Fragment Sixteen: The Book of Briars
After Deirdre Green’s battle with The Churning Storm, The Mountaineers were left with both Fragment Fifteen and a set of coordinates. The coordinates led to 175 Varick Street in New York City, which the Mounties conveyed to Deirdre. Deirdre took a moment to recover before exploring the building. In her blog post ‘Goodbyes,’ Deirdre revealed that the building was where Ackerly Publishing House moved when it changed its name to A&L Printing and became a paperback printer. The location didn’t reveal anything new for Deirdre, but it did reveal a letter from Sullivan Green to the Mountaineers:
Shifting through time is a dangerous and traumatic experience. Even for books. The Book of Briars doesn’t remember what it is. It doesn’t remember its purpose. It is most likely confused, and even afraid (if you believe that books can be afraid.)
You have to remind it.
Tell it about the fragments. Tell it histories of its time with you, and your own memories. Tell it poems, sing it songs. Create art and objects that will help it remember what it is and what it’s meant to do.
Tell it what all this has meant to you.
It is a ceremony to wake The Book of Briars. The last fragment and your final assessment. Create.
Know, once the Book is awakened this time will be over. You will usher in a new age, and nothing will ever be the same.
Though we never met it has been an honor to work alongside you in our common goal. I believe the peak we’ve sought is now in sight, mountaineers. You’ve reached the final climb.
We all believe in you. SG
The Book of Briars had forgotten who it was after the traumatic experience of being pulled out of 1998 and brought into 2017. Thus, it was up to the Mountaineers to remind it who it was by writing stories and making other forms of art. Endri proposed that the Mountaineers set a date to create as much art as they could, and then summon the Book on the forums so it could see what they had done. At 3:33pm EST on Oct 1st, Endri called the Book and told it to wake up. In response, the Book began to like the art created by the Mounties. It then posted “No one remembered the books but her. That was the first sentence in The Book of Briars” and “Mirumagiqum. Tell the heir you found the word. The Book of Briars is awake”. The name led to the final lock on the Book of Briars.
Each of the images unlocked at the end of each phase had a series of roman numerals. Using this, the Mountaineers were able to translate them to a series of numbers: 5 18 24 27 44 52 59 88 104 108 182 192 221 267 299 314 323 326 385 394 395 410 435 451 464 537 554 671 919 953 955 981 993 1007 1011 1089 1128 1132 1139 1324 1376 1409 1413 1416 1627 1647 1654 1664 1667 1852 1865 1872 1887 1945 1951 1995 2006 2070 2087 2357 2359 2366.
Deirdre came back to the forums, revealing that she had visited Orvin Wallace. There, she found the true ending to The Monarch Papers on Orvin’s shelf. Sullivan told Orvin to burn it, but he couldn’t bear to follow his request. The book was Sullivan’s journal, and it was a record of Sullivan’s life and what he knew of magiq. The Storm had nearly taken Sullivan away in exchange for another magimystic artifact. In order to ensure that Sullivan’s plan to open the book succeeded, Sullivan allowed himself to be taken away by the Storm. He began living in Neithernor, both to hide from the Storm and to use the slowed time difference to live long enough to see his plan succeed. However, this meant Sullivan had become fully Neithernorian, and returning to the mundane world would kill him. Sullivan was not dead, but he could only return in glimpses, leaving the door to Neithernor open. Orvin also told Deirdre about her walking stick, that the magiq she used was not from the mundane world, so the stress was slowly breaking it. This led Deirdre to realize that, like the stick, she was not meant for this world.
Deirdre decided to go to Neithernor herself, with Cole agreeing to join her. She wanted to find her father and return his walking stick to him. Before leaving, she gave one last hint to the Mountaineers: “The foreword was all you’d need to open the book.”
"For my dearest girl.
This was your favorite story the last time I saw you.You would have me read it to you every night before bed. Do you remember?
Memory, after all, is a very funny friend.
Sometimes he loses the fondest of thoughts and sometimes the saddest he holds onto forever. I hope that he has kept for you more fond memories than not, and I hope that I am somewhere with you, in a memory held tight.
The way things are can’t be undone, only perhaps rewritten someday. The corvids have come and gone. It’s time to leave the glade.
For now, I go to a place where you can’t.
But I am always your caterpillow, and you are my ant."
Adding in the foreword, Mounties were able to use the numbers to count through various words in The Ant and the Caterpillow. The final result was:
“The Book of the Wild
The Book of Kings
Two worlds rebound
In butterfly wings”
When the Mounties put the phrase into the Book of Briars, it led to a new page. The book was finally open.