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#14771677 Jul 20, 2021 at 03:10 PM
81 Posts

After the tense battle with the two Forsworn and rescuing Tanefrun, the time had finally come for Polymnia to orchestrate the ritual of facing memories. The Ascended had explained to the Circle that under normal circumstances, a new arrival to Bastion must undergo such a rite under their own merits without any outside help. However, she elaborated that Tanefrun was a unique case and would benefit largely from the aid of those she considered family. Continuing, she lamented that it was not Tanefrun's destiny yet to forget her memories and ascend as a Kyrian, and that she must return home with her loved ones.

The Ascended escorted the members of the Circle to the same ritual chamber they had entered when Tanefrun attempted such a ritual on her own. Before they began, Polymnia elaborated that such a ritual is strengthened with the presence of a Soulbind and besought the Circle for any who would wish to Soulbind with Tanefrun in order for her to heal, and have an anchor. Knight Benjamin Grandblade immediately volunteered, likely having stewed on the idea for some time. Some members of the Circle voiced their reservations to the idea, as they did not know much about the concept. Once they learned that the process was not wholly permanent, they lightened to the idea and Silversworn Renoris Feathersong offered to Soulbind with Tanefrun as well, so that her chances of binding herself to the Flame of Elune in the future would (hopefully) not be compromised.

Tanefrun, Ben, and Renoris each saw the other's life flash before their eyes. All of their memories, their fears, their hopes, every single thing that made them who they were and who they will become entered their minds, and connected them on a level unattainable outside of the realms of death. After such a binding had finished, each of the trio hugged each other in an emotionally driven gesture, knowing that virtually nothing could separate them now, not after all they had been through.

With that, the ritual was to begin. Polymnia described that she had provided three Vespers for the Circle to use; a Vesper of Clarity, a Vesper of Purity, and a Vesper of Serenity. The goal of the ritual was to interact with the Vespers correctly to produce the soothing tune that would effectively remove the dark energies the Forsworn had suffused Tanefrun with, and thus make the images of her memories vulnerable to her personal retrospection. The young Aspirant prepared, this time fully conscious as she concentrated with Polymnia's guidance.

Each key memory appeared, but as if each was frozen in time at each crucial moment. The first memory, of Ashraf’s death, was frozen on Tanefrun crying in front of the Vigilant in which Ashraf’s soul was stored. The second memory, of her time on the Moonspray, was frozen on her huddled upon her resting place surrounded by spectres of fire and destruction. The third memory, of the Magic Eater, was frozen upon the merciless predator tearing into Tanefrun’s face. The fourth and last memory, of Tanefrun’s descent to madness, was frozen upon a weak and despaired Aspirant, consumed by void magic and clawing at her head whilst surrounded by void apparitions.

The Circle began, and the soothing melodies and harmonies of the Vespers rang loud and clear. Tanefrun's soul fragment slowly began to lose its darkened hue as the dark energies began to fade, and each memory lost its own dark hue. Slowly, each memory began to glow with the bright blue color of the anima that Polymnia was channeling, and would thus allow Tanefrun to directly look upon her memory and see them shift.

Each memory continued or faded, and offered a lesson for Tanefrun to learn. She was allowed to have her trauma and her grief, but she could have the good things that followed from her own growth. She could have certainty in the present rather than binding herself to the fear of the past. Once all four key memories were reflected upon in a peaceful, retrospective manner, Polymnia ceased the ritual and asked Tanefrun to rise, and if she was ready.

The young Aspirant nodded, feeling elated at what she was able to accomplish and more than thankful that she did not have to go through this alone. She communicated that she was forever grateful to the Circle for coming for her at the risk that she would perhaps not recall what happened in Bastion when she woke up. Turning to Ben, she then professed that she was ready to go home.

The Circle had retrieved all four of Tanefrun's soul fragments, and were encouraged to prepare for when Tanefrun would wake up in Oribos safely.