The Ringing Gibbet

Somebody has to die. Might as well be somebody else.
A rusty old cage of iron and Hattick, stained with gore to the core, the Ringing Gibbet has served as a grim warning of Patala's dangers since mankind first arrived. Used in the farms above Vicitra as both punishment and sacrifical alter, the Gibbet is left out with its living victim in the wild, a tribute to the horrors that haunt the dark of Patala. With such supplication, the fearful hope they will be spared.  
by Midjourney
The Ringing Gibbet is large enough to hold two people within its skeletal frame, dropped into it from a hatch at its top. Both top and bottom are pyramid shaped, patched up and reinforced as time and rampaging beasts have damaged it. Here and there, it wears the dents and scratches of both desperate attempts to escape, or attempts of something else to get in.   The inside of the gibbet is decorated with sturdy, straight spikes, ranging in size from a nail to a dagger. No matter how its prisoners shift, turn or try to place their feet, they're bound to cut or impale themselves on the Gibbet. On the outside, attached to long poles of Hattick that number in a dozen, are many bells that chime and ring whenever the cage moves.
 
Not all victims are imprisoned within the gibbet until death - sometimes, only long enough until they wish they were.
  Merchant-Princesses Bhūkha made the gibbet early in her career in Patala, at first as a ploy to assuage worker fears of all the horrors that hunted them, then as a way to punish troublemakers and enforce discipline. Though she has made other gibbets since, none have the same dread reputation as the first, or drunk as deep from human suffering. After the Plague of Dreams, the gibbet has seen more use than ever, and somewhere among all the screaming, Bhūkha heard an idea.  
Unlike many, Bhūkha sees the Shrikes as just another animal. Unusual, yes, but no different in what truly motivates them. Like any other animal, she believes she can break them with a rod of iron and by feeding them through the Ringing Gibbet.
Patala, the Descent   A cavernous realm of canyon halls and abyssal descents, Patala has only recently been opened to mankind by a catastrophic earthquake. Settlers and explorers have since flooded to the region, eager to make their fortune and find a better life for themselves in this new land.   If someone has to end up in the gibbet for them to find that, to draw the hungry gaze of the things in the dark away from them, then so be it.   Read More About Patala



Cover image: by Richard Dorran

Comments

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27 Jul, 2022 00:30

Grim... and awesome. Pleasant chimes, awful times.

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
27 Jul, 2022 06:13

Thanks! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
1 Aug, 2022 14:37

Sinister, it really falls on the darker end of things and it makes one question where to draw the line on writing evil.

8 Aug, 2022 09:41

Thanks, I think :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
2 Aug, 2022 16:58

It...hurts to read this. You placed an idea, or rather an 'itch' in my mind...causing me to imagin far more than what you wrote.   Well done.

JAIME BUCKLEY
Your New Author Friend =)
My World
2 Aug, 2022 19:32

Thanks! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.