Friday, November 30, 2012

Chapter 26: The Song of the Waterfall

The summer nights are hot, so they they hold their meeting outdoors, in the Hawksquills' backyard.

"The location Suchandra says Misrakesi is being held is not a laboratory," Pearl says, "It's the Landgraab Estate in Brooklyn Heights. And, it's currently unoccupied. The Landgraab family haven't used that house as their primary residence in decades. The only people going in and out of that house are housekeeping services, and security."

"Why would they be keeping Misrakesi in an unoccupied estate?" Farrell asks, "Wouldn't they be running tests on her, or whatever they do? What is she exactly?"

"Misrakesi is the cloud who rains joy, she is the dance of light on the river, the perfume of the lotus, the song of the waterfall. When she shakes her hips, even the greatest ascetics feel the burning in their loins..." Suchandra answers.

"Not to interrupt," Farrell interrupts, "But I was hoping for something less poetic and more informative."

Ariel chuckles lightly, "He was being informative, in his way," he says, "He's telling you his wife is an apsara. Just as the gandharva are celestial musicians, the apsaras are celestial dancers, a kind of water nymph, known for tempting ascetics from their meditations."

"The water spirits are especially fond of using seduction to being mortal men to their doom," Noelle adds.

"If she had appeared in her true form to them, the mortals who took us would have fallen to their knees before her beauty," Suchandra says, "But I was engaged in battle when the weakness got hold of me, and the strange mortals brought me to their white prison. Misrakesi had taken the form of the notes of my lyre strings, to sing battle songs to me as I fought. In the white prison, we had no power against the mortals, nor could she reveal her true form. And so, she is trapped in my lyre, which they took from me. I have not seen it, or her, these many year, but I hear her song, calling for me."

"The estate as been fitted with the same alloy they use in their labs, to weaken and fae who come near it," Pearl says, "So if they brought the lyre there. Misrakesi would still be trapped inside, and MorcuCorp may not even realize what they have."

"So they might just have this instrument on display in the house?" Farrell asks, "That would certainly make getting it easier, with the estate unoccupied."

As they confer over how to break into the estate, they are joined by a man who appears in their group in a column of light.

"You!" Ariel exclaims, jumping from his chair, "I thought you were dead?"

"I've spent more years amongst the dead than I have in the world of the living. But I've only truly died once," the newcomer says, "I had great difficulty coming here, the wards have been strengthened."

"If you've come here now, you must know what we protect," Ariel says, frowning as he realizes he'll have to do some major editing of the history his family keeps. "Your wife still lives?" he asks.

"Yes, of course, but I haven't come to correct your records, Keeper," the man laughs.

"I've come to see for myself this other relic of the past, the last of my sister's line," he continues, turning toward Aouregan, "You were already gone when I came back," he says, "And it saddened me greatly  when I was told our line was lost. Yet here you are, back amongst the living."

"Who are you?" Aouregan asks, trying to make sense of hi speech, "I know of no other kin than my brother, and our parents..."

"No, you wouldn't know me, my time was long before yours. And then, my time came again after you had been taken. But fate has brought us together again, here and now. I am Kvornan. You mean to break into the Landgraab Estate in Brooklyn Heights, yes? But it's not the house itself you must infiltrate. Below the ground, they have a cellar, full of things. Magical things. That's where you need to go."

"A storage facility, shielded by their anti-fae alloy," Farrell muses. Someday, he's going to discover a way to counter-act that. But in the meantime, "Aouregan and I aren't fae, we can get in."

"I can take you there, as far as their gates," Kvornan says, "But I can go no further. I'm no fairy, but they've put up very powerful wards against me in particular. And that's why I must ask you to retrieve something for me, something the Landgraabs took from me."

"A golden key?" Aouregan asks, thinking of the turtle in her dream.

"I suppose it is a key, in a way," Kvornan says with an odd smile, "It's my grimoire, and it holds many secrets, the key to great power, for those who have the power to use it. I left in my family's care when we last...disappeared...for my descendants. But the traitor Cecilia somehow got it from them, and it's been in Landgraab hands ever since. If she had known how to make use of it, she could have done much more damage than she actually did. But as she did not, it became another forgotten treasure, one of the many the Landgraabs keep locked up in their cellar."

Just as he had appeared out of nowhere, Kvornan was able to transport Aouregan, Farrell and Suchandra right to the front of the Landgraab Estate in Brooklyn Heights in a matter of seconds.

"This is as far as I can go, the wards prevent me from stepping any closer to their lands," Kvornan says.

"For me as well," Suchandra says, "I fell the ill effect of their weakening spell even this close; any closer and I will be drained of all power."

"So, it's up to you two, now," Kvornan continues, "In their garden you'll find a well; dive into it and you'll surface inside their hidden cellar. You'll know my grimoire easily once you come close enough to it, it's magic will speak to you, my kin."

"Misrakesi still sings her song, she cannot stop until she is released," Suchandra says, "You'll know my lyre when she sings to you."

Farrell and Aouregan run to the back of the grand estate, and find the well just as Kvornan described.

"Just like my dream," Aouregan observes.

"I'll go first," Farrell, "Kiss me for luck."

"Is it good luck to kiss a witch?" Aouregan asks.

"I wouldn't know," Farrell says, "But kissing you is always a good thing for me."

Farrell dives into the well, swims to its bottom and coms out again inside a cellar. It doesn't make sense, he thinks, swimming down and then coming up again in another spot beneath the first well. But he's where he needs to be, that's the important thing. He can try to figure it out later.

Aouregan follows him moments later.

"This is a nectar cellar," Farrell says as she climbs out of the well, "I don't see anything here but bottles."

"Maybe they've hidden the treasures the bottles," Aouregan muses, browsing the racks.

"Or maybe there's a secret entrance to their real storage facility hidden in these walls," Farrell says, tapping on the stones, listening for the tell-tale hollow sound of a secret chamber.

Farrell's search quickly reveals the secret door. "This must not get used much," he groans as he pushes the stubborn stone door, "I should have brought Elliot along..."

Even without his brother's muscle, Farrell gets the door open, revealing a far more industrial corridor, and probably a much newer addition to the estate's old nectar cellar.

Just one door lies at the end of the corridor, and through its window Farrell sees one lone security guard.

"It looks like he's dozed off," Farrell says, "But I don't suppose we can just count on him sleeping through our robbery."

"I have a flask of angry bees," Aouregan whispers as they quietly enter, "That would keep him busy."

"Busy, yes, but also very aware of our presence here. And it would leave injuries that would alert MorcuCorp to the fact that we'd been here. Can you just put some kind of sleeping spell on him so he doesn't wake until we've left?"

"That's a fairy curse," Aouregan answers, "I don't have that kind of power."

"Maybe I could trick him into drinking this flask of Bladder Flow," Farrell muses, "Though that's so powerful he might not make it to the bathroom. That would just be messy, and get us nowhere..."

"Bwuh..." The guard snorts, waking to find the two intruders.

"Hey!" he cries, rising from behind his desk and drawing his tazer.

With no time left for planning, Aouregan casts the first a spell that comes to mind on him.

"Toadifcation," she says to Farrell as they watch the guard transform in front of them, "For the next few hours, he'll have all the awareness of toad. When it wears off, he'll believe he'd had a very strange dream."

"That's probably the coolest power ever," Farrell says, "You better wait to teach that one to the twins until after they've graduated high school, though. Okay, so these terminals are probably some kind of catalog of what they've got here."

"Got it," Farrell says after a few moments searching the system, "Kvornan's grimoire is in the same cell as a something labeled 'The Magic Harp', which may very well be Suchandra's lyre. It's also the only musical instrument catalogued here."

"Clever," Aouregan says, caressing him appreciatively.

Farrell shrugs, "It's just a glorified card catalog. Anyone could use, even a child. Well, our children could, anyway."

"Imagine all the the things they must have down here," Aouregan says, awestruck by the long corridor lined with cages full of relics and treasures.

"It's too bad we don't have time to investigate it more," Farrell agrees, "But we need to get what we came for before the frog prince turns back into man."

"Oh," Aouregan gasps as they pass by a familiar image, "They brought her here, and keep her locked in the darkness."

"I'm sorry," Farrell says quietly, "She's too heavy for us to lift..."

"I know," Aouregan says, turning away, "It's just a statue, after all. The Landgraabs have buried much more than just her image..."

The cell they need is just another few feet away.

"There's the grimoire," Aouregan says, "Kvornan was right, I feel its power, calling to me. Oh, and is that a dragon's tooth?"

"I think it is," Farrell says, "We found one in the Landgraab castle when we were looking for you. Maybe it's the same one."

"The Landgraabs were known as dragon hunters before they even came to village," Aouregan says, "I'm sure they have more trophies than this."

"That's not creepy," Farrell observes as they come upon a statue of a woman, apparently made of ice, but not cold to the touch, "But there's the lyre."

"That statue is no statue," Aouregan says, "It has an energy, like its alive...maybe I should try to revive her."

"We don't know what it is, and we don't have a lot of time," Farrell says, "Let's get the book and the lyre, and go."

The sun is just starting to rise when they return to Suchandra and Kvornan, waiting for them by the driveway. The song the lyre they carry plays grows more excited as they near the gandharva, and when they finally get out of range the alloys fae-weakening radiation, Misrakesi returns to her natural form, and is at last reunited with her Suchandra.

"Your grimoire," Aouregan says, trying to hand the ancient tome to Kvornan, but he just shakes his head and pushes it back towards her.

"It is yours now, last of my sisters descendants. Take it, and give it to your children."


This chapter makes references to and ties together storylines from both my Roman legacy and my Summerdream story. I actually shot the Landgraab estate scenes in the Landgraab's house in my last Brooklyn Heights save from that legacy. And it was just as laggy as I remember it, lol.

I should be getting back to normal legacy stuff again next chapter, to see what Elliot and the kids are up to.

Since I haven't gone into huge detail about gandharvas and apsaras, I guess I should say something here.
Gandharvas are nature spirits, sometimes appearing in the form of animals like birds or horses. They are celestial musicians and always male. They are also often depicted as warriors, and are frequently engaged in battle in stories.
Their female counterparts are apsaras, the celestial dancers, who are associated with water, and are often appear in stories as temptresses harassing ascetics. They are also shapeshifters and have been known to cast powerful curses at humans who piss them off.


  1. Cool. ^.^

    Now I'm uselessly curious as to the details of why Suchandra was fighting when he was captured.

    1. It's totally irrelevant, but I was making a reference to an event from the Mahabharata. The gandharva king, Chitrasena, was camped at a lake with his followers. Duryodhana, a human prince, decides at the same time that he wants to bring his followers to the same lake for a nice swim. Chitrasena's soldiers deny him entry, and Duryodhana sends his soldiers against them
      I don't think a Suchandra is ever specifically mentioned in that story, but it's the story I thought of when writing this.

  2. Wow, loved the chapter, especially the appearance of Kvornan tying the two stories together. I hope we get to learn more about the ice woman :)

    1. Thanks, Ali. The ice woman is Ceciilia Tricou from my Roman legacy. Maybe I should have Aouregan ask Kvornan about her so it doesn't go unexplained in this story.
      I loved bringing Kvornan into this story, too.

  3. I loved this chapter, as always. Every time I read one of your updates I just find myself wanting to know more! Such intrigue and wonderful creativity. I really am in awe of your writing skills.

    You also make me want to try out using poses again with all of your beautiful screencaps.

    1. Thanks, Tsuki! Your comment makes me smile. =D

      Poses are very useful for creating scenes showing Sims doing things that Sims don't do, but I also find they disturb the flow of regular gameplay, so I mostly only use them in these alternate saves that are separate from my actual legacy neighborhood. This chapter was actually less posed than some of my previous chapters, most of the dungeon crawl was actually regular gameplay shots.

  4. I squeed when I saw Cecilia's statue. I know we only share a name but she'll always be my favourite villain <3.

    So happy Suchandra got back his bride, and it was cool to see Kvornan. Can't wait to read more about his power in Summerdream.

    1. I couldn't help putting that little reference to the Roman legacy in there, since I was using the Landgraab house in Brooklyn Heights. And I just found it kind of fitting that they'd toss Cecilia down into storage, lol.

      Kvornan is definitely going to become a major character in Summerdream. His story arc is one I've had planned since I started that story, though it is taking a long time to work up to it.

  5. Terrific chapter! :) I love how you are tying the two stories together!

    How fun for Farrell and Aouregan to have an adventure together!

    1. Thanks, Nirar! Weaving the two stories together has been interesting, but it's also difficult maintaining continuity between them.
      It was fun to send Farrell and Aouregan on an adventure as a couple.

  6. I was scared that something was going to happen, they were going to get caught or something along those lines, while they were breaking in. I'm glad they got what they were after without someone stumbling upon them. *wipes brow in relief*

    Suchandra and Misrakesi embracing is so adorable! So, so happy they are reunited.

    Also, references to grimoires and keepers just make me think of DA. Lol. And that makes me even happier. <3

    1. I know, lol, DA keeps creeping in. I almost didn't go with the title Keeper, but Ariel is from a long line of historians who keep the records of the various supernatural families in my story, and I figured Keeper was the best title for that job. I try not to think of Zathrian too much, lol.

  7. Oh great, now I'm going to have to start reading Summerdream... I knew I could only resist so long as you did not put more characters from it in here to tempt me! =)

    I adored the scene with Aouregan turning the guard into a frog -- that's the first time I've seen that done in a screenshot, and never ingame. It made me burst out laughing!

    What a sweet reunion for Suchandra and his beautiful water nymph-like wife! Yay for love!

    I can't wait to see what amazing things are in that grimoire and what the children will do with it.

    1. Yes, you must read Summerdream! LOL, I do try to keep so the individual remain independent of each other even while being interconnected, but Summerdream is the history behind this legacy, and since many of its characters are immortal, they keep cropping up here.

      When planning this heist, I went through all the options Aouregan and Farrell had between his chemistry potion, and her spells and alchemy potions, and toadification jumped out at me. (hur, pun). It also helped lighten the mood up here, I thought.

  8. Oh please, dear Watcher, do NOT go back to free the ice woman Aouregan. I beg of thee.

    Really loving the story though I can't wait to find out what's been happening with Elliot and his new love interest. I'm quite curious to see what direction Generation 3 is going to take!

    1. LOL, I know, setting Cecilia free would be bad news for everyone.

      The next chapter will focus a lot more on Elliot and his new love interest, plus catching up with the kids.
      Gen 3 should be a lot of fun. =D

  9. I haven't really got much to add to the other comments people have already left. The creativity of this legacy never fails to astonish me, as well as making me realise I need to add a lot more action to my own one, lol!

    I loved Farrell and Aouregan going on this adventure together. They are such a beautiful, interesting couple. <3

    1. Thank you so much, Elly!
      I have a lot of fun with Farrell nd Aouregan.

  10. Kvornan is from the Roman legacy? I should go reread that, because my memories are very fuzzy.

    Your sets are so well built. My houses are always so sparse, but yours have all sorts of detail.

    Great chapter!

    1. Kvornan appeared in the Roman legacy, but did not ply a major role in it. His born in game son was my gen 2 heir's spouse. Kvornan is originally a Sims 2 character, from a family of premades that came with the Nightlife EP (they are all dead and buried in the cemetery in the DT subhood.) So, there's a lot of history there to work with, plus the history I'm creating for him and his family in Summedream right now.

      I spent a ridiculous amount of time building that storage basement set just to be usd in one scene, lol.

  11. Fascinating. I love the tie in on the instrument. Anything with music has me, completely.

    1. Thanks, Zhip.
      Indian mythology is very musical. Every god and goddess has an associated instrument they are often depicted with, and the gandharvas and apsaras are both heavily associated with music, being the celestial musician and dancers. The god Siva in his creator aspect is said to have brought the universe to life with the beat of his drum.

  12. Wow...what an interesting chapter. Is it odd that I live in constant fear of Farrell and Aouregan getting caught? That's totally normal, right??

    1. Thanks, sparkle! So far Farrell and Aouregan have gotten away with everything, so you can relax. =D

  13. Such secrets that tome must hold...

  14. Love that you are weaving in mythology in your stories. That in my viewpoint makes them truly epic! And I insanely love the fact that Aouregan turned the guard into a frog so naturally. Good laugh :-D

    1. Thanks, Anna! I love mythology so much, I can't stop myself from using it in my stories.
      I enjoyed the frog spell, too. It was silly, but fun.

  15. your stories and plots are so marvelously twisted together. You can tell that all these things (the fae, the Gandharvas, the apsaras, magic and curses) I'm in utter awe whenever you start going off explaining these things. lol

  16. Love this chapter! The mythology is wonderful, and I'm a big fan of it. I'm so glad they were able to successfully pull off their mission. I was worried something would go wrong, and they would be captured.

  17. I'm a really big fan of mythology and folklore myself, and I love weaving it into my stories like this.

  18. Kvornan!!!! Awesome! I can't tell you how much I enjoy your use of mythology, folklore and fairy tales in your stories. Even worked in Little Red Riding Hood in that earlier chapter! I used the name Apsara as the surname of one of my elementals and loved that you use the creatures in your stories.