Reply To: Ask “Al Barqan”

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William Gloume

It wasn’t easy but I did all that you commanded, Black King. I made a few beginner’s errors so I’ll describe three times where the plan kind of disintegrated a little.

The first thing was the arm-ring, which I found on darkBay for one Reichsthaler (bargained the seller down to 2 marks!). I inscribed it with Circe’s name and the Greek prayer but I think I screwed up by using my dad’s old onglette chisel. It slipped a few times and scratched the surface, and ξ was really difficult. Also my girlfriend was reading the prayer aloud for me and her ancient Greek isn’t the best.

Still, I was totally sure I’d get the full hour of anti-detection. Instead I was caught in the act of sawing open the corpse’s chest by a coroner and I unfortunately had to kill him. It was my first time and I found it totally nerve-wracking. He had the eyes of a born malefactor so I wound up cutting out his heart, too, since it seemed like a shame to let it go to waste.

Then, while I was burying the hearts outside the water department, Tabi’ah appeared in the guise of an elderly security guard. I employed the Curse of Ba’al Zevûv, as you commanded, but I guess I totally overdid it with that second heart, O Master of Lightning, because what happened next was pretty extreme. A black swarm of flies appeared, bypassed the initial distractive buzzing I had been led to expect, and instead burrowed immediately and ravenously into Tabi’ah’s face. Her shrieks of agony were swiftly choked by a second swarm which disappeared into her mouth. Where her liver-spotted hands swatted and clawed I could see that the old man’s visage with which she had disguised herself was acquiring the texture of oatmeal mixed with raspberry jam, and the chest was heaving wildly and kind of vibrating; it seemed to me that the flies in her lungs were multiplying tenfold. I know I wasn’t supposed to tarry but I wound up rooted to the spot in horror for probably thirty seconds.

The third thing was this maybe ten-year-old kid who really shouldn’t have been there. I think he was the son of a young woman from personnel, because he kept crying and trying to pull her away from the gathering of cultists whom I had enchanted with the Terrible Restraint of Rabam. There’s no way she didn’t violate some kind of city ordinance by bringing her kid to wander around unattended, so I feel like I was in the clear morally by bringing him along, too.

I dropped them all off, kid included (maybe you can use him for parts) at the blue house, and the bears escorted them in a flash of golden light to your castle, so by now you’ve probably completed the intake forms and all that. Really looking forward to hearing what you find out!