It is not uncommon for the Daggerlands' youth to concentrate heavily on studies of mathematics and engineering. Buried in their books during after-school hours, tinkering away at the next great invention, and ever serious to the grim land they live upon; seldom to the children enjoy tales as may be found in other nations.
But every so often, a child approaches the grizzled and grinning man clad in a glittering patched cloak of many colours at his puppetry stand on Market Street. The gods, the old heroes, and stories of the modern era all make their way to the makeshift stage; perhaps more truth than fantasy to their tale...
The child stares wide-eyed as puppet wielding a spear fashioned lovingly from a copper coil strikes out towards the blackened mesh of steel wool, pinning it to the proscenium and away from the mortal men below. He bows, and turns a page of the storybook when the boy cannot help but request a tale from the seventh cycle.
"Theobald and the Strovorach perhaps?"
His head swings towards a no.
"The Illustrious Captain Fluffers and his marvelous journey!"
The boy laughs, knowing the tale of the thrice shipwrecked Itheri cat; Rivetwhistles recognizes that bright face and grins slyly, this is a child who has seen him many times - knows every twist and turn of the tales. The puppets return to their chest and he kneels to meet the child at eye-level.
"A new one then, that's what you seek."
The boy's smile matches his own, and the bard takes a seat.
"Once upon a time; there was a clever rogue who sought to capture the heart of a lady fair. He traversed to her hidden grove for weeks, beseeching that she grant her favor. Every time she denied his request, for he had sinned greatly in her eyes. Every breath of the word no wounded him further; for though he repented his sins there was to be no atonement. Desperate, he searched for a means to escape the wounds that ached his heart, and stared and the innocent sky. He longed for it, perhaps more than he did her; and so his plan grew bolder - to capture the sky itself.
He planned his heist for weeks on end, but alas was he for no allies were to be found whom would turn on their neighbor; and so he commandeered the doomed ship alone as the clocks struck midnight;. But with no man to aid him, he could not steer as he flew too high and into the choking cloud of smog that blanketed the city that night. With none to save him as the ship plummeted downward, the lakes of fire swallowed him whole for his crimes; for the Daggerlands do not take kindly to lone wolves and exiles..."
The eyes of the boy lit with a strange fire, "What of the lady? When she found what he had done?"
"She flees from the memory; to this day. For his soul was stained with sin, that the Underworld would not take him, that the maw of Shol itself spat him back out. He wanders, lost; haunting the one thing he knows he can still find; and he must never find her..."
"What if he does?"
Rivetwhistles is no longer sitting, he has already packed his things in the blink of an eye; taking a final bow as he winks, "That, my dear friend, is a story for another day...."
Edited by Xathas