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A Selection of Experimental Notes from a Rathess Laboratory

Experiment Q, TCY 607

Report 1: I have arrived in Hegruka, my Awakening still fresh in my mind. I am honored to be granted a position amongst the scholars of this grand institution. I have begun the first experiment of what I hope to be a long, distinguished career. Through the assistance of several of my elders, I have received a surprising bequest -- a population of 27 jilartha beetles. I have performed certain basic divinations to confirm what I was told -- they do in fact consist the entire living population of such creatures. I am overjoyed. My work begins in earnest tomorrow.

Report 2: Three months of work have produced little results so far. Initial progress focused on locating a method of soul-tagging, which proved more difficult than expected. Several mechanisms failed to provide a continuing alteration of the essence-web after expiration, requiring new approaches. Eventually we discovered a mechanism for applying focused exposure to Wyld energies, allowing for a measurable adjustment to an individually-determined portion of the essence-web. After successfully noting thrice-over that such pattern alterations could be observed throughout the disintegration of the physical shell we began to tag in earnest. We are now at 57 generations since tagging began and we have yet to observe the return of a tagged member.

Report 3: 432 generations and results are still inconclusive. We have now exceeded what is estimated to have been the largest ever population in the wild by 1250%, without any return of individually tagged souls. I begin to grow concerned that this experiment is a failure, and that we will not successfully identify the pattern of rebirth. Since experimentation on our own kind is impossible, the experiment may be over.

Report 4: I believe an alternate perspective on my work is in order. I have chosen to publish my results.

Experiment F, TCY 1204

Report 1: My detour into the geomantic properties of Essence has been interestingly fruitful and produced several excellent publications, but I am happy to return to the field that began my success: soul geometry. To commence my return I have acquired several subjects: three of the Wyld-born creatures (maintained within a specially designed enclosure), the Malakim Guranda and three distinct varieties of his progeny, and Kovix-bar-Amonet. My goals are uncertain, as of yet; I am sure initial examination will reveal a topic worthy of further exploration.

Report 2: Initial efforts have yielded a variety of interesting results. The lumin-bond that ties the malakim to one another has been very poorly understood; in our examinations, its secrets are beginning to unravel. As theorized, the fivefold arrangements of Essence bear a role, but the manner in which energy can be exchanged between related creatures is yet unknown. Further exploration is certainly warranted. Our efforts with the wyld-creatures are less conclusive; the creatures are not entirely unlike those of the spiritual realms, though their exact mechanisms remain opaque. Our examination of the olchilike bond has perhaps proved the most fruitful. We have begun to unravel how the process works -- how the tendrils of the olchilikami soul tangle and twist through the web of the Dragon's, tying the two together into a new pattern.

Report 3: An unusual but fruitful accident today! One of the servitors stumbled into a portion of our apparatus. Its body was disintegrated, of course, but its soul was preserved for a time that we might study it... or should I say souls? I do not know that any of my peers have investigated this matter before. Though our other experiements are proceeding with great success, I find myself drawn to look into this further.

Report 4: Everything is connected! It all seems so simple now that I look at it. The second-order arrangement of soul geometry that we had considered merely an additional matter for contemplation is truly the key. I have begun diagramming Guranda's geometry and the manner in which it parallels the arrangement of the discrete entities that compose the wyld-creatures' existence. The split in the servitors' souls is calling to me -- I suspect there is more to be unlocked in this mystery.

Report 5: I am publishing again. On Souls, I shall call it. I am anxious to begin my next project immediately.

Experiment R, TCY 2107

Report 1: I have brought in twenty-five of the servitors. I believe that with extensive study I can learn the true secret that lies behind their fragile facade. With this many subjects available I decided I could expediently allow for several to expire; I arranged for three to be carefully monitored during their expiration, then captured the component souls to examine separately from one another. I am deeply confused at the results: each of the souls is capable of channelling Essence alone, even as the living servitor with both is entirely without such an ability.

Report 2: Something about the nature of their connection is still escaping me! How is it that the creatures can be entirely without the Essence capacity that all other sentient beings share as their birthright? I have attempted several other methodologies, including splitting the two existing souls further, all to no result. I am down to 13 remaining subjects; I hope I do not have to requisition more.

Report 3: I have it! The body is actually connected separately to each of the servitors' souls separately. The implicit force of control imposed upon the body by each reacts against the other, tearing them in two and preventing the natural alignment of the bodily elements with the forces of Essence that we more enlightened beings channel into our abilities. How fascinating! The servitors must have had their soul structure violently split to cause such a bizarre result. Perhaps I can devise a way to repair it... (I dare not think of the reverse.)

Report 4: This project is proving more difficult than I imagined -- with each advance, success seems to slip even further out of reach. I am down to 6 subjects -- I have attempted no fewer than seventeen distinct methodologies for joining the souls of the servitors, but to no avail. Something about their nature resists joining -- even removed from the body, none of my attempts have succeeded in uniting the two souls.

Report 5: I have but one subject remaining, but... I think I may have succeeded. Partially, at least. The infusion of the cross-elemental akasha seems to have held -- the subject survived, and examinations reveal Essence flowing between the two souls... But she has demonstrated no unusual abilities. I shall call her Husniya. Perhaps my next set of examinations will reveal more... I think I will go check on her now.

Experiment Q, TCY 3022

Report 1: It is now fifty years since I was Awakened, and the memories are beginning to return... though the memories of what precisely occured in Hegruka -- the destruction of the city, the end of the experiment -- are still hazy. I have begun to collect what I remember and have retained of my predecessor's work for posthumous publication.

Report 2: While I assemble these publication notes, I have been tinkering with basic akashic principles. I think I have already made a few minor discoveries -- the mechanisms that bind Essence to akasha, perhaps. But I crave more. Perhaps I should assemble a new laboratory, go to work on something more elaborate...

Experiment X, TCY 4076

Report 1: Our team inaugurated the completion of the new laboratory with the commencement of Experiment X. Jerna and Kivixis are the most superior flesh-sculptors in the Eight Cities, but their contribution is but an afterthought to the project. Though others have brought into life their own poppets, drawing upon the nascent energies of the Soulfont, what we seek is different: no less than to construct the very heart of being, the Tenfold Essence-Web of Being, the very soul, from raw materials alone; to control every detail, as our own Progenitors once did with us. There are those who doubt our work, but the magnificence of what we set out to do will silence all doubters. I am certain of this.

Report 2: Progress is slow, as is to be expected for the beginning of such a project. Such a process is intricate -- at this time, our work is unglamourous, attempting to draw individual motes into relation with one another. When we are done, we will have built up this creature mote by mote, one tinest fragment of life at a time. Today we have joined five motes together, and we celebrated with a bottle of the finest ivy-wine.

Report 3: Memories stir within me, unbidden. I have adjusted the process for mote alignment, though I could not explain why. We are proceeding nearly five times as quickly now. The creature's pattern is proceeding towards an excellent end -- much like one of the races birthed by our Ascendant brethren, but with, I hope, unique features unachievable by their methods. I look forward to seeing the final results blossom.

Report 4: It is complete. Sumehra -- my firstborn. A more beautiful creature has never existed, in all the spheres of Creation. We took her out to the lands north of Rathess today, that she might first experience nature. The utterly new joy as she experienced things I have known over and over again, in many lives, was almost impossible to describe.

Report 5: I almost cannot bear my current existence. There was a time before I saw Sumehra's face, I know, but I cannot remember it. A deep melancholy has settled over my being since she fled. I am not certain my existence serves any purpose. Perhaps I will never work again.

Experiment V, TCY 6521

Report 1: Our grandest work begins today. This is my twelfth soul construction project. Few others have been able to keep up with our work, though together my team has created now eight distinct soul geometries from raw Essence alone. The latest is our most ambitious attempt yet; when it is completed, the world itself shall be different. The techniques needed to create this geometry are far in advance of what we have ever attempted before; I have commissioned new tools and refitted the laboratory once again in preparation.

Report 2: Our work on the core proceeds well. This creature -- I call it Bahira -- will be borne of a folded Essence pattern, not just once but seven times; to craft it we will have to fully construct the first-order soul geometry as if we were going to bring it into life then and there, before hanging our further foldings upon that framework. I am hearing interesting reports from the Lohen laboratory in the west -- they are working with counterbalancing spiritual essences, self-perpetuating patterns. Fascinating! I will have to ensure that we compare notes.

Report 3: We grow near to completion. When we began work I was uncertain whether our advanced geometries could even truly be constructed, much less hold together of their own accord. My work with akasha has proven surprisingly important -- there is no way we could have created such a creature of flesh.

Report 4: I begin to question the wisdom in adopting this project. The potential for greatness is vast, but the goals... I should remind myself that this is a noble goal, that the power of such a creature will serve the Draconic species -- that the world is not what it once was, and danger lurks about our borders with sharp knives. But still it troubles me. I remember that day in the field with Sumehra for a moment, before shoving it from my mind again. We have completed six of the seven folds; now only the last, and the final touches on the Essence core, remain.

Report 5: Today, our work was finally completed. Bahira stirred, and the patterns we drew out over years on vast pages shimmered in the air before me, more perfect than I could even have imagined... and the feedback knot in its... her chest glimmered like a beautiful star. I think I have done something miraculous today.

Report 6: Bahira opened her eyes for the first time. She looked me in the eyes today. So innocent, so gentle. We did not craft it with the capacity for speech, but something within its chest vibrated and made a beautiful sound that has haunted me the rest of the day. What have I done?

Report 7: This is wrong. They are seeking to introduce Lohen's work into Bahira. If that were to happen... I have unleashed something horrible. And as I ponder this, I think back to the hazy memories I have forgotten, from when I was Eritrus, and I know... that I have done it before. I need to find a way to ensure that this never comes.

Report 8: Everyone around me is dying. I don't expect I will leave this laboratory alive. I hope what little I have done will at least ensure that Bahira is put to no terrible use today... but I could not bring myself to destroy her. I... will simply stay here, until I too die... and then I will hope that none other will come along to unleash my final mistake.

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