Feb. 9th, 2010

The journals in the temple library that were written in Elix were in three categories. There were basic travel-ish journals, and ones that had a lot of information about classical magic (both of which I didn't investigate further, though I want to tell Thymelixsen about the classical magic ones), and ones that focused on other information and resources. In that last group, across a number of journals, there were topics that were addressed at a beginner level. The topics with the best beginner level information were thread extraction, thread craft, thread stabilization, thread fortification, veil tuning, Arcoons, reading Ult, and beyond veil anthropology. There was moderate beginner level information on personal class root craft navigation and beyond veil geography. And there was some information, though mostly slanted towards more advanced levels, on knowledge systems navigation (what Cor was working on), personal class root craft maintenance, dart class root craft weapon systems, dart class root craft defense systems, and possibility stabilization (which would help us stay in place rather than slipping between layers).

Of these, I'm know I'm not interested in the root craft information (there just won't be time), nor most of the thread weaving skills, though thread stabilization and fortification seem more likely than the others. Veil tuning would be useful, also reading Ult or Arcoons, and anthropology could be useful as well, though perhaps less immediately than geography. (I could be wrong on that.)

While I was researching what was in the journals, Cor was learning about the knowledge system used in the library, and it looks quite interesting, working with one's thoughts, rather than requiring reading and writing.

It was all interesting, but I thought we should check back to see whether anyone was back in the room yet. As we headed up, something changed, with a yellow light showing at some edges, rather like the blue light Thymelixsen had turned on in our room. There were many people now, all heading down. I wasn't sure what it was: time for prayer, maybe? Though that seemed unlikely. In any case, we were close to the room, so we went up there first, and 1827 was there with May and Jack, who were both recovering from having been studied. Cor asked 1827 what the lights were about, and 1827 said that there was a possibility storm coming. Cor asked whether we should go down, as the others seemed to be doing, and 1827 said that individuals who can't manage to withstand the possibilities should go down and be sheltered.

Cor grabbed May and Jack, and we went down, continuing to ask 1827 about possibility storms. There apparently are shelters that are specifically for possibility storms. I asked 1827 about Thymelixsen, and 1827 said he could be located after we got to shelter. Before we went in, I noticed publick tracks outside, waiting, while other people were heading to specifically marked doorways; now we know what the symbol for that kind of shelter is. About two thirds of people were going into the shelters, while another third were not.

We went down about six or seven feet into an earthy 'dirt' room, thought the dirt was that stuff that was not-really-dirt in the spiral wood. There were some floating lights, so it wasn't dark. I touched a wall, and the dirt felt much more full and alive with presence than in the spiral wood outside the city; this was alive.

There was a moment when the floor seemed to fall a bit, with use having a sense of falling. And then immediately after, there was no one else here, and the air was filled with ash. There was a hole in the ceiling that let light shine through, so there was obviously no building above as before. Cor looked up, and it was all swirling gray ash, like the ghostlands. There was a sound of howling wind, and distant crashing rumbles. There was debris by the stairs. The air felt heavy, being dust filled and smoky, and there seemed to be chunks of buildings above, nothing of Wanderhold as it had been.

It was clear that we shouldn't leave where we were if we wanted to slip back to Wanderhold unharmed, and if it was ghostlands above (how could that be?), we had no way of dealing with anything that might find us, anyway. Still, we'd not all moved like this before, so perhaps we were supposed to do something to get ourselves back. Cor could see nothing much above us, so I tried reaching out in my mind, and was appalled to find that there was no sense of the Father; I was utterly disconnected, with nothing having the tingle of the Father. Horrible. May touched the ground, and said that there was no Mother here, nor any of the other Creators. Magic did not work, either. Nothing here, and nothing to do, other than listen to the sounds like large things moving around outside.

I had a sense of something scrabbling ner the hole; I watched it intently, though the others watched the stairs. Which is why I did not see what the others saw at first: a bony bent over figure, a burnt, tattered ghost of a kathel.

Jack started rolling completely silently, trying to wriggle his way to some corner or another. He was still too tired from the examination to move properly, though.

It clattered as if on metal as it came down the stairs. But it seemed to walk on in midair, as if on a crystal barrier that kept it out. Everything shook, and I finally looked over. Horrible.

But it couldn't get us just yet. Cor sat down, and suggested we try to think our way back. We did (well, except Jack, who kept writhing). But there was a shake that passed through my body as the ghost kathel hit the barrier again. We continued hearing large sounds outside. It could be kathel, which we'd never seen on the ground before, or perhaps the bionlear (though that seemed unlikely, in the ghostlands), or somehitng much worse. I kept trying to think about the shelter we'd come from, in the state in which we'd left it. May started singing some song.

Cor looked through the rubble for small spaces we could retreat to, just in case. He picked up one of the pebbles and threw it through the hole: there must be a hole in the crystal barrier there, too. Cor suggested we hide in the back, in the rubble. Once we moved back there, out of view of the hole, things were quieter. Then there was a sense of something walking on me, then stepping off. It happened
a second time, and this time Cor felt it too.

Cor tried to use the light in some way, but it was insubstantial, and not useful. Jack seemed quite strange by now, and May started petting him, trying to soothe him. Cor continued back into the dark, and I kept thinking about 1827.

I was keeping an eye out behind us while Cor went ahead, so I saw some dust coming down from the hole. I told Cor, and he said to put the Ovahon in the space above he'd found. I did, and climbed up as well.

He watched as a limb reached in, feeling around, then tried to pull some rock off, to enlarge the hole. Cor hacked at the arm. It took far longer than I would have expected for him to damage it, but after thwacking it some, he cut two fingers off the hand. They flew off and became embedded in the rock.

There was another sound of impact above, as if whatever-it-was had jumped.

May pulled out a thread. It glowed.

Cor got the two claws out of the roof, and they spun around as the ghost above walked around outside.

I watched May, and after some moments of thinking, she looked different. She asked what we're doing. I told her (not-our-her, I assumed) we were fighting a ghost kathel. In the ghostlands? Yes, but Wanderhold seems to be in the ghostlands. She asked if we were in a non, and I was confused.

She slid out of the hiding space, moving fast, and went to Cor. She asked if it was the first time, and how long we'd been here. When he told her, she said that it shouldn't be much longer until we returned, that we should just hold out a bit longer, and put her thread back in. She said that we would be here again. Something's happened, something's changed, and we'd be back.

And then our May was back. She asked if she'd gotten it (with her thread), and Cor told her yes.

And then I fell out of the air, falling hard. We were back in the shelter in proper Wanderhold, and there were many people around, some wounded, some dead. Cor and I tried to help healing the wounded, the ones that we could figure out what to do with, anyway. Everyone was shaken. It seemed like people who couldn't resist were all affected.

1827 was here. We asked questions as we worked. 1827 said that the non is after everything, not in the ghostlands. It is the ramains of here. Cor asked if all who were affected went to the non. 1827 said that a possibility storm of that size takes people to different nons. If it had been a smaller storm, it would not have taken people to a non. And apparently it could be that if we go to a non again, we might cause the hole we found this time. I asked how frequent storms were, and why, and 1827 said that they were infrequent, but came more often if the war were going badly, or if there were more edgewalkers about. The war was currently rather stable, so I assume this storm had something to do with edgewalkers... Cor asked if there were anywhere to hid out in the spiral woods, and 1827 said no. And that the storm hits the spiral woods all at once.

As we worked, Jack kept hiding. Cor grabbed him, but when we went to go to the stairs, Jack didn't want to go. He seemed trapped in his mind back in the non, somehow.

Thymelixsen showed up, and we talked briefly. He persuaded Jack to leave if he were carried by Cor, and all covered up.

We went back to our room. I tried to calm Jack by massaging him, but that seemed to have no effect. I thought that giving him some booze would help relax him, as well as being something of his god, but Cor convinced me that Jack should be gotten to sleep and recovery faster, which he asserted would be fastest if I did sathurum on him, manipulating his nervous system until he slept.

While I worked on Jack, we talked. Thymelixsen sensed magic on us, telling us about the different levels of rainbow taint we have. He seems to have had a productive morning...

May said that when she was in the constructed home space during examination, she was able to move, and to eat berries, which surprised me.

Cor said that Jom can't come with the root with us, that it would bring war and strife, which is what he'd seen in his vision.

Thymelixsen said he'd learned about protections, and understanding the All, and the workings of the city.

Cor said he was also supposed to learn a blessing of death. He'd had a vision of himself, being cold, in the ghostlands. He was knocked down, and saw that May was dead. He cast a blessing, and absorbed her threads, which wasn't thread weaving, somehow, but a way to carry someone else's threads. H wasn't thinking about becoming powerful, just aht he'd at least saved her threads, that they wouldn't go to the All. But he didn't feel sad about May being dead.

We told Thyemlixsen about going to the non, and I asked him how he'd withheld the storm. Thymelixsen said he'd gone around it, that Yallow took him around it, somehow. Which made me nervous. Cor asked about how Thymelixsen paid Yallow, pointing out that employees are generally paid. When Thyemlixsen said he didn't know, Cor said it might be that Thymelixsen works for him.

I described my visions to them, the one about being kathel hunting in the ghostlands, and about learning the crystal blessing.

Cor described the vision he'd been given when he asked about taking Jom, which seemed much more clearly a no than mine did: he was a kafke on a battlefield, with many lying dead around. There were giant things moving on the field, which seemed sort of like the stone trees in Elixpor, but these stone tree things were moving and killing. He was thinking that they'd won, which was good, but at the cost of so many dead kafke that he couldn't be wholly glad. They had to kill the kathel when the kathel came.

May said that she'd reached actualization in her scanning, whatever that means.



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