Taggly the Caggly
Legacy Name: Rhymer
The Graveyard Rreign
Age: 9 years, 5 months, 3 weeks
Born: July 21st, 2011
Adopted: 9 years, 5 months, 3 weeks ago
Adopted: July 21st, 2011
- Level: 1
- Strength: 10
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 0
- Books Read: 0
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Unemployed
"Rhyme or come undone: thus is my curse. Flesh of hanging ribbons, could this be worse?"
Being the only infrastructure you’ve come across for days, you trudge hesitantly towards the derelict shack fixed questionably in what seems to be the dead-center of the dried, muddy field. Relief sets in as you draw closer, taking in the utter state of the place. Surely, nothing resides inside. However, a sudden pungent odour like an unseen brick wall stops you in your tracks to reconsider. Nothing alive, anyway. The allure of even this small shelter is too much to pass up, so you hold your breath and step onto the porch, and are met with the loud protesting creak of old wood.
Two doors with shattered glass windows rocking ajar in the breeze make up the entrance. On either side, crudely chopped and unevenly split logs litter the deck, an axe thrown carelessly down on the doorstep. As you force your gaze up and into the abyss of the shack, something faint catches your eye. The smallest glimpse of movement from within- a low shifting sound of something dragging along a messy floor. Your instinct tells you to run, but your growling stomach disobeys it. You step forward and pick up the axe, hefting it in your hands and preparing to enter.
Before you can take another step, a small grey shape materializes out of the murk. Horribly hunched over, limping, dragging one limb and a lifeless tail behind him, a pitiful rreign makes himself known to you. The odd sight is almost enough to distract from the trail of squelching innards dragging beneath and behind him. Almost. The rreign slowly glances up at the axe in your hands, then returns to your gaze. Something in his demeanour tells you it’s alright to lower your guard, against all reason. He turns and begins speaking in a horribly rasped voice, arm waving behind him taken as an invitation to follow.
You must’ve walked miles to make it this far,
to this pitiful shack; paint peeled, wood-rot spread
door ever ajar.
Though no wind chills me. No shivering dread creeps through.
For no blade can harm me, no hand not my own.
A wish held by many- and realized by few.
In hindsight, we should have known
a dreadful price would rend our lives anew.
The charlatan came, with her bones and ink,
and sought those desperate enough.
To her benefit and our dismay- we’d no lower to sink.
Angry warning words of hesitation; she called our bluff.
She revealed her terms,
and my fell heart a mile from the sky.
After all, we’d be joining the worms;
speak out of rhyme
The exterior resembles a five star hotel compared to what’s inside. Stripped, hanging strands of wallpaper dangling from every inch of the walls. A thick layer of grime caking everything with years of buildup under its’ belt. And most noteworthy of all, pages and pages of tattered paper scattered everywhere, entirely hiding the floor save for a select few spots. The rreign walks over and plucks one from the wall, as if he knew exactly which page it was out of the mess, and hands it to you. You glean what information you can from the scribbled poem before you:
Having spent their last coin long before now, it’d finally caught up to them. Rhymer and his wife sifted through the muddy streets, crammed shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the filth. The pathetic pair walked, more out of habit now than with any true hopes, with their hats held outright for the kindhearted, selfless soul who’d toss them a mark or two that they both knew wouldn’t be caught within miles of the wretched place.
Just as the realization that he couldn’t remember when last they’d eaten hit him, and his legs were a spring breeze away from toppling, a sudden startling weight filled the cap of his hat. With a jolt, he looked up; his wife stumbling into him behind moments later, equally unaware of her surroundings as he’d been. It was the shaman everyone avoided like the plague tossing in a small chipped shard of bone. Even now, a circle clearing around them from the previously immovable tightly packed crowd.
Her terms seemed fair. They always did. But Rhymer and his wife were neither the first nor would they be the last to inquire no further than the surface depth of the deal. People hear “immortality” and forget all else in the world. When she revealed the full truth of the blood contract they’d signed, Rhymer’s wife let fly her rage. In a beautiful cacophony, a great catharsis following months of hardship boiled over into a savage onslaught of insults and curses. She marched toward the witch with bloody intent- and was sprawled out in bloody ribbons in the dirt before she could reach her.
Now, Rhymer agonizes out his final days, having suffered many slip-ups throughout the years and likely to be be afforded no more. In an attempt to limit any and all outbursts, he has removed himself entirely from the nearest hints of society. With every breath potentially being his last, he must consider each word with extreme caution. Where once he still found a fleeting freedom in the ability to write free of the rhyming requirement, his mind has now almost entirely been consumed with the practice, as even acknowledging a statement existing without a rhyme puts him closer to the brink of death than he’s comfortable with.
Ultimately, you decide to drop the axe and leave the damned soul to his craft. Clearly there is no food here, and there hasn’t been for some time. As you turn to leave the rreign looks up from his page, scribbling madly with a frayed feather under light of a fading fire in the corner. A knowing look on his face, like he’s lived out this interaction a thousand times before. As you exit, you turn to see him crudely pinning another page to the wall- tear filled eyes fixed on you all the while.
Spilled Ritual Ink
Pylot Feather Quill
Tattered Opera Program
Soggy Torn Out Lined Paper
Poorly Thought Out Apology Note
Curled Scrap of Paper
Doubled-Over Scrap of Paper
Torn Instructions Page I
Torn Instructions Page II
Tattered Scrap of Paper
Pile of Unfinished Sketches
Decrepit Keening Songbook