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[TC] The Public Burning of Minister Johnanthan Somerset

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The foulest thing about a burning body is the vile miasma of stench that festoons it. It’s the kind of wreathing odor a person can’t escape from, no mater how fast their rabbit-heart thumps nor how hurriedly they run from the godless scene. It glides into the nostrils, and makes a home there; just at the back of the throat so every breath is a scorched suckling of seared flesh, charred bone, singed hair, and thick black smoke. It saturates the clothing until a person reeks with it, the foul perfume clings to the skin of the living, and perfumes itself into their very pores to serve as a startling reminder—life is transient and no one is safe from the inferno.

It was the charred smoke that would caution the citizens first, if not the herald of screaming echoing from beneath the tunnel that separates the Eastern and Western Commons. It was a sickly sound, wet and dark, reverberated against that stone aperture. Thick abyssal coils of smoke spat from the staked body, twisting into the air in thick black plumes, winding evidence of a most cruel fate plastered against the heavens. Likewise, the flames sought to chase it, enriched by the oxygen, and stoked until the man’s body was consumed until only haphazard bits of flesh, boiled over blood, smears of liquefied fat that burned so hot it evaporated, and black-scorched muscle and bone remained.

He’d been tied to the stake, this pour soul, burned alive, and littered about him were the unburned manifestations of his senses—two ears that had been cleaved from his skull, two eyes pried from their glossy crimson sockets, and one tongue ripped from the now gaping hollow of his mouth.

Smeared against the wall in black paint as dark as the pitch of his desiccated husk.

“Here burns Johnathan Somerset. This is what the people think of the ‘people’s’ Ministry. Long live the Queen.”
Posted Sep 23, 14 · OP · Last edited Sep 23, 14
It was the sight of men in black coats that surrounded the scene of something so gruesome for the eyes of a rather honest city-folk. Curious children and nosy maids were pushed away and sent off, ridding the crime scene of their bothersome presence. A deacon wearing the mask of a bone-beast knelt near the form, his spindly fingers examining every orifice of the burnt corpse as two Ministry Guard reluctantly stood near his side.

It wasn't until the approach of the Ministry Guard Commander that a nervous shuffling of jackboots on the cobblestone broke an eerie silence about the grounds. A red, charred ribbon and ring were placed in the hands of the gothic woman.

She stared at the ornaments of the deceased for a moment before closing her eyes, inhaling sharply.

"Send word to Lady Somerset. Take that note, it comes with us."
I fall asleep, I fall asleep.
Because you are, the death of me.
Posted Sep 23, 14
Correspondence between Gillian Somerset and Mouna Kazmi
Posted Sep 23, 14
The putrid scent of scorched flesh caught the attention of the Mesmer that had been walking towards the Western Commons, hoping to get to the Busted Flagon. The woman paused in her stride, horrified gaze turned towards the clouds of smoke rising. Curious still, Ifetayo hid behind one of the tented stalls, enshrouding herself in an illusion cast to match that of a cat so as to be able to get close enough to see the body.

The feline walked past, catching the authoritative exchange between the Ministry Guard Commander and others, before ambling away. Safely far from the scene, the cat picked up her pace, rushing to get to her lady love to see that she was safe, and to inform her, unlike the Minister that had been burned.
Posted Sep 23, 14


Hands shoved into the pockets of his plain dark coat, Alurien tore his attention away from the now-infamous well to regard an approaching Seraph. He was a ranger, by the looks of him, in gold and off-silver leathers with a bow and quiver strapped to his back. The lad's expression was one of anxiety, but Alurien took it as something to do with how roughly he had shoved his Shining Blade at the younger man only an hour before -- not as a reaction to the folded paper was holding out to the Agent. It looked like it was ready to slip away in the breeze that swept across the fields surrounding the Terrace.

"What is it?" The Seraph didn't respond -- only held out the pale parchment and cast his eyes elsewhere. It wasn't an out of place look -- earlier, citizens had hurled ugly remarks at the local Seraph for the death of Zervas. Perhaps this one was taking it particularly hard. Snatching the paper way, he unfolded it and turned away, walking towards the blocked off well. There were all sorts of guards in place now, as though the killer might return at any moment to hang another victim.

But instead of getting some much needed information about the man (or even Ratta, for that matter), Alurien's eyes fell to the inked words: MINISTER SOMERSET MURDERED IN THE REACH. ROYALIST WORK.

His gaze snapped back up to the well and his hand tightened on the letter. Royalist work.
Posted Sep 23, 14
Kingston Psalms looked down 'pon the wretched, thrice-gutted thing before him, a royalist informant by trade with lacerations driven deep along the ambit of his throat and another cut through his gut where his bowels had spewed out eagerly. The bloodied and maimed thing might have wept before death, but now he was drenched in the miasma and sheen of alcohol, the bottle now discarded on the ground beside him.

He was silent for several moments, regarding the carcass indifferently with that lonesome eye, bereft of brother. His mask was drawn enough away, couched about his throat, as to draw heavily on the cigarette hanging limpwise between his lips. He couldn't help but think of the Somerset boy out in Shaemoor, his body found brutalized, just as this man would soon be; the victim of a royalist dog, selfsame in zeal and trade and yet opposing in ideology.

“I can see you will make me work harder then, boy. I've been doing this for a long time and I won't let you win.” He said this to no one in particular and then he turned his attention back down to the man below him. He lowered to rest on his haunches like he were sharing something confidential with a friend. An eye flickered across the informant's dead and horrified features and Kingston breathed in smoke and breathed it out, and it wrought the whole of their small world, that derelict little alleyway, with dragon's breath. When he spoke again, there were yet notes of remorse woven into the words.

“Forgive me, brother, you've done only what you know to do. It is not your fault that you loved the whore. She will get hers too; no one but the gods are forever. May Grenth take you on the other side of the river, for Balthazar has no need of you any longer.” With that, he plucked the gasper from his lips and sent it a-skelter over the man's body, where the embers caught with the whiskey which in turn caught with the body and the victim began to burn. He rose casually back to his feet, his tackety boots scraping noisily along the cobbled sprawl to wipe whatever might be on the sole off before he glanced around furtively.

With care and great tact, Psalms undid the fiddle that hung loosely about his back, an antediluvian species that seemed stolen forth and ramshackle from times of yore and he brought it into proper posture and positioning and straightened himself respectfully. “But first, a song to see you off, brother. Keep thine heart full. No jig will be heard today, enjoy the dirge.”

And then he began playing, and when he was done he left with nary another word.
"Always be a poet, even in prose." -Charles Baudelaire

Oh, the Devil | The Boy Who Would Be A Knight | Barber Surgeon

Separatist Priest/Murderer | Slumdog Politician
Posted Sep 24, 14 · Last edited Sep 24, 14
"M'lady, this is no scene a gentlewoman like yourself should-"

"Nonsense, let me by." Jane said as she pushed the Seraph aside, clad in her business attire with the Priory insignia pinned to her ascot. She was drawn to whatever was causing the scene like someone in a horror novel, following the danger though she knew not what she'd have to see. Before long she approached the scene, handkerchief clasped over her nose and mouth as her eyes widened in abject horror.

"Lyssa's Mirror..." she mumbled, her face paling as she saw the remains of the man burnt to cinders, his skeletal head raised to the heavens in a sort of plea to Dwayna for mercy. What's worse is that deaths like this meant to send a message were not new to her. Just earlier this week she had almost been the victim of one of these selfsame messages, a Separatist poised with a gun at her head. Luckily he didn't know she was a mesmer, and it had saved her life.

Nothing saved Minister Somerset, however. She stood there, eyes watching the body burn until the authorities escorted her away from the scene. She walked away with nary a tear in her eye, cursing her lack of pity for this man's survivors because she had been desensitized to it. Also, the message scrawled in black on the wall set her mind to thinking.


"Oh hells." Egan Shinnick said as he followed his nose to the scene, cigarette stuck out of the corner of his mouth. He stood on his tiptoes to catch what the smoke was coming from and, when he saw the skull with gristle and muscle attached to it like a minion he had summoned earlier, his eyes widened in interest.

"Damn. What happened?" A voice sounded as Egan's friend Roland came up next to him, leaning in and giving Egan a kiss on the cheek. Egan shrugged, exhaling twin plumes of smoke from his nostrils. "Some blue-blood got his ass burnt."

Walking around the small crowd, Roland pointed out the message on the wall. "Holy hells man, check that out." Egan read the writing and grimaced, taking another drag. "You can't read, Roland, how do you know that's important?"

"It's written next to a dead guy, it's gotta be." Roland quipped back. "What's it say?"

"Here burns Johnathan Somerset. This is what the people think of the ‘people’s’ Ministry. Long live the Queen.” Egan recited, looking over at his friend as his face twisted in distaste and apprehension.

A long pause. "...Politics, man." Roland said after a while as he shook his head, chuckling. "You gettin' with that blonde-haired minister-candidate today? Or is he still reeling from the drugs he stuffs down his gullet?"

Egan slapped the man in the gut, making him quiet himself. "Shut up. That guy's muscle is everywhere and he'll have me hanged or worse if that gets out." He looked around, then at the body as he pondered on the phrase. "Nah, let's just go get a drink tonight."
"First time he kissed me, he but only kissed the fingers of this hand wherewith I write; And, ever since, it grew more clean and white." -Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Posted Sep 24, 14 · Last edited Sep 24, 14
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