|Okay here’s everything.
Everything I told you is true. We are Mountaineers. Our Book of Briars stopped speaking to us after Fragment (we call them Fragments) 12. All it left us was a window to your lodge that I’m speaking through now. We were apparently meant to help you open your book, and that really hit us hard.
The only part I kinda left out was we’re not in the next town over. We are talking to you from the year 2017.
After the 12th Fragment, the storm came for us, like it did for you, like it has for the generation before you, and probably a bunch before that. The keepers of the Book of Briars decided to do something different this time. Instead of letting the Storm wipe the mountaineers and preserve the Book, they decided to risk protecting us, and let the Book burn. Our Book of Briars is in ashes, and we don’t think there will ever be another. Then it connected us to you, and your existing Book. We need to open yours. There are no second chances here.
I’m sure you have many questions that you do or don’t want to ask. What happens to you? What happened to Augie, or other people? We know Augie. He’s resting well in a hospital in Maryland. With the help of some Magiq he was able to speak to us a bit and give us some important information. He’s stubborn and insistent on protecting everyone as always.
And we know you.
At some point in the future, at least in the history we know, you go on to gather a group of people to search for Magiq after a special book is found. You’ll know it when you see it. That group of people snowballed into the Mountaineers we are today. You are our founder. As far as we know you’re still alive, about 9 months ago you left on some quest you were rather nebulous about. Apparently being brave and crazy and sort of a loner is a trait you’ve kept for a couple decades if that helps.
Right, that’s mostly sorted. Let’s get down to business.
Since we last talked to you our Benefactor revealed something fascinating. The second half of the Lantern of Low Hollow. (Attached below).
Where your half is designed to hear voices, this half is designed to take control of the voices. With these two pieces together, we think we could control the storm and tell it to disperse. Also, we’ve discovered that the storm has the power to take things from the past. That’s how it’s changed history. Before we make it disperse, we think we can ask it to bring your Book of Briars into our present, and open it here.
Now the dilema. We didn’t know whether or not to give you the second half. Because in our present, the Storm exists. If you control it, and disperse it, then we’ve changed history and who knows what chaos that might cause?
But you know what? I’m a Balimoran. Let’s cause a bit of chaos and let the Magiq fall where it may. We trust you, Ascender. We always have.
We have a plan to use the spell to end the Storm. That assumes we get your half (please?) and the Storm still exists in this time. Before we end it, we hope to bring the book forward to a more stable time with no Storm, and living Mountaineers and open it. Then maybe we’ll solve world hunger while we’re thinking big.
In all seriousness, I want our plan to go forward, but I’m not going to (and can’t if I recall) talk you out of using your best judgement. Here’s the second half.
Only a partial diary entry and the last three stanzas of this spell story have been found. Without the first half, the spell seems to be inert. The remains of the poem seem to infer its purpose was to first hear the “commanding voice” of a magiq user on the wind, and then take control or hijack the voice, whereupon one could either control the suffering, or break the malevolent hold over them.
This spell is steeped in the new world witch hunts of the 17th century.
“It has worked. Evelyn is not possessed. There is a voice on the air that commands her to do these things. To howl and hurt herself and those around her. I have heard it. Just tonight. My ears prick at its whisper. My pen scratches out its thoughts. I know now that someone has taken the reins of my beloved’s mind.
There is a verse on the tip of my tongue and the edges of my fingers. A verse that might allow me to break the voice’s hold, to usurp its command. But though I have the wordly skills to bend its voice to me, I do not have the strength to break its will.”
I lack both skill and sufficient power to rid my bride of this curse. Some demented force beyond these walls seeks to drive her to madness, to drag me tooth and nail behind her, and all that I am able to do is listen as it tears her apart. What I would be, or break, to have rid of it.
Though it seems the second half of the spell story was finally designed (referred below), the first half of this accidental spell has never been recovered.
“I cast all ill intent aside
The song begins to wane
As dark dominion loses hold
And burns upon my flame
I am become the voice aloft
High above the ashes
Ringing in the darkened eaves
And slipping through the sashes
The reins are now belong to me
To stay or turn to ill
To set the dark devoted free
Or do with as I will”