Fragment Eight: Tigrantula
The eighth fragment began quickly in the fiery aftermath of the seventh. Poring through Sullivan’s note to his daughter, which included the means to undo the veil he had placed on her, The Mountaineers saw an avenue to help Deirdre. The spell was complicated and invoked raw elemental forces which could be quite dangerous to the person at the center. Precautions would have to be taken in order to ensure she wasn’t “blown to the six corners” during the spell’s unweaving.
Sullivan’s instructions included the means to create a grounding hex around the practitioner at the center of the spell. Six individuals would dedicate highly personal items to one of the elemental forces. Volunteer Mountaineers used themselves and their artifacts as grounding ley lines to keep Deidre safe during what was sure to be one of the biggest turning points in the story. The courage and coordination these Mountaineers displayed was truly a sight to behold.
- Brendon used a solar calculator he had carried for years to represent the ability of Light to bring energy and power to the world.
- Mike, representing the Elemental force of Ore, used a whiskey stone his family had brought back from Ireland.
- Chordie invoked Thought through the use of a treasured jacket that carried many personal memories attached to it.
- MegaDraco used a watch given to him at a major turning point in his own life to measure the Tides of Time.
- Crytter created a beautiful shrine to the elemental force of Aether, involving feathers, smoke, and crystal.
- And, last but certainly not least, Kelsey embodied Wild with a Bastet cat statue from Egypt to represent the untamed and timeless qualities of nature.
With the grounding hex set and Sullivan’s instructions followed in letter and spirit, the recruits waited to see what their magic had wrought. It was a few days before they had confirmation of anything. During this time, Deirdre was searching for a way to add more meaning to her new life, and it seemed she had a breakthrough. A surge of optimism for the future and a new, more vibrant path forward with Ackerly-Green Publishing came to mind. She wanted to go beyond merely reprinting the old lost works and create new works as well, using her platform to bring new energy to the world.
Interestingly, during a trip to upstate New York, she felt drawn to collecting six items. Recruits couldn’t help but notice that these items lined up perfectly with the six elemental forces they were working with, and could be used as her own contributions towards the spell meant to free her, though she was unaware of the spell.
It fell to Cole Sumner, as it often seemed to, to bring all this to its final conclusion. Cole met Deirdre and told her everything he knew. He told her about the Mountaineers, her dad, magiq, and the spell that kept her blind. It was a full week before she responded to these major revelations about her life, but she finally replied in the form of a blog post entitled ‘The Sea,’ where she agreed to do “one last mad act” for her father.
Sure enough, it seemed part, if not all, of the veil had been lifted the next day. Months of attempting to communicate with Deirdre began to get through the barriers around her. One message in particular, sent to her blog on the very first post she ever made almost fourteen months prior, was from the Book of Briars itself. It was the eighth fragment, the word Tigrantula.