Mishka is a young boy, currently under the protection of Zhota.

Mishka's hair is long, almost transluscent. He has a thin mousy face, and his skin is extremely pale. Blind, his eyes are stark white, and weep blood (something that he can't control). Red veins are visible all around them, as if his face has been slashed numerous times. His stamina is poor.


Miskha was born c. 1275; the son of a Patriarch and a concubine. He was born with deformities, but his mother convinced his father to sequester him in the Floating Sky Monastery rather than killing him. His mother would often play The Trickster of the Moss Barrows for him. She also told him that those who claimed he was cursed for weeping blood were fools.

Mishka lived in isolation until the coming of the Fallen Star, causing paronoia to sweep Ivgorod. Apparently, Mishka's father ordered that his son be put to death, lest his purity be called into question. Thus, through the work of his mother and a few loyal servants, Mishka was carried into the Gorgorra. However, the caravan was attacked. Mishka's mother told him to flee, telling him that she would play a song on her flute when it was safe. Days passed, and he heard no sound. In truth, his mother and the servants were dead.

Zhota came across the bloody scene, and picked up Mishka's flute. Playing a few notes, Mishka reacted in the nearby bushes, catching Zhota's attention. Zhota easily caught him. Zhota purified the bodies of the fallen, and Mishka remained silent for the next few days, though one night, whispered "mother" in his sleep. He tried to escape on several occassions, but Zhota bound his hands. Mishka's slow pace slowed Zhota's progress to a crawl, and he began taunting the boy, calling him "demon child." Eventually, Mishka exclaimed that he wasn't a demon. He further claimed that he couldn't trust Zhota, as he'd "played the wrong song." Zhota told Mishka that he wasn't responsible for his mother's death. Mishka wasn't put at ease however, as he believed that the demon that had killed his mother was still out there.

After five days of travelling, and passing through numerous empty villages, the pair finally exchanged their names. Mishka also began to play Trickster, much to Zhota's annoyance. Nevertheless, Zhota's demenour had softened towards the boy, and had begun to carry him for periods of time. That night, they were confronted by a group of brigands. They claimed that the Patriarchs had hired their services in lending aid to the people of the Gorgorra. Specifically, one of Zhota's fellow Monks had told them of a demon that wore the face of a blind child, and had "hair as white as snow." Mishka cried, claiming that he wasn't a demon, but his tears of blood were all the proof that the brigands needed that he was cursed, if not outright demonic. Zhota told the men that he would see the Monk that had entrusted them to this task, and refused to pay them anything. This led to blows, but Zhota easily defeated the brigands. He demanded to know why a demon was after Mishka. The boy explained that his father had sent it, and told Zhota the story of his origins.

The next day, Zhota found the Monk the brigands were referring to—Akyev, who likewise maintained that Mishka was a demon in the form of a child. Mishka reacted hysterically, calling Akyev the demon. Zhota recounted Mishka's tale to Akyev, telling him that he believed the child. Akyev was less inclined to believe Mishka's story than that of the Patriarchs (who had ordered him to hunt the "demon" down), and attacked Zhota, telling him that if he killed Mishka himself, his transgressions would be forgiven. In the fight, the head of Mishka's mother spilled out of Akyev's bag, confirming that Akyev was the "demon" that had killed Mishka's fellows. After a grueling fight, Zhota felled Akyev.

After awhile, Mishka played a tune again. Zhota told him that the "demon" who had killed his mother was no such thing, but he was dead nonetheless. He unbound Mishka and took him to his mother's head, giving him a chance to say goodbye. Mishka refused, simply stating "I don't need to. I have the song." With that, Zhota led Mishka to Ivgorod, determined to reveal the truth of what had happened.[1]


  1. Unyielding
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