Welcome to the space where I experiment, my weekly serial. It is written raw, not edited at all, and mostly unplanned.
The world is partly based on the background of an unpublished Steampunk game that I worked on with a few friends, which has grown in my mind over the last couple of years. The story is a take on those ultra-violent revenge epics of the eighties where a man’s family is abused and killed, but he survives and seeks vengeance. Needless to say it is a grim, bloody tale, that deals with bad people doing bad things, so be warned.
She crosses the Silverthread Span at midday, distracting herself by staring at the faintly visible bones of long dead titans jutting out of the rocks below. The bones are visible only on the clearest of days for a brief time when the sun is poised above The Gash. They mark the edge of the abyss, where the bleed is too intense for any living creature to survive. People cannot even make it to the bones, but simple organisms, like worms had been lowered and retrieved, though they were always bleedwarpt.
The bones were beautiful, and tantalizing; there was likely enough pure wraithbone down there to provide everyone in the city with a bottle of The Clear.
A few enterprising engineers once created machines that scraped the fossilized Titans for Wraithbone, with some success. But the expense of such an endeavor is immense, and it is also currently outlawed after the last attempt attracted a massive bleedwarpt worm, which then attacked the city.
The Silverthread Span hangs above this abyss, the only bridge that joins the two sides of The Gash and the city around it. Rose hurries along, weaving through the crowd, avoiding as much notice as possible. Thousands of people crowd onto the bridge, which looks like it lacked the structure even to hold its own weight. There are no records of its miraculous construction, or even the materials from which it is made, thought is obviously a Wraithbone infused alloy.
Rose does not like the Span since it limits her freedom of movement to two directions; it would be easy for her enemies to corner her upon it. She’s done the same, in the past.
The thought makes her smile. Fucking Arthrin.
Part of the joy of having her sense of smell mostly destroyed by the rot, Rose muses, is that it makes climbing through a cesspipe much more bearable.
The pipe is leaves her only a few inches to move. It is a lonely climb, punctuated by torrents of wastewater. She still remembers the first time she did this, a two hour ordeal that had left her
It is also the only way for Rose to get into The Pinnacle, one of the most heavily guarded and exclusive wards in the city and the surest place for Rose to get the Green Wraithbone that The Spider needs.
The Kisvavi live in the biggest compound in The Pinnacle Ward. They are wealthy. They very likely have at least a dozen green stones of the grade and measure that The Spider needs. The Kisvavi are powerful and have deep roots in the city. They are not to be trifled with, by common wisdom.
They also own the slave mines where Rose toiled and Janiye died, so they owe her, she figures.