Episode Twenty Six - The Plane of Memories
Episode Twenty Six – The Plane of Memories (Level 12)
*As the boisterous engagement party comes to a close, Vash, Ichtaca, and Darius overhear Quotal making trouble, complaining, and insulting everyone around him. He resents everything that has happened to him, blames Ichtaca and the others, and seems bull-headedly set on causing a scene. Ichtaca tries to reason with him, and the argument turns into a confrontation about their shared heritage, which Quotal now realizes. Quotal challenges him to an axe throwing competition, and loses badly, then storms off into the woods. They then follow him into the woods, intent on accosting him before he causes trouble.
*As the other three men stealthily follow, the see Catzin, moody and quiet, standing at the edge of a cliff, staring out over the sea. Quotal, Ichtaca recalls, had been annoying her with unwanted advances when they first met. Quotal approaches her, makes an angry advance. Darius and Vash convince Ichtaca to wait, confident that she can handle herself, and wanting to watch and see how the mysterious assassin handles this. When he ignores her warning and lays a hand on her arm, Catzin flips him to the ground, chokes him into unconsciousness, and ties him face down on the ground with his head and chest over the edge of the cliff, his feet secured to a tree, but destined to wake up with a terrifying view and a terrible headache.
*In the morning, the Avans depart in small groups, taking Losoran, his household, and the party’s family members to safety in an undisclosed location somewhere across the world. Tuoch goes with them as a guard against Mathis and other danger, equipped to keep in touch with the party telepathically through his meteor bracer. Losoran also has the other side of a message pouch he gave to Vash. Ichtaca gives Quotal enough money to buy passage home, and leaves him here. The refugees from the village head back overland to reclaim their town, escorted by a war party of Avan eladrin and drow warriors.
*The group interrogate the Vampire Borelir a second time, learning from him that servants of Volgothyde are following the Nemelethe outbreaks to study them. The memnolabes allow one to see the “trail” of departing memories. He doesn’t know much else, except that a vampire lord in perrith gorr will pay a bounty for “The slayer” Catzin, worth ten times her weight in gold. After Tobias enters the vampire’s mind to confirm that he is indeed, a ruthless murderer, Catzin executes Borelir cleanly and destroys the body.
*Next, the party lands as far into the burning peat-bogs as they can, seeking out an area with the topography and vegetation the herb-woman described for them. It’s a difficult and long search, and along the way, they run into the Yaloin and have to fight them off. Tobias nearly drowns in quick-sand. Finally, they defeat their enemies, and find the glowing berries.
*They now turn their attention to the memnolabe, wanting to find out what the vampires have been trying to learn. Vash has seen streams of silvery memories rising up out of those with the Nemelethe, and now he sees them flowing out of Darius. All of those memories are rising up into the sky, roping together into great pulsing streams, and flowing upwards towards the world-fire. The harlequin follows as far as possible, but they reach thin air and the worldfire looms above them. Icthaca can feel it calling to him, singing out. Tobias can feel Mathis nearby. They turn back.
*Unable to follow the trail farther physically, the group now convinces Darius to allow them to enter his mind and trail the memory loss there. He reluctantly agrees. Tobias brings himself, Vash, Ichtaca, Lyda, and Carmenith into Darius’ mind. They find themselves with him in his family manor house, at the country estate. This version, however, is an endless series of rooms and corridors, with the trail of his escaping memories flowing out of him and leading them through it. Each door they pass holds a specific memory, and they stop to investigate some. The edges of memories are being eroded away in many cases.
*They see his first kiss with the girl who looks just like Lyda, the one whose name he has forgotten.
*They find his memory of when he discovered his family murdered, of when he found his love murdered. The party stops, hoping to help him recover some pertinent details by examining the scene. They piece together some clues, such as that whomever did this was likely one person, using a magic that froze all of his victims in place as he moved slowly about his gruesome task. Also, all the victims households included at least one person Darius recognized as someone his father worked with. Was this some internal clean-up among the starborn? Beyond what he already knew, that this was ritualistic murder, that magic was involved, they find little else of use.
*Lyda walks in on the part where her look-alike lies dead, and is staring at the body in horror. Darius moves to help her, but finds himself weeping over the corpse again, just like he did long ago. Lyda leads him away, embracing him. The others gather around him, reassuring him that they will help, but that it is time to move on.
*Meanwhile (this was a secret, and can only now be posted), Tobias constructed a psionic door in Darius’ mind, like the one he’s put in Vash’s mind, and just as hard to find. He hoped never to use it, but it seemed a good safety measure. (Secret added 7-4-13)
*They find the trail of memories leads them to a large door. On the other side is an unknown plane of existence, one none of them recognize. Each of them sees it differently. Darius sees an ever-shifting maze of hallways, stairs, and doors. Vash seesa shadowy wasteland full of growing pillars and obelisks of shadow, roamed by dark figures. Tobias sees a sea of glass with wandering robed monks tending glassy constructs. Lyda sees the same thing, only with distant buildings. Carmenith sees and endless plain of wildflowers with streams of swirling petals. Icthaca sees a forest, with cloaked druids tending trees, and windswept skirls of leaves. Tobias finds he can apply one person’s interpretation of the plane to everyone’s perceptions. The group steps through the portal, and after a brief experimentation with Carmenith’s endless wildflowers, they revert to Icthaca’s forest. The flower Tobias picked bursts into a stream of petals, reforming at his feet. They have arrived somewhere physical and real, with rules unknown, and without their physical bodies.