Friday, October 21, 2016

Bloodlines ep04 : Blades in the Dark

2/07/2016
Bloodlines

Episode Four
"Egg story"

Blades in the Dark

The city is wet, gray and drab.  Bells toll in the distance.  A bird takes to the sky, beating its black wings against the air.  The crow circles, searching.   Reginald Drakeboon III stares at the Dimmer Sister that Nyrxx has possessed.  The spirit shares to him the stories of the Bellweather Crematorium and how it had turned all the crows into Deathseeker Crows.  The Crows seek out the dying and unerringly find their mark.

Elsewhere, Gideon Seymour watches the crow in the sky, sensing something is up.  Robert the Piper is studying the egg they had stolen from the other night.  The others are busy indulging in their vices.  But tonight, it can easily be sensed that things will be interesting.

Reginald interrupts Nyrxx, asking why he suddenly possessed the woman he was just talking to.  Nyrxx uses her own hands to reveal the poisoned blade she was planning to use on him once he got close enough.  Nyrxx claims to have saved his life to even out the fact he stole from him before.  The sound of fluttering wings is nearby.   Nyrxx warns him that the Dimmer Sisters hate the group so much the young woman was sent to murder them.  Reginald asks what will happen next if they end up starting a war. Nyrxx insists they don't need to know it was he who killed her.  He does share that even the smaller factions have been whispering of a nameless group gathering turf lately.  Reginald insists he chooses to fight the woman on even terms.  Nyrxx complies and releases his hold on her.

The group sees on the paper a theater group that had been murdered, the whole troupe poisoned for some reason.  Cliff Lawford wonders if its related to them... for a moment.. and just goes back to his vice.  The egg suddenly cracks!  The group realizes the egg might be hatching that very moment. From Robert's research, Leviathan eggs are supposed to be just a metaphor.  Puck Maxwell, however, found possible documents claiming they can exist and are said to contain the essence of Leviathans and can only be born if a suitable vessel is nearby, such as the closest virgin. One last tale speaks of the eggs only hatching when the mother is near, ready to welcome them back to the Ink.  Robert wonders which legend is true right now, not touching it, but observing it as it cracks open a bit more.  He sees the golden eye looking back at him.  Cliff slowly goes nearer, remembering the old tales of Leviathans having been cursed by the Olden Gods - struck with lightning to sever their legs and keep them at sea.  Seymour leaves the room, inexplicably choosing to head for a brothel.  He notices ripples over the bridge as something seemingly moves in the Ink.  Cliff peeks outside to see where the Whisper had gone, but there's no sign of where he went.  Puck grabs a bucket, hoping to keep the egg in it.  Darius Cromwell lurks closer and he and Robert are staring at egg as it makes gurgling sounds and continues to crack open.

Gideon tries to find the closest brothel.  Cliff can't seem to find where Gideon went, so he heads back. When Robert tries urging the thing to come out of the shell, the thing in the egg gives out a bellow so loud the window shatters and the sound resonates all around.  Robert switches in urgency, telling the thing in the egg to be gentler now.

A crow looks in the distance, then flutters away.  Reginald hears the whale song in the distance.  Taking the opportunity, he is able to disable the woman from hurting him, grabbing her shoulder to ask if she heard the sound.  The woman makes a fuss over him touching her though, despite him insisting he is trying to help her.  Where his touch landed on her skin, her skin has shifted black.  "No one touches a Dimmer Sister!"  Reginald reacts in shock by touching her face more.

Gideon hears the scream and hurries back to the head quarters.  There, he sees the group coaxing some thing to emerge from the egg.  Puck places the bucket by the table, suggesting they place the egg inside.  Darius stares at the eye and starts to see images upon its surface.  He begins to see glimpses of his rival, Darmont, who now appears to be standing on a small raft staring at something, but unaware of something rising behind him from the ink. Something with ivory skin.  A Leviathan!  Robert searches for his pipe.  Puck decides to try grabbing the egg, hoping to lower it into the pail.  Cliff returns, asking what had just happened and what made that sound.  His return catches Puck by surprise, whose hands slip and the egg falls into the bucket with a thud, cracking more the shell.  Robert finds his pipe, and with his musical instrument in hand, he leans closer to study the baby monster. It looked like great white whale with six tiny protrusions that remind him of stumps that may have once been legs.  It has three large tails, which curl up around itself to keep it upright.  There are nodes on its body, but they seem to be closed.  Robert's gaze stare at the golden eye, and he begins to see images inside.  That of him and a woman.  Of him making love with her under the open sky, the boat gently being carried by the current.  They had just stolen a lot of coin that night, and had chosen to celebrate on the escape boat.  As they made love, neither of them saw the white form that followed them from beneath the ink.  As their lovemaking consummated, Robert left her on the boat, and the woman dipped herself into the waters in hopes of washing herself.

"Stay away!" the Dimmer Sister screams, forcing Reginald back.  To his surprise, her skin has literally darkened where he had touched her.  She breaks into a run and Reginald tries to chase after her.  They leap from rooftop to rooftop, with Reginald hoping to follow her back to wherever she came from, ignoring as his Coin pouch falls.

The crow flies, searching.  Sensing.  But uncertain.

Gideon tries to call out to Booker, the spirit connection he has, to gain information, but the spirit seems to refuse to answer.  Back at the headquarters, the others are watching in fascination at the baby monster.   Puck finds it fascinating as the thing wraps its tail around Cliff's arm as he tries to pick it up.  "I think it likes you."   The group hear a knock on the door, and answering it, they see a Bluecoat asking them about a reported explosion.  Gideon tries to misdirect the Bluecoat.  Robert steps in to talk to the guards, explaining they heard it too.  Puck uses his shirt as a barrier to try and pry the monster from Cliff's arm.  When a vertical slit opens to reveal a new eye staring at Puck, he drops his hold of the thing and looks at the others.

Robert then tries to claim that the sound came from somewhere behind the bridge.  They see Darmont on the waters, steering the boat with his feet.    Booker shares that there are records that speak of the Leviathans, shared by the former nobleman Scurlock, claiming that he had brought an egg to hatch.  His actions led to the distruction to the southern part of the Dagger Isles.  The mothers supposedly showed up to search for her.  Leviathan Eggs are not like human children with a single mother, but are the culmination of various mothers combining their essences into a new child.  Gideon asks if it is safe to touch them.  Booker explains touching allows the things to recognize the other.  As they touch it, the ones who touch it find themselves mentally assaulted by visions.    A crow flies into the room, watching them.  Robert tells them it is best they move before the thing shrieks again.  They decide to try and head to the docks, while Puck works on the door to jury-rig it to look like it is still fixed.  The others head off.

The Dimmer Sister warns Reginald of things being worse than death, and she freaks out when Reginald tries to be nice to her and help her out.   Without a doubt, he's confused why someone is trying to have her killed.   The woman yells at Reginald to stop following her.  He suggests she goes to his place and they can help settle things or figure something out.  Maybe there's something that can be done to remove the dark marks on the woman's skin.  She tells him that every Dimmer Sister was sworn to purity for the coming of... she halts speaking before she reveals too much.  Reginald asks her to go on.  She relents, and tells him he can come with her, if he really thinks he can help her.  She cannot offer safety, but it might be a chance to show why he is still alive.  The two across from the rooftops.

Puck works on the door, hammering it shut, when he starts to smell something of orchids, roses and salt.   He realizes it is an exotic perfume, and looks up to see there is a visitor outside at the street.   He sees the standing carriage and the waiting people and decides to survey what is happening outside.  The people outside are asking questions to the bluecoats nearby, and the bluecoats are now pointing towards Puck's direction.  The carriage follows.  Puck slides back inside, closing the door, and hoping he fixed the door enough.  The carriage arrives and a man speaks with a voice laden with a thick accent, "Keep rifles at ready.."

Approaching the shoreline, the four see a boat they can use and hurry to get inside.  As the bucket is being placed inside, they catch sight of a fishing boat in the distance, now empty.  Cliff beings to untie the boat, and asks where they should go.  The others aren't certain.  A sound alerts them that the crow has followed them and landed on the nearest lamp post.  The group starts wondering if they should try to make their way to Dagger Isles, or to head for Open Sea.  The others, however, are afraid if the "mom" might be nearby.  Having been a former sailor, Robert knows the best way to get there from where they are now.  The Whisper wonders though if the light house is the better option.  A splash alerts them to something rising from the water.  They turn to see... Darmont rising from the water.  He hoists himself up using hooks that act as his hands, then dragging the chain connected to his waist, he hoists up cages from the ink.  He snarls at them, recognizing the people who were instrumental to his current state.  The group begins to row away from the port, moving down the river.  Robert gambles that there should be a ship to use there tonight.  They exit the channel and pass one of the larger boats.  A man on the boat recognizes Robert and the two exchange pleasantries.  He warns Robert that even as far as Southpoint, the ink has been rough.  "There might be Leviathans moving about."  All of them start shaking their head, talking about how that's not likely.   They pass another ship, with a drunken sailor singing about leviathans, selling souls for a drink, and he stops singing upon seeing the bucket the group have with them.

Knocks upon the door introduce a man who claims to be present on behalf of the Lady Kellis.  She is searching for "The Entertainers," and Puck is uncertain what to say behind the door.  Puck quickly grabs a concoction that causes drowsiness, and remembering his ability to "sweat" out such things which he drinks, he begins to swallow it down.  Puck addresses the man and he explains Lady Kellis is searching for entertainers for her fete tonight.  Puck asks who the woman is and why the entertainers are needed.  He man admits he was directed by Rigby to head here.  Puck claims the others are out on a gig with some other group.  The scents get stronger as the carriage door opens.  Stepping into view, the Lady Roslyn Kellis steps into view.  She asks if she had come to a useless trip hoping to find entertainers with over fifty guests of high society.  Puck claims his brothers are currently out, but if another opportunity arises, perhaps some other time.  Puck suggests he might have some tricks that they will enjoy.  Kellis gives Puck permission to perform.  Puck approaches one of the guards, then gives him a kiss. The guard, poisoned, begins to move as if intoxicated.  Puck hoped to time it perfectly that the guard drops to the ground the moment he snaps, but he fails.  The guard turns to Kellis and reports, "He has performed, milady."  Kellis is amused and agrees to hire the group.  Puck is not sure what he has just agreed to.  Kellis decides to reschedule her party to when the group would be available.  She insists however it only happen at night.

Reginald is brought to the mausoleum.  Everything is bathed in a greenish-blue light thanks to the electroplasmic generators. The Dimmer Sister leans towards a marble wall and whispers against it.  Reginald cranes his neck to catch it and hears her say, "I open myself and all my sins."  But the door does not open.  Reginald mutters that maybe she's not saying it right.  As she turns to complain, another dimmer sister silently exits and grabs her from behind, accusing her of having brought an outside to their home.  She is referred to as a non-sister, for bringing her mark here and not killing him.  Reginald asks if there is any way to cleanse it and settle things in peace.  The other sister blinds the defiled sister with her nails and pushes her into the doorway.  The other approaches Reginald, calling him extremely brave or stupid for coming here.  They discuss not wanting to die and his sins against the Dimmer sisters.  He asks for an absolution or penance to resolve things and she tells him to follow him.  He steels his resolve as he is lead to a nearby grave.  A flutter in the trees worries him at first, until he sees it is merely an owl.  But the discussion shifts quickly into a fight, with the woman attacking him with the nearby shovel.  Reginald overpowers the Sister and shoves her into the open grave he was earlier pushed into.  The fight gets pretty rough, with Reginald realizing he cannot hold back when she draws a pitch black blade.  The owl flies away as Reginald sees her stab the blade towards him.... the crow lands nearby.

The boat moves past the port and approaches the light house.  The Whispers tells them that they best head to the cove beside the light house.  They see Blue Coats keeping watch outside.  They approach quietly, hoping to avoid notice.  The Leviathan child stares at them with three eyes.  They easily knockout the guards and begin their ascent up the tower.   Upstairs, they bring out the Leviathan Baby and watch as it seems to simply stare back.  The others feel some strange urge to touch it.  The Whisper feels the danger of this thing and pulls back.   A bellow sounds in the distance as another boat approaches.

Puck sees across the street an old friend, a corpse seller who claims to have heard the crow and was searching for the body.  Puck admits there are no bodies here for sale.  He sees the crow though watching them both. Puck asks what he knows of the crow and the man explains the crow did emerge with the bells, leading some credence to the legend.   Puck sees the crow fly off and he decides to follow it.  It leads him to the cemetery.  He quietly slides inside, staying to the shadows, and soon finds the path he has taken leading to Reginald and his fight against the Dimmer Sister!  The fight continues with the Dimmer Sister stabbing the pitch blade in his direction over and over.   Reginald keeps parrying with the shovel.  Puck quickly draws out his blowgun and prepares a concoction.  He trusts in the training that Puck and Reginald trained with before, that when he makes a sound it means Puck is firing a dart in his direction.  Puck makes the duck sound, the very sound Reginald hated from that practice session, and Reginald instinctively drops to the ground.  The dart finds its mark, striking the Sister on her neck.  She falls on top of Reginald and is knocked unconscious. The crow stares at the three of them, and flies off. They begin shoving earth into the grave, to cover it up, and leave.  Puck tosses the corpse thief a tip on where a body awaits in a fresh grave.

The Leviathan appears.  The group watches from the light house and see massive things appearing from the dark waters.  Worse, there are more than one.  The massive things, like pale whales with stump limbs, rise and tear into the port, as they close in towards the light house.  Leviathan hunters emerge from ships, closing in and hoping to draw some from the great beasts unnoticed.   They speak with Gideon's friend at the cove and learn that Leviathan Babies are actually called Lures by others, because they lure the Leviathans to them.  The Lure begins to shriek and glass shatters up five blocks away.  Robert wonders if they can make a deal with the Hunters to make money out of this.  Darius wonders if this is a chance to make more fame if they "save the city" from the monsters.   When the others ask what he means by monsters, they see MORE Leviathans closing in!  Their steps shake the ground and some of them lose their balance, nearly falling from the light house.  Darius uses his ability to ghost up to slip through the wall and hide.



As they hurry down the tower, the group carries the Lure back down and try to find a way to bring it to a place where the Leviathans can reclaim it without destroying the city further.   As the Leviathan Hunters begin clambering atop the Leviathans they can, to steal blood and skin fragments they can harvest.  As many of the group scatters off, Cliff distracts the Leviathans by grabbing the Lure and carrying it with him towards the cliffside.    The Lure starts hugging Cliff's arm tighter, not wanting him to let go.  To his surprise, the Lure injects something into Cliff's skin, and black skin dances under the surface.  Finally, it lets go.

Robert grabs the Lure and begins running ahead, hoping to reach the shoreline.  The second Leviathan rises from that place, however!  Robert places the Lure down on the sand and slowly backs away.  Cliff drops to the group, tripping and realizes he is in the first Leviathan's path.  The first one nearly crashes atop of Cliff, but the ground breaks open and he falls into a cellar.  The second Leviathan opens its mouth and emerging from it are hands, hundreds of tentacle hands that cup and carry the child into its mouth.  The two begin to turn, heading back into the sea.  The Leviathan Hunters slip away, happy to have their wares, escaping back into the ink before the authorities arrive.

Cliff watches as the ink dances under his skin.  The black swirls eventually stops, remaining like a tattoo that dots his arm.  


*

The Dagger Isles.  

A few days later.  The group arrives at The Salted City, where there is a Leviathan trapped among the rocks and asleep.  Its back is cut open and there are camps, structures and people moving about its body.  Only Leviathan Hunters and Special Guests are allowed.

They are recognized in the ship by some of the hunters there, seen as people who were running along the Leviathans.  Asked who they are, they introduce themselves as the No-Bodies. They are told they have gained some notice and maybe some day in the future, they will be allowed in.

*

The corpse buyer knocks at their door, complaining that there was no body in the grave.  Reginald and Puck stare at each other, worried that the woman might appear again sometime in the future.
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