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Thursday, November 12

Isles of the Damned: Part 2b – The Boneshaper’s Throne

The corridor extended straight for about thirty feet, then curved to the left, sloping gently upward. The corridor, like the rest of the Skull, was smooth white ceramic, with just enough flat space down the middle of the floor for easy walking.

“Hear that?” asked Vlad.

Kham nodded. It was strange, atonal music.

After another hundred feet, the corridor curved again to the left, becoming a walkway. As the corridor bent, the wall fell away and they found themselves on a gangplank overlooking a vast atrium bathed in crimson light—from the round ruby windows.

“That light is from the Skull’s eyes,” said Beldin.

Small crowds milled around the floor of the atrium, which was dominated by a revolving statue of a massive, ornate sculpture of a pistol. The gun, at least thirty feet high, appeared to be the source of the music. Dissonant notes echoed through the high-ceilinged chamber.

Kham slapped his forehead. “I really hope that’s not the artifact. Because I don’t think I can carry that.”

They kept walking, peering into each room. One room was a nursery, with cradle upon cradle filled with babies. Two of the metal things patrolled the aisles, attending to the crying infants.

“What kind of place is this?” asked Beldin, horrified.

“According to von Grebel, it’s where Zoltan Zaska raises his clones.” Sebastian nodded towards a painting hanging on the wall of the room. It was of Zoltan, who somehow managed to look both roguish and beatific, cradling a child in his arms.

“They seem well taken care of,” said Vlad.

Indeed, the strange skeletons were surprisingly gentle with the babies, picking them up and rocking them to sleep, feeding them milk from a beaker, and adjusting their covers.

“This place creeps me out,” said Kham. “Let’s get the Leviathan Pistol from this psycho and get out of here.” more


posted by Michael Tresca at 8:35 AM

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