Giltran #2

In which the Archmagos crosses the street, and engages in ritual.

Common wisdom dictates that a story should start at the beginning. This is, of course, utter nonsense. If you trust common wisdom, then you will always fall to common misunderstanding. The beginning of a story is a subjective matter, and the choice of where to begin ultimately provides the framing for the rest of the tale.

For example, I have chosen to begin this story on the day of my first expansion. Prior to that point in my life I had accomplished much, and the records of those feats are detailed elsewhere. This is not the beginning of my story. But given the effect it has had on the rest of my life to date, it is nonetheless the perfect place to start.

I stepped outside to walk the short distance between my hab and the workshop. The greenish morning light bathed the streets, and stepping upon the ferrocrete sent distortions rippling away from my shoes. Bemused, I crouched down for a closer examination. At the touch of my hand, it again rippled like water and felt wet to the touch, though it left absolutely no residue on my fingers. Repeating this experiment in the shade of a nearby vehicle produced no such effect. Seemingly, the morning light was indeed liquid, at least where it touched upon ferrocrete. Such are the delights of life upon a Daemon World.

The workshop was another large and blocky structure, much as the same as any that can be found on Vrykul. It is not a decorative place, but aesthetics were not a factor considered in the design of the sprawling industrial sectors covering it’s surface. The buildings of the Hellforge are supremely functional, and there is inherent beauty in that.

Stepping through the open doorway, I doffed my greatcoat and tossed it to the floor beside me. Mere moments later, a nurgling wiggled its way out of an improbably small hole in the workshop floor and waddled over.

“You know I hate it when you do that,” it said, it’s angry facade quite ruined by the small smirk it couldn’t quite suppress. It’s voice had an odd quality to it that I can only describe as nasal, though that isn’t quite correct. It was as if its vocal chords were coated in phlegm- which was almost certainly precisely the case.

“Yes, I do. Good morning, Squelch.” I replied, also trying to keep a grin off my face.

Squelch turned from me to the coat with a loud “Harrumph!”, and began gathering it up for storage.

Squelch is an odd little thing. It is the only nurgling I have ever met that insists that things that things be tidy. Not clean, mind – that would run directly counter to its nature – but tidy. This exchange was something of a ritual for us, established over long centuries. Now that the pleasantries were out of the way, I could get it work.

“Anything abnormal overnight, Squelch?” I asked over my shoulder as I strode over to a large glass tank in the corner of the room. It ignored me, busy with the coat. So be it. I peered into tank, the liquid and figure within lit from above.

I studied myself, suspended in the liquid within the tank.

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