Word of the Signless himself spreads faster than his message does.
It becomes a point of contention in the courtblock, amongst the legislacerators. Half of them believe he should be brought back to the gallows the moment he's spotted, and the rest shrug him off, stating that he may as well be allowed to embarrass himself further. Redglare, not certain where she stands on the matter but never one to pass up a good execution, decides to see what all the fuss is about for herself when he wanders with his handful of followers into her town.
The sun's barely set and already there's a crowd gathered. She can smell a flurry of castes in the air, from rust to something altogether more velvety, and all at once she's frowning, deciding that it's already gone too far. One uneducated man alone has no right to turn the people against the law, and Redglare authoritatively clears her throat, cane in hand, about to part the sea of onlookers when somebody takes her hand.
A girl with the scent of rivers mirroring her yellow-green blood running down her clothing tugs her to the front of the crowd, and Redglare can hear her lips twitch and fold into a bright smile. Redglare wants to tell her that it doesn't matter how close to the front they get, because it's not as if she can see anything, anyway, and she could hear perfectly well from the back; but the girl only shhhhhes her, and tells her to really listen.
And so Redglare does.
She finds it harder to laugh than she expected to.
Signless doesn't only speak once. He is there in the heart of town all night, every night, for weeks upon weeks, knowing that it will take people time to truly understand what he's saying. Everyone hears what they want to, at first, and Redglare finds herself there whenever the courtblock does not demand her presence. As keen as her hearing's always been, she finds herself straining her ears to listen, to make sense of it all.
He talks of corruption in the heart of all she's ever known. He speaks of suffering like it's something the world has refused to acknowledge.
Redglare fights it, at first. Fights against accepting the meaning of his message, because though she may only be a neophyte, being a legislacerator is all she's ever worked for her entire life. But he speaks with such conviction and silences so many unruly crowds that only gather to make a point of expressing their disbelief that she can't help but succumb to it all.
She feels dangerous. Sickened by herself. She breathes in deeply and knows that her very bones reek of deceit, because every time she steps into the courtblock she can smell the way the foundations have gone to rot, and her devotion creaks like damp wood under strain. Redglare's mouth splits into a grin, all rows of jagged teeth that don't quite fit together, about to snap, and she howls with laughter at herself when she knows there's no one around to hear.
If she had her own way, she'd be stoned in the stocks for treachery.
She can tolerate Signless' Disciple. She's warmed to her, even, but there's something about the jade-blood he travels with that she detests. Redglare recognises her blood colour, knows the symbol well enough, and can't tolerate the presence of one who has shirked such an important duty. She ought bind her wrists behind her back and take her to her superiors, so that they might march her back to the absolute darkness of the brooding caverns.
The woman tries to approach Redglare when she notices how she continues to attend sermon after sermon, and even seeks her out when Redglare begins wearing a hooded cloak, hoping that nobody recognises her. There's only so much of her behaviour that she can excuse with the mere explanation of curiosity, and she knows that those within the courtblock will become suspicious of her absences soon enough.
It takes a while for Redglare to realise that it's not the woman, not Darkspurn, she detests, or even what she represents. It's all because Redglare too is slowly turning her own back on her duties, and she just needs somebody to project upon.
Redglare herself seeks her out, after that revelation. She doesn't know what she wants from her, whether it's help or guidance or reassurance that she hasn't become as repugnant as she believes herself to be, but she gets something more than that. Friendship. Warmth. Pity. It all happens too quickly, as if she actually has any say in the matter, and Redglare finds that her head pounds and aches with very step she takes through the two lives she now lives, never knowing which direction to turn in.
When she asks to go with them, they turn her down. She's angered, at first, can't do anything but laugh and laugh and laugh about it, because she's listened to every sermon, taken in every word, and has even entertained the idea of throwing her whole life away in order to go through with something she really believes in. Darkspurn takes her hands between her own, squeezing them gently. She's always done that sort of thing; always made certain to give her tactile cues, to make little breathy sounds that no one else would think to let out, to paint the whole picture for Redglare. She tells Redglare that she's valuable to all of them, and that they need somebody on the inside, someone who can help them change the laws in a way that really sticks.
Redglare returns to the courtblock, after that. She goes back to her life as a legislacerator, back to enforcing laws that she no longer believes in, and though she doesn't live a lie, she spends her days wallowing through a half-truth. Signless and his followers begin to travel further afield, and Redglare takes on case after case of tracking down criminals who have fled the punishments doled out to them by the law, hoping that she'll somehow end up on the same corner of the globe as them.
As she does, occasionally, throughout the sweeps. She listens to Signless' message as it continues to grow, though the heart of it never changes, attention fully on his teachings even as she leans against Darkspurn. When she is about to leave for the courtblock, about to return to a home that's long since begun to feel like a cage, Darkspurn makes an outfit for her. Redglare insists on picking out the colours for herself, and though Darkspurn tells her it looks absolutely ridiculous, she still kisses her forehead before she sends her back on her way.
Redglare knows it was inevitable that they'd one day grow too powerful, too influential, and that they'd one day be silenced. She works tirelessly throughout these days and nights, still only a neophyte, still not strong enough to sway His Honourable Tyranny's decision, though she knows there's nothing she can do. She feels the blood run cold in her veins, and waits in fear to be hunted down as they were, certain that her time has come every time footsteps approach her; but nothing ever comes of it. She's covered her tracks too well, which might just mean that she wasn't faithful enough to begin with.
She can't stop Signless' execution. She can't protest too much against it, either, because she knows that although he might be gone, she has to try and live beyond this very moment. Has to remember what she's been working for all this time, and ensure that his death means something, even if it takes her another hundred sweeps to change so much as a single law.
Redglare doesn't attend the execution, though it's a great public spectacle. She knows well enough how they'll handle Signless, the example they'll make of him, but when the Executioner spares the Disciple, Redglare tries to show him mercy. She pleads to her audience in the courtblock, stating how exile, how being thrown to the side, cast out of a society he thrives, would be worse than death for someone like Darkleer who lives so rigidly by the caste system. This earns her the attention of the subjugglators, who think it a great joke and decide that they'll do just that. Besides, they say, they can always track him down and break his bones apart when the thought of exile begins to bore them.
It only leaves one thing for Redglare to do: she has to track down Darkspurn, if her own mind and heart haven't deserted her already.
They've made property out of her, handed her over to royalty.
Redglare doesn't know what she's going to do, how she's going to retrieve her from the highbloods. She could approach them and beg, she supposes, and they might be impressed that she's so devoted to the caste system that she'd tried to barter for a slave that's only the slightest fraction of a shade below her. She could stage a rescue attempt, could break into the Prince's dwelling and pull Darkspurn out with her own two hands, but she knows she'd forfeit her own life in the process.
By the time Redglare's done conjuring up futile plans, Darkspurn's already dead. Assassinated by the Orphaner in a spate of jealousy sparked off by his former kismesis.
The subjugglators make him their punchline, and then decide that they want the Marquise's head.
Redglare takes a hammer and heats wrought iron, pounding out the shape of the symbol the Signless gained in death that's long since spread across the land, and wears it under her ridiculous red and teal outfit, pressed against her chest where no one will ever see it. She approaches the subjugglators, cane gripped tightly in one hand, the other hand curled into a fist, nails digging into her palm. She clasps onto a law system she's long since given up on believing in, knowing that she can twist it for her own means, to do what must be done. Redglare supplicates herself before those who could easily grasp her skull in their hands and silence her completely, and asks them to let her do this.
She'll get the job done. She swears that she'll be their wildcard, because she's only focused on one thing. Something she hopes Signless won't hold against her.