The Three Witches: 5 – The Steel Weavers

I followed him down there a number of times, not as often as he went but good enough. It had been less than two months since I had started living above the Roost but I had gone more times than as many weeks. I didn’t feel comfortable going down there. I guess growing up above the Foundations makes you a little paranoid. Children are told tales of a sickness down there called the Untethering, threads woven by the Steel Weavers. It starts simply, an extra bounce in your step. You were being cut from the  Weavers threads that tied you to the ground. Soon after, blood would run from your nose, then your eyes  but it would not fall. It would rise, upwards towards the sky, dotting the ceiling. Every part of your was then cut from the ties that bound you to the world and it would only be a matter of time before took one last step, rising higher and higher, never to touch the ground again.

These same Weavers were also attributed to the ‘crypts’ of the Foundations. Their metallic threads wrapped the dead or the soon to be in a coffin of sorts. It stopped them from rising any further but they would not come down again, even in death. Entire floors of towers are supposed to be full of these coffins, stacked like wine bottles on the inside. Some have said to have found one of these crypts, that the dead pile higher than the Foundations. Spires with boarded up windows, and locked doors are the signs of rising crypts. A shop that went out of business could  be storing the dead. On the other hand, some have claimed to see the coffins have lowered over time and the Weavers feasting between their threads on the corpses.

The sickness , the Untethering is true. It does indeed start with a bounce to your step, then you’re able to tumble like the best of market performers. Then your eyes cry blood, your nose streams with it. It does indeed float upwards. That doesn’t last long but it’s the sign that your past saving. Soon it would take everything to tie you down and then there’s only two choices left. End your life there or float away into the sky. Some have tried a third option… Weighting themselves down, or tying tighter ropes or clamping heavier manacles. All have resulted in the same way. The body tears itself away from whatever is holding it down. You will still float away but spraying a fountain of blood and minus a limb.  This is one of the only stories I remember being told as a child, our parents weren’t as imaginative as we are.  It was a warning not to go down there but I wasn’t a child anymore, and Arden had me intrigued.