Machinations at the Magniloquent Moth

by Draemonine, Undersling beat reporter
additional editing by
Ken Davidson

I finally got a bonus for that big story I wrote last month!  Old debts paid off means orbs to burn, so your favorite beat-beetle took himself straight to The Magniloquent Moth in the Marquis.

I had heard so much about the Red Sun Beef Short Ribs, I just had to try them myself. (The red truffle oil is a daring choice, but it holds.) The last rib laid to rest, I fired up a quaron cigar imported from the Green and settled back.

The door opened, ushering in the scent of rosemary and the man about town himself, Calvin Weaver. He came in all in a tizzy and sat with a lady, Apostate obviously, at the next table over.

She had been keeping the excellent waitstaff thoroughly occupied — a parade of Prefixes, wines by the glass, ornate teas and now her second Crescendo on the table in front of her.  I recognize that Calvin keeps rich company, or at least his husband does, but a reporter of my means can’t help but be impressed — I’m just grateful to be here, savoring this Fader’s Farm beef and a smoke.

As they sat down and began to talk, I was prepared to ignore them, but “Shayna” immediately told Calvin that she wanted his help to go to a house in the Ruined Expanses and steal something! 

Most would-be thieves would discuss such things sotto voce, but this is CALVIN WEAVER, and I can assure you his associate is no more subtle than he!

As you might imagine, the patrons of this establishment were aghast — one two-headed individual that happened to walk by could be heard muttering about it from the other side of the place.

What would drive a storied (and more-or-less respected) Weaver to such criminal ends? To besmirch the (certainly respected) name of his husband? To stir up scandalous gossip, or earnest investigative reporting?

I overheard just snatches of the conversation. The target of this intended heist: some object within a house recently taken over by a literal Hate Cyst! A Red Malaise, and more horrifying things, have emerged and have been killing hapless folks who wander by.

I will never understand vislae. A Red Malaise is an excellent reason to stay as far from a place as possible, not to enter — for burglary or any other reason.

I was amazed to hear all of this, but then the scandal really picked up! Both Shayna and Calvin were openly talking about the [REDACTED]! So many gasps occurred at once that you may have thought it was a tornado running through the place. Not only were they talking about the [REDACTED] they even said that they had [REDACTED] in it!  

At this point, a few Pristine Defenders poked their gilded helmets in. They are an omnipresent force here in the Marquis District — surely someone would tell them about how these two are behaving? But no… they just nodded and continued their rounds.

At this point everyone else in the Moth was trying their best to feign ignorance of this unseemly conversation, but not your favorite beat reporter.

Satyrine needs to know more about who Calvin has been associating with — I can now confirm this is the same vislae that the Notion has elsewhere reported on: she was seen with Mr. Weaver not three weeks ago emerging from the Secret Cellar.

Who is this mysterious (and apparently powerful) Apostate?

Well: “Shayna”, if that is in fact her name, does not disappoint. Not only did she used to live here in the Marquis district, she revealed that she was at one point a member of the Pristine Defenders and was kicked out! Why was she kicked out? Will you have to wait for another issue to apprehend this mystery?

No, brave readers! She was exiled for committing murders. Not a murder, a plural of murders.  At this announcement, Cavin literally spit his wine (a mlatzaberry-infused red) on the tablecloth. Soon after, Shayna wildly overpaid for their meal — and the unlikely conspirators up and left.

I tried to get up and follow but they moved quickly and I hadn’t even seen my cheque yet, didn’t want to do a dine and dash.

Here are the main takeaways from this random encounter: 

First, The Editor needs to assign a reporter to Weaver, and I volunteer.

[Ed. Note: The Editor does not need to do anything, but we’ll give you this one. Do not let this one slip away from you, beetle.]

Second, who is Shayna, really , and do the pair have a mutual past?

Third, how did a hero of the [REDACTED] not know what a Hate Cyst was and why was he surprised that the Marquis District had its own guards?

Fourth, and deserving of very careful consideration, why would such a phenomenal restaurant have such poor taste in whiskey?

Until next time, residents of Satyrine, this is your favorite reporter Draemonine, signing out.