Tales of the Jedi

Episode 50 – Carcosa

Carcosa

Descending the stairs, they lead down much farther than Master Sirta would have excavated and the passage begins to turn on itself and narrow like a conch shell. Emerging from a cave, their minds are blasted by the vision of an insane landscape – a reversed sky of dull pale white with a multitude of black stars, twin black setting sun and multiple moons rising, a black blasted landscape and winds coming off a still lake with swirling clouds above it. Rune’s Jedi training protects his mind and he coached Myn before she panics. Dr. Slivko is drawn to this place – before, Reality only made sense if he changed it – either with music or a scalpel – but here he feels like he truly belongs. Aleema recognizes it as the deepest part of The Fade and summons a being to guide them; the figure in tattered robes becomes a mental impression of Padawan Kerr. Thoughts and memories made flesh. With Kerr leading them, Arten notices a path running around the lake. Walking on it, Jenif looks down and sees that the cobblestones are octagons and each fit together perfectly without the help of squares! In addition, they shift and wet wings come out and she realizes that they are walking on the backs of beetles. While walking, the land on the right of the path falls away and it is the lake on both sides. Climbing up onto the path are monstrous Deep Ones – fish/frog mean with large unblinking white eyes and webbed claws. They try to take the three females below for breeding but are defeated. After the fight, Rune is able to use the Force to heal his wound since these avatars are just mental constructs. Slivko shows interest in leaning Sith magick from Aleema who says she might be willing; one day she will ask a favor of him and he must comply (but Javan must not be harmed). Continuing on the path, they see The Black City off in the distance, the moons appearing as if they are in front of the towers and the buildings change as one looks from side to side; the fourth singularity is that its name is known the moment one looks upon it – Carcosa. Approaching the city, they find the gates open but upon entering they immediately feel alone and unwelcome. Arten passes a crumbling archway and hears Vox’s voice; he enters to pursue and the team goes after him, not wanting to lose sight of him or he will be lost. The Whisper Labyrinth is filled with various bottles with names on them. Incredibly, Dr. Slivko finds his own bottle and later, Myn does too. Wells unluckily gets lost and witnesses a horrific sight, Rune having to go back for her to find her and pull her away. Myn secretly uncaps her bottle and it whispers a poem to her, ending with a single word “Lenore”. Next, Kerr takes them through The Gallery of Shades. It is an art museum containing many works – none of them grotesque but each disturbing and insidious in its own way. Dr. Slivko does not want to leave and ducks around acorn only to be taken away by mysterious robed figures. The team searches and finds him in a workshop at the end of a hall filled with statues; the robed figures and smearing a rancid mix of Sulphur, clay and baby fat over him so he can remain here forever. Rune drives them off and Slivko attacks before intellectually realizing that they others could force him to leave (Kerr also cautions that if they leave Slivko here, he will become part of the City and influence things). Slivko agrees to leave the Gallery but feels that Rune has robbed him of his one chance at true happiness. He tells Rune that he has made it so he’s the only one who can help him find The Adversary – that he will continue to kill every pirate or contact so Rune will never find his enemy without Slivko’s aid. Next, the group comes upon The Playhouse and mystically become part of the play. They are forced to act out events in Aleema’s life (who remains in the audience). Act 1 begins with the theft of the Necronomicon and ends with the death of the younglings on Deneba. The group is able to speak freely during the Intermission then Act 2 resumes with Ulic infiltrating the Krath. Act 2, scene 2 is more surreal as we see Satal smirking at the center of swirling events. As the play continues it become more strange and ends suddenly and unsatisfactorily before the climax with the dialog becoming distorted and lost. Afterwords, Aleema encourages them all to unmask, to which Satal (thought to have been played by Slivko) states, “I wear no mask.” Aleema is horrified. With the play ended, they can leave the theatre and make their way to The Palace. A group of Byakhee swoop down and try to drink their blood but are easily dispatched. A masked figured at the door askes for the password to the house and Myn is able to answer, having learned it from her bottle (but is scolded by Rune for being so reckless). Inside, they each don masks of their own choosing and encounter The Guests – partygoers who stand around morose and uncertain. As Kerr explains, here it is always “the moment just after the music ends”. Heading down to The Cellars, the basement makes them feel as if the entire universe was long since extinct. Slivko listens to his bottle at this point and only he hears what it says but it is known the message is neither inconsequential or insignificant. They find a door with an inscription above it which Aleema is able to translate, “Only one who can see clearly may open the portal” and Slivko unceremoniously pushes past the others and opens it to reveal a room with doors on opposite ends and three doors on either side. Another inscription states that, “The shadows of men’s thoughts lengthen in the afternoon.” Emerging from the doors every six seconds are enemies from the past [the first 6 episodes of TotJ]. A run of bad luck sends multiple cursed Krath War Droids against the team. Kerr breaks down Saymon’s mental barrier and defeat the 6-minds in the one body floating in the jar. Before Slivko kills Soolin, she tells him that she still loves Vox but that she can never forgive her for what she did; Slivko promises to kill Vox for her as he slits her throat. Later, not Force sensitive but in tune with this place, Dr. Slivko gains a DarkSide point and conducts the multiple swarms of singer moths like an orchestra. He uses them to defeat the remaining Decimas and the Space Rats that emerge when the team realizes that they can open the doors in advance to speed the process. The last door opens to reveal the very first battle of the series – thugs dressed up as fake Coruscant police. Nothing special but one of them gets a lucky shot and mortally wounds Kerr. Dying in a pool of water instead of blood, Rune tells Kerr that he shouldn’t have written him off and that they always made a good team. This impression of Kerr says that he hopes they find his real self someday an in his dying breath honors Rune by calling him ‘Master’.

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