28 October, 2009

Pathologic - Messenger


(Klara's scenario begins.)

I awoke from a strange dream to find myself in a ditch, in the middle of a graveyard, shortly before dawn. I crawled out and navigated to the cemetery keeper's hut, and inside I met Laska and Catherina Saburov. Catherina had been waiting for me. Apparently, my arrival had been prophesied in one of her dreams.

"There was a prediction about twin angels. According to it, the ambassadress of death, who is the embodiment of the future misfortune and a saint wonder monger whose hands can do miracles and save us from evil will appear in the town simultaneously. Now I realize who is in front of me. Tell me, are you aware of your mission yourself?"

Was I the angel of life, or the angel of death? And where was my counterpart? My twin sister, as it were?

Catherina directed me towards the Saburov mansion, to speak with her husband, the commandant. If it weren't for his faith in Catherina's visions, I think Alexander would have had me arrested on the spot, as there had apparently been eye witnesses claiming the previous night's murder of Simon Kain was committed by a girl of my description. I don't remember committing such an act, and I can't think of a reason that I would have. And yet, my awakening in the graveyard is rather suspicious, after all.

"People darkened by local superstitions blames for all a mystic creature born by the earth at night under mysterious circumstances."

But perhaps it was my evil twin who committed the sin? I assured Alexander that my intentions were pure. He seemed to believe me, on his wife's recommendation, but for the sake of the rest of the town, he suggested I make a demonstration of the magical powers of healing I claimed to have. Some men had been attacked this morning by the train station - Alexander had sent a couple men to check it out, and he told me it would be a good opportunity to practice my healing among witnesses.

I talked to Catherina again before heading out (she had returned from the cemetery by this time). She explained to me her powers as a Mistress, and spoke briefly about my mission. Then she made me a generous offer.

"If you show to our people in all your glory, represent your designation, and won't leave us after that, we will adopt you. When I die, I will repose the power of Spirit in your hands. And your choice will inherit the power of Sword from my husband."

She also identified my adherents - the criminals and outcasts and people with dark secrets. The only surprise for me was the Elder of the Abattoir - but considering the nature of my adherents, it's not unnatural. Is it my mission to save the doomed? Or will their lives serve a greater purpose?

"As you hold threads of life in your wonderful hands, I am going to charge you with several men. They all are evil. Their souls are as black as soot. Each of them is either an evident criminal or the one who conceals an ominous secret. You should take care of them."

(Speaking of criminals...)

I made my way out to the train station, but instead of wounded men, I found robbers looting the bodies. One of Alexander's men was there, hiding. He told me that the robbers had even gone so far as to finish off the victims who were wounded, but had still been alive. One wounded man made his escape towards the cemetery, though. I had additional company in the form of the very same coward I recognized from a previous scenario who defected from the Dualsouls, stealing some precious items (including Powder) in the process.

I talked to the coward, who was in pretty bad shape, having allegedly been beaten around by the Haruspicus. He confessed his sins, so I offered to use my powers to heal him. I placed my palm on his forehead and -

- to my utter shock and horror, he instantly dropped dead!

You should have seen the look on my face... Boy, I felt so bad. Here, I was trying to help this guy, and I ended up killing him with my powers! Was I truly a healer, or just a killer? Alexander's man was convinced my act was pure - punishing a sinner and all. But killing a man would not convince the town I was not dangerous...

Perhaps I have no control over my power. Perhaps I cannot decide who will live and who will die. That's for greater beings than me to decide. I am merely the messenger. It is only through my hands that divine judgement passes into this realm.

I decided to track down the wounded man that had snuck away to the cemetery, in the hopes that I could heal him.

"If only this one, who was lucky to escape from robbers... If he survived in this terrible slaughter and then saved himself from necrophages his fate favors him. So, bring him back to life... if only you want to do it..."

Laska had received the wounded man. But when she went to pick out a plot for him (a little quick to judge, that girl...), the Haruspicus arrived to take him away. For what? To finish the man off, or try to heal him like he claimed? Laska suggested where I should look for him, in the factory warehouses, and I stumbled upon the Haruspicus' secret laboratory.

He told me that he had brought the wounded man in, but when he went to get his tools, the man disappeared. A blood trail led into town, but with his reputation the way it is, he was loath to follow (not that my reputation was much better...). I followed the trail to Anna Angel's house.

At Anna's house a crowd had gathered around the dying man, heaped in a corner - and in attendance was the Bachelor himself. I spoke to him, and told him of my powers. He was obviously skeptical, but I offered to show a demonstration.

There, in front of four or five people, including the Bachelor, and Anna Angel, I restored the dying man to perfect health, just with the touch of my magic hands. They were convinced of my powers, and my good will. I reported back to Alexander, who was pleased. But he thinks another sort of demonstration will be required tomorrow, before superstitions about the evil canniballess will begin to relax.

In Anna's words, "Shebnak is an evil cannibal of clay and bones - she is the one who killed."

And speaking of Anna, I had a little chat with her. She had heard about the coward who defected from the Dualsouls and asked me to consult Notkin about it, and about the Haruspicus' intentions, since she had heard that he had killed the coward, whom she believed to be a child (actually more of a dwarf) - thus making the man not just a Ripper but a child-killer. I talked to Notkin who sent Burakh (the Haruspicus) after the cowardly thief, and the kid told me that Burakh had accepted the job, saying - and I quote - "I agree to do this work as I am fond of bloody affairs." O.O Now, either the Haruspicus is a lot more brutal this time around, or else Notkin really enjoys spinning the facts...

Anyway, rather than lie, I admitted to Anna that the Haruspicus ultimately let the coward go (even if he allegedly roughed him up a bit), and that I was the one responsible for his death. In return, she told me a little secret - that she believes children are the greatest bearers of evil. O.O I sense there is more to be learned of her story...

I told Alexander about my other ability - hypnotizing people so that they tell me the truth. I just need the person's real name and a secret about them that few people know. Then, all they have to do is consent to the hypnosis (although I'm skeptical as to whether that part's actually required :p), and I can ask them any question and they'll respond truthfully.

Dangerous though it is, Alexander sent me on a mission to speak with George Kain - despite my being a prime suspect in Simon's murder. I think Alexander suspected that there was some funny business behind Simon's death (then again, who doesn't?), and that if they knew the real reason of his death, they'd have no reason to fear me (assuming I really didn't kill Simon, that is...). And he wanted me to try to extract the truth behind it using my hypnosis trick. Well now, this sounded like an excellent opportunity to finally pry some solid answers out of this vague town!

I asked Catherina for a secret I could use against George. I myself was surprised when she told me, "If you want to surprise him with a secret... try to tell, 'You didn't like Simon and you aren't his twin'. It will confuse him." Certainly, if it's true, it would confuse him to hear it from me. Sure enough, it worked, so I can only surmise that it's true. Unfortunately, I didn't get much in the way of answers out of George though. He didn't know who had killed Simon, though he was absolutely sure it wasn't human, but something more powerful. He was also less concerned with finding out WHO killed Simon as finding out WHY he was killed - hinting at the whole "the nature rages" concept.

As is the way of this town, I didn't uncover nearly as much as I was hoping to (even considering that it's only the first day), and despite the promise, I'm not clear on who or where my sister is - although I'm fairly convinced that the two of us are one and the same, in some way. Or that the two angels exist independent of me, but act through me as a conduit.

I visited the Theatre after midnight, as is my habit, but when I talked to Mark Immortal, he was very unhappy to see me. "You are against the rules. I don't want you to visit the Theatre." Yikes. Well, it's not like I was exactly expecting to be universally liked in this town. I also made a killer (literally) discovery - my magic hands work at a distance. I can kill muggers with my bare hands, all while staying outside the range of their knives (except when they throw them, of course). Talk about awesome power!

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