Episode 13 | Ætherfrays

Skaranuka – 101th day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær, 101st Generation

Raka, Lyn and Malaki finally make it to the Ætherfrays, the border of the tangleweave. But getting into the area of the tangleweave turns out to be more difficult than one would expect…



RakaKessir Riliniki

LynCarollyn Monterola

MalakiEyþór Viðarsson

Ferryce – Ester Ellis

AurilTravis Vengroff

YoshaHem Brewster


Written and Dialogue Edited by Kessir Riliniki

Sounddesign by Sarah Buchynski

Music by Fuimadane


Windshell activates.

Lyn:      We’ve been walking for half a day. Shouldn’t we be there by now?

Malaki:   Not at your pace.

Lyn:      Eugh. Oh- Raka, the Windshell-

Raka:     I heard it. How close are we, Ferryce? Or did a spirit trigger that?

Ferryce:  No. You are almost there.

Raka:     Lyura’s grace, finally.

Lyn:      So as I was saying-

Malaki:   Less talking more walking, human.

Lyn:      Oh come on, it’s so boring when we just walk in silence! And besides, I had another idea to utilize Raka’s spheres. How about this:
We take a metal-box and put a thick wire connected to the heatsphere into it. Then you lay stuff like bread on the wire, turn the heatsphere on and then-

Malaki:   Then you burn the food again. Just like yesterday.

Lyn:      Noo, it’s a simulated grill! We could make toast with that. Toast!

Raka:     What?

Lyn:      You know, Barbeque.

Raka:     Toasted bread?

Lyn:      Yea! It’s delicious! Can we try making something like that?

Raka:     I might be renowned, but even I can’t afford that much metal to waste on experiments.

Malaki:   Of course you only think of metal, Kyrjir. Think of the food the human wastes with such experiments!

Raka:     Sure…

Lyn:      Hey, that last night was an accident, okay?

Malaki:   I won’t let you waste any more food!

Raka:     I have to agree with that.

Lyn:      I already said I’m sorry! I never cooked with the heatsphere before, how was I supposed to know how fast it burns things up?

Malaki:   You’re not allowed to cook anymore.

Raka:     That poor Yag died in vain.

Malaki:   Y- You’re not much better!

Raka:     Me?! The Yag I cooked 2 days ago was just fine!

Malaki:   No! You didn’t even put spices on it!

Raka:     Sp- Spices?! Of course I put spices on it!

Malaki:   Not enough!

Raka:     Look, I’m the only one here carrying supplies, and I merely packed for rudimentary stops for foods now and then, not to cook a fine cuisine banquet every night. So EXCUSE me for not thinking of bringing a whole kitchen’s worth of spices!

Malaki:   Even just salt would have been enough!

Raka:     Do you know how expensive that is?

Lyn:      Salt is expensive?

Raka:     Certainly is.

Lyn:      Damn.

Raka:     If I had the money to buy salt to waste like that, I might as well buy you some metal to experiment with.

Lyn:      Is metal also expensive?

Raka:     That, too. Salt and Metal are both rare resources.

Lyn:      If you need salt, I can… cry…

Malaki:   I have salt.

Raka:     Well you know what? Why don’t you do the cooking from now on, then.

Malaki:   Better than trying to eat what the human cooks.

Lyn:      Okay, rude. But the people in the village had a crapload of kitchen utensils made of metal. Like Knifes, pots and pans… and a lot of salt.

Raka:     That’s the most metal is ever used for. Household utensils. Though that’s a rather new development. Tools for household are more commonly made of other material. Wood, bone or horn, for example.

Malaki:   Horn!

Lyn:      Don’t both of you have knives made of metal? Or what did you use to gut those animals the past few days?

Malaki:   I made my knife with flint.

Raka:     Mine is made from… I’m not sure, either horn or bone.

Malaki:   Horn!

Lyn:      Wait, really? What is this, stone ages?

Malaki:   You make tools out of horn!

Lyn:      Is that… an accusation or a statement?

Malaki:   She… disrespects beings with horns! Even though her friend’s name is Auril!

Lyn:      Hä? What’s that name got to do with anything?

Malaki:   “Aur” means horn-

Raka:     Auril is a nickname we gave him when he was new in our university. It means “Person with horns”, and he just stuck with it. Never told us his real name.

Lyn:      Can we call Malaki “Auril” then?

Malaki:   No!

Lyn:      Aurlaki!

Malaki:   It’s Malaki! Yet you have a knife made out of horns!

Raka:     Look, I’m not sure what this is made of. I just bought it, I didn’t make it.

Malaki:   Keh, pathetic Kyrjir. Can’t even make your own tools.

Raka:     Well I don’t have that kind of craftsmanship.

Malaki:   Craftmansh-

Raka:     Nor the time for it. Good for you, if you do. Just goes to show that you have too much spare time to put it into anything significant.

Malaki:   Significant… Significant.

Raka:     And what is it with your Skur and horns?

Malaki:   Horns are our pride.

Lyn:      Hey- Hey Raka!

Ferryce:  Quick your bickering already. We’re there.

Lyn:      Holy moly! Woa!

Raka:     Fiyar’ta…

Lyn:      What the hell is going on here?!

Raka:     This is worse than I had thought it would be…

Lyn:      The colorful threads are all over the place! Woa, this is crazy! And, dayumn, is that Waterfall flowing upwards?!

Ferryce:  That’s a side effect of the ætherfrays.

Raka:     And a dead giveaway that we stand IN the aetherfrays.

Lyn:      Is that also why those rocks are floating?

Raka:     Objects closely connected to the elements tend to lose gravity in the the aetherfrays.

Lyn:      Could WE start floating any moment?

Ferryce:  No. Living beings are not creatures of the elements.

Lyn:      Damn, Raka, Raka, you should see the Aetherweb! Man, I sure as hell don’t want to be the one to untangle that. It looks like a cat got into a box full of yarn balls and went to town!

Raka:     What?

Lyn:      Colorful glowing spaghetti!

Raka:     Do you see what she sees?

Malaki:   No. I only see runes and Vær.

Raka:     Ferryce, am I right in assuming we will have to cross this ravine somehow?

Ferryce:  If you want to get into the tangleweave, then yes.

Raka:     I feared that.

Lyn:      Hey Raka?

Raka:     Hm?

Lyn:      Should you maybe shoot the Needle-arrow through the weave on this side?

Ferryce:  You’ve already shot the arrow through this side. It would be wiser to shoot the arrow through the weave on the other side.

Raka:     We’ll worry about that when we crossed over. Two-horns?

Lyn:      It’s Aurlaki.

Malaki:   No. It’s Malaki.

Raka:     You don’t happen to know if there’s bridges along this edge, do you?

Malaki:   No.

Raka:     Ferryce?

Ferryce:  I don’t experience the world as you do, Raka. I can tell you how much further the canyon goes, but I don’t feel or see mortal-made constructs.

Raka:     Eh… In that case I say we walk along the edge and see if someone built any bridges along the way.

Lyn:      Sure…

Raka:     Does this and the other side connect somewhere?

Ferryce:  Yes. Further back downhill. Going that route will render the time and effort it took you to come here wasted, though.

Raka:     That can’t be helped…

Lyn:      But it’s barely 3 meters to the other side… And we have to walk like hundreds of meters.

Raka:     3 paces across, but maybe 10, 15 tail-long up to the opposite ledge. My tail, not yours.

Lyn:      Actually I don’t have a tail. Can’t you shoot a rope up there? You know, like pew

Raka:     I don’t have the arrows for that. And, not enough rope.

Malaki:   I will get us across.

Raka:     What? No don’t!-

Malaki:   Nahrin, xirduia! (Vine, grow!)

Raka:     Oh for Eväi’s sake… Nobody move!

Lyn:      What? What’s happening?

Raka:     You imbecile! You can’t use runes in the aetherfrays!

Malaki:   Tell me why?

Lyn:      Ain’t nothing but a heartache~
Tell me why?
Ain’t nothing but a mistake~

Raka:     I knew I should’ve tethered both your äthwar off!
Lyn, this is not the time for singing-

Lyn:      It’s never not the time for singing! Tell me why~ I never want to hear you say~

Raka:     Lyn!

Lyn:      Oh shit, the cliff is breaking apart! Abort, Abort!

Raka:     Get down, grab whatever rock or twig looks rooted!

Lyn:      We have to jump off!

Raka:     We don’t know how much more of the cliff will break off behind us! Better to just sit tight on this rock until it stabilizes!

Malaki:   Raka, Raka!

Raka:     What!

Malaki:   Skaudr kokol aur- Raka, my äthwar, untether-

Raka:     THIS is why you don’t use runes in the ætherfrays! You seriously want me to unleash your wind-äthwar so you can use MORE runes?!

Malaki:   I don’t understand-

Raka:     The fringes are completely severed; NOTHING is working the way it’s supposed to, especially not runes! Now get down, all we can do is wait for it to stop!

Lyn:      Can’t you make the vines stop pulling?!

Malaki:   If I knew how, I would!

Raka:     Calm down, both of you!

Lyn:      Calm down? You’re the one that’s like WUAAAA! We just got stranded on a friggin floating island over a canyon! One misstep and we’ll fall! I don’t have a parachute! I don’t like free falling!

Raka:     The closer you stay to the rock the less likely you are to fall off.

Lyn:      Shit… now what?

Raka:     We’ll figure this out.

Malaki:   Free my äthwar, I can bring us up to that-

Raka:     Aren’t you listening to me at all?! I SAID No runes in the ætherfrays!

Malaki:   I don’t understand how this place changes what my runes do!

Raka:     And you were questioning why I don’t trust this guy, Ferryce?

Ferryce:  I see what the issue is…

Lyn:      How are we getting off this rock without runes?

Raka:     I don’t know yet. But more runes will result in more chaos.

Lyn:      How did this even happen?!

Malaki:   I don’t know!

Raka:     There aren’t any factual explanations yet, the aetherfrays are still a very scarcely studied subject.

Lyn:      Oh. Maybe got some fancy notes in your journal about this?

Raka:     All I can offer are theories from other Akasars of the University.

Lyn:      Better than nothing.

Malaki:   Tell of those.

Ferryce:  Yes, let’s hear how your predecessors perceived the aetherweb. If all else fails, I can provide you clues to how close to the truth their theories are.

Raka:     Erg… The most plausible theory says that the Runes are Nodes that move along strings.

Lyn:      Like… like beads?

Raka:     That… that’s actually a pretty good analogy, yes. When the threads are severed, the Runes that happen to follow along those threads will fall off, like beads fall from a string. But instead of falling to the ground, they float around aimlessly, resulting in things like upward flowing waterfalls and floating islands.

Malaki:   They don’t know where to go.

Raka:     Yes.

Lyn:      Mhm, mhm.

Ferryce:  That’s not too far from the truth.

Raka:     A theory is that, if a rune is cast into the ætherfrays, it will TRY to connect to any lose thread of it’s element.

Lyn:      Oh. Would that mean Malaki’s vine runes tried to shoot right for the green strings? Because I think there’s a green veil behind the cliff they tried to get to.

Raka:     Ah, right, you would see that… That makes sense.

Lyn:      You can’t see shit. But I can.

Raka:     Show off. Anyway, the Runes probably pulled us along because they were tied to this cliff.

Malaki:   The runes knew where they wanted to go.

Lyn:      It also kinda looked like the Runes were trying to dodge the other threads.

Malaki:   Dodgde.

Lyn:      Yea.

Raka:     Interesting.

Ferryce:  Well perceived, human.

Lyn:      Thanks.

Malaki:   Then you can… direct the Runes around the other strings.

Lyn:      What, me?

Raka:     Hmm… That… might be possible.

Malaki:   Yes!

Raka:     But even if she can steer the Runes, it’s still possible that weaving Runes for her to steer will cause the rock we stand on to suddenly regain its gravity and fall.

Lyn:      Uuuuhh… Ferryce?

Ferryce:  What, you want me to predict the future?

Lyn:      No, I just wana know if what Raka suggests is a possibility.

Ferryce:  Anything can happen in the Aetherfrays.

Lyn:      Umm… Is it me or are they being evasive?

Ferryce:  (chuckles)

Raka:     Seems that way. Ferryce, give us something to work with!

Ferryce:  Have I moved down the ranks to be your subordinate now?

Raka:     What…? No, of course not!

Malaki:   You have to ‘ask’ it.

Ferryce:  Yes.

Raka:     Ferryce, is it possible that weaving runes here could cause the rock we stand on to suddenly regain its gravity?

Ferryce:  See, was it so hard to ask nicely? The answer is yes. There are runes with certain properties that could sway this rock.

Raka:     Which ones?

Ferryce:  No, Raka. One bit of Væron knowledge at a time, remember?

Raka:     But yesterday you answered more than one-

Ferryce:  Do not try to bargain with me, Patcher. Yesterday, I merely chose to help you to get on track. If you intend to trick me into breaking the conditions of our Oathbond, I will not hesitate to sever the Oathbond entirely.

Raka:     That was not my intention, Ferryce. Malaki!

Malaki:   (growls)

Ferryce:  Oh no, Malaki. What Azeri did was very different from this. And it was much more severe, believe me.

Malaki:   Bite your fangs!

Ferryce:  Trust me, Malaki, even if I had any, I would not do it just because you said so.

Malaki:   Call me if you need me.

Lyn:      Um… Could we please not have a falling out on this rock? I’m afraid if we all have to sit on one corner, the rock might tip over…

Raka:     What was that all about, Ferryce?

Ferryce:  Azeri, of course.

Malaki:   I said, BITE YOUR FANGS, Væron!

Lyn:      I… suggest we don’t poke any deeper.

Raka:     Agreed.

Lyn:      Oh. The waterfall, Raka.

Raka:     Hm? What about it?

Lyn:      Spaghetti!

Raka:     Uh… What?

Lyn:      Maybe we could pull the water our way, then freeze it? Can you do that?

Raka:     There are runes to freeze water, yes, but they… they’re not instantaneous, they need time. Flowing water makes that progress harder. But we first have to make sure this floating island is secured, we can figure out how to get off it later.

Lyn:      Any ideas?

Raka:     No, not really… Not yet.

Malaki:   Lyn! Come over here.

Lyn:      Uh, I… Should I…

Malaki:   I know how to secure this rock.

Lyn:      Er… can we go there without tipping the rock over?

Raka:     I… don’t know. How about you go there and I stay here. If it sways, my backpack and I probably weight more than the two of you.

Lyn:      Uh… Okay, sure. Well that… seems to have worked.

Raka:     What’s your idea, white-eye?

Malaki:   I throw more vines.

Raka:     Of course. Think you can do that without us fall to our deaths?

Malaki:   I might be rash, but like being alive.

Lyn:      Where would you throw them?

Malaki:   Back to where this rock broke off. Two vines. Here and there.

Raka:     Ah. Secured on three sides.

Malaki:   Yes. You take my rune, steer it through the other threads.

Lyn:      That’s not a bad idea… There aren’t many lose threads in that direction. Shouldn’t be hard to steer runes through the gaps. I can tell you where best to aim.

Raka:     I don’t like it.

Malaki:   Then tell us your plan.

Raka:     I don’t- I don’t have a plan yet.

Malaki:   Then we do it my way.

Lyn:      We do it hiiiis way~

Raka:     Lyn!

Lyn:      Sorry! I can’t help it, okay? Why don’t you like it, it sounds fine to me.

Raka:     Because you can only work on one side at a time. If the first rune he throws makes this rock lose gravity, that’s it-

Malaki:   If that happens, there is enough time to jump off back to the cliff we came from.

Lyn:      I can’t jump that far…

Malaki:   If Raka gave my äthwar… I make sure no one falls.

Raka:     Sure. If I fell with Ferryce, you’d be rid of both of us.

Malaki:   Draw a Væron’s wrath! I’d rather not.

Ferryce:  If it made you feel better, Raka, I could threaten to sunder all tethers you hold if you fall. That includes his wind-äthwar.

Malaki:   I don’t want that.

Lyn:      Raka, can’t you just untether him? I know you don’t trust him, but at least I would feel better if we had a backup.

Raka:     I don’t like it.

Malaki:   You said that before.

Raka:     And YOU put us in danger before!

Lyn:      Hey Raka?

Raka:     What?

Lyn:      Maybe you spent a little too much time with unchanging supernatural beings, but Malaki and I are people, and people change! You just need to give them a chance to prove it.

Raka:     Three runes. I give you three runes leisure.

Lyn:      Nice, my peptalk worked.

Malaki:   I’ll make best use of them.

Raka:     Well if that doesn’t sound treacherous…

Lyn:      Yea…

Raka:     Þamratu, malakiri wyv.

Lyn:      Awesome! Let’s do this!

Malaki:   Yes!

Raka:     Hold on. Before you do this, tie yourself in on this.

Lyn:      The rope?

Raka:     We’re in the aetherfrays, so a little extra physical security won’t hurt.

Lyn:      Where will we secure this on? If this rock falls and the rope is attached to it… One plus one equals fall.

Raka:     We can hammer a hook into the cliff wall. And hope that the rock won’t bring down half the cliff behind it, if it falls. I’ll go secure the hook. The two of you, get over here and wrap the rope around your legs and waist.

Lyn:      Okay. Uh… alright? I… don’t know how to do this, do you?

Malaki:   No. I don’t know if she wants me to tie myself in as well, or just you.

Lyn:      Awww come on. I’m pretty sure she won’t just leave you behind, she’s not that big of an asshole.

Malaki:   Asshole.

Lyn:      I mean, I’m pretty sure she knows compassion, she just doesn’t know how to express it…

Malaki:   Compassion.

Lyn:      You know compassion, right? Not leaving people behind?

Malaki:   Yes.

Lyn:      Have you lived with other people before?

Malaki:   Other Skurki, yes. In a pack.

Lyn:      So you haven’t lived on your own this whole time, have you?

Malaki:   I… No. There were others. Not anymore… I haven’t had a pack for… 8 winters.

Lyn:      Oh… Well, no wonder you’ve had time to decipher letters. Meh, guess we’ll have to ask Raka about this.

Malaki:   ‘Ask’.

Lyn:      Yea. Hm… Come to think of it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you ask for anything.

Malaki:   I don’t…

Lyn:      I don’t think I’ve even heard you ask any simple questions like ‘What did you say?’ or ‘What do you mean?’ Do you realize how rude that makes you sound?

Malaki:   No. Explain that.

Lyn:      See, you’re doing it right now, you don’t ask what about it sounds rude, you tell me to explain myself. It’s quite rude to tell someone else what to do!

Malaki:   I… don’t understand. Not using asks doesn’t sound rude.

Lyn:      Yea, to you. This is why Ferryce reprimanded Raka yesterday, isn’t it?

Malaki:   I don’t know.

Lyn:      But you understand questions, don’t you?

Malaki:   I know the concept. Skurka don’t use asks. We understand others without. No purpose.

Lyn:      Look, the purpose of questions is… to show another person that… that you’re listening to what they say, that you care. About them, about what they say. You show interest in others, in their lives. Shows that you have compassion. You just said you think Raka doesn’t want you to tie yourself in. But you didn’t ask her. You just assumed.

Malaki:   Assume. Asshole.

Lyn:      Exactly! Assuming makes you an asshole.

Malaki:   Hm. Explain.

Lyn:      You believe to know what the other person is thinking, but you don’t really care to find out what they’re REALLY thinking. Get it.

Malaki:   I… understand. I have learned of asks, but… I have not had anyone to practice with.

Lyn:      You wana practice with me? C’mon, speak after me, ‘Will you teach me how to ask?’

Malaki:   Will you… teach me how to ask.

Lyn:      Not like that, you have to raise your voice at the end. Again!

Malaki:   Will you teach me how to ask?

Lyn:      I see we have a lot to work on. But we’ll get there. In return you can teach me how to read runes.

Malaki:   Yes, you read, I ask.

Raka:     Have you two still not tied yourself in?!

Lyn:      Watch and learn- I’m sorry, I’m such a noob! I don’t know how to tie myself in, can you show me?

Raka:     I showed you how its done just yesterday!

Lyn:      I know, I’m sorry, I forgot! Will you show me again, please?

Raka:     Fine. Let me tie myself in first. Lyn will be in the middle, Malaki last.

Lyn:      Awww, see? She does want you to be tied in as well.

Raka:     Why wouldn’t I?

Malaki:   You assemble us by how useful we are to you.

Raka:     What?

Lyn:      You’re assuming.

Malaki:   I… you… assemble us… by how useful?

Raka:     If I’d assemble you by how useful you are, you’d be in the center and Lyn at the end.

Lyn:      Buuuuh!

Raka:     But in the worst case, I trust you’d spout earth and wind runes left and right to save yourself. Lyn can’t do that. If the rock falls and you don’t save us as you promised, someone needs to haul her up.

Malaki:   I… understand…

Lyn:      Rude.

Raka:     Here. Your turn, Lyn… Spread your legs.

Lyn:      Hey, don’t touch me there! Won’t it be enough to tie it around my waist?

Raka:     It HAS to go between the legs for extra security. Here, like this. And THEN around your waist.

Lyn:      Hmm feels like a string-tanga. So fancy.

Raka:     Your turn, white-eye. I hope you know how to do this.

Malaki:   I don’t know how… Can… you… show me.

Lyn:      Up! Up!

Malaki:   Can you show meeee?

Raka:     Fine, don’t fluster your tail over it. Come here.

Lyn:      Oh yea, you want her to touch you there, don’t you?

Malaki:   Farue, I’d rather never have to get this close to her again if I can avoid it- OH OW!

Raka:     There you GO

Malaki:   Not so tight!

Lyn:      Don’t insult the girl that pulls the rope between your legs, I say…

Raka:     Now let’s get it over with. This platform is making me queezy.

Malaki:   Ugh, Alright- Human, tell me where to aim.

Lyn:      There- That way. Aim for that rock over there.

Malaki:   … You’ll have to be more specific.

Lyn:      That red one over there!

Raka:     Point over his shoulder, like you did with me yesterday.

Malaki:   No, not the armpits!

Lyn:      Urg, fine. That one over there, see?

Malaki:   I’ll try- just close your armpits again.

Lyn:      Urg. Rude.

Malaki:   Ræwynïe, xirduia! (Roots, grow!)

Raka:     Lyn, brace yourself.

Lyn:      I’m so braced, winter could come right at me, bro. Oh sh- I wasn’t braced hard enough!

Raka:     Fiyar’ta!

Lyn:      The amount of bracing I did was unequal to the amount of bracing I should’ve-

Raka:     The Rune, Lyn!

Lyn:      Huh? Oh shit, the tilt offset it- Hold on, I’ll-

Raka:     You got it?

Lyn:      Can’t talk, Rune-steering-

Raka:     Quickly, before the rock tilts over!

Lyn:      I need to figure out these controls, how do you fly this thing?!

Raka:     Don’t ask me!

Lyn:      Ah there we go- Dodged the thread- now for the cliff…

Malaki:   It will continue to grow, let it go!

Lyn:      Let it go~, let it grow~ don’t steer the rune anymore~

Raka:     But the rock’s still tilting!

Lyn:      Whaaa, I’m getting motion sick!

Malaki:   Come, Lyn! We root the edge that tilts up! Lyn!

Lyn:      Alright, aim there, at that patch of grass!

Malaki:   Ræwynïe, xirduia! (Roots, grow!)

Raka:     The rock is tipping the other way!

Lyn:      Huaaa, I’m seriously going to puke one of these days!

Raka:     Focus on the Rune!

Lyn:      Up, up! I said UP, damnit! Move!

Raka:     Are you steering it or just telling it what to do?

Lyn:       ‘fcourse! Almost there- Okay, done.

Raka:     We’ll wait for the rock to stabilize.

Lyn:      That was more exhausting than I thought.

Raka:     You can use some workout.

Malaki:    Agreed.

Lyn:      Glad to be a subject you two can bond over… Damn, that one wore me out so much I could fall asleep right here… Can’t we do the rest tomorrow?

Raka:     Take your time to catch your breath, but we need to get out of the aetherfrays today. I don’t want to spend a night on this rock.

Malaki:   Yes.

Raka:     And we got no food here.

Lyn:      What, no food?!

Raka:     Only dry provisions.

Lyn:      Malaki!

Malaki:   Yes!

Lyn:      Throw the next rune!

Malaki:   You were… exhausted just now!

Lyn:      Ts, na na na, nevermind that. The quicker we get off this rock, the sooner Raka can go hunt our dinner!

Raka:     It’s Malaki’s turn to hunt.

Malaki:   Keep your claws sheathed, I’ll hunt.

Lyn:      Well I don’t care which of you gets to call dibs on the hunt. C’mon, throw a rune!

Malaki:   Tell me where to aim-

Raka:     No, Stop!

Malaki:   Kokol frith-

Raka:     Don’t throw around runes without a plan! Just stop and think for a moment! Where do we want to go from here?

Lyn:      Well I thought with some vine or ivy runes I could craft us a ladder up the cliff side? Y’know, Jack and the beanstalk style.

Raka:     Vines are hardly sturdy enough, a stalk would droop after just a tail-long.

Lyn:      Even if we entwine them into a braid?

Raka:     Do you think you can pull that off just yet? You’ve only done this a couple of times, and you’re exhausted.

Lyn:      Ah yea…

Malaki:   Rævïr.

Raka:     What?

Malaki:   I could weave a ræwïr rune into the vines.

Raka:     See, this is why we need to plan out our next steps, instead of throwing runes around aimlessly. Yes, a ræwïr rune would be a possibility. But it’s not good enough. Surely the earth runes give us better options.

Lyn:      You could splash a water rune on the vines and then freeze it?

Raka:     Frozen plants are brittle and break under too much weight. We couldn’t use it to climb. Try to think outside of the scope of vines.

Malaki:   I could pull earth spikes from the cliff and we can use those to climb.

Lyn:      That’s a great idea, we make our own stairs!

Malaki:   Yes!

Raka:     No, let’s not touch the mass of the cliff.

Lyn:      Then how about the rock we stand on? It’s mostly very compact soil, can we summon individual steps out of the ground?

Malaki:   Yes.

Raka:     The mass has to come from somewhere. Any step we craft from THIS rock will be deducted from the space we stand on. Same goes for the cliff. Any stone-step or spike we pull out of them will make them porous. There’s no telling where the mass comes from and sooner or later they might fall apart.

Malaki:   We haven’t heard suggestions form YOU yet.

Raka:     I suggest an Onar rune.

Lyn:      What’s that?

Malaki:   (growls)

Raka:     Yea, I didn’t think you would like it. For the record, I don’t like it either. And neither will Lyn.

Lyn:      Come on guys, if you want me to do something at least let me know what it is!

Malaki:   I can also use my wind-runes. I could bring the rope to the edge and you can climb the rest.

Raka:     When you merge with the wind, your movements will be too quick and uncontrolled. You will bump into every thread and recoil, and Lyn won’t be able to direct you.

Malaki:   Better that than an Onar-Rune.

Lyn:      Hello? Could you just stop ignoring me? What’s the deal with this Onarune?

Ferryce:  It’s a tree-rune.

Lyn:      Oh shit Ferryce, I totally forgot about you!

Ferryce:  You better get used to my presence.

Lyn:      Yea…

Raka:     Have you decided to talk to us again?

Ferryce:  Don’t mistake my silence for sulking, Raka. I am not like you mortals. I observe, I don’t interfere. But I’m willing to answer your questions where Raka choses to ignore you.

Lyn:      So what’s the deal with Onar Runes?

Ferryce:  An Onar rune will awaken a nearby tree-seed and make it sprout into a full sized tree within a few heartbeats. That costs an immense amount of energy.

Raka:     So far, Malaki has only thrown around vines, tendrils and roots, they’re low maintenance. A tree though is-

Malaki:   It will cost you AND me all the energy we have.

Lyn:      Wait, then how will we get up the tree if we don’t have the energy to climb it? I already don’t think I could do in this condition.

Raka:     I’ll haul you both up the cliff once we have a bridge.

Lyn:      What about food? Malaki is supposed to hunt for us. It’s all about food.

Raka:     If he’s willing to cast an Onar rune, I’m willing to take care of food.

Malaki:   …Skaudr kulka aur koneŋi…

Raka:     Well?

Malaki:   Fine.

Raka:     Alright. Lyn, you think you can do this?

Lyn:      Dunno… What exactly is my role in this? Like, does the tree need to dodge the threads?

Raka:     I’m not sure if it will push them aside or dodge them. You will need to watch it and only take control of it when it gets close to touching the threads, and let go immediately when it’s through the needle’s eye. That way you’ll preserve your energy.

Lyn:      Gotcha.

Raka:     Do you need more time to rest?

Lyn:      No no no.

Raka:     Are you sure? An Onar Rune will draw a lot of energy from Malaki – I can only assume that it will be just as exhausting for you.

Lyn:      Well you told me you’ll carry me afterwards.

Raka:     Sure.

Lyn:      Between resting and food – I chose food. I can rest after we ate. And the quicker we get off this rock, the quicker I get food, right?

Raka:     Well aren’t you awfully single-minded…

Malaki:   Tell me where to aim…

Lyn:      Let’s see… Try to aim- hold on, let me look over your shoulder again.

Malaki:   Just keep your smell contained this time…

Lyn:      Oh shut up. Try to aim there. Where that little bush sticks out of the cliff.

Malaki:   Got it. Step aside…
Onar, ie-si-ruïl-tæa evia!
(Tree, rise from the soil)

Lyn:      Did… it not work?

Malaki:   It… worked…

Raka:     Lie down.

Malaki:   Not your worry-

Raka:     I told you to lay down.

Lyn:      Malaki, are you alright?

Malaki:   Don’t… not your worry.

Lyn:      Okay… Where’s the tree?

Malaki:   That’s-

Ferryce:  Patience, little human. The seed needs time to reach the surface.

Lyn:      Oh shit- Is it going to split the rock?!

Ferryce:  The roots will hold it together.

Lyn:      Are we standing on a giant kokedama?!

Raka:     Keep an eye on the rune and the threads.

Lyn:      Oh yea- Okay, taking over- oh shit this is even harder than that boulder yesterday-

Raka:     Don’t talk, focus!

Lyn:      Dodged first threats- threads!- Shit, this is like playing bullet hell on a very high level-

Raka:     Stop talking! You don’t have to hold on to it all the time-

Lyn:      I do- There’s threads everywhere!

Raka:     I thought you told him to aim where there aren’t too many lose threads!

Ferryce:  The tree is thicker than the holes she wanted it to grow through.

Raka:     Try and steer the top toward the ledge, if you can!

Lyn:      I’m trying, threads keep getting in my way!

Raka:     You’re doing well!

Lyn:      Will the tree stop growing when I let go?

Ferryce:  It will stop growing when Malaki’s energy is depleted.

Malaki:   That… will be… soon… hurry!

Lyn:      Just a bit more- I’m trying to bend it toward the edge more so we get a bridge…

Raka:     Don’t get held up with cosmetic improvements.

Malaki:   I can’t… anym-

Lyn:      Wowww- Oh shit-

Raka:     I’ve got you. Are you alright?

Lyn:      Everything’s turning- I think I’m really going to puke this time-

Raka:     You did well.

Ferryce:  Indeed, that is a fine Tree.

Raka:     Here… Lie down and rest. You stay here. Try to sit upright, lean against the tree.

Lyn:      Can I… water?

Raka:     Here, take the waterskin.

Lyn:      Can’t… Can’t… open…

Raka:     Here. I’ll pour some in your mouth.

Lyn:      Oh more, give me more.

Raka:     That enough?

Lyn:      Mhm.

Raka:     Are you conscious, crookhorn?

Malaki:   Don’t… call me that…

Raka:     Here, let me help you up. There. Lean up against Lyn. Can keep each other from slipping off the bark. You two, try to regain some energy. I’m going to start climbing up, but I need you both to stay conscious. I’m not hauling two limp bodies up!

Lyn:      Why… not…

Raka:     Because at that height you will end up bumping against the cliff wall or the tree several times. You need to cushion yourselves when I pull you.

Malaki:   Just go…

Lyn:      Is there… food…? So hungry…

Raka:     A slice of flatbread and some jerkies. That’s all you get right now. Here. Alright, I’m going up. You two try to stay warm.

Lyn:      Raka… Raka… Raka…

Raka:     What?

Lyn:      Windshell… so annoy… echo… headache…

Raka:     Eh… I can try turning it off, but we’re still in the Aetherfrays… It will probably turn right back on…

Lyn:      Supress… it…

Raka:     I’ll try…
Auril, I don’t know if your enchantments record on a new sphere every time it turns on, but if that’s the case, I don’t think the next few will be particularly entertaining to listen to. You might as well throw them away.

Windshell deactivates.

Auril:    Finally! They finally tested the potential of Lyn’s abilities! Do you realize what a rare gift that human has?

Yosha:    Probably pretty rare?

Auril:    Yes! Yes, I am fairly certain that seeing the weave is not a common gift, or someone from the university would already have found and recruited people with that skill a long time ago to assist in studying the aetherfrays. And rune-steering? That’s amazing!

Yosha:    It’s unreal.

Auril:    With a skill like that, do you know on what grand scale magic technology enchantments could be woven?

Yosha:    Pretty big?

Auril:    I’m talking about

Yosha:    Um…

Auril:    Hm?

Yosha:    I’m really- wait, are you dictating, Akasar, am I supposed to write this down?

Auril:    Umm…

Yosha:    I’m sorry, I don’t want to miss anything.

Auril:    This is like… windshell of thought here.

Yosha:    Okay. Carry on.

Auril:    Since you’re a writer, not a scriber.

Yosha:    I’ve got it- I’ve got my pen ready- Go!

Auril:    Alright! I’m talking things like dome-barriers, Yosha, protective domes that can cover whole cities, or covering square ackers of land selectively with a blanket of water! Her skills could come in handy for magic studies and enhancing everyday life! We have to get Lyn to Kærun after this, if we can!

Yosha:    That’s curel, Akasar, don’t cage her like humans cage the Therion!

Auril:    Of course I wouldn’t do that.

Yosha:    Okay.

Auril:    But I would still like to study what she can do with her skills – don’t you think it fascinating?

Yosha:    Yea, but… what I found much more fascinating was that Raka lost her edge there a bit, did you notice?

Auril:    Hm. So she did.

Yosha:    I told you, there’s more to her than just the cold side she puts up a lot of times. And Lyn and Malaki were so goofy together. They’re building bonds, isn’t that cute?

Auril:    Cute?… That’s not the word I would’ve used, but that’s okay.

Yosha:    Well how would you have described them? If not cute.

Auril:    Um. Well… Creative. They definitely creative together. I would love to see the kinds of inventions they would come up with if they were put in a risk free environment with all the resources they’d need to play around.

Yosha:    Maybe you SHOULD try to get Raka to bring those two here once the tangleweave is fixed I mean. I’d love to meet them as well.

Windshell activates.

Yosha:    Oh.

Raka:     A’sarkra nah’flæþis-

Lyn:      Raakaaa-

Raka:     I know! I heard it!

Windshell deactivates.

Auril:    Remind me to scrap that new recording later.

Yosha:    Alright. Speaking of which, should we do the references?

Auril:    Ah, of course. Yes.

Yosha:    Hang on…

Auril:    Ready?

Yosha:    Aaaand go!

Auril:    Date of recordings was Skaranuka on the 101st day of Bäkkos, 5th year of the Vær in the 101st generation.
Vocal enchantments were woven by Kessi Riliniki, Eyþór Viðarsson, Carollyn Monterola, Ester Ellis, Hem Cleveland and Travis Vengroff.
Music-Shells provided by Fuimadane.
Audio-Enhancements by Sarah Buchinsky.
Written and Produced by Kessi Riliniki.

Windshell activates.

Raka:     A’sarkra nah’flaythis- Auril, if you happen to hear this, you should add a tolerance to the windshell to stay deactivated in a high disturbance environment like the aetherfrays!

Windshell deactivates.

Auril:    There’s here edge again.

Yosha:    She is willing to haul Lyn and Malaki up a cliff despite what she thinks of them. I think she’s entitled to some edginess now and then.

Auril:    Right… At any rate, can you add what she just said to my to-do list?

Yosha:    Already did, Akasar.

Auril:    Ah, you’re awesome.


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© 2018-2024 Counterbalance is an intellectual property of TriLunis Studios, c/o Kessi Riliniki, in association with Blighthouse Studio

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