“My lady Weaver

I ask you to cast your eye on this small patch of land.

Or your ear.

Or your nose.

Frankly, if you wanted to cast your elbow on it, that could certainly do no harm. Your eyebrow, arched above, would be a rainbow to it.

Mostly what this land needs is your love. Not a lot, really. The people who lived here love it dearly already. They tilled it, they built upon it, they found their way though the land. Not just literally – we have maps for that now – but what the land stood for, how the crops grew best and where.

They worked upon this land, finding the best ways to make this new world soil work for the old world farming style. Finding new ways, building new traditions for younger men to destroy in the search for something new.

Upon this land was love, hope, joy and – most importantly to them – food.

Look at it now.

Initially, that might look like a contradiction, since I mentioned above I’d be happy with the presence of your elbow, but you can look at it with whatever sense you like, and it’s still wrong. The love that was fed to this land has been bled out, corrupted into hatred and blight. The soil is brittle and black, the air is thick and sour. Frankly, I’ve spent the last month swimming though this soup in Dale and here, and if nothing else can convince people what terrible things unlife can do to the world, it is this. You don’t need your eyes to see this mess.

The farmers can love it again, but to get rid of the horror that has been unleashed here, I must request your help.

In the name of the Storyteller, I bring the tale of this land to a happier chapter.

In the name of the Midwife, I bless this land to bring it new life.

In the name of the Builder, I strengthen this land that it may support those who work it.

In the name of the Lover, I infuse this land with my love, reinforced by that of my lady.

In the name of the Weaver, I consecrate this land.

New Years Eve 1659

A patch of darkness shifts towards me, and reveals itself as Jacob, who wanders past and shows me his watch, the time’s getting close when I’m going to have to go over to Mill-en and perform the ceremony.

He’s looking… calm, in a way I find dangerous for a man who recently befell so much loss. I still have no words for him, nothing of comfort I can say. I spent last night by his side, a one man Weaver Wake, drinking, gambling and flattering the fine Flembic ladies who joined us in Tallards. He’s got a good claim on being the hardest bastard in the New World, and whilst seeing him crack was deeply unpleasant, the complete lack of hope is insidiously worse. The patch of darkness melts back into the shadows beyond the fire, and I try to collect my wits and words for the coming event.
I’m not sure I can do this, not really.
As I drift into Mill-en, there’s an avian attacking a man who blatantly isn’t the undead the feathered freak claims. I find the man a surgeon – Lady Justine saves another life – and go back to my worry.
But what am I going to tell people? No, I can’t perform your wedding, she’s not listening to me? No, I won’t be your priest, she knows nothing of my existence? But I can’t say “no”, can I? I can’t walk away from these people, the family who put so much faith in me that I didn’t deserve then, I certainly don’t deserve now.
And it didn’t work, did it?
I hold the wedding. Ana is looking… smug, as well she could, and her groom… relaxed. Neither of them are worried about anything to do with this, which is the first hint I have that this isn’t the thing it seems. I relax.
Weddings I know less of, but aligning Weaverites I’ve done before, and so I treat them as a Malathian tribe, far from home. I shout at them a bit, give them a bit of space to shout at me back, and go over the outline of the classic ritual. We’re here, they’re happy, they’re married. Ain’t stuff grand.
It’s a staged formality, as they confirm later on, but it’s a symbol and – as I will argue with Fiona again later on about something else – that doesn’t stop it being important.
I step outside for a moment, and the feathered freak is there to apologise, Flame and Rhind make for a bad combination.
Someone asks me who just got married, and James’ name clears my mind entirely. I manage to give the impression I don’t *know* who I just married, and I don’t. I should have known them better before I did this for them, instead of diving in half cocked to an event that has changed their public status. Even if I had answered the man, I’d still be a bad person – and a worse priest – to have just done this. There has to be something I can actually do, to help, to progress the cause.

To find her pleasure.

There is wine, cake, songs and tales, and I can join Havokstan around the fire for almost half an hour before Auriel catches my attention. Maybe this is something that I can do right.
Today doesn’t end yet.

Lady Blackthorne

“I am sorry to tell you that Lady Blackthorne has passed away. She died in childbirth”

Right. You’re from Millen, I know you are, because you told me. So, do I know Lady Blackthorne? Bah, who am I kidding. The number of Millenese noblewomen I know I could fit on the fingers of my head. Fiona’s taking it a bit hard, but she’s always had more connections with Millen than I have. Blackthorne … Blackthorn?… I’m sure I don’t know. It’ll bug me for a while, though. However, things to do, people to see. For a start, Dreamer’s been telling me to visit the Golden Dragon since the new year, I should do that…

And the evening passed, and with it the daylight, and W. Detail Marshall wanderered up and down the event site, talking to people, collecting information, spreading information, checking in on people he needed to speak to, and eventually:

“Millen is a bit fraught at the moment, with the Comte being away and Ansellina’s death…”

Someone more tactful than I would not describe the following silence as pregnant.

“Ansellina’s… dead?”

“I assumed you’d heard, she died in childbirth a fe” and at this point he might have well have ceased to exist. I nodded, and I smiled, and I breezed though until he went away, and when he did…

Lady Blackthorne. Ansellina. Oh my lady, I’m sorry.

Oh, Fiona, I’m so very sorry. The news of a close friend treated as a random aquaintance.

Ansellina was dead. There were five people in the new world who put me down the path I follow today, and none of them will ever know it. Toramaline, Erin, Amlie and now Ansillina are all gone, and not only did I not even realise, I’m going to be too busy to go to her wake. Or Mechna’s. Or Jig’s.

Right. This isn’t working. Time to get something… done.


I lied to you.

I told you I would return when the spiders had removed your skin, inch by inch, bite by tiny bit.

And I haven’t. I thought you’d appreciate a visit before then, as you lie there. I thought I’d tell you a story.

Once upon a – no, don’t try to move, the poison will hit your nerves soon and you’ll regret it – there was a person. An avian. Female. New to this world, but sharp as a needle. She was a friend, and now she is dead. That is the end of the story.

Yours? Yours isn’t a story. This is merely the fulfillment of a prophecy. You can hear the tapping, the soft click, click.


Spiders on steel, is there any sound so faint? You couldn’t hear them unless they were walking in time with each other, no ordinary spiders these. The clickying, ticky-clack sound of a hundred thousand tiny spiders all stepping exactly at once, and all heading directly towards you.

Isn’t that nice?

They swarm, and they are climbing up your table. I’m sorry we couldn’t leave you in your bed, but your friends might have found you early, and we can’t have that happening. That would be hope, and there can’t be any hope. Only the spider bites.

They aren’t getting louder, you know. It’s just they’re climbing up beside your ears, tappy-tappy, we thought of allowing you to move your head, so you could see this coming, but then you could have killed some of the spiders, and she won’t allow that.

I don’t agree. It’s not like we’re going to run out of spiders, there are hundreds of thousands of them, and I could walk in any direction and kill hundreds. The tappy-tap fades as they stop marching in time and climb over your body, and I’m sure by now you can feel them climbing up the insides of your wrists and over your body, the backs of your knees, the souls of your feet crawling with spiders with feet of their own. And teeth, of course, but that’s later.

Hundreds of thousands of spiders. How many legs is that? A faint white noise of spiders in motion, unlike anything you’ve heard before, and you certainly won’t hear again.

Not much longer now, they almost cover you entirely. I can’t see them from here, they’re inside the cocoon of silk, but I’m sure you can feel them. And there, all still, all quiet. Nothing but a faint tickling feeling all over your body, of thousands upon thousands of spiders, all perfectly still.

They stand. They wait.

And… bite.

Gosh. I didn’t think you could still scream under all that. Astounding what the body can take, isn’t it? I am surprised. They bite, each removes barely a tiny patch of skin, but there are so, so many of them to go though. You might think that this will be over quickly, that you can’t have enough skin for this frenzy to last more than, say, an hour.

You would be wrong.

Oh, yes. Hope. I will be along with my dagger, shortly. But I couldn’t possibly put you out of your pain, that would be hope.

And there can’t be any hope, anymore.

Only the spiders.


And you will stay away from me, and from mine,

or me and my lady Weaver shall send you spiders

by the hundreds of thousands.

Tiny spiders shall find you as you sleep, and wrap you in silk.

So light that you will not be woken.

Such might that you will not be able to move.

And each shall eat a small portion of your skin,
You will feel each bite,
until there is no more skin.

Then they shall dig deeper.

Soon, though, I shall be along with my dagger,

and I shall separate you from the misery.

Because, you should remember, I am the Nice one.

(an alternative Detail, from a less civilized age)

Letter in a bottle

The Speaker,
The Woven Braid,
South Docks, Nordon.

I’ve asked this captain to deliver this message to you, and he’s thankfully obliged. I am “Det Marshall”, who you so helpfully put up for some nights just under two years ago (Possibly just over by now, mail delivery by ship isn’t exactly speedy). I’d like to thank you for your hospitality. I would offer to return it in kind, should you visit our new world, but I fear that my current nomadic lifestyle makes that difficult. You can contact me though the Sacuza trading house – via Stuart Marshall’s Marshall Enterprises – if you wish to. If you could find your way to passing the enclosed to people heading in the right direction, or keep it until he visits you again, I’d appreciate it.


Speaker McLintock of the Woven Braid.
c/o Which ever path guides this to you.

I speak to you from the past.

I have no idea how long this will take to get to you, so by the time you do this will probably already have happened. I’m hoping you’re back from Kamacuria by now. Well, you’ll have to be, otherwise this letter will be sitting on a shelf in Speaker Dervish’s study forever, a saddening thought.

You were, of course, right. The New World didn’t solve all my problems, whilst I am no longer a third rate blacksmith in a family of blacksmiths, I am now a third rate trader in a family of those. Cousin Stuart’s new enterprise is really taking off. To counterbalance this, I’ve worked hard, and have become a third rate pistol maker (Never fired the things in anger, thankfully) and a third rate practice of one of these new magical arts I’m sure you’ve heard about: Talismancy. Bored of being third rate of practical things, I also became a third rate policition, and managed to misjudge a group of people, mostly by tarring them with the brush loaded for their loudest voice. From this, I learn that a cloth is made of many threads, and the colour of the coat is not necessarily reflective of any one thread within it. Also, that I most strongly empathise with our shared Lady in her form as the fool. Unfortunately, as instrumental in this breakage, it falls to me to attempt to fix the damage – or at least fill their void in part.

I’m being imprecise and vague, but this is because the pattern of my story is still being shaped, and I don’t know how much I need to shield from the light just yet. I am hoping that this new path I follow brings me to my calling, and I do not take on another third rate role.

I may have consorted with demons. You will, of course, have heard of the blight of the Fallen upon the new world, and perhaps even the old world’s attempts to banish them; but instead I talk of the gods that appear only to exist in this new world. I call them “gods”, and perhaps I blaspheme, but those who worship them see no doubt that they are as our Weaver is. Many of our “old world” religions seem to view them as false gods, or unknown aspects of the gods we follow (The ‘Jaguar’ being associated with our own Lady), but I am unsure that can be the case. Brighter lights than my own have watched and researched these new deities, and their published results (I enclose with this letter a copy of G. Tang’s pamphlet on the subject, whose objective analysis – though buried beneath layers of flowered language the like of which would baffle the Millen court – should be interesting to you) and it appears that those who attempt to approach the subject clear of mind find the “new gods” to be as they style themselves, whereas those who enter with theological bias – of the ‘there can only be five true gods’ method – find in their own favour. You are aware of my distrust of the purity of large organisations – even churches – and so this may be my own bias fogging my view.

I have consorted with angels. Some of whom may be the demons mentioned above. It amazes me that in two trade fairs – quarterly politic-economic events, effectively – I have spoken to four Eidolons of three religions (Two from our own). A discussion with a representative of the “Jaguar” (New world god – I don’t believe I mentioned – of free will and (especially) doing what is the most fun at the time. I’m not entirely sure how that matches up with the blessing he gave one of this flock to make them explode like a barrel of dark powder when the were caught and executed for criminal acts.) has lead to a happy ending of a potential situation for a Rukh colony I have visited from time to time, and our own Eidolons helping another of our little trading group become more worthy in the eyes of our Lady. Some say the New World must be blessed that it has so many godly creatures in it, but with the Fallen-blight and some of the other things rumoured to be roaming the land (and oceans, for that matter) it would appear to be entirely in balance.

Now, however, I need to prepare, and search for some inspiration. There is to be a fair in three months, and I intend to… well, lets see what happens, shall we? I will write to you with the results when I know them.

I feel like I’m throwing this into the maelstrom in a bottle, that the chances of you ever receiving and reading this are impossible, yet I shout into this void so that someone may hear what I say. even if it’s only me.

The weaver guide this letter, this day, and your fate.

Your most humble student,

S. Detail Marshall.


I hated it there.
I’m not a blacksmith, like my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather or my brother.
I was going to inherit the smithy when my da went to the lover’s final caress. I couldn’t do that to my brother, or to me. So I ran away.
The name isn’t mine. The name’s a joke. “Attention to Detail” is the joke, or I am.
I ran away to stop him giving me the Smithy. But he found me anyway, and he gave me a brand new one, to be built in the new world. From the king, to the land, to my da, to his worthless son.

I came here with nothing. I learnt to make Pistols, because it looked interesting. So I made the pistols, and now I know what they do first hand.

So I became a Talismancer, because it’s a new world full of things to explore and new things to learn that nobody else knows, and I can do something that makes me unique. But the New World advances fast, and by the time I know where I’m going someone’s already been there. I was not quick enough to explore.

So I need to find my path, my lady, and I’m hoping its as your servant. The weaver church here seems almost Teacherish, stuck in a grove like badly tilled soil, maybe I’m the one to break it up.

Or until I find a new path that looks more fun.


By the power of the Maelstrom. By the light of the universe, by the souls of the earth. This dagger I see before me, hand crafted and unused, is potential. It has a fate, and its fate is the curse of these lands. Into it I imbue the power to go beyond that of mere steel, in the hope that it may one day save a life. By the Weaver I create it, as by the Weaver I live. May this dagger take all potential and change the world that binds it. May our paths never again cross, Gods willing.