Jul 30, 2021
This episode carries content warnings for death, experimentation on a person, loss of consciousness and bodily control, magical captivity, and forced bodily transformation.
In Sangfielle, it’s rare enough to find an answer to a mystery, and rarer still to find one with the clarity and quality needed to convince someone else that it is, in fact, an answer at all. Such is the case with Lye Lychen, Pickman, and Duvall here in Bell Metal Station. Yes, they have a truth—a Truth even, with a capital T—but to those on the outside, it looks and feels like something else. Too impossible, too painful, too volatile to be the truth. But it always is. And it is in this moment of volatility that, for the first time, the Blackwick Group can see something larger take shape. Something with the sort of fatal and formative force that transforms pleasant parts into uneasy wholes.
This week on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 4
The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
Bell Metal Station: The broad, 10 story tall station that the Bell Metal Band operates out of. Hard, metal-reinforced stonework. Scaffolding on scaffolding. Wood and leather and old picture frames. A middle space between laboratory, bunker, and den.
Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”
Zevunzolia: The hypothesized city of cities, the telos behind telos, the place high above, the heaven yet to be reached. A utopian dream pursued at great lengths by the secretive Wrights of hte Seventh Sun.
Banderole: The City of Banners. People all around Sangfielle have been dreaming of it. Some even build models of it in their sleep...
Facts and Figures
Erm (he/him): The leader of the Bell Metal Band truly is just a little guy, but that don’t be confused: he’s absolutely the boss around here! Chomps cigars, wears custom Shape train armor featuring the Bell Metal Band emblem. His white and brown fur is like a guinea pig’s, but covered in soot and smoke.
Omerra Celendi (she/her, he/him): A human mage--with a speciality in alchemical inventions--from the Unschola Republica in his late 20s. She frames her light brown skin face with wavy dark hair down to her shoulders and big round glasses and wears a playful grin on his face. Today, it’s high waisted, dark green corduroy slacks, a sleeveless white button up blouse, a single powered shape knight gauntlets on his right hand, a pauldron and half-plate piece that covers the left side of her torso, and a sort of dark gold halfcape across the other side. Tomorrow it will be something even more immaculate.
Calen fel Dynestia (he/him): Heir to a grim line, Calen has joined the Shape Knights in an effort to rehabilitate the fel Dynestia name. Eyes sunken, pasty purple face covered with stubble, and all the highest fashion of Sapodilla circa twenty years ago.
Fezh (they/them): Soft for a Shape Knight. Strong for a Shape Knight. The closest there was to everyone in Bell Metal, but Calen most of all. Missed greatly.
High Vicar Regan Alaway (currently he/him): Waxy, vampiric minister of Yellowfield, whose generations-long study of technology led him to dream of (and work towards creating) "The City of Lights," a place of flameless fire, energetic implements, and the safety and freedom to live as one wants. Disposed of, for now at least.
Tombo (he/him): Lye Lychen’s argumentative (but loyal) fish companion.
Jolyon (they/them): An old friend. Swears they aren’t the train.
Prince Alexander: A train turned over before its time, if such a thing exists.
Mirlande (she/her): A senior Star-Touched agent of Kay’va on her final assignment.
Ekule Polyte (he/him): The Blackwick group first met this “Star-Touched” Kay’van agent under the pseudonym of “Janek,” hiding out in Blackwick County. Now, he waits patiently for extraction.
Katonya (she/her): A cleaver near the end of her career, Katonya’s body bears all the marks of years in service to the Heartland. Loyal to those who employ her, and a walking catastrophe to those she opposes.
The Red Zephyr: A train what takes on strange character under the moonlight. For a month, it’s torn into not only Bell Metal Station, but also any passing train it could reach. A problem severe enough that the Shape Knights so troubled reached out for help from the biggest Cleaver they’d ever met.
Agdeline (she/her), Ettel (he/him), and Larch (he/him): This devil, drakkan, and human trio once spent time mining in the hills of Blackwick. In recent times, they’ve found that poorly armed travelers make for better prospecting. Sometimes called “the Toll Collectors.”
Glim Macula: Whether Sapodilla looks postcard-perfect to you or if you find yourself looking for a place to spit when someone repeats the claim that it is the “most civilized” corner of the heartland, it is the Glim Macula you have to thank. Empty faces. A flame that burns through you. Witch hunters in white coats.
Wrights of the Seventh Sun: A secret society dedicated to the construction of Zevunzolia, whatever the cost. Their motivations are many: Some believe that the Devils ought to have continued climbing whent hey escaped hell, that this was not the paradise earned. Otherse believe that Zevunzolia is telos of telos, the end-cause of all end-causes, and thus will inevitably bring itself into being. And given that, to do anything but aid it is to risk exclusion from it, or worse.
The Star-Touched (unspoken): In Kay’Va, it is said that the stars are the first thing we see which belong to everyone. And so, just as the light from the innumerable touched their souls, they too shall shine out from the countless isles and brighten the mainland. In plaintongue, these agents of the Free Seas have been granted unique knowledge and remarkable aptitudes--no two operatives have been received the same gifts yet. And they use those talents for the sake of Kay’Va, serving as envoys, investigators, killers, organizers, and everything else that must be done for the safety of the seas and the spread of Cartinism.
The Bell Metal Band: Of all the Shape Knight gangs, the Bell Metal Band might be the most curious (in both meanings of the word). From their tall station at the intersection of two major Shape lines, the Bell Metal Band tries to yank away whatever train parts they can safely reach for study and, frankly, for fun. In the recent days, though, they’ve come under some sort of trouble and have put out a call for help.
The Shape Knights: It took people with clear minds, great ingenuity, and implacable spirit to face down and defeat one of the living trains of Sangfielle. In the time since, they’ve crafted armor from their slain foe, and with that have come to be experts of all things train. They herd, they breach, they redirect. But they haven’t yet killed a second.
Cleavers: Given how loose and fluid this collection of monster hunters, mystery solvers, and naturalists is, it’s hard to call them “an organization.” But when the central belief system of a group is that everything is ever in flux, well, give them the credit of applying that particular ontology to themselves, and take them at their word.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
A transcription is available
for this episode
A full list of completed transcriptions is available here. Our transcriptions are provided by a fan-organized paid transcription project. If you'd like to join, you can get more information at https://twitter.com/transcript_fatt. Thank you to all of our transcribers!!