Clink. Clink. Clink.
The Pennyman appeared upon a perch above the breaking camp of Davey Boy and the Gargoyles. He remained hidden against the lightless dawn, the sliver of sun hidden beneath a distant wave of clouds, as he watched the men and women go about their business. He stood silently, contemplating their role in the upcoming struggle until he felt the calling of the deceased.
He appeared in the white north and set about searching for his charge. He finally found the man, buried beneath nearly five feet of snow that had fallen from the small shacks roof above him. The body had finally thawed enough for The Pennyman to get the man’s jaw open. Brushing snow from the man’s face, he inserted the obol into the man’s mouth and managed to close it. As he stood up, a fox regarding him from the nearby edge of a tree line darted back into the forest. Hefting his bag he walked toward the forest, coming to where the fox had stood. He knelt again and soon the fox was back, sniffing his outstretched hand. “Ok, go on,” He told the beast as he stood up. The fox ran back into the woods, cast one glance back at the Pennyman and then disappeared amongst the undergrowth.
Smiling, the Pennyman started walking again, leaving footsteps in the snow behind him until there were none. He stood before a single room, stone house, smoke coming from the chimney and the sound of singing coming from within. He opened the rotting wooden door and stepped inside, letting the chill wind slam it shut. “Good to see you finally up and about dear brother.”
Acmon stopped his pacing and looked up. “Ah, with many thanks to you.” He spoke in an ancient tongue, a language the Pennyman had not heard in millennia.
The Pennyman, out of deference to his brother, switched to the language as well. “Is it true what she told me?”
“That my souls still remain below? Yes it is. Every last one remains below. I could not do it. I came up here before unleashing them so I could find the perfect place. Our mother just opened the gates for her followers and told them to meet her in Las Vegas. She lost hundreds of men and women before they had even met her. Besides, these people here, they have something.”
“Something Nyx is prepared to take, at any cost apparently.”
“You know, I never asked, what do you get out of all of this?” Acmon asked switching back to the new language and finally standing still, looking at the Pennyman.
“Get out of this? I get nothing.” The Pennyman responded, chuckling as he set his bag down.
“Then why do you do it?” Acmon asked, taking his pacing back up.
The Pennyman appeared to consider his brother, and then his answer, carefully. “Because, unlike our kin, dear brother. I know how to pick my fights.”
Clink. Clink. Clink.