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Bleak Faith Forsaken All Lore Locations
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Konrad’s War Log
The first phase is complete and the transit points have been secured. The population is cooperative, so I have ensured the men keep their calm. There is talk of some kind of corruption at play, but all I can make out for now is that the citizens blame each other for everything, competing to show their loyalty to our presence. Annoying.
We now know the location of the Serdars. I was hoping for a reply from Yaroslav, but the first dispatch hasn’t returned. I am now sending another and reattempting the completion of the second phase. We’ve only arrived but the locals already tire me. So does the weather, if it can even be called that- the sky and the rain feel as if they are all the exhaust material of some unbearable manufacturing zone.
Negotiations have failed, the second phase is now obsolete and three of our platoons have been obliterated by the Serdars. Yaroslav has, I believe, gone mad. This was his army just as much as mine until this mess. I will never understand what leads others to betrayal… He butchered our men as if he never knew them. NOTE: I suspect the Administration is also establishing their presence here.
The citizens are at moments unmanageable, at others, docile and apathetic. As for us, I can no longer afford any expeditions below since I have a only a few men remaining. Two full divisions are on their way for support, since news of our debacle at the gate has spread – I am afraid it is open war with the Serdars… There will be no easy resolution to whatever’s going on. If only I could have a word with Yaroslav myself, I’m sure he would see reason.
We were ambushed yesterday in the temple we’ve set up camp in – yet it feels pathetic to say by whom. A single knight, wearing the grin of death! He would pass for a clown if he hadn’t told me what he had. I will retire into what’s left of the monastery to reconsider everything. The state of affairs is such that I’m sure the administration will soon step in. I would wish luck if it were anyone else venturing below, but I hope they meet what they deserve at Yaroslav’s gate.
Helena’s Diary Fragment
When they arrived, they said they were looking for a traitor and those who betrayed them… Maybe the soldiers who came before? Still, I was curious about the new one… He was taller than all the soldiers he came with. He seemed handsome and his name sounded noble… Konrad.His men lost their way when the strange knight with a face like a skull joined them in their temple… A fight broke out and all we could hear was the slaughter inside. Konrad survived and left then but something was strange. I wonder where he is. I don’t even know him but I hope he’s alive and well.
Things were becoming more chaotic and if that wasn’t enough, more soldiers arrived. These were not only looking for their rebel, but they also seemed to be obsessing over the area beyond the Machinarium, just like the ones Konrad was looking for. Soon, even more of them showed up and they were the exact opposite of what Konrad was like. Big bulks of metal, bald and brutal. They seemed to lose track of the time just like the rest of us though and when they lost their patience… some things are best left unsaid.
We were given shovels to clean the neighborhood and pile everything up… the rubble and the dead in their containers. We then moved this to a nearby site where other piles were being incinerated. As I did what I was told, I felt like I had so many narrow escapes. Every threat to my life seemed to boost my eagerness to survive. Things lose sense by the day and this confusion seems to be crippling the invaders as well. I hope we can find a way to leave soon so we can just put all of this behind us.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they brought their monks and scribes. Words cannot describe what’s going on. One moment they completely stomp out the people from a certain building, the next, it’s as if the building has been abandoned for… decades? And then later in the week, the lights in it go on. I swear I saw someone looking out at me from inside one night.
The person in the window waved at me again last night. Maybe it’s someone they spared during the raid? My ex secretary says the days now overlap. Yesterday feels like tomorrow, and now feels like something that happened a week ago. Perhaps all the things Feigenbaum played with are finally catching up with us. The hunger however is now the only thing we worry about.
If it should happen that you feel lost, turn right at the first gate and start again. Don’t hesitate. What has been will always be. What is to come was never ours. The orchid has blossomed at exactly the same spot every year, so far, but, that is no guarantee. It might not make it back this year. The skywhales might lose their way in the swaying winds – the swallows never make it back home. We do not know. And in that lies the power of all the things that might be. The map grows old instantly, getting out of the same side of the bed tiresome. The almond’s blossom often comes too soon. It is just stubborn determination. The walls of the Megalopolis were not designed to fall. The Angel thought this message would for ever last. Time is not carved out in a straight line. She is like the waves and fickle as the clouds. She comes, she goes, she weaves. If lost, it might not be a gate, but turn left again at the first sign. Turn and remain on the narrow and the straight.
These are simply lives, with all their mechanisms and internal complexity, their mythology and their aspirations. Each flame a fire, each fire a small world as infinite as the imagination, as deep as the mesmerising sea. On the surface we are listening to the wind, the gentle ripples following on as waves, the clouds hovering with subtle menace, filled with intangible dimensions. There are few trees on the coast, struggling against the salty spray, growing with dogged determination. Their blossom is feeble. Their fruit bitter. Their leaves hard and brittle. The frost doesn’t come as far as the coast. The snow is a vision and the bitter bite of the steady breeze that does feed the fire, that does reach down and nourish the soul. Simply lives within which a unique concoction of the very same days provide a million varied flavours. The ghosts are inhabitants of the past, the sky eels carry the ragged dreams of battles that are still to come. Leaves that fell from a tree, drops that left the ocean.
The picture is tattered, taunted and all but torn. The sun struggles to deal with this particular dawn. It is early and it is still late. The clouds have formed, the rain beats a gentle rhythm in the glistening street. Water and oil, the rainbow bled into the ground. The light came and went, the land was savagely raped and the hills were gutted so that we might have slightly better lives. Paint a scene where the kestrel still hovers. Paint a scene where we might see what we have and what had once been.
Those surrounded by comfort wallow in excesses, disturbed only by the most accidental of anxieties until an event such as this – and once that opulence comes into jeopardy, other extremes become priorities – flight, retaining all that was accumulated on the backs of others and if necessary, the instant siding with the invader, to keep the honey flowing. Existence at one point becomes only the pursuit of more.
Those however who are in general condemned to suffer, who struggle even in times that are deemed good for others, must again rely on numbness and intoxication to see through it all. These unfortunate misers, used to being accused by the previously described for everything and anything, then fall even lower, to the level of blaming each other for how things have turned out instead of the foreign enemy or their previous rulers – and when that is done, they go even lower… where they will once again kneel and obey, for a dog may have a preference for one master over another, but his base loyalty can always be bought with the promise of mere survival.
To be a hunter, a whaler, an officer, or a doctor, and to remain so only to not lose one’s livelihood. We should strive however for an era in which none of us have exclusive spheres of activity, where each can become accomplished in any branch one wishes, and where the polis regulates the excesses of necessity, thus making it possible to do one thing today and another tomorrow – to hunt in the morning, to sail in the afternoon, to administrate accordingly in the evening, heal and nurture after dinner, without ever having to confine one to the base rules of surviving – but to strive for a life filled with the blossoms of labor and inspiration.
I remember waking in a pile of lifeless bodies. Not only lifeless though. Expressionless. Frozen visages.
Like waking from a dream about dreaming, everything is a haze. A dark ominous haze. I’ve seen death, pain, and torture. I hear a voice. Once in a while I see the voice beckon, like a ripple in water – before I can make form of the image, I am gone too.
I have no mouth, and I know nobody would hear me scream.
No matter where my mind wanders, there is an oppressive red mist crushing the reaches of my imagination. Try as I might, there seems to be no escape. No escape. Only a journey deeper. Farther… but what awaits at the innermost depths. I suppose the Omnistructure makes room beyond sense… beyond time.