Spellborn: Beakless

Back when I was content lead at Spellborn Works, I created multiple ‘mood pieces’ to reflect upon the universe of “The Chronicles of Spellborn”. These texts were written at a conceptual level, to provide artists and fellow designers with an idea of how the game world behaved on its own. This rough text was meant for post-release content. We needed to show that the threat of the Arionites was already present within the Enclave, while wrapping up a loose end that House Rune initiates might remember.

He had little to fear from the Enclave. After all this time, the Enclave still held the notion that the Arionites had been beaten. Their last stand together with Tykaru Reywing had lulled the Enclave into a false sense of security.

So here he was walking the streets of Quarterstone, the very heart of the Enclave, with nary a soul taking notice of him. Though he could have walked here in his own clothing and full Arionite armour, he was wearing the clothes of a commoner. The Enclave might not recognize the colours and symbols now, but the day would come those marks would be burned into their eyes once more.

His contact was supposed to be somewhere in the city-shard's region called Pit District. As he crossed the bridge from Statue District, the Graveyard gave way underneath. He remembered it from the texts. The traitors of Rune had brought Him here. Brought Him here to be executed. He smiled. Yes, executed, that's what the rest of the Enclave thought. Those greedy Rune eyes weren't content with just killing the Saviour, they needed to study him. Ithkari Aryones was not dead. Far from it…

Pit District itself was a rotten place. It figured that his contact would be hiding in this downtrodden place. There was not a guard to be seen; this district was clearly 'self-governed'. By His Hammer, how could those traitors have left their own to rot within their homes like this? Walls were crumbling, vermin was everywhere and the stench of death and decay permeated through it all.

He might have passed the Graveyard filled with their own dead, but this district was clearly Quarterstone's real garbage belt and yet somehow its society managed to revel in it. It gave him the shivers.

It didn't take too long to find his contact. "Near the Pit" had been his only hint, but the shape and clothing made it all too clear who he was hushly talking to.

"The Light shines brightly…"
"… yet its shadow is deep and darrrk…"
"Glad we agree."
"What brrrings you herrre, knight? This is not exactly a place one of yourrr kind would call… home."
"They… they didn't inform you?"
"Listen well, knight. I am inforrrmed by no one. My duty lies with me and my brrrotherrrs. Therrre is no need forrr me to know of anything else. If you arrre herre forrr me, then you know what you have to ask me."

It was a little unnerving talking to this creature. Besides the awkward way of speech, he had heard of other traits these 'strangers' exhibited. Beakless they were called. They were part of the Beaks, yet not and their facial self-mutilation providing their eponymous feature made it all too disturbing. He knew this meant they were treated as outcast within their own society, but that this feeling would run as deep as to cast away all ties with their own kind… That was bizarre. Mutilation or not, an Arionite was a brother in arms till death claimed him. And even then there were exceptions.

"Very well. I am here for the 'heart of the problem'."
"Ah yes… The verrry 'corrre' shall we say? It was rrratherrr forrrtunate forrr the Rrraven to drrrop this into this one's hands." The wretched creature produced a bundle of brown paper wrappings from his robes. A single hemp thread kept it all in place. It looked like wrapped meat, fresh from the butcher's. He took the bundle and was surprised by its weight and warmth.

"What… What is this exactly?"
"A verrry delicate matterrr. And the key to yourrr prrroject."
"Wait, you just told me you didn't know anything else. How can you know about that?"
"I merrrely implied that I only know of what I need to know. But if the Temples on Rrringfell arrre indeed yourrr goal, then you will need this. The Rrraven was adamant about it. I must say, the Company should rrregarrrd itself lucky with such a trrraitorrr in its midst."
"He wasn't a traitor, you… wretch."
"My apologies, I did not mean to offend. I merrrely wanted to show my apprrreciation of yourrr comrrrade. He was quite knowledgable. Especially considerrring his… condition."

Everybody within the Arionite company was known with the Raven: a specialized infiltrator. When an exploring shardship of Arionites had found alternate levium in the Deadspell Storm, the Raven was to infiltrate the Enclave and reclaim their knowledge on the subject. He was successful and even improved on their inventions, at the cost of experimenting on himself…. It was only now that he started to understand the wretched being's admiration for the Raven. They were the same: both outcasts, both knowledgable, both… mutilated.

With the bundle still in his hand he hesitated a bit. Did he really wanted to go through with this. After all was said and done, it was most likely he would become one of them; he would become like the Raven, like this being, like… a tool. By His Hammer! Of course he would be a tool, nay, a weapon! He would be the weapon wielded by Him to guide the Enclave to the truth. The bundle disappeared amongst his equipment.

"I see… You display the same kind of admirrration."
"Not exactly… Tell me, why have you chosen this life?" Its eyes flared up from within the hood; for a fraction of a second he could see scarred flesh.
"I chose my path to do what must be done. Therrre will be many who can take my place within ourrr society, but only I can worrrk frrrom outside to prrrotect it without being bound by petty feelings." This answer satisfied him. The smile returned to his face and he turned away from the robed creature. "Did I offend you once morrre?"

"No, on the contrary, you helped me more than you may realize. May we meet again." He walked away, back to the docks. As he passed the Pit he snapped a locket from his neck and casually threw it into the depths.

The Beakless was right, there was no more room for petty feelings.