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#1 [fr] 

- I told him, nobody's going to buy this, it's really nothing special.
- When was this? Did you recognize her?
- Oh, a few months ago...

The merchant consulted the small card attached to the sword and nodded.

- A few months, or a few years? I hadn't written down the date... And my memory...
- And you're sure it was her?
- A homine too, uh, disfigured... uh... well... Oy, I'm pretty sure, she's unrecognizable... Uh, recognizable. She was hiding under a hood, as if she didn't want to be recognized, but I could still see her eyes. Well, her eye. She insisted that I not write a name on my card.
- And you haven't heard that everyone's been looking for her for weeks? Couldn't you have reacted?

If Lyren hadn't dropped by the Fairhaven market that day, if she hadn't taken the time to look at the few weapons on sale, no one would probably have ever seen that little sword again. But the merchant had nonchalantly asked her if she was, by any chance, the daughter of that rather striking Nhori Drakani who often hung around the bar. The homin hit his forehead and pulled out the sword.

- React, react... I've got work to do, and I can't be interested in everyone who drops something off. And then, just recently, I heard that you were looking for it, and it came back to me.
- Well, well, well. But if she left this sword here, it's for someone to find, dey?
- No doubt she said something else. It must have slipped my mind...

The fyrette found it hard not to retort that she'd like to get something else out of the merchant's head with a sledgehammer, as he placed his purse on the counter, a sign that he wanted to collect payment. Not without a grumble, she put down some dappers and took the sword in hand.

- Did she leave anything else, by any chance?
- I'm afraid that's the only one. Is it that important?
- The most important thing is that I know whether she filed this before or after Kyriann's marriage to Ostium.

The homin emitted a sort of uncertain squeak in response, which again earned him a glare from the fyrette.

- If you ever see her again, or if you remember... call the Drakani... or wake the commander.
- Is it that bad?

Lyren turned on his heels without answering and began to walk away.

- Wait, yes, one detail is coming back to me!
- Spit it out," replied Lyren, curtly.
- I would never have taken that sword, but she assured me that someone would eventually come and take it, and leave a good sum of dappers for my discretion. But no one came, and as I took inventory...
- Anyone?

The merchant smiled again and nonchalantly opened his hand towards the homine, as if inviting her to give him a few more dappers for information.

- Anyone, Lyren repeated?

The walker remained frozen in this position for a few seconds, then finally shrugged his shoulders and sighed, seeing that he wasn't going to get anything more.

- She wanted it to be discreet, so she didn't give me a name!
- Get this into your heads: we're looking for a Tryker citizen, and there's no way we're going to pay for information. And even less for nothing.
- But I just gave you the information," squeaked the merchant.
- Just barely. And the slap, it was also narrowly avoided, the slap. Is there anything else you're not telling me?
- I'm an honest merchant, but I have to make a living.

Lyren took a deep breath and spun around, slapping the Tryker across the face.

- And I'm a diplomat," she replies. I've got to come up with something to get them talking at the next meeting.

#2 [fr] 

A poorly made fyros sword. Apparently deposited by a more or less masked Eeri, at the Fairhaven dealer's, if this swindler had been telling the truth. Before or after her disappearance. A sword she might not even have made herself. Ocyx, engraved on the handle, as a signature. Strange. Lyren had placed the sword on the table in the apartment his mother had bequeathed him. A huge bric-a-brac filled with objects and furniture she had amassed over the years. She manipulated the pommel, which moved slightly. The attachment with the blade left a bit of play, as if the sword was just waiting to snap in two.

But what if? What if she had to break that sword, that the secret was right there inside? Break it, or simply find a way to dismantle it? Lyren contorted herself to place her foot on the table and block the blade with the heel of her boot. She forced a little on the handle. It moved, but not enough. The fragment of bone that solidified the whole was still solid, so it might well have been ocyx bone of not too bad quality, all the same. We'd have to find something else. A sledgehammer? And risk blowing the whole thing up? No, not a good idea.

What if the sword simply had nothing to say? Simple coincidence, chance, a red herring, or simply one of her mother's unfounded delusions. Lyren shuddered. It was late winter, and Thesos was particularly cold this time of year. What if Eeri had got caught up in another experiment and it had gone wrong? Decidedly, there were too few elements to understand or even imagine where she might have gone. Lyren shivered again and decided to climb the few steps to sit by the fire, sword in hand. As she handled it, she noticed that the glow of the flames reflected differently on the blade. What if this was the secret? Eeri had told her about this technique for deciphering certain invisible texts, using a transparent flame... But these were skins, parchment. Nothing to do with a solid support, a blade. Impossible. And Lyren knew nothing about swords, so perhaps that was to be expected. But what else could she do? Still, she passed the sword behind the flames, around and in front of them, examining the reflections from every angle, until the handle slipped out of her hand.

- RAMÈCH, but what a clumsy idiot... Worse than an old Matisse lady!

She picked up the sword as best she could, grumbling and burning her hand in the process, then took a cloth out of a chest to wipe the burnt wood dust from the weapon.

But she stopped dead in her tracks. Beneath her eyes, dust had clung to the material in some places, and miraculously flown away in others. She blew gently at the middle of the blade, intrigued. Here, a small line, and next to it, a circle. There it was, far too clear to be merely the natural texture of the material. Signs appeared before her eyes, crudely traced but legible. Letters. A word. A WORD!

The trick

The trick? The trick... The trick of what? The tour of possible annoyances and she wanted to brag about it? Azazor's belly trick? It couldn't be just that. She needed more dust. Without burning herself this time. Lyren fetched a hatchet, and set about retrieving the finest material from the bottom of the chimney, dusting the sword from side to side. Then blow, gently, to make the letters appear. She sneezed.

the fall Le tourbillo

- Well, the fall of the sword into the fire, and a whirlwind of dust. Is she a fortune-teller now?

She sneezed again, several times, then thought of placing the piece of cloth in front of her nose to breathe and continue blowing on the blade. More words appeared before her eyes, fragile but clearly legible despite the sloppy handwriting.

In the balance of falling The whirlwind leads to freedom Ocyx Rebelle

- It doesn't make any sense... If it is her, she's completely smitten...

Lyren stood there for a while, staring incredulously at the sword and its discovery. At least it wasn't about goo, so maybe it had nothing to do with the Zoraï researcher Jazzy's ...shall we say... wife had tried to protect a few days earlier. But who knows, after frippos and yubos, maybe she was working on a new drug to tame ocyx? Meh, it doesn't make sense. Still, balance and freedom were words Eeri often had on her lips, especially when she let herself finally tell stories after a good half-dozen glasses of shooki. "The key to keeping our freedom is to fight to preserve the balance."Something like that," she rambled very often. And when Lyren had asked her what it meant, her mother would reply:



- Things that are beyond you. But remember, the destruction of either could spell the end of us all.
- One or the other? I don't see how the Karavan could survive without the homins," replied Lyren.
- That's what I'm saying, you're in way over your head. And maybe that's for the best. You don't want to end up like your mother.
- Don't talk nonsense. Without them, you wouldn't be here...

Eeri didn't like being reminded of the battle that had cost her not only her eye and her arm, but also her pride and her independence. She often sank into a sort of torpor, letting out a few helpless sighs. It took nothing less than the sound of a new mug of shooki on the table to wake her up.
- They killed your father, remember," she said before taking a big gulp.
- I was always told it was poisoning. Only you would say that.
- One day, you'll learn to tell the difference between the truth we should tell, and... And the truth we shouldn't tell.



Lyren had fewer and fewer doubts. It was totally plausible that his mother had written the words on this sword, but he would have to find the keys to understanding, starting with what this Rebel Ocyx could be.

Lyren recopied the sentence, then went back downstairs to clean up and get dressed. Now was the time. She had to find Azazor, warn the Drakani and flush out that damned researcher.

Last edited by Lyren (3 weeks ago)

#3 [fr] 

Lyren had finally found the Drakani to tell them about his discovery.
She had shown them the sword, dusting the blade with burnt dust. She had read the strange phrase that appeared.

In the balance of the fall
the whirlwind leads to freedom
Ocyx Rebelle

Their reaction ranged from surprise to dismay, but also left no doubt. His mother had been involved, and his Guild had understood what it was all about. But it was out of the question, out of the question to talk about it at the bar.

The group set off for a more discreet location. Krill, who was with them at the time, had followed. There was no doubt that she was a trustworthy hominin, as she had a reputation for not just rambling on about what she heard in one of her many daily mugs.

Ocyx Rebelle. So this was Eeri's no-longer-secret code name, the one she used for her actions within the, they, very discreet Trytonists, Elias's researchers. Indeed, not the kind of conversation to be had at Ba'. Lyren knew, without knowing. Eeri hadn't exactly hidden his convictions from him, so there wasn't much doubt. It took a while for the troop to understand the meaning of the message, if there was one. One solution eventually made more sense: a simple indication on a map, drawing a line from one outpost to the other, the whirlpool and the freedom outposts, leading to a small cove at Dew Falls. It could work.

The group set off, not really knowing what they would find. A secret meeting place for Elias's Seekers? Eeri herself, in the throes of dementia or dead drunk? The beach was deserted, and few homins were likely to pass by. If it was to be a secret meeting, the place was well chosen, with very few visitors. Kyriann was the first to notice that the sawdust had been stirred up in one place. She unearthed a small chest, next to a second sword. Inside the box was an envelope containing an empty parchment.

A second sword, and Lyren was out of burnt dust. These elements would have to be analyzed before he could continue his search. Eolinius proposed to study the parchment, convinced he would find a hidden watermark, no doubt written in sparan ink. The need for rest was also felt.
Lyren took the sword home to Thesos and soon discovered a new message, similar to the first. She copied the words and sent them via Izam to the Drakanis' hall. She was sure that Eolinius would be quick to decipher the parchment, and that something would come of it. She was sure they'd already tracked her down.

Lyren finally headed for the bed, stretched out and closed his eyes, but it was impossible to fall asleep. Was the apartment too quiet now that Uzykos was spending more time with his father? She stood there for a moment, then finally decided to get some fresh air, mechanically taking the sword in hand. It was quiet, a beautiful spring night, the air still a little too fresh. Lyren strolled towards the Thesos market, greeted a few guards, then headed for the bar. In the end, she stayed there all night, contemplating the sleeping city where she could have grown up if her mother hadn't been involved in so many dark stories. Everything would have been different, simpler. Her life would have been different. No, though, she thought, not everything, some things don't change. The calm of Thesos would have been the same, like the sound of the wind in the leaves of the small trees on the bar terrace. She and her mother's fate would not have shaken the smallest canopy bark, nor changed the direction of the wind.

And then, things were like that. There was nothing she could regret, nothing she could do over. Lyren had undoubtedly made the right choices so far. But, deep down, she hoped that someone would find her, that someone would understand, that someone would know where her crazy, unbearable mother had gone. Hope.
Hope was.

Death, life, resurrection Where hope was Ocyx Rebel.

Perhaps there was already no hope.

Last edited by Lyren (3 weeks ago)

#4 [fr] 

Lyren brooded. She'd been to Fairhaven, then Avendale, but Eolinius was nowhere to be found. Perhaps deciphering the document was more of a hassle than he'd imagined, and he'd been looking for help. Or was it possible that this document was getting him into trouble? No, most likely, he'd found a quiet place to work, away from prying eyes. Come to think of it, irrespective of all that, it was rather amusing to see the reaction of the trykers. They, who found themselves in some of the strangest and most dangerous situations, between goo, marauders and other notorious raving lunatics, were terrified to utter a word in public. What was so risky? It was a fact, Trytonists exist, and will exist as long as the world has two opposing powers, as long as they have the conviction that their fight is justified. The very idea can survive without needing to be carried by anyone, and it will be all the more powerful and difficult to silence, because it will persist beyond any corporeal envelope. It's hard to kill an enemy that doesn't exist, much harder even than to stifle the smell of a fyros warrior's boots.

So why this brutal reaction from some of the Drakani? If Lyren had understood correctly, as she was missing a few elements, Eeri had spoken openly with them, something the Trytonists never did under any circumstances. That was how much she trusted them, in addition to all the possible reasons why she had opened up to them.
One of the Drakani said he threw away his badge and left the guild when he learned that Eeri was part of this mysterious faction. Was it fear? Hatred? What could he be afraid of? Those who tracked down Trytonists had no interest in openly striking Tryker citizens. By using violence, you run the risk of losing the war of ideas, of opinions. On the other hand, as far as I can remember, the Trytonists had never attacked any human beings; the actions for which they were known were limited to wearing a helmet, making a disturbing speech, distributing a few leaflets and disappearing as quickly as they had appeared. Much less dangerous than an overhydrated yubo.

Lyren scratched the half of his head that still had hair on it. Had she really thought all that? Ideas and opinions were complicated. Still, a well-placed axe can settle a lot of things.

Pending analysis of the parchment, there was still the sword and its strange message. Lyren unfolded a map on the apartment table, and decided to proceed in the same way. There was indeed this valley of hopes, which could be the starting point. Death, a Kitiniere? No, too simple, but Desertstock isn't far away. Resurrection, a vortex? There's plenty to do in the area. She drew lines on the map of Zoraï country, ticking off all the points halfway between two possible places of death or life, and the place of hope. The hinterland, the spotted moor, the fortress on the horizon, then the descent to the Root Primes. Perhaps it was down there that she had to look? Then, if she couldn't find anything, Desertstock. Halfway to other jungle vortexes, the mystical falls, the haven of purity. It was already a lot, and nothing really localized like that little beach they'd found. Nothing as convincing as last time. Perhaps she was missing the point? Action was what she needed, and she nevertheless decided to equip herself, grab a few supplies, before taking the path to Dyron and the vortex of jungle country as her destination. This would be her starting point, and she was well aware that exploring each of these points would take her a few days, if not weeks.

#5 [fr] 

Eolinius promptly returned home and sat down at his desk, carefully setting down the famous box Kyriann had entrusted to him earlier. He poured himself a Byrh and propped himself up on his favorite footstool. Another riddle to solve, and not the least. He had to find Eeri's whereabouts at last.
It had all started earlier that day at the Fairhaven bar. Lyren had turned up with a sword in hand, assuring her that the merchant she'd found it with had described its custodian as a one-eyed fyros and that it could only be her mother Eeri. She had also unwittingly deciphered a message concealed on the sword:

"In the balance of falling The whirlwind leads to freedom" Ocyx Rebelle

At the mention of this name, the Drakani gathered around the bar looked at each other in silence, remembering Eeri's past, and decided that the rest of the conversation should take place in a discreet place so as not to draw the attention of the nearby karavan to a particularly delicate subject such as trytonism. The Drakani, Lyren and Krill headed for the entrance to the Drakani guild island. Arriving at their destination, they all sat down on the cushions in front of the bar, well situated opposite the small ponds that provided a breath of fresh, humid air, except for Krill who began to detail the liqueurs behind the counter.

Being able to speak freely here, it was obvious that the message referred to a particular meeting place or location. "Eolinius and Ostium immediately thought of Virginia Falls, Kyriann thought of the vortex of a vortex, but Krill pointed out that Dew Falls and the fortress of the vortex were both in Freedom Lake. Drawing a line between the two on an old map of the area unearthed from the guild chest, the equidistance between the two points led to a small beach at Dew Falls. In less time than it takes to say it, after everyone had taken the time to consume their Byrh, let's not exaggerate, the troop was transported to the said beach.

Rummaging up and down the warm, yellow sawdust of the beach, Kyriann was the first to come across a half-buried, covered object. She lifted a small box and blew on it. It opened with ease, revealing an envelope from which a sheet of paper had been taken. The sheet was devoid of any inscriptions. No doubt another hidden message. But it was getting late, and the box and message were entrusted to Eolinius, who claimed to know how to reveal it, and everyone went home.

This is how Eolinius found himself with the box under his nose at home, determined to get to the bottom of this secret. He was confident that little Trykeri would write messages to each other with sparàn juice for fun, hiding them from their parents and playing the rebel privateer of Loria.

He gently opened the box and withdrew the envelope and the white sheet of paper, which he placed on the table. Beside him, he took a small decorative candle in the shape of Anlor Winn's pumpkin and lit it. He picked up the leaflet and placed it over the flame to make the text magically appear. He insisted a little, but nothing happened as expected. The leaf remained perfidiously immaculate despite the back-and-forth movement around the flame. Eolinius had to stop before the sheet began to scorch. This was a serious setback for him. He began pouring himself some sparàn juice with shooki to cheer himself up. Holy Yubo! He wasn't going to give up so soon!

He rapped his knuckles on the table. His hand inadvertently struck a small plate on his worktable filled with gingerbread slices, which flew off happily and one of which crashed onto the immaculate sheet with a big splash.

-Ah bah An! he exclaimed. Now it's all stained!

He removed the slice. The sheet now showed a large, greasy, translucent stain. It must be said that if everyone appreciated Eolinius' soft gingerbread, it was because he didn't skimp on the butter. Completely defeated, he was about to give in when, as he passed the candle, he noticed small, distinct signs on the leaf that could form letters in the middle of the stain. The spreading grease didn't impregnate the sheet in certain places, so that the non-transparent letters in front of the candle were visible and stood out in negative.

Gosh! What a devious writing process!

An ink had been used to dilute the grease or prevent it from settling. Eolinius thought back to Eeri, who had once dipped gingerbread in his essence of oxyx. The slice had gone up in smoke! Essence-based ink? Eolinius shook his head. It would have been necessary to use a solid base so that the essence didn't spread all over the sheet. He smiled as he imagined the person trying to decipher the message roaming the beaches with pockets full of gingerbread.

More seriously, Eolinius spread a little butter on his finger and smeared it over the sheet. Phrases were now faintly visible. He took another parchment to write down what he could decipher.

"Freedom!

I've tried to contact some of you through the normal channels. To no avail. That's why I've left a flower in the usual places.
After reading this message, put it back if you're sure you haven't been seen.

Some of our companions are present in Citadelle, the homins' last bastion against the kitins. I've met them, and one of them saved me from certain death.

There aren't enough of them for any one action, but they have knowledge that we don't have.
We need to join forces with them, and perhaps with the marauders from the Old Lands.

There, the Karavan could show us its true face. There, we'll find answers about the Kamis. There, we can change the course of human destiny.

Instructions are enclosed for the next appointment.

.W 1 AC 262.

O.R. "

Eolinius dropped back onto his footstool.

Gluttony leads to everything, even the most improbable.

#6 [fr] 

Lyren had surveyed a large part of the Dementia Knot region lengthwise, widthwise, crosswise, diagonally, obliquely and transversely. She was beginning to realize that she was going in circles, even if the angles of her turns were sometimes sharper because of the few predators she preferred to avoid rather than fight, in order to concentrate on the possible traces of a sign, or the signs of a trace.

The Knot of Dementia, what a beautiful place for such a name... No, the opposite, she thought. What a beautiful name for such a place. Goo everywhere, gingos, a Kitiniere and the kitins that go with it, not to mention the tribe of the worst bark-helmet crackers, no wonder when you live there, it makes you dizzy. They were dickheads whose only thought was to hand her sweets, which she politely refused, claiming she'd already received enough from Zhen to last a year, akep, thank you. But they forgot, and every time she came across a patrol, the same thing happened: "No, I don't want candy, you haven't seen any traces of a helmeted fyrette by any chance, found a sword, anything? Nothing, nothing, nothing around here? And over there? No, I'm not looking for smooth fruit, I'm looking for Trytonists.

Good day, akep. They were too high-strung to understand anything, these homins. Or maybe they were doing it on purpose and enjoying watching her go round and round in circles, hoping she'd slowly come to her senses and accept their drugs.

Nothing in the kitinière either. She'd run and sweated and run some more, fallen into a hole, into mud, into almost buried kitin galleries, but nothing. Not the slightest trace of homins, of a meeting place, of a sword, of the smell of fyros boots. Nothing.

Maybe it was time to return to civilization, the real thing, Thesos first, then Fairhaven, maybe the drakani had been trying to contact her. Maybe she'd missed something.
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