelevant, just so long as the vessel is kept warm and reasonably dry the occupying force cares very little for the long-term survival of its host.

Arrows roll off the line by the hundreds; each one topped with a barb of pure hatred and dipped in the most potent venom of the ungodly.

Innana is extremely happy with the progress that is being made as she leaves the fletching workshop where she will make her way back to the Golden Mile to welcome yet another Imperial Aid convey to the City of Sanctuary, more meat for the grinder, more gold for dragons and more wood and iron for weapons, humans are so very stupid when they are focussed upon a potential profit.

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