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October 2017 · Fabled Hearts

October 2017

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2017.

This is the final update of this serial, the first part is HERE

Chapter 60: When the exception rules

Serpents are evil.

Isn’t this something everyone knows?

It is in the nature of a serpent to lie, to cheat, to swallow whole.

Unicorns are good.

Isn’t this something everyone knows?

It is in the nature of a unicorn to heal, to reveal truth, to sanctify.

Phoenixes are undying.

Isn’t this something everyone knows?

It is in the nature of a phoenix to burn, to revive, to burn, to revive, to burn, to revive…


A serpent can be good, a unicorn profane and a phoenix can truly die, ashes never more to rise.

Some would say then that there is no absolutes, that all things can be as other things. Some would say the absolute is that all of them die. Some that all of them live.

Yet, when does the exception ever overtake the rule?

White serpents, as a rule, have great healing properties, thus, they become a symbol of medicine in many worlds.

Unicorns, as a rule, have great healing properties, thus, they become a symbol of medicine in many worlds.

Phoenixes, as a rule, have great healing properties, thus they become a symbol of medicine in many worlds.

If all three would cry over your broken body, your scattered spirit, your ruined Record, would having experienced true death, would you experience true resurrection?

“The tears would need to be willing, and when has any serpent, virtuous or not ever cried for anyone?”

How many phoenixes, unicorns and white serpents would you deceive, how many would you lead to a path of sorrows, just to see the answer? Or perhaps if one’s heart is not so twisted, wandering the dimensions until you see such a sight would more… palatable.

Warping flesh and spirit, there would surely be some who would do such a thing to those three unfortunate beings. Would the tears of such a mockery bring anything other than vengeance? Than retributive plague?

How could monstrous deeds ever lead to true resurrection?

Despair and desperation, those ancient serpents devour many who seek Miracle.

An old question of Doctors and many else;

“What does it mean to save a life?”

Much later, an arrogant and unwilling genius wondered if such a thing was even possible.

As if limited could decide the limits of possibility. Such is often a snare ’round the neck of those burdened with talent.

Doctor Bones once more could see and and think. Once more he had returned from what many consider a little death.

“Isn’t losing consciousness very bad for undead, Doctor?” Miss Fern asked with no small amount of worry.

Indeed, undead shouldn’t be able to fall unconscious at all. Restless dead and all that.

-Isn’t it safe to assume I’m quite irregular? Ugh, how am I back in the coffin? This is the coffin isn’t it?-

Doctor Bones looked around and sure enough, he was in the control room of the coffin, the rocks were occupying the throne of operations and bickering nervously about something or another. On the mirrorscreen was the view outside the coffin.

A great flower of many colours, not yet bloomed, the petals pierced into the very space of Necrobyssal and surrounding this flower were brambles arranged as if the flower was a jewel, and the brambles a crown. It did not rest in the rotted detritus of Necrobyssal, but was ascending as if to pierce through the layer it was in, as if it hell a unyielding will and burning desire to escape the dimension of final ends.

Such vigour, such life it had that the very nature of Necrobyssal was rejecting it, that the unfortunate oncedead could not approach it.

Doctor Bones was silent.

“You were spat out like a bolt, the rocks just managed to catch you before anything dreadful happened to you. There… there was a lot of death essences clinging to you, real nasty ones, I cleared them all off, the knowledge you gave me…” Miss Fern trailed off, seeing that her babbling was failing to distract Doctor Bones.

A low sound like the creak of an ancient mausoleum resounded in the room, startling the rocks and Miss Fern. It was a sigh from the dead, from Doctor Bones.

-Ah, so it was a failure- he stated, falling to the silence of the grave once more.

Heavy did this silence weigh on Doctor Bones’ companions. Several times, Miss Fern attempted to say something, but the words died before they could even come close to her mouth. As for the rocks, even beings as dense as they did not dare speak up in such heavy matters. Doctor Bones stared at the flower, the many coloured light, the light of dimensions flickering across his skull from the mirrorscreen.

-It is a beautiful flower though- he said sadly.

Even a ruined city can hold beauty, how much more can it be said that a flower can hold such? The life of flowers often hold death. If nothing else, no matter how beautiful a flower is, are many not composed of deadly poison.

Images of life and death.

Miss Fern perhaps for the first time in her life as a potted plant, felt a crushing sense of inadequacy.

For a moment, Doctor Bones felt he was on the verge of understanding something, but sorrow shrouded his mind, and the thought faded away, as the Record of the patient had faded.

-We should watch it bloom, we owe the patient that much at least… yes… we’ll leave after it blooms fully- Doctor Bones said.

With a pain that pierced into her very spirit, Miss Fern nodded. The rocks grew utterly still.

The petals of the corpseflower slowly unfurled, coming to full bloom, shining a light like that of dawn, but cast through a rainbow. The centre of the flower could not be seen for this blinding light. As Doctor Bones was about to command the rocks to depart… something unexpected happened.

At the peak of its blossoming, the tips of the corpseflower turned a mottled brown. Rapidly the rest of the plant withered right down to its brambles and roots. Even as this happened before shocked gazes, the light that had been in the centre of the blossom ascended further, this light parted forming a halo of petals.

Nestled within the core of the halo… was…

Another flower bud.

-Impossible- Doctor Bones spluttered.

“What is… am I seeing things, is that really?” Miss Fern trailed off.

-Eh? It shouldn’t do that?-

-You mean this isn’t regular-


-Oh quit it already, it isn’t spooky at all!-

The rocks began to squabble.

Doctor Bones was standing up straight not a bit of his earlier gloom present.

-A second blooming, a flower consuming flower! It should not happen-

He said this, but what really had him shaken was the familiarity that the second flower gave him. Gleaming petals that were more like carapace than vegetable matter, petals that radiated a will of survival! It was as if he was seeing the patient’s Record hale and hearty in the form of a flower.

-I saw his Record vanish. I saw his true death didn’t I?-

-Maybe you mistook what you saw?- a rock doubted.

“Or perhaps we are going to see the magic of Miracle!” Miss Fern wondered, eyes sparkling.

-Mysterious, mysterious- a rock muttered.

-I… can this really be?- Doctor Bones said.

-Look! the new flower is blossoming!-

-It better not be something ghastly-

-How could you even say that?-

-You’ve doomed us all!-

“Shush!” Miss Fern hissed.

There was no blinding light within the new flowerbud, instead as it blossomed, what became clear was the shadow of a figure, knees to chest, like a baby sleeping in its mother’s womb. The petals began to pulsate with the breaths of this figure. A man of brambles and flowers, a man with a mask of carapace for a face, with little features other than two vertical lines that went from crown to chin. Amid a mane of fruits, horns like that of some manner of beetle sprouted forth nobly.

A flicker of red gold in the two deep lines on the beings face and it was clear that the lines served as eyes.

A long breath was exhaled by this being, sending out a black fog, a mess of necrotic energies, clearly the being had just expelled the last of the shadow of death from itself. Doctor Bones was gobsmacked as with his eyes he could tell that the being before them was not undead.

Then, a rumbling cry of triumph came from the flower-man and he stretched out his limbs wide, the petals and halo of petals resting at his feet.

“Praise be to the Salmon of Sacrifice! Glorious life from death!”

After that, it was as if he thrown from a slingshot, Necrobyssal itself was rejecting the presence of one filled with so much life. The undead had quailed at his cries

Doctor Bones stood there in abject shock.

What Salmon? What Sacrifice?

-What does an engimatic dimensional deity have to do with…-

He did not want to complete the thought, but had a faint feeling of having been played with.

-Well, that was something else- one of the rocks said.

However as it said that, a supreme presence made itself known inside the coffin, it was the shadow of the flower man! He looked kindly at Doctor Bones and all present.

“Do not think your efforts have gone unnoticed, I thank you, Last Doctor of Latent Corpentsis, here, take this…”

A shining flower within which was the emblem of a fish that was an eye sprouted in the palm of the flower-man’s hand.

“Bearing this, you have my and my Master’s favour, when you have most need, surely you will be delivered, if not by my hand, then by another. Take hope, rest not in your search for true, Last Doctor of Latent Corpentsis”

The shadow broke away into petals and those vanished leaving behind the floating favour.

Doctor Bones was not one to reject such things an grasped it, a feeling of peaced washed over him for a moment, but he just felt it was relief.

-Well, that was really something else- the same rock as the previous occasion said.

“It was Miracle! I’ve seen the third magic!” Miss Fern exclaimed, eyes sparkling.

-Well, I’m not sure you could call it a miracle that the patient managed to devour the corpseflower and revive. I must have been seeing things before-

-We finally leaving this deadend place Director?-

-Please say yes-

-We should leave even if he doesn’t say yes-

Doctor Bones almost laughed.

-Yes, we’ll leave, after all, we’ve done our job here-

So, under the gazes of those at the limits of limits, the coffin left just as the flower-man had left.

Miss Fern did not say so to Doctor Bones, but she still believed that she had witnessed the Third Magic.

That she had seen a Miracle.

Epilogue: The Last Doctor of Latent Corpentsis

Doctor Bones had two objects in his hands. One was the sugar cube from the Great Sugar Draggy, the other was the emblem of the mysterious flower-man who had dimensions within his body and as he knew now, served a being even more inscrutable than himself.


It wasn’t uncommon for healers to receive favours, indeed, some when healed would pledge their lives to the healer. Many believe that it is the natural order for one healed to serve their healer.


Latent Corpentsis must surely have gained the favour of many beings, of many organizations.

-I’ve received more of the beginning of answers than answers themselves- Doctor Bones mused.

How exactly was Latent Corpentsis reduced to a single undead member with sealed memories?

“Doctor, where do we go now?” Miss Fern asked.

Doctor Bones stroked his fleshless chin.

“It may be time to go to dimensional hubworld”

“Aye, Aye Director!”

“He’s actually a doctor and not a pirate though…”

This is a serial, first part HERE

Chapter 59: That which Devours, that which is devoured

It’s a common way of analysis, though not that many can do it. Destroy with as many different methods and reform after each one. Not a bad way to understand the nature of something. The more ways that you can destroy a thing and the longer you can renew it without deviation, the better your information will be. Naturally such a method is basically brute force analysis, and as with the majority of dimensional doctor techniques one that can be used for ends other than healing.

As for the Healer’s Wheel of Trials, Logriva, it is quite a popular construct among magical doctors, though many lack the ability to bring out the full potential of the spell. Indeed in the many dimensions that exist there are a multitude of variants, offshoots and stunted descendants of the spell.

As soon as the restoration of the severed maw was beginning to result in distortions Doctor Bones had Logriva annihilate the sample. As the magical construct faded away he stared at the brambleroot frozen in time on the Record.

-Separation will fail. Reversal is the only path left. Wither the brambles, bloom the Record-

Doctor Bones stroked the Record gently, some ancient Law passing from his fingertips.

-Stir the essence of hunger, the base of survival is good material, remember, the most common among beings for survival is to consume others-

The patient’s record shuddered and then it split open like a flower, but the petals of this wrapped around the rambleroots, and a most disconcerting sound of eating began. Doctor Bones nodded along with the crunching and wet slobbering, never once stopping his manipulation of the Record.

Yet… the rate of consumption slowed, and Doctor Bones pulled back, stopping what he was doing, the Record continued for a time before returning to normal.

-Too weak to eat fast enough to outpace the brambles, and I can hardly keep injecting time poison into the bramble-

After all, if he over dosed it, the corpseflower would die, and with it, the patient.

-Could it be strengthened?-

Doctor Bones shook his head.

-Your strong will has kept you alive, but with how much of your will is inside the corpseflower, keeping it from blooming, you’ve little left for yourself.-

He sat down, knuckles against skull as he considered the options left for treatment. There was a click of bone as he snapped his fingers mere moments later.

-Not enough strength to devour, so instead of the brambles, force the blooming, and have the Record steal the fruits of the corpseflower’s labours, to renew itself even as it dies.-

He looked on with doubt at the brambleroot and the Record.

-I’ll force it to bloom here. That’ll weaken its advance, and hopefully give my patient enough time…-

Tapping the root, he considered how best to force a blooming within the clinic. After some consideration, he pulled out a blue crystal fork with two needle-like prongs.

An instrumental. An artefact to supplant the intentions of any being. Though technically it did nothing to the mind. Instead it would dominate the flesh, physical or spiritual, of the patient. Doctor Bones did not however instantly jab the instrumental in. Instead he touched the Record once more, trying to communicate his plan to the owner of the Record.

After all, without the patient drawing back their indomitable will, the corpseflower wasn’t going to bloom any time soon.

Doubt, yet resigned acquiescence. Those were the feelings Doctor Bones received.

He was feeling much of those himself.

Still, he had gotten agreement. All that was left was to gamble on the edge of life and death, to try and grasp life from the jaws of death.

Calming himself, Doctor Bones jabbed the instrumental into the corpseflower as the effects of the time poison were beginning to fade.

It shrieked, at first in pain, then in joy.

So long restricted from blooming, what had stood in its way no longer was there. The plant didn’t even notice that the bud that it was excitedly forming was on its very root! Far outside the undead that had been feeding on the vigorous life of the brambles cried out in dismay as the plant began to wither from the outside in.

Before the bud began to bloom, Doctor Bones grabbed the Record and thrust it at the bud.

-Now, fight once more for survival!-

Unfurling into a flower-maw the Record savaged the new bud! Yet even as it did so the bud grew and began to bloom. The brambleroot twitched as it drew more and more life and will from the brambles and forced it into the bud. It even more savagely resumed eating the core itself! Yet just as it was replenishing its bud with life and will, the core was being restored by that same life and will.

Doctor Bones was not idle, as he delayed the bramble root with the instrumental and even dosed the corpseflower with more time poison, reaching the limits of what was safe.

The instrumental cracked and broke, the vigour of the corpseflower overwhelming it.

Yet, though medicines were out of the question, Doctor Bones had one method left to assist the patient. He jammed his hands right between the root and the Record. He couldn’t of course pull the corpseflower off, but it was enough to pull back on the thing.

It wasn’t much, but it was enough and soon instead of a root extending into the abyss of the Neverwilt the ends of the corpseflower could be seen, but still the corpseflower urged all into the production of the bud which was being devoured by the Record.

Finally with one last bite, the Record had eaten the ends of brambleroot, meeting itself.

The Record of survival shone in the air valiantly.


Doctor Bones had an uneasy feeling. He moved up closer to do a full checkup on the Record, as he did so…

It trembled.

The clinic trembled.

It cracked.

The Record cracked.

Bursting forth from these cracks were thorned brambles, like many serpents hatching from a single edge. The Record faded, vanished, and all that remained…

Before Doctor Bones could do anything else, his vision was filled the brambles of the corpseflower born anew.

All he could hear was the medical space shattering.

This is a serial first part HERE

Chapter 58: Clinical Preparations

-This time… a more delicate touch, setting up a clinic within his spirit, still better to do it from inside…-

Doctor Bones’ eyes flash bright and his horn sang.

-You who are stricken with illness,

I who am endowed with knowledge of ills,

You the patient, I the healer,

Beyond your will, beyond your powers, beyond that which ails you,

Curse upon me, no harm but harm to cure,

I within you,

So reduced, so bound, so empowered,

Till death or cure, never shall I part from within,


Abruptly Doctor Bones was no longer present and the spirit hand he had been hold was once more covered by the brambles. Instead Doctor Bones, conceptually reduced in size hovered before the Record of the mysterious patient.

-No resistance at all, such meticulous planning you have my patient-

Doctor Bones thought of many field clinics that a dimensional doctor could create, but he settled on one in particular. He held out his hands, and between them a ghostly image began to appear as he drew upon the Law within the patient and his affliction.

The image looked suspiciously like a two headed snake skeleton with blades for tongues. Such in the shape of garden shears no less. With a twist of his wrists the clippers chopped down on some unseen thing and like a bad dream the surroundings faded away. Doctor bones was now in a tomb filled with withered flowers. A deep darkness was in all the corners of this tomb, and no light no window was to be seen. The ceiling could not be seen either, naught but a heavy abyss was above.

In the centre of this tomb, upon a bare slab made of what appeared to be snake skeletons was the Record, and growing out from it, the roots of the corpseflower vanishing up into the abyssal ceiling. The Record had a more stable look to it, and the devouring the bramble root was doing had significantly slowed.

Neverwilt Clinic, a sealed space for the treatment of undead afflicted by plants. A surprisingly orthodox medical creation, one that leveraged the nature of the dead against the nature of the living. Though meant to ‘heal’ undead, it was fatal to the living. That the corpseflower didn’t instantly wither was testament to its power.

-That should be a bit better, now I just…-

A rumble. The very essence of the clinic wavered, brambles began to push through the darkness, threatening to tear the clinical space apart!

-This!? Neverwilt Clinic has been used before? However…-

The clippers manifested in Doctor Bones’ hands again.

-I am not some desperate novice! I AM THE LAST DOCTOR OF LATENT CORPENTSIS-

The two headed snake clippers flashed wildly driving the encroaching brambles back! Everything stabilized. Yet just as Doctor Bones was about to start, the very root itself trembled and a briar growling shot out at Doctor Bones, intending to eat him whole! Before Doctor Bones could react it was already upon him, There was a ghastly crunch as it came up against his medical barrier and cracks even started to form on the light projected from the horn.

Smoke poured from the maw and it continually broke down as it tried to eat him, yet even as that happened it reformed. It was clear that left unattended it would break the light of the horn by sheer persistence!

Now, Doctor Bones wasn’t just going to stand around waiting to get eaten! He pulled out a syringe! It was a golden one, vaguely in the shape of an hourglass.

-I’m sure all kinds of sedatives have been used on you, so take this!-

A question, when all other poisons fail, and one cannot send something to sleep, how then do you deal with it?

The answer is within Doctor Bones’ syringe.

A kind of time poison.

As soon as it was injected, the brambleroot froze. A little bit shaken Doctor Bones disentangled himself from the impromptu mouth. The clippers appeared and chopped the mouth from the main body. After making sure the give an extra dose to the main root of course.

-This looks like a big enough sample to test- Doctor Bones mused.

-Form, O seal of time and destruction. Tear and build anew, reveal the secrets before me through your cycles. Form, Healer’s Wheel of Trials Logriva-

A wheel of white metal, with eyes of blue gems slowly appeared like a drop of water appearing. The severed bramblemaw floated up above it and the wheel, laying flat began to rotate. At first you could see the wheel turn red and the gems shoot flame, destroying the maw, then reforming the maw, but as the wheel began to break down the bramblemaw in different ways it span faster and faster, until all that could be seen was a spacial distortion.

Doctor Bones could however follow it with his medical sight.

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