Monster Missives

To brave Yae-Lishe, greetings.

There has not been communication crafted for several nights, which is a cause for deepest regrets. While you most likely do not care regarding this, it is not the behavior of a warrior. Amends cannot be made, save for greater diligence and discipline.

Your absence is deeply felt.

The ship did visit a planet these several nights, the sector capital of Warren, a word meaning the twisting dwelling place of small creatures. It is a place oddly reminiscent of home, though rather than the great fungal trees within which the People dwell above the ground, the surface of this world is itself crafted structures, rising to tremendous heights, even as the myths speak of.

The mission was to deliver a sealed case, recovered from conveyed coordinates deep in space (you have never traveled in the void between worlds, so this may mean little to you), to a buyer at a place of feasting above the stone surface but below the shell surface of the world.

This place of feasting was not unknown; a fine local dish known as chili is served there, of fame even among the law-keepers, and which lends itself to many variations. You would find it highly tasty. On a visit past, such chili was consumed with relish (a pickled side dish), which admixture the locals considered sufficiently novel to express their concerns in a vigorous fashion, which was most enjoyable as well.

In the event, the person to whom the case was to be delivered was found to be dead, and most effectively in the execution (so to speak). This coincided with the arrival of Hegemony troops of the 51st Legion (think of the Tribe of Blue Tattoos, across from the Great Sail, only less jovial). A fine romp was anticipated, but the numbers were such that the shipmates might have taken harm, so the entertainment was perforce canceled.

(Shipmates are as tribemates, but less permanent, perhaps. And less uniform, with no bonds of blood and battle assumed, only gathered over time. Plus, they are weaker, and so the Duty of Protection is thus greater, as much of a burden as this may be.)

The path through the back alleys of the city was traveled with craft and guile, evading the Legion in anticipation of a future encounter. But, in so doing, another acquaintance was encountered.

Aya has been spoken of previously in these comms to you. She is a puissant warrior, who earns a living through directing her bloodlust toward targets that people will give valuables to have defeated with permanence, sending them by design to They Who Judge. It is not something that would bring honor among the People, but she is not of the People and her honor is something of a different flavor, demonstrated to satisfaction.

She has been a companion, even comrade, since the nights of captivity and forced labor, after there was parting from you. There has been no direct conflict with her interests on any particular mission or quest, but were there, who would be the victor remains a tantalizing question. Not that there are any wishes for her harm, for all she is a strange creature, even by the local standards.

In the event of it, she was sent by employers to obtain the container that it was the ship’s mission to deliver. There was every sign that this would in fact lead to the conflict thus far avoided, but an agreement was reached in that Aya had only committed to securing the case, which those of the ship (Kei in particular) had already emptied of its content. Commitments and duty served, all went on their way, though the question of how such a conflict would end remains tantalizing – even how it would begin, for that matter: whom would she target first, the greatest threat or the easiest targets?

(There remains a Duty to not expose the shipmates to certain death in such an instance, no matter the call of They Who Inflame. This leads to greater risk-taking, thus more glory in the Great Joy, but also presents a delicate set of tactical considerations.)

From this locale, concerns were raised that the Legion or others might have the ship under observation. A fine place serving noodles (think of stringplants, but with sauces that cannot be described without their experience) was found, and while sustenance was gathered, the guards upon the ship were distracted by loudly communicated rumors of a “monster” that was attacking civilians (appropriate sound effects were added, to the delight of all). This drew the guards away, allowing the departure.

Drifter, the pilot (more on him in a bit; there has been neglect in conveying to you who these shipmates are), employed a very breathtaking, high-G departure from low atmo. While the ship came under scrutiny by the sky watch and various craft attempted an interception, the ship successfully evaded capture, aided by clever deceits by Kei and Seon.

(They are fragile, but they are crafty.)

This time of communication is completed, and the duties of the ship must be attended to, with challenges of strength and, perhaps, an opportunity to spar. Further will come soon.

You are missed.


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To remembered Yae-Lishe, greetings.

As you are remembered, in this comm sent to you, this is where better remembrance of the shipmates ought to come. There have been previous, brief notes, but you should be knowing them better, for understanding when these stories are told before They Who Inspire, They Who Laugh, or They Who Judge.

Drifter is the pilot of our ship. He is of a spirit similar to the People, save that it regards achieving his shadow of the Great Joy through the piloting of the ship (or, beyond that, any vessel or vehicle he might be at the controls of). This may seem odd to you, but with proper widening of the eyes it can be seen that this is a matter of challenge – challenging the laws of physics, challenging the Judgers themselves. Beer cannot be drunk with gravity and inertia, mind you (well, not in the way it is drunk with, or for, those contested with), but the essence of the challenge can be seen the same way.

(Patience and tolerance are necessary for being not among the People, but these are easier when pity is held for them as well, as well as appreciation for their endeavors.)

Kei is a loremaster, a pursuer and recorder of knowledge. They Who Enflame have set him to burrow into the dreaded secrets of The Ones Beyond, a pursuit of great danger to which he seems oblivious. Just as there are those among the People who come to ignore Duty in the pursuit of the Great Joy, hurtling toward destruction, Kei’s seduction by his obsession goes beyond the admirable to the worrisome.

(Know that many of those encountered here bear different names, aspects they show to the different parts of the world – their own tribe, versus those of other tribes. It is a curious custom, but one that seemed wise to adopt. Thus only a few know the name of Yae or the Tribe of Kvir, but more in this space may know the name “Monster”; there is no analog in the words of the People, save perhaps references to the Shadow within Shadows, the Grins of Lightnings, the Slayers with Bright Bliss: beings in the myths of the Before Time. Suffice it to say that the name carries a message of respected power, and of that which invites battle. It is a name to be proud of, in its place.)

Armin is a person of wealth who owns many things, and wishes to own more.

(Wealth within this world-outside-the-world is difficult to explain. It goes beyond food, or tech for sustenance, or blood relatives, or access to partners, or village location. It is, perhaps, like being a village that has in its bounds a patch of firecaps, and so is envied, traded with, and warred upon by its neighbors.)

Armin of the Kroll family lost such a war within the wealth-tribe he belonged to, and now seeks revenge upon the one who bested him. His will is admirable, but dead and dry, as he takes no joy in the contest, only in the successes he attains. He follows They Who Destroy, not They Who Inflame. His weapons are words, which may also strike you as odd, but is not uncommon in these parts.

Seon is the healer of the ship. He resembles more Healer Trevas Vaki than he does you – though, of course, he is neither of the People nor or the fitting gender for a Healer. Like Trevas, he feigns disdain for others, but he is a steady thinker and a fierce fighter for his tribe, even struggling against the pull of They Who Judge. If he has a weakness, it is the toll this struggle takes upon him, which he treats himself through intoxicants (as with your sister-father, Vel). It is a fracture in a strong limb, which may cause it to give way.

Drifter. Kei. Armin. Seon. Your Yae. It is small for a tribe, but much fun. This shiptribe is bound by shared danger, battle, labor to keep the ship in space, victory in goals, survival – and, of course, sharing in food. They Who Guide know where the journey leads, but the path thus far has been entertaining, and of growth.

There is an event of which you must be told, but Drifter informs me that there is a bad sound coming from the “central atmo unit” that requires a being of great strength and will to save all.

And so this is sent forth to you, whose memory lives with brightness.


My thoughts reach out to you, Yae-Lishe:

You should be told of what has been found. It may make little difference to you, but it is of moment.

The tales of the Free People speak of the Before Time, an epoch of magic and wonder and struggle and death, whence came the People to this world of cold survival amongst foreign stars, and the world of Vil, amidst the massive fungal growths where a home and shelter were found, and safety for the People secured.

Why did the People come here? This is not spoken of, and the loremasters beat those who speculate, but sometimes, perhaps, it is whispered.

The People feared. The People were overcome. The People fled from something.

To flee, save to protect the helpless, is unthinkable. But it can be whispered. And perhaps that exception explains it, for the People came with their young.

Whatever there was that was escaped from, fled from, it did not pursue. Instead, the stories say, the Doors of Water and Fire closed behind them, for a time.

There is, in the star system called Rin, one of the star gateways of the Ones Beyond that was closed, but the strange peoples of this space found a path to opening it.

It led to a star system called Holt, possessing its own worlds – but also with a star gateway, know as the Hanta Gate. It remains closed.

Did the Free People come through the gates in Holt and Rin, in their escape?

It may be so.

And if it is so …

The coming of the Guilds was a second great burning of the People. Few may remain … here.

But beyond the Doors of Water and Fire, beyond – perhaps – the Hantu Gate … there may be more. More who can avenge the destruction wrought on the Free People, their ancient tribemates. Or there may be those myths still that the People themselves had to flee from – there to be fought by any who have no Duty of Protection to bind them. And if such a battle should fail, and those myths pass the open doors into the spaces of the race that may well have destroyed the People?

Well, there is perhaps great meaning in such an ending as well.

The mysterious object we have obtained? It is one of the entries to the Hantu Gate. The Aleph Key. Three others, it seems, remain.

Then something great will happen. It can be felt in the bones of any who know of the Ones Beyond.

This message is sent into the void to you, beloved sister, mere thoughts and intention, whispered silently in the dark or in times of mediation, for there is no comm set that can reach you, no courier to carry a scroll to your hearth. Whether you have passed before They Who Judge to challenges beyond the ken of the People – whether the People even exist any more beyond a lone survivor pursuing a course some might think madness – cannot not known. To even consider it is to court despair.

But They Who Weaken will not cripple the heart of the last of the Free People. And so long as you and the blood shared with you are remembered, by anyone, even such a madman, then this challenge, this quest will continue, to its glorious end.


That’s it, for the moment, for Monster’s Missives to his (as it turns out) sister. I tackled this project because I had a little spare time, and to maybe give a bit more of a glimpse into the PC who could come across as the Big Muscle Who Doesn’t Speak the Language Well, but is much more.

Even if he’s not allowed to use the first person, even in his internal monologues.

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