Part 127: InterludeInterlude:
The Tavern of Broken Dreams (Music)
Ileron of Sen-Tau stares morosely into the distance, as the alleys and avenues wending through his body take on a darker edge. Not a single shadow falls over chalk-white plaster. The blossoms of his gardens are as full and sweet with nectar as they could be. Yet once he stops speaking, the silence of his streets begins to swallow everything else. The stillness of the temple bells leaves a phantom ringing in your ears, like the echoed tingle of a lost limb.
You lick your lips, just to experience the taste of your naked flesh. You drum your fingers silently for the simple sensation. Anything at all is better than the ghostly quiescence of an abandoned city.
When his voice breaks again it is old and tired, "I have seen lands like this Curst before, in dying nations where people bled away little by little, leaving only the pus of society swelling in their wake. I've caressed the walls of these cities, and they spoke to me in the groans of a diseased man, slowly eaten by the plague from within.
"Men flourish and fall like leaves. Each generation lies forgotten, buried beneath the snows in winter; trampled into detritus in the spring. What remains is the tree that held them. The death of men is no matter (no offense to you, good citizens); for one such as I, it is the worms, and the blight, and the white moss that poisons the roots that are the dirge's echoes."
Scii-Tavakis' grip on her spear loosens, as if she no longer possesses the strength to hold it up. Gone is the confidence in her voice, and memories of a dying world mists in her eyes, "And what, pray tell, is it that you hear when you speak to the city of Sigil?"
A flash of intrigue lights Ileron's eyes for a moment. His lips purse, and a smile begins to quirk at his lips, spreading into a milk-toothed grin.
"The Nameless One," he continues cheerfully, "slid beneath the skin of the city, crawled through the contours of its flesh like a surgeon's probe. Finally, he had reached its bones, and pulling himself up by its sinews he followed the flow of its pulse, towards the heart of what was the diseased town of Curst..."