Twilight in Heaven: Chapter 30


Chapter 30

My file continued:

Biographical information: Kog

Born: First week of ascending autmn

Sun sign: Aeschites

Father: Laeth Tim (Mortal)

Mother: Merryweather (Tim) (Dryad: Lumina)

Antecedent Information:

Merryweather was the ninth of seventeen children born to Aethionema, a mountain dryad of Lumina’s line. Her great, great grandfather Argus the Painter was rewarded with divinty for crafting the Simhall Mountains. He dwells in the house of Aeschites, four small stars with Argonius, a blue white star on top, and Argoni, Argonai, Thorum, red, yellow, and brown respectively, in a line below.

However by the birth of Merryweather, the line of Aethionema had fallen from Argus’s greatness. A small daughter of a small son, Merryweather’s mother lacked the size and relentlessness to be a great warrior or maker. She had moved to the peaks of the White Hoof Massif in the Simhalls, and there dwelled with the mountain oreads, falling out of the ranks of Celestials and becoming a mere dryad.

Merryweather was born into a crowded house and left almost immediately. Two of her siblings have thus-far gone to Aegon’s service to achieve some renown, and one, Ridgecrest, to Hyrthon’s legion. She did not. She laughed too loudly, argued when she should have acceded, and fought for attention with rude songs and quick games instead of sharp elbows. Among seventeen children, there was no sunlight for her. She left home and soon took up with the worst sort of people: mortals.

Laeth Tim had failed out of Northshore by age twenty and joined the Hyrthon Legion on the disasterous march on Fallinor Castle(footnote). After their catastrophic assault1 and subsequent capture, Fallor ordered all with the blood of gods, titans, or spirits removed and taken to dungeons for ransom. The mortals were to be annihilated.

They stood together.

Assuming this meant Hyrthon had marched with an all-mortal army, a believable outcome given the fiasco of their assault, Fallor commenced their systematic ellimination. The first Celestial to die, Cormorant, spoke his final curse as he was beheaded, and from his blood poured salt water and lava. His dying cursed twenty three acres of Fallor’s fields. Thinking it an aberation, Fallor moved to somewhere else and executed ninety seven mortals in short order until Landrace died, cursing Fallor with his dying breath as well. The winds in that field have blown hot and dry ever since.

Fallor halted the executions and demanded all Celestials step aside, offering them freedom. The mortals were still to be annihilated.

No one moved.

Fallor grew proud, seeing his authority challenged by the defeated army. Drawing the square-headed sword of his line, Judgement, Fallor went among the shackled prisoners himself, slaying them as they stood bound to logs with iron manacles. Witness testimony reports he turned his attention to Laeth Tim and reached out to cut him down when Ridgecrest tried to fight Fallor. Shackled, defeated, and injured, Ridgecrest struck Fallor twice in the jaw before the king slew him by cutting open his stomach. Ridgecrest’s intestines poured out and got tangled with his manacles while he spoke his final curse on Fallor himself, who had thus-far been insulated by the use of executioners.

Ridgecrest’s curse was deep and terrible, recorded by the Pattern Spiders and redacted here. However it is known that Fallor moved from high apartments of his palace to low rooms at ground floor, and has never again walked the pathways of the mountains. Fallor rarely rides horses or ascends past the second floor of modest buildings. He does not like tall places.

Demanding again that all Celestials remove themselves from the prisoners, Fallor was again denied and this time turned aside.

Hyrthon’s legionaires were deprived of their sword hands and released. No distinctions were made among them.

It isn’t known if Laeth and Ridgecrest knew each other before their final moments, and given the distinctions between officer and enlisted, it’s highly unlikely they did. However, Laeth took it upon himself to inform the house of Aethionema the manner of their son’s demise and bring the latter home for burial. After binding his stump, Laeth turned his feet north to the Simhalls.

Laeth met Merryweather at a bed-and-breakfast in the southern city of Temaron. It is unknown how their courtship transpired. Since he was mortal, records were not kept, and their relationship was unplanned. Attention from a strange, one-armed man may have been deeply appealling to Merryweather, especially from someone carrying important news. Lauth sought information leading to Ridgecrest’s family, likely not knowing where Ridgecrest was from, who his family was, nor where they lived. Merryweather provided all of that.

However, we must be careful to avoid the too-common fallacy of dry cynicism which strips the psyche from all events in favor underlying elemental causes. Laeth liked to sing, tell jokes, and needed help adapting to the use of one hand. Merryweather also liked to sing, laughed too loudly, and neither of them shirked from an argument. She was pretty, he was interested, and soon they wed and headed to White Hoof Massif to tell her family Ridgecrest was dead. Merryweather had gone far to get away from her family, and they didn’t have the money to fly. The journey by wagon took several years. Along the way she bore the subject.

Kog was born when Horochon rose in the house of Aeschites, a good omen on his mother’s side. Their early days were quiet. The small family lived in a wagon, travelling toward White Hoof, but stopping frequently to work. Documentation of the subject during this period is mostly incidental reports from agents of Fate. An Operator in deep cover as a ferryboat captain recorded their destination as the Simhalls with ‘cargo for burial,’ a surveilance station observed them on the Joo Highway, the family took Kog to a community doctor operated by Destiny Service for minor medical care, etc. See Appendix 1 for details. The baby was largely unremarkable.

During these years, Laeth began to train extensively with a sword in his left hand. No official requests for intuition have been logged regarding what was to come at White Hoof. Pattern observations do record a sense of foreboding, but that was not the doing of Fate. Fate had no part in the events that followed.

Arriving at White Hoof, Merryweather and Laethe’s reception was complicated. Merryweather was welcomed back as family. That she brought a husband counted slightly in her favor. Being a mortal counted firmly against Laeth, though it was repeatedly noted he’d have been a good find if he wasn’t mortal. The balance tipped heavily toward Merryweather and Laeth because Aethionema desparately wanted grandchildren, and Merryweather was the first of the seventeen to bring one home. However Aethionema hated all her daughters’s husbands, suitors, and boyfriends, and generally despised mortals. Kog did appropriate toddler things and puked on Aethionema. For unknown reasons, this endeared him to her immensely.

Laeth’s general ostracization meant that he did not tell Aethionema of Ridgecrest’s death for several weeks. Nor was Merryweather and Laeth’s marriage recognized for that time. Ultimately Merryweather told her mother she was either staying with her husband or leaving with him, which lead to the matriarch agreeing to Merryweather taking the Tim name. It was arranged to take place at a reception after dinner.

Merryweather’s second youngest sister, Nivale, had been born twelve years after Merryweather. While not estranged, they had grown up without being close. Unknown to everyone, Nivale had been a Fate informant since her early years. Not the baby of the family but far toward the end, Nivale had received even less attention than her siblings, and Fate often pursues such contacts as mutually beneficial. Nivale was willing to work for free, which suited Fate’s budget constraints, interested in having a secret, ‘feeling special.’ Informants are provided with drop boxes or contacts, however Operator Intercepting Fist showed up on a black horse at midnight on the eve of eclipses to receive her reports. She was still provided with a drop box, just in case, but until the events disclosed had never used it. Because the drop box was never used, it was infrequently monitored.

An unusually long period between eclipses was ongoing at this point, and Intercepting Fist was not expected to contact the informant for seven months. This seemed to cause Nivali some discomfort, and she began utilizing the drop box. The following account consists of Nivali’s descriptions of events beginning three weeks after Merryweather’s arrival, starting with the dinner reception mentioned.


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