Hey everyone! It’s been awhile, I know. I took a little mini (major) vacation, but I’m back with some exciting things coming to the Spiral. So, Test Realm is active again and I did a little poking around to see what’s coming. We’ve got new updated character models and also some reformed spells. And, something that caught my attention in the Arcanum.
However, this is not a post focusing primarily on Test Realm. I’m here to discuss what could possibly be some hints and foreshadowing for the upcoming 4th story arc.
There’s a couple quests in the fall update and from Empyrea Part 2 that has some hints for what’s coming in our next adventure. And, I’m here to talk about it and figure out what it means.
I’m on the case.
So let’s get into it.
Let’s Review Nothing!
The Scion was able to defeat the Aethyr Titan and save the Spiral once again from complete and utter destruction. Grandmother Raven and Grandfather Spider decided to stay in the Primordial Forest together and Bartleby was cured of his sickness. We got a promotion from the Arcanum that I’m assuming still has yet to filed. Most importantly, we got a warning.
Sybil, the Tree of Knowledge, woke up during our celebration and called to our Scion with a cryptic message. “You have Nothing to fear,” was her warning with ‘Nothing” being highlighted. Still not over the fact she called us foolish creatures but it is what it is I guess.
So, while enjoying some time off (finally), we get a call from Renee with another problem in Wizard City. First, a structural issue and a missing construction worker. This time however, it’s Tree ghosts and living memories from Dragonspyre. A typical day in the life of the Scion huh? Go figure.
If you’ve run the Catacombs before, you know the story and if not, I suggest you do that first. Certainly don’t want to spoil anything and what I’m about to discuss holds spoilers so consider this your warning.
The Four Horsemen Quest
So, if you’ve run the Catacombs, you may or may not have run into this guy right here.
Therefore, if you haven’t already, you can get the side quest from the Dump Foreman in the Sewers. He’s standing just outside of the tunnel to the Catacombs.
So back to Salty Pepper who may or may not be someone in distant relation to Prospector Zeke. He lives in a fallout shelter because he’s terrified of what he predicts “The End of the Spiral”. Certainly, given how many times we’ve heard that, it almost would seem like something you brush off the shoulder. How many times did we hear Malistaire was going to destroy everything with the Dragon Titan? Or Morganthe tearing down and changing the spiral in her own image? Also, the END of the Spiral during our pursuit of Grandfather Spider and eventually Grandmother Raven.
Long story short, we’ve heard this story before. Although, this time could be different considering we don’t have that much to go off of. Actually, we only have Nothing to go on. No, I don’t mean we don’t have nothing to go on. I mean we have only Nothing to go on! Still confused? Let me explain…
Nothing About Nothing Yet
I wrote a post about this before about Sybil and her cryptic warning about Nothing.
We won’t discuss how she called us poor, excitable, INSIGNIFICANT beings or foolish creatures because that’s beside the point. Still rude though…
Previously, I discussed the warning Sybil gave us about Nothing. I threw out the idea that’s it’s possible someone wants to get rid of magic in the Spiral. It’s caused so many problems, so can’t say exactly blame someone for possibly wanting to. And to do that, whoever or whatever Nothing is may come after the Scion. They’re not born of the Spiral so their magic could be protected by that.
So, how does this relates to Sybil and her warning? Salty believes that there will be 72 apocalypse events that are going to come to the Spiral. For example, the Star Gator, a swarm of bees coming across the Spiral, a Celestial Super Nova, and the “Spider Lord”.
Ridiculous Stories or Predictions?
Salty says he has been studying for years 72 different potential doomsday events for the Spiral.
Although, some of the events he mentions are a lot of things our Wizard has already faced. The almost waking of the Fire & Ice Titans. The complete waking of the Storm Titan who’s really a Triton but that’s a conversation for another day. The almost destruction of the Sky Anchor in Polaris. “Spider Lord” which we all know is talking actually about Grandfather Spider. Also, First World Cults which really means The Cabal. By the way, we’re still waiting on access to the Cabal Archives room in the Arcanum.
Although, what’s really important about this is how he mentions Nothing. However, he doesn’t give us anything solid to go off of. It’s safe to assume although that it’s probably one of the 72 doomsday events he mentions. So it still leaves up to question what Nothing is and importantly, when is it coming?
But, what does this have to do with the Scion?
Nothing Is Connected To Scion?
Once again, I don’t literally mean nothing. I’m just saying how there’s a connection between Nothing and the Scion. GAH! Moving on…
During this quest for Salty, one of the doomsday events he mentions is the Four Horsemen coming to the Spiral. So, we are sent after them to stop whatever doomsday plans they have which turn out being ridiculous. Putting fluoride in Wizard City’s water system? If I didn’t know what the word ridiculous meant, I figured it out from this. In comparison to the other plans we’ve stopped before, this was literally just plain stupid. A bunch of very silly plans that don’t even sound evil, let alone destructive. However, we end up being led an ambush led by the Horsemen leader, Mr. Dead.
Mr. Dead talks about how he wants to steal the Spiral’s hope and that’s the Scion. I mentioned before that it’s no surprise our Wizard is very beloved in the Spiral since we’ve saved countless worlds. Especially in Wizard City among the other students who look up to the Scion.
So, could that be related to what Nothing is after? In order to truly bring down the Spiral, they want to get rid the Spiral’s hope? However they would go about destroying the Spiral, I’m not sure about that yet. Now, I threw out the idea that whatever Nothing is after could be related to getting rid of magic in the spiral completely. But, they would have to find a way to deal with the Scion because since he/she/they are from Earth and not from the Spiral, they would generally be safe.
However, there is something else that could be played into this and it has to do with a quest in Empyrea.
Back To Empyrea
Ah Empyrea, the world with some of the craziest plot twists and turns I have ever seen. So much went down in this world from breaking and mending jungles, whirly burly games and actual myths coming to life. Of course the biggest thing was our battle and ultimate triumph over the Storm/Aethyr Titan.
So if you’re anything like me when it comes to this game, you do all side quests. No matter what! Even the fishing ones (don’t you judge me…).
The side quest I’m talking about is in Samsara Village from a guy named Vashtal. He tells us about these prayer columns which holds hints at what could be in the next story arc. Also mentions the troubles we have at the moment is nothing compared to what’s coming to the Spiral. Ominous right? So, Samsara is a place of ancient wisdom and these prayer columns are used to record their discoveries and asks us to read them. Here are some screenshots of the dialogue
You see that the one thing these inscriptions keep repeating is to ‘look beyond’. For example, it says to look at the life cycle of a book and how it came from a tree and the tree from the rain that watered it and such. Basically, to look beyond what a book appears to be.
Now, here’s where things get interesting.
In the second prayer column, it says time is an illusion and once again, if we ‘look beyond’ it, and we shall see existence is a wheel. Above all, it says to see the great paradox. Remember that detail! I’m going to come back to that later!
Life and Death. Order and Chaos, Light and Shadow. Hmm, does that sound familiar?
Bartleby says that to Mellori and Bat when we face the Aethyr Titan. Remember that Mellori is Grandmother Raven’s child so she represents Light and Order. Bat is the child of Grandfather Spider so he represents Shadow and Chaos. But there’s also something else very important Bartleby says that is critically important to what I’m going to bring up next.
So think of it like this. Grandmother Raven is Light & Order while Grandfather Spider is Shadow & Chaos. Bartleby is the harmonizing force that balances these two forces out. Most important, Mellori is the descendant of Grandmother Raven and Bat the descendant of Grandfather Spider. Previously, I brought up how you could think of Grandmother Raven and Grandfather Spider as primordial beings. The same thing could also be said for Bartleby but he would be more like Gaia (Earth) if we’re talking about Greek Mythology.
Why is that important though you might ask.
‘Scion’ in literal terms means ‘a young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting.’ It also means a descendant of a notable family. You catching on? We’re the Scion of Bartleby correct? Scion can be another way of basically saying we’re a descendant of Bartleby! The only thing that could contradict that is the fact that it’s been established we’re from Earth and not the Spiral. But, magic right?
Where am I going with this? I’m getting there!
The Great Paradox?
‘Paradox’ means a person, place, or thing that possesses contradictory qualities or phases. Thus, Bartleby said he’s the harmonizing force that brings together Light & Shadow. So, us being his Scion or descendant means we’re the Paradox of Light and Shadow. Therefore, The Divine Paradox. The second story arc while pursuing Morganthe, we were referred to as the ‘Azure Shining One’ and ‘The Light Bringer’? But in the 3rd story arc, we were said to be tainted with Shadow. We represent both Light & Shadow and Order and Chaos. Stay with me now.
The prayer columns mentioned repeatedly the concept of time and how the universe is a wheel. However, what else resembles a wheel?
The entire Chaos Jungle. Also, where was the Paradox Chain of Life and Death located? Mandalla, in the Chaos Jungle!
But wait! There’s more…
Mandalla or Mandala is a symbol used to represent the universe and it also centers around TIME and LIFE! I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP! This is why I still believe our Wizard could be the/a target.
So these prayer columns are saying to ‘step off’ the great wheel and see the great paradox Life & Death, Order & Chaos and Light & Shadow. Therefore, could the Scion be the ‘Great Paradox’ they’re referring to?
And hasn’t there been a scenario where something like this happened? “Step off the great wheel.” As in go to a location where you are not in but can see the Chaos Jungle and Mandalla. “See the great paradox,” The Paradox Chain of Life and Death?. All this happened in a sense when we faced Admiral Dynt in the Nimbus Citadel.
And remember when he used that laser to destroy the chain and Mellori, Bat, and our Scion had to use a combination of Light and Shadow to restore the Jungle? Could this be what these prayer wheels are foreshadowing?
The breaking or destruction of the balance between Life and Death and thus our Scion and thus our Scion being the Great Paradox has to restore it. Or, is it something on a bigger scale?
No Bartleby, No Spiral
If Bartleby ever died, consequently, what would happen to the Spiral? What if the Pestilence managed to succeed and take out Bartleby for good, as a result, the Spiral would be doomed.
It’s been said that Bartleby’s root stretch to every world of the Spiral. So if he goes, the Spiral goes. Could that be the same for the Scion? Step off the wheel of the universe and see the great paradox. If the wheel revolves around the paradox, what happens it’s gone? Like I mentioned before, when the paradox chains of Life and Death where destroyed, part of the chaos jungle was destroyed. The ‘wheel’ was broken.
Could what Mr. Dead said be true? With us gone and out of the way, the Spiral loses it’s ‘bright light’, with nothing to stop the nightmares to comes.
But, there is also something else I want to bring up that I noticed.
Lathe of Heaven
There’s something else that Mandala can refer to and that’s dreams. So, why is this important?
Well, when I was reviewing the dialogue from the prayer columns, that last part about ‘Lathe of Heaven’ kept sticking out to me for some reason. I decided to look it up and you’ll never guess what I found.
Past & Present
There was a 1971 science fiction novel titled ‘Lathe of Heaven’. The plot was about a man who could alter the past and the present reality through his dreams. In the same context, Mandala is a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer’s search for completeness and self-unity.
So, if Mandala is a symbol of the universe revolving around Life & Death. And, it’s also a symbol in a dream for self completeness and unity, what does that have to do with Nothing?
The prayer column questioned if nothing had an opposite. Specifically, if there was something out there that had an opposite. I’m not one to bring science into things, but isn’t it a law in Science that everything has an opposite? And also, in the novel, it says the main character altered the realities of the past and the present.
Although, there’s something I want to question. Past and Present are opposites correct? Firstly, you can’t have the past without the present and you can’t have the present without the past. So, what we do or don’t do in our past can affect our present. On the other hand, what we do in the present is the results of what we’ve done or haven’t done in the past.
Time is an illusion says the Prayer Column. So, what happens when there is no a past. Our present can’t exist without a past. There’s isn’t a past if there isn’t a present. Therefore, without one, the concept of time no longer exists. So, that just leaves us with Nothing.
Whatever Nothing is, I’m very sure that whatever it’s intentions aren’t good. And I’m very sure some answers or clues are in the Cabal Archives room in the Arcanum which we still don’t have access to.
And speaking of the Arcanum…
The last time we were here, I’m very sure this door was not in this condition. So, what do you think our friends at the Arcanum have been up to since we’ve been spending some time in Wizard City?
I’ve got a lot of questions for the Arcanum to regarding this whole Nothing business and our new title as the Scion of Bartleby. Did they know anything about it and if yes, did they suspect it about us?
Plus, what else aren’t they telling us about the Cabal? The fact is we still don’t have access to the Cabal room (yes I’m still mad about it) and we’ve saved this world three times! What is so detrimental behind that door that we can’t know and more importantly, why is it so detrimental?.
So many questions, and and so little answers. I guess time will tell, right?
Something’s coming to the Spiral and I’m more than sure it’s bigger than anything we’ve ever faced. But, my question is, how do you get bigger than facing the beings that created the Spiral and the one out of the seven magic schools?
We shall see very soon. There may even be more to our Scion than what we know know. Hopefully we’ll get some answer soon. But for now, we’ve got Nothing but time to kill (pun intended).
I’m still keeping my eye on little Ms. Sybil though. She isn’t off my list yet.