Content Warning:

General discussion of Catholicism and Christianity throughout, in a perhaps unflattering light. (Heath is a man of the faith, but he has a complicated relationship with it.)

The First Hurt pg. 1 [Soulsong Introduction]

[Long Description: A mesquite bosque surrounds an ephemeral stream, which flows with rainwater. There is, of all things, a ruined cathedral lying in the muddy heart of the riverbed. Its columns are strewn about, as if it had been mistakenly dropped there by god-knows-what.

Two nature spirits, Heath and Senna, investigate the strange ruin. The world only seems to get stranger with each step, the stars shining a little brighter, the wind blowing a little harder. Senna stops at the mouth of the cathedral, urging Heath to press on on his own.]

The First Hurt pg. 1 [Soulsong Introduction]

August 6, 2021

0.

You were always talking about the first hurt.

i.

“This wasn’t here before, right? I’m not losing it?”

Senna crests the banks of the Agua Fria. The mesquites part to reveal the riverbed, a sweeping gully of cobbles and river stones with a tiny stream trickling through them.

Heath follows her eyes until he sees it: An enormous cathedral, plunked square in the muddy river bottom.

“No…” Heath blinks. It’s much too late for this.

“Something wrong?”

Heath gazes on the ruins of the cathedral. His limbs are heavy stones.

“It looks like my old church.”

Senna scrunches her face up, and studies the ruins. They weren’t quarried from the same sunbleached basalt and peachy granite of the dilapidated church—their church. The cathedral’s bricks are cold and finely carved, without any flaws that would suggest a human hand had ever touched them. Stark, uncaring, and out of place, even as they crumble.

“Not really,” Senna decides.

“No, not our church. The one out East.”

“Out East? I thought you grew up here.”

“Yes and no. My family immigrated here when I was a boy. But I moved East for a while to study the Book.”

“You don’t sound happy about that.”

“They weren't happy years, Senna.”

ii.

“There’s something in there. I think you should see for yourself.”

Heath hesitates at the maw of the cathedral. The two columns flanking him put him in the mind of teeth. He never meant to come back here, but it seems this place has ways of finding him.

He steps inside. Senna’s long shadow does not move.

“Are you coming, Senna?”

“No.”

“No?” He blinks. “Are you alright? We could—”

“For your sake, not mine, old man. Go on.”

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Page 1 ◆ Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Read the full Soulsong quest at TWWM!

Senna and Heath find something weird in their haunt. Little do they know they’ve gotten a bit turned around, cosmically speaking. That happens when you’re a ghost.

Event time at Those Who Went Missing is always a joy. I hope I can keep up with this quest! I have thumbnailed probably more panels than I have any business painting, but I am excited to write about Heath (and Senna!) again.

For the Conservatory Event - Soulsong quest. Prompt is Introduction [Temple of Silence].

AP Breakdown

Panel 1

Base Score: 10 AP (Shaded Illustration)
+5 AP (Full Body)
+20 AP (Full/Scenic Background)
+20 AP (Conservatory Bonus)
+5 AP (Personal Work Bonus)
+20 AP (Esk Interaction Bonus: 10 AP * 2)
Total AP: 80

Panel 2

Base Score: 1 AP (Sketch/Lines)
Total AP: 1

GP Breakdown

Panel 1

Heath
Base Score: 4 GP (Shaded Illustration)
+2 GP (Full Body)
+6 GP (Full/Scenic Background)
+5 GP (Conservatory Bonus)
Total GP: 17

Senna
Base Score: 4 GP (Shaded Illustration)
+6 GP (Full/Scenic Background)
+5 GP (Conservatory Bonus)
Total GP: 15

Panel 2

Heath and Senna
Base Score: 1 GP (Sketch/Lines)
Total GP: 1