The Secret Society - The Dreamer

#1

Originally published at: https://ackerlygreen.com/2019/03/24/the-secret-society-the-dreamer/

So I didn’t want to say anything at first, but I’ve been having weird dreams. Like WEIRD dreams. Vivid, weird, and in them, I’m not me. The thing is, I’ve been having them ever since Woolie was last in the office and I tried to console him. When I fell asleep beside him, and he disappeared.

I don’t know how ghosts work, but…

Backing up, I keep a dream journal. I have ever since I lost a chunk of my memories way back in the 90s (you know the story, blah blah blah, living storm, magic coin, etc.) I figured back then that maybe I couldn’t remember things, but sometimes memories become part of dreams, and if I kept track of them, maybe I could put some of those pieces together. That never really happened (well, sort of, but that’s another story) but I kept the habit, and I have tons of journals full of dreams. From detailed accounts to sketches, to single phrases, or even individual words… I don’t ever really go back and read them; it’s just become a habit. If I remember something when I wake up from a dream, I write it down.

The thing is, since Woolie disappeared, I’ve been having dreams that feel like they’re through his eyes. Not necessarily like he’s showing me things, but more like he’s dreaming inside me, and I’m along for the ride, but I can’t remember the details for longer than a couple of seconds when I wake up, so there hasn’t been a point in pulling out my journal. I can’t remember anything to write down. I know the dreams don’t… feel like they’re mine. They’re his, or someone’s, and I’m mentally piggybacking.

My family says I’m not myself lately. I’m distracted, in a sort of mental fog, and I have this constant feeling of what I can only describe as a mix of longing and dread. Like I’m not doing something I’m supposed to, but also fear doing it. And that’s how the dreams feel too. Also, I find myself replaying the City Hall station footage over and over and trying to figure out if the weird sounds and lights mean something or if it’s just noise. I can’t get it out of my head.

I mean, you know that picture of me that I didn’t take? What is that in my hand?

Anyway, last night I decided to pull out my dream journal and a pen and went to sleep with them in my hands. Thinking, if I’m not myself, then maybe I’m someone else right now. Or at least someone is visiting. I might not remember the dreams, but maybe Woolie does? And maybe he can write something down that would help?

I know. I’ve gone off the rails. But come on, we’ve experienced weirder. And also, you know probably know where this is going.

Yeah. It worked.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m possessed, but part of whatever’s left of Woolie has taken up residence in my head and I’m feeling his feels and dreaming his dreams. And this morning a ghost wrote his dream down, through my hands, into my dream journal.

You know, like you do on Sunday. This is Woolie’s nightmare.

“My memories are lies. As I fall to pieces, the lies fall away as well.

The man we saved from the boat, the one who began me on the path to Neithernor, he did not lead me down the path of wool like my memories tell me. I can see that now. He set me on a journey to the island across the great sea. To those who called themselves the Silver. That is how I first found Neithernor. I learned of the other houses from them, yearned for their community and sense of wonder. I never felt like I belonged with the Silver and in time they became suspicious of me and rejected me.

They made me forget them and set me back into the world with only an inkling, a need, to return to a place I couldn’t remember. And that’s how I found Neithernor a second time, though until these dreams I believed it was my first. That is how I joined All Ebgorad, how I found my Molly there on that shore that looked onto the sea that stretched between the Silver and us. How I found my home and heart.

In time, when a meeting was to be held on that same shore, a parley for peace that would begin on Assembler’s Day, I fought, despite my inexperience, to be watch on that night. To be the first sight. And Molly fought for me to have the honor, the responsibility. But it was not me who asked to be the first sight. It was the Silver. It had all been their plan. They sowed a seed in my mind before sending me back to the mundane world. A seed that would grow into a need for me to return as one of the six guilds, and to ignore their seabound betrayal until it was too late to stop them. The Silver lied, lied to us all, but it was I who was the betrayer.

When I saw them approach, their blood-black sails raised, the wave tall enough to wash us all away, I did not warn my kin, my family. My Molly. I watched, unable to speak. The seed they had planted in me had grown into a choking vine, and there I died in silence, beneath the waves, forsaking all I ever wanted. All I ever loved.

My every waking thought has been about returning to Neithernor to find my Molly’s spirit and hold her again. But I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve the world I handed to our enemy.”

That was the end of what he wrote. But, sitting there with the journal in the dark, I was thinking about A.G.’s journal and how she said it helped her work through things.

I felt compelled to keep writing, for her. For Woolie. For everything they’ve sacrificed, and honestly, this could be nonsense, or it could be clues…

Fall below the five waterfalls and trade a whip-crack for whiskey.
In her city of the dukes, find the fifteen creatures standing guard.
Coyotes drink in the place of wells where the black stars lie.
The father of gazelles hides a phantasmic collection in a minuscule place.
The proclamation tree casts shadows on the heads of the beautiful island.
A war of knives in a city of light follows a path to a star.

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The Secret Society: Intertwined
#2

Stay safe, @Saberlane, and trust the flow of magiq.

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#3

Definitely stay safe. I’m sorry it’s having an impact on your life and family like this. Woolie doesn’t have the right to take you over like that. I’m sure if Leigha or Ms Evans were here they’d recommend lots of salt circles and burning white sage. It’s not my area of expertise but give it a try.

Edit: Although if you ever want to bore Woolie into leaving you with a long lecture I’m sure I could dig up something.

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#4

If it comes to it, I’ll definitely hit you up, @Robert.

I can’t explain it, but I don’t think Woolie meant to do this. Maybe it was the ash, maybe it was dozing off in proximity to him when he was fading, but I think this might be magiq at work, trying to save what’s left of him. It’s definitely not optimal, and I’m hoping that we can resolve it, though I’m not sure how we can fix it without destroying what’s left of Woolie in the process.

Help me run a little publishing company, she said.
No big deal, just paperwork, and social media, she said.

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#5

Well, I’ll bust out the tinfoil for the dream clues, I suppose.

Unless there are several lesser-known proclamation trees, the only one that seems to come up is in Australia. Not particularly close to @Skylad, but closer than some of our other clues that turned out to be elsewhere (and if the clues are sending us farther now that we have the means to dream travel; even more likely with how these clues have presented themselves)… I’m not sure of that ended up a complete thought.

One other thing I found in a quick-ish search was the Black Star(s) Canyon (I forget if it was singular or plural) close-ish to the corner of California with a couple Mountie dots on it (looked closer than the tree to Sky, anyway).

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#6

I’ve tried to poke at the clues a bit, but not seeing much.

A war of knives in a city of light follows a path to a star.

The War of Knives was a hatian war in 1799
(Hattii speaks french…city of light is Paris? Okay that’s a stretch.)

The father of gazelles hides a phantasmic collection in a minuscule place.

Abu Dahbi (in the UAE) literally translates to “Father of Gazelles”? The phantasmic collection may be there.

Also the dream travel proved at least threatening if not outright dangerous to 5 of the 6 people involved. I’m not sure we want to risk more mounties here, but then we tend to do risky stuff so I can’t speak for anyone.

I have to address the elephant in the room though. We have what was once a Silver sleeper agent inside the brain of the operator of AGP… AGP being the single most important place we know of for the plan to bring all the magic back.

I trust you, @Saberlane. No doubt there. Whatever is now in your head that controls your body for periods of time without your knowledge…less so right now.

I think “without destroying what’s left of Woolie” is really, really far down on the priority list. Getting him out of you is much higher.

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#7

Well the brecon beacons national park in wales, which Nim is near, is known as the waterfall country so that could fit with

Fall below the five waterfalls and trade a whip-crack for whiskey.

But I’m not sure how the whip crack for a whiskey would fit in. That’s seems more Southern state America then Welsh

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#8

In her city of the dukes, find the fifteen creatures standing guard.

Don’t American states refer to their cities by their university teams. If so that could mean Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and their are animal statues in North Carolina Zoo, which could be the fifteen creatures. But I’m not sure if the Zoo is in or near the city

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#9

I’m inclined to say we shouldn’t use the dreaming spell unless we’re in dire straights. I also don’t think that anyone who did the spell before should repeat it, as the beings may recognize us and cause issues within the trip.

The scrying spell seemed to be relatively harmless though? I think we should be okay to use it, so we can at least get an idea of where these places might be.

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#10

Rimor, I don’t really have any waterfalls by me. I do, however, have a place with 15 animals standing guard:

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#11

Oh awesome! Just gotta figure how city of the dukes fits in :laughing:

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#12

This Canyon?

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#13

Yes, that one, only I didn’t see the AO article that makes it sound super creepy. :sweat_smile:

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#14

That’s one heck of a tagline there…

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#15

Okay, final quick post (been just adding stuff as fast as I find it) but here’s a list of other possible places for “city of lights”:

Can’t seem to find anything for “city of dukes”, which is really bugging me. The Animal Wall is on Duke St. but that’s about it.

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#16

Now i want one of those “Wish you were here” postcards from there.

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#17

Oh, Woolie. Let me take a second and tell our sleeping ghost friend in your subconscious that what happened isn’t his fault. Intent matters, and he never wanted to hurt his friends. It’s basically the same thing they did to Itsuki, using his brain to do their work without his consent. He isn’t a traitor.

But he may still be dangerous to you, and AGP, and magiq, if we can’t fix this soon.

I agree the sleeping spell is not an option for those who performed it the first time, and not a very good option for those who haven’t yet either. I also think we’ve got a decent start on the clues. We will scry if we must, but I feel we are close to resolving them without it.

So what do we have so far?

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#18

Is it weird I still want to save Woolie? Yes, Saberlane’s head may not be the safest place to keep him, but I don’t want him destroyed. Whatever’s left of him should be returned to Neithernor, like he wanted.

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#19

I agree. I don’t think Woolie has shown us any malintent. If anything, he’s given us a lot of information that we didn’t have before. If we can safely transport his soul to Neithernor, I really think we should.

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#20

Could we find away to get Sabs into Neithernor and then release Woolies spirit?

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