Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Torpor - The Hammer Hall

The transition between realities has been compared to the space between the waking world and sleep. Lost and confused, the Pilgrim is simply carried along by the will of the Saint, and their own will to find her. In this twilight state, a Pilgrim seeking the Saint’s Path will find one more hurdle to overcome before they are granted entry into the city of Torpor.

On walking through the Parallax Door, the Pilgrim will find themselves in what has been named by those who’ve survived, as the Hammer Hall. If the Parallax Door judges a person’s inner purpose, this anteroom to the Saint’s path will act as their judge, jury, and executioner to determine whether the pilgrim has the strength and ability to even survive the long and dangerous journey to its end.

In their stupor, the Pilgrim will have no choice but be led by waiting attendants, gently and with reverence, to the middle of the long stone hall where they will stand over a large sluicing grate set into the floor beneath them. To their left, a rough chute has been dug into the joining of wall and floor, sloping sharply down and away from the hall into blackness. To their right, on a raised platform stands a third attendant who, like his fellows, wears a long leather apron and faceless burlap hood. Despite its ominous appearance, the mask still manages to convey some sense of mournful apology to the Pilgrim, as if they too are helpless victims to the intent of the hall.

These are the Knackermen. Appointed by the Saint herself, the Knackermen deliver the final test to the hopeful.

Brandishing a large stone hammer hewn from the fossilized excrement of the Living Altar which sits at the center of Torpor, the Knackerman commanding the platform will take a single swing at the Pilgrim. The hammer’s stone head resonates in synch with the soul of the Saint, and should the Pilgrim be truly worthy to walk her path, the hammer will stop upon the moment of impact, merely kissing the Pilgrim’s forehead, gifting them with the Saint’s blessing.

Those found lacking will have their skull swept from the floor, and deposited along with their body down the stone chute at their side, to be rendered down into their constituent parts - parts that no one in the city is sure exactly how they are used, but to err on the side of caution, many of the survivors have since become vegetarians.


  1. Haha that is brilliant.. the creepy knackermen are genius.. good stuff odie.. brilliant writing as always..

    1. Thanks, Neil. The Torpor experiment has been interesting so far. Since these are written very spur of the moment, there are ideas that occur to me as I'm writing that don't make it into the flow of the story. There are some ideas I might revisit with the Knackermen in another installment that didn't make it into this one.

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