Alistair’s Vision

::In seeking the source of the Gauntlet, this is what Alistair sees::


Inside every conscious being, you see tiny motes of divine light.

A grown man is watching TV when there is a pounding on his door. Unbidden, the thought comes to his mind – “It’s a monster!” – and there is a brief shock of fear, until he realizes that it is just his friend fucking with him.

A woman is walking down a street beneath a flickering streetlamp, still in her uniform from work, making the familiar trek to the nearest subway station. She hears a measured pace behind her and a cold sliver of fear goes up her spine and comes to rest in her scalp. She quickens her pace. She senses a menacing presence behind her, and she is right.

An astronomer awakens with a gasp from a terrible dream. She was analyzing hours of staticky data from a radio telescope, seeking through a tiny square of the night sky for the telltale throb of a pulsar. Suddenly there is a rush in the readout and amidst the static she clearly hears a voice, whispering to her of an emptiness so vast it swallows every world. The scream in her dream is translated into a gasp in her bed, but she can’t sleep for the rest of the night regardless.

Thinking it is just a big dog, the boy approaches, and sees too late the gleaming yellow eyes, and has no time to cry out before he is gone. They never find a body.

A girl looks at herself in the mirror with a suddenly serious expression, says clearly and succinctly, after some hesitation, “there’s no such thing as Santa Clause.” She bites her lip, then says it again. She says it until she doesn’t feel anything.

You see a rush of similar intimate, everyday images – unexplained fears, indescribable moments, unutterable acts, realizations that never synthesize themselves into understanding.

Outside these images, there are monsters. Ghosts making the walls bleed, seeking revenge for forgotten murders. Wild fae who steal children and curse herds with the plague. Hulking beasts that hunger for human flesh. Twisting, gibbering horrors made of darkness and cold waiting at the edges of what is known. Slumbering leviathans beneath merciless seas. Pale hunters who seek warm lifeblood. Wild and terrible lands beyond all comprehension. The realm of the dead which all fear and which none can avoid. Ten thousand hells where the damned scream for eternity and ten thousand heavens where gods are and where mortals dare not go.

There is a tiny patch of land that grows as the edges of knowledge grow – shadowy realms come to light and unknown monsters become familiar. Seething alien seas are charted and distant lands colonized. The borders stretch and stretch until they meet each other on the other side – at which point, there is no place for what is left to go, except outside and inside.

What intrudes from outside and inside is not welcome. It is fended off by heroes and visionaries who make a capricious world comprehensible, who make a million meddling gods into a powerful few, who slay monsters, or shed light on them so they are seen for the creatures they truly are. Every answer is a weapon, a tool and a prison bar. Until there is always an answer, always a reason, always an explanation.

Everywhere a divine light that flares in self-defense when the incomprehensible intrudes into the ordinary, that swarms around brighter lights and hems them in, that becomes a barrier, six billion tiny motes, the outmost border of the known.

Lastly, you see a figure, bathed in the beautiful light of sunset; you feel the warm breeze, smell salt, see a large and alien city etched with green light; and he has noticed you. You feel your heart stop. Slowly, he gestures with his hand and your vision is severed. The mirror shatters in a shower of glass, and the room is suddenly pervaded with a distinct resonance – worshipful, Atlantean (you don’t know how you know), and filled with the brooding sense that things are coming to an end, soon. Your heart starts up again.

6 thoughts on “Alistair’s Vision

  1. Am I entitled to a question or two for a 27 success rote?If so….Does Alistair get the sense from the vision that the Gauntlet is basically a GOOD thing? Holding back all these nightmares?Why does research into the gauntlet lead me to Atlantis?Basically, I’m finding it difficult to make any sense out of the vision.

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  2. sure, ask questions. the worst you’ll get is nothing.entropy doesn’t really tell you if things are good or not apart from Alistair’s perceptions. as far as entropy is concerned, there isn’t good or evil in any meaningful sense. based on this vision and alistair’s other experiences, its up to him/you whether its good. if he wants the nightmares and the dreams both, then its a bad thing. if he thinks the dreams aren’t worth the nightmares, then its a good thing, and so on.you don’t have any reason to expect that researching the gauntlet would lead you to atlantis. nevertheless, for some reason, your vision was drawn there, and was clearly not welcome. maybe they’re connected somehow. maybe someone doesn’t want you to see something further about the gauntlet. maybe someone on Atlantis is fiddling with the gauntlet for some reason. maybe Atlantis is having an effect that is strengthening the gauntlet.basically, the vision is supposed to indicate what the gauntlet is, what is its source, and what is its function, and some of the why of those things. you get the impression that this rote, so far beyond anything you’ve done before, was successful, but that it wasn’t comprehensively so.feel free to ask other stuff – it was intended to be useful (but challenging)

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  3. yeah, the impression is that the motes of divine light represent all of the conscious beings in the world.as for awakenings, you don’t know based on this vision – either no, or perhaps it is too small an effect to get from this vision, or perhaps not included in the parameters (which i took to be the gauntlet’s source and function generally)

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  4. Awesome.Alistair is now very curious about the connection between the Gauntlet and awakenings… like maybe these little motes of light might be “Avatar seeds” or something…He is also deeply worried about the Atlantean connection. His instincts suggest that they were warding it for some reason – with a pretty powerful ward. It makes him think that they were indeed the ones warding the big snafoo in the timeline and that maybe that snafoo has something to do with the gauntlet.Is the Rogue Council going to mess with the Gauntlet in some way? He wonders to himself. Remembering all those nightmares, Alistair is horrified.

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  5. in brief, yes. at this juncture, the Scion was mastering the Gauntlet. actually, he was born from it, but that’s another story.the reason he was able to help Poseidon raise Atlantis was his mastery of the Gauntlet. he had it in his blood, and it essentially means nothing to him. he also mastered Correspondence, becoming something of a master of all worlds.he then killed his mother, the previous leader of the Nehpandi who gave birth to him to use as an ultimate weapon.what he found was an ultimate connection between Paradox and the Gauntlet, one deeply hidden in the nature of the Tellurian, that only those with tremendous power (Arete 8 in this case) could discern. he first wanted to just use the Gauntlet to protect Atlantis, but this would make it too hard to manage and too dangerous for normal mages to enter and leave in large numbers.this was the seed of his defense system which uses Paradox as a weapon.

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