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Luminary Lore, Chapter 9: The Great Reset

In the serenity of W.H.'s house, nestled amid the ancient forest, Ethan, Aisling, Ezio, and Swan found a rare moment of respite – a room to reset, if you will.

bitpixi8 min read
<span style="white-space: pre-wrap;">Aisling and W.H.'s avatars in the Labyrinths</span>
Aisling and W.H.'s avatars in the Labyrinths

In the serenity of W.H.'s house, nestled amid the ancient forest at the edge of the city, Ethan, Aisling, Ezio, and Swan found a rare moment of respite—a room to reset, if you will.

W.H., with Luminary dragon scales that glistened, turned to greet his guests. "Aisling," he rumbled, his voice deep yet infused with warmth. "And friends, I presume? It's not often we receive such a varied company within these walls. Come, let's find comfort by the hearth. There are stories to be recapped, and rest to be had."

The entryway opened into a grand hall, where the ceiling stretched high into a glass dome, embedded with crystals that caught the forest’s sunlight, casting soft and colorful patterns across the polished wood floor. Stacks of curiosities were stacked in neat piles along the edges of the hall. Framed art decked the walls, as curious sculptures gazed out from the corners. The luxurious foyer continued to a lounge room which had floor-to-ceiling windows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. There was a roaring fireplace at its center, around which were chairs, cushions, and blankets that invited the group to relax.

With a wave of his clawed hand, W.H. summoned an ornate tea set that seemed to materialize from the air, its pieces adorned with intricate red and golden shapes. "This tea," he continued, as he began the delicate process of brewing, "is made from leaves that are not found in any ordinary garden. They are cultivated in a hidden grove of this forest, accessible only through a portal on the ceiling that aligns with the celestial paths about once every decade. The recipe for this tea, including the precise timing for flying up, harvesting the leaves, and the method of preparation, is secured on the blockchain, ensuring its authenticity and rarity. The ledger it's recorded on not only preserves the recipe, but also the history of every batch ever made! I recall the inception of such oracle technology," he sighed, becoming nostalgic.

"That's a remarkable tea utility,” commented Swan, as they each passed the tea cups around in a circle, taking one each.

"I noticed your blockchain art collection on the walls, is it?" piped-up the introverted Ezio, his deer horns subtly pointing out a few treasures. "You must have amassed quite a fortune to gather all of these."

W.H., with a chuckle, waved off the notion. "Ah, my friends, wealth in the traditional sense has little to do with it. It's all about timing and a keen eye for potential. You'd be surprised at the value of trading something as simple as a patch from a Lynx’s jacket, as you never know what that could be worth next week!"

"I'll have to dig out my old Lynx merch and band t-shirts then," Aisling chuckled, and her glyph dress-suit sparkled to mimic the laugh.

Ethan looked at her puzzled, adjusting his glasses, wondering if she was serious.

"Yes – that's why I hold onto things," W.H. continued, "As if you keep collecting and reviewing the past, you may be able to prepare for matters of the future and jump into things at the right time,” he winked, as he pulled out a peculiar book called 'Chronicle of $LL'.

The pages, alive with mystic energy, fluttered to the beginning of what seemed to be Ethan's tale! W.H. expressed that he wanted to review their happenings and help the group to center. They gave permission, and so he began, "Ahhh, the story of Ethan Takahashi. I see you followed a legacy left by your father which drew you to the Luminary Labyrinths ‘game’ on your computer. Yet, this was no mere game. You were smart enough to uncover a hidden chamber here, revealing symbols that connected you to Luminaries, like myself, ancient alien beings of light. You came to our world and so your path crossed with Aisling of Aer, a Luminan (a species in between Human and Luminary), who found herself entangled in a puzzle. You helped Aisling and began to chat more."

The dragon's claw gently brushed against the 'Chronicle of $LL', the images within the book coming to life, showing Ethan and Aisling navigating challenges and puzzles that lay before them. W.H.'s gaze swept across the room, re-capturing the attention of his audience. "The saga deepened with Ethan and Aisling's pursuit of the elusive one-hundred yeye artifacts, revealing the possibility of bridging worlds in the other direction, where a Luminan or a Luminary could be able to travel to Earth. Yet, this revelation was not without its dangers, as malevolent forces sought to harness this power for their own ends. They learned of the Green Shadow Syndrome, for example. This malady, a manifestation of Earth's environmental crises, threatened to cause glitches in the blockchain, as beings were thinking about their own short-term vices, rather than the long-term ecosystem. So a formation of the Aetherians began - a fellowship united by their shared purpose to heal rifts torn by the Green Shadow Syndrome. In the hallowed halls of the Pegasus Testnet Library, they studied ancient wisdom and futuristic technologies to improve both our Labyrinth world and that of Earth (colloquially known as The Core)."

W.H. drew another deep breath, the firelight reflecting in his wise eyes. "The group's moral philosophies were tested as they had a confrontation with a Shapeshifter that had been a stow-away in mechanic Pit Bixi's car. Library friends searched for other missing friends lost to the vortex, and an alliance formed between the Aetherians (led by Swan) and Order of the Antler (led by Ezio) while Ethan was experiencing a day with his father, as if Mr. Takahashi were still alive, that Ethan still can’t quite explain. The important detail is that he brought back a special Lumina Key to use at the nexus point, to improve the strength of the worlds and to return harmony."

On the word, “harmony”, W.H.’s eyes turned to the living room, which was a music room. Instruments from across species and times were carefully arranged around the room. Integrated sound systems and holographic displays allowed for an immersive auditory experience, where one could explore the musical traditions of the various species at the touch of a button. With gentle encouragement from W.H., they took turns playing and discovering patterns. It was a night of laughter, learning, and music—a brief interlude in their relentless journey.

After more tea, biscuits brought out in a tin, soup for those who needed it, and a beautiful song sung by Aisling... Ethan leaned forward with the Lumina Key towards W.H. "You saw everything. We believe we can use this key and the artifacts to restore balance, but we're not sure how."

W.H., with a wise and contemplative gaze, carefully examined the Lumina Key, its soft glow casting a mystical light in his ancient eyes. "This key," he elucidated, "assumes a unique role when wielded by a human such as yourself. Unlike its common function as a mere 'backpack' or 'coin-purse' for Luminans, in your hands, with the nexus point and the yeye artifacts, it can initiate a New Renaissance. Earth, your cherished home, could transform to have many windmills that produce power with the grace of dancers in the sky. New tools will regenerate your depleted resources, deploying themselves by Luminary assistance wherever they are most needed, guided by oracles rooted in The Core. They will purify your waters, make forests flourish again, and urban landscapes will shift to vertical gardens and green roofs, reducing the urban heat island effect. Such aeroponic farms will yield bountiful harvests without the need for soil or harmful chemicals. Waste will become a concept of the past, as everything you produce will be designed to be repurposed, recycled, or composted. Senseless wars with many casualties over resources or beliefs will become unnecessary. Instead, people will make more exciting and entertaining strategy games of wit on their devices and through creative objects. The Earth, The Core, will witness the birth of self-sustaining communities, where energy flows freely, and fun is more common than stress. You, Ethan, accompanied by one chosen Luminan or Luminary, shall be the anonymous architects of this New Renaissance. Like silent messengers in the night, you will Download the blueprint, setting in motion mechanisms that will also improve the Labyrinth's blockchain bridges. The Green Shadow Syndrome and the glitches would become no more."

As W.H. finished speaking, Ethan sat stunned, the magnitude of the task ahead sending a wave of fear through him, but then he spoke, "This... all of this feels larger than anything I could have imagined. I mean, the responsibility, but with the potential for change—it's frightening. How can I be sure that I'm up for this? That we're up for this? What if something gets in the way before I can finish the task? ... But here we are, and despite the fear, there's a part of me that can't help but feel like this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. So never-mind. I have one practical question then. Where is the nexus point you mentioned?"

"The nexus point rotates, but it is currently located within The Council building," he said. "Speaking of the Council itself, I heard they've been dragging their feet on some trade rule changes recently. The delay is unusual, even for the Council's bureaucratic standards, as you might know," he said, while turning to Ezio that used to work for The Council. The wise dragon continued, "I was hoping to send a few capable individuals like yourselves to gather intel on these changes and why they're being held up. I have my own reasons for asking this, but also for your mission... it is only after the trade rules change I fear, that could be when you will be able to use the Lumina Key on the nexus point to begin the restoration process for the New Renaissance. I could be wrong, but, I'm rarely wrong."

Ethan's mind raced again in a daze. Swan, wanting to help, lifted Ethan up to his feet and exclaimed with fervor, "So that's where we all must go!" Ezio looked less than enthused, but Aisling seemed curious.

W.H. proceeded in a serious voice, "But remember, the path to harmony is often obstructed by those who thrive in chaos. The Shapeshifter's actions and some fair-weather friends were an example of that. You must all remain vigilant and united in your purpose. Remember that each of you remaining here – from Ethan and Aisling, to Swan, Ezio, and other happenstance folks that come along – could play a role in this tapestry of change. Others might hinder it." And with that, W.H. bestowed upon them 4 talismans total, each imbued with protective magics. "To shield you from the cacophony of chaos," he declared, his tone imbued with a solemn gravity. "And now that I've carefully reviewed your story in the 'Chronicle of $LL', I believe you should take this as well. It's my yeye collection." He turned to a hand-carved box on a side table, lifted his claw and gently opened the latch to reveal rows of velvet slots that softly cushioned twenty-nine dazzling yeye artifacts.

"Woah, that's... quite timely and generous," Ethan said, a hint of surprise in his voice. "You sure you don't want anything for it, besides The Council information?" Ethan watched W.H. shake his head. "Well I'm humbled at your trust in me. Only ten yeyes left to go, like a game. It's as if we were meant to come here to get to the next level, and I have this feeling like the delay with The Council is star-bound as well, for a reason."

"I'll work on helping you secure these artifacts tomorrow with a 5-factor authentication if you'd like, Ethan," offered Swan, "And anyone who wants to join in getting the intel for W.H., I'm here to assist." With that, Ezio rolled his eyes, yet was actually secretly excited to see his old workplace, despite their falling out. To see what may still be possible.

As the fire died down, the group took to their respective guest-beds and had a decent sleep before morning when they woke to the pleasant chirping of lumikeets. After a lovely breakfast of açaí bowls, Aisling's favorite, the group bid farewell to W.H., stepping out into the fresh morning air, their spirits lifted by the guardian's wisdom and utilities. The journey to The Council awaited them.

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