That was certainly something. I can't even imagine what sort of magic must be at the base of this ... thing, to just ... produce stew like that. Ha, and after all this time it was a cook pot, wasn't it. Here we were, so sure that we were overlooking some complicated translation. And it was a cooking pot all along!
I suppose this means that we should go to Taln next, doesn't it.
Is everybody feeling ...
What does this mean, exactly?
[Filter: Saoirse, in Kilian]
Ah, Saoirse, there's some possible good news for you if you'd like to come to the cellar Nessa's taken hold of. You should be the one to hear it first. See him first. I believe the innkeeper, of course, but you'd know him best.
I know that Sophy is only trying to do what is best for the baby and I, but surely a light horseback ride couldn't hurt. It is quite tiring to be secluded to the castle and not able to do everything that I enjoy. She really is a wonderful handmaid, and I think she is becoming a wonderful friend as well. I just wish I could go do something more exciting than quite walks.
Surely someone must have some advice for me! What is a lady to do when she is expecting?
[Filter: Sawyer, Eabh, and Gabe]
What -- exactly did we just see?
[Filter: Suaimeas, in Danaan]
Are you all right? You look like -- you look sick. Like you've been knocked around the head a few times. That ...
It's like the mist monsters. Bigger, but. Um. It makes me worry that -- that maybe they have something to do with us? Ever since -- ever since that time at the well, I kept thinking ... they never attack us normally! Why would they have come after us then? And I just thought well, it was the Day of Mists ...
But maybe there's more to it?
I don't know.
I keep going over this letter. Do you think we should show it to Amalea? Tell her what it says?
[Filter: Gabe, Kilian]
... we said we'd tell them after the dragon was dead. They killed her! Sort of. They helped kill her...
They definitely weren't in league with the dragon that ate Da. Definitely. And they don't know where to go. And they look worried. And I don't think town likes them the way they used to. So...
... should we tell them now?
It feels wrong to think about leaving, considering the role we played in the damage the village has gone through, but we have less and less time to linger, less time to savour the relief of somehow surviving near impossible odds. We have to have recovered the last of the treasures and be in Taln by the next Moon Festival, and that is three months away. Perhaps the villagers would prefer us to leave them to their grief, to heal themselves from years of terror, and to stay longer would be like gawking over an accident. Besides, I can't wait to see how time has warped a magical cookpot. It would be too much to hope that it has simply stopped working.
Again, the question of what the Clerics want with all of this remains. The most charitable explanation is that they think to test our worth by using us to clean up and recover priceless artifacts for the sake of their country's stability, but that seems rather out of character. No, I think they want to see if the vessels that carry their brothers' and sister's souls will obey. I think, if I knew my long-dead brothers and sister could be returned to my side, and I was not limited by what is earthly possible, there would be little I would not do to make that true.
I hate that there is so little we can do to resist. I hate that we are just following the breadcrumbs they've laid out for us. I dread that we really are dooming this world by doing exactly what they wish.
[Filter: Those in Doolin, in Kilian]
Um. I just got word that some of the bodies at the place where they gathered changed to human. The animals are probably going to get bad there in a few days, and so if you wanted to claim any of them before ...
Well, it will be a lot of work. But it's up to all of you.
[Filter: Crionna and Labhri, in Kilian]
I don't think they would want to hear it from me, but there are people here. They're all dead, but they aren't all monsters anymore. I don't even know if they would want to hear that at all.
Maybe they'll want to bury them. Or burn them. Or whatever they do. I always forget. But they probably won't want to leave them for the wild animals.
You know how to talk to them better than I do. So you can decide if you tell them or not.
What's going to happen now? Is Doolin really safe again?
[Filter: Faith and Lauren]
On the one hand, this is really my field of expertise to begin with. I think we can all agree that Kail needs to be trained with lances to begin with if he's going to be carrying that thing around. On the other hand, I believe we're also all aware of how well the boy takes to training. He tries his best, but . . .
I was wondering if we could all pitch in to help him rather than just taking the entire burden on myself.
It's true that the man needs constant attention, and there's quite a few other things you could be doing as well. However, I must once again point out that you're only human, and that you need to take care of yourself as well.
Is there anything I can do that will take enough of the burden off your shoulders that you could sleep for a couple of hours?
... you did a good job.
What was that?! The ground just shook! What's going on??
Okay! Okay I'm here, where do I need to -- if you can get her over to me so I can just hit her with this --
How the hell do people even use these things?!
This has to work. Dragons, if this doesn't work, we're all -- it has to work!
Okay holy fuck this plan was terrible, whose idea was this? This isn't going to work for long, you people had better fucking be ready!
Please tell me our dragons are ready??
Whatever you just did, down there -- something is happening!
What should we do with it? It's -- bloody. A bloody spear. It's completely soaked. I can't even tell what the color of it is supposed to be under the blood. I thought some of it was rust, at first, but it's all ...
Should ... Should one of us take Caoimhe and Saoirse back to the surface? Once they can stand. It might help them just to get away from it. And the boys. I'm not sure they should be seeing this.
Dragons. I think that's working. It's -- Yes. There's that sound, and the ... the stairs are definitely coming out. Faster than I anticipated as well. They were fit perfectly against the wall, and that's why we could never see them. Never even knew they were there.
It should be safe enough to go down them soon because they've started with the top and it won't be too long until the pa--
Well, Kail's already started down. So perhaps anyone whose joining us should make up their minds fast.
I just realized something.
The well. It's -- it's familiar, isn't it? It is! It's like under the fountain in Baethan... and under Aoife's home in Tarra! We already know this, or suspect it. That it's containing the very same thing...
But there are no stairs. Surely, they wouldn't have expected a dragon to be available, a dragon that could make itself small, to fly down. There were stairs. So there should be stairs here, too, shouldn't there?
Eabhan. You should try and see if the well is concealing a staircase!
[Filter: Franelcrew + Doolin]
Searlait may be licking her wounds now, but we don't have much time, and what time we have we need to put to use. She's bound to attack us. To put it bluntly, we need to be ready to fight a dragon.
Firstly, we need to train. Putting ourselves face to face in battle with a live dragon would be best, if Prudence and Patience are willing. We can form strategies after some initial trials. Saoirse, Coinin, Iseult and Caoimhe, I need the four of you to lead a meeting with the rest of the village. if they want to fight or help in any way, we'll find something they can do. We will need all the hands we can get. We'll also need to find a way to shelter the non-fighters amng them as best we can.
Have we found more about the ... it's hard to call them monsters, knowing who they are. Have you found out more about our captive, Nessa? And have we found a way to enter the well? Imagine, we came here under the pretense of learning about the thing, and now, here we are.
She'll be home soon, and once again she'll attempt to overwhelm me with her perfection. Lady Amaeyra, the lovely paragon of all of womanhood! So wonderful even my firstborn daughter prefers her. Ugh, it's enough to make one sick.
Though it will be nice to have someone else to help with the children, I suppose. As much as I adore my girls, there's so much to remember and I do tire of being confined to the indoors. When Amaeyra returns, I should go for more rides with Fleria, spend more time outdoors.
I am so excited for the 24th, now that the news of the ball spreading through Eblar. I have already heard so many rumors as to what the big announcement is going to be, and it is terribly difficult not to let on any secrets before it is time. I do love hearing the rumors, though. The stories are all wildly different, and I simply must smile and insist that all will be revealed in due time.
Miss Kristin has even made a brand new dress for me to wear to the event. She is the most skilled dress maker I have ever met, and never ceases to impress me with her skills and her sense of fashion. I swear she knows precisely what I want even before I know myself.
Father Bernard is convinced that I am going to announce my support of Eblar being named the new capitol of the Church. No matter how much I insist that I must stay out of Church matters, he continues to insist. I even suggested that he speak with you, though he seems not to listen. I, ah, I don't want to make a fuss about it, but I thought you should know.
One of the soldiers threw himself off the battlements today.
We've already -- gathered him. They're preparing his body for cremation now, but ... but he's far from home. His family ... They're going to send the ashes with a messenger, so he can be buried at home. Where his wife and his children can look in on him, and remember.
His name was Marcin. He wasn't that much older than me. Had a new kid. Born just before he left Forna. He never stopped talking about his wife. Belinda. Belinda and his daughter, Elise, and his son Klaus. And his new little baby. Nicholas. He was looking forward to going home. He was counting the days.
I saw him last night. I should have known he'd -- I should have known something was wrong. He had too much to drink. I knew that. Why didn't I say something? Why didn't I do something?
This place. It's a wonder it took this long. I hate to say it, but it is.
[Filter: Lady Westa, in Atsirian]
... something has happened.
I've come upon some... information. Information that could be dangerous, for a host of reasons. About the church, and the people in charge of it.
I... don't know who to trust. I know it isn't you. You did position Yvaena to supplant our leadership, I know that. And you have no love for us. But, somehow, I feel you're a better option than anyone else. All my other associations are within the church. And have told me lies to try and shape my reaction to the information, to blunt it before it even reached me.
I just don't know what to do. I'm not a woman of action! I'm an associate. I support, I plan, I...
This is already a mistake.
So is there anything you're not supposed to say about a man's home when you go inside? I'm not going to pretend this isn't advice for me because everyone knows I have no idea so I have to embarrass myself like this. But it's true that I don't know, and I am pretty nervous about saying the wrong thing.
I mean, it can't be any worse than the inside of my apartment looks like right now -- not that they look like a sandstorm has just passed through, I definitely keep the rooms that have been generously granted to me in proper order! They're just under a few layers of books.
But he has an actual library where he keeps all of his so maybe he doesn't have the same problem that I have not having enough shelves.
So yes. My original question! Advice?
I'm not sure I like the thought of you down there with that thing! I didn't participate in the vote because I thought -- well, everyone else knows better than I do! But if I'd known you were going to be down there with it, I'd have weighed in!
... all of this is so far beyond me. Waiting for an attack by an outraged dragon? Monsters in our cellars? And... and who knows what will be next! And... and...
I don't know how to handle any of it. I need you safe, and...
There's so many of them.
Do you think she died in pain? Do you think -- maybe she's like the aimless ones, now. Maybe she wandered into the woods and died out there. Lost and alone, in the fog, the monsters taking her and eating her from the inside. What little was left of her.
Do you think she remembered herself at all, before -- ?
Do you think that she remembered home? Mum and Da. Me?
Oh -- oh no! Stop the carriage! I -- I feel -- ah! I'm going to --
I want to go to the clearing. Please. I want to --
I need to know what's happened there since she left it. If the monsters are still there. If they've changed at all ... We might need to help them. They're days from town.
Go see orb place. Please.
[Shaky and weak writing]
How long have I been asleep? It feels like it's been ages. My dreams were... but they weren't dreams, were they? It was real...
My whole body hurts
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin]
Where is she?!
[Filter: Gabe, in Kilian]
... maybe we should tell them. I feel bad now. I keep thinking about it. It's not the same!! They knew we hated dragons! But... when they asked us how we survived in the woods we kind of lied. And I haven't wanted them to see it because it's ours...
It doesn't feel fair anymore.
[Filter: Patience, in Kilian]
Are you feeling better this morning? I know you had a very stressful day yesterday, and ... with everything that was going on just after you'd already spent a whole night on guard without much sleep. I just ... I hope you're feeling rested. And. Maybe up for a bit of conversation.
We didn't even sleep last night.
We stayed up all night, talking about Sibeal. Talking about what it's been like for them, to -- to have known all these years and never be able to speak. It wasn't like it was for Iseult, where she'd sometimes catch her mother about to speak, or --
They told me about how it was for them. We had a fight about it, on my thirteenth birthday. Do you all remember? I screamed at them that they needed to remember it was Sibeal's birthday, too, and they needed to stop pretending otherwise. Do you remember, Coinin? I came to your house for the rest of the day, because I couldn't stand being there for another minute. They said the moment I left, they just stared at each other, helpless. But they couldn't even talk to each other about it. They couldn't even tell each other that they know who I was talking about, that they remembered ...
Their fault, they said. They were overwhelmed and maybe if they'd tried harder, she wouldn't have been taken away. For years they've sat there not even able to talk to each other about how much they blamed themselves for it. Not even capable of alluding to her. Acknowledging her.
All night, we stayed up. Just talking. Just ... sharing memories. Wondering if she was still ...
I should probably sleep. But I'm still not even tired.
There was dragon all all ong.
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin]
That dragon-shape in the sky looks to be heading towards the town square. I'm sure it's grey. At least, it's definitely not red. Its head seems to be ... drooping, as if it's tired. Its wings are flapping weakly, and when they're down its body is swaying like a --
Dragons, Prudence, you better get here quick, he looks dead on his feet.
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin]
It's hard to say, but... but I think he may turn out all right...
There were certainly changes wrought in him, most certainly, but they seem to be reversing themselves, with no need of me. He's clearly in a great deal of pain from it -- I can't even imagine -- so I've done my best to keep him under while he goes through this. His muscles and bones were warped... going back to their original places would be just as difficult, I think, but...
But while I've done what I can for him, it pains me to say we have bigger things to worry about. It shouldn't be possible, should it?
Lionel! Oh, Lionel, I need to -- I need to see him! Is he okay? Is he all right?! Let me see him!
[Filter: Gabe and Eabh, in Kilian]
You'll be happy to know that this isn't at all about lessons. Though ... a, perhaps this won't be the happiest of conversations.
I owe you both an apology, I think.
[Filter: Doolin and Franelcrew - Boys]
I... hopefully this should be... simple enough. I... I'm going to do my best, but --
Ah, I just -- all right, I -- I'm going to start.
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin - Boys]
It's a compulsion. It seems to have taken effect overnight, and it seems to require sleep to take hold. As evidenced by the fact that those who remained ... mostly awake through last night's events did not "forget" until they woke up this morning.
Coinin, Caoimhe, Saoirse and I are not affected ... as expected. Neither are Prudence or Patience, who have shown resistance to artifacts that alter thought in the past, though we cannot rule out that this might be some sort of aesdana specific magic and they are immune because they ... well, are aesdana.
I don't know what it means that it affects some less than others. But ... I've always suspected it did. My mother, sometimes, has seemed just on the edge of saying something, but ... she never actually ...
Um. But -- But we need to communicate in writing. We've determined that anyone affected by this compulsion even the smallest amount cannot actually talk about ... anything. But writing is different, for some reason. I wonder how many people in this town, if we would have just given them a piece of paper, might have ... all these years ...
... Ah. S-sorry.
What's important is that everyone remembers the pendant. We know the ... pendant left with Searlait. We know that Celeste can scry for its location. We need to begin that immediately. Is there anything anyone else can think of that we should be doing?
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin]
Is everybody awake?
We all need to talk about what happened. And about what we're going to do about Lionel. We should all meet at the inn ... it's got the most room.
If you're still feeling sick from what Searlait did, Patience or I can come help you. We need to figure out what we're doing. And if Celeste is ready, we need to have her scry for the pendant.
Hurry. As soon as you're awake. We don't have any time to waste.
She won't wake up.
None of the ones who fell asleep will, but we need her the most.
Prudence and I will stay up and wait. Last time everyone felt better by morning.
[Filter: Franelcrew + Doolin]
He's gone. Lionel. She took him.
Who's still awake? Is anybody still awake? I saw a few of you writing before we went out there. Did she put you to sleep when she was singing just now?
Is anyone alert enough to talk about this?
What is that? Who's -- is that singing? Is it still day? I'm tired. Tell whoever that is ...
[Filter: Franelcrew + Doolin]
I'm going to be honest, I made myself some dreamfoil tea hoping that I could just sleep through all of this. The day in general, I mean. I was going to do it even before all of this happened, but now that it has, and with the -- the noises from Faith's room --
I'm rambling, aren't I? Hm.
I think I made it wrong, is what I'm saying. I'm not drowsy, I'm just ... I don't want to move from here. I feel like I'm rooted to the floor. Is that a symptom of dreamfoil poisoning? Did I use too much?
Does anyone else hear that?
[Filter: Franelcrew and Doolin]
What the fuck!
Did you hear that? Did you all hear that? Tell me somebody else's shutters rattled, just now, like somebody was trying to force 'em open. It can't be just me, what the fuck. What the fuck!
If I wasn't sure it'd get even worse out there, I'd be outside right fucking now to try and take that thing down!
[Filter: Franelcrew + Doolin]
I ... I know we warned everyone not to go out today. And you all agreed. But -- this doesn't seem like a normal Day of Mists at all? Is it usually this bad in Doolin? I feel so ... this is so much worse, and it's so hard to say why it's ...
This isn't right. This can't be right. They must be out there, right?
I don't suppose I could convince you to just... forego all of your responsibilities and commitments and spend tomorrow locked in a room with me? All of this has me jumpy, I -- I haven't actually experienced much of the terror of Kilia, and really, I don't want to start...
And I'd intended to write you about something much less upsetting!
I'm really glad that I have so many friends here. Last year I was all by myself, and no one warned me about what's going to happen tomorrow. It was terrible. I woke up and went to go outside, and the innkeeper had barred the door shut. He thought I was crazy for wanting to leave and just kept saying "no outside no outside" in a really thick accent. It wasn't much longer before all the noises started. Faeries I'm so glad I just happened to be at a border town that day.