Chains of Silver and Blood

Episode 28

Long-sought Answers

The season of Fire has passed, and with it the terrible heat of southern summers. Now the clear dreaming winds bring with them their cool, and the last harvests of the year. In the common room of Beyaloa’s estate, the circle is drinking to their reunion, sharing news of their adventures and mutual friends. Pragatima shows her new artefact to Harik, and Beyaloa discusses local politics with Rain Pearl and Rohim. In the next room, Elikem and Ora play with toy armies as Daitya naps against a purring leopard. The small patter of light rain on the roof only serves to further isolate the little tableau of peace and friendship.

But peace never really lasts. And this particular peace is broke when Beyaloa’s page bring in farmers from the nearby village, who tell their mistress that a moving statue has been seen wandering in her lands. Without missing a beat, the circle rises, agreeing to check out the anomaly together.

The stone-blue one is walking slowly in the light rain, next to a small bamboo forest. Leaving the wary villagers behind, the circle approaches, introducing themselves. The Blue Walker turns and salutes them, each move slow and purposeful. Calmly, they explain they didn’t seek to trespass on Beyaloa’s land, and were simply passing through on their journey.

Inside the living stone body, the sorcerers see a cold blue flame, an old ghost, who explain they are seeking memories of their old life, washed away by the centuries, in order to re-enter the cycle of reincarnation. As the circle offer them hospitality, curious about this odd soul, the Blue Walker fixes their stone eyes on Rain Pearl, a slow smile lighting the carved face, and announce that Fate has been kind today, bringing them back in contact with one of their descendant.

Back at the estate, the circle engage in discussion with the newly named Kadma, both trying to learn as much as they can about the others. They talk about the Sea People, about the fearful presence of the Deathlord She Whose Name Is Death roaming the Underworld south of the Dreaming Sea, about Illuvar and the Broken King, and the time before the Inashi was chained.

As the day becomes night, the ancient ghost leaves their stone body, becoming intangible. Beyaloa offers them her library for the night, and the circle starts to ponder how to help them regain their memories: it is obvious to all that a vast vault of knowledge is sealed inside Kadma, one that could be precious to the circle, but letting them know about their own nature as Solar Exalted is not something the circle is comfortable doing just now, even if an ancient ghost is unlikely to be on friendly terms with the Immaculate Lotus or the Pure Way even at the best of times.

In order to find hints about how to help Kadma with her memories, Beyaloa retreats to the family shrine in her personal gardens. Under the eyes of her circle, she starts a long prayer honoring her patron-ancestor, and sets fire to a model of a ship, perfect down to the last detail, built by Harik.

Honored by the offering, the ghost of her family founder steps out of the hallowed ground, clad in a translucent cloak of office, and sits in the middle of the summoning circle with a warm smile. He introduces himself to the newcomers, and when asked about the Blue Walker, reminisces about old ghosts walking the labyrinth in the Underworld, having forgotten all about their lives, stuck in limbo for eternity. He advises Kadma to stay close to the few reminders of their old life, in order to give her memories a basis to work with.

Before leaving with a las smile towards his great-grand-daughter, he warns them not to confront She Whose Name Is Death if they can avoid it, mentioning her immense power and powerful servants.

In the morning, the circle find Harik’s bed empty once more, and Beyaloa goes looking for him with Rohim, worried about the strange insomnia of their circlemate. Meanwhile Pragatima walks towards the Free Sea People training camp to check on their progress.

Walking in the villa, Kadma stumbles on Ora, who salutes the living statue, asking them how long they will be staying, and soon launches into a long spiel about the lack of control he has over his own life: while grateful towards the lady of Khimsar for offering him a place to live and a trade, he doesn’t want to stay in her service all his life, and dreams of being a great warrior or a hero, held in awe by other mortals. Calmly, the ancient ghost comforts the young man, telling him to meditate on his wants and needs, and reassures him. Fate, after all, is written in the stars and on water, not carved in stone.



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