The crack of dawn filled the room with a familiar warmth, comforting to Temushan, tempting him to stay in bed like many days before. Climate controls were dialed to a perfect early summer heat that made it hard to peel himself from his bed but Temushan threw off his covers and stood from his comfort with a start. “Now or never…” He said to himself, brushing the sleep from his eyes with the back of his hand while his feet clumsily sought out a pair of soft leather shoes to slip on. Stepping out into the living room revealed a beam of sunlight cascading in through a window that had been left open the night prior, dust from the building’s rafters cascading through it like stars. Breakfast was utilitarian, though an early grape harvest meant raisins would sweeten his porridge.
Wearing a pair of heavy boots, heavy canvas clothes and a wide brimmed hat equipped with a cooling system Temushan stepped out into his fields. He had inherited this place from his father, a grape grower for wine for many years. Grapes were still on the crates. But Temushan’s vision was different than his fathers; sure, the vines were still attended but the chief harvest abetting Temushan’s survival was golden fungus. This miracle material, a collaboration between magic and science allowed sunlight to be transformed into various other energies. Woven into just about every device on the Flotilla, golden fungus is a much sought after resource.
Taking his watering can Temushan walked his rows; raised beds of golden fungus glistening in the light. He enjoyed the way that they reflected the morning sun on his face and watched as they greedily soak up the moisture he gave them. Each cap is carefully inspected, with pests and imperfections removed by hand. But as he was leaning down to closely look at a mushroom’s frills he heard his father’s voice, as clear as day. “Clean up these rows boy, and what’s in my planter?”
Temushan stopped where he was, staring forward at the cap of the mushroom in his canvas gloved hand. A cold sweat formed on his neck, and he could hear nothing but his heartbeat in his ears. The rows grew cold enough for Temushan to see his breath “Did you hear me boy?” came his father’s familiar, scolding tone. Temushan knew it was impossible; his father had died five years ago. A ghost. He knew it in the back of his mind but simply couldn’t help himself as he slowly turned his head to face the voice.
He was found a week later hiding in the crawlspace beneath his home, having survived on a crate of raisins he’d drug under there. When his weekly shipment hadn’t arrived days prior local guards came only to find his father’s spirit there, wandering aimlessly. A cleric was commissioned, and the essence was returned to the aetherworld with a censuring ritual. Temushan’s pain, though, could not be censured so easily. In spite of his best efforts to keep it running the farm was a chilling reminder of the twisted apparition that had once been his father. It was bequeathed to a close cousin and Temushan washed his hands of the place. For the next two years he studied at the temple of Caygan under the very same cleric who gave his father rest and who he remembered coercing him out from under his house with kind words and an open hand.