From The Jackals To The Shepherds 15: Three of Diamonds


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Battlebards Tracks used:

Elven Dirge – Farewell – Score Music – Philippe Payet

Heavenly Plane – Caelum – Score Music – Ian Fisher


For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. But now, we’ve driven them off, and we have this – a year of relative peace. In this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

A week has passed.

Summer joy delights the community. Breathless we fling ourselves upon windy hills, laugh in the sun, and kiss one another amidst the lovely grass. They say a kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years and nowhere more is this true than the home of Clovis and Figueroa. Despite their considerable age, the two husbands frolic as much as they can, arthritis and asthma be damned. Each kiss they share rejuvenates their elderly bones.

In the farming fields, Llyana and Eileen share kisses as well, the artist and the farmer each teaching the other their craft. As Llyana sketches crudely in the sandy soil of the fields, Eileen guides xer hand. Likewise, as Eileen struggles to plow through the harsh earth Llyana is there to offer xer shoulder for strength.

As Micah, Reese, Clem, and Giuseppe all share romantic looks over a picnic lain over the dried river bank, the summer birds chirp in the sun. Reese, a lanky nurse pulls their hair back to reveal a tattoo of a fox on their shoulder. Clem pulls back their thin hair and pulls a bottle of wine from a basket. Guiseppe pulls a small block of cheese.

But in the river swims she who swam before rivers were begun. Immense, of fishy form and mind, squamous & omnipotent, but far from kind. As the Monster churns the bottom of the river, mud into mud, death eddies here.

We toil to open the hole in the roots far from the river’s shore. In that rich earth, a richer dust concealed. As we dig it away we sharpen blades. Few of us share the bloodlust but those who do commit themselves. Time enough has passed so that dreams of Jackals now are rare and hot blood stirs even hotter in summer air.

Someone raises caution and cites the story from the metal plates but we don’t care. We are here to explore these caves and root out the Creature within, if it even exists at all. Watching the bravado from their shack, Yuen and Ezekiel quietly remember the glint of eerie blue light on scales. The children watch the glint of moonlight now on swords waving as we engage in drills. By next week when the tunnel is widened we will have trained together as a group and be ready for the worst. We think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by community given. Our sights and sounds; dreams happy as our days; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness In hearts at peace, under a forest heaven.

A second project starts this week as well. A long project, taken at a leisurely pace. Six weeks we will spend, on a large statue in the town center, a scale model of our old city’s most impressive building, a skyscraper that once literally scraped the sky. When our model is complete it will stand just slightly taller than us. Eileen oversees the project, with a tug at her heart as she looks to the field where Llyana works out of earshot and too far away to talk to. The project is the first one we’ve started without a utilitarian goal.

And a week passes.

Thank you for joining us for the fifteenth episode of From The Jackals To The Shepherds. If you like this show please give us a rating on iTunes, tell a friend, or share us on social media. As always the intro for the show was read by Dave Lapru, who is also our mapkeeper. You can find Dave on twitter at plantbird, and I’m at leviathan files. Please consider supporting the show on Patreon at patreon dot com slash Riverhouse Games. Music for this episode was provided by Battlebards dot com. Until next week, I hope your week goes well.

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