Ladies in Hades and the Dyval Wears Prada
Journal - Trent - Entry 40
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Who can I trust? Dare I continue to commit the events which occur around me into this journal? Dare I leave such an obvious trail of important events which I was a part of? Time travel is real. My enemies are resourceful. My allies are… questionable. Have I fallen victim finally to the madness that plagued AlternaTrent? I must not. I need to meditate on this.
I’ve decided the following events will not necessarily be in chronological order. I have kept all dates out. The events still bear recording for future reference but I cannot leave a temporal guide that such travelers to follow.
My companions returned. We have a new ally in the Naked Man. He can _turn into _ the rune sword. Or as the rune sword, he can manifest a human form? He turned into the sword and did not turn back. Maybe he will eventually. But I’m not touching it.
McGreggor wished to go to a town called Mechanicsville, to meet with his own allies. I accompanied him on the journey so I could make a dimensional envelope near where he would be. Travel between these dimensional spaces is so convenient and easy. And best of all, nearly untraceable if done right. I cleared up a misunderstanding we had some months ago, where he treated me as some sort of superior officer. He talked about an “Empire,” and the “Atorian Six,” but when I tried to get any info he reverted to talking about someplace called “Idaho.” Something feels odd, he’ll bear watching.
I spent some accelerated time with Pall Mall, he taught me some new magics and I taught him some spells that I quite honestly was surprised to learn he did not know. What kinds of school did he attend in Tolkeen, anyway? I mean, what kind of mage can’t even conjure up a ball of sunlight?
We released Solomon Kane from the Temporal Stasis which I had kept him in. He told us that Hades believes the Deevils are responsible for the plague, or taint, on magical energy. He was worried he would catch it from us. I informed him of a potential third party, representing pure Chaos, that was behind the scenes. He told us he was attacked by the artifact while Athena was still alive, but he was not killed. This is curious – the artifact was more than capable of killing in a single blow, I witnessed it more than once. For Solomon to still be alive is deliberate. But why? He left us to return to Hades and “check in.” I gave him a way to contact me across dimensions if necessary.
My old master, Tr’nalith, requested a meeting with me. HE requested a meeting. With ME. I let that stew for a little bit but ultimately went to talk with him. And a Dragon Woman named Spacia. It was amusing to see Tr’nalith act like a petulant child who was being denied what he really wanted. I admit he made a tempting offer, but… No. He cannot have any of these things. He wasn’t happy with that response – another reason to watch my back and take precautions. I’m not convinced his allegiance isn’t… infernal. After all, he showed up to train me at the request of a Deevil. Was he really so easily fooled? Is he running his own long con? Questions I have no answers to.
Spacia, however, was a much more pleasant being to talk with. She whisked me away into a dimensional space she had and the two of us talked. She seemed very familiar with me, but offered no clues. I felt… unencumbered in this space. Like I could think clearly. It was almost like when I was in Hyrcania. But this familiarity… She’s not the only one to think they know me because of AlternaTrent. I wonder if I’m being set up as an elaborate decoy for him? While those who look for him find ME and observe ME, does that leave HIM free to his own devices? What is the truth here?
Back to the meeting. Tr’nalith told me that Zurvan and Brahma know that I made changes in the past. What did I change? That wasn’t told to me of course. Only that by making these changes I have drawn the attention of some beings. Zurvan asked Tr’nalith to deliver a warning to me again. He also told me my name is associated with the artifact/rune sword and appears on a wanted board run by another Raider… While that board is not known to many, the select few privy to its contents are very select. And dangerous. It’s located in Center on Phase World, so unfortunately I think I’ll have to stay clear of there for a while.
Back to Spacia. She knew AlternaTrent. She spoke to me as a friend, as if I were him. Am I? She’s not the first to do that recently. Is he within me somewhere? Is that the presence I sometimes feel in my mind? She spoke of a decision that Trent made which actually altered the very fabric of the megaverse. It sounded like this was done as a regret, after some other decision or choice he made which he realized too late was the wrong one. We ended our journey through her dimension and I returned home, alone, with nothing but her farewell gift and ominous thoughts as my companions.
I extended a measure of great trust to James, the Demigod. Before I met with Tr’nalith I trusted him with the request to guard my posessions, and in the event I didn’t return he was to work with Pall Mall to use them appropriately in our quest. Was it my dream that he violated that trust? Did he cast aside my request in order to pursue his own goals? Or did he meet me after I returned and deliver back to me my goods, unharmed? I feel like it all happened. Or none of it. I have all my things, though I needed to re-ward the more important ones. So the first part happened. Was it the alcohol that fogs my memory or something more insidious? I keep a wary eye on James just in case. I won’t trust him with such a request again.
Number 6 is dead. I attended her funeral. I know now, in retrospect, that it was not the fault of the Enclave. But I have power, and I felt betrayed that they did not come to me when her condition worsened. I haven’t been in a fistfight in a long while now, but I had it out with Number 2. He gave as good as he got, I’ll give him that. We were broken up by Jescha and Number 7 – two girls, but who both outclassed us in physical fighting to the point that it was like a parent stepping in and breaking up their toddler’s fight. When I could breathe again I was on the floor, so was Number 2. I laughed and cried simultaneously. It was so sad, so pathetic, so frustrating, so…
I refused to examine the body of Number 6 closely. When the remaining Enclave would talk to me again I had them divulge the date, time and location for when Number 6 passed away. Can I do something about it? If I am ever given the chance, can I not? I have a plan. Or am I reacting to a plan I had in the future that was carried out in the past? I hope I am. If this goes well (and why wouldn’t it? I’ve already experienced the outcome!) I won’t attract any more of that “attention” Tr’nalith warned me about.
Regardless of my plans, the Enclave’s decision to exclude me from being able to help Number 6 pains me. I thought we could have a measure of trust. Maybe I was mistaken? It all depends on how this plan works out when I enact it again for the first time.
I met Erin Tarn. Again, it turns out. She was the older lady who talked with me when Jescha and I went to that Elf-girl Arcadia’s birthday party. It feels like it was a lifetime ago that happened. But Erin wants to get our story recorded. James told her about what was going on in the Megaverse and our part in it. He asked me to come to see her to collaborate the story. More like correct it. But aren’t we all biased? She gave us some technological recorders to wear, that would allow her to witness the events we experience without our bias. I took the one offered me, but I am not sure yet if I will wear it. I checked and this woman wasn’t a Deevil or some other creature in an elaborate disguise. There were things I didn’t tell her, things James doesn’t even know. Are they important to the story? I can’t know, but I also can’t just trust this woman with everything yet. I can’t even trust my own companions anymore.
If I even ever could in the first place…
I don’t know how to record this part faithfully. I met… a woman. A hauntingly beautiful, alluring, and somehow familiar woman. I think… I think this was the woman that AlternaTrent was with, who he wrote had died. But this woman was very much alive. SO ALIVE! She arranged for me to meet her at a dinner party, wearing the finest clothing money could buy – clothing, I am convinced, which was also itself a nod to AlternaTrent’s past. She left for me to find a note and a gem not unlike a Dragon’s Eye… but it would also pierce illusions.
I suspect now, after the events of that wonderfully confusing evening have passed, that there was a drawback to that gem which she employed – if the user of the gem were subject to its effects, then when I used it she would know for certain that I was who she suspected I was. Or was not. I don’t know what she expected, but she treated me as if I were AlternaTrent. She knew the effect her presense would have on me and she played on that, she played me, but it was such a wonderful play! I only regret that I was so intoxicated by the alcohol and by her that I let my guard down when she visited me in my apartment. I awoke the next morning and discovered her, and that gem, missing – a “regular” Dragon’s Eye in its place. She left a note of apology behind.
I think I passed her test. But what does that say about me, and who I really am? Is she being fooled? Am I being fooled? Are we all fools? I am certain I will see her again.
The danger has ramped up. All these encounters illustrate that to me. Whether or not I am somehow AlternaTrent, or a duplicate of him, or an elaborate ruse of some kind… His allies have started to locate me. How much longer before his enemies do the same?
I brought Steve back from his home dimension at our appointed time and place. He arrived with an entourage, ready to settle on our world. Threats from their world, apparently, have already made it here. They have come in support of Steve, and his mission to not only thwart those from his world aligned with chaos, but to also support him in his quest to save the multiverse with us. I did what I could to help set them up, and left a dimensional envelope nearby. I wish them luck. Their ways are strange, but strangely effective. Of all my companions, I think I have the most faith, the most trust, in Steve – despite his alien exterior he is surprisingly human and noble in his core.
Today I meet with Pall Mall in his dimensional lair. He managed, somehow, to make his sanctuary disappear in another dimension, and there’s a series of bizarre steps one must take now to enter it. He taught that to me, so now we can collaborate on trying to uncover the truth behind this tainting of mystic energy. We know it’s coming from nexus points and spreading to other worlds. Can we find any nexus points where this is occuring? We’ll check some local ones, then I can take us to one or two more major ones I know of through my travels. We’ll see what we can discover, and what we can DO.
Ramblings provide inspiration… Pall Mall and I discussed the coorolation between seven distinct moral codes that beings tend to follow, and perhaps seven colors of the rainbow… Seven. 7. Se7en. Is it always coincidence any time this number comes up? Seven sins. Seven plagues. Seven members (former members) of the Enclave. Seven locations in Ancient Babylon…
Wait, there were eight in Babylon? A hidden one? A secret one? Is that another pattern? I am (sort of) the eighth member of the Enclave, an 8th Trent. There were 8 minds that AlternaTrent talked about. 8 Harmonics. Is 7 the key, or 8? Pall Mall is ready. Now we go.
Have I gone mad? Is it too late already?
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