21 October, 2009

Pathologic - Udurg


Day 10 - Believe it or not, the events of Day 10 provided me with enough materials to make 5 - count 'em, 5 - more batches of Panacea! The first mission of the day was a detour to help Mishka out, on request of Kapella. Mishka was apparently freaked out by a story the Devotress had told her (I knew she was up to no good there the day before). When I arrived, she complained about her doll having up and walked out to go feed on herbs nearby. I told her to stay put while I followed a trail of precious herbs leading to the location of the doll, on a small island in one of the rivers. Mishka has this thing about dolls, I dunno. Anyway, returning the doll, she gave me a dose of Abattoir Blood (the kind used in making the Panacea), and told me she found it when she was out wandering under the Tower (a.k.a. the Polyhedron). I investigated and indeed found yet another dose of the sacred blood in a puddle near the base of the Tower. No clue why it was there, though...

Actually, I lied, I do have a clue. Somebody (I forget who) mentioned that if you pierce the earth's body, enough sacred blood will flow from the wound as to not leave you wanting. Knowing what I do about how the Polyhedron was erected, it seems a substantial enough incision into the earth to produce a wellspring of sacred blood. (What I find ironic is that while in the previous scenario it was death that emerged from the depths, in this scenario it is life - and the means for the cure.)

On my way to speak with the Elder, I stopped by the Apiary to chat with Mother Keeper. To my great surprise, Big Vlad, whom I was certain was dead, was standing there healthy as an ox. He still seems to be a "prisoner", but he doesn't appear to be in immediate danger (although maybe they just haven't gotten around to killing him yet...). I was informed of the "sign" out by the Bone Pillar - an impaled bull, and it was recommended I check it out. I decided to put it off for the moment.

Inside the Abattoir, instead of giving me all the answers I seek, the Elder put me to yet another test. I had to track down and kill the defilers who had stolen the sacred blood earlier. He cast another spell on me, this time inducing hunger. And it wasn't a good day for that, as I was already pretty hungry to start, without much in the way of food supplies, and without a lot of options in the shops, either. So it was a challenge. I had to go to the sacrificial hill where I sacrificed that one bull days ago, and take a nap, allowing the spirits of the dead to inform me of the defilers' locations. Which turned out, appropriately, to be the three Gatherers' huts. I went and killed one of the defilers at each of the three huts, then reported back to the Elder to get that pesky spell removed. I get the feeling however, that I'm just doing the Elder's petty errands, and I'm not even entirely sure I can trust him as the Elder. He may have plans that conflict with my own. What if he's the one spoiling the ritual, and the defilers were actually doing the right thing?

Part of my duty - and perhaps the most important part - as my father's heir is to protect the unnamed one indicated by the brand I received as part of my heritage. I believe this is the same thing as what everyone's calling the "udurg", which the Elder described as "a body that contains a world". His explanation would suggest that the sacred bull which constitutes the earth itself is the udurg, and yet other evidence points to the udurg possibly being a human. The Bachelor is convinced that the udurg is Simon Kain. Had Simon's plan of becoming one with the Polyhedron and playing host to a little world of his own succeeded, this might not be totally inaccurate. However, I'm pretty sure the Bachelor's interpretation serves his needs and not my own.

I'm not sure how exactly the udurg is related to the one I will have to sacrifice, but Catherina Saburov mentioned that the one or the other (I don't recall precisely) was a woman who was already in love with me. Which would suggest Ospina. But I have no reason to trust Catherina, and I get an odd feeling that it's just one of the Devotress's tricks... At this stage, I'm pretty sure the udurg is the town itself, or perhaps the earth that supports the town. I asked Mother Keeper about it, and while she didn't have all the answers, she pulled out an insightful quote from her late father, the previous commandant of the Apiary. He had said that Simon Kain "has grown a tumor on the body of the udurg." If we take the udurg to be the town or the earth beneath it, then the tumor would almost certainly be the Tower (the Polyhedron).

Which brings us to the impaled bull - recalling the Bachelor scenario's interpretation of it being a symbol for the town suffering on account of the Tower. Not all are convinced, but some are suggesting that it is indeed an aurochs (it's certainly larger than a regular bull) - one of the sacred bulls and of the Highest order. The Worms gathered around it asked me to consult the children/heirs, the majority of my adherents, and find out what they would do with the suffering animal (still alive).

And that's where I made a fatal mistake. See my next entry for the madness that ensued.

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