His boniness sat drumming his fingers against the driftwood chair. Around him, the ranks of the dead gathered their compatriots. Crushed and melted bones swept into buckets and boxes, hoisted by the boney brothers to the great mill.
One by one the containers emptied into the mill. The crunching mulch of bone under stone rang through the sewers. bone meal rushed from the container into the drum at its base. One by one skeletons hefted their cracked and rusted tankards into the drum of meal, pulling half fulls cups full of their grinded dead.
More of their brothers gathered great containers of rot-brew at the sides of their home. A festering, skunky brew made from the various fungi and glowing grains of the sewer farms, spiced with the sour of the guiding citrus. Tankards filled, mixing the thick and slimy brew with the dust. The legion of liberated bones gathered in front of their leader. Snottle-keks stood from his chair. A small, child skeleton fought against gravity, forcing herself to raise a heavy, ornate tankard to the master of the lemon legion. Snottle-keks smiled, or rather would had he the muscles to do so. He patted the littlest skeletons boney head, taking the tankard from her.
“My bleached brothers” his voice scrapped against the edges of the sewer. “We raise this drinks not in defeat, but rather, in remembrance of our fallen brothers and sisters”
Cheering ke’s clacked in agreement, filling the sewer with a harmony of echoing clicks.
“Though we may have lost the sacred blade, we have gained a great knowledge!” He hoisted the tankard high. “With this brew! Soaked in the arid dusty corpses of our fallen we grow stronger and wiser against the parasite that seeks to enslave us!”
Clacking ke’s rose to a crescendo.
“We now know of the prophet and his location! We know he holds our blade! Our Scoutelkens have watched them and studied their weakness and our rebuke will be swift and brutal!”
A final clacking cheer shuttered the foundations of the sewer, All the skeletons raised their cups. A sicking swirling garble, like a goldfish struggling to swim in a half inch of water, resounded from the glutenous skeletons. Snottle-keks himself downed the sour brew spiked with his kin. Wiping his glossed teeth, he left his brothers to their revel and retreated to a chamber further back.
Deeper within the sewer, behind the slimy bricks and walkways stained with grime and gunk, a hidden chamber opened revealing a round table. As his boniness entered, four skeletons, wrapped in poorly stitched together suits of flesh covered in heaps of ill-fit clothing wobbled to attention.
“Your boniness” They spoke as one
“Scoutlekens” he replied “Report”
“Sir” The one on the left, dressed as a portly woman spoke “The prophet and his companions take refuge in a tavern known as the Windy Kitten. They spend an extraordinary amount of time their quaffing sour-less brews”
Snottle-keks wished he could express his dissatisfaction with the knowledge that anything would choose a brew without the grace of sour in it. “Those Sinners. Go on”
“Of course” he continued “Recently they have made several exhibitions to the northern district where parasites have been falling to an unknown ailment.”
“Yes” another chimed in “This ailment is known as ‘the plague’, a deadly thing that kills the parasite but spares the bones within”
“A sign from our divine” Snottle-keks stroked his jaw “How timely that it should appear as our crusade begins”
“I agree your boniness” To the far right, a saggy skinned old man, chimed in “It must be the work of the sour”
“To continue” the portly skeleton spoke “They entered this realm searching for a cure for the shadowy parasites facial wounds. They found a parasite there that could do it”
“The parasite always seeks to hide its bones from the world” The final skeleton, whose stolen skin could not be seen under the exorbitant wraps of fabric covering it, kek’d
“After meeting the parasite, the prophet and the other parasites entered our domain. With the help of the enslaver they destroyed dozens of our brothers and escaped on the wings of a very big shadow”
“Yes, i was there” Snottle-keks spat “Thank you for the report my scoutlekens, now I have a new mission for you”
“Yes your boniness” they all hummed
Snottle-keks tried to grin. and failed.
“Gather as many of the fallen parasites who were in the area with the plague.”
His boniness clacked savagely