Episode 09 | Stone Serpent
Arepanuka – 100th day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær, 101st Generation
Spirit behaviour becomes odder with every league Raka, Lyn and Malaki get closer to the tangleweave. Facing an earthshatting turn of events, Lyn proves herself to be as indestructable as onyx.
Lyn: Urg- Why are we climbing up here again?
Raka: You’re not doing much of the climbing!
Lyn: Hey, I’m just saying, do we really need to climb up a near vertical pass? Can’t we walk around it?
Malaki: Around would take us a day or two longer.
Raka: I really want to get to those aetherfrays as quickly as possible, and the direct route is the quickest.
Malaki: With my wind-äthwar it would be much quicker, but-
Raka: You know you’re not getting that anytime soon.
Lyn: Hey, is there an echo here or did the Windshell turn on?
Malaki: All I can hear is you complaining!
Raka: No, you’re right, the Windshell is on. Stop at the next platform and have a look around, crook-horn.
Malaki: You are not my pack leader, featherduser. Do it yourself or have the human do it.
Raka: You know what to look out for, Lyn doesn’t. Besides, I still have this burden to haul up!
Lyn: Burden?! Do you mean me?
Raka: Do you see me haul anything else up this cliff?
Lyn: Well how else do you expect me to get up there with these flimsy shoes?
Raka: Fiyar’ta- Take them off if they impair you so much!
Malaki: Use your footclaws!
Lyn: Look, I haven’t cut my nails in a WHILE, but that doesn’t quite qualify them as CLAWS yet.
Raka: You don’t have footclaws?
Lyn: Of course not!
Raka: See anything suspicious, white-eye?
Malaki: It’s Malaki. I see nothing. No Runes, no Vær… Keep hauling that useless meatbag up.
Malaki: I will search for another vantage point that way.
Raka: Fine, but-
Lyn: I’m not useless!
Malaki: You haven’t contributed to our group at all the past three days. That qualifies you as useless.
Raka: Stop bickering, you haven’t been the most useful member yourself. Don’t come back with another golem! And if you find a spirit, leave it alone! Wait until I catch up!
Malaki: Hmpf. Depends on the kind of Vær I find.
Raka: We’re almost there. Finally, level ground.
Raka: Lyn, were you planning to just hang around down there and let me drag you all the way up? Come on, get up here already!
Lyn: Urg, Fine! I was hoping you’d pull me a bit.
Raka: I’m not your lift. Here, grab my arm.
Raka: Not like that! With your sweaty palms you’ll slip right out of my grasp.
Lyn: I’m not slippery.
Raka: Here, like this, around the wrist!
Lyn: Uff. Aah, less than 70 degree sloped ground at last! I can finally catch my breath!
Raka: You’ve barely exerted yourself.
Lyn: Oh, yea.
Raka: I hope the weather holds up like this until we reach more trees or… or even a settlement…
Lyn: Oh yea, I’d hate to keep on hiking if it started to rain. It’s been quite cloudy the past few days, hasn’t it?
Raka: I think this region doesn’t see more than a handful of sunny days per year.
Lyn: Hey, can I have a drink?
Raka: Sure. Here.
Lyn: Y’know, I’ve been wondering. We haven’t been to any brooks or rivers since that one we camped at yesterday morning. How come there is still water in this?
Raka: It has a watersphere embedded in it.
Lyn: A- Watersphere? Is it like the Heatsphere or the Windshell?
Raka: Yes, like those. It draws water from it’s surrounding and concentrates it, then expels it when it is held close to… I’m not sure, mouths or tongues. Don’t ask me how it knows. Auril would know.
Lyn: Wow. So cool. That sure as hell makes carrying water supplies much easier. Water on demand! You could call that “Streaming”.
Raka: I guess you could.
Lyn: Get it, streaming? Aww she doesn’t get it, aw man. Where’s Malaki, by the way? He would get it.
Raka: I think he went that way… Malaki? Malaki? I should’ve told him to stay within earshot…
Raka: What’s that runt up to now… Get up, we’ll look for him.
Lyn: Urg, can’t you do it alone? Booo
Lyn: Fine… I just sat down…
Raka: Malaki? Where the khorpan’ṽælaÞaris are you?! Fiyar’ta
Lyn: I think I see his tail wagging.
Lyn: Between the rock and bushes there. See? That’s quite cute, his wagging tail…
Raka: What’s he doing, I TOLD him just to look around, not wander off… Erg. I should put an actual leash on him.
Lyn: Or, y’know, you could work on building up trust with him.
Raka: I wouldn’t entrust that runt with-
Lyn: But you just did.
Lyn: You trust that the direction he was pointing would lead us to those aetherfrays. Neither of us saw them, he could be messing with us. And you asked him to look around just now. You trusted he would know what to look for.
Raka: And see what he does in return?
Lyn: Actually, I don’t. Because he’s sitting in a place where I can’t see WHAT he’s doing. He could be taking a dump for all we know.
Raka: …I hope he isn’t. Malaki?
Malaki: Shhh. I’m hunting.
Raka: Hun- Hunting?! I told you to look for spirits, not-
Malaki: Farue, be still!
Lyn: What are you hunting?
Raka: That’s a…
Lyn: Is that a bunny?
Malaki: That’s dinner.
Raka: Oh no you won’t-
Malaki: That was our dinner!
Raka: You’re NOT hunting Fara’Fyrderin!
Lyn: Wow, I didn’t know you’d go berserk over THAT.
Malaki: She’s vicious and out of control!
Lyn: Raka, it’s JUST a Bunny! Calm down!
Raka: It’s not JUST a- look, we’re NOT eating Fyrderin!
Malaki: Okay, fine, no need to bare your fangs at me!
Raka: And don’t you dare to EVER bring one for dinner when it’s your turn to hunt!
Malaki: I said I get it! No Aikojassi- or… Banee. Or Fir-dir-een?
Lyn: Break, break did we just run into a language barrier here? What are you all talking about?! It’s a BUNNY!
Malaki: Get off me!
Lyn: Why was it OK for you to bring down a bird the other day, but it’s not okay to grab a bunny for lunch?
Raka: They’re just… I don’t tolerate Fyrderin hunting.
Lyn: Yea, but why?
Raka: Just accept that it’s no- that we’re not eating them, okay?
Lyn: I’m hungry though…
Raka: Fiyar’ta- Behind the rock, Lyn, quick!
Lyn: What’s going on?!
Raka: Stop that, Malaki!
Malaki: I am not doing that!
Raka: Then where-
Lyn: We WERE trying to figure out why the Windshell turned on, remember? Maybe this is it?
Raka: Look around, either of you see any runes?
Lyn: I don’t know, it’s very hard to see them in daylight-
Malaki: Close your eyes!
Lyn: Oh. Oh yea, that might work… There’s something.
Malaki: There- in the…
Lyn: Is it inside the cliff?
Malaki: I don’t know… It could be behind it.
Raka: What is it?
Lyn: A glyphi-swarm…
Malaki: I… can’t tell from this angle if it’s inside or on the other side- Untether me, I can-
Raka: No chance. You could be causing this earthquake for all I-
Lyn: If he was, then I wouldn’t see the glyphi-swarm, would I?!
Raka: A’sarkra nah’flæþis fiyar’ta, what in Eväis name-
Lyn: Shit- What IS that?!
Malaki: An Eshävær!
Raka: That’s not a- That’s a stone serpent!
Lyn: Well, at least now we know it was INSIDE the mountain.
Malaki: Kokol frith farue!
Lyn: Oh shit- Run, it will try to eat us!
Raka: Lyn, it doesn’t have a mouth!
Lyn: Do spirits usually look like this?
Raka: No- I’ve never seen them inhibit inanimate objects to move- Fiyar’ta, is this another one of your Golems, runt?!
Malaki: No! That’s an Eshävær!
Raka: That’s NOT an Eshävær! They don’t take shapes like this!
Lyn: Well whatever it’s called, it looks like there’s a swarm of spirits inside of it, like the dew spirits in the fog.
Malaki: They inhabit objects and put them together to a body! There are a few spirits on the Skundr that do this!
Raka: What?! Fiyar’ta-
Lyn: Where is it going?
Raka: I think it wants to get down to the valley…
Lyn: What should we do?
Raka: Malaki, what does it’s rune say-
Lyn: WHAT DOES THE RUNE SAY? Skibby dib ba dab bab da~
Lyn: Where’d he go?
Raka: He’s going after it!
Malaki: Ræwyn, xirduia! (Roots, grow)
Raka: Not again…
Lyn: What runes did he use?
Raka: Oh wait… No, that’s good…
Raka: Actually that’s really good.
Lyn: Come on! Why did it stop moving? I don’t understand his gibberish!
Raka: He rooted it!
Lyn: Is that like… computer language?
Malaki: Nahrin, tonoĥtar, koshia! (Vines, Tendrils, wrap around)
Raka: He wrapped the stones up so tight with vines they can’t move anymore!
Lyn: Cool, he made it stop? He stopped his movement?
Raka: It seems he actually thought this through and isn’t just throwing around runes on a whim.
Lyn: See, told you he wants to prove himself.
Malaki: Zeasïe, nehkoshia! (plants, grow tighter)
Raka: That’s enough, Malaki. The thing’s already immobilized.
Malaki: I’m not done! Genturil, nahoia! (earth, open)
Raka: Malaki! Enough!
Malaki: I’m going bury this thing under rocks!
Raka: I was just starting to reconsider my opinion on you, don’t make me regret it, runt!
Malaki: Don’t stop me!
Lyn: Something isn’t right with him…
Raka: Something isn’t right in his head!
Lyn: It’s in his heeeaaaaaad, in his heeeeeadddd~
Raka: Now is not the time for singing!
Lyn: Then stop triggering me!
Raka: Stay behind me!
Malaki: Mar, ete’ryce koshia, desia, valtia!
(Earth, engulf the stone beast, return it, drag it back!)
Malaki: Daneþar, skatria! (cliff, shatter)
Raka: I SAID ENOUGH!
Lyn: Oh shit-
Raka: Fiyar’ta- Lyn, get behind me- Lyn?! Lyn!
Lyn: I’m alright!
Raka: Wh- what… what are you doing?!-
Lyn: Working out- obviously- lifting- heavy- weight-
Raka: Get out of there! How is that boulder still afloat-
Lyn: Can you shut up, I need to figure out how to get this off-
Raka: YOU were keeping that rock afloat?!
Lyn: That’s what I was saying, wasn’t I?
Raka: How did you do that?!
Lyn: Dunno… Saw the rune coming at me, said “Nope” and suddenly I was lifting it.
Raka: Lyn, do you realize what you just did?
Lyn: I was lifting a boulder, c’mon, we’ve been over this Raka! Do you realize what MALAKI just did?! He almost buried both of us alive, and he didn’t even care!
Malaki: No! I-
Lyn: I don’t even think he’s sorry!
Malaki: I-I-I TOLD you to get out of my-
Lyn: How am I supposed to when you make a CLIFF collapse on top of us?!
Malaki: I was going to-to-to burry the stone thing and-
Raka: That thing came OUT of the rocks, what makes you think having a cliff collapse on it will stop it?!
Lyn: What the hell is WRONG with you, Mal?!
Malaki: Y- Don’t shorten my-
Lyn: Then STOP acting like a child!
Malaki: I didn’t-
Lyn: Did you want to get us killed?!
Malaki: Of course not-
Lyn: Then what kind of brain fart made you bring down half the cliff on a creature that just bursted out of the rock? Even I could tell that having that thing buried under stones wouldn’t be any help, and I’m not very spirit-smart!
Lyn: People like you put other people in needless danger! You should just have stopped and THOUGHT for a moment! Gosh, so annoying. I wish I knew how to growl. I imagine that would be very cathardic right now. Grrr.
Raka: Maybe I’ll teach you some time…
Malaki: I’m… I’m sorry.
Raka: Well, Lyn basically already said everything that needed to be said. If this happens again I swear I will find a way to tether off both your äthwar…
Raka: But really, Lyn, how did you do that?
Lyn: Do what?
Raka: You just redirected a rune someone else made!
Lyn: I did what?! … Wait, is that unusual?
Raka: Of course it is! A rune cast by one person can’t just be held off by another, not to mention steered in a different direction!
Lyn: Wait, what I directed was the cliff after his rune broke that thing off, does that count as his rune?
Malaki: It wasn’t my rune.
Raka: Either way, you kept half a cliff afloat for a while.
Lyn: Was that just half a cliff? It really felt like a whole one…
Raka: At any rate… We have to make sure that… THING isn’t going anywhere.
Lyn: The roots and vines are keeping it immobile, aren’t they?
Raka: Yes, but I can hear raving within the stone. White-eye, what’s the rune of the spirits?
Malaki: Mhh… A Fynar Rune.
Lyn: Is it the Final Rune?
Raka: A warmth rune? These are spirits that feed on warmth? That makes… even less sense than inhibiting an array of stones to mimic a living creature…
Malaki: You should’ve let me burry it-
Raka: And what good is that going to do?! You should really PLAN your moves more carefully!
Malaki: I had to act quickly; there wasn’t time to plan-
Raka: It was already completely immobilized, you had to nothing! You just acted impulsive and completely overshot the goal!
Malaki: I didn’t see YOU step up to help me!
Raka: Deathbird’s shade, my äthwar are fire and water – what should I have done, sprinkle water on it and wait for it to calcify?!
Malaki: You should be grateful I was here, then. You would be defenseless on your own-
Lyn: But isn’t water supposed to be strong against rocks?
Raka: In what world is water superior to rocks?!
Lyn: In pokemon it is…
Malaki: “A palm-flat stone go find and take,
and toss it far across the lake.
What will it do, what do you think?
Will the stone swim or will it sink?”
Lyn: Um, sink of course… why are you talking in riddles now?
Raka: Poetry? You?
Malaki: I LIKE poetry.
Raka: You don’t seem like the type…
Lyn: So what do we do with that thing?
Raka: We need to figure out how the spirits got into the stones in the first place. There must be a reason why they banded together like that.
Malaki: Not everything needs reason. Some Vær live like this.
Raka: Nonsense. Spirits don’t behave like that.
Lyn: You said the runes inside of the stones mean “warmth”, right? Maybe they were trying to find a place to sunbathe?
Raka: It’s been overcast the past days. Malaki, is it possible that they lived in this region and sustained themselves through sunbathing?
Malaki: I don’t know. I haven’t been down here very often.
Raka: Let’s assume that’s what they did. Why would they inhibit stones and not just migrate to another place with more sunshine?
Lyn: Maybe they just liked those stones and wanted to take them along? Like hermit crabs, y’know?
Raka: Spirit’s don’t have that kind of attachment to the physical world and no sense for sentimentality.
Lyn: Gee. No reason to act like I just said the dumbest thing ever.
Raka: I don’t think we’ll figure this out just by guessing.
Lyn: So what are we gona do?
Raka: I’m putting a bonding circle around it to support Malaki’s vine construct.
Lyn: Well aren’t you just all about putting leashes on things. So what after that?
Raka: We’ll look for a Væron’s sanctuary nearby.
Malaki: This again…
Lyn: Why a Væron though? Can they do something about this?
Raka: At the very least a Væron will be able to tell us why the spirits acted this way. It’ll be easier to find a solution on how to fix this.
Malaki: You want to summon a Væron over something so trivial!
Raka: It’s not trivial! The spirits are furious. We have not passed the aetherfrays yet, yet the weave is very feeble here. In their wrath they could cause an imbalance that could continue the tear in this area.
Malaki: We can figure this out without a Væron!
Raka: No, we can’t!
Malaki: Nahrin, xirduia! (Vines, grow)
Raka: See? They’re already starting to break lose!
Lyn: Maybe they just need to sunbathe after all?
Malaki: Free my äthwar, we’ll figure this out.
Raka: Don’t take me for a fool.
Lyn: No offense, but could you growl at each other AFTER you secured this thing with a bondage circle?
Raka: Erg… Fine. Malaki, can you keep them in stasis just a little bit longer?
Lyn: WHY DON’T YOU STAAAY-SIS? JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER~
Raka: Now is HARDLY the time for singing, Lyn.
Lyn: Stop triggering me!
Malaki: Write your circle. If it tries to break, I’ll wrap more vines around it.
Raka: Well, since this was apparently why the Windshell turned on and we got it under control, I’ll turn the Windshell off for now.
Lyn: Hey, if the windshell is triggered by the sprits and we stand right beside one, won’t it turn right back on again?
Raka: It might… Well Auril, if it does, just ignore the next recording. Also, I remember you said this thing will record the runes I use, I’m not sure if that extends to runic circles. On the off-chance that it does, I’m gona sketch a copy of the circle I’ll be using here to cross-reference with whatever your end of the transmission receives. Anyway, turning off.
Yosha: Um… Akasar? What… do I do now?
Auril: Hm? Did she end the transmission already?
Yosha: I think so. It made that sound.
Auril: Hm… she didn’t even take the time to put Lyn’s skill to the test, did she?
Yosha: I don’t think she did.
Auril: She knows how much I love putting new magic methods like those to the test, why is she teasing me like this?!
Lyn: It’s on again…
Raka: A’sarkra nah’flæþis…
Auril: What is she doing?
Yosha: On the recording she did say that the proximity to the Stone Serpent might cause the windshell to turn on again. She said you should ignore it.
Auril: More wasted music shells.
Yosha: What is that glowing thing you were looking at over there?
Auril: A test. One of the enchantments I tried to implement in the windshell is recording written runes. It’s all just theory, however.
Yosha: Like the device that can transfer written runic text across long distances? Like that?
Auril: Ah, you’ve heard of that. Yes, it’s very similar to that, except that the windshell will record written runes in its surrounding, instead of something written only on a surface designed to record them. But the enchantment is still untested. That over there are the first transmissions of her written runic circle.
Yosha: It worked, then?
Auril: I’m not sure. I can read runes- since, you know, I need them to craft enchantments, but I don’t know what runes are commonly used for circles like these. I’ll need to take the papers to someone with more knowledge on runes than me. And… well, Raka has a terrible shorthand, sometimes I wonder how spirit’s even know what she is trying to communicate to them.
Yosha: Oh I know what you mean. I always have to ask her about her notes on the paper’s I handed in as well.
Auril: Ah… speaking of which, did listening to that… help?
Yosha: I think they did. I really enjoyed this. You know… This is… the first time she’s gone out to patch a Tangleweave since I enrolled into the school…
Auril: Well, I’m glad. Did you manage to…
Yosha: Make transcripts? Of course I did!
Auril: You managed to follow along? Impressive!
Yosha: I’ve been doing some court stenography to earn some pocket money.
Auril: That’s perfect. Could you imagine doing transcripts of these every day until Raka fixed the tangleweave?
Yosha: I would love to, Akasar.
Auril: I’ll pay you, of course!
Yosha: Oh, no need for that, honestly! I… I really love what the windshell can do and I’d like to support you further refining it! If you don’t mind. If this is what I can do to support you, there’s no need for pay. And that aside, this way I get to listen to more recordings…
Auril: Perfect! That’s settled then.
Yosha: Uh… Akasar?
Yosha: It seems that there is a longer recording being enchanted over there.
Auril: Hm, so it seems.
Yosha: Can we listen to it?
Auril: Well, even if we start listening now we missed the first few minutes, so we might as well wait until this one is done and listen from the start. In the meantime, we can do the references.
Auril: Just some corner data, in case people use these as research material. Write this down on the last page, please.
Yosha: Oh, yes, of course.
Auril: Date of recording was Arepanuka on the 100th day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær in the 101st generation.
Vocal enchantments were woven by Kessi Riliniki, Carollyn Monterola, Eyþór Viðarsson, Hem Brewster and Travis Vengroff.
Music-Shells provided by Fuimadane.
Audio-Enhancements by Sarah Buchynski.
Written and Produced by Kessi Riliniki.
Yosha: That’s everything? That’s all?
Auril: That- yea, yea, that’s it, yup. You really are a quick writer.
Yosha: Can we listen to the next recording now, please?