⭗ REDIRECTIONS VIII⭗
⭗ THE Q-MODAL MORI-MIRROR ⭗
“There is a strange energy to this place,” Charred-Hand said. He pulled his rough brown cloak closer about his shoulders. “I don’t like it. It feels like cruel desires and shattered dreams.”
“Is that– is that a skull?” Coda-1 asked Coda-3, the polybody blue pilgrim who had joined the party at the Spires of the Broken Song. Thinking aloud, his two male bodies stroked their chins nervously.
“Do you want your answers or not?” The blue oracle asked, turning a shard of singing lift-crystal over and over in her hands.
“Whose answers are we seeking?” Past-Tense asked. She turned her eyes to stare at the Blue Oracle. “Ours or yours?”
“Is there a difference?” The Blue Oracle asked, staring back at the golem.
There are many places in the world which the bluelanders claim hold the remains of fallen gods. One such place is known as the Blossoming Skull, though those in the know call it the Q-Modal Mori-Mirror, for it only appears as a skull when looked at with human eyes. Other eyes, such as those of gods, oracles and specialized golems, see the “skull” as it truly is. A door, massive and locked by a spell-singer’s hymn so that no one may open it accidentally.
The song to open the skull/door is a closely guarded secret that only a cabal of bluelander polybody monks in a nearby settlement know (though even they admit that the founders of their cabal learned it from somewhere else once.) In order to obtain the key from the cabal, one must first join them, and the ordeals to do so are as tedious as they are bizarre. Shows of force will not extort the key, but a substantial bribe may be enough to make any given traveler an honorary member of the cabal. Of course, if the key could be obtained elsewhere, the cabal doesn’t have to know about it.
When the sacred, five-fold key is sung on the approach of the thirteen steps of the skull’s platform, the face of the skull will split open along five seams and reveal a huge mirror. There is only enough space for one person to stand before the mirror at a time, and when someone does so, another version of that person from an echo universe will also be standing on the other side of the mirror. Both versions will happen to have something that the other desires, even if it is something non-tangible, like fame, reputation or love. To gain what you most wish for, you must give up the thing that you have that the other wants, and the trade must be honest. No other travel through the mirror into that echo universe is possible, or so the legends say.
Rarely, no one will be on the other side of the mirror, but no one can say when this will happen or why. Generally, the consensus (among lime nomads, at least) is that this is a poor omen. These same nomads also claim that the crumbling basalt risers beyond the skull/door are a great place to hunt insect-headed gryphon-hawks, especially the juicy ones with cybernetic eyes.
⭗ OUR PARTY (SO FAR) ⭗
Coda-1, Coda-2 and Coda-3, a bluelander polybody pilgrim, allegedly.