Advertisement
Remove

The near-random distribution of souls among the populace has been a problem throughout history, one that we have historically resolved with incentives. The hill clans made bannermen of their ensouled, the Gharic solution was to grant citizenship; in both cases rewards were given for coming forward and serving your people.

But as our cities swell with their multitudes and the newly-ensouled have the novel option of simply disappearing against the crowd, this Assembly - in its inestimable wisdom - has decided to introduce the first disincentive to promote reporting.

I refer, of course, to the mandate handed down by the Institute - ah, my apologies. It was the War Office, wasn’t it? How strange that I should confuse the two. The War Office’s mandate that all souls must be reported and registered, that they may be used for the greater glory of Ardalt.

Fail to report, and you are a criminal. A criminal, gentlemen! And for nothing more than existing peaceably in your natural state. I would advise this esteemed peerage to consider the implications of this mandate very carefully. Calling a man a criminal when he has done no wrong does not make him question his own actions.

It makes him question the law. It makes him question the government. It makes him question the worth of this very body. Which should lead you to question, gentlemen, if encouraging such a practice is in your best interest.

- Stanza’s Complaint to the Assembly (excerpt), 671.

 

“Focus is the key,” Jeorg said. “Holding only one thing in your mind, the correct thing. Seeing every aspect - then, with practice, discarding all but the important ones.” He shook his head. “Not easy. Not intuitive.”

Michael grunted, ducking his head to dodge a branch - they were on the common road once more, making their way up to Varneck. To Leon, and another lamb. He was trying not to think about it, but Jeorg was making it impossible to ignore their destination.

“I don’t see how I’m meant to avoid distraction while there’s an animal bleeding out in my arms,” Michael muttered. “I take back everything I’ve ever said about bonifices. At least their souls work unconsciously.”

Jeorg turned back to grin at Michael. “I wonder. Perhaps they simply expect their soul to work that way and it obliges.”

“Then why not tell me that my soul could do the same?” Michael retorted, scowling. “I would not have known better, I assure you.”

“Self-deception isn’t worth the effort,” Jeorg said. His grin broadened, and he wagged a finger reproachfully. “Answer this: if expectation is needed, how does a bonifex use their soul the first time?”

Michael frowned. “By happenstance, I suppose. It would have to be.”

Laughing, Jeorg turned to walk backwards along the road. “You think so?” he asked, deftly sidestepping a wheel rut. “They really are lucky.”

“Everyone else seems lucky when you’re tormenting me with riddles,” Michael sighed. “I’m not going to guess this before we arrive, so you may as well say it plainly.”

Jeorg tutted. “We must draw the paths between you and a wiser man,” he said. “One who knows how to find elusive answers. So, another question - why does every bonifex have one trick, and one only? Why not two, or more?”

A sarcastic retort died on Michael’s lips as the question took root. It was not a novel thing to ask; the topic received regular discussion among animetrists, though none had managed to answer it conclusively. It seemed improbable that Jeorg had solved one of the more famous conundrums of the field - but, then again, he was an unusually-gifted ensouled on the same axis.

It was also entirely possible that there was no answer, and he was winding Michael up. “The obvious answer is that each bonifex soul has an inherent use,” he said. “But if I say that then you will undoubtedly respond with some question about why souls should care about dice or marksmanship, and I don’t have a good answer to that.”

“Souls stand apart from man,” Jeorg agreed. “I’ve asked a good question.”

“Plagiarist,” Michael muttered, frowning as he walked. “And if I say that they rely on the mind to define the area of application you will ask-”

He stopped, then looked up at Jeorg in surprise. “Wait, that can’t be right. You’re saying that bonifices choose the function of their soul?”

“I’ve said nothing,” Jeorg replied. “Interesting theory. Why only one use?”

“Because after they’ve done it once they ‘know’ how their soul works,” Michael said, staring at Jeorg. “And their mind guides it along the same path.”

“Rivers carve their own channel,” Jeorg said, smiling. “See? Not even a hard question.”

“That’s - I don’t even know what to think.” Michael said. He resumed walking, listening to the soft grinding of the dirt under his shoes. “It could change a lot, if you’re right. How many other souls does the Institute have classified incorrectly, I wonder?”

Jeorg’s face lost its smile. “You think the Institute doesn’t know?” he asked. “Of course they do. You solved it in minutes. You think you’re that smart? They’re that blind?”

“I had your concepts as a base,” Michael objected. “It’s only obvious if you have the right premise.”

“What you had as a base,” Jeorg said, “was the idea that the problem was difficult. One of those truths everyone knows. Bonifices are mysterious.” He raised an eyebrow. “Shines aren’t real.”

Michael paused to digest that assertion. “That’s a bold claim,” he said. “Shines I can understand - but what benefit is there to obfuscating the truth about bonifices? Wouldn’t it be a benefit for everyone if we could have more useful souls?”

Jeorg didn’t respond right away. The pair walked down the road toward the village until the trees began to thin, parting to show the outlying fields and farms. The heat of the day struck in earnest once they were walking in full sun, with no breeze to stir the smothering air.

“What do you think the Institute does?” Jeorg asked. “Why does it have such power?”

“They research souls, and ways to get souls.” Michael grimaced and scratched at his back, fingers tracing over the scars through his sweat-soaked shirt. “They make sure that Ardans have strong souls for the War, and handle the logistics of their use. But - I suppose you’re going to tell me there’s more than that.”

“No,” Jeorg grunted. “Strong souls for Ardans. For the War. That’s the whole of it, and always has been.” He gestured toward the village ahead. “If you want to help an orchard bear fruit, you shape the trees. Prune the branches, graft better stock. Cut some buds so others flourish.”

“The War needs souls from Form. Strong bodies, sharp edges, and hands to shape steel so the unsouled can fight. Plentiful enough for the army, and control comes naturally. A bonifex could be useful - but they’re rare.” Jeorg shook his head. “Unpredictable, too - their situational nature is real, if less limited than most believe. Hard to train. Not easy to make useful, and if something can’t be made useful it is made safe. Harmless, a curiosity.”

Michael frowned. “So the Institute changes how bonifices are perceived, which changes the way they manifest.”

Jeorg laughed, a bitter and joyless sound. “The Institute shapes every soul,” he said. “They define the categories, draw the lines - not to describe the truth. To guide it. Change how people think of souls to change the souls they bear.”

He pointed a finger at Michael. “The soul is a light. Your mind is the lens. Shape the lens, and you shape the light. How it shines on the world. Think on it, while you’re at Leon’s.”

 

There was no further conversation on the way to the butcher’s shop, although Michael’s mind was anything but quiet. Jeorg’s revelations about the Institute’s grasp on society were troubling - for their broader implications, certainly, but also for how blind they made him feel.

Souls were a fundamental point of reality. That his awareness of them had been mistaken or incomplete would be one thing, but that it had been shaped purposefully, even maliciously - that was quite another. He had been practicing for months now to be mindful of the gap between perception and truth, but he realized now that he had misapprehended the scope of the old man’s teachings.

Jeorg didn’t mean to reshape his views on souls. He meant to reshape him, if only as a proof of his malleability. The ultimate form was up to Michael, and his soul - if he could ever learn to see it.

That opportunity was fast approaching, as Jeorg knocked lightly on Leon’s door. The ruddy-faced butcher opened the door after a moment, nodding to Jeorg and giving Michael an unreadable look; Michael had the distinct impression that the butcher didn’t like him.

There was no preamble this time. Leon had the lamb tied in the back and the bucket ready. The familiar ache in his chest started as soon as he met the lamb’s frightened eyes, and this time Michael tried to embrace it, to let it fill him as he held the lamb steady.

But then the knife flashed, the blood dripped; his mind saw torn bedsheets and cut wood smeared in red, the lacerated flesh of a woman’s hand lying open before him-

The lamb died. Again, he had the sense of some ineffable loss as it stilled, something he could feel but not define. The moment passed, and he stood. Leon did not meet his eyes. The butcher took his payment from Jeorg, and they were once again on the road home.

Jeorg did not speak, and Michael had the sense that he would not until spoken to - so he tried silence for a while, replaying the experience in his head. It had been disturbing. Michael was not the sort to watch creatures die dispassionately, and would not choose to become so.

But the disquiet had stemmed from more than the lamb’s death. When they had walked down the common road and made the turn into Jeorg’s path, Michael raised his head and looked at the old man.

“How do I avoid - distractions?” he asked. “This time I felt like I was closer, somehow, but when Leon killed the lamb-”

He balled his hands into fists; Jeorg remained silent, waiting.

By now Michael had no reservations sharing his feelings with Jeorg, but habit was not easily brushed aside. He had known from a young age that certain words were forbidden in the Baumgart household, certain things were never discussed. He never crossed that line, and after a time even his thoughts kept well clear of it. His tongue rebelled against the words by reflex.

“When I was eight I heard noises at night,” he said. “I woke and went to my parents’ room to see, opened the door. My father had - a bad dream, maybe, he never spoke of it.” He forced his hands to relax - delaying, for a moment, before he spoke again.

“His soul tore through the bed,” he said. “And everything on it. I thought he had hurt himself at first. He was covered in blood, standing at the foot of the bed just - staring. Then I saw my mother’s hand, she had rings she wore-”

Michael trailed off, gesturing vaguely. “I can’t help but think of it. The blood, the smell.” He searched for any more words to add, to explain, but found nothing.

“I remember hearing about it,” Jeorg said. “There was speculation that Karl had a hand in her death, but nothing concrete. His temper was no secret.” He paused, then shook his head. “I didn’t know the details.”

Michael shifted his weight and scuffed at the road’s surface. “Father had it taken care of quietly. I don’t know how many other people knew, but it wasn’t many.”

“Hm,” Jeorg said. He stopped and turned to look at Michael. “Want to stop visiting Leon? He isn’t our only option.”

There was a beat of silence, then Michael shook his head. “I don’t know. Perhaps. I don’t think a different context will make me hate it any less.”

“A physician,” Jeorg said, smiling at Michael’s alarmed look. “Not what you’re thinking. He will know the older villagers, the sick. Bedridden and waiting for death. A young man could sit with them, talk. Just be near at the right time, so they aren’t alone.”

Michael nodded. “That - sounds a lot better, actually,” he said.

“Could be months,” Jeorg cautioned him. “Not without risk. Leon is one thing, spending your days in the village is another. You’ve been safe here, but - they haven’t stopped looking.”

The thought did nothing to lessen Michael’s unease. “I’ll trust your judgment,” he said. “If you think it’s worth the risk. Maybe I can try one more time with Leon - I feel like I’m close to something, but I just don’t know how to grasp it.”

“You don’t have to continue with him,” Jeorg said. “Same as before - one week. Think, and decide. Choose slowly.” He turned and began to walk down the path once more, tilting his head back to look up at the trees. “One more thing.”

Michael fell into step beside him.

Jeorg looked at him. “Did your father keep hounds?” he asked.

“Hounds? No,” Michael said, confused. “He was never inclined to sport.”

“Probably for the best.” Jeorg let his gaze drift from Michael, back onto the trees around them. “Can a hound be evil?”

Michael arched an eyebrow at the question, but he was long-used to Jeorg’s cryptic asides. Like the path, they all led back home eventually. “Evil seems like the wrong word. There are dogs that are violent, but they’re trained as such. Otherwise they act according to their nature.”

“And if it bites an innocent?” Jeorg asked.

“Then it is dangerous, perhaps, but not evil. If anyone bears responsibility for its actions, it is the man who trains it - or fails to train it.” Michael scowled. “Or fails to protect the innocent, I suppose. He is the only one whose will could have prevented it.”

Jeorg nodded. “Well-reasoned. So - when you were speaking, just now. You said that your father’s soul killed your mother.”

A sliver of acid tension made itself felt in Michael’s throat. “He was asleep,” he said. “He is - not a good man, but I believe he never intended to hurt her. His face, when I saw him that night - he never intended it.”

“Your father raised a hound,” Jeorg grunted. “Dangerous. He could have trained it. Mastered it. But he did not. He let it nip and bite as it pleased, because he does not care if others are hurt. Not unless there is a consequence to him.”

“And if his soul was too powerful, which it is not - he could have admitted it. Changed his behavior to protect others. I have a friend with such a soul. Too strong to risk, too deadly.” His eyes narrowed. “She lives alone. Sleeps alone. Your father did not, because he did not want to. Because he feared seeming weak. Because he did not care.”

“Why do you care about him?” Michael retorted. “It all happened so long ago, and he has suffered the most for it.”

“Has he?” Jeorg asked. The old man’s face was hard, now, an adamant that bled through to his voice. “There is always a choice. The responsibility lies with the will, the will that could have prevented the harm. Souls do not have a will. Men do. You do. Until you believe it, you will always fear your soul.”

He paused, and some of the stone bled from his face. “I spoke because of that fear,” he said. “Men are not made evil by circumstance. Not by errors, and not by souls. It is always a choice.” He looked Michael in the eye. “Your choices haven’t shown me an evil man. Only a young one.”

Jeorg held his gaze a moment more, then resumed walking. Michael followed after - and thought.

 

The week passed. Michael resolved to try one more time with Leon and his lambs. Even if it did not help, there was a chance that it could shorten the time he would need to spend out in the village. Unpleasant, perhaps, but he would tolerate a bit of that to reduce the risk his presence posed to Jeorg.

Leon answered the door promptly, as usual, but paused when Jeorg did not move to follow him inside.

“I have some business with Luther,” Jeorg said, gesturing towards the town center. “I’ll be back shortly, if you don’t mind.”

“The doctor?” Leon asked, frowning. He glanced at Michael for a moment, then looked Jeorg up and down. “You not feeling well?”

“I’m fine,” Jeorg chuckled. “Not seeing him for my health. I should be back soon, if he’s not busy with others.”

“Take your time,” Leon said. “I don’t mind.” He looked at Michael, the amiability sliding off his face. “Come on in.”

Jeorg was already walking down the street, so Michael steeled himself and followed Leon into the shop. The butcher stopped near the counter rather than leading him outside, though, and turned to face him.

“I’ve had a busy morning,” he said. “Didn’t have a chance to bring the lamb from the pasture. Would you wait here for a moment while I fetch it?”

Michael nodded, and Leon flashed him an embarrassed sort of smile. “Thanks,” Leon said. “It’ll only be a moment, I live right across the way.” He ducked out the door, and Michael was alone in the shop.

A frown crept on to Michael’s face. He didn’t know why the butcher had such a distaste for him, but he suspected it was just his soul’s affinity for death. Souls on the Life axis were subject to more superstition and fear than most.

He wondered if that was a natural consequence of their affinity or if it all stemmed from Institute manipulation. Probably some of both - obruors were on the same axis, and despite the usefulness of their fear-dampening to the war effort they were still viewed with skepticism or paranoia.

Something for Michael to look forward to - if he ever had the opportunity to rejoin society.

He looked around the butcher shop. It was tidy, though the walls seemed to shed an unfortunate amount of mortar dust onto the floor. Michael stretched to peer over the counter - and froze as he heard a lamb bleat from the yard outside.

There was a moment of paralysis while Michael’s mind readjusted. The lamb was there. Leon had lied to him. Leon had left to do - what? He decided that it didn’t much matter, if it was something the butcher felt he had to lie to Michael about.

He turned to open the door. His heart was pounding, his hand slick with sweat as he gripped the doorknob - and pulled it open to find Leon mere steps away, leading a group of four men.

They wore nondescript clothing - neither rich nor poor, fine nor coarse. There was an odd sameness to them, a regimented structure to their posture and manner that chilled Michael.

Institute men. Leon stared as he emerged, but the others flowed into motion immediately - too fast. At least two of them were Form ensouled of some variety, and were on Michael before he could do more than step backward.

They pushed him back into the shop, a hand clamped over his mouth and his wrists pinned against his back. Leon followed, staring from the doorway.

“Shut the door,” one of them growled. Leon complied, his eyes not leaving Michael. Michael stared back at him, feeling a warm flood of anger rising up. Jeorg had trusted Leon. He bucked against the hand over his mouth, twisting his head to the side.

“-bastard,” he spat, writhing against their attempts to restrain him. “We tru-”

The hand came back down, stifling the last of his words. The men from the Institute exchanged a glance, then looked as one at Leon.

“We?” the man holding his wrists asked. “You only mentioned one.”

The butcher went paler still, his eyes wide. “I didn’t - he’s the one you wanted. The reward-”

“Will mean little if you are jailed for shielding criminals,” another said, walking closer. He had a scar that trailed across one cheekbone, flexing as his jaw moved. “If this second person was harboring the fugitive, we want them.”

“But he’s been here for years,” Leon protested. “I - I don’t think he knew the boy was a criminal-”

“Lie,” the man holding Michael’s mouth said.

Scarred Cheek raised an eyebrow at Leon. “Hear that? Jens says you’re lying. I’m an officer of the law, lying to me is a crime.” He stalked close to Leon, who shrank back against the wall. “We’ll take your shop. Send you to a work gang on the front.”

He leaned close to the quivering butcher. “Or you tell me, and we go on our way.”

Leon gave a low groan of terror. “I don’t know him well,” he stammered. “He lives out in the woods, been there for years. Jeorg.”

Michael glared murder at Leon, but the butcher only had eyes for Scarred Cheek. The Institute man leaned close, smiling at his prey.

“Any soul?” he asked.

“I don’t - augmens, I think,” Leon gasped.

The smile froze on Scarred Cheek’s face. Michael could feel the men holding him tense up. The atmosphere in the room turned deadly. Michael sensed weak flares of soul rising from Scarred Cheek and the man holding his wrists, solid and unyielding as stone.

“Last name,” Scarred Cheek said. His playful manner had vanished entirely. “Tell me his last name.”

Leon shook his head, wide-eyed. “I don’t - we just called him Jeorg,” he protested. “If he told me it was years ago-”

Scarred Cheek’s hand shot out to grip Leon by the throat. “Describe him,” he growled.

Leon’s face was purpling under his assailant’s grip. “Old,” he gasped. “Maybe seventy.” Michael froze as the pain in his chest flared to life, gnawing under his ribs with more force than he had ever felt.

“Shit,” Scarred Cheek said. His hand contracted with a sharp pop, and Leon dropped bloody to the ground.

The wave of pain broke. Michael could see Leon die, watched the flow of whatever ethereal substance his soul fixated on drift from his body until it lay lifeless, a shell that was once a man. It transfixed him, and it wasn’t until the flow had subsided that Michael realized that the Institute men were talking.

“…emergency extract, there’s a regional office two towns up the coast,” Jens said.

“What are they going to do?” Scarred Cheek shot back. “A regional office can’t handle Dreschner. They’re going to have to pull assets from the coast for this - maybe from the front. If it really is him, he’ll be gone before they can reposition. He’ll be after us.”

“He may be already,” one of the others rumbled. “Stop talking, start running. Now. Gag him and let’s go.”

Michael had recovered enough from his incapacitation to struggle, but it was fruitless - Scarred Cheek moved to assist the others, and the ensouleds’ arms were unyielding as steel. A gag slid into his mouth just as Jens lifted his hand; his hands were tied in a quick, efficient binding seconds later.

They hauled Michael roughly to his feet, dragged him towards the door - and froze as the door twisted oddly in its frame. The lines of the wood seemed to blur and buckle, dissolving into splinters or sawdust in a myriad of overlapping images.

Then nothing. The door ceased to be; the doorway lay open, but not empty. Jeorg stood there amid the glass maelstrom of his soul, its reflections dancing to a wild and silent song. His face was a cold mask set with eyes of mirror-light. Michael’s heart beat once and everyone stood motionless, the Institute men frozen in place.

His heart beat once more, and Jeorg spoke.

Halt,” he said. The word rushed from him in a drumbeat; the world twisted to comply. Objects blurred into countless pale reflections that bent and flickered like windblown flame. In the center was Jeorg, solid and immutable.

He took a step forward. The Institute men did not move - could not. “Be bloodless,” Jeorg said. “Wither dry.” The words raked over the fabric of reality, the mirrors of his soul flying, shifting, splitting - and then reaching a beautiful geometry, a living fractal web that settled over everything and everyone in the room. Jeorg took another step, and the web flexed with the movement, drawing taut around every mote of dust.

Jeorg’s eyes flared, and in them Michael saw a wholly different man than the one he had come to know. His mouth opened. The filigree of mirrors shuddered in anticipation, bending, straining toward his final, inexorable words.

“End as I unmake you,” Jeorg commanded. “Die.”

The web disappeared, and Michael’s world became white-hot pain. The ache in his chest was a void, a hole in the universe which nothing could fill. Four shining lights grew around him, and the void sang, sang - but the lights heard the call of the distant river far overhead, drifting away until the song dimmed, the ache subsided, and Michael lay on the floor looking up into Jeorg’s face.

The old man looked no different than before, but his eyes held a flicker of the dancing mirrors in their depths. “Time to go,” he said, straightening up and looking around the room. “Someone will come looking for these four. We should be far away when they find them.”

Michael raised himself up. The room was quiet, calm, but skewed into subtle disarray. The formerly-straight lines of the floorboards and brickwork flowed in an echo of Jeorg’s fractals, edges and corners blurring into subtly organic forms. Four bodies lay brown and desiccated on the floor, as if long-dead, while Leon’s corpse stared with vacant, bulging eyes. Jeorg walked over and slid Leon’s eyelids closed, whispering something faint.

“Always a price for solitude,” Jeorg murmured. “It withholds the harm you may visit on others, but also the good. Withholds a voice speaking against those who would turn neighbor against neighbor, shape a nation to their whim.” He looked at Michael, and more than mirrors sparkled from his eyes. “The responsibility lies with the will. The will who could have prevented the harm. Does that make me evil, that I have let it come to this?”

Michael could not find the words to reply. His mind was still spinning, trying to parse what he had seen.

Jeorg chuckled, and wiped his eyes. “Ah,” he said. “It’s not a question for you to answer. I have paths of my own to draw, now. Paths between me and a man who exercises the force of his will. They called me Stanza, once, even if most have forgotten.” The grin faded from his face, and he looked out the window. “Perhaps it is time to remember why.”

Advertisement
A note from TMarkos

Don't you hate it when you go to a picturesque and sleepy waterfront town to abduct a boy from a butcher's shop and end up faced with a geriatric reality-warping gardener?  So annoying.  I imagine this will put a crimp in Jeorg and Michael's plans for a nice quiet summer with plenty of fresh lamb chops, not least because they'd have to find a new butcher.  Maybe for some other reasons, who knows. 

Character and Terminology Reference

Artwork Source Reference

If you like what you've read and want to help the story gain a bit more visibility, there are a few things that you can do:

- Vote for the story!  There's a button right below this section, and if you click it we go higher on that newfangled list on the front page. 

- Rate or review, particularly an advanced review.  These help new folks find their way here on RR.

- Boost the story on Top Web Fiction. It's the #1 way to get new folks in from offsite.

Finally, if you're enjoying yourself so far come on by the Discord to chat.  Patreon is a thing if you're in the mood for advanced chapters, patrons got Chapter 12 today.

As always, thank you for reading - see you on Wednesday!


Support "Peculiar Soul"

About the author

TMarkos

  • Festina Lente

Bio:

Achievements
Comments(105)
Log in to comment
Log In

Turbonator ago

Considering that even the death of animals makes Michael sense something, that makes me suspect there really is some sort of "lesser soul" everyone has, as was mentioned at some point. We now know Michael's soul seems to call to other souls, so it's not something to do with life force or what have you. Perhaps he has the power to destroy souls? Ah well, we'll find out eventually.

Cody37 ago

The Congress speech at beginning was really well written made me wonder what out come was.

Man I forgot jobs used be advertised in newspaper.

Thanks for read. (Looking forward to what he can do with his soul mc mean.)

BackLaid ago

Stanza? Didnt't see that one coming. But it makes sense, the numbers of active Eight members for the country didnt't add up, if Stanza was still working for the same government as the previous excerpts indicated.

The math confused me, but I figured he might have died. This clears it up!

Yeah-uuh ago

We all knew things couldn't stay nice and quiet.

    TMarkos ago

    Would be a boring book otherwise! I've been tempted to see how long I could put off the eventual reveal of Mike's soul before someone stabbed me but I decided against testing it.

SelfInExile ago

Thanks for the chapter as always. Really good stuff, I felt the tension as soon as Leon left to go "fetch the lamb". Awesome to finally see the extent of Jeorg's power as well. I noticed that the lore exerpt at the top is from a "Stanza", wonder if that's related....

    TMarkos ago

    Yeah, it's never good when the guy who's been giving you the stink-eye comes up with an excuse to leave the room. And yes, both epigraphs that are credited to Stanza were in fact a younger Jeorg.

Experiment Zero ago

Ohhh - so much happening!

I'm loving the details in the story, how you weave connections, slowly (and deliberately) revealing certain truths about individuals, the world and how souls work.

You are clearly having way too much fun coming up with deep philosophical questions, and I'm once again left in awe of your storytelling. (Also appreciated your explanation of the Greek titles!)

I am excited to see our MC develop a better understanding of souls in general and the way he is made to question the truth of what he knows.

I wonder whether we will get to witness Jeorg undergo a character arc - and how he changes as he draws more 'Paths between himself and a man who exercises the force of his will.'

Another wonderful chapter! Can't wait till next week ☺️

    TMarkos ago

    I'm glad you're enjoying it! :D

    These have been fun chapters to write, and fun chapters to share. I'm eager to keep posting and wish I could do it faster!

Skyryder43 ago

Surprise!!!! One of the Eight and more enlightened than all the rest. Thanks for the Chapter.

Stormblessed ago

Nice!! Was expecting the Leon's betrayal, but not for Jeorg to be Stanza! Time to flee!!!

Log in to comment
Log In