Item 1:
A page of a waterlogged journal

Summer 23, 1711
Herbert is complaining about being the one to record observations of the subjects. He says it’s too depressing. I’ve reminded him that there aren’t many positions for people in our field, and certainly not any that pay so well, but he just glared at me and muttered that the money wasn’t quite worth it. I don’t see what his problem is. We’re at the forefront of what science can achieve. What we discover here can save thousands of lives. What’s a few rodents for all that?

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Respecting the Flowers

491 in the Age of Marnys the Kind

Dan and Cixi stepped through the inner door, and into a world of gold. It was all around them, stretching overhead to form a sky of yellow and orange flowers growing on vines that spiralled into the mesh walls. High above shafts of sunlight managed to make it through the thick layer of flowers, shining off their petals in glittering shades that looked like the sparkle of precious metals or gems. No flowers should shine so bright, and indeed none would have, were it not for the creatures tending to them. Bronze shapes punctuated the yellow, shaped a little like birds but with dark wings which made a leathery sound as they flapped from one wall to another around the giant enclosure. Fae, the entire reason for the existence of this place, and for the pair’s visit.

Dan looked down at Cixi and the neatly suited goblin looked back up, dark eyes and lightly furred face holding a certain nervous excitement. Cixi’s paws formed a pattern, signing the question: Ready?

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Two Crates of Not Weapons

The elevator continues to move, the dark space crowded with two enormous crates, two dwarves, and one increasingly uncomfortable silence. It’s as if Rala can actually feel the shape of what they aren’t saying, what no-one is saying. The dwarf clears kaj’r throat – a little too theatrically – and turns to look at the indistinct shape of the other dwarf.

“No,” kaj says.

Rala blinks. “…No what, Kah Dahj?”

“No, we’re not doing anything wrong.”

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The dwarf adjusts kaj’r collar, watching the Queen’s face closely. Her gaze sweeps the cavern, blue eyes and reptilian face unreadable as she takes in the rows upon rows of automatons. Lamplight shimmers in the gold thread woven into her mane of feathers.

“How many did you say you’d made, Kah Samaq?”

“Close to two thousand, your majesty.”

Read moreAwakening

A Reason to Fight

Throughout the year I’ll be writing short bits of fiction to explore more about the world of Death of Magic, the people who live there, and what their lives are like. Some will be letters, entries from history books, or journal entries. Others, like the story below, will be vignettes from the point of view of characters from the game. This first story gives an insight into life in the mer community in the outer city.

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Join the Dissidents

Dissidents Flyer

People, we are at war.
We are being starved, brutalised, bullied and robbed by the very monarch who should protect us. Our enemies are already at our doorsteps – ignorance, hunger, poverty, fear. Yet Her answer is to fill our streets with military Automatons, heartless stone monstrosities who can no more understand our plight than could a sword.
Our homes are entered without warrant, our fellow citizens arrested on spurious charges, in many places free assembly itself is denied. They call our peaceful protests “riots” – with the one hand raising monuments to celebrate the struggles of our past, and with the other striking us down for daring to voice the struggles of our present.
Rationing and austerity keep us huddled, hungry in the dark, while the Dragon in her palace feasts on our suffering. Efforts to protest these restrictions are met with harsher and harsher laws – but I tell you that these are not laws at all. They are frameworks for crime. Any empire whose laws sanction, rather than control, the evil among its people, is an empire whose hope is lost.
What more must we lose before we speak up against these injustices?
Why can’t we acknowledge what already exists? How many more of us must disappear for us to notice that our sisters and brothers, our neighbours and friends, are dying!
The time for negotiation is past! If we wish to regain our natural born rights as living, sentient people, then we must fight for them!
Every hand, paw and wing is needed. Join us!

– one of a number of pamphlets illegally distributed in the inner city, Age of Marnys the Kind 498