Retcon Heir

There are few things worse than a loved one gone missing. At least one of those is not knowing if there was anyone to miss in the first place.

This is a tale of tales. Of gods, memories, mythtellers, a Muse, an Author, and the friend She seeks in the world She helped knit into Being.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/974474?view_full_work=true

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4. Chapter 2 Part 2

But it was not to be so! The Seer definitely had no such company, and there was no need: instead, she resurrected independent of her fellow Skaian royalty. She was bolstered in her will to continue fighting only by the cruel fate of her mother and her mother's suitor, who was not a father to anybody, but would have been an amazing one if he was, and whose son wouldn't have appreciated him nearly enough, if he'd had one. Anyway, she then inhabited her dream self's body, and the two Universe B1 players once again numbered their rightful three.

  

~ ※ ~

 

Your eyebrows cinch together. You won't deny that you do lead a slightly more magical existence than most folk, but you draw the line at self-resurrection through sheer willpower.

 

 

ROSE: ...

ROSE: So, in essence, you think the Seer resurrected by herself.

MAEX: She must have. As it says, there was no prince or princess to kiss life into her remaining self.

ROSE: That's impossible. The writing says it couldn't have happened without someone else. And it didn't.

MAEX: Pardon me?

ROSE: There was a fourth player who was with the Seer. Where are your records of him?

MAEX: There are no records of a fourth player, only three.

ROSE: Your records are inaccurate.

MAEX: Our records are not mistaken in this regard, I can assure you.

ROSE: ...

 

In a flash, you snatch the tome from Maex (too fast for them to even protest) and race into another room with a locking door. Can't have any interruptions while you correct things.

You take out Scheheirazade and sit against the door. Although you don't exactly have memories of what happened after your duel with Jack ended, it's not hard to suppose what actually occurred.

He must have risen up, having died neither justly nor heroically. He must have seen those messages you only later found in your logs, and taken the required action. You woke up on Derse, still in the cloud of darkness that would accompany you to the Green Sun.

You frown at the illustration attached to the myth. Your pen hangs over the page, but you're not as confident about how to remedy this. You remember a bright blue streak of... someone. There's just the question of what precisely that someone looked like.

After lingering over it longer than what is really necessary, you opt to call Jade.

 

ROSE: Jade, I know this might sound ridiculous, but do you remember what John looks like?

JADE: wait what? whos john?

 

Your blood goes cold.

 

JADE: by the way, where are you rose? everyones been wondering why you would just take off to afterus all of a sudden like that

 

You hang up. Obviously, the best course of action is to hang to what details you can rely on and remember. He looked - looks. looks - like Jade, being ectobiological twins and all.

You stare at his face, or lack of one, before thinking of a solution.

 

Wanting to avoid another confrontation, you opt to exit through the window. The sun, however faint, bears down on you, and you squint at the ground. The next town will have answers. Maybe even him.

(Maybe you have been breathing the Afteran atmosphere a little too long or seen too much of its sun. Maybe lack of sleep has deceived you into believing he ever existed. Perhaps all of these things.)

Because fortune has not completely abandoned you, there are no mythtellers who insist on lecturing you on your own life. (Not that they realize it, but the experience is no less wearying.) One of them points you to the library and you continue your reading.

 

  

~ ※ ~

 

The Tale of the Twin Odysseys

 

Long ago, both before and at precisely the same time as the Nobles of the Heavenly Tredectet, the four Vanguards faced an impasse. The First Trials of Creation had been sabotaged by a demon called Jack Noir, and the Vanguards found his might impossible to surmount. Worse still, three of their number were as yet Unascended!

They were left with no choice but to launch a cataclysmic renewal of Spacetime itself, a last resort sanctioned by the Trials. As this was initiated, Fortune smiled and granted the yet-Unascended their Godhood, and the Vanguards managed to escape their ill-fated timeline before the renewal cosigned them all to oblivion. This renewal is known as The Scratch, and the timeline deriving from it brought forth both the pre-Ascended Nobles and the Second Trials of Creation.

Self-preservation came at a price, however. The Vanguards were forced to escape the Scratch in sibling pairs, split apart by space and circumstance. The four would not see each other again until their respective journeys to the Second Trials were complete. These travels would total three years exactly.

The Prospitian Vanguards took to the space between realities on a battleship of glittering gold, while the Dersite Vanguards -- accompanied by the pre-Ascended Alternates -- hurtled through the nigh-unfathomable crenellations of Paradox Space on a meteor set aflame. Navigation fell to the Goddesses, Our Seer of Light carving a fortuitous path through the Unfathomable and Our Witch of Space propelling Her vessel and its inhabitants through the light-streaked void of the Quite Possibly Even More Unfathomable.

 

During this time, the meteor was a place of social spectacle. Its path cleaved through the vast Tub of the Dreaming Dead, the Vanguards and the Alternates invading their dreams as they dreamed themselves -- and beyond, when fully awake! Our Seer of Light and Our Knight of Time encountered First Love in Our pre-Ascended Sylph of Space and Seer of Mind, respectively. This feeling called Friendship ebbed and flowed as much as the tides of romance amidst them all, and Our pre-Ascended Knight of Blood spent swathes of this time being Kind Of A Jackass (though it is worth noting that because He was not a Complete Jackass He eventually got better).

Meanwhile, the Golden Ship was rife with bustle but scarce of dreams of any Meaning. Life, depending on who was asked, was either perfectly acceptable or perfectly boring. Games were played; movies watched; cakes baked. Time was whiled away, both on-ship and in the worlds Our Witch of Space had compressed and carried onboard from the First Trials. She too found love, in a displaced iteration of Our Knight of Time borne of corvid wings and orange creamsicles.

But trouble did not evade the Vanguards -- they were young gods still! Our Seer of Light took to drink, then imbibed in excess as the final year of their sojourn marched onward. Both Knights of Time withdrew from their beaus, while Our Seer of Mind engaged in ill-advised kismesissitude  and Our Witch of Space tried Her best to understand. The Golden Ship once suffered a burst of sound and fury, brought forth by an Idiot and probably signifying nothing what ever.

Eventually, the twin odysseys drew to a close. No one was quite the same any longer (at least no one worth noting), but there was work to be done. And nothing set this into motion sooner than the Batterwitch springing her trap upon the Vanguards' arrival, wisking away both Our Witch of Space and Our Maid of Life from their friends and adopting them into her wicked services.

The Grimbark Witch of Space afforded one small favor in this chaos: Situating everyone for a not-quite-complete reunion of the Vanguards, the Alternates, and The Best Mayor In Any Universe Ever. Dropped into Our Page of Hope's land until they were to be separated once more, Our Progenitors began to plan.

  The identity of said kismesis remains, as is tradition, He Who Shall Not Be Named Because Seriously Fuck That Guy.

 

~ ※ ~

 

Witches and Knights and Seers and Sylphs... even Kismeses Who Shall Not Be Named. You check the index to see if that yields any results, but it's mysteriously blank of the "Breath, Heir of" or "Breath Player" or "Heirs, Human". It doesn't mean anything. Indexes have flaws all the time. Books this thick certainly have answers; you'll just opt to skim through it.

(If by skim, you mean carefully read cover to cover, trying to find anything. Even a mention of his name.)

 

 

Your heart nearly stops when you see it.

 

 

~ ※ ~

 

 

How our Seer came to our Heir in a Time Past and yet Present

 

 

 

Behold, during the voyage to the New Trials, a mysterious event took place. It happened upon Our Heir of Breath’s celebration of Birth, and he was finally going through much a troubling revelation after revelation. Sorrowful, he retreated into the tub of dreams to clear his mind.

As Our Heir of Breath’s consciousness traversed to the land of memories and dreams, the traitorous Archagent continued to be assailed by the Monarch. Her righteous blade thirsted after his dirty blood, as he had taken the lives of her dear companions and consorts two years prior. For two long, mind-numbing and horrible beast-filled years, the two had been locked within combat. Quite frankly it was getting to be a little much for the Archagent. Even a murderous Sovereign Slayer can get tired of fighting that long. The Archagent retreated into a memory, of whose none can tell, as the source became lost in the echelon of the Dark Throes history and majyks.

A familiar castle became the Archagent’s temporary haven, and he stepped over the bodies of his fellow Carapacians, and passed the Sashes of the Vanguards, dodging the Blanche Monarch. The Archagent ascended to the highest tower of the castle, to find a scene that he remembered well. Here, or there, for he was not really there, he had done battle with Our Seer of Light and Our Heir of Breath, and thus had slain them. A chest awaited, something that had not been there before. The Archagent opened it, only to be sorely disappointed with the contents. A hammer, though ridiculous in style, which held great power.

It was then that our Heir awoke within the form of his own dead memory husk, and assailed the Archagent with his powers of wind, and the very hammer that the Archagent had obtained. They did battle, but the Archagent could not be fully attacked, being fast beyond measure.

But Luck was on the side of our Heir! Out of the yonder skies, which had been filled with inky blackness of dark memories past, a bright light shone over the gladiators ongoing battle. A lovely vision of warmth and light brought forth a familiar face. A friendly face. Our Seer of Light appeared, and gave a gracious smile, and an alluring wink to Our Heir and the Archagent, before disappearing to the waking world once more.

 

The Archagent was still befuddled over the circumstances, and was 8ONKED! soundly by our Heir. Our Seer had given him just the Distaction that had been required to land a hit on the Archagent. From the hammers power, came forth a ridiculous hat called upon by the Gods of luck, which shamed the Archagent. The Archagent would have split our Heir into many pieces, but the Blanche Monarch had arrived! He fled once more, fearing her icy wrath. Our Heir would go on a longer adventure inside this dream, but he could not forget the fleeting face of Our Seer, who had assisted him in his conquest.

 

 

~ ※ ~

 

And just like that, your heart sinks. You don't remember this at all - at least, the parts about him being there. PM had already advanced upon Jack when you popped in for those brief seconds. Although Jack wore a ridiculous hat, there was no evidence that...

Shit. What was his name? It was fresh in your memory not even that long ago. You would message someone, but what if they've forgotten even more than you have? What if they ask why you're chasing after someone who doesn't exist?

Scheheirazade feels heavy in your hands. You suddenly feel very, very foolish and very, very small. When you drew - him - into that illustration of you coming back from the dead... were you just graffitiing a sacred text all along? Were the people who conceived of him to begin with simply doing the same?

Maybe it’s all a vast joke after all. An ambitious prank, just as Jane said before you left. (Didn’t she? But about what?) Shouldn't you have realized by now that you are not immune from becoming the beneficiary of a cosmic farce?

The shelves tower tall and austere over you. You scarcely even know what you’re looking for any more. You can scarcely bring yourself to feel that you should even bother.

Just one more and I’ll know for sure, you tell yourself, and try very, very hard to believe it.

 

 

~ ※ ~

 

 

 

How Our Seer of Light Once More Bent the Breeze To Her Will, And Undid The Lord of Time's Stardust Machinations

 

 

 

As the Meteor that carried Our Seer of Light, Our Knight of Time, Our Seer of Mind, Our Knight of Blood, Our Sylph of Space, and Our Beloved Mayor approached brilliant Skaia, the corrupted Witch of Space - made Grimbark, beastly and wolflike, by Her Imperious Condescension - descended upon them with a fearsome snarl. In a flash of chartreuse sparks, She flung the Meteor-borne Vanguards, Their Patrons, Her own Patron, and The Best Fucking Friend To Whom You Can Tell Anything <3 to the Land of Mounds and Xenon, where the Golden Ship had landed to rest among the sprawling green mounds and scarlet megaliths.

The companions rose from where They lay beneath the flickering deep violet sky, and conferred in hushed and worried tones. They agreed to seek the Nobles, Our Maid of Life, Our Page of Hope, Our Rogue of Void, and Our Prince of Heart, who were to be Their compatriots in the quest to win the Game. Sadly, They knew not where They might find Their future comrades, but carried hope in Their stout divine hearts that searching the Planet upon which They had been stranded would eventually yield fruit.

Horror of horrors, the Grimbark Witch of Space re-emerged in a flare of uranium green, and pursued Them once more. She scattered Them to various Planets: Our Seers to the Land of Light and Rain, Our Knight of Time and Our Best And Most Adorable Mayor to the Land of Heat and Clockwork, and Our Knight of Blood and Our Sylph of Space to the Land of Frost and Frogs.

Our Seers cried out in displeasure when They awoke on the Planet to which They had been banished: the luminous Land, though beautiful, caused Our Seer of Mind's healed eyes to sting and Our Seer of Light's hungover head to throb. Furthermore, bright scum and artifacts filled the air and obscured the Players' words to one another. Our Seer of Light attempted to contact Her brother, Our Knight of Time, but some of Her words were lost to Him; He was perplexed and even less able than usual to parse what exactly the fuck She was saying. For the wicked Lord of Time had gleefully stuffed the Game full with His prized Special Stardust, causing the Game to glitch, and progress through the Game to become yet more taxing.

But, Our Seer of Light saw the way by which She could clear away the Special Stardust. She ventured backward through Her vast and crystal-clear memory, and recalled the time She commanded the Breeze to still and vanquish the fires that threatened the Land of Wind and Shade, precious even as it had never seen a Player enter Sburb and Build their House upon its surface. Deep within herself, Our Seer of Light called the Breeze once more; It came to her from beyond the bounds of reality itself as if It was a dear friend.

 

The Breeze unfurled itself throughout Her glitching Planet, and banished the Special Stardust from the Land. The Players were once again free to converse with One Another as they required, and Our Seer of Mind to look upon the smiling face of Her fellow Seer - who had pilfered Our Seer of Mind's rad shades unseen - and glare, regretting that Our Seer of Light could flash-step.

  

~ ※ ~

 

 

> Rose:

 

> Rose: |

 

> Rose:

 

> Rose: |

 

> Rose: Suddenly realize you have no idea what to do now.

 
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