This recap covers a little more ground, for obvious reasons. And it took me a bit longer to get it out to you for… obvious reasons.
But let’s begin at the beginning. The 24th. Sunday.
The day after we faced off the Storm was quiet. Cole and Deirdre were in recovery at the hospital. The Book of Briars, although finally pulled through to our time, seemed… dormant. Unaware. We couldn’t access any of the old pages, and the webpage was dark.
But… after two days of rest, the Book seemed to have caught up. And we had succeeded in unlocking Fragment 15. Gnascorious, another Book of magimystical history and a piece of our erased past. We received another set of coordinates that led to Varick Street – more significantly, to 175 Varick Street… where Ackerly Green Publishing House was once located. Where it burned down.
Deirdre had agreed to investigate the coordinates for us, and it unlocked another – the final – entry for her from Sullivan’s journal. Sullivan left us a note, an explanation of where to go next – how to unlock the Book of Briars. It required a ceremony, our own special sort of figuration magiq. He explained that the Book was traumatized from its trip through time, and needed us to tell it the story of itself. Of us.
So we rallied. Of course we did. Over the course of the week, we began to pull together to share pieces of ourselves and of our journey with the Book. Dozens of us came through, and offered up what they had.
We set a date to call on the Book, to “perform” the ceremony. Sunday, Oct 1st at 3:33pm EDT.
But… of course, it wasn’t a slow ride til then. While we were getting our figuration on, Ascender and Knatz were leading a revolt against the Woolies – that’s the more conservative, old-school folk over at Monarch’s Mountain. You know, the ones who wanted to take The Little Red House from Deirdre. Among other things. And they won. Knatz and Ascender won. This all went down on The Day of Change.
They, along with Endri, are going off to rebuild MM with a renewed purpose. They have a lot of work ahead of them.
The day before showtime, the BOB awakening ceremony, Deirdre explained what had happened that day when she went to retrieve The Little Red House before MM could steal it. Man, oh man, that woman is a boss.
She was dealing with her father’s final goodbye. It’s a scary thing to let go, as we all know too well.
On Oct 1, Sunday, at 3:33PM, we called the Book. We didn’t expect anything to happen immediately (though we hoped).
We unlocked the final Fragment. Mirumagiqum. The Book of Briars.
But we weren’t done yet. We’d solved the Fragment, and received the final piece of the Ant and the Caterpillow. And then the Book’s homepage changed, replaced by a brilliant, colorful, shining page of lights.
We weren’t done yet, though.
Deidre finally made her way to us on Basecamp (finally, right?!) to tell us that there was one more task to complete, something her father had left for her to give us once we received the final word. Something to do with the roman numerals we’ve been slowly collecting over the past year.
Our final assessment.
When Deeds returned, she had quite the story to tell. Something had been bothering her, and she’d gone to Orvin Wallace, Sullivan Green’s attorney, to get some answers.
She couldn’t put her finger on exactly why it didn’t feel “over” for her, but Orvin attempted, at first, to turn her away from further questions. He seemed to be trying to gently dissuade her. To put her off seeking more answers.
But he gave himself away. I won’t go into terrible detail, but it turns out that Orvin was hiding something serious from Deirdre.
Sullivan didn’t die last year. To make a long, complicated story short, he allowed the Storm to take him, to trade him for another object from 1898. And he spent all the long years after that, using magiq, hiding in Neithernor, to manipulate all the pieces to bring us to this point in time. Spent time with Deirdre. Even saving his own life, at one point.
He sacrificed more than any of us could imagine, to ensure that we would succeed.
At the end of it, what Deirdre concluded – what she decided for herself – was that, like her magiq walking stick, she didn’t belong in the mundane world. She belonged in Neithernor. Hunting for the rest of the Lost Collection. And Cole was determined to go with her.
But before they embarked on their adventure of pizza dates and magiq, Deeds left us with the final bit we needed to solve our last assessment. A foreword for the Ant and the Caterpillow, written by Sullivan himself. Although it read like a love-note from a father to his daughter, it turned out to be exactly what we had been waiting for without knowing we were waiting for it.
It took a little time, but we found our way on the right path. We applied the roman numerals to the word count in the Ant and the Caterpillow (thanks, @Bash), plus the foreword, and after some work, we revealed the answer to the assessment – and the ending we’d been waiting for.
The Book of the Wild
The Book of Kings
Two worlds rebound
In butterfly wings
Put together it was the key to unlocking the Book of Briars.
Our age. Our time.
So we did it, Mounties. It’s over. This beautiful, heartbreaking – at times dark and uncertain – journey of ours. Our true awakening.
I love you, Mounties. I’m so proud of all of you.
It’s too early to tell what will happen now. But…
I’m ready to find out. Are you?