La Danse Macabre
La Danse Macabre

La Danse Macabre

La Danse Macabre

Location: Sigil / Lower Ward / Ragmonger’s Lane

“Break time’s the best, yeah? Cause that’s when them gels in the black getup head to the dance house. Mebbe if I pick up a few shifts, I’ll ask one of ‘em out for a street pie.”

Plassko Pinter, Great Foundry Laborer
A performer teases the guests of the Heralds of Dust

Adorned with a marquee sporting a trio of dancing skeletons, carved wood friezes depicting skeletal hands drawing back a stage curtain adorning each side of its great double door entry, La Danse Macabre is a theater along Ragmonger’s Lane notable to its neighbors mostly for its odd hours – running all the way through Antipeak and into the small hours—and the organ music that issues forth each time the door is opened.

Within the doors is a simple lobby, at which Eld Maude, a chain-smoking halfling in solid black garb sells tickets to would-be revellers. This Bleaker sees little point in telling the live audience of their curious co-patrons.

Beyond, doors adorned with stylistic grinning skulls open into a two hundred seat auditorium facing a stage, at the side of which is a massive organ, its pipes formed from an entire ossuary’s worth of bones and skulls.

Dancers wearing black ballet attire mostly hail from the surrounding neighbourhoods; an alternative track for parents to encourage rather than sending their children to the Forge (or into much darker occupations in the Festhalls and street corners of the Lower Ward).

The maestro and organist is a manic-looking Duster by the name of Anton di Morte Nero. Wearing a tattered black waistcoat and long black tie on a white shirt, the shock of white hair sticking upwards from his balding head fling back and forth as he hammers away at the battered keys of the great organ.

Maestro Morte Nero is a curious case amongst Heralds of Dust: It is said he seeks to purge his creativity, emotion and passion through his art, but in fact his actions simply beget more gothic music. In his efforts, Di Morte Nerom has entered an agreement whereby the Dead lease the balcony, in order to purge their undead membership of their lusts to consume life. Hungry dead—primarily zombies and wights—are coached by dispassionate Dustmen in order to forsake their cravings for the sweating bodies flinging themselves about on the stage.

The main floor patrons are mostly drunks in the stalls, their cheap tickets belying the fact that the hall bears the continuous smell of the freshly dead, of turned earth and rotting flesh. The dancers, for their part, receive enough jink to ignore the pungent scent.

Recent events have gone a bit off the deep end: It seems a group of ghouls from the Coterie of Cakes (at least, ideologically aligned with the cult of decadence, if not sartorially) have taken up residence in Undersigil beneath La Danse Macabre. Chant is that patrons have been going missing, typically vanishing during trips to the jakes. Di Morte Nero has not been able to determine the cause for the disappearance, but rumours are he’s willing to pay handsomely to resolve the matter quietly, so that his Dustmen benefactors will not pull their patronage.

Source: Bootravsky

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