Previous Post: http://periloustales.net/2016/05/21/cathay-dark-bogenha-screw-it-liliana-wilfred-episode-2/
When we last left our
teleporting, time traveling, imprisoned party, they were stepping through another portal, hoping to find Torendil, the High Elf that Emmerich Karling had betrayed.
They did not find Torendil, but found themselves upon a strange floating island…
As they take this new scenery in, they hear what can only be described as a thousand thunders all setting off at the same time. They look up into the sky, and see that the clouds are moving extremely fast, racing across the sky. With it, comes a fearsome sight. Their very insanity is put into question as they witness a giant serpent-like creature skid across the moving sky, thankfully noticing the tiny little figures down below.
Wilfred and Liliana simply look at one another, confused, bemused and utterly dazed. They look around for their Cathayian companions, and see no one.
Situated around them however, they notice rock spires protruding from the ground. Beneath them, they see nothing but a vast dizzying void through the cracks of this strange floating island. Atop these spires, they observe large orbs. They are very similar to the one that brought them here, with the only difference being that these ones are much larger in size. Every now and again, sparks of lightning shoot out from the orbs and from a chain to each other orb. Bizarre.
They cautiously move through the spires, looking for their missing companions. Wilfred spots at least one of them, lying against a rock pillar, seemingly unconscious. Yet as he draws closer, the body of the Cathayian guard vanishes, fading slowly into nonexistence.
Liliana has an idea… She has the cracked orb that is responsible for all this in her possession, given to her by Qin Taoi. So… she holds out her hand towards the larger orbs, and waits for that spark of lightning to shoot out from it, hoping to catch it with her orb. Indeed, it does, but the result is not what she had in mind.
The lightning shoots out from one of the larger orbs, forming a link with her smaller orb, but her cracked orb shatters into tiny pieces and she’s sent flying back against a rock. Wilfred goes to her aid and chastises her on her foolishness.
“Tut tut tut…”
They hear a voice from behind, and turn to see who it is.
Liliana is surprised, and heavily suspicious, surely this can’t be the real Gertrude. It couldn’t be the friendly witch she met outside of Bogenhafen…
Yet Wilfred is equally puzzled to see none other than his father!
– Wilfred Senior!
Yet there is only one person standing there, but they see two different people.
“Your not… the real Gertrude, are you?” asks Liliana.
“O don’t be silly… course not,” she hoarsely says in the same manner that Gertrude would speak.
“Your very convincing if your not. Then what are you?”
“Whose Gertrude? I see my father…” Wilfred says.
“You see what you wish to see, or rather, a distant yet fond memory of someone dear to you. I find it to be rather… reassuring, to those who come here. I must say it has been a long, long time since I received visitors. I rarely get visitors you know.”
A deafening roar pierces the skies, and Liliana and Wilfred look up, hoping NOT to see the flying serpent again.
“O don’t worry about my pet, he won’t harm you. You lack the… meat, for you to be appetizing. Come, come, follow.”
They decide to follow whatever this entity was until they reached a flat surface of the rock formation. There, both of them saw two different things. Wilfred saw his fathers residence, while Liliana saw Gertrudes old shack.
“Why do you appear to us in disguise?” Liliana asks.
“Cause you would not like to witness my true appearance. The last one who saw me as I was, went… insane. Tore his eyes out. Poor thing.”
They get inside the residence/shack. Wilfred see’s a completely different picture to what Liliana see’s. Liliana see’s Gertrude’s old shack as it was. Right down to the little black teapot she kept, and the rusty stained dirty looking stove. Wilfred’s vision is much nicer, and sits down next to a warm comforting fire that does not exist for Liliana.
“Would you like some tea?” Gertrude/Wilfred senior asks.
“Yes,” comes the collective reply.
What happens next is incredibly bizarre.
They both watch as their respective visions got up, retrieved the teapot and then proceeded to place it on the ground. Liliana watched as Gertrude stood over it, propped up her skirt and proceeded to… pee, yes, pee into it. Wilfred watched… well, less said the better concerning what he saw and what possibly left him traumatized.
Utterly speechless at what they just witnessed, they continued to watch in utter shock as this entity proceeded to place the teapot onto the stove and sit down as if all was normal and well.
Liliana finally broke the silence, “That’s not how you make tea!”
“Father, that was quite disgusting!” Wilfred added.
“It’s not your father Wilfred!”
“I know but that was still disgusting!”
The entity replied in response to this outrage, “I do apologize. You see such a thing does not come natural to me. In fact, the tea is not even real. None of this is real, as I’m sure your aware of. This is just to make you comfortable. I’m afraid I received a bad, what way shall I put it? Echo, yes, a bad echo of a memory involving the process of making this thing you call, tea… apologies.”
After that rather awkward moment, the entity starts answering their questions. It seems to be quite gleefully happy at the fact that it has received visitors.
“What exactly is the orb?” Liliana asks.
“The orb is a prison for those who use its power.”
“Yes, a prison. And you are imprisoned here.”
“And what of you? What exactly is your role in all this?”
“O… I look after the memories. You could almost say I collect them, and make sure that they do not get out of line.”
Liliana stands up, pointing an accusation finger at the entity, “SO YOU ARE A WARDEN OF MEMORIES!”
A nervous cough is had from Wilfred, and Liliana sits back down, smirking.
“I like to think of it more as a Keeper of Memories.”
Liliana then asks the entity if it had met an elf named Torendil.
“Ah yes, I did. Much to his misfortune I’m afraid. He thought he could challenge me in a magical dual. Apparently he took offense to me. He was quite amusing, but I grew tired of him quickly. I’m sure he’s having fun where he is now though.”
Liliana explains that they need to find Torendil, but she asks if the entity knew of a way to escape. At they noticed something odd about the entity. Something similar to a nervous twitch almost, and then it started morphing. From Liliana’s perspective, she witnessed Gertrudes neck grow longer, fat started to roll off its belly and formed into a second and third layer of skin. It was expanding, and the color of its skin was changing to a deep purple hue, before it suddenly snapped back to normalcy again.
“Ah, yes… sorry about that. I do find it hard to maintain these forms, these memories. As I said, I rarely receive guests, and I’m rather out of practice. Ah yes, where was I… Yes, escaping! It won’t be easy, but I do know of a way, yet before I tell you, you must answer me a question, and then I will see whether or not I will show you a way out.”
The entity asks both of them the same question: Did they interfere with any of the memories, and if so, they were to precisely recount what it was they changed. The thing further explained that what they do within the orb is self contained, it has no effect on reality. But… should they be freed from their imprisonment, then, any changes to their memories, or even memories of others, will shape and reforge reality to accommodate these changes.
Liliana goes in vivid detail. She explains about her interaction with Gideon, what she did, and how she warned that he would die screaming out her name. She told about how she met her father, and tried to warn him about Torendil, but is convinced that her father thinks she’s nothing but a charlatan, trying to scam him.
The entity however says that her interference with the Gideon memory may prove troublesome, but it is unsure as of now what impact it will have, if any.
Liliana however is slowly becoming acutely aware of the fact that her interference will have dire consequences. More on that later.
The entity, satisfied with their answers, gives them the means to escape, or rather, tells them how to do so.
First, they will need to retrieve everyone that became trapped within the orb at the precise moment that the event was triggered. This means fetching the body of Liliana’s father, which shouldn’t prove too difficult. Retrieving Torendil, and, Johann…
“Yes, is he not your brother?” asks the entity.
“He is, but he wasn’t there!”
“Ah, I’m afraid he was. At the exact moment the orb became unstable and snared you all, your brother had entered your home. He’s trapped here the same as you. There is also the other matter concerning the orb. You will need the original orb that trapped you here. Intact… Which will require you to returning to an earlier memory when it was functional. I’d imagine that elf, would be helpful in this regard…”
“Now, I would suggest you leave, as I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain this… form. I do hope you find the means to escape… to escape… to…” the entity starts morphing in front of them, twisting and turning into a hideous shape, and all the while it twitches and let out a clue to the origin of the orb, “this… this… orb of Tzee…”
Liliana flinches at that as Wilfred and herself flee. As they run away, Liliana feels herself drawn to one of the larger orbs, as if some invisible force is pulling her towards it. She goes over, and stepping within a few feet, the orb shoots out a thin streak of lightning towards her and Wilfred, and suddenly they find themselves lost once again in an alien landscape. Yet when they get their bearings, immediately something does not feel right. Looking up towards a ‘noise’ that is earth shattering, they see a horror to end all horrors.
A great gigantic unfathomable horror stomps its way towards a figure standing on a ruined castle wall, shouting out in elvish tongue at it.
“Torendil!” Liliana gasps out when she regains her composure, which is not much, and insanity takes over as she’s slurring out her words at the sight of this unspeakable sight. As for Wilfred, well.. he faints, collapsing on the ground.
“Torendil, you fool! I know of a way out!”
She gets his attention, and Torendil points at her accusingly, “You!”
He jumps down from his position and charges towards her, fleeing the approaching giant horror. “You!” he shouts as he grabs Liliana, “… Help me! Please for the love of all that is good help me! Get me out of this place!”
Liliana tries to calm him down, although she chides him more than offer comforting words, and ‘Bitch’ is used quite a lot by her as Torendil gets on his knees, the elf’s mind clearly broken.
“Compose yourself! Help Wilfred up and…” Torendil runs off as the horror approaches. A long tentacle covered in suckers reaches down and grabs him, chucking him into its mouth.
Liliana desperately tries to wake Wilfred up, but Wilfred gets chucked up now into the gaping horror’s mouth. Alone, Liliana looks around as death is about to become her. She can see snarling faces in the dark, twisted bestial shapes peering out at her, and that is the last thing she see’s when she is plucked up and chucked into the mouth of this abomination.
And that is that, and sadly, the end of this twisted tale…
Or perhaps not, cause as it was explained to Liliana and Wilfred by the entity (although not mentioned by yours truly), they could not be harmed. They are, while imprisoned in this orb, forever doomed to relive out their memories in perpetual servitude to the orb. Yet they cannot be harmed, as the entity explained that none of this is real, but merely memories that they are experiencing.
As such, as they were plucked up into the mouth of this horror, they were actually entering a rift, a portal as it were, into another memory. Falling down a dark narrow passage that can only be the windpipe of this thing, they find themselves tumbling down further and further into an endless void. Hands stretch out try to tear them apart as they fall, and eventually, they see a light at the far end, a narrow light. Without warning, and very suddenly, Wilfred and Liliana find themselves in a back alley, in what seems to be Marienburg.
(A random roll was decided on the destination)
Wilfred finally snaps out of his temporary coma and comes around. Liliana searches for Torendil in the alleyway but there is no sight of him.
Wilfred recognizes this place, and believes it may be his memory. It’s the old fisherman’s tavern. After collecting their thoughts and breaths, which is a considerable amount of time after what they just experienced. Exhausted, knackered, and absolutely drained from this experience, they decide to head in and hope to relax, chill out a bit and hopefully enjoy a rather tame memory for once.
O how wrong they are…