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Not sure if anyone remembers (or saw) Symphony of Science back when that was a thing some 13(!) years ago, but the same guy has been hard at work since.

THE HUMAN FUTURE: A Case for Optimism
(note: is available in up to 4K, so if you can hook up to a TV this would be worth it.)
**I look back at Lorennia steadily**

"I suspect that you are correct but we still need the three pieces/items to truly defeat him and Malgrathor, like you said I don't want to have a glorious suicide. Trust me, I want to take him down very badly but we need the 'Keys'. I believe that all three pieces together make a weapon that can beat them. The three of us are all we can depend on right now, that is it! I will go with the majority on this unless it's totally insane and then even that may work."
I only look at the sketch after putting away the knife (so after Ghar is done remembering).  After a moment (an entirely too-long moment) of thinking...

"I hope we don't need it.  Once we start building that, it's going to be impossible to hide that one of us remembers oceans and boats...and we don't know that Zerathos is the only one who knows what's going on."

I chew on that for a minute, then look Phineas dead in the eyes.  "Speaking of which, I know and suspect you do too, that tomorrow is going to be our best chance to take Zerathos unawares, since he'll both still be weakened from whatever the Librarian did to him, and think we don't remember anything.  If he's feeling especially arrogant, he may even call on me to help heal him."
**wink at Lorennia with a crooked smile**

"I am definitely not looking for a glorious sacrifice, either but we need to figure out how to stop this psychotic asshole who does has the knowledge and power to make people forget their most treasured memories. I come from a world that is 75-80% water, we travel on the water in ships; my father was a ship builder, I think that I can design a land-based version of a ship."

**draw a picture of a trimaran-skiff in my journal and show it to Lorennia and Ghar**

"With this, we could get anywhere we need on the desert, quickly. The wind never stops blowing on the desert. We just need to figure out which direction to go and for that we need to get into the Library's archives."
"Right.  Sorry, my mistake.  As I mentioned the memories are in the blade, and I haven't shown you the blade yet.  Here."  I show Ghar the blade of the knife, carefully hiding it from Phineas' view this time - no need to cause him additional pain.  I watch Ghar closely in case he starts experiencing similar symptoms, and if so then I immediately hide the blade and hope that helps.

While Ghar is distracted, I tell Phineas, without looking at him, "I mentioned earlier good news, bad news, and something else, and didn't tell you about the 'something else'."  I sigh.  "It occurred to me that a particularly sick bastard - with full knowledge of what the Fog does - would be able to abuse his subjects as much as he pleased, and so long as they either die or wake up then next morning with nothing but a few minor bruises and scrapes no one would be the wiser.  It also occurred to me that I woke up this morning on the floor of the Grand Mosque despite having a perfectly serviceable home."

Sparing a glance towards Phineas, I continue.  "If we get a chance to take him down, I'll be right behind you.  But I'm not interested in some glorious sacrifice that achieves nothing, and he was far more powerful than we are a few hours ago.  If something doesn't change, we're not going to be able to take him down."
Looking at Phineas with increasingly confused facial expressions I had not previously known reptilians could make, I wait for him to finish and as politely as possible say, "What are the two of you on about with other worlds and planar gates and such?"
**looking towards Lorennia**

"Lorennia, as much as I would love to agree with you and get the hell out of here  ...  we have to stop Zerathos. I know that you are an elf and Ghar is a kobold, I presume that neither of you are native to this world, neither am I. WE each came here through a portal of some type. Zerathos uses a type of portal to go from world to world, using his power as High Priest to set the world aflame, destroying itself in war. How long it takes him to do this, I am unsure; I do know that it isn't instantaneous, which is good, that gives us a bit of time. BTW, Zerathos is not the Goddess' High Priest, that is a total sham, he's playing to the masses and fleecing them like sheep. I believe that he is using Malgrathor's power (Fog) to befuddle and control certain individuals (myself included) within the city. So, if the Goddess is not behind Zerathos (and I don't think that she is), who is she supportive of?"

**looking in my journal at my notes**

"there is, supposedly, a lost temple out in the Endless Desert but which direction it is from here, I do not know. I was going to delve into the archives of the Library, when all of the "excitement" with Zerathos started. I think that we need to go back there and do some looking. Zerathos is probably back at the Grand Temple, healing up, if what you say about what happened laid him out for a while (which I hope it did)."

**stand up, look around**

"Once again, we have more questions than answers but it truly gives us something to do. Since we know the 'Map' and the 'Memories', we need to find the 'Keys', so shall we my new companions."

Character Sheet. / Re: Phineas
Last post by Phineas - Jun 02, 2023, 03:56 PM
My name is Robert P. Rose, call me Phineas, there are too Bob's out there ...

I am the genius son of two geniuses, my parents were both highly educated and successful . We are from the ocean-kingdom of Lómenslindorë, an island archipelago. My mother was a sage and a scribe, who cataloged ancient civilizations and my father a master shipbuilder, perhaps the greatest that ever lived and they taught me everything. I could swim before I could walk, I learned to walk on the decks of a ship. My parents died on a burning, sinking ship in a war that raged across all the world. The war was led by Zerathos himself, High Priest of Malgrathor the Deceiver, the demon-god who revels in death, destruction, chaos and conquest.

As far as I know, I am the lone survivor, since so many sacrificed their last moments to give me this one chance to travel through the portal and into the last of the worlds to meet with the Angels and return with the weapon that could focus truth into a Firelight strong enough to burn the Demon-God Malgrathor himself!

Since everyone has died or passed away as their worlds were destroyed, I have been making my way in the backstreets of this world, learning new skills and gathering resources and setting up for the final conflict with Zerathos and his master Malgrathor.
The librarian said this book could "heal the world", but it seems like any other fairy tale at a glance. We should all try to make some sense of it. We should also investigate the library, if this was her life goal, and with so few visitors to tell tales, it would make sense to have some kind notes on exactly what the "keys" are.
"Right, now to business.  There appear to be four power centers in this world – the goddess herself and her High Priest are the obvious ones.  Zerathos seems to be out of commission for at least a few days, so we have some breathing room.  There's another being or phenomenon that is responsible for the fact that none of us can remember important things from day to day, for now let's call it the Fog.  This morning the fourth power center was the Librarian, but now it's us.  Before she died, she told me that there are three things we need."

"The map is in the book.  I assume that would be the book you were taking out of the Library, Ghar."

"The keys are for the sky.  I don't know what the keys are, but they should probably be our next step for tomorrow."

"And, finally, The memories are in the blade."  Flashing the hilt of the knife (and carefully not the blade for the moment), she says, "That one at least we have.  So, we should no longer have to fear the Fog, at least.  That's something."  While the Fog seems to be self-aware, there's nothing we can do about it so there's no point in bringing it up now.  "Better yet, Zerathos isn't going to be chasing us because he doesn't realize the Fog won't work on us, so we have a bit of breathing room to figure out the key and the lock."

"I assume there will be a lock, if the keys aren't metaphorical keys.  Which would probably lead to a portal, or planar gate, or something, that we can hopefully use to get the hell out of here.  As much as I'd prefer to break their power and save everyone, I don't think that's going to be possible."

"What do you two have to add?"