Torment Diary 2

Just outside the mortuary gate, I talk to a hunched guy with purplish green rash covering his chin and neck. He has a strange name, Pox, given by his parents who had cursed him by wishing a pox on their first born. Pox is also a deader collector and he mentions that only Dustmen and deader can enter the mortuary gate. I ask Pox whether he can smuggle me into the mortuary while I pretend to be dead. Pox wants me to pretend to be dead first to see how well I can pretend. I must say I am pretty good at it and Pox agrees to smuggle me into the mortuary if I want to. Pox helps me further by pointing out that his boss Sharegrave in Ragpicker Square knows more about Pharod.

There is one striking red-haired girl with a tail, she isn't friendly though. "Pike off, yeh clueless sod." Morte soon intervenes and gets into a war of words. Before it escalates further, I pull Morte off and bid her farewell.

Morte says he is a mimir (a talking encyclopedia), he has a special skill in taunting and by his own words, he can drive a deva to murder.

Sigil is ruled by a mysterious, powerful Lady and it is best not to cross her. Her servants are those mysterious floating creatures (Dabus) that seems to be either building or repairing all over the city. Out of curiosity, I attempt to talk to one Dabus. A series of symbols appears above its head when a Dabus communicates. After some time, I find that I can understand those symbols and speak with Dabus, though they do not talk much.

We meet a haggard woman who is paranoid with Sigil and doors. (portals) Sigil is called the 'City of Doors,' mostly because there's a LOT of invisible doors that lead in and out of it, and just about anything can be a door (portal) if you have the right key to activate it. She calms down slightly when she describes how she had ended up in Sigil a long time ago. She was humming a tune by a glade with two dead trees that had fallen together, when a brilliant door opened in the space between the crossed trees. She stepped through the door and ended in Sigil. Since then, she had tried many times and many doors to return back and had suffered so much that she is afraid of going through any door or arch for fear that it might be a portal that lead her to a terrible place. She had lost her hand, it was burnt, and since then, she had lived her life with fear. It is a sad story, I tell her that I will help her if I know of a way.

In one house, we meet an angry man and it takes a mighty effort of restraint to leave him. From his wife, we come to know that he had signed a Dead Contract (it gives Dustmen the right to the dead body) with the Dustmen and he had become sullen after that. His wife had tried to undo the contract with Gravesend but wasn't able to. I decide to help them and his wife makes me promise not to let her husband know about this.

In the Gathering Dust bar, we manage to convince Gravesend that it is morally wrong for him to hold such a contract for one that is hindered by the contract to believe in True Death yet. We are able to speak with a few other Dustmens, in particular, the chief Dustmen, Emoric is also interested in Pharod, Pharod had been trading a large number of deaders to them and he wants to know where so many dead bodies come from.

I tear up the Dead Contract in front of Angyar. Both are grateful and Angyar's wife will allow us to rest in their house. It is safer to rest during the night as the Hive become more dangerous with many thugs ready to kill and rob. When I tell Angyar that I need to find Pharod, he tells me that Pharod's kip is under Ragpicker Square, there is a portal that leads to it and we need to carry some junks to activate the portal.

Ragpicker Square is full of piles of trash, and broken down buildings that looked as though they will soon collapse. We find out that Sharegrave is the boss of the collectors around this place. Once I tell Sharegrave that I need to find Pharod to get back some of my things, Sharegrave becomes more friendly. He even offers me a hundred copper commons to find out where did Pharod found so many dead bodies. I gladly accept his offer.

There is an elderly old woman in one wooden hut. She is the midwife of the Square, her name is Mebbeth. Mebbeth tells me that Pharod can be found beneath Ragpicker Square, and there is a gate that leads to his nest somewhere here in the Square.

For some reason, I have a feeling that Mebbeth may be a witch, so I question her. It turns out she knows magic. I ask Mebbeth to teach me magic so that it may help me to solve the mystery of who I am.

"The Art may help, it may not, and ye must not rely on it ta solve all o' yer problems." She sighed. "Child, it's most like only going to add another chip to yer pile o' questions..."

Mebbeth eventually agrees to teach me if I can complete some tasks for her. The first task is to find the strange black herbs she needs, she gives me the herbs seed. We head over to the Hive marketplace and inquire a fruit merchant about the seed, the merchant has no idea about the herbs. Maybe, a gardener can help? Just then, my mind recalls one by the name of Mourns-For-Trees who can help. He is sad that trees are dying and we have helped him to care for the trees by believing and wanting the trees to grow. When we speak with him again, I am reminded of his belief that beliefs can shape things. I am then able to believe and want the seed to grow, and much to my surprise, the seed grows into a plant that wrap around my wrist.

After I complete two other tasks, Mebbeth asks me whether I still want to learn the art. I know the guiding goal of my errands was to test my persistence and Mebbeth knows who I had to see to accomplish each errand. I reflect on what I had learned from those I had talked to.

"Mourns-for-Trees showed me that my beliefs affect the world around me, Giscorl taught me that ritual is a wasted effort if the purpose of the ritual is ignored, Meir'am taught me that no matter how much I think I know, there is still much I can learn from another's eyes."

Mebbeth thinks I will be a master sorcerer one day and proceeds to test whether I can read spell recipe. Instinctively, I relax my eyes and I am able to understand the symbols to be a minor divination that allows user to see the nature of an item. Mebbeth's eyes widened.

"Who are ye to test Ol' Mebbeth so?! Are ye some fiend?"


"Well... not expectin' it, was I..." She nods at the recipe, then plucks it out of my hand. "What ye see, it's written in the language of the *Art.* If ye're not a mageling yet, it should be all-a-swirl-jumble of mish-mash." She snaps her finger. "Yet, clear as crystal, ye pluck the sense of it right up. Mayhap ye tell Ol' Mebbeth why that is?"

I think I may have known once, but forgot... seeing the symbols just jarred my memory. Mebbeth then creates a spell book with those items that I have fetched for her. She gives me some simple spells and dismiss me.

"All right child -- don't tarry here any longer. One such as ye has other ways to spend one's time rather than hang around Ol' Mebbeth."

I thanks Mebbeth. (Mebbeth can help to heal us if needed and we can also rest in her place)


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