The Haruspex

How do they call upon the menkhu, the faithful of a Warden kin? Known by their hands, for they are butchers; known by their eyes, for they are surgeons; they who follow the lines; they who are the leaders of the Kin; they who speak to udurghs; they who know the secret art of haruspicy. What is a haruspex? Reading the future in the entrails, he knows that a body bears semblance to the Universe. His scalpel follows the lines of the body; his steps follow the lines of his kin's fortune. A haruspex that can tell a true line from a false one is entrusted with power. A haruspex who is confused by his path gets buried into the deep black flesh of the Earth.

In my abscence, the town I knew has changed. A mysterious tower has been built across the river, the streets have changed, becoming more nerve lines than sidewalks, everyone looks at me suspiciously, and my father was murdered before my arrival. How can I ever hope to put this torn apart town back together?

From this point forward, I am the eldest member of the Burakh family. A menkhu. I am the heir to my father, Isidor Burakh; a Warden of the Kin; the supreme menkhu of many years. The inheritance of my father will nourish my mind and my body alike. It is a question of life and death for me to claim it, for it will imbue my dissolute existence with reason. I am one of the menkhu; those who know the lines; those who open up the body; those who link the earthly to the under-earth. The duty of the menkhu is to serve the children of Boddho; to interpret coincidence; to point out decisions informed by wisdom. The very reason of my existence is to carry out this duty. Who will I become if I will fail to bind my destiny with my father's calling?

The List

The children of my father's list. With them I will change this town; it will be reborn to live anew. Victoria Olgimskaya, the White Mistress, will breathe life into it. The fallen families will be replaced by those marked by the sign of the spirits. Children they are, Taya Tycheek, Chieftain Notkin, blessed Grace, my children Murky and Sticky, and Khan, leader of the dogheads, child of the Polyhedron.

The Layers.

There are three Layers of the body. Blood ("Zürkh"), Bones ("Yas"), and Nerves ("Medrel"). I often associate them with colors. Rusty (Blood), White (Bones), and Yellow (Nerves). This has driven my father to madness more times than I can count (He tells me it's an oversimplification. He's right. But come on! It works.)

Any affliction can be cured if one discovers which Layer has been poisoned.


The layer of Blood. Categorized with Rust colors. Blood is life, flowing through the organs, allowing them to pump. The blood connects us to the world of meat. Infections of the Blood layer can be discovered with Zürkh tinctures [Black + Brown Twyre and Clean Water.] Symptoms of this layer are as follows:

  • A fever rises.
  • The skin dries.
  • The breath becomes ragged.
  • The muscles relax.


The layer of Nerve. The Nerves allow us to feel. Aches associated with growth. Pains associated with birth, with death. Joys of small touches. The Nerves flex below the flesh of the body, telling us to move. Urging us to keep going. Infections found here can be found with Medrel tinctures, made of Blood and Black Twyre mixed with Clean Water. Symptoms of this layer are as follows:

  • A fever rises.
  • The pupils dialate.
  • The breath becomes ragged.
  • The body begins to profusely sweat.


The layer of Bone. Categorized with stark white, as bones are when long bleached by sun. Bones are what keep us standing. Bones allow us to maintain our structure, cage our organs so they do not split from us. They are, with lack of a better term, the backbone of the body. If the Yas layer is infected, combine Blood and Brown Twyre with Clean Water to create a Yas tincture. Symptoms of this layer are as follows:

  • A fever rises.
  • The skin dries.
  • The pupils dilate.
  • The shakes begin.

Of Diagnosing

In our lives as Menkhu, it's important to diagnose and treat correctly. My father has drilled it into my head, but still, some things are better said than done.

The proceedure starts simple. One must craft tinctures from a mixture of twyre and water. The process involves grinding the twyre into a paste, then feeding it and clean water into the alembic. It takes a few minutes, but the resulting mixture is bottled and immediately ready for use. The twyre mixtures decide the color, and by extension, what Layer they will effect. It's incredibly important to remember what color you use when diagnosing.

While good for diagnosing, tinctures can be good for immunity boosting. Fear you might get sick by someone down with something in your home? You can run the risk with the old immunity boosters we have around the Town (T̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶r̶e̶n̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶w̶a̶r̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶.̶ ̶A̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶s̶t̶e̶a̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶h̶a̶r̶m̶a̶c̶i̶e̶s̶?̶ ̶L̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶s̶n̶e̶a̶k̶s̶.̶) or you can come to me, and I'll craft you something better. On good days, I can craft a tincture with a bit of Swevery, White Whip, or Ashen Swish. The tinctures produced by these are much more powerful, and have health boosting effects that go even beyond immunity, often curing exhaustion, hunger, and even thirst.

Diagnosis begins with picking a tincture you have, and administering it to the patient orally. Choose wisely, and follow the symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on what Layer the infection lives on. With each tincture you give, you must balance with a painkiller. Morphine works, but organs can be combined with tinctures to create powerful painkillers as well. In desperate times, anything will do.


Once diagnosis is rendered, medicine administration can begin. Observe what Layer the infection resides on, then administer the correct medicine. We're lucky, the Town's medicine aligns in color to the tinctures used in diagnosis. If you don't have a homebrewed tincture, you can pick a few up from the pharmacy. Or the children. I still don't know how they're getting their hands on these things, but everything helps. While these antibiotics will bring down infection, it's not a cure, merely a dam in the sweeping flood that is this crushing disease.

Remain vigilant. Mistakes here can mean death to a patient. Our medicines are strong, and any wrong dosage will kill.

As of now, there is no known cure for the Sand Pest beyond children's 'schmowders,' nightmare concoctions of antibiotics you dump down your throat to burn the infection out of you. I hope to rectify this. But these things aren't done overnight.

His ear waits in the Steppe. His heart, here, underground. I finally see. I finally understand.
Here, beasts live, not people. Life and death are the same to them. The red pit in the ground calls to me.
Here, people gnaw at each other like animals.
Here, people dissect the living to understand.
Here, people drink blood to survive.
All blood seeps from the Abattoir--perhaps, also, the blood I seek?
Foreman Oyun wants to see me.
The Udurgh is my town.
Button of the Haruspex, text states