Sťancing the MystsHere are my memories of when I Sťanced the Mysts of Forgetfulness, and the results. Do note that it has been four years since this occurred, to say nothing of the effects of the Mysts, so some of my memories could be incorrect, or at the very least, out of order.
The background is that a few weeks before the Black & White of 1008, Rel Zhirah had begun to learn about his earlier incarnation, as Rel, Druid to Queen Maeb. One night when we were working together, accompanied by Indana Ward, I began to use my Seer magic to attempt to learn more about the Five Counselors. During this time, I learned many things, including the fact that Tara is the sister of Sir Lucas Harkon, and not a half-fae like she believed. One other crucial clue was that, according to a memory Rel had recovered, as late as "two days" (note that this is fairly meaningless as there is no time in Faerie) before the masquerade ball where the Purging began, King Cuchullain was able to approach Bedlam, pull out some darkness, and shape it into new faeries. This is where at least some, if not all, of the Servants came from. The secret it revealed is that at one time, Bedlam was open and accessible, and this was not a problem like it is now.
A recurring theme of the night was that one of the Counselors, whose color was purple, was the Traitor, who betrayed King Cuchullain and Queen Nimbus. Rel knew both his name and his crime, but every time he tried to communicate either of them, the Mysts caused us to forget. I became convinced that this Fifth Counselor was the one to "change" Bedlam, and cause it to become the deadly, all-consuming force it is now. Rel told me that the Mysts act to protect Faerie, so I concluded that they were stopping us from learning something terrible that the purple Counselor did.
After the Black & White, I decided that it was up to me, as a Seer, to attempt to find out what was changed about Bedlam. I had high hopes that understanding this would put us on the path to fixing it. I had heard that during the Rites of War, there was an attempt to speak to the Mysts of Forgetfulness themselves, in order to ask them to perform a task. I confirmed this story with Rel, and then, preparing to forget it all myself, I prepared to Sťance the Mysts, and ask that they allow the details of the Fifth Counselor to become known. I understood that I could not ask them to tell me, as I would forget. But it seemed possible to request that later, once I had left, I could hear Rel when he spoke. I was prepared, also, to forget that I had cast the Sťance, as Rel had told that that this happened when the Mysts were contacted during the War.
In the barracks of the Chimeron Militia, where I was staying, I arranged a ritual circle. I included two interesting porcelain spheres I had been given by Sir Iawen over a month earlier. It turns out that these two were the physical representations of the Bonds of Nimbus and Masks. In retrospect, this likely helped my ritual succeed to the degree it did.
I cast my Sťance, reaching out to the Mysts. I waited, and as far as I could tell, nothing happened. As I had been prepared for this, I assumed that I had successfully cast the spell, spoken to the Mysts, and subsequently forgotten. Hopeful for the future, I went to bed.
I woke up in my cot, but was no longer in the barracks room, and was instead surrounded by the Mysts. The floor, when I stepped on it, was the same uniform gray, but flat, hard, and cold. As I looked around, I heard a female voice, booming even though it was muffled by the Mysts: "Damn these [inscrutable? It has been a long, long time] Mysts!". I called out to her. She responded by casting a Light spell, with the incantation "Blue Fae Light!", and then gave me an order to stay where I was. I was intrigued, because I recognized the verbal as the one that I had heard was used by Bouquet D'Amandes. As I watched the blue light bounce closer, I could see that the person carrying it was very large. Soon, out of the Mysts, an enormous fae woman appeared, proportioned normally but far taller than myself. Compared to her, I was the size of a doll, perhaps as tall as the length of her hand. She introduced herself, though I cannot remember whether as Nimbus or Bouquet, that first time, and told me that she was sent to find someone who was lost in the Mysts, and offered to take me out and bring me to the palace in Elfland. I mentioned that I was from Chimeron, which she had never heard of, and seeing my small size, she asked if I were a "Chimeron pixie." I said I was, instead of trying to explain Chimeron, or the fact that I was a mortal, if tiny.
Bouquet took me out of the Mysts, letting me ride on her shoulder. I came out into the palace, in the First Age, which was beautiful beyond description. I could go on for ages, but this Library scroll is not the place for that. Suffice to say, I saw many wonderful things, just while traveling with her.
We briefly met with Duchess Ophelia, who looked like a flower grown into the size and shape of an elf, and called my carrier Bouquet.
Nimbus/Bouquet took me to a set of mirrors, approached one, and spoke to it, saying something along the lines of "Rel, I, Nimbus, would like to enter your Place." We then stepped through the mirror, and emerged in a grove of trees, dominated by one enormous tree, stretching unfathomably high above Nimbus. Nimbus' appearance also changed drastically, becoming very tribal, and she acquired a wooden staff, apparently from thin air. Nimbus told me that she was sad, because her friend, Rel, who lived in this grove, had gone missing, and she was worried about him. She put me down, and went elsewhere to think. I started trying to divine some of what had happened to Rel for Nimbus. I got an interesting answer, and needed to get her attention to tell her. I was tiny enough that I could not see her, and would have taken a very, very long time to find her. In an attempt to get her attention, I threw a Magic Missile into the air, hoping to produce a flare-like effect.
Magic in the First Age was everywhere, and very, very powerful. My Magic Missile, instead of being proportional for my size, was an enormous, firework-like burst, which created a large flash in the air, and then dangerously rained down, all around me. I avoided any harm, though, and succeeded in getting Nimbus to see me. She decided that I should be my normal size, in comparison to her. She waved the staff, and in the blink of an eye, I was once again the size of a human. My clothes and equipment, though, had not changed size, and Nimbus threw me the cloak that had been on her shoulders for decency. As soon as it touched my hands, it changed from a fairly nondescript piece of cloth, to a pale yellow cloak, with innumerable pockets. I put it on, and explained the results of my Seer magic to Nimbus. She interpreted Seer spells as "talking to the Moon goddess." She lead me out of the grove, and through more of the Palace. At one point, we sparred, and I was far outmatched. Eventually, we returned to the grove, where Nimbus' appearance again changed to the wild, tribal look. She explained to me that the largest tree there was Tree, who was connected to Rel. I offered to try and speak to Tree, to see if it knew where Rel was. Nimbus agreed to let me.
I performed another Sťance, because Tree seemed to have no way to speak to me directly. When there was no response, I reached down with my right hand and grabbed a root. Immediately, everything went black, and I felt intense pain throughout my entire body. Through the pain, I started to hear two things. One was the voice of Rel Zhirah, who began to talk to me, telling me that I had gone missing, and indicating that he was back in my own time. The other voice was very similar to his, but still different, and was screaming in pain. We realized that that was Rel, the Druid, trapped in Tree. Rel Zhirah told me that he had been put in Tree by Queen Mab to protect him. I instantly knew that this was wrong, it had not been Mab, but rather, the Fifth Counselor, as part of his betrayal. I wanted to tell Nimbus, but had no way, while trapped by the results of the Sťance. Rel Zhirah, meanwhile, wanted to return me to the "present," and began to brainstorm possible ways. He told me that he was hearing my voice through the Staff of Deep Fae which he had acquired, and wondered if he could "pull" me through it, or possibly make it into a new body for me. He began to focus his power, and I felt my right arm begin to burn. Eventually, I felt a mighty explosion, and when I woke up, I found myself still in the grove, but after a disaster had struck: The trees were burning, and Tree was on fire but did not seem to be affected by the flames. I saw Nimbus, some ways away, on the ground and unconscious. I ran over to her and cast Raise Dead to revive her. She did not seem to know what had happened, but immediately brought us out of the grove. On the other side, back in the hallway with the five mirrors, a faerie called to her that Gwyidon's Tower was falling. She ran off, leaving me behind.
I knew that Gwydion, like Rel, was one of the Counselors, and concluded that another mirror could lead me there. As I tried to figure out how to deduce which one, I happened to reach into a pocket of my robe and found a small gear there. I held it up to each of the mirrors, and it vibrated near one of them.
At this point, I was approached by three more faeries. One smaller fae, with a black star tattooed over his eye, and two large, hulking fae, looking like body guards. They told me that something bad was happening, and they would gladly escort me to the edge of Faerie. I knew about the Black Star Guild, as a group who had wanted to capture Rel in the summer past, and had evil designs for Tara Harkon, and feared that this represented their precursors fighting in the Purging. Before they could take me, I quickly said, "Gwydion, I'm coming through, I hope you don't mind!" towards the mirror the gear had indicated, and threw myself in.
The mirror deposited me in water, with light above. I swam upwards and emerged in an overflowing pool in a stone room. Signs of battle, including slain fae, were all around. It looked like faeries with the black star tattoo were on a different side from many other beings. The ground was tilted, as if the building I was in was starting to collapse. I took off running, trying to find my way up. I was aware of how belief can shape Faerie, and so I tried to always take the correct turn, relying on my belief and intuition. It seemed to work, and I was able to find routes higher and higher, until I emerged onto the roof of the Tower. As all this was happening, I began to develop spontaneous, sporadic telepathic connections to Rel Zhirah, back in my time. I told him some of what was happening, as I could.
On the roof, I could tell that the tower was collapsing. I also saw that the tower itself was surrounded by a lake. The roof was not safe to remain on, however, as there were a number of creatures which I can only describe as eldritch abominations, starting to work their way down into the Tower. They saw me and started to advance on me. I threw a Magic Missile at one, and it was augmented enough to throw the creature back slightly, but did not seem to deter it much. Trusting in my Protectionist magic, I threw myself off the Tower, and was rewarded when my Resist Death spell saved my life. I swam towards the shore of the lake as quickly as I could, while feeling like terrible things were following me in the water.
When I reached the shore, I started walking along the edge. Another eldritch creature, on this side of the lake, saw me and gave chase. As I ran, I threw another Magic Missile at it, but as before, noticed no great effect. I reached into the pocket of my cloak, and found some small red berries there. Rel had mentioned magical berries associated with himself as the Druid, so, as the creature opened its mouth to roar, I flung a berry at it. As soon as the berry landed in its mouth, the beast vanished. Relieved, I took off running, hoping to find somewhere useful, but something clubbed me from behind, and I fell unconscious.
Continued in The Purging.
Created by Rosetta (Eric Willisson) at 11-04-12 11:39 PM
Last Modified by Rosetta (Eric Willisson) at 11-06-12 00:32 AM