Week Three Chapters 10-13: The Book of Kings


#1


Welcome to AG Book Club week three, Mountaineers! Two weeks behind us in this journey and so far I’m loving your responses and ideas. This is completely open discussion, with some prompts to give you ideas - but you can share whatever the reading of this week inspires. Thank you guys for keeping this bookworm company.

Housekeeping note: at the end of this week I’m doing the drawing for the random book club giveaway! Participants get a shot at a secret prize every few weeks.

Here are some discussion points for this week:

1. KING RABBIT! Give me all your fan theories!!

2. Deeds shares with us the further reading list in the back of Through the Night. Speculate rampantly about the plots of each title! They are as follows: The Animus Complex, Seven Cradle Song, The Wolf and the Wild, The Leadfoot Devil.

3. King Rabbit, in his list of non-epitaphs, gives us some little tasty bits of magiqal lore - or possible nonsense. Do you have a favorite?

4. These chapters took us through discovering three fragments, learning Deed’s family history, Ascender’s revelation from meeting with Augernon, and a lot of complex emotions. What event had the greatest impact on you?

As always, Mountaineers, if you can pick out any themes or Easter Eggs from this week, please feel free to share! Your original thoughts, related ideas, or favorite lines from the book are always welcome in our discussion. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to @ me or another Guild Leader for guidance.

CREATIVE PROMPT: The theme of the chapter selection of this week is “The Book of Kings.” Using the theme of this week for inspiration, please share with us your own written/visual/auditory creation.


#2

I was really struck this week with the morbidity of Marty having found the body of Brandon Lachmann although it occurred so much earlier in the book, and in Marty’s life. There is a lot in this timeline that seems so dark that it makes me consider what the world was like, and would be like, had our history not been altered. And are the Mounties just the people who remember what light looks like? Like a muddy red smear on the back of your eyelids when you close your eyes.


#3

SPOILERS Abound:

Brandon's Body:

Brandon’s body was the first issue I had to go back and finesse because of how we were all crafting this story together. It was a big plot point that was established early on, but as we all developed the lore and mystery together, it had to be ironed out to work with the rules and mechanics we ending up landing on by the end of TMP.

The article states his body was found. But the narrative would eventually reveal that Brandon crafted a magiq story that allowed him to escape this age.

The truth is that Traveler could have been 3 different characters. But I decided that the most resonant reveal would be that it was Brandon as an adult and he had sacrificed himself for the cause by reaching out from the Fray. It would be the first reference to the Storm, and would also set you all up as the ones who could change everything and make his sacrifice worth the cost. It would hurt but inspire you. He would be the guide who dies and sets you, the heroes, on your path.

So him being Traveler 100% confirmed he escaped. But then where did the body that Marty found come from? I considered adding a mechanic throughout the rest of the narrative where wells like City Hall Station were always trying to reconcile the truth and the lie, so that it would make sense that Martin could find a body, even though there shouldn’t be one.

Instead, in the end, I decided to leave this scene open to interpretation.

Theory One: The above. Wells are in flux between the lie and the truth (though that doesn’t bear out in other established examples of wells. Maybe different wells have different environmental balances.)

Theory Two: Brandon did escape, but at the cost of his corporeal self. That’s how powerful the lie is. His physical body died, and whatever there was left, escaped and became Traveler. Would also explain some oddities about Traveler’s character (that I’ll leave you to speculate.)

Theory Three: Brandon is a one-in-a-million rarity. A special kid who could do something almost no one could. He could not only see that everything was “wrong” but he could craft an escape. That’s all fact. But it’s a fact that the lie was not prepared to conceal. So when Marty is faced with what might be Brandon’s body, I intimate in that chapter that it might not be Brandon up until the moment Marty turns around and faces it, completing the lie that Brandon died in the station.

Obviously, there are things I’m not revealing here, but I hope I’m explaining enough to understand my conundrum and (hopefully acceptable) solution(s).

This is inevitable when you’re crafting a world with input and ideas from the readers. :slight_smile:


#4

SPOILER

Summary

The second theory as you presented it, with the sacrifice of Brandon’s physical body in order to escape, was my initial perspective upon putting all that together. The concept of the lie as a force blanketing (or maybe woven into) our world is one I want to mull over, for sure. In any case I found his death to be profound and poignant, more than a little heartbreaking. But it also propelled my curiosity about the Fray and what lay outside that Brandon was able to step into, what he found, how the magiq worked that destroyed him as he was communicating within the altered timeline.


#5

Not sure if I’m doing the spoiler thing right, but here it is?

All of those headcanons make sense to me. It’s interesting - I didn’t think much about the details about Brandon’s death until after reading TMP. It’s definitely something interesting to consider.

I’ll pitch in some of my thoughts I had before this convo, which is hopefully acceptable to be non-spoilered since it’s pertinent to this reading and contains no meta-knowledge.

My belief on Brandon and his death had to do with the Silver. Because I’m gonna be real, I’m a conspiracy theorist and the first entity I point my finger to is probably always gonna be the Silver. :deirdrexd: But basically, we know the Silver have been around for ages, and they’ve been directly controlling MAGIQverse knowledge since at least WWII. We also know that the Silver (in collaboration with Kemetic Solutions) infiltrated The Devoted and took their materials about the Lachmann case. But does that mean this was the first time they’ve heard about Lachmann? I don’t know about that.

Brandon did something incredible, he used one of the most powerful forms of magiq to do something few could do. It makes sense to me that something that strong would attract the Silver. After all, if Deirdre entering Neithernor attracted the Storm, why wouldn’t this act of magiq? And if they did, then perhaps they had a hand in covering it up, by supplying a fake body. They have all kinds of magiqal artifacts at their disposal, surely they would be capable of such a thing. My mind goes to the fake body from Stranger Things - I feel like something similar could be possible.

Granted, there’s definitely some holes in this, like why not just let him go missing, or why not infiltrate the Devoted earlier if they knew about his case? But I still wanted to share this crackpot theory, because it’s fun. :joy:


#6

I adore crackpots! :cjheart:


#7

Where was I? I lost my train of thought. This tends to happen a lot, I’m afraid. I’ll be on task, then my mind drifts and I start daydreaming. I feel like there was someone I was supposed to call or text. Their name was right on the tip of my tongue. No, wait. His name is right on the tip of my tongue. There it goes, gone again. I guess it’s not important. It will come to me later, I’m sure. It’s just… I feel like this person is important, like I should definitely remember his name.

When I daydream, I can see him. His face is fuzzy, but I can see the shape of him, laying on a couch reading a book. He seems so familiar, but when I try to focus, the buzzing gets worse. Oh, yeah. I didn’t mention that. The buzzing. If I try to remember his name too hard or I try to focus too much, the buzzing gets louder. Like bees in my head.

I don’t know. I guess it’s not important. I’m sure it will come to me later. How much time do we have left? Oh. Okay. I’ll see you next week. Yeah, I’ll stop by the front to make an appointment.


#8

I love this :heart_eyes:


#9

Hey Sis,

How are you? How’s the new job? You’ve been killing it in your career, so it’s nice to see you moving on up! I have a question for you though.

Do you remember those days when we would go traipsing around the woods behind the house? When we were young and full of light? I keep thinking back to those days and think that I’m forgetting something. Like I remember the small treehouse we built, and the time we almost fell in a lake. But I feel like its missing something. or someone. Didn’t we have a neighbor we used to play with? Another kid like us, who saw the magiq in the forest? I can’t remember their name for the life of me. Was it Shannon? or was it Bailey? Every time i try to remember i start getting a headache, and a buzzing noise in my ears. The memories themselves feel fuzzy. like the treehouse. didnt we find something in there? like a bird or something? i cant pick out the details. I visited home the other day, and went out into the forest. I found the old treehouse, and found a little iron bird statue there. I don’t know who put it there, but I took it with me. A memento from our old memories.

Maybe the name will come to me, Maybe not. But the statue feels right at home on my mantle now. like a part of the family.

Hope you come to visit soon, and much love.
Will

This is an in-universe PRSFNE letter, cause why not? I have other Book of Kings stuff for the character as well, may as well flesh more out now.


#10

“I was thinking about what you said at our last session, and it’s all really perfectly normal. Forgetting, yes. It’s been really well studied. Yes, the fallibility of human memory. I think what you’re going through is very normal, actually. Part of the normal aging process. How old are you? Oh. Well, still. This happens to a lot of people your age. Yes. I hear about it all the time from my other clients. The buzzing? Probably something in your inner ear. I would follow up with your primary care doctor, they may want to do some tests. What kind? A hearing test probably. Maybe an MRI? Definitely a hearing test. I think it’s all very normal, though. Very normal. I hear this stuff from my other clients alot. Anyway, two sessions ago, you mentioned your new job and some strain in your relationship with your boss. I’d like to explore that some more.”


#11

I just wanted to mention that King Rabbit is one of my favourite characters. I’m not quite why, but there was just something about his craziness that was super interesting to me.


#12

@CJB when are we getting a tour of Deeds’ favorite snacking spots?! I need to see the cafe. Also I need to see the 7-dollar cupcakes. For reasons.


#13

Announcing the winner of this week’s random giveaway:

@Drus!!

Congratulations! You have won a copy of The Labyrinth Vol 1: Coronation

Please contact myself, @AG_Catherine, or @CJB to get you hooked up!


#14

Well done Drus!

So I’m currently catching up with my chapters but as I was reading the beginning of chapter 10 it talks briefly about a book called “Through the Night”. Its speculated that this book/Journal from AG took the place of one of the books from the lost collection. As I was reading the extract from the journal I noticed that the plants in the book are the fraylily so did this person find and explore Neithernor?

EDIT:
So I’m a bit further on in the chapter and the book has popped up again however while reading the passage I noticed some weird parallels with the story of Brandon lachmann. First is the mention of a forest back at the beginning of the chapter which could be a connection to The Forest of Darkening Glass. Second is the fact it’s about a family who lost a son. I know it’s flimsy but it’s very eerie.


#15

Och, thank you, @Deyavi! Completely didn’t expect this (didn’t even know that was a thing)!

In all fairness, I had a pretty hectic week (and seems like it’s only the beginning), so I’m just gonna toss in to the theories about King Rabbit.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Cagliostro - either the one behind this crazy soirée or some manifestation of the former one. There are some reasons for this (I’ll try to evade having to hide it behind the spoiler wall but feel free to edit this post out).

  1. Both are erratic and cryptic in their communications to the level of being a twisted version of Book of Briars. There is a possibility that if there is an antithesis of the Book, he could be the one - they operated in similar ways, with Rabbit dropping hints and rewarding people for guessing his riddles, unraveling new details in the websites. Ok, this was the sub-theory.

  2. Rabbit didn’t seem to be completely working against the Mounties. Through the entire time, I was more under an impression that he was pursuing his own agenda which sometimes interfered with the forum’s doings - and that’s when he went rampant.

  3. He is clearly at least as powerful as the forum joined if not more. How he penetrated everything and how he kept on fooling everyone is quite plausible.

  4. Given what he actually wanted, the seemingly random attack (ok, so I had to insert the spoiler in the end…) and how he disappeared, brings me to believing he had to rethink his approach as it proved rather futile.

5. Coincidentally, when he disappears from the picture, not so much later Martin is invited by Cagliostro.

Like, seriously - I might be completely wrong but if this was CJB’s idea, then it would tie this end of the story.

Or we’re in a pickle and we don’t know it yet with him coming back anytime soon.


Week Six Chapters 22-24: Love, the Revelation
#16

Guess what just arrived? :wink:

Thank you all again and @Deyavi in particular for going through the ordeal of shipping it to Scotland! :slight_smile:


#17

You’re welcome!