Sunday, December 11, 2011

Echo Bazaar: A Trade in Souls 3, A Shepherd of Souls

Sour Elizabeth, it turns out, is female after all, but I would hesitate to call a creature such as herself a ‘woman.’ Women can be devious and even downright malicious, but still I don’t consider them soul-sucking monsters of the Neath. Not quite like Sour Elizabeth, at least.

It turned out that Mr. Chimes had recently taken an interest in Sour Elizabeth. Why, I cannot say, other than the fact that Mr. Chimes seems to have a morbid fascination with the deranged. It is fortunate that Mr. Chimes has also recently taken an interest in myself (though I would hardly consider myself derange. It is more likely for the fact that I simply know how to know anything… a useful skill, I admit.) It proved easy work to enter the House of Chimes and lure her into one of the private chambers.

I daren’t report too many details on her appearance here, other than the note that such a malevolent individual can’t help but reflect such a horrifying disposition on her features. It’s a shame, really, since it made the initial seduction into a private space all too simplistic. It had apparently been quite some time since she’d gathered any form of positive attention from a man.

Once the door was properly secured and the key tucked deep into my cloak, I revealed what I knew of her and how I planned to destroy her lively-hood should she not offer the information I required. Had I not known what fiendish crimes she persistently committed since years previous, I might have felt pity for the wilted creature.

Unfortunately, she knew nothing of the Regretful Soldier’s wife. However, she did offer to buy my silence with her current brood of souls which she had not yet sold to the Devils. I accepted the deal, naturally, and I must admit I was shocked at the enormity of her reaping. 120 souls, neatly bottled and packaged in crates, locked safely away in a warehouse in Spite. I would have never guessed one individual was capable of such monstrosity.

Despite such apparent evil, I felt (and still feel) that it is not my place to pass judgment on any individual. As such, when the transaction was complete, I let her go on her way without harm. My goal is to recover the Regretful Soldier’s wife with as minimal attention as possible. Should a Spirifer of Sour Elizabeth’s caliber suddenly go missing, it would surely be noticed. I can trust that she will remain silent on my involvement, else she suffer greatly at the hands of the Constables.

As it turns out, none of the 120 souls belong to the Regretful Soldier’s wife. But looking upon their sad faces, drifting aimlessly within their dusty bottles, I cannot bare to simply leave them like this. I fear I may have to return them to their rightful owners, or otherwise risk a guilty conscience for the rest of my life…

~Shar d’Ney

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