Rescue and Return of a Reticulated Singularity
Rescue and Return of a Reticulated Singularity
I am Daniel McNiven-O'Mannion, known as Forgefire’s Song, Fostern Galliard of the Fianna, Bitten on two legs, Accepted into the Sept of the White Fields, and Attuned of the Celestine Eshtarra. This last part I typically leave out, but in this tale, it is centrally involved.
Shortly before the monthly gathering of the Sept of the White Fields in April, I received a vision. This vision struck me with the love and caress of a mother, and the strength and weight of a hundred tons. There was no question in my mind of its source, or urgency. I heard a voice;
MY CHOSEN, MY CHILD, I SEEK AND ASK YOUR HELP IN A MATTER MOST CRITICAL. ONE OF MY OWN, ONE TIED TO ME AND THE WORLD, HAS BEEN PULLED AWAY FROM MY REALM BY THE TAINT OF THE WYRM. IT CAN NOT SURVIVE AWAY FOR LONG…
I KNOW NOT WHERE IT IS, BUT I KNOW IT IS CLOSE TO YOU, MY TOUCHED ONE. THE CELESTIAL HEAVENS WEEP FOR MY LOSS, BUT YOU AND YOURS CAN SET THIS RIGHT.
YOUR TIME IS SHORT, ITS TIME EVEN SHORTER. FIND IT, BRING IT HOME TO ME… LEST THE WYRM HAVE A PIECE OF ME...
Reeling from the words I had received, and left with more questions than answers, I consulted with the Shepherd of the White Fields, Three Step, Adren Ragabash of the Children of Gaia, The Master of Rites of the White Fields, Eyes of Shadow, Adren Theurge of the Uktena, and Cypher, a Fostern Ragabash of the Uktena who had valuable insight into the matter. As our Shepherd left the matter in our hands to go deal with other matters, the two Uktena and I worked out that the Spirit in jeopardy was likely a kind known as a Reticulating Singularity, a Spirit of Weaver affinity that helps to keep the normal cycle of our cosmos in order. The urgency that I could feel became apparent to the others.
Cypher suggested asking for guidance from the spirit of the Connecticut River, as they were of Uktena’s brood and possessed of secrets that could help guide us. After offering Material Chiminage and the Rite of Accord, the Spirit of the River spoke to us, confirming what we had suspected of the endangered Spirit’s origin and role, and telling us that if the spirit is to be truly saved, that we must bring it back to it’s home realm to be cleansed.
While we listened to the spirit, Eyes of Shadow received a message from Seeker of Spiders, the Fool of the Sept of the White Fields, Fostern of the Corax. The Fool had received an Oracular Vision of his own, which pointed us to the Westover Airport, which had recently been occupied by a Pentex First Team.
Bringing the issue before the Sept at large, the acting Wyrmfoe, Wassador Mahegan, Athro Ahroun of the Glasswalkers, formed a team to follow him into danger:
- Veiled Assets, Athro Philodox, Tribal Second of the Shadow Lords, Beta of the Sept and Truthcatcher
- Eyes of Shadow, Adren Theurge of the Uktena, Master of Rites
- Evening Snow, Fostern Galliard of the Silver Fangs, Talesinger
- Kills with Kindness, Elder Philodox of the Kitsune, Champion of the White Fields
- Forgefire’s Song, Fostern Galliard of the Fianna
The remainder of the Sept stayed behind to guard the Bawn, should the forces of the Wyrm become aware of us and launch a counterattack. This would prove a wise decision, but that is a matter for a different story.
On our way to the Airport, we were joined by Three Step, Shepherd of the White Fields, Adren Ragabash of the Children of Gaia, and on arrival took a minute while behind cover to plan our operation. After a short time, a plan of action was formed. We would enter the base under the guise of “Specialists” that had been brought in to work on a “Project,” get access to the box the Spirit was being contained in, and escape in a private jet owned by Kills with Kindness while a decoy plane draws the attention of the Wyrm’s Minions.
Utilizing the resources of Kills with Kindness, we drove a Humvee towards the base, Evening Snow, Veiled Assets, and Kills with Kindness seated in the cab, the rest of us hidden in the back. Through the social and mental prowess of those in the front, we gained access to the base with ease. While this happened, Wassador Mahegan received a message from the bawn that they were under a multiple front attack from Formori. With the blessing of Three Step, he utilized the gifts of his tribe to instantly travel to the Bawn to aid in its defense, promising to return to our team. We drove the Humvee into a hanger with a vehicle elevator, and began to descend into the Pit.
As we were being lowered into the Earth, we could feel the Taint of the Wyrm covering us. Oddly contrasting to this feeling was the physical appearance of the subterranean tunnels, which were eerily spotless and sterile. With our collected knowledge of the Wyrm, we determined that the Pit’s Totem must be Centipede.
We stayed in the cover of our Humvee as long as possible, but it was not long until we were forced to disembark and continue on foot. Soon, we were accosted by a pair of formori guards. Eyes of Shadow and myself made all possible haste towards the room where the spirit was being held, hidden under our own respective Blurs of the Milky Eye. Meanwhile, Evening Snow, Veiled Assets, and Kills with Kindness dispatched the foul things, as well as a second pair behind them. As soon as we entered the room holding our goal, Three Step, who had stayed behind with the Humvee, spotted another patrol of Formori, this one holding five in number. Kills with Kindness, taking advantage of the speed unique to his kind, rushed back to aid her in holding them off while the rest of the team secured the containment box and returned to the Humvee.
After the ninth Formori was laid low, we took the vehicle elevator back to the surface, and drove like holy hell to our escape plane while Wassador returned to the team. Utilizing a bit of of misdirection, and more of the gifts of the Glasswalker Tribe, he caused the decoy plane to take off, while we loaded and flew our own plane away with the aid of our local Weaver’s Spector.
Safely touching down in a secure area, we set about trying to release the Reticulated Singularity from its confinement. The containment unit seemed to be flooded with the energy of the Wyrm, and Eyes of Shadow figured that whatever place we opened it in would become tainted, or even reach an affinity to the Wyrm. Thinking quickly, Three Step offered that if we opened the box in an area that already was holding the Wyrm in it, the damage could be minimized.
We found a secluded area near Springfield, a city that had until recently held a pit in its heart, and opened the container. As feared, the already tainted area became further corrupted, a situation that would need to be attended to in the future.
As the Spirit erupted from the box, it was clear that it was heavily tainted. The Reticulated Singularity appeared to us as shining blur of energy that shimmered in our own individual favorite colors of nature, marred with black veins and dripping ichor. We took the spirit to a less tainted area, and attempted to cleanse it. Gaia’s Circle burned off much of the taint, but it was clear that there was a seed of corruption deep within that could not be removed so far from home, just as the Spirit of the Connecticut River had told us. I took custody of the Spirit, and brought it to a remote area, claiming the territory and occulting it to keep the spirit safe while a party could be gathered to return it to the Deep Umbra.
Forming a Travel Party
After a month of tending to the spirit, and informing the Nation of my need to gather a Party to go into the Deep Umbra, many Gaian of the nation gathered in the Sept of the White Fields, for this and unrelated reasons. Three Step garnered the attention of those gathered and asked for Volunteers of a specialized nature. We required those with experience in the Umbra, those with the ability to find shortcuts, and at least one Glasswalker, as the Reticulated Singularity has a similar relation to the Weaver.
The names of those in the party were:
- Spirit Forger, Athro Theurge of the Stargazers
- Ways to the Common Destination, Adren Theurge of the Silent Striders
- Ex Machina, Adren Theurge of the Glasswalkers
- Seeker of Spiders, Fostern of the Corax, Fool of the White Fields
- Kha-nef, Fostern Philodox of the Silent Striders
- Keymaster, Fostern Theurge of the Uktena
- Wintery Stag, Fostern Theurge of the Fianna
- Forgefire’s Song, Fostern Galliard of the Fianna
Upon separating ourselves from the rest of the gathered Gaians, our first order of business was preparation. Travel to and through the Deep Umbra is no small matter, and none present treated it as such. Seeker of Spiders, using one of the blessings of the Corax, drew an Oracular Vision upon himself. He did not see much concrete, but instead experienced a series of confused sensory information, explaining to us that his vision sounded like the taste of having Peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth. From this, it was figured that what laid in store for us was more of a Mind Altering, puzzling nature, rather than some physical or martial challenge. Stepping sideways into the Penumbra, we formed a temporary mission pack, bound under North Star, a member of Owl’s Brood suggested by Ways to the Common Destination. Next, Ways to the Common Destination became a Spirit Vessel for one of the Chimera Spirits that was numerous around, and Ex Machina accepted the Reticulated Singularity itself as a Spirit Vessel, to keep it safe from being seperated from our group. Then, Keymaster Awakened a Spirit of the Earth, the Blue Cornflower Maiden, to travel with us and keep us grounded as we traveled. Finally, we utilized an Umbral Tether to protect ourselves and prevent separation in the event of combat or Umbral Storm.
The Infinite City
Now feeling ready, we took the first step of a thousand and more. We found a way into Cyber Realm, intending to use it as stepping stone to get deeper into the Umbra. We found ourselves in what looked to be a city. Sterile, bustling, shiny, orderly, energetic, uniform, oppressive. Not eager to linger in this place, we immediately began to seek the way further into the Umbra. Ex Machina, having been to this Realm before, advised that the easiest way deep was to go high. We entered the ground floor of a nearby building, and found an lift. Hitting the button to top floor, we waited. Sealed in the lift carriage, we began to notice music filtering in, matching a tune which Ex Machina had been humming since arrival. Slowly, some of us began to notice ourselves humming along, unwillingly. Of the eight of us, Kha-nef, Seeker of Spiders, Ways to the Common Destination, Wintery Stag, and myself were able to resist the pull of the song. Reaching the roof, we could see the over the city as it stretched to all horizons and beyond what we could perceive. Ex Machina looked around the expanse a moment with a slight smile. Ways to the Common Destination also gazed upon the vast vista, but instead of a smile, his face fell, as the bleakness overtook him. Having enough of the view, we attempted to commune with North Star, to lead us deeper beyond the realms of reality. We lost our sense of time in this, though we felt as though days or even weeks passed as North Star tried to sort through our intentions of where we wished to travel into the Deep Umbra.
Eventually, we felt ourselves being pulled away from the concrete firmness of the roof, and into a vast void as all light outside ourselves was extinguished, save for a soft glow coming from our Umbral Tether. Unnerved by the utter nothing surrounding us, we all took action to try and pull ourselves towards Sol, the first body of Aetherial. Ways to the Common Destination, overcome with the urge to create from his chimera companion, channeled his Gnosis to make something from nothing, creating raw, moldable possibility. Ex Machina, urged by the Reticulating Singularity within her, channeled her own Gnosis to shape that raw possibility into a path. Keymaster asked the Blue Cornflower Maiden to summon a Tulpa Object, an emergency torch, to introduce the concept of light. Myself and Seeker of Spiders utilized our Mastery over Fire to turn that light to fire and give our path a target. Kha-nef, with his mastery of languages, chanted the name of the sun in many languages, specifying our target.
As we traveled along our fiery path, our gaze was pulled into the deep nothingness. Gradually, we began to realize that the nothing had some strange sort of sentience, and not only was it aware of us, it wanted us to be nothing along with it. Not wanting this to happen, we hastened along our path, and soon found ourselves orbiting Sol, the home of Katanka-Sonnak, the Celestine Aspect of Helios. Seeker of Spiders, overjoyed to be so close to a face of his people’s benefactor, gave praise to the Sun, and felt his gifted gnosis burned away by the Celestine’s heat of potential.
From there, our path took us to Mercury, home of Mitanu, the swift trickster. Taking heed of his speed, we hastened on to Venus, the home to Tambiyah, in her veiled abundance. Noting her mystery, we continued on, at last reaching Terra, the Umbral representation of our own planet and abode of Estarra, the Songteller.
As we landed on Earth, Ex Machina felt the Reticulated Singularity’s eagerness to be released to return to its place. She let it go from her Spiritual Vessel, but quickly bound it with her power over Major Spirits to hold it but a few minutes longer, so that it might be fully cleansed before it returned to its corner of the sky.
The Reticulated Singularity, while eager to go back, listened to her plea. Meanwhile, Keymaster and the Blue Cornflower Maiden began to set up a Circle of Gaia’s Cleansing, and Kha-nef extended his Resistance to Pain to the Spirit to ease the cleansing process. Soon enough, the spirit was once again clean and we bid it farewell.
We took a moment to consider what we had accomplished, and after offering Chiminage to Eshtarra, we followed our Umbral Tether back the way we had came. Thankfully, the journey home was not nearly as eventful or exhausting.
Upon our return, we were stunned to find that while it had seemed that weeks had passed, only a scant few hours had transpired for the rest of the world.
After giving a short debrief to Three Step, Shepherd of the White Fields, and Blood Reaver, Adren Ahroun of the Get of Fenris and Wyrmfoe of the Sept of the White Fields, the Wyrmfoe found us Glorious for our actions.
The day’s events did not end there, but that is the content of a different story.
Player: Andrew Collins
Storyteller: Vance W.