Thought and Memory
Thought & Memory
Acquaintances of Tassi Wells and Myrnal Shalienza were approached in Doma by an elf named Isaiah Bellari. He informed them that his employers, Adrian and Yanette Hetherington, were being harassed by a wizard calling himself Rinthron whom Isaiah called Memory. The wizard claimed only to exist in The Plane of Dreams. He wanted the Hetheringtons, a rather wealthy couple, to secure for him an artifact currently located on Ka'thalar.
Tassi and Myrnal had gone to confront the wizard on his own turf, buying time for Isaiah to seek out reinforcements. Near as anyone could tell, the two women succeeded in getting to The Plane of Dreams, but once there could not find their way back. Memory would not relinquish his hostages until the artifact was brought for him.
This artifact was in the custody of a council of wizards whose purpose is to prevent the rise of another Elaith Thenswick by keeping powerful artifacts under careful watch. Daniel convinced the council to hand the artifact over, and the party made their acquaintance with Vade Mecum, a sentient staff which spoke and understood only phrases which rhyme. Vade Mecum's specialty was navigation through The Plane of Dreams.
At Vade Mecum's urging, the party headed first to confront Memory himself, but his dominion over his little corner of the highly-mutable The Plane of Dreams made him an impossible opponent. However, the party figured out that they did have allies currently entrenched in a plane that the party did not understand. The staff suggested that the gentlemen seek out Tassi and Myrnal to see if they had learned anything useful that could assist.
They headed first to find Myrnal. Her corner of The Plane of Dreams was highly-personalized, and had taken the shape of the ninja's subconscious mind. This meant that while her mind was not without its hazards, the party was not without aid, either. Upon entering, they found themselves in the town where Myrnal lived with her family as a child. They watched part of the attack on her town, and they watched as Myrnal's mother and brother were killed.
This part of the plane seemed to obey the rules and structure of this moment in history, and as a result, the enemies they faced were people Myrnal knew well. Guided by Myrnal's little brother, the party had to fight their way past figments of her mother Anira, her adoptive grandfather Kerran Shalienza, and even faced Myrnal herself.
They located her, and when they got to her, Myrnal used her dominion over her realm to give her friends an advantage they had not previously had. She gave them the ability to manipulate The Plane of Dreams to some extent. It wasn't a solution in itself, but it cut down on the edge Memory had over them. They left her there, as she still needed to stay and defend the borders of her mind from Memory's encroachment.
The party's next destination was Tassi's domain. There they were met by an old celestial acquaintance of Tassi's named Sebastian. After proving to him that they were not a threat to Tassi and deserved to pass, they moved on to a town on the horizon. There they found an entire village and population of people that was... totally devoid of distinguishing detail. Instead of faces, residents seemed to have a flat span of skin stretched over the normal muscle and bone their faces ought to have. Their voices were slightly garbled, but definitely Rivan.
Worse still, the longer the party stayed, the more vague and slippery their own memories began to be. They had difficulty remembering facts about their own lives that, while relatively minor in the context of this situation, were things they ought to have known, like the name of a spouse or relative.
When they found Tassi, she looked older, but normal, and was protected by a man claiming to be her husband. Apparently possessing no memory of anyone in the party, including her lover Darin, she fled at every opportunity. They fought past her husband while Darin tracked her down and prevented her from fleeing further. Not only could she not remember him, but to her the party looked and sounded as freakishly wrong as the other residents had to them.
She recovered her identity when her friends defeated her husband and her perspective shifted. Her knowledge of this town, the place where she had died in her past life, returned to normal. The party could see no more than she consciously remembered, but when she had gotten drawn down into in her mind and the party found her there, they learned more than even she'd known. The town was called Brighton. Her name had been Maria, and her husband and son were named Glen and Elias respectively. Tassi's blessing for the party was some measure of protection against Memory's power over The Plane of Dreams.
When these brave travellers found their way to Memory, Tassi's blessing protected them from the wizard's ability to manipulate the plane. They used Myrnal's gift to create figments from the material of the plane to aid them in battle. Among the summoned were Alexander Hyral, Hakaril Silvar, Aya du Mythril-Domanada and the Bride of Frankenstein.
During the course of the battle, the wizard's verbal diarrhea enlightened the party was to why exactly the madman was so intent on holding on to Myrnal and not Tassi. As it turns out, he had known her mother, and she had betrayed an alliance with him. She ruined his efforts at securing an artifact similar to Vade Mecum, destroying the artifact and sacrificing her own end of the bargain: the mage's assistance with her own plans. Memory claimed that she betrayed him because she'd rather anyone rule Doma than him, even the Domanadas. Charles Domanada was left in power, and the plan was forgotten until Memory caught up with [[Myrnal] and had his chance at revenge. He admitted that this was rather petty, but seemed unbothered by such a tiny detail.
Upon Memory's defeat, his realm began to violently and rapidly decay. During the course of the fight, his efforts at breaking into Myrnal's mind got closer and closer to success until, just as his domain was collapsing, Myrnal burst from the forest edge and met her friends just as they were leaving the dying demiplane.
With Memory destroyed, leaving behind no remains of any kind, the group was finally able to wake Tassi and Myrnal, and the Hetheringtons expressed their gratitude for the party's willingness to assist them. The travellers went their separate ways, in some cases leaving with a much deeper understanding of one another than they had before. A trip into a friend's subconscious will do that.