Remember the ghost on the watch-tower?
“When she moved, she flowed like water, and when she shouted there was only the softest whisper”.
That name she was calling - Kern - ever wondered who that was?
Lots of content is cut during editing, but there can be some interesting ideas and background information buried there. Read on to see one such lost chapter.
Meet Kern. It's not just cities that can be lost.
KernThe sunlight slanting into the tavern tried its best to penetrate the gloom. Close to the windows a few dust motes flared into life, drifting listlessly on the sluggish air currents. It was almost possible to imagine them floating further inside, carrying the light with them, but they never made it more than a few feet into the room. The Four of Angels’ customers preferred it that way.
The man sitting at the bar reached out for the glass of navy blue liquid in front of him. At the same moment a hand clamped over his wrist, anchoring it to the counter.
“Hello Kern.” The voice was dangerously close to his ear. “Tell me everything you know about an evanescence charm turning up in Tiranaral.”
How in the world had she got so close without him hearing? Perhaps it was time to ease up a little on the drinking. The man looked in the direction of the voice. Perhaps not. “Kerenza. Well, this is a lovely surprise. Not really your kind of venue is it?”
The Four of Angels tended to attract a particular type of clientele. The type with quite a narrow focus. The kind of focus that was concerned with forgetting things rapidly. It didn’t typically include soul runners.
“Just answer the question.”
Kern glared a challenge at her and snatched his hand free. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, sorry. You must have me mixed up with someone else.” He picked up the glass and rotated it thoughtfully in his hand. Seven bright points of light burned through the inky liquid, glinting at him. One mouthful and it would all start to fade away again.
“Kern, I understand. It was a terrible thing to go through. I can see how you might want to find someone to blame, but this?”
“That was an age ago Kerenza. All forgotten, well, almost. I was working on it when you interrupted me.”
Kern tipped his head back and threw down the contents of the glass in a single swallow. The designs curving across his cheekbones flared a vivid red before fading back to their more usual indigo. Raising his half-lidded eyes back to Kerenza he smiled as the familiar heat of the constellation of oblivion burned through his bloodstream.
“Another constellation my good man.” Kern slurred to no one in particular.
“Come to the Cathedral Kern. We can help.”
“The only help I want from you is help to go back.”
“Kern, please, not this again. I’m sorry, but there is no going back. I know it hurts, but a lost city is lost forever.”
Kern slammed the empty glass down, shattering it against the bar, shards of glass bit into his palm. “What would you know about how much it hurts?”
“I’m sorry. That was tactless.”
“I don't believe you Kerenza. Never have. Your time-liners, they can go back. I know, I’ve heard the stories, everyone has. They could take me with them.”
“They don’t go back, not how you think. The places they go are just echoes, memories in time. It’s not what you need. You wouldn’t find what you are looking for.”
Kern surged to his feet, knocking his chair over, and wobbling unsteadily. “It’d damned well be close enough for me.” He paused and looked intently at the blood pooling in his palm and smiled. At least that was something he could feel. It was better than the alternative.
“Kern, wait. Look, just tell me what you’ve done.”
“Get lost Kerenza.” he said as he stumbled towards the door.