Jan. 19th, 2010

We discussed our options further, and made a tentative plan, to go to the temple of magic to be studied, then join the largest Ult collective for at least one journey into the roots. There might be more than one journey, depending, and after that we may work with the Edge Hammers until we're ready to ask for their help on the journey to the edge. One outstanding question was whether the Edge Hammers would accept Jom as part of our party. And if we joined the Edge Hammers it would be possible to take leaves of absence to do other things (go to the crystal temple of the purifiers, for instance).

1827 asked whether we could release the rest of the people in the interview queue, and we agreed that we were done with interviewing, but would like to ask Gallax more questions.

Thymelixsen asked Tam if we would see him after this, and Tam said that it was possible. There were some futures where he saw himself hunting us, when we were doing things that hastened the fall. In those cases, our threads would be gathered, so they wouldn't fall into the All. Tam also had memories where we didn't all fall. I asked whether that was that we didn't all fall, or we all didn't fall? Because I'd much rather the latter... Somehow this lead to a discussion of the fifths, whether they all fall or all go back to the roots.

Not long after 1827 came back to tell us that Gallax had been contacted, Tam left, saying "To the things not yet remembered." Which I hope turns out to be correct.

It wasn't clear how long it would take for Gallax to return, so we went back to our room to eat and talk more about our plan. Since we didn't know how long we'd want to be in the city before traveling with the Ult, we decided that we should gather after a day of being studied at the temple of magic, to figure out how much longer we would stay there. We also wanted to get evaluated by the Edge Hammers, to find out how infected we are with the taint of the All (and know whether we are too tainted to be part of their group).

While we were talking out the plan, May suddenly melted, her nose curled down, her skin pocked, and her face brick red. She was dressed in dark clothing, with some daggers on her as well. She grinned, showing pointy teeth, and in general seeming to be rather more Sunk-like. She started talking in what sounded vaguely like Ovahon, but different enough that I couldn't quite understand it. I kept trying, and spoke simple Ovahon slowly back to her, hoping it was close enough that there would be some understanding. How long was she here? She asked me something that seemed to be asking whether I was a Blessed of the Father. I said yes, and she reached out her hands. I took them, and could immediately tell that she was a Blessed of the Mother. She kept smiling, and called me Wondalarn. I asked who else was with her, and she pointed at Cor, calling him Cor. She pointed at Jack, calling him Kurt. And someone else, too. Jack asked who she was, and she said her name was Hess. Thymelixsen asked in Elix if she spoke Elix, and she answered in something similar, perhaps HighEld. I tried asking what work they'd taken, both in Ovahon, then Elix. Hess said that they'd gone with the Ults on a very fast trip, possibly more than one. I tried to sense how strong she was in the Mother compared to May, and she seemed a bit stronger than May. I asked if they would soon go to the edge, and Hess gestured that the edge was far away. She looked at Thymelixsen as if she didn't know him. She said that he wasn't hers, but they have one like him. Did we have magic for words? No, we didn't have a translator. And then Hess was gone, and May was back.

May told us that their group has Ruzagride, who still had only one arm, and Cor, Wandalorn who was like me, and a Sunk-like Kurt like Jack, but he was not blessed. They had a yellow kafke, who cast some kind of sparkles of magic that let her understand them. They had a list of things to ask when there were crossovers like this, including how long had the crossover been here, and getting Kurt to be quiet. They asked if Thymelixsen were a variant or not, and whether we'd been attacked by edgewalkers or thirds. They had taken many trips with the Ults. May asked about Yallo, and they said he served edgewalkers, sort of. They asked for warnings, and May said that we shouldn't be doing this kind of slippage. They said they were doing research on this. It also seemed like Kurt (and Hess) might be some kind of combination of Ovahon and Sunk, not split.

Metakesh came to the door, and took us to the receiving hall, where Gallax was waiting for us, as well as 1827 and Tam.

Gallax said that that was fast. We said we had more questions. Thymelixsen asked about the quality of the threads they offered, and Gallax said that they were usually from Bove, sometimes others, generally of highest quality. Cor said that we had been approached by a kathel who wanted to go back to the roots. Gallax said that the kathel can't go back to the roots. May said that the kathel wanted to trade threads and travel with us, to become less kathel, to become mortal when we went back. Gallax said that there were others in the roots who try to make paths passing into the roots for the kathel. It had happened three times, and the Creators tried to stop each path after they were made. May asked whether it would be ok for him to travel with us. Gallax said that they'd have to discuss it; the Edge Hammers work on group consensus. Personally, it made him nervous, an attempt at bridging, when he might try to reclaim his heritage; he might be an agent. Gallax asked what generation kathel, and we told him third. Gallax asked if we had any stories about the kathel coming back, and Jack said that we didn't, not specifically about kathel, though there were stories about coming back that were far ancient history.

Thymelixsen said that we wanted to be evaluated after our time at the temple of magic, and Gallax said that we shouldn't go to them, that he would come and get us, since the Edge Hammer headquarters were in a dangerous part of the city. Thymelixsen told him that we were thinking that after being evaluated by the temple of magic and traveling with the Ult to get our threads tightened, we might work with them. Gallax gave us a caution not to do too much with thread craft, that it was dangerous, because one needed more thread to do things than one had, which led to the question of whose to take.

1827 asked if we were done, and we were, so he escorted us to the temple of magic.

It was busy when we arrived. We went in and asked for Voomwan Venver. While we waited, Jack asked 1827 about buying cavenants. Apparently there are many places to buy them, but some are bred to be better translators (which of course cost more). Cor pointed out that a cavenant wouldn't slip through to other iterations, while devices we wore would, which would make it much easier to talk with other iterations. (And cavenants require feeding.)

Voomwan arrived, talking as before in light and shifts of color. She asked whether we had decided, and Jack said we had, that we'd decided to be studied here. She asked whether we were taking the option of boarding here, and we were. She said that was good, because being here helps to minimize shifting. She also reminded us that while we were being studied, we were to minimize our time out in the city, that we should travel about quickly and as privately as possible. I asked that we be boarded in the same room, and Voomwan agreed. She told us that not all of us would be studied at once, and only during the day hours. She went off to ready a room and set up a schedule for study.

Jack suggested to May that we go looking for the stairs down she'd seen in her vision. We all went together, looking at each nook and cranny, but there was nothing. Then Jack climbed into a clump of plants and vanished. An entity gestured to us to move, and 1827 said we shouldn't hurt the plant. Thymelixsen tried to sense where Jack was, but couldn't find him, telling us he might be in shadow, or maybe something else. May suggested that we should stand together to form a shadow for him to come back out, if he were in shadow, since he couldn't stay all that long. And then Jack was back,a nd said that the shadows here were like shooting through a pipe, and there were things trying to get him, but he just flowed away quickly.

Voomwan returned with some assistants. 1827 translated, saying that two could be studied now for some hours, then there would be a break. I suggested to Cor that if we went first, we could then go to the temple afterward. And I asked that we go to the room first, before Jack went off to his temple, so he'd know where to come back to.

We went up many levels, then down a corridor to a mirror that split open to reveal a smooth, disc-shaped chamber that had a window over the city, but pretty much nothing else. We were high above the city.

Voomwan said that the room was now attuned to us, and woul dlet us in. Thymelixsen asked about tables and chairs, and Voomwan said she'd see what she could do. Thymelixsen asked for a guide to find a teacher, and contacts for selling. Voomwan said she would try to find this for him. Then she asked who would be studied first, and Cor and I said we would go first. Jack said he was going to his temple, Thymelixsen was waiting in the room for furniture or other people to come, and May went off exploring, perhaps to the library.

Cor and I were taken back to the library level, then taken in separate directions. I followed my escorts through another mirror door, into a chamber with a high arching ceiling above, and rings of floating blue lights in the center. The edge was sloped, and there were many lights, and striped lines marked on the floor going towards the center. Some marks were red and some glowed. It was bright even though there were no windows, likely because of the translucent celing. There were many figures here, most vaguely humanoid. One gestured to the center. I went that way, and the the blue spinning rings in the center caused a tingly feeling. There were lights, and holographs, coming from the panels that seemed to be tended by the humanoid workers.

"Welcome, relax." said a voice that sounded fatherly (thought not Fatherly). It spoke in Elix. And then I rose off the floor, until my head was in the top ring, tingling. The voice said that there might be a period of discomfort, and I decided I would try to pay attention to the kind of scans they would do for learning more about body healing, if I could (and as a distraction, if I needed). The voice went on, "It is very important to express if there is great discomfort, though lease endure if you can."

Then there were sigils and lines of light as I started to spin slowly. There were pulses from below that shook upward as I continued spinning. The voice said, "If you wish to decrease spinning, try turning in the opposite direction." I tried, and it helped. This went on for a while, then there were harder pulses for a couple of minutes. I was turned so I was horizontal, though still spinning, and there were more hard pulses. For a little while I was in a perfect still silence in deep blue, almost as we were at the tower. Then I came out of that and felt rather dried out, wanting water. I asked about water, but was told there wasn't any here. I was turned over to face down, still spinning, and blued out again. This time there were some clouds as well. I came out of it feeling as if my nose had bled, though it hadn't. Another blue out, and there were not only clouds, but also shapes forming a landscape of the Elix lands. There were trees, a city, shapes growing in the air, and a suggestion of movement. I tried turning my neck, and that movement made me feel all shuddery, quite horribly. I tried just moving my eyes, and sometimes it was as if the whole thing I was looking at moved along with my eyes, causing vertigo. So I tried moving my tail, and that was much less of an issue. I came out, and people were in different places, as if much time had passed. I also came out very dry, and the lights were far too bright. I mentioned this, and the voice suggested closing my eyes. I did, and still the next blue out came in the same way, seeing despite having closed eyes. This time I was standing in Black Bay, though I know I haven't been there. I was trembling with cold. I came out, feeling dry, and now oriented properly. Again, there were different people in the room. However, I was nauseous, and shivering cold. I tried to calm myself, but nothing helped, and the nausea started to get worse. I said I could not continue, and I was let down to the ground, where people came to help, carrying me over to one side (I doubt I could have walked) and comforting me. My vision was odd too, with blurs of color and spinning.

That was rather harder than I'd expected.

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quechian

September 2010

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