Well, it's not quite an April Fool's joke, but I think it will do.
The stars flowed across the sky, dancing and weaving in incomprehensible patterns as they danced to the whim of a mad god. The green sun shone over a landscape of bleached bones, forming a pattern of ivory and obsidian in a complex weave, a pattern visible from the sky as an eldritch sigil extoling the virtues of the Yozi. The only sounds that drifted up from the bony spines was the faint chittering of the carcanoi as they scurried between patches of shadow, avoiding the gaze of the angau drifting overhead, wings aloft on tides of silent wind, waiting to dive upon slow or unwary beasts.
One other sound came from the plain, one that was unfamiliar to the inhabitants of the Boneyard. A voice that was almost childlike and musical, taut with annoyance but without a hint of pain in its depths.
â€œYou are mad, woman.â€ The reply was a deep basso, and the carcanoi fell silent and hid. In their limited experience, new things never spelled good tidings for the inhabitants of this land. â€œI can clearly see the pillars of Kagami on the western sky. We would be lost forever.â€ The owner of the voice gestured with annoyance. â€œWe should turn right. There is nothing on the horizon there. It is far more likely to hold Cecelyne's pathways.â€
â€œCan't you hear the wind?â€ The first voice's owner stamped her foot in frustration, raising a tiger claw-bound fist and pointing upwards at her companion. Her clothes were tattered and torn, leaving only her solid looking boots and gleaming orichalcum breastplate untouched, and her hair hung behind her in a ragged ponytail. â€œThat's not a desert wind, that way. Probably just Adorjan sweeping this stupid wasteland clean. We need to go left.â€
â€œI am not your servant, spawn of evil. Perhaps you should ask one of your fellow monsters for directions.â€ As the small woman began to open her mouth in protest, the man crossed his arms over the black jade he wore, the remnants of his cloak flapping in the breeze of a slumbering god behind him. â€œMaybe you can trade them one of my priceless family heirlooms.â€
â€œI said I was sorry about your stupid spear!â€ A pair of angau, drifting downwards to inspect the pair, hastily rose again at the sudden shout. â€œI didn't think he was going to run off like that with his leg cut off! Anyway, you still have your own tiger claws. They work fine.â€ The woman crossed her own arms, careful to keep from cutting herself even in her huff, and turned away from the man.
â€œClearly, you do not understand the ways of Malfeas. I, on the other hand, am a master of the Immaculate Texts. We go right.â€ Without waiting for a reply, the man started to walk.
â€œPeleps Deled, you turn around and come back here, or I'll... I'll...â€ The woman stamped her foot. â€œI'll come over there and cut your head off myself! No way is anyone in this stinking place killing you before I do! We're! Going! Left!â€
â€œIf you aren't going to be helpful, you may go wherever you wish, Lyta. I don't care what kills you, as long as you die.â€ Deled did not turn around, passing around a bend in the bone and out of sight. After a few moments of heartfelt swearing, Lyta shouted after him.
â€œFine! Be that way! It'd be a bloody waste of effort to kill you anyway, I'd probably break my claws on your stupid thick skull!â€ Clenching her fists, she spun on her heel and stalked down the path. A particularly daring carcanos skuttled outwards on ten grey legs, grabbing at a scrap of fabric fluttering off her back, its legs shifting joint to carry it backwards into the concealing bones. With the speed of thought, Lyta kicked out, her foot catching the creature under the shell and flipping the crablike beast into the air, slicing it into three equal-sized pieces with a single sweep of her claws. Without pausing, she continued to stalk down the left-hand path.
For a few moments, all was still in the bonefield, and then three angau drifted downwards, two wings stabilizing their descent while their upper wings guided them towards the shattered remains of the carcanos. There was a brief squabble as two of the flying things tried to grab the slice with the most shell, while the third made for the legs, but then they settled down, eating quickly as more circling angau began a downwards approach.
Over the next several minutes, there was no sound but the occasional snake-like hissing of the angau as they fought for shards of the carcanos shell. Then came the sound of a heavy footfall along the bone path, and the angau leapt into the air once again, leaving only a few tiny shards of bone and a spread of light meat gradually sinking into the bone. Lyta, grumbling softly to herself, stalked along the path towards her original point.
She met Peleps Deled at the crossroads, coming from the other direction. After a few moments staring at each other, she spoke. â€œCrisscrossing lines of eldritch force slicing apart everything in their path. You?â€
â€œAn endless sea of boiling acid.â€
The pair fell silent, looking at each other. Finally, Lyta sighed. â€œAlright, we backtrack to the seven-mile tall fingernail and try heading northwest from there?â€
â€œThat seems reasonable enough.â€ Deled nodded after a moment, and started walking. Lyta fell into step, glancing up at him. She wasn't about to admit it, but it was good to have someone to watch her back.
Even if that someone was Peleps bloody Deled.