Book Three: Slouching Towards Eudaemonia
CHAPTER FIVE: Fear & Justice

Moradina Mentesularday

Tallim's Tale

As she helps the Companions battle back wave after wave of St. Cuthbert's Fear (creatures called actually called "fihyr"), keeping them clear from the gate, Tallim shouts out to them as much as she has learned...

• “It was the beggar, Nimbus, they wanted. I was the bait! They’re obsessed with destroying the Inbetween Men and they think he is the key!”

• “There are mercenaries, hired by my brother (DM - Magnus Mór). I can’t go through, but I thought if I lead Cuthbert’s fihyr here, they could…”

• “Make for the Sand Barge Portal! A Moreau Cainen, Ezh-ire (Yithic, literally: “Not Beast”), is my friend. He will help you to find my body. Beware, there is a Thala-mourne on board!”

• “I was bait – it was the beggar, Nimbus, they wanted. It has something to do with the Inbetween Men and the god, St. Cuthbert whom I keep seeing in these halls. When they learned Nimbus had died, they decided to banish me unto the One. They were taking me to the Pillars to do just that.”

• “They took me to a provincial capital then to Eudaemonia. Being a woman, I was an inconvenient hostage. All women in this gods-fucked land are held in the capitals.”

• “They’ve kept me addled with Dream the entire journey. Sometimes I would be able to hear them, voices in my head that echoed through these halls, from the Order, talking around me. I could hear them there as I wandered the labyrinth here. St. Cuthbert wanders these halls, always surrounded by wave after crashing wave of those creatures, his fihyr. I always held out hope that I might find you all again.”

• “I learned to avoid Cuthbert and the tentacled mass (as well as other hazards). Part of learning to do that was discovering how to attract their attention.”

• “I had heard bells when I originally crossed over here. Seven distinct notes. With some experimentation with the melody on my lute I managed to break through and to speak to those on the other side. I revealed myself to Ezh-ire, having learned his secret.”

• “Under certain circumstances, the notes may open a path to the Cradle of Creation. They are related, somehow, to the Inbetween Men.”

• “St. Cuthbert always finds that same portal wherever he goes, but then never seems to know what to do when he is there. The fihyr always find him and I always flee while he fights them off. I brought them here in the hopes they’d all follow me through the portal and help Ezh-ire and I to escape. He says that we are not far from the coast.”

As Thalazzar leaves, he promises to find her body on the other side of the portal. Tallim responds simply, "Get me out of here."

As Frankie, the last of the Companions to enter the portal, pauses, Tallim, now flying under the power of spell she has cast, floats upward. She moves out of the undulating chamber of writhing tentacles. As she leaves through one of the corridors above, the mass of creatures forms into two great arms and a wide mouthed face that rises up to consume her only to fall back upon itself again.

The God & the Grey

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