Part One: Ashes
The writings of the Mistress are difficult to understand at the best of times. Her mind is far separate from ours, but it is our belief and our hope that by studying her teachings we might come to understand and comprehend the differences and thereby overcome them. The Council has decided, then, to sort Her writings by date of entry and provide our insights at the beginning and end of each of these chapters. These insights will be scribed by Seven, although certain events have required Three, Two, and Nine to supply their own additions.
The first chapter, or part, marks the beginning of Mistress Allyn’s life in our realm, from her appearance at Deepwater Shrine to her arrival at the outpost city of Sunder. Important details to consider in the readings: factionalism amongst the summoned, her treatment of and by the people she encounters, the appearances of Shadow, Wall, Scepter, Aspirant and Dagger, and the description the Mistress gives of her first successful Ignition as compared to the testimonies collected in the Book of Water .
Seven from One, --Talon--, Keeper of the Forge
You're my very first! Congrats. Yay. Anyway, today weird shit happened, and no doubt will continue to happen for some time until I stop referring to it as weird shit and it just becomes a normal day. I’m stuck in an open field with purple trees on the outskirts with about thirty other people. Can’t get a clear count cause we’re all clustered together. Supposedly for safety because we keep hearing nasty beastie noises in the forest, but all it’ll take is a nice heavy charge or a grenade and we’re paste.
I have no idea how I got here and nobody else does either. I was asleep in my apartment before this, which is not a universal story. Some people were in their cars. Others were catching a quick nap at work or just before/after it. Hmmm. Might be a universal story after all, just not the “in bed” part.
There was a pile of old weapons and armor in the middle of the clearing when we all woke up, which is a giant red flag for me. Old old stuff, not like Cold War Soviet relics. I’m talking swords, spears, breastplates, bows and arrows. Not rusted, either. Stuff’s surprisingly clean. Red flag number two. Hopefully whoever cleans this stuff finds us, and not the guys who left it.
We have a mixed bunch with us today. Men, women, and a few children. Kids, but also some teenagers. Youngest looks 6? Plus or minus. Mixed nationalities too. The people who first talked at me all used English, which I found unsurprising until I started responding and was complimented on my Thai. Naturally I was thrown for a loop and rendered unable declined to participate in the subsequent debate as to which language was actually being spoken. Short version: all of them, or I guess thirty if you want to highball it. The real number’s much lower than that cause of a whole lot of duplicates (looking at the fucking Americans for this), but we’re all able to magically understand each other. Not because we understand what everybody’s saying (which would have been nice) but because our heads have been fucked with. That’s not an idea that fills me with joy.
I drifted off to the side during this oh-so-fascinating discussion that quickly devolved into a few groups shouting at each other over what God did wrong/right this time and where’s my fucking car, dude? Some tall guy with no hair seemed to be moderating at least moderately well. Laugh at my puns, dammit me.
Found an unattended kid and this book when I walked off. Kid’s definitely young, elementary age or I’ll eat my nonexistent hat. Quiet too. Hasn’t said a word since I sat down next to her and started writing. Oh right, book came with its own pen. Mechanical, so I suppose that rules out it being a magical horror deathtrap for everybody in the vicinity. Or does it? Dun dun dun.
Did get spooked when I sat down though. Shadows were doing weird shit until I blinked and saw the blood trail. Ants are vicious, man. They don’t leave no survivors, and whatever bird thing that was is now the size of a six-pack McNugget. Gently escorting my new charge away from the smell and towards a nice purple tree with a split trunk where I can comfortably lean into for writing support. Book’s pretty durable against the bark, but I guess it couldn’t hurt to be careful. Ink might sneeze and catch fire or some shit.
At least the grass is green here. Ha. Grass is greener on the other side of the extra-dimensional portal you went and slept through. Or time travel. Time travel to the Lorax? Definitely a portal.
Debate crew’s winding down. Looks like people are starting to agree on courses of action. I don’t like tall guy. He took that tension down too fast to be unpractised at it, which isn’t a bad sign, in a way that put the three other heads of the group looking to him for approval, which is. I say heads but more likely they were just the loudest. Might turn out to be heads later, but for now we’ll say maybe.
Tall guy’s got people manipulation skills. Again, not a bad sign, but wait until he uses them to hurt people, then judge. Or judge early and stay safe. I’ll run my paranoia high for now, probably try to help this kid find parents. Play parent if I fuck up that quest hard enough. Hide the body if I fail that too. Shouldn’t come to that, we got a bundle of calm, responsible, selfless adults all in a clearing together. Right next to the giant stack of shiny weapons.
How has nobody seen or commented on those yet? Or did they and I just missed it? Nah, they see it. Group’s moving out now, some people with swords, spears, and shields in front and at the sides. There’s a small dagger thing sticking out of the pile that looks like it’ll give somebody tetanus, polio, and AIDS just by looking at them funny. Definitely did not see that there before. I’ll snag that and probably something for the kid before we tag along.
Wish us luck, diary. Hope we don’t all die before the second entry. That’d be a blue-ball of a story. Would make me laugh my already-dead ass off though.