Theme song for this thread (and for Bound: The Book of Sloth, not the prologue before, I'm having trouble with that):
North of the Narmaha border, in the slums of New Dehli, the circus is in town. This circus is a strange one, as it is run by the undead. It is only through the practiced art of disguise and discretion that the animated cadavers keep this a secret from the population at large. Thankfully for them, there is one thing they never have to worry about: the smell. In the North, everything smells of death.
Around one millenia ago, when the birds had died out in India, the Ganges River and all connecting bodies of water had become corrupted. The poison in the water was especially terrifying in that it traveled upstream to contaminate other rivers and streams. The Narmaha Border was in actuality the now connected rivers of Narmada and Mahanadi, where the corruption ended after two dams were put in place to stop its spread. The poison reached the soil, the foliage, and finally the people. The border had then divided India into two: The Southlands, where lush foliage still grew, people were relatively healthy and the economy was modestly rich; and the Scab, the nickname given to Northern India, where only weeds grew, poverty was a fact of life, and no one lived past the age of forty due to a plague caused by the poisoned river. The name of this plague is 'The Grey Death', and soldiers are constantly patrolling the Narmaha border to kill anyone trying to crossover on site. Those unfortunate enough to be born in the North are doomed to a lifelong quarantine.
Even in this miserable hellhole, there is still some entertainment to be found: plays, music, and the aforementioned circus, whose weekly jokes about death and disease helps put the plight of the people in a more humorous light.
The circus is about to begin one such performance.
The audience has packed the stands, and when the lights fade everyone does their best to keep their coughing, sneezing and sniffling to a minimum.
The center of the ring shines a spotlight on a tall, lanky man in a red and yellow suit not unlike the tent's colors. He wears on his head a demonic mask, with a jester's hat and a distorted goat's face. The bells and tendrils of the hat are twisted and tied into a bizarre sort of hair style made of cotton. He speaks in a raspy, grating but confident and loud voice.
“We hope this evening finds you well, all you denizens of this rotting hell~
For tonight you'll sight our frights and our mystic marvels as well~”
The Ringmaster pulls out a cane ornamented with a yellow eye at the top. He begins to twirl, balance and play with his cane as he continues.
“Here in this Rainbow Room all your attention we will consume~
Before your eyes our cries for our former lives should distract you from your doom~”
The Ringmaster begins to draw a circle in the sand around him.
“So forget the sours of our final hours~
And the corrosive cackles of higher powers~
Even beneath God's heels you can remember how it feels~”
The circle around him is complete, and the lights have dimmed so much that now he looks to be imprisoned in a wall of black surrounding his spotlight. His eyes are glowing red.
“When death never left us so dour~”
He taps the cane on the ground and the audience doesn't have time to shriek as the spotlight falls on him. It smashes his head, and the light explodes in a white, harsh flash, briefly evaporating the darkness to reveal things of horror and mystery that had been hiding in the darkness. The audience now shrieks in surprise before the flash goes away. There are more screams for the next seven seconds of total darkness before the lights slowly brighten. Where the Ringmaster stood is now a stool with a placard, with the words “Act the First: Squeaks the Singer” written on it.
Grand, festive music begins to play as balloons begin to float down from the ceiling. The balloons are decorated with funny faces drawn in marker. The ribbons slither into the ground and the audience is now enraptured. The balloons then rise, their ribbons now tied to suits and a miniature tent hidden in the sand, and they both emerge like sandworms. What the audience now has before them is a mock opera stage with balloon headed suits as its 'audience.' When the curtains rise on the stage, the real audience cheers.
On stage is a round, thick man. His body is round like a pumpkin but wrinkled like a raisin, like a deflated balloon waiting to take in air again. His head looks like a smaller version of his body, with his lips dried and pulled back into a wet sneer most decayed corpses seem to possess. He wears a black coat with tails and black pants, and underneath his jacket is a white dress shirt with scruff at the neck.
The Ringmaster's voice booms through the big top, presumably from an announcer system:
“Our dear Squeaks was an esteemed opera singer in his former life, enrapturing people young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, like a siren with testosterone in her throat.”
Squeaks body inflates ever so slightly as he begins his singing in a deep, baritone voice. The walls and floor slightly vibrate from the song, but the audience almost pays it no mind, listening to the charming voice. His balloon audience, on the other hand, begins to murmur in squeaks, squeals and hisses, interrupting his show. Even as he concentrates on keeping his voice projection constant, noticeable by the fact that his body has only slightly deflated, he is clearly irritated.
“On the day he died, certain members of the crowd proved to be much more trouble than he bargained for.”
Finally, the balloon's 'speech' has reached irritating highs as even Squeak's singing is drowned out by the annoying balloons, and he stops singing to glare at the balloon crowd. Noticing the silence, they stop and stare. After a few moments, Squeaks starts again. Not five seconds in, so does the balloon audience. Really angry this time, he pulses in and out from his heavy breathing, before calming down and taking out a small balloon. He presents it to his faux audience before blowing into it. The balloon inflates into a long, hot dog shape. The real and balloon audience giggles, comparing the balloon to a dirtier image. Rolling his eyes in disapproval, Squeaks begins to twist and tie the balloon, until it takes the shape of an animal.
The Balloon Bird turns its head on its own, then begins to fly. The real audience is in awe, and so is the faux audience, both of them pointing and murmuring. While neither are looking, Squeaks makes another bird and it joins the first bird. The two of them begin to dance in the air, twirling and spinning and diving, and both of the audiences are cheering. Both birds then each land on a Balloon Man's shoulder, and they begin to pet them.
The Balloon Birds then peck their heads, popping them with their beaks. The now headless suits fall down and the audience laughs at the shivering faux audience. The birds fly up into the dark ceiling of the tent as Squeaks resumes his song.
For the rest of the act, the Balloon Men conspire to get back at the singer through many convoluted and ridiculous plans. First, they try pretending to sneeze and cough very loudly, where Squeaks gives out some tissues. When one Balloon Man tries using it, he finds that there's a Balloon Spider hidden in it, where it bites and pops his head. The rest panic, avoiding the spider as it scurries away to some corner of the tent. Second, the Balloon Men attempt throwing things into Squeaks' mouth whenever he opened it up to sing. One manages to get an egg in there, and Squeaks falls down after choking on it. Three Balloon Men come into investigate and steal the corpse's wallet, when a cracking sound is heard in Squeak's mouth. A Balloon Snake emerges and bites all three men. Squeaks then gets up and fashions the snake into a Balloon Tie and schooches the dead men's clothes out of the way with his feet. On a third try, the remaining Balloon Men take up knives and pitchforks and sneak around 'backstage.' Already prepared for such a revolt, Squeaks hops off the front of the stage….and from behind the back curtains a Balloon Opera Singer takes his place. As the dim witted Balloon Men start to sneak up behind it, it starts to sing.
In a high soprano note. The audience is beside themselves with laughter as all the Balloon Men cover their non-existent ears, dropping their weapons. Their heads slowly inflate from the noise until they all burst. Squeaks comes back onstage, shaking his head at the Balloon Opera Singer's voice. The replacement leaves.
Squeaks then bows to the real audience, and takes a breath so deep his clothes are strained from the inflation. He sings an entire, five minute opera song while holding his projection. Near the end, his singing gets so loud that the balloons supporting his theater start to quiver and inflate. When he finally finishes his song, the balloons pop and the entire 'structure' falls down on top of him. The audience applauds very loudly.
The Ringmaster's voice comes out out:
“And after he brought the house down, they all went to heaven.”
The fake theater, Squeaks' corpse and the suits for the Balloon Men all inflate and ascend into the dark ceiling of the theater, to which the audience applauds a second time. Attached to Squeaks' body is a ribbon, at the end of it holds a placard in midair. It reads “Act the Second: Kal the Fisherman.”
Two sets of zombies come from the ground, where the sand falls away to reveal ditches. One set on one side wear red and blue uniforms, while the others wear green. They are firing at each other with squirt guns, and the spotlights flash on and off, mimicking the flash of gunfire.
“In the War of the Greens and the Reds,” the Ringmaster's voice begins, “many had died and both sides were at a stalemate. That is, until one warrior on each side battled for the fate of two countries.”
From the side of the Red Coats comes a snarling sound and soldiers are pulled down screaming. When they are all gone a zombie clown in a wolf head emerges and howls.
“The Wolf Warrior Ribbon, fighting for the Green Army.”
On the side of the Green Coats, they are all pulled down, except instead of screams there are splashes heard. A zombie in a diving suit with an orange squid stapled to his face peers over the edge of one of the ditches.
“And the Nautical Knight Kal, pulling for the Red,” the Ringmaster finishes.
The two warriors duck back down, and growling is heard on Ribbon's side. Two wolves bolt from his ditch and charge across the battlefield until they land in one of the puddles created by the squirt guns.
Then they fall in and disappear. Ribbon peeks above the edge, stunned at their sudden drowning. An undead Zombie Dolphin then splashes its head out of the puddle and sprays Ribbon's head with a strong water jet, knocking him backwards.
“As strong and valiant as Ribbon's animal friends were, they were no match for Kal's sea friends. Ain't that just a shame?” the Ringmaster's voice taunts.
Ribbon stamps and snarls, then a giant centipede slithers out of his mouth. The audience gasps as the size of the creature, about as big as a boa constrictor. Ribbon signals for the centipede to dig underground, and the audience sees the sand being disturbed as the oversized bug makes its way to the other side. When it reaches there, however, its head peers over the edge and shakes it, signaling that Kal is no longer there. Ribbon leaves his shelter to investigate, but then Kal emerges from a pool of blood created by one of the fallen soldiers and kicks Ribbon into the ditch, crushing the centipede in the process. Ribbon throws his knife at Kal, but he dives back down into the blood puddle.
Ribbon stamps his feet and his wolf head mask steams, and he pulls out a stitched water snake. It crawls into the puddle and Ribbon tries to listen for its hissing, but there is only silence. One member of the audience (a volunteer) feels his cup shake and the snake emerges from his drink, looking side to side at the surprised guests before going back down. The volunteer pours out his drink on the ground in feigned disgust, and ten Zombie Flying Fish dive out of the puddle made and dive bomb Ribbon with sprays, eventually knocking him down before retreating into a blood puddle. As Ribbon tries to get up, Kal's face emerges from another blood puddle and winks at the audience. He tosses out crumbs and the Zombie Flying Fish from before emerges and gobbles them up.
From there, there is more tom foolery involving Ribbon's stitched animals and Kal's hungry Zombie Fish that are fed to follow his command, and at the climax Ribbon dives into the puddles and fights Kal himself, the two splashing water everywhere as their struggle forces them to resurface. Eventually, Kal has drenched the entire floor into one miniature lake, and as Ribbon is strangling him, Zombie Piranhas emerge quietly, surrounding the two. Ribbon glances up and looks around nervously when he finally notices, then pets the now unconscious Kal on the head to feign a truce.
The Zombie Piranhas instantly swarm and drag him under. When Kal comes to, he praises his pets with a thumbs up, and pulls out his fish feed…only to find the box is empty.
He joins Ribbon in the grave soon after.
As the sand refills the ditches and the water is drained into the ground, the Ringmaster's voice is heard again: “For all his battle prowess and genius, Kal never quite got that pets are about as loyal to you as a picky eater is to a chef.”
For the third act, a Clown Car comes in of its own volition, with the banner “Act the Third: Intermission” on its side. This Clown Car is strange, as it is a beat down old thing that still ran on wheels and looked like a giant, multi-colored beetle. It is even more strange in that it seemed to have a personality, honking to the audience in greeting.
Out of its door came an assortment of twenty zombie clowns, and from its trunk they pulled out all sorts of things: hula hoops, ramps, torches, tennis balls and bowling pins. The Intermission act was performed with the Clown Car performing all sorts of dog tricks like driving through burning hoops, flying off ramps and doing what should be impossible mid air somersaults, and even 'juggling' where one clown would each stand in front of its open trunk and hood and toss tennis balls into one end, where it would emerge from the other. The opposite clown would catch it and throw it back, doing ultimately cross dimensional juggling with six balls. The act ended when the Clown Car, sputtering out exhaust from its hood, has a clown look into it. A pair of giant, yellow false teeth pop out and chatter, chasing the clowns off the stage with the Clown Car following after. This act had met with the most applause.
After ten seconds, a cowboy tune is played as a cut out whorehouse pops up from the sand. The sign attached to it reads “Act the Fourth: Hickock the Slick.”
“Hickock was a simple man, who only loved women, drinking…” the Ringmaster's voice begins. From the cut out doors comes a zombie dressed in chaps, a cowboy hat and red dress shirt. His head looks like swiss cheese with the many holes in it.
“And gambling. His worst game was Russian Roulette.”
The audiences snickers at this.
“He had branded every cattle in town from the baker's wife to the sheriff's mother.”
From many barrels, crates and windows emerge Zombie cowboys, all their guns trained on him.
“Before he died, he said they were all worth the trouble.”
Hickock pulls out his revolver and fires two shots, which each ricochets with a spark into the heads of two cowboys, dwindling their number to eight. The rest open fire as he dives into the fake whore house. He pops out of a window and takes down three more with one shot each. The last five decide to charge the whorehouse, knowing he only has one bullet left. They are stopped when a sexy leg emerges from the window opposite Hickcock. The Zombie Cowboys stop and stare, panting. Hickock reemerges from the window and shoots all five in the head with one bullet, going straight through all of them. The owner of the sexy leg shows herself, a Zombie Whore. She giggles as Hickock tips his hat to her and flips her a silver coin. A rumbling is heard just as Hickock breathes a sigh of relief.
“The old cowpoke's troubles would have ended there, if he hadn't sired five children in the neighboring town over.”
Sixteen Giant Zombie Cowboys stampede in with shotguns.
“The town's name was 'Head Blasting Heights.”
One of the Giants cocks his shotgun and shoots the window Hickock was in. He ducks, and the holes in the shutters spell out 'Dead Meat.'
Hickock comes out from a window on the second floor and reloads his gun. He begins shooting, ricocheting again off of many objects. He takes down four with three shots, but three more storm the whorehouse.
The remaining Giants outside cheer those inside as they chase Hickock throughout the building. Hickock manages to kill two with his two remaining bullets, but the third one corners him and knocks his revolver out of his hand. As the Giant takes aim to Hickock's horror and the outside Giant's pleasure, the Zombie Whore pops out another window and throws him a second revolver. It hits the Giant in the head and Hickock picks up the dropped weapon and shoots his would be executioner. He quickly reloads and drops down to the ground floor, now with two guns in hand. He begins to juggle them and shoot the remaining ten, all while dodging and taunting their every move. The audience roars when he takes down the last of them, and the Zombie Whore kisses him on the cheek.
Just as Hickock is about to relax, three Cowboy Zombies ride in on armored horses, and they are equipped to their dry dead bones with armor and ammunition.
“And lets not forget the General who was cuckold” quips the Ringmaster.
Hickock sees his latest challenge, hitches up his pants, blows a kiss to the Zombie Whore, and begins juggling and shooting his two guns. It is an intense fight, with the three trying to hit Hickock with their sabers and pistols, and after exhausting all twelve bullets on ricochets and the weak joints in the Cowboy Zombie's armors, only two are dead and the General is left.
The General charges at Hickock, intending to trample him…when the Zombie Whore tosses him a third
gun. Hickock shoots the armored horse point blank in its helmet, which causes it to rear, tossing off the General before running off. Hickcock reloads his two guns, the angry General draws his saber, and more Zombie Whores pop out of the windows cheering for Hickock as they both have their ultimate battle. It is a feat of juggling three revolvers while firing them, reloading, ricocheting into the General's armor to knock him off balance, all while trying to block and avoid his amazing sword skills. Eventually, the ricocheting bullets wear out the supports of a water tower, and after Hickock overpowers the General and sticks him in place with his own saber on the ground, the water tower comes crashing on him. Hickock saunters into the whore house to celebrate, and the Zombie Whores withdraw inside. There is much giggling.
“As skilled a gunman as Hickock was, his love for women was his downfall.”
The giggling is replaced by gasps and the thuds of bodies hitting the floor.
“And they all died from the clap that day.”
The sign on the whore house is turned over, reading 'Out of Business.' The audience laughs and cheers as the cut out house sinks back into the sand.
The lights dim and turn blue, and something is moving slowly beneath the sand, circling and twisting. Whatever it is stops in the middle and begins to rise.
It is a woman. Her skin is the blue found only the in the most clearest of waters, her shoulder length hair straight, shiny and black, and her dress as red as blood. She saunters out of the ground in a tantalizing manner.
“Our Final Act, and the star of our show, the Vampire Beautress.”
After she fully emerges, the sand mysteriously sliding off of her, she bows to the audience, who cheer and hoot for her.
What follows next is nearly indescribable. It is a dance on poles and boxes, but it is more than that. It is hypnotic, the audience unknowingly turning their heads to look at her, all mouths agape. She takes on poses, shapes and holds that are impossible for normal human bodies, seeming to put her flexibility and muscle strength to the test. If the audience were not mesmerized, some might even comment that she could only be superhuman, taking on those Ultra Acrobatic maneuvers. Eventually, she ends her dance and bows. The audience shower her with cheers and coins when they come to. All zombies from before enter and gather up the change while Beautress waves everyone a friendly goodbye. The lights come up and the stage is cleared.
“Thank you for your patronage. And remember, even in the most dire of circumstances, don't forget to smile,” the Ringmaster voice rings one final time.
It is a good haul that day.
One hour later, everyone has dropped their disguises and are feeding on corpses looted from the local morgue. Most who had died of Gray Death eventually end up on these lich's dining table.
Around twenty of the cast and crew are at the meal, serving up and passing limbs and glasses of bodily fluids all around to some of the biggest names in the Scab's entertainment industry, the stars of the circus' many acts; Squeaks, who has a secret experiment going on with the Balloon Opera Singer, but no matter what he has tried, his experiment's voice always ended up too high instead of his desired baritone. Squeaks is the only zombie present capable of flight; Hicock, who can hit any target with up to five revolvers, but still can not resist a bet; and Kal, the only zombie there capable of swimming. There are non-zombie personnel as well; Beautress, the blue skinned vampire woman who sits in her own quiet corner, savoring the very red meat that is sitting on a plate before her on her own private table; and Professor Ozmania, a mummy in a lab coat who not only helps with the circus's finances, but masquerads as a doctor who runs a day clinic and provides the undead performers with the carcasses they eat every night from the morgue. The final member of their entourage, a pet Clown Car, has been put in a pen behind the circus tent. Sometime after the show had ended, the sentient automobile had torn up the Ringmaster's office. The Ringmaster had responded by hitting it with a rolled up newspaper and threatening to circumcise its tailpipe.
There they sit, disputing over who messed up what joke between mouthfuls of tendons and bone while others help each other plan their next acts. Kal is helping Squeaks with his Opera Singer when their Ringmaster enters the room.
His true name is Zombo, and he is a lean former mortal who had died in his twenties and without his goat mask he has slick backed brown hair and rotting black skin complimented by many razor thin and razor sharp fangs. He is more than a mere zombie, capable of seemingly supernatural abilities. All other zombies with seemingly faux magical abilities are actually 'modified' by Professor Ozmania, who screened each cadaver for candidates to be part of his experiments. No one knew how Ozmania made such miracles, granting Kal the talent to travel through any body of water like a portal or Squeaks the privilege of making sentient balloon animals, but none will disagree that even his modifications don't hold a candle to Zombo's natural reborn strength and abilities.
All present rise and wait for him to be seated.
“The fuck you standing there gawking for?” their great leader starts, pushing his plate near the middle of the table, “Pile it on already. I'm fucking wasting away here!”
For two seconds the only sounds are clanging forks and labored panting as everyone tries their damndest to keep their boss satisfied. When the plate is pushed back to him, Zombo's meal reaches up to his chin.
“That's better,” he says, waving a calf around like a drumstick to signal everyone to sit down. There is one collective sigh of relief.
Until a new recruit in the back shouts: “Hey! Why the hell does he get all the good parts?”
The air is sucked out of the room by the unanimous gasp. On the exact opposite end of the table from Zombo is an ordinary clown zombie that looks to be no more than 15 when he died. On his plate are just a couple of eyeballs, lady fingers and a foot from a burn victim, some of the least desirable and filling parts.
All eyes that aren't in a stew or inside the youth's head are staring at Zombo in fear. The Super Zombie has just only raised an eyebrow at this outburst.
“Who the hell is this little shit?” Zombo asks Ozmania as he crunches into a rib cage.
“ A John Doe, sir. Someone fished out of the Narmaha river,” Ozmania replies with disinterest.
Zombo snaps and breaks apart the rib bones and meat beneath his sharp, black teeth before swallowing, then grins as he gets up.
He is walking around the table towards the new recruit when Kal tugs on the cuff of his sleeve.
“Oy, sir,” he meekly starts, his tentacles quivering a little, “Might not this lad get only a tongue lashing?”
Zombo just stares at him. That is the signal for Kal to make his point…quickly.
His friend Squeaks comes to his rescue, “Ozmania thinks this could make him a very special candidate to become a Mod Zombie. Maybe even another swimming one.”
Zombo stays silent. Both who had pleaded for the youth's unlife slowly wither and shrink away from their boss. The Super Zombie finishes his trek around the table to the young cadaver.
“Son,” Zombo starts, pulling up a chair and sitting on it backwards, meeting his new challenger in the eye, “Let's talk, mano a mano.”
He puts a strong hand on the new recruit's shoulder.
“What's really bothering you?”
The John Doe is clearly uncomfortable about being touched in a firm manner, but instead he says “You barely did squat in the show. You barely do squat overall and yet you walk around like you're the damn king or something.”
Zombo feigns interest. “Do you really see things that way?”
“Hell yeah I do. All you do during the show is announce the shit that's going on and mostly just hide out in the dank shadows like a rat.”
Zombo starts nodding his head, only looking concerned.
“Squeaks over there busts his ass off to make those balloon creatures work, and even when Kal messes up he manages to put it off as some zany part of the act.”
Instead of looking grateful, Kal and Squeaks pull at their collars. They look like deers in headlights when Zombo turns to them.
“Do you feel the same way you two?”
“Nay boss, we're as chipper as ever,” Kal's voice cracks during the response. He puts his arm around Squeaks and they both give the thumbs up.
“Well, I think this conversation is at an end,” Zombo says, turning back to his target.
“Bullshit. They only said that because you're a goddamn bully. Anyone in their right mind can see that.”
Zombo gives an exasperated sigh and shakes his head.
“Look kid, you know why everyone is shitting themselves like they just recently died?” he puts his arms up to his chest. “It isn't because of me.”
Zombo then pulls up a bucket from underneath the table. Everyone except Ozmania scrambles as far away as possible, while Beautress looks on, still daintily eating her meal.
“It's just that, everyone who gives me attitude gets sick. Really sick.”
John Doe can hear something squirming in the bucket. Zombo gestures that he can look inside.
“And you see, it's a very lethal, VERY contagious sickness.”
John Doe sees that the bucket is full of slimy, dirty night crawlers. Worms. Zombo silently gets up from his seat and stands over John Doe.
“They get a case of the worms,” he says before jamming John's head into the bucket. John screams, flails his arms and stamps his feet as he tries to break free of the Super Zombie's hold. Meanwhile, the other zombies are doing their best not to upchuck their meals. Soon, John Doe's movements slow down as his voice starts to fade, until he is finally still. When the re-dead Doe is pulled back up, he is minus his head.
Zombo plucks the rubber nose that John had been wearing out of the bucket and begins bouncing it like a ball. He is whistling as he passes the table and grabs the forearm of a former strongman befor going into his office.
In his office, he takes out a letter. The letter has come to him in the form of a paper crane, delivering a very important message. He had gotten the 'green light' from his superiors in Pandemonium. The thought of his plans finally being put into action gives him shivers.
The most important part of his plan lays in a safe behind a portrait of his old wanted poster in his past life. He throws the letter aside and opens the safe, which contains Sorrow's Eye, a bronze treasure that is not only the key to his plans of chaos and violence, but also his superior's plans for a Celestial Utopia.
Zombo excitedly springs open the safe door.
The safe is empty.
He closes the safe, then opens it again, thinking that the Eye will appear. It didn't, so he tries it three more times.
He fishes in desk drawers before dumping out the contents, sending papers flying and paper clips rolling. He checks the trash can, the couch cushions, behind the lamp, underneath the lamp, the tank in his toilet.
The diners have just finished their meals when Zombo bursts in, extremely agitated and very, VERY angry.
“Where the fuck is my eye?”
Squeaks is trembling, “I'm sorry, sir. I thought you were done eating.”
“Not that eye you fat turd! Sorrow's Eye!”
Everyone's mouth is agape. Even Beautress and Ozmania look concerned.
“Where is iiiiiiit?!” Zombo screeches.
In an alleyway of New Dehli, a thief in rags and a cloak runs as fast as she can for the border without being too conspicuous. She is to meet her brother at the secret passage to the Southlands and sell her newly acquired treasure, Sorrow's Eye. The job has gone off without a hitch, minus being chased by a Clown Car that could move on its own in the Ringmaster's office. It had been more difficult than she thought to deal with the car, and it had torn up the office by the time she managed to flee.
Her name is Lydia, and she has visions of wealth and comfort when she sell the legendary Eye.
What she really gets is an eventual war between the living and the undead.