Sanra-eel and the Voice

1628, Earth Season, Movement Week, Probably Wildday


Sanra-eel has a talk with someone special, not realising that she should be Serala, not Sanra. Session SA3.10.


A flashback, then. Sanra is patrolling in Boldhome, demonstrating how to go down a street to a set of new recruits, who are, let us face it, new. Seven of them, as is right, plus her. You.

“Lady,” one asks, “Why are we sticking to the middle of the road here?”

The Lady in question comes to an abrupt halt, visibly steeling herself to patience. “And if you were one of the rodents skulking in the shadows, would you appreciate our help in walking so close?” A question for a question. “These.. people.. cannot be trusted to meet us in honourable combat.”1Sanra fails Scan but passes Battle, and remembers having been trained in such things.

The man nods. “Right.” …. And the world swims, and a cool, deep voice says, “He dies three days later, trapped in an alley.”

Sanra frowns, reaching for her sword in an automatic response to… To what? A voice, where no voice should be? A memory, fighting to get through? The implicit threat from this speaker of death? “Not if he learns his lessons with speed enough.” she counters, even as she seeks the source of the voice.2Autocorrect is desperate to have Santa in this scene.

“Killed by a rebel,” says the voice. “A man who slew eight men, and fled the city.” The world stays misty and dim, and she can see nobody. “A man who trapped many more.”

A curl of the Lunar’s lip. “Anyone who dares assault the forces of the Red Emperor must be brought to swift and merciless justice.” she asserts in a flat tone. “I will see to this myself, is no other is capable.”

“Good,” says the man’s voice. “Yet… do you not feel something lacking? Something missing even from yourself? What did he do to you?”

Santa frowns, giving the query some serious consideration. Unsure of herself, she shakes her head slowly. “I have not met this man… Or I have not yet met him…” Not exactly a statement, a questioning of herself, spoken out loud. “Or I have met him many times before. All of those at once, perhaps.”. There is a pause, a single heartbeat before her cold anger turns outward. “And I demand to know. Who are you? What do you know of these matters?”

“I am trapped like you,” he says, “Far away. He keeps us here even now.”

The voice is waiting to be asked more. The timing of it would be a question on how ‘he’ keeps us. There is a tiny sliver of expectation there.3Sanra passes Insight (Human), augmented with a successful Truth.

Sanra feels her breath catch in her throat, a sudden hammering of her heart. Whoever this is, there is a truth to the assertions. She rasps out quick fire questions. “Where is here? Why are we here? And… And who, by the red moon, is ‘he’?”

“An enemy of mine, which makes you an ally,” says the voice. “The man is an oathbreaker and a murderer. He is called Eril Cinderfox.” And with the name, Sanra finally has an image – several images. A soldier in an alleyway. A pair of women, their bodies dragged into a cave. A body in the street, skull broken by a blow that must have come from above or behind. A naked man, his scimitar fallen, cut down by a mountain stream. Three bodies in a morgue, on cold stone against the hot days outside.

“Trapped in his failed Heroquest,” the voice goes on.

“How long?” Two words, snapped out abruptly. “How long have we been here?” She closes her eyes, for all it does nothing to block out the images. That new recruit, he was little more than a child. Her face grows hard. Harder. “This needs to end. He needs to end.” Flat. Final.

“Forever, and years. As long as those young ones ever lived, we have been here.” The voice trails off into a sigh. “He must be ended right.”

Sanra embraces the cold, pitiless and merciless. Echoes of scenes, people, voices, spinning around and around in an endless dance. Different faces, and yet the same. “Who are you and how do you know the way out? Why have you not left already?”

“He left many spikes in the world, places that hold him, that hold others. Not just in the home of the bold, but in his own lands, a far worse thing than here. Sacrifices that must be undone.” The voice is still in control, still with little emotion.

Sanra nods her head slowly. “An escape from a Temple. Bleeding through the night…”. She can almost feel the points marking out her past, present and future, all at once, the snake biting it’s own tail. “We will stop him then. I will not stay here, trapped in a world of his making, this ‘Cinderfox’. I am Sanra-eel, of the mighty Lunar Empire, the Emperor’s hands and voice in this city. I will not be trapped by some upstart.”

“Bring him to the place where it started, where it all began. Let him fail there, and we shall be free of this last spike,” the voice urges. “Weaken and harry him, and bring him to us here.”

A slow nod from the Lunar. “Yes”, she agrees. “This will be ended.”

Sight returns, and the street, and the patrol…

And then later, Sanra hears things happening, as the Heroquest unfolds around her…4Serala passes INTx3, fails POWx3, so gets facts but little emotion.

The stories that are told of Eril are a twisted version of what the voice has told her, and not all of the words arrive clearly, for she is not always ascendant, but still, it is clear that several people are helping him, and then they spend a night in the house of Silor, and there are eight nightmares. Trapped in an alleyway, with a tall man advancing. Looking for a place to take a little time with a lover, and the cave is occupied by Death. Standing on patrol and then pain and a thud and nothingness. Leaping from the river to find your enemy has no armour, but has kept the upper ground. A step around the corner, looking for trouble; a voice that says, “Lunar, I am behind you.” A drunken challenge. A man leaning casually against a wall as blood trickles out of an alley, and his voice… “Don’t walk away. I want a word with you.” Eight last moments.

His tradetalk is good. His smile taunting.

In the moments that she tries to see what else might be trapped5Fails POW vs POW to see what is talking to her., there is only nothingness, and a long sense of distance.

  • 1
    Sanra fails Scan but passes Battle, and remembers having been trained in such things.
  • 2
    Autocorrect is desperate to have Santa in this scene.
  • 3
    Sanra passes Insight (Human), augmented with a successful Truth.
  • 4
    Serala passes INTx3, fails POWx3, so gets facts but little emotion.
  • 5
    Fails POW vs POW to see what is talking to her.