His eyes are dark. His beard and moustache are precisely trimmed. His hands are burned to the bone.
You stand together atop the Tower of Lights, but the Tower as it never was: scraping the sky, mantled in light, flicking bright messages to the furthest corners of Serault. There, lesser heliographs blink in answer, gleaming like buttons on the horizon.
"I was so close," he says. His voice is rich and bitter as Southern wine. Something crawls under his skin, up across cheekbone and into the socket behind his eye. You see a scuttle of legs behind his pupil.
"You were a fool," you answer.' "Your desires exceeded your reach, so you became an Abomination. You destroyed us."
Result: +1 Viand, +20 Clue
If "You were a fool" was chosen:
His black-bone fingers pull at the skin of his face The tower topples in a thunderous rain of stone and glass, burying you both. You drag yourself from the ruin, left - again - to pick up his pieces. In the morning you recommit yourself to the day-to-day nurture of Serault's fortunes. You ensure the wheels of her governance turn correctly and judge even the most trivial cases with a newfound gravity. Your efforts are noticed. Dozens of small gifts flow from serf, freeman, priest, knight and baron. They all add up.
"You were a visionary," you tell him.' "Your crime wasn't trying; it was failing."
Result: +1 Trophy, +20 Clue
If "You were a visionary" was chosen:
He weeps tears of silver "Then finish it," he says, gripping your hand in the fire-blackened bones of his own. "Make Serault all she was meant to be." You awake, the moon blazing in your window. In a fever you reach for a pen and ink, and draw while the dream is fresh in your mind. In the morning you hand the Smiling Guildmistress of the Glassworkers a pile of sketches showing the glass in the Tower of Lights as you saw them in your dream. She blinks, surprised at their precision. "We'll start immediately," she says.
"You were a man," you answer.' "And, like anyone, a mix of fineness and folly."
Result:+1 Secret, +20 Clue
If "You were a man" was chosen:
His face twists in anguish. "Not that!" He snarls. "There is no more terrible a judgement than 'ordinary'!" Looking closer, you see the grey streaks in his beard. The blemish on his forehead from a childhood accident. The way his bone fingers fidget on his cuffs when he's nervous. You awake with the realisation that everyone is imperfect, whether the world calls them hero, monster...or Divine. Even the Maker's elect is human, and flawed. You order the Wayward Bard to discover what he can about the Most Holy Justinia, fifth of her name. Perhaps there's something you can use.