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Transcribed from Tessa's scrolls, which are no longer available.

My Search for a Cure...

.... the Passing of the Separ

This has been an interesting one to say the least! It all came to a momentous head when Kala Sahar made her way into town, bearing a curios wood and crystal tool, and asking questions as to who might know about neodews...


Six years ago I found myself washed up on this backwater of an island. Granted, as many from then might recall, it took me a long time to find my place. I am a doctor. There are not really any other doctors here, certainly not the kind that practice any modern forms of medicine. This place, Puddleby, was to me at the time a mud-infested, primitive backwater full of superstition and ritual tribalism. I could not even begin to imagine how I ended up in this place... but my settling here is another story.

First Patient...

There were many to befriend me on my rude awakening here. One who showed me kindness early on was Babajaga. Full of grace and style, firm yet kind, she was quick to get me on my feet. Sleipnir also was quite kind, though not of large mind, and anyone could see they were very much in love. But one day, I met with Baba, who was in tears, in a small grove by a fire on Ashe Island. She seemed tired, alone, and very depressed, and Sleipnir and she had begun to go separate ways.

More than that, she had begun showing a strange skin condition. Now I am a dermatologist by profession, so this condition quickly caught my interest. Babajaga clearly had taken some radical turn in mindset, and no longer seemed to trust me. She was irrational. And in her apparent insanity, she refused to let me help her.

It is a rare case when I would ever treat someone or examine them without consent, but I felt it was medically necessary. I pursued it.

Discovery of Disease..

So I sedated her, and began a careful examination. What I found was astonishing, and what she said while under sedation made no sense to me. But it was clear she was very ill, having been infected in the neck with something I had never seen before. In medical terminology it was a "transgenic mutagen" - a parasite that slowly transforms its host at the cellular level into something else. What the end result could be I could not guess. In subsequent months of examination and observation, I discovered that this mutagen had worked its way into the neural systems of its host. In short, Babajaga was no longer herself - no longer in control of her own actions to some degree.

Babajaga says, "Many many moons ago, a small group was near the castle on Dalnoth"

Babajaga says, "And they spoke to votenkath"

Babajaga says, "He asked them to find The Separ"

Babajaga says, "A Noth is controlled by a Master see. using the Separ will release and set free the slave"

Babajaga says, "It's a weapon made with the intent of destroying Qual"

Babajaga says, "of course, it's not on Dalnoth - if it was Qual would have found it by now"

Babajaga says, "Yor.. and Urgelt.. and Kojiro.. and all those"

Babajaga says, "And leogic"

Babajaga says, "Some week ago.. when i was hunting on dalnoth"

Babajaga says, "We saw skeletons near the gate in the castle"

Babajaga says, "The skeleton spoke to us"

Babajaga says, "Asked us if we had what its master wanted"

Babajaga says, "And then it went outside and killed some neodews"

Babajaga says, "And the rocks are back to , but they are targeting Noths"

Babajaga says, "Votenkath used to defend the castle with rocks. I think he has a catapult"

Babajaga says, "We asked him to stop that, they were hitting us"

Babajaga says, "Of course, Votenkath told them many silly things" (about where it might be)

Babajaga says, "Like.. some.. dark bubbling.."

To what degree was Baba not herself? In what way? What were the end results?

Did this disease affect others? Was it common? I had to find out... I had to find a cure for someone who had so early in my life here befriended me.

After asking around, I learned that others had been "dewed" and I began taking some samples of them, trying to study the condition. However, many seemed very resistant. They seemed afraid of my methods. At that time I could not understand why. Why not trust a doctor? And I was careful not to cause injury - clearly people could see I had the best interests of my patients in mind.

But now I undersatnd why, of course, my means caused so much fear among some. It's been a long road for me learning of my place here, about these times, and how to fit in. In any case, the work had to proceed. And proceed it did.

Of those that I sampled and interviewed, Qual had inserted a neodew down the throats of his victims. But this did not seem to be the case with Babajaga. Baba had a lesion on her neck, right beside her spinal column. Why was she different? Why were the others done through the mouth?

I conteacted those that Baba had mentioned. Leogic, UrgeLt, Yor, and also Bones as I had heard that he might know something. But apparently, Votenkath had commissioned a secret organization to search for the Separ, which was in their mind the only cure. And I was not part of this organization, so while they listened to me, very skeptically particularly in my claims that there were differences in the way people had been dewed, they were very short on any details, and basically totally uncooperative.

I warned them, particularly Leogic, of the dangers - of the transgenic or "changing" nature of the dews and how the hosts in which they were implanted were being taken over by something akin to a common mind. But these warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears, or something... I don't really know what happened there.

This communication problem was a setback, because I knew that surely they must know something about this disease and what its causes were. But I pressed on.


I began collecting as many samples as I could, and from those who would talk, and from those who seemed to know something whether they would talk willingly or not, information. It began to be clear that a great danger was lurking among us, and while I would never argue that the ends will justify the means, I did my best to stay ethical, as in "to do no harm," while at the same time aggressively fighting a war against a foe that nobody else could see.

It got me sued a few times.

It got me hated by many people that I dearly care for.

It certainly made people suspicious.

But slowly, the story began to unfold. And as best I could tell, there was a conspiracy afloat. This conspiracy was of the darkest, most sinister kind, because it sought to take from us that which we hold most dear: our right to self determination, and indeed, our very souls if such a thing as a soul could exist.

I learned that Qual was out for power, and that he intended to use us as his tools to get it. Complete and total domination seemed to be his goal, and as for means, I suppose he had discovered what I then did not know but was seeking to find out: The Dark Bubbling.

I of course had not heard this name, save from Baba and even then I did not remember it or associate it with the foe as its actual name. I merely referred to it as "IT" after some time. And as an illustration of what "IT" can do, I will show you some snapshots of one of the more affected friends of mine, and what she did to her other friends.

The Story of Althea...

It was from Baba that I had learned Althea was compromised and infected. I had Bones take a sample for me, because Althea was wary of me, and would not dare even let me approach her. Bones was kind to help me out, but I fear I did not adequately explain to him the dangers.

Bones took the sample, using a very painless, or relatively painless, procedure. He is, after all, qualified. But Althea would not have it. Fortunately, he gave it to me, but then Althea, instantly recognizing the plot, held Bones hostage with his very life and demanded that I return what he had taken.

So I had to do something.. but what? What could I do?

It became clear that Althea meant business... but I pretended I did not have the sample with me and that I would need to go back to my office to get it.

That seemed to satisfy her for a time.... I did not go to my office, however, and instead went into the healer hall. I took out a syringe, and extracted a sample of tissue from my own shoulder. It was painful - I imagine far more painful than sampling a lump, which after all is not part of the person at all.... .... and gave that to Althea.

She seemed satisfied, and let Bones go. Later, she stabbed me to "get even." I supose... she didn't know that that was the second stab, the first one being self inflicted on her account.

And I think she also thought that her dagger would be just as simple a wound as a biopsy needle (the latter not causing a wound at all really). It was a long time before I would heal.

But I could not blame Althea for this... the only thing that there was to blame was "IT" - or as I know now - the Dark Bubbling.

The Work Continues...

Over the next many months, I did some serious research and thinking. Occupied for a time in the discovery of why I was in this hot-shower-and-sat-phone-forsaken place, I continued to collect all the information I could, and collect samples from neodews. Then it hit me:

In order to cure the infected people, I needed to use the disease itself. I needed enough tissue samples and enough neodew samples in order to synthesize an agent that would cause the host to reject the parasite, much in the same way that other forms of tissue rejection happen. If I could combine the samples from several people, along with foreign tissue of the neodews themselves, and then inject people with this mixture, then the infected patients would have an immune response, and in the process, reject the implanted neodew parasite itself.

It was an experiment. I needed a subject, and lots of samples.

How many samples? I decided that twelve would give a genetically diverse set, diverse enough to guarantee rejection in just about any number of patients, even if the person being treated was one of those who was sampled. So I began collecting. First publicly...

I had quite a bit of help from some, Kalle and Ataru and Coriakin and Luna and JoMaril and Viola.... and Thuja...I am afraid I trusted her very much...

Baba, Althea, Entil, Xepel, Habbakuk, Slyph, Raiine, Ard Ri, Malloc, Magnels, Baalzamon....

But then I discovered that the threat was larger than I first thought. There were, as it turns out, very many who had been compromised or infected through the neck, and these seemed to be not only resistant to being sampled, but downright dangerous. Running out of people to sample easily, I turned once again to covert action in my search for the cure.

I learned to recognize some of the afflicted from their behavior and patterns of interacting with one another:

Althea of course, and Baba, and later Slepinir, who never seemed to be able to meet me for lunch.

I had a friend of mine sedate Baba again for some questioning. It turned out to be very effective, because at this stage I had run out of volunatry samples and had hit a roadblock. Names, that's all I needed were names.

And Baba gave them: Caddrel, Sleipnir, Althea, Kpyn, Papa, Thuja, Jjh...

Thuja? Surely not... she had been on many excursions to Noth, sure, but to help people.

I examined her, and questioned her, but could find nothing.

Maybe Baba was just a bit confused. But I began to doubt and question even my closest friends. Gurgi I was sure must know something. I questioned him often, but he couldn't privide me with much information. How could that be? He was there, after all, for many of the dewings.

And Caddrel...

The Encounter with Caddrel

Caddrel was up on my list. I knew he would be resistant, but he is in my clan, and we didn't know each other very well. So I invited him to have a snack with me in the park by the fountain. He agreed. It was late in the afternoon, and really a very pleasant day. We watched the sunset together and talked for awhile. I had a picnic prepared, with fresh bread, and some wine.

In the wine I had poured a bit of sedative poweder. Nothing too severe.. just to make him sleep for a little while so that I could take my sample. Caddrel, during our conversation, began asking strange questions. "Are you good with powders?" and... inquiries about my credentials as a doctor... I didn't think too much of it. I didn't know him well after all.

We sipped the wine together, me pretending to sip mine. Him sipping his. He began to get drowsy, and went out. I moved behind him, poured my wine out on the ground, and slowly and very carefully withdrew a sample wtih a needle and syringe. I should have just left. I had what I needed. But I suppose I cared too much, and waited around for him to wake up to make sure he was okay.

He didn't exactly "wake up." He was never asleep. He had been pretending, duping me into complacency. Instead, he just sat up. He split my goblet with his sword, smashing it to bits. He slowly moved on me, talking about things like loyalty, deception, and something about being a good doctor.. and about how much of a fool I was for getting involved.

He held me, behind a tree in the park, with his sword drawn. I had no way out. What he might do while I was alone I had no idea, for it was clear that while I had trusted him, I had clearly misplaced my trust, and that he was under the direct influence of IT. I was afraid for my life! So I called through my sunstone to my friend Thuja, and others. In the company of friends there is safety, is there not? And only Thuja came. She approached Caddrel from the rear, circled around me, and stood by my side.

Then I remembered what Baba had said, that Thuja too was infected. I had examined her, but was she really safe? As I clung trembling to the arm of the one I trusted, doubt and fear swept over me. Then, slowly as if they had been waiting there, knowing all along, Baba and Sleipnir approached behind Caddrel. Was it 3 vs. 2? Or 4 vs. 1? I had no idea. But one thing was clear: I was in danger.

"Hand over the sample," demanded Caddrel. I did not.

Sleipnir did not know that I knew that he was infected - he had continually missed my lunch appointments. He questioned me as if he were ignorant as to what I had been doing and why. But I knew that he knew what was really going on - he was only trying to preserve an already shattered illusion. "IT" desires to remain forever hidden, after all. He questioned my loyalty, my honesty, my trustworthiness. In true knightly fashion he would not question my honor without cause or evidence, and yet I knew that he knew the full story. It was all a mere charade.

And then it happened. In a sudden move, Thuja accidentally bumped me and knocked my bag into Caddrel's hands. Met with success, he reached for my needle and syringe, loaded with tissue from his lesion, and shattered it before my eyes, destroying what I had worked so long to get. They stole my notebook and many of my medical supplies. But they let me live. Why they let me live is something that at the time I did not understand.


I only needed one more sample at that point, so I turned to Jjh. Jjh did not have a lump as did many. She had a growth. It was the same sort of lesion that Baba and Althea had.

She told me that she had been dragged into a hut while on Dal Noth by none other than Thuja. In the hut, Qual was waiting. Qual held her against her will, and while she was yet healthy, slit her neck and inserted a neodew directly, while Thuja stood to the side expressionless, obedient, and complacent.

Thuja had been the savior of many on Dal Noth, and apparently, a great instrument of evil as well. I examined her and questioned her again and again. I had Viola question her, and Jade. But to no avail. No evidence surfaced.

The Cure...

Then Kala Sahar showed up one day, carryng a strange object and speaking of the neodews, wanting help. She wanted to speak to someone who had studied the neodews extensively, and also needed a sample from one of the exiles. Why she needed this, she would not say. But it fell on me to assist her, having done so much of the work to search for a cure.

And so it happened. Kala bore the Separ, and it only needed tuning to this particuar variant of neodew. She only needed one of my samples, so I chose one of my early ones, that from Entil'Zha. And so it was given, or passed on, to me for a time, the tuned and ready Separ.

Kala Sahar says, "I need a sample of the fluid to make ready the separ." Kala Sahar shows her wood and crystal tool to Tessa and Coriakin, and continues:

Well there is only one, passed from keeper to keeper to hunt the beast, but now it is time to pass it to a new keeper. Yes IT the dark Bubbling. When it arrives one of my order will try to go and give the Separ.

In most cases the arrival of the separ drives off the dark bubbling... but I fear here things may be different. The dark bubbling seems to have learned that it can save and use the minds of some of those it infects. IT is no smarter then the myrm queen ... But this talk of Qual...

The separ can cure those infected but not fully changed.So exiles with lumps and growths can be saved. Those who have changed in apperance can not be saved... i.e. Noth. Qual seems to be trapped IN MID-CHANGE. I'm not sure if he can be cured.

When folks change to the new form they go crazy and become mindless. Qual is not mindless, so he must not be fully changed. Once you cure the exiles you may well wish to try to cut him off from the dark bubbling.

What we need now is to stop the spread. If it spreads the dark Bubbling will feel safe and stay When those infected are near the separ their disease will act up as the dew screem in fear. The Separ is not a weapon, it is a tool of healing.

If the dark bubbling moves on you must follow it and give the separ to the locals whom it starts to attack, just as i come to give it to you. You are the 267th holder. If the dark Bubbling does not flee keep the separ and battle its dark ways.

You may pass the separ to any you feel worthy to carry it.

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Page last modified on November 21, 2009, at 02:14 PM