In part six of this diary, Alice chose a side in the conflict between Mania and Dementia that divides the Shivering Isles. She plumped for Mania, siding with the Golden Saints in their battle with the Dark Seducers because, honestly, look at those names. Then Alice became Duchess of Mania by poisoning the previous regent – having already poisoned the Gatekeeper to gain entrance to the Isles. A theme is developing.
Murdering the Gatekeeper giant seemed like a good idea at the time, but that was a time when the Shivering Isles weren’t being threatened by the chessboard dirtbags of the Knights of Order. Now Alice has had to befriend a witch named Relmyna so that she can assemble a replacement ogre to guard the gates. Apparently, once you’ve got the right parts building a giant is a simple matter of connecting tab A to slot B. Here’s Alice trying to choose which limbs to attach to her homebrew monster.
And I thought the Dark Seducers would live somewhere bright and cheerful.
The surviving Mazken explain that Syl, Duchess of Dementia-in-exile, led the Knights of Order in their attack. Which is why they’ve turned to Alice, Duchess of Mania, for help even though I sided with their enemies as recently as yesterday. We’re all friends now, though, so Alice leads a party of Mazken into the depths to take the place back. As soon as we enter, the Mazken all collapse in an inert heap. The forces of Order have sealed the Wellspring shut, cutting them off from their lifesource.
They’re useless now, but they’ll make lovely ornaments.
Without the armoured Mazken clanking around making a racket, Alice sneaks through the darkness towards the Wellspring. It’s been covered by a crystalline structure, like the obelisks the Knights of Order use. Being crystal it’s susceptible to vibrations, such as might be caused by smacking sam hell out of the ruddy great bells the Mazken use to call their sisters home down the Oblivion River.
The bells ring, the crystal shatters, the Mazken come flowing out of the Wellspring and drive the knights out of Pinnacle Rock once more.
As a reward for returning them to their unnaturally prolonged heathen existence, they give Duchess Alice a suit of their armour. It’s not really her look.
No room! At least, not for more wine. The bottles keep falling over.
We have invited all of the guests. What we have forgotten is the way summoning magic works. Alice can only summon one friend at a time. Two if you count Haskill.
It’s my party and I will cry if I want to.
At least Sheogorath will be entertaining. He’s always got some zany rambling to liven things up with. Let’s visit the throne room and see what he’s got to say today.
Sheogorath has a great fall, and vanishes in a puff of cold logic. He’s gone, and somewhere Jyggalag is made manifest. Damn the forces of order for being organised ahead of schedule while the forces of whimsy are faffing about, um, throwing tea parties. The Greymarch has begun and soon the Isles will be as clean and lifeless as a funeral parlour.
Cheer us up, Haskill.
On the way to Knifepoint Hollow, we find a familiar landmark. Something we perhaps saw in a dream. This is where those who offended Sheogorath used to end up, after being dropped from a great height. One of the punished here has an execution warrant on his body – let’s see what heinous crime he committed.
“Attempting the growth of a beard.”
I miss your craziness already, Sheogorath.
In part eight Alice will visit scenic Knifepoint Hollow, have an encounter with a looking-glass, and find another excuse to change clothes.
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