Fate of Io
22. The Dust of Tarikun
Last updated at 2003/06/15 18:06:18 PDT by Dev
  • On the massive back of Aequus, the party (Syne, Rush, Dell, and Brooke) look around the surface of the Ruin Continent for any sign of Protean survivors. Syne, getting a bit queezy of the height, asks if they should stop to rest sometime soon. Brooke, however, implores Aequus to keep up the search until they find someone. They finally spot a refugee camp built among the ruins of Tarikun.

  • As Aequus lands, there is a considerable reaction among the refugees. There are some shouts to keep the dragon away, including something about "tell him the other's already dead!" (* "Him" is Aequus, and "the other" refers to the great ivory dragon that killed Ko's brother.)

    • Once Aequus lands, though, and Brooke steps forward, the Proteans change their attitude at once and welcome their princess home. Brooke asks if her father is here; the response is affirmative and a messenger is sent to assemble the council.

    • The Proteans are very apprehensive about Dell's presence, even with Brooke's assurances. The Antarean's lack of wings, however, seems to subdue their fears quite a bit. Dell doesn't try to explain himself, for fear of a miscommunication, but he understands and remains humble.

    • Just looking around, Syne is freaked out. He makes a passing comment that this place is "too familiar." Rush makes no comment. (*This is, of course, Syne's birthplace.)

  • Brooke is told that the council is ready to receive her, and she explains that the three of them must wait until she is done, if that's okay. (Idea: The player is given choices to respond to Brooke as Syne, but when the player chooses, Syne does nothing. Brooke asks again, the player will choose again, and Syne does nothing again.) Brooke asks Syne if he's alright, but Syne doesn't respond at all.

    • She sends the messenger to please ask the council to wait, and they take Syne to one of the refugees who is a Protean healer. The kind old man frowns at Syne's stupor; he believes it is only temporary but he cannot do anything about it. Rush tells Brooke to get to the council, so she leaves, a bit worried.

  • Aequus calls over the Protector and the Antarean, telling them that he's discovered something he thinks they should see. The dragon leads Rush and Dell down a cluttered path to an opening where there are two Protean guards watching over a wounded dragon buried in rubble, the same ivory dragon that protected Tarikun.

    • The dragon is not doing well, but well enough to speak. He exchanges a ceremonial greeting with Rush, and the two identify each other as Protectors. Rush is now very concerned, and asks the Protean guards to leave; they hesitate, but Rush explains that this dragon is in no condition to get away or even pose a threat. The guards agree to wait around the corner.

    • The great ivory dragon admits that he failed in his oath to protect the surface-dwellers as a Protector, and he fears that he was mortally wounded by the Antarean attack. He asks Rush "where the tide lies."

    • Rush explains that all of the Protean's ore has fallen into the hands of one very unstable Antarean who exercizes great power over the Titan Continent. He is greatly concerned about what the ore may now be used for, and he is also concerned that the Protean council would rather focus on survival here and now than waste energy to get their ore back. The dragon tends to agree with Rush.

    • Gasping for air, the ivory dragon tells them of an ancient Antarean scholar who was once infamous for dabbling in places he should not. He was said to be so perverse that [he did something that will later on give our heroes an important clue]. It was said that this scholar devised an ultimate safeguard that would prevent the abuse of power and stop the inner mechanisms of the war cold. This Antarean was exiled, and left to find a place where he was accepted.

    • Rush vows to search for this safeguard, and the dragon wishes him luck with his last long breath. Aequus then buries his brother (metaphorically; they're not actually brothers) the rest of the way. Rush tells the guards they can go stand watch somewhere else.

  • -room for development-

  • Rush and Dell return to check on Syne. The healer says that he is fine, but still not responding to anything. Brooke returns from the council meeting, and excuses the healer, taking his place by Syne.

    • Brooke tells them that the council believes none of the Proteans can survive for long on the surface, especially without any ore. She personally feels that they simply don't want Kydran to remain in possession of it, out of prejudice. Either way, the council has asked her to return to the Titan Continent with them and begin to scout out a route of attack. In the meantime, the Proteans will continue to stock up on military equipment and search for more survivors to add to their numbers.

    • Syne abruptly sits up, asking what's going on. Dell was hoping Syne could tell them that. Syne is a bit dazed, but tells them of what happened to him as best he can.

      • He has been having these dreams, though they are more than just dreams. They seem like memories being replayed in his mind, and he is actually living them out.

      • This last time, though, was the most vivid for him. He could remember hearing voices from the explosions of battle, and he remembers seeing corpses everywhere: Protean, Antarean, and even the people of the castle. The overwhelming amount of death in every picture he saw was enough to turn his stomach. Everything seemed red with blood, except for the very end of it all; there was a strange blue glow that didn't seem related to anything. Syne realizes he still isn't feeling very good.

      • Rush identifies Syne's memories as images from the Battle of Tarikun, which happened right where they're standing. He's at a loss, though, regarding the blue light. Syne just wants to leave this place as soon as possible.

  • Rush tells Syne and Brooke briefly about what he learned from the ivory dragon. He's willing to bet that the Antarean scholar eventually ended up in Io; it's the only other place where he's seen Antareans living besides Antares. Dell is slightly frustrated ("man, you mean I could have come from there, too? I'm never gonna figure this out!").

    • Rush understands that he cannot ask Brooke to ignore her father's commands, and that his and her destinations are likely different. Brooke smiles impishly and comments that, while she won't ignore what she has to do, she can make "priorities." She goes to tell Aequus their next destination is Io.

    • Dell points out that if they're going after some ancient Antarean's research, shouldn't they bring someone who can read the Antarean runic language? Rush thought Dell could. Dell defends himself by saying he's just an uneducated rogue from the plains; "whatchu expect?" Syne says they'll have to return to Trosene to pick up Rheya. (As a techno-mage, she's learned and researched the Antarean language.)

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