Sorry this took a while to get out to you, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything important. Surreal doesn’t quite cover this week, does it?
We started the week with a revelation from Ascender: early on in the ’94 Mountaineers’ work to unlock the Book of Briars, they found half of a “story spell” (figuration magiq, anyone?) called The Lantern of Low Hollow. The half that they received enabled Ascender to listen to the Silver controlling the Storm. And Ascender heard them commanding The Storm to destroy the Mountaineers.
In return, we shared as much as we felt was safe about the Silver and the Storm, the history of the war that started all this. Asking for his help to finish what we started.
Meanwhile, Marty was finally given instructions from our Benefactor about finding Teddy Fallon. He was instructed to use a name very familiar to us all by this point. RK Adler. The mysterious user of The Lost Athenaeum, and, it seems, more connected to all this than we knew.
Taking this inspiration, we checked again said handy-dandy magiqal resource library using Adler’s login information, and found a treasure: The second half of The Lantern of Low Hollow. The half used to control once the “commanding voice” was heard.
We had the other half of the spell, and things were becoming a little clearer, and a little more (if I do say so myself) intimidating.
While we were doing our thing, Deirdre was in Neithernor, and sent Cole back to give us an update. At the end of the tunnel in Neithernor is a vault, full of treasures and secrets and parts of Deirdre’s past. Sullivan had brought her there before, as a child. And while she was there hunting these fragments of her memory, she found what had been left there for her to find.
At the arranged meeting time, Marty made his way to the location specified by Benefactor, and finally arrived at the home of the Man Himself. Theodore freaking Fallon. Posing as RK Adler (DOCTOR Adler, renowned psychotherapist specializing in cognitive rehabilitation, who knew?), Marty was given a private audience with Teddy, whose mind was destroyed, as might have been expected.
Acting quickly, we aided Marty in a casting of the Consolatory Teatime memory spell, and it worked. Teddy was restored temporarily to his true self, although he was confused about the nature of the meeting, and reluctantly supplied Marty with some of the answers we have been looking for.
Disturbing beyond words. The Storm came for Marty as he was escaping Fallon’s house, but he was able to get away safely. By this point, it was becoming more clear what we were meant to do. But we need the other half of The Lantern of Low Hollow from Ascender.
Deirdre’s revelations didn’t end with The Myth of Elainnor waiting for her in the vault. She found The Little Red House. The thing that we need, above all, to end this war with the Silver.
It’s not a place. It’s a book.
Deirdre found the first volume of the Lost Collection, and performed figuration magiq to open it. With every memory that the books Sullivan left for her there unlocked, a part of the spell was written, and she was able to read it.
Our moment of awe for this momentous find was short-lived, because life doesn’t stop so you can smell the roses. Ascender had heard our thoughts while attempting to eavesdrop on the Storm, and he found us out. So we did the only thing we could do. We told him the truth.
We gave him our half of the Lantern spell, asking for his help. He had more questions, questions we couldn’t hope to answer.
We are running out of time. We need to pull the Book of Briars through to the present, and soon. September 23rd, the first day of Change. The day after the autumn equinox. That’s our hard deadline.
This is the biggest thing any of us has ever heard of, much less accomplished, in our experience with magiq. As Benefactor said, anyone who knows anything about magiq will be watching.
Be vigilant, Mountaineers.