Into the Mind of Ci

damon-siYour memory drifts, Blattbyte. If perchance it has strayed too far, gather what faculties remain and learn from this. I am not known to believe in wonder but should you not have forgotten the workings of your cryptograph, read, read and read once again until you have discovered.

Take heed, your former self demands it.   

The following texts interpret the necropsy report and study of whom one believes to be the Illusive Damon Si. A thorough examination is necessary to make certain the subject is in pertinent condition for the disputable, rite of influence. Regrettably, all hope of any wisdom hinges on this very element. An undemonstrated method for a desperate man.

I have precluded the exact location of the proceedings, should any being decipher this tome and discover what I have learnt. If eyes other than my own bear further witness to the potential knowledge inside, know now, that you are my enemy. I will not hesitate to hunt you to the corners of this world and melt your balls into candle wax. This will be my only warning. Leave what you have found or suffer peril.

Very well, I shall begin. 

I first came to the vast wintered shores of Manelci upon hearing fishermen’s tales of the Sailing Soul. A face in the bark of an upright floating tree stump, to be unambiguous. I have removed myself from the comfort of what I call home and found a suitable compromise on the island. No simple task but my life may very well depend on it, so it is necessary. The risk is all mine but I am confident I have found what I seek.  


The stump was retrieved from the eastern coast. At dawn, near three full days ago. Fascinating how the waters carry it along its current. Weeks may pass before setting eyes upon it again but with a consistent speed and direction known to be natural to the indigenous. They do not fear it, nor do they attempt to understand it. It simply, is.  

It was not difficult to anticipate its migration over time. Bringing it to shore proved more intricate however. Many nets were cast over to secure and bring it to the beachhead. A sense of urgency was needed but I could not bring myself to look away from what clearly resembled an iron skull than the likeness of a face. Notions of a body cocooned within bark and sap provoked me to press on but I must confess, my excitement was difficult to contain. 

Nearby cliff dwellers offered much assistance in hoisting and securing the stump onto a horse-drawn wagon for amidite parting. Paid handsomely in black pearls for their assistance but more notably, their silence. If this procedure is to succeed in any form then inconspicuousness is of paramount importance. Traversal across the coastline to my cavernous retreat proved most uneventful but for the adverse weather conditions. I would stop at nothing.

1st DAY, NECROPSY TRIAL, Winter’s End,

The year of our rebirth 1199, Brake of Dawn

Performed solely by S. Blattbyte

Upon arrival, the tree stump remains intact and well-preserved, however a small quantity of bark had shed away along my travels. I shall keep these samplings for later use should the moment arise. The colouration is, unusual to me, with veins of lavender beneath the tree’s most outer layer. A foreign strain indeed that refines the senses at a whiff. I dare not consume it in any form at such a premature moment in my findings.  

Chipping away at the bulk has revealed an inner layer of faint crystallized lavender sap, that is seemingly uninterrupted by the new change of surroundings. The very same form of sap that masks the iron skull. This will take time to strip bare.

Fascinating, little to no wood remains and my preliminary examination has revealed what I had hoped, for so long. A body, idle and cocooned but further still, adorned in a complete suit of armour. The helm is partially detached from the rest revealing the lower facial features of a face. An unkempt ebony beard, left ear and left ruby red eye are clearly visible, as is the snarling expression. Both hands have a firm grip around the hilt of a worn bastard sword, held in what appears to be a roofguard stance above the head. Sap has formed significantly under the feet suggesting the subject may have leapt, or perhaps been knocked back with measurable force prior to its now suspended position.

Curious, it is as though he was frozen in time of impassioned conflict.

The sap itself makes very little sense to me. It pains me to defy all I have learnt in my years as a scholar but one must not rule out the possibility of, capable sorcery, if such a thing truly exists. In time I shall learn. There are no signs of measurable damage or imperfections to its exterior, in spite of my tampering. More like diamond than hardened sap and extremely cold to the touch even still. No amount of flame nor any momentum of blunt force can bring it to ruin. A more methodical approach is required. Come first light I will have devised a plan but for now, I grow tired and must rest.

2nd DAY, NECROPSY TRIAL, Winter’s End,

The year of our rebirth 1199, Brake of Dawn

Performed solely by S. Blattbyte

Salt of Moira has been applied to surgically melt the sap composed cocoon. Enough to completely remove the body from within. In doing so the salt appears to have exuded a cool vapor almost as cold as ice itself, refreshing with a vinous fragrance, odd as it sounds.

The sap has been successful in preserving all within. Nothing has been exposed to the elements, nor have the elements disturbed anything in any way. Though clearly worn by time, the armour displays little rust and must have been wholly shielded from the harsh salty waters surrounding this land.  

The body however, has now been stripped and cut away from the armour but its appearance puzzles me further.   

It is as though the skin is made of sap. It resembles a close colouration to the sap but not quite as rich. Be that as it may, further study of the veins bears similar in colour to the main body of the sap itself. The toughened molasses has affected nothing else to the extent of the flesh. 

Heat from many hot coals has been applied close to the subject’s joints and with great ease this has granted a more manageable alignment for continued study. It would be apparent the harshness of the sap is weakest in these areas and at a great convenience to me. It now remains merely as a gloss.


  1. One (1) Old suit of armour, partially maintained?
  • One (1) Bastard sword of considerable quality with custom Pommel 
  • One (1) Throwing axe
  • One (1) Scarf, aquamarine in colour
  • One (1) Utility belt containing a wet stone, a lump of bread, dried meat of unknown description, a sprig of sky herb and two gold pieces. Nothing otherwise of importance.
  • Seven (7) necropsy drawings.

As foretold, the body is indeed that of a man at least forty years of age. Adult male genitalia confirm this. The subject measures somewhat above average for a human male in height but it is difficult to determine an exact weight according to retained sap. Despite several examples of lividity across the face, arms and upper torso, the body shows no peripheral signs of catastrophic damage. Notwithstanding there are several scars spread about the body, consistent characteristics of beings with a martial stride. The face is now more visible. The black of the eyes are wide open and the colour displays a natural red, not common amongst human kind. The hair is long and not particularly well-groomed showing traces of lice close to the roots. The sap has done well to keep any stench or aroma at bay though the general cleanliness of the skin may propose otherwise.          

Calluses are present on the soles of the feet and also the palms and fingers of both hands but predominantly on the left.

The head displays a large scar from the left temporal to the chin, the largest on the body in fact. His teeth are in surprisingly good condition with the exception of two wooden replacements to the rear of the top left row. No major abrasions can be seen on the flesh and bone surrounding the top of the skull. The brain it would appear is untouched and perhaps within the correct parameters for the purported ritual.  

Name – unconfirmed at present

Race – Human (Emanated from Namorithia?)

Sex – Male

Birth Year – Unconfirmed

Age – Approximately four decades


It is quite impossible to conduct a thorough examination of the subject’s inner workings, without causing a considerable degree of irreparable damage, or worse still. For now, he shall remain untouched in this regard but for a small vile of blood extracted by needlepoint. It is tough to penetrate the thickened skin with such a delicate tool but I endured. Five samples have been taken from the neck and all four limbs.

His blood gives the impression of a healthy man of his figure. Crimson in colour and an ordinary consistency akin to that of the living and breathing. Quite unusual for certain, considering the circumstances. Could it be?

Placing one’s ear upon the subject’s breast, I am beside myself with both worry and ecstasy. His heart beats still. At first, I gathered it was the deepness of the cave playing tricks on my senses but the man lives on with but a flutter.   

The Sailing Soul is brought to bear.



ivor-aconiteI suspect Countess Manfrah will sleep well this evening, having been reunited with her stolen creations, if only in part. Though a site untoward usual woman of her posting, she looked colourful and out of place among the grim tapestry of weathered storehouses. As payment for our services we received the gold as promised, which I will see none of, of course. She has wealth, that much is certain for any who know of her family’s lofty stature. I should feel grateful for receiving anything at all being an apprentice, a mere neophyte at best, but her generosity stretches only as far as her embrace and the lady has but only one arm. A small price for ingenuity.

Praeceptor Arttura, my mentor and provider, reminds me often of my place beneath his wing and that any form of praise or dues will come from him and him alone should he see fit. I can still see the steadfast gaze on his face when coin crossed his palm. It is the same as always. I know my place and I am grateful for it, if a half full belly and a choppy education has anything to say. But I did not expect a gift, least of all from the one-armed countess.

Arttura would never allow it under normal circumstances but this affair was far from normal and he would not dare argue with a member of the Makers Guild. They are an unpredictable bunch with little patience, all of them. I am told this contrivance is the future of warfare, a combination of exotic materials and an over productive mind. Weaponry with a purpose, to distance oneself from the enemy, to put restraint on the intimacy of killing. A pitfall in dwarvish tinkering, if my word is worth a damn. Or perhaps an ideal harmony between unstable people. The appellation ‘firearm’ was used in abundance during our discourse. It is aptly named. 

I am far from a marksman and I have never hunted for a meal, that I will sadly admit but it appears to be a cumbersome substitute to the simplicity of bow and arrow. At present I see it as nothing more than an ornate arbalest and just as troublesome to operate but it is quite pleasing to the eye. The woman said it was a precursor to something far greater. Something tells me she wanted rid of it, or at least it no longer served her a lucrative purpose other than to curry favour with me. A fitting gift for a young man supposedly destined for better things and the first gift I have ever received. I relinquished the rest to her attendants of which there were plenty and in much finer condition by a glance. She declared that I should call it Cardinal. Swords and metal alike are given names all the time and considering there are none in my holding this seems appropriate I gather.

A brief schooling of the mechanism was given over the bustle of men at work but I retained the instructions as best I could. The process is akin to lighting a fire with flint however black powder is used in place of bone-dry roughage. I have heard very little about this pepper like substance used overseas in far-reaching conflicts and likewise in the advancement of mining. Though I cannot say I would ever sprinkle it on Marcellas humble turnip stew. Once ignited, it creates a fiery force strong enough to send a lead ball down its bored-out metal neck and if one is skilled enough, it will land true. Will it stop a man dead in his tracks? The thought of being on the receiving end transfigures the imagination. I will need to take considerable care of it I fear but not before learning how to use the bloody thing.  

Damned now are the men who stole these contraptions, though I doubt they had much notion of what they pinched. Guild sigils adorning locked crates attract thieves like a moth to the flame but this one burnt them and burnt them proper. They will be less careless in their coming days, should they escape the rope and public scorn. But only a twit would think that.

She is a curious being, the countess. Forthright, dangerous. I believe she may require more of us hereafter.

Diary of a Half Human: 7th Day of Midsummer, 1187

reshana-tinchild-1Mother said it would be wise for me to write down my thoughts. The words are to be written exactly how they are in my head now, so that I may look upon them as I grow and learn how dreadful I once was. She says I have a fiery spirit and an escape like this would help to extinguish the flames. It is hard not to agree with her, but dreadful? That is entirely a matter of perspective.

I almost blinded a boy today, with a pebble from the river. Cannot imagine his perspective will sway in my favour, however. The sun caught me at a disadvantage, which made me miss his eye by a fraction. He’ll have a lovely nick on the side of his head to remember the occasion and that thought makes me smile. He pushed me too far this time but I think the unbearable heat has contributed somewhat. Bochy is his name and he never wonders anywhere without his three younger brothers. He takes great care of them but has little care for anyone else in the settlement, especially a half-blood like me. “Wide Eyes” the zealots call me but not for the reasons you might think. I barely look any different from them. Do they fail to see that my ears are a little pointier than theirs? Or would that be too obvious an insult from those unbathed creatives. 

I’m not naive, I know they torment me more for coin in my family’s coffers. Just because we are more fortunate than most, does not make me any different them. Or perhaps it should, perhaps they should hate me? Nonetheless, I shan’t wright about this gloom any further, my head aches from it.

I suppose I should introduce myself to you? Is that how this practice works? It might help you to understand me a little more. Then I must give you a name. Should I be naming you I wonder? Perhaps that it is not the best of ideas. It is one thing to confide in a book of empty pages and another to make one appear more, civilised. I will decide in the morning, it will give me time to think of a good title should I be that way inclined. Speaking of which, where are my manners? My name is Reshana Tinchild and I live on a small patch of earth called Yetna Falls. It is a town perched on a coast of ash coloured sands and a canvas of ancient red wooded pines. The mighty Yetna river spans for weeks until it reaches its end here at the falls. Everything inland eventually finds its way to the sea and it is truly a sight to behold. My home rests right on the edge of the cliff and offers quite the view from my bedchamber. I look out upon the vast waters as this is written, the sun beats hard on us this summer and I embrace it arms open mostly. It’s warmer than past years but it still feels good on the bones. 

Mother gave birth to me on a bright day like this, twelve years ago next week. She is unaware I know. Thinks I have lost count of the days but I know full well. It is a key requirement for a diary after all is it not? One hopes she will gift me the books I requested. Body Beyond Steel, a comprehensive study of unarmed combat from the anchorites of the winter provinces and a copy of Tyrannical Botany by Lady Jayne Borrers. Those are what I desire the most. An odd combination I realise but such are my interests. Though the practice of putting my own thoughts to paper is not beyond me, I would rather read about the minds of others any day. Great literature is few and far between out this far west, and I only know of these books through voices of travelling merchants and Lord Tene’s scribe. I consider it a treasured gift that I was schooled at home and if there is any given thing, I take for granted, my education is not it. It was mother who is mostly responsible for my undying tolerance for knowledge, barring the odd mentor here and there. Between them, they taught me to read, write and question just about everything.

I do try my very best not to upset mother, she works so tirelessly in the running of the Crystal Caravan Company. That’s what I call the family business, consequently for the decades of beautiful wares we’ve shipped for the glassblowers. Our wagons are built with an original spring design that absorbs more roughness of the cobble and dirt, thus allowing for an increased average speed and cargo capacity. We also use only the best quality sawdust and hay to hug the fragile cargo onboard. It guarantees their goods will reach inland swiftly and securely. That is the melody we sing to them at least, but it is mostly true, especially if our vast patronage has anything to say about it. Traders will always consider us first and foremost where speed and precision is of the utmost importance. An all-encompassing arrangement, just the horseflesh which gain no real profit. Though we do try our very best tending to their needs. The company’s real name of course is Tinchild Haulers named after my Grandfather Ser Avery Tinchild. I think mine is better but this is the official title. He built our family business from nothing but what little he had as a young travelling field worker, or so mother tells me. Came to this place when it was barely chartered on the map, finding his feet as a blacksmith’s apprentice. Always building and always tinkering until the day he parted from the world, apparently. If it was not for the fair-minded nobility of this community, he made his home, a poor man with radical ideas would never have achieved anything above his precedence. For his ingenuity and service to the Falls, he was granted a knighthood by the Lordship and for that we are fortunate indeed. It is a rare thing for such a title to be bestowed upon a being who has never witnessed nor fought heroically on a battlefield. He earned his, for his mind and ability to turn a steady significant profit and frankly expanding the constitution of local commerce. I just wish I had gotten the chance to meet the old fellow. 

That being said, I always speak more highly of him than my own absent snake of a father. Though I have never met him either. But it is only proper I mention the man, he did bring me into this world too it pains me to say. My distaste for father began when I first enquired after him. It’s odd but my first experience of a father figure was seeing a child struck by a man in the roadway heading to prayer. Unremorseful, the man did not bat an eye to the grief he had caused this child yet appeared to see it more as a fulfilment of duty. The child was scolded for their mischief, but not by their mother. 

To this day my mother has never hurt me, at least not physically. I tell myself she would not ever keep secrets from me even if I am too young to understand the trials of parenthood. However, I fear there are other contributing factors to her methods of upbringing. I am born out of wedlock; it is no mystery. If it wasn’t for my family’s long standing in this community, I am positive the circumstances would be more trying. For mother especially. And as for that dirty charlatan of an elf I refer to as father, he has ceased to exist my whole life. I know almost nothing of father, part from the few belongings he left behind and the even few details mother wishes to share about him. Everything is locked away in the cellar and mother holds the key. I do not know why she doesn’t simply give them away. Will she eventually pass them down to me? Or perhaps part of his charm leaves a mark on her still. 

Absent husbands should be lost at sea or fallen in a skirmish, not disappear forever like a fiend in the night. I hope he is dead, not to ease the pain with some semblance of closure but because he doesn’t deserve to come back to what he abandoned. Enough of this colourless drivel, I won’t let the thought of him upset me.

I believe these words will suffice for one day. Think I’ll enjoy this writing babble after all, whether or not I’m going about it the right way. It has been quite a remedial experience telling you of bliss and woefulness. 

Perhaps I will share it tonight with the friendly voice in my dreams.