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Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Gathering Dark - Chapter 7

The Rag Man.

Chapter 7 - The Drowned Mage

What we call the history of the world is usually the human history of the world. In our pride and arrogance we assume that ours is the only tale worth telling. In doing so we ignore the heritages of the elves, the minotaurs, the merfolk , and yes, even the goblins. Who knows what kingdoms arose and fell among the merfolk during the Dark, or what dark pacts the elves made for their own survival. The history books, the human history books, are mute on the subject, save where their stories cross our own.

-Arkol, Argivian scholar

On an empty beach at sunset, the Rag Man waits.

The wind blows fierce enough that had he had eyes, he would be blinded. Instead he stands and waits. He waits until figures emerge from the beach. Merfolk.

Some stay at the water's edge, but one crawls up the beach and stands at full height as she reaches the inhuman, cloaked figure. She is quite animated as she speaks, and the Rag Man just nods and points to the bundle wrapped in kelp that they've brought with them.

The merfolk leader signals to her people, and they unwrap the package to reveal the body of a young man. She strikes the body in the ribs, and water spews from his mouth and he begins coughing. In response, the Rag Man nods and hands over a coral helm that he pulls from his satchel.

The merfolk leader says one last thing in her throaty language, the Rag Man nods one last time, and then all the merfolk retreat back to the sea.

The Rag Man builds up a fire by first pulling out one his own ribs and using it to cast a magical spell. He sets the unconsicous young man by the fire, but then steps away and keeps watch from fifty feet away.

Then the Rag Man waits.

* * *


Looks like the Rag Man is going to start taking up some more screen time. Time for some face to face interaction with Jodah and his guardian angel.

FYI - Dialogue

Yes this was a short chapter, and yes there was no actual dialogue in it. The chapter was only described in terms of tone and posture as a way to maintain the feeling primed by Arkol's journal entry, and how little is known of non-human part of all these events.

Drowned... and Other Cards

I would love to see the appearance of a Leviathan , Ghost Ship , and the Sunken City . But I'm not keeping my hopes up. Even though the book was written well after The Dark was released so Grubb had access to all the cards to help frame the story, there's only so much than can be crammed in without having the story feel like it's trying too hard. My guess is that while not a direct representation of the card Drowned , this chapter was at least inspired by the card title.


I do like how this chapter show the merfolk attack wasn't included just for the sake of including them as an environmental hazard. It looks like the Rag Man intentionally sent them to attack the ship to either keep Jodah away from Sima and the City of Shadows, or because Jodah was straying too far from the path that the Rag Man needs him to take to fulfill his obligations to Lord Ith.

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