85 – Baggage

Your hands shake as find out everything you can about your mother and father.  Your Mother’s name is Kaja.  She is a healer.   Your father’s name is Anders.  He owns a boat called the Fire Dragon.   You also discover you have two other siblings, besides Linnea, the sister you have already seen.   A brother, three years older than you, named Bendt and a five year old half-sister, named Elise.

Half-sister?  Unhappily, your mother is no longer with your father and is married to someone else.   The threads of your parents are further apart than you realize.  What you thought was a village was a connection of relationships between individuals.  Though you didn’t realize that they existed until only moments ago but now you are sadden by the fact your family is no longer together.

A group of gods walk by carrying boxes of prayer scrolls.   They nod respectfully at you as they pass.  You force yourself away from the threads of your family.  You could be here all day looking at your family’s history, but you don’t want to be caught by your parent’s threads.   Later you can ask your pattern spider questions.   Now you head deeper into the Loom, needing time to process what you found before someone finds you.

Your time as a mortal living among the gods of Yu-Shan was difficult.   For most of your life you have pestered Nanny about who your parents were, hoping to gleam some clue as to why you were raised in Yu-Shan instead of Creation.  She often told you many stories about them and they all ended with your parents dying heroically.   Even at the time, you doubted any of them where true.  After you Exaltation, you asked Akachi about where you came from, but you only got the usual “You’ll find out when you are ready.”  There was such a look of intense sadness your guardian’s face, you assumed that they were dead.  You now know it wasn’t sadness you were seeing, but guilt!

You begin to doubt everything and everyone. While Akachi did not technically lie to you, he certainly did misled you.  Who else was in on this conspiracy to keep you in the dark?   The Owl?  Yeva? Elder Kejak?  Sasha?  You just assumed that she was telling the truth about being raised with you.  Was Sasha even your real sister?  You are beginning to understand why Elder Kejak told you to seek your own answers instead of asking questions.

You ask another pattern spider to take you to when you and Sasha first met.  Following the spider though the maze of stairs and walkways, the spider leads part of the Loom connected to Yu-Shan.   Unlike Creation, Yu-Shan looked like what you imagine a loom to be.   Each thread is laid out alternating rows of shining perfection.   The bright godly threads illuminate the walkway.  You are relieved when the spider leads you back to the inactive part of the loom.  The past.  It illuminates two threads – amethyst and emerald.  A sapphire and white thread are dimly glowing nearby.   You assume the emerald thread is yours, so you touch the amethyst thread first.   Nothing.  The thread is lifeless under your hands.   Curious, you try the sapphire thread and get the same non-reaction.   Touching the emerald thread, you are swept up into a memory long forgotten, but the Loom of Fate remembers.

You are warm and sleepy.   You lick the sweet taste of milk from your lips and shift in your blanket.   You hear voices above you.  At first the sounds are meaningless, but you once you realize that you are no longer an infant, the voices began to have meaning.

“He’s adorable.  Such red hair!”  You hear Nanny exclaim.   You feel the gentle thud of her heartbeat as you lay against her warm chest.

“That he is.  I had to pry him from Yeva’s arms when she brought him into my office. “  Akachi’s deep voice answers.   “Is Sasha up yet?”

“No.”  Nanny lays you down in a basket.  “I’ll start on breakfast.  That should rouse her out of bed.”   The goddess disappears from sight and a dark hand holding a small bright blue stuffed Yeddim appears in her place.  The Yeddim dances around in front of your face.    You reach for it with your hands and the Yeddim tickles you.  You giggle and kick the Yeddim away with your feet.

“At least this one is a smiler.”  Akachi’s face appears smiling down at you.   “Naoko cried for two days straight when she first got here.”

“Who?”   Nanny clatters some pans around in the kitchen.

“Never mind. “  Akachi places the Yeddim next to you and moves out of sight.   “Look who’s awake!”

“Akachi!  Are we going on another trip?”  You hear a girl’s voice ask.

“Not today, Sasha.   I’m just dropping off your little brother.”

“Little brother?”   A small nine year old girl with dark sleep-muddle hair appears, warily looking into your basket.   You have never seen Sasha with brown eyes before.   “Where did he come from?”

“From the North.”  Akachi does not explain more than that.   “Would you like to hold him?”

Sasha bites her lip as she considers Akachi’s question.   She is not sure about this new little brother. Then she smiles and nods.  With careful hands, Akachi picks you up.   You fuss a little as Akachi shows Sasha how to hold you…

“There you are, Svante.”  Elder Kejak interrupts you.   “What are you looking at there?”

“Um…”

When you don’t answer, Elder Kejak touches Nanny’s glowing white thread.  “You are trying to reclaim your lost memories of Sasha?”

You weren’t even aware you could do that, but you nod anyways.   “Why I can’t access Sasha’s thread?”

“We can’t access each other threads.  A professional courtesy the Maidens have given us.”  With a look of warning, Elder Kejak gently taps once against your thread.   You suck in air as you feel the equivalent of the Elder tapping on your shoulder.  “We also know who touches our threads.  Sometimes we use this to summon each other to the Loom in emergencies.”

“Oh, no.”   You touched Akachi’s thread.  You summoned him here!

Elder Kejak continues, unaware of your distress. “Fortunately, it was Sasha’s thread you touched.  She will be pleased to find out you have access to the Loom.  She has been badgering Akachi since your Exaltation for you to be allowed here.  Sasha has her hands full with the Shogun at the Chrysanthemum Manse, so we have time to get a message to her….”

“I touched Akachi’s thread, too!”  You interrupted panicked.

Elder Kejak rubs his forehead and mumbles.  “And I convince Keeper not to tell Akachi for a few days.”  In a more normal tone of voice, he asks, “How long ago did you summon him?”

“About five or ten minutes.   I didn’t know!  You didn’t tell me!”  Akachi is the last person you want to see right now.

“It will be fine, Svante.  I’ll take care of it.”

“But…”

“I said I will take care of it!”   Elder Kejak snaps, leaving no room for argument.  “Follow me.”  He tucks his arms in his robe sleeves and briskly walks away from the Yu-Shan section of the Loom.  You meekly follow behind the Elder Sidereal.   After a minute or two of walking, Elder Kejak, in a calmer tone, says “It wasn’t your fault, Svante.  I should have warned you not to touch any of the other Sidereals’ threads.”

When you say nothing, Elder Kejak continues.  “Don’t worry about Akachi.   He will be annoyed at me, not you.  Just say silent and let me do the talking.”

That wasn’t what you were worried about.  You were worried about breaking down screaming at Akachi for deceiving you.  You are sure Akachi thought he had good intentions, but he took you from your family!  You bottle your anger because you couldn’t let anyone know what you knew.   Not yet.  You were planning on seeing your parents and no one was going to stop you.

You turn a corner and find Akachi waiting for you by the doors of the Loom of Fate.   The Owl is standing next to him looking uneasy.

“Svante, are you okay?”   A very worried Akachi looks you over.   Not trusting your voice, you nod.   Akachi turns to Elder Kejak.  “What did you show him?”

“The School, the Wyld Edges of Creation, and Yu-Shan.”  Elder Kejak calmly says.

“Nothing else?”

“I did not show him anything else.”  The Elder does not mention you running off on your own.   You hope the Owl doesn’t either.

“We will discuss this later,” Akachi promises Elder Kejak.  The Elder Joybringer motions to you to leave.

Undeterred, Elder Kejak continues, “Svante is stronger than you realize.  His first visit to the Loom better than most adults’.”

Akachi growls, “I said we will discuss this later, Chejop.”

The Owl puts his hand on your shoulder, “Svante, let’s go.”

“I’m not done with my lesson yet, Keeper.”  Elder Kejak states.   “You still need to pick up your book.  Come back to my office, Svante.  ”   You follow Elder Kejak back to his office with Akachi and the Owl trailing behind.  When back at his office, Elder Kejak offers you the Five Moons of Denial.  In retaliation, you hold up Pretty Dragon Princess Meru.

With Akachi and the Owl watching, you and the Elder Oracle reluctantly exchange the unwanted reading material.   You slide the heavy book into your bag, feeling like you got the worst end of the deal.   Elder Kejak grimaces as he slips the manga into a drawer.

“I’ll take Svante home, Akachi.  I’m sure you and Chejop have much to discuss.”   Akachi considers the Owl’s offer for a moment and nods.   You follow the Owl out of Elder Kejak’s office and onto the streets of Yu Shan.

“What did you see while you were wandering around alone, Svante?”  The Owl asks.   When you don’t answer, the Owl sighs. “You don’t have to tell me what you saw, if you don’t want to.  I can probably guess.  I didn’t want to keep secrets from you, but that was among the price I had to pay to be a part of your life.”

A little of your rage slips out.  “Do you think I fucking care what price you had to pay?”  You squeeze your fist and rebottle up your anger.  You didn’t want the Owl to try to stop you from going North.

“Svante…” The Owl’s feathers droop.  “Whatever you do, don’t bring your bag with you. “

“Just leave me alone.”  You sprint the rest of the way back to Akachi’s Manse, quickly outdistancing the Owl.  Mei Mei greets you happily at the door.  You snatch the puppy up and stomp up to your room.  You slam the door.  You toss your bag to the floor and throw yourself on to the bed.  Mei Mei tries to cheer you up by licking your face.  You rub the puppy’s fur as you consider your next step.

Where are you going to go next?

  • Directly to see your family. There is no time to waste!
  • Go to the Chrysanthemum Manse and find Sasha. If she was raised by Nanny, then she was kidnapped too!
  • Get Wanahton’s help. He knows Creation better than anyone and he knows the fastest way to get anywhere.
  • Go to Vanchow and talk to Chiyoko. You were already planning on sneaking out to see her tonight.  It will give you a good cover for your trip North.
  • Talk to the Owl. Maybe you were harder on the old bird than you needed to be.
  • Other

What are you going to do with the bag?

  • Bring the bag with you.
  • Leave the bag in your room.
  • Drop the Bag off with someone.
  • Dispose of the Bag.
  • Other

(( Two questions!  Wanted to see if Svante has any unfinished business in Yu-Shan/Blessed Isle before heading North.  ))

((I could have made this post SO much longer.  Fucking Loom and its access to almost EVERYTHING!))

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