Sep 18-19, 253AC
You finished your fight at the base from last session, and came out victorious, knocking out and tying up both of your assailants. Before that, however, the melee lady tried to stab Annalyn with an ophicine-encrusted dagger (but was put to sleep by Teris before she got the chance).
Investigating the rest of the back-corridors of the base, you found a runic tile embedded into the wall, that an empowered Detect Magic revealed as not actually magical, but had a passive field that seemed almost… anticipatory? Like it was poised to become magical at any moment. Hard to explain.
In addition, you had the chance to look into those notes you found in the hidden drawer. It seemed like they were doing some sort of experimentation on the runes — one rune in particular cropped up a lot, and the design matched the one found on the wall in the back-corridor.
You caught up to / coordinated with Devon and Vella to get all three of them (those two + the one caught from the drop site) ferried back to the high-security prison. The archer was the first to wake up from being knocked out — you tried interrogating him for a while, but he was fairly smug and uncooperative, and Bartooke knocked him out fairly shortly after.
When the melee woman woke up, she was much less smug and much more angry than the archer. She was passionate that her group was doing the right thing, and that they were simply trying to repair a broken world (“not that any of you could understand”).
Annalyn then asked her what she had connected her (Annalyn) to, in that incapacitation spell. She replied, “are you an awakened mind?”, which Annalyn replied affirmatively to. After this, a long conversation occurred between her and Annalyn, which took place entirely in their thoughts (she didn’t cast a normal spell to form this connection, because her hands were tied up / preventing her from doing somatic components). (Annalyn told you about this after the fact, of course.)
In that “thought-conversation”, the woman told Annalyn that her (Annalyn’s) talent was raw/untrained, but that her group could help her develop it. She said that the “other” that she connected Annalyn to was sort of unexplainable — “it that is”, “the soul of the universe”, “the unseen force behind all things”, etc. Also, the blue crystals / runes are merely a means to an end, since the problem they face — “healing the broken world” — is so difficult.
According to her, the world today is a mere shadow of what it once was, before others long ago shattered it into fragments. The Awakened is their term for people who can still interact with those splintered fragments, whereas the Unawakened can’t even see them / fathom their existence. Apparently, some force is still actively working to keep the world split apart, and her group is trying to counteract it.
She also explained how the Unawakened never understand the importance of what they’re trying to do, so her group simply avoids the issue and operates from the shadows. She pleaded with Annalyn to get the Spellknights to stop investigating the group, saying that their work is too important to go unimpeded. Annalyn said she would try her best; the woman was unconvinced, though, and said to Annalyn to hurry, or else others from her group would have to step in and try to stop them in other ways.
After Annalyn told the group about all this, you formulated a plan wherein Annalyn would try to infiltrate the group, posing as a newly Awakened Mind who wanted to help them heal things. (You’re still not sure whether or not they’re actually helping the world or hurting it, but infiltrating will help you figure that out, at least.)
During this conversation, Bartooke also finally got the chance to update you on the religious experience Bartooke had a few days ago. Apparently, she spoke to a god directly — Desma, the All-Guardian (a human deity from the Tuvessan pantheon). Desma told her that some were working to destroy the world, using dangerous knowledge that, once gained, could not be taken away. You debated for a while whether these people you’ve tracked down were working against that group, or were that group, or were just completely unrelated; unfortunately, you didn’t come to a clear answer.
Talm had decided to leave for Baegrim, after finding too many questions that she thought could be answered there. You spent some time tying up loose ends here — giving notes to Jaccobux, etc — and then made plans to head off. Annalyn also said her goodbyes to Nalora, by giving her a huge kiss, blurting out “I have to go, I’m sorry”, and running off before Nalora really had a chance to respond.
Annalyn eventually told the archer lady that she’d convinced the spellknights that this lead was a dead-end. She was pleased, and told Annalyn about a particular location that “she might find to be enlightening”.
Come 2016, plan: Annalyn Infiltrates is a go!