Despite the contention happening in the great hall of Groff Manor that were farsely named Peace Talks, Ja’Deir’s mind slowly drifts into the nothingness of O’m as he holds the book in his hands. In his mind’s eye he sees his lanky figure surrounded by his current existence. It is much too noisy to consentrate. From this perspective outside his body he can see the approaching Monk coming to take the book. His lips silently speak the words, “O’m nōmaku sanmanda basaradan kan.” As he finishes the forbidden mantra he forms the sign of Kai with his astral hands. Upon repeating “O’m” once more the mudra is sealed. All sounds and sights around him are ripped away. For the moment he is alone holding the book. It is if time has stopped. He now floats in the blackness and nothingness of Kai.
Ja’Deir turns the book over in his hands looking for any details that may help him understand the book’s importance in the universe. He reads the title, “On the Path of Zen: A Tome of Lost Poems”. It gives him a warm feeling like when he wraps Vesuvia the skin flaps of his arms. He turns the book over again. He sees the symbol that was shown to him by the Monk. He finds it on the back cover imbedded in the leather. The symbol reminds Ja’Deir of a starfish. It has five points all equi-distant to each other at equal angles. He does not recognize the material that the symbol is made from. He places his fingers on it to distinguish if it is a metal or some sort of glass ceramic. Suddenly a light flares across the nothingness of Kai as he does this, like a single pulse ripple of light. From afar, he sees a small tear in the blackness of Kai. The monk is there, and he is coming towards Ja’Deir. His movement is slow, but he looks determined to reach the Ashada.
Ja’Deir knowing his vision will end soon, opens the book. He first turns to the page shown to him by the Monk, where the symbol was again. He saw the words which the points directed to. Kingdom was atop the point pointing upward. The word Word was next; followed by Ice, then Without. The last point pointed to the word Other.
Ja’Deir remembering the name of the symbol whispers, “Seba, O’m!” The words on the entire page begin to move. Like a wheel around an axle, all the words begin to turn round about the center of the Seba symbol. It is surreal and nauseating at the same time. The words spin faster and faster till they are nothing but a blur. Ja’Deir hears the steps of the Monk getting closer. He knows that once the monk seizes him the vision will be broken, and possibly lost into the nothingness of Kai. But he cannot take his concentration away from these spinning words. As he concentrates on the book the page begins to recede like a funnel or a water drain.
Suddenly among the spinning words, Kingdom stops back in its place. But this time it seems to be above the page. Word also locks into place. Its new position is just slightly below the level of the page. The other words, Ice, Without, and Other all stop respectively in their places, too. Each appear deeper into the page than the first. The Monk’s footsteps seem almost on top of Ja’Deir. If he does not perform the mundra of Retsu before the Monk reached him, even the memory of this vision will be sucked away into the void of Kai as the vision violently closes. He has only seconds before all is gone.
He has to continue. It is still unclear to him of the meaning of these words. He turns the book so as the plane of the page is along the horizon of his eye. From this angle it suddenly becomes clear that Seba is a key of sorts. The words seem to be the teeth of this key that fit some sort of tumbler in a lock. But he senses the lock is not a traditional lock, but more like the old puzzle boxes back in Xarys. The key is missing teeth along the Seba column. But their words just aren’t appearing. Ja’Deir feels that the missing words fit in between the words he can see.
From this point of view he feels a strong link to the mudras. From the top of the key Rin is formed, then Pyo, then To down the Seba column. It is like a staircase descending down. Where each step is a word. He comes to the step of Kingdom which is also in the place of Zen, and continues downward. The mudras start over with a series of missing words in the second place of Rin, then Pyo, then To down through the mudras to the second place of Zen, where the word Word is in this place. The steps continue down again and again and again ending finally with the fourth Zen where Other is in its place.
For a moment Ja’Deir has forgotten about the footsteps of the Monk, being too caught up in the moment of the vision. Until the footsteps suddenly stopped. He looks up to see the Monk’s face right in front of his. The Monk raises his hand to take the Psi-Mage.
In a gasp, Ja’Deir mumbles, “O’m irotahi chanoga jiba tai sowaka. O’m.” Instinct takes over as he forms the Mudra of Retsu. Light pierces the blackness of Kai as the Monk grabs hold of Ja’Deir’s shoulder. The book, an astral shade of the real thing, is ripped from Ja’Deir’s hands, and sucked violently into the void. The very air from Ja’Deir’s lungs seems to be removed as the vision is destroyed inside the anger of Kai’s nothingness cyclone.
Then as quick as a spark all is as it was, again. Ja’Deir stands a ways off from the crowd in the great hall of Groff Manor. Arguments are heating up among the dignitaries of the Peace Talks.
“I’m sorry,” says a particularly wormy voice, “I can’t let you take that.” Ley-Rhy Puhkorne grabs the book with an unusually firm grip with his other hand.
Ja’Deir seems inclined to not relinquish the book gripping it tighter. But this is due impart from the confusion that normally follows a vision. When the body’s senses are supercharged, the limbic system overwhelms the conscious mind. The psi-mage has a minute or so when he is ruled solely by this primative mind with elevated emotions. Ja’Deir’s pulse is racing still fresh from his vision. It takes Ja’Deir a few seconds of delay to override his reptilian response to hold on to the book.
“Oh, my bad.” Ja’Deir apologizes letting go finally of the book. “I-I din’t mean to keep it.”
As Ley-Rhy returns the book to his bag with the embroidered letters “D.O.O.S.H.” Ja’Deir returns to his companions. As his pulse returns to normal, he tries to remember the details of his vision. He finds himself staring across the hall at a dignitary from the Western Empire. Her earings suddenly catch his attention; they are in the form of the Seba symbol. He is startled at first as they seem to be all consuming to his sight. The symbol begins to spin again like in his vision. He looks away as the sight is too intense for his mind. Then, upon the wall he sees a tapestry whose four corners all contained the symbol. These four too begin to spin. Their backgrounds recede back like in the vision. He looks up to see the symbol again in the chandelier hanging from the ceiling; it is spinning too.
He closes his eyes, his pulse is racing again. A hand is placed upon his shoulder.
“It will soon pass,” the wormy voice assures. “Though, it will never be completely gone.”
“Wh-what do you mean?” The naive Ashada whispers pretentiously.
“You see the Seba, don’t you?”
The psi-mage silence reveals to the monk the answer to his question.
“Don’t fear. Your mind is strong. You will soon control it.”
“What is it?”
“It is a guide, a key, a sign; it’s many things.” Responds the Monk.
“How do I control it?”
“The same as you control yourself.”
“The mudra…” Ja’Deir whispers as if he already knew.
“Yes. You were meant for this quest, young Ashada.” Ley-Rhy whispers back in a more soothing and less wormy tone. “The Seba will guide you in Wisdom. Do not fear it. Seek the guidance of the followers of Circle of the Scroll. Give them the sign of Pyo, and they will capture the great thunderbolt with the sign of Chin.”
Ley-Rhy then latchs the leather buckle of his bag as he walks away from the busy crowds. Though the monk’s back is now towards the psi-mage, Ja’Deir somehow is aware of Ley-Rhy forming Retsu. Underneath the commotion and contentious energy of the great hall, he hears the monk, “O’m.”
Ja’Deir returns the mudra.
This vision came to Ja’Deir when CrIsis was still in New Crests, but there was confusion as to who would put it to paper, Ley-Rhy or Ja’Deir, so I did myself- GM.