15 – Memories

You follow the other two Sidereals on your way to see Owl.   You are excited.   They haven’t once mentioned that you need to run home and that…

“You sure we should be bringing the kid into this?”  Wahanton asks.   Well, so much for that.

“He has about as much experience being a Sidereal as you have, Wahanton,” Sasha retorts.

“Yes…but I have much more life experience than he does.”

“Wait, how long have you been a Sidereal?”  you ask Wahanton.

“About five months.  I only got here two months ago.  But I have seen five decades.  “  Wahanton smiles.  “You are an early bloomer.  I am a late bloomer.”

Five months seems to be a longer than your single month as a Sidereal.  But you have noticed that people’s idea of time gets skewed in Yu-Shan.

“You grew up in Creation.   That is why you don’t speak Spirit Speech.”  You realize.

“I grew up floating on Golden Leaf Canal.  I was born in my parent’s river boat.   I learned to swim before I could walk.    As a young man, I heard about the West and its endless seas.   I wanted to go see them for myself.  So I packed up my things and headed west.   It was there I met my wife.   “

“But the endless seas weren’t enough.  I had heard about the great ice ships of the north.   So I packed up my wife and my things and headed north.  Not only did I find the great ships of ice, but those that can sail on the air.   It was wonderful. “

“One day, my wife told me she was cold and wanted to move to some place warmer.   A wise man listens when his wife says such things, especially when she is carrying your child.  So we moved back to the rivers of my youth.  Our children played on the shores of the Silver River. “

“For a time I was content, but soon my feet got itchy again.   I wanted to travel again.  My wife was agreeable, as she and my mother did not get along well.  So we headed south, to the shores of the Inland Sea.   There we started a business ferrying goods to the Blessed Isle and back. ”

“It had been years since my wife had seen her family, so we headed back West.  We weren’t going to stay long.  Just a visit.”  His yellow eyes go distant as he reminisces.   “Our fleet got lost in an unmapped Wyld Zone.  I managed to navigate our way through it.   We lost a few boats along the way, but most of the fleet survived. When we reached Western Islands….  My family didn’t recognize me.   I was a stranger to them.”

“I wandered for a few months, then Elder Akachi found me.   Told me what I was and what we did.   Smooth talking bastard.  If I knew what I know now, I would not have followed him.”

“Do you really regret coming to Yu-Shan that much?” Sasha wonders.

Wahnton thinks for a moment.  “Some days? Yes.   But in the end, I would have still come.   The rest of you having been hiding in this beautiful city of gods for far too long.  You say that you are protecting the common man, but you have no idea how we live.  Mortal lives are just a matter of numbers to you.   “

“Do you miss your wife?” you ask. “And your kids?”  Does every Sidereal have to leave their family behind?

“All the time.  But that part of my life is now behind me.  It would be selfish of me to go back.   My wife needs more than a ghost for a husband.   We must go our separate ways.   “

Your group is silent as they enter the building and head towards the classroom.

“This isn’t a normal school, is it?   I don’t see any other classrooms.”  Wanahton notes.

“No.  Most Yu-Shan children are tutored by their parents or, in the case of young Sidereals, hired instructors, like Keeper.  After I exalted, Elder Akachi thought Svante needed more interaction with children his own age.  So he asked Keeper to teach a full class of students.  “

“Ah…  So a fake school.   “   Wanahton sounds disapproving, but doesn’t comment anymore on the school.  You never really thought about what a school would be like in Creation.   You make a mental note to ask Wanahton later.

You come upon the Owl just about to reenter the classroom after lunch.  He looks a bit ragged after the morning he’s had.   He stares down at Sasha, feathers ruffled.  “Bringing the boy back from your little field trip?  You could have asked me to take him instead driving the class into madness to distract me.  I know cursed astrology when I see it.  I expected better of you, Sasha.”

Meekly, Sasha says, “It was Elder Kejak’s idea.”

“Of course it was Kejak’s idea,” the Owl mumbles to himself.  “That man never does things in a straightforward matter.   Well,” the Owl continues in a normal tone of voice.  “Might as well keep him for the rest of the day.  I’m about to send this lot home.  Have their parents deal with them. “   He takes a closer look at the three of you.  “Unless there is something you need…”
“Someone kidnapped Nanny,” you reveal.   “Someone named Trailing Sorrows.”

The Owl goes still for a moment and then opens the classroom door.   “Out!  Go home!   And I expect a five page paper on the Four Virtues on my desk form each of you tomorrow!  No exceptions.  No excuses.  If I don’t get it, I’ll flunk the lot of you!”    You watch the students file out of the classroom in various states of dishevelment and injury.

In the now empty classroom, Sasha explains the story to Owl.   Owl, tapping the ransom note in his hand, asks you, “You have been remembering Rikali’s memories?”

You shrug.  “Only dreams every once in a while.  Sometimes I know things I couldn’t know, like with Trailing Sorrows.”

Owl turns away and starts pacing in front of the chalkboard.   He is clearly distressed by the whole situation.

“Am I missing something here?” Wanahton looks to Sasha, who shrugs.

“Rikali and Owl were…. Together.”  You explain.

“….Together.” Sasha repeats.  She pales when she realizes what this means and puts her face in her hands.

“That is awkward.” Wanahton states.  “You haven’t had any memories…”

“No!” you yell.   To be honest, you never really considered that possibility before.

“I asked Lytec what memories he left on Svante’s Exaltation last week, but he just laughed and walked away.”   The owl stops pacing and comes to you.  “Svante, if you ever have any… awkward memories…”

“Come talk to you?”  That would probably be the last thing you wanted to do.

“No!  Of course not!  Go to Akachi.   He’s a chosen of Venus, so he’d be the best one to explain… anything you might see.  It is bad enough I have to shepherd a child’s intellectual growth.  I rather not deal with the messy emotional development. “  He starts pacing again.  “I should have never let Akachi talk me into tutoring you lot.”

“Smooth talking bastard, Elder Akachi is.”   Wanahton agrees.

You desperately change the subject.   “Why did Trailing Sorrows take Nanny?  What does she want with me?  Is this about the Scroll?”

“The Scroll?  No, it can’t be about the scroll.    No one except me knows that Rikali took it.”

Sasha speaks up, “Keeper, if you and Rikali were…Together, it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out who you gave the scroll to.”

“Yes, but Rikali was a Sidereal.  And Trailing Sorrows is still affected by Arcane Fate.   There is no way she could connect Svante to Rikali to the scroll.   “

“Unless someone told her.  Maybe someone in the Bureau of Destiny is feeding her information.” Wanahton pulls out his pipe to light it again.  The Owl gives him a dirty look and Wanahton puts the pipe away.

“What is in the scroll anyways?  Why is it so important?” you ask Owl.

“This has nothing to do with that scroll!   Rikali was a Chosen of Secrets.  She was the keeper of many secrets, even from me.  It could be a thousand other things,”  Owl explains.

“You still didn’t answer my question!” you yell at Owl, frustrated at receiving yet another half answer.   “You just talked around it.  No one tells me anything!  How can I be a Chosen of Secrets if no one ever trusts me with any secrets?!”

“There are some things you are not yet ready…”

“You have to wait until you’re older.  I wouldn’t rush though childhood, Svante. “  You switch from imitating Akachi’s deep voice to the Owl’s high tenor.  “There are some things you aren’t yet ready to learn.  Everyone keeps holding me back and I am fucking sick of it.  I want to do…something!”

“Why would I think the Enlightenment of Exaltation change your essential nature?   You are still the impatient little brat you always were.   “ Owl snaps back.

“Hey!  This isn’t getting us any closer to finding Nanny!”  Sasha interrupts.   She turns to Owl.  “Where would Trailing Sorrows be hiding her?”

Owl calms himself down and thinks for a moment.   “She would want us to find her, as we would need to exchange the boy for Nanny.”   He goes to his desk and lock on the side drawer pops open at his touch.  He digs around for a moment and pulls out a brush.   He swipes the brush back and forth across the entire note.  An address appears near the bottom.

“That is not in a good part of Yu-Shan, “ Sasha states.

“Why would the goddess hide the address like that?” Wahanton asks.

“Why wouldn’t you conceal important information?” Owl is confused by Messanger’s question.

Wahanton rolls his eyes and mumbles something about gods.  “If that is bad part of town, we should find somewhere safe to put the boy.”

“No!  I’m coming with you!” you protest.

“We need to bring Svante with us.  He might remember something else from Rikali’s memories and….” The Owl sighs.  “He would just follow us in any case.”

“Just two guards?  This seems too easy”, Wahanton whispers, as they observe the building.   The guards milling outside the front door of the tower.

“How is this too easy?  We haven’t even gotten in yet!” Sasha replies

“We need a plan.  You have a plan for getting in and getting Nanny out, correct?” Owl says.   There is silent from the other two Sidereals.

What do you do?

  • Try to find a hidden way into the building
  • Take out the guards.
  • Pretend that you are here to drop you off and talk your way into the building
  • Other

OOC:  That is the longest one yet!   And that, my friends, is as far we are going to go into dealing with the Awkward Past Life memories.   Just far enough to make some jokes, but not far enough to become… too disturbing.

Advertisements