So it turns out Aether did get out of KS and the one page we found ended up leading to a lot more.

  • Clues about the Mountaineer KS has in their facility called ‘Climber’ who can recall her ancestor’s past lives!
  • A little girl they call Portencia who can see into people’s past and future, but whose mind is fractured and trapped inside other people.
  • More about Brandon Lachmann, whose door-opening KS are trying recreate, and burning up the powers of their captured adepts to do it.
  • A program called Sweeper that we think is connected to all the people we’ve come across with memory wipes like Constance and Aether’s mom.
  • And a newish program called Wanderer where people are cryptically being “unhooked.”
  • A series of hyperlinked letters in a message from Aether led Mounties to a bitly link that eventually led to a mental hospital in Maryland.
  • The hospital where Augernon, one of the ’94 Mountaineers, has been for twenty years and turns out might’ve been a victim of whatever or whoever the Sweeper program is.

Realizing Aether was leading us to Augie, Marty Rank drove down to Maryland and restored Augie’s lost memories with the help of the Mounties who performed a crazy memory ritual!

Augernon explained SO much. The full insane transcript is here, but the highlights include:

  • Something called The Storm, which we’ve heard about from our once-leader Ascender and Brandon Lachmann, was what wiped out the ’90s Mountaineers. Augie stood his ground to give his fellow Mounties a chance to escape.
  • The Book of Briars has been around AT LEAST for centuries and the ’94 Mounties and the original Monarch’s Mountain also tried to open it before being wiped out by some mysterious force/organization.
  • The Book of Briars might not even be a book. Augie thinks it might be some kind of spell that we’ve been creating for the past year.
  • The ’94 Mountaineers were wiped out riiiiiight around fragment 12, which we’re quickly approaching.
  • Augie can still sense whoever or whatever wiped his mind. He can hear them talking. He says they rule from “a palace made of doors.”
  • He doesn’t know how we can stop whatever’s coming except to learn everything we can. He told Marty, “There are pieces moving on both sides of the board. Some are trying to hinder. Some are trying to help. Hide from hinder, you’re too weak right now to fight, but follow help with all your might. It won’t make sense. Until it does. Trust the flow of magic. Trust whoever it is that wants us to open the book.”
  • Augie then collapsed, but not before telling Marty that the past is just a moment which turned out to be something Portencia wrote on a drawing she made, which reappeared on the KS site after Augie said it.
  • We think part of Portencia’s mind was locked inside Augie’s and now it’s free.
  • And we think Aether wants us to keep finding those fragments to restore Portencia’s mind.
  • Why, other than it’s the nice thing to do, we’re not really sure.

So now we’re waiting to hear from Aether again. Or be mind-wiped by The Storm.

Deirdre had a crazy experience too. She finally posted from Montreal where she explained the way she got there (more scary doors!) and terrible news about her aunt.

Mountaineers of the week:

I don’t want to post names and accidentally forget one, but this week’s award goes to all the brave, caring souls who performed a crazy, tea-infused magiq ritual to help restore Augernon’s memory. Teatime is now officially the coolest.