Confirmed deaths of entire Longhouse population, up to and including (probable) accidental mass murderess Caris and her pups…anyone remember way back when, where Persephone called her a murderess? Seer powers yo! (Not even I knew it was going to happen back then).
Pili went off to find Cass; Tem was sort of too busy wallowing (and rightly so) to notice, and Cass was def on meltdown mode when he finally caught up with her, and they had them some words.
But then screaming, so fight on hold.
And so it came to pass that Maat I, Queen of Apep, gave a final cry and lost her life…
…even as her son was born into his.
The Warden Kenza turned to him in the madness of grief, bent on exacting justice, though a deep guilt gnawed her soul.
But Corabella, who was herself a new mother, put her body between them.
Corabella: “You will not have him.”
What the Warden saw there, in the eyes of her Amazon Sister, shocked her into lucidity for a moment; the bone-deep ferocity that only a mother can wield.
She would not have him.
Kenza: “It’s father, then.”
Corabella: “I wouldn’t be so sure of that.”
Antonia: “Who are you?”
Cassandra: “I’m Cassie, who are you?”
Antonia: “They call me Antonia, but it’s probably not my real name — are you a vampire?”
Cassandra: “No, but –”
Antonia: “Really? Upstairs? For real?”
Cassie shrugged, the girl seemed pretty excited about the idea, “it’s no big deal — was it you who did the thing with the onions?”
Antonia: “It was my idea, but Wes helped.”
Antonia: “The slave,” her voice was bitter, “is your vampire going to kill the Queen?”
Cassie: “I-I don’t think so — I’m pretty sure she’s his sister…”
They heard a woman’s sharp cry.
Not the Queen.
Antonia: “OMG! You killed Kenza…!”
“…you glorious bastard.”
Cassandra: “Y-you killed that woman?”
Pili held her gaze for a moment, then addressed the other women.
Pili: “Are any of your slaves still alive?”
Corabella: “Yeah, Wes; he’s around here somewhere.”
Pili: “Good, take Cassie and find him,” he told Antonia, “he will know how to build a pyre for my sister; you two will help.”
Antonia: “No problemo.”
Cassie gave the vampire a stricken look, but said nothing more.
Corabella: “And the rest of us, vampire? My son? The Princess Selket?”
Pili: “The Princess will go to my sister at Sima-Mighdall,” he spared a hard glance for Maat’s cooling body, “you, your son, and my nephew will return with me to Osiris; the Prince will need a wetnurse.”
Corabella: “Very well.”
Pili: “After that, you’ll take your spawn and return to Themysimra; you’ll tell them not to send anyone else to interfere in Al Simhara.”
Corabella: “I can tell them, but I can’t guarantee they’ll listen.”
Pili: “Then you’ll tell them why they should.”
Corabella: “And Kenza? Does she get a pyre also?”
Pili: “No. Leave her for the rats.”
Cassandra: “You’re sending me away for good then.”
Corabella, Antonia and Wes were gathering their things and preparing the children for the journeys to Sima-Mighdall and Osiris; Pili had asked Cassandra to stand with him while he watched his sister turn to ash.
Pili: “You’ll like Sima-Mighall, Cass; I grew up there you know, it’s a beautiful place.”
Cassandra: “Yeah, I know, but I still don’t want to go…I’m not mad anymore, I promise, okay? Osiris is where I grew up, it’s the only home I can remember, I’ll miss it, and everyone there!”
Pili: “When Jahi is recovered, and the baby doesn’t need a nurse, I’m going to send them back to Sima-Mighdall too…”
Cassandra: “But not you?”
Pili: “Guarding the tomb of Orsiris is my job, Cass; it’s what my mother wanted.”
Cassandra: “But what about what you want?”
Pili: “What I want? I want you to be safe and happy…”
Cassandra: “Well, what about what I want?”
Pili: “And what’s that?”
Cassandra: “Oh, gee, I dunno, how about to not be shipped off to some strange place that’s not my home? To not have to live with strangers until you decide to send the Scholars away too? To have my best friend back? Even though he’s a pompous ass…”
Pili: “That it?”
Cassandra: “And…and maybe…you know, one day…” she took a step toward him, hand outstretched.
Pili: “Yes, maybe one day.”
Cassandra: “But not today.”
Cassandra: “Not even one, little–”
Cassandra: “But if I go to Sima-Mighdall…?”
Pili: “Go to Sima-Mighdall, Cassie, make friends, grow up, and then, if you still want–”
Cassandra: “Oh yeah, I’m still gonna want.”
Antonia: “So we’re all packed up and ready to go…but, you know, if you two need a minute…”
And so Apep was given back to the desert sands, it’s people scattering away into the night on two different paths.
To Osiris went Pili, carrying the weakened Jahi and accompanied by Artisan Corabella and two baby boys.
To Sima-Mighdall went Cassandra, Antonia, and the Princess Selket, led by the Themysimran slave Wes.
And that would have been all well and good for many years to come.
But what the Shaman Caris had wrought could not so easily be undone. Whether the poison had seeped into the earth and tainted the water, been carried through the air on a breeze, or lurked in the flesh of the people themselves, no one would ever be certain.
A sickness swept through the land of Al Simhara, cleaving through it’s populace like a fine edged scythe…
…and not even the strongest among them was immune.
They felt the shock of it from the lowest slave hovel in Sim Cairo, all the way to the great palace of the Pharaohs, who think themselves gods among men.
None were safe. Many died. Those who did not, awoke to find the world a very different place than they had left it.
And on that potentially devastating, but super vague note, we bring Generation 2 to a close. Did they all die? Maybe. Okay, no, not all of them…but for sure 3 sad kittehs worth.
As for the why of it all, if you care to know what abrupt event led to the shocking derailment of this story feel free to read my short commentary The Lost Tribes.
Generation 3 will be a thing, but not until the end of September or early October.
Gameface Pili: “Sorrynotsorry Kenza, HAPPY SIMMING!“