After being shown a vision of the future in Pan Post 45, Litik Map is sat inside the museum of Kavili in Kavili Loch with its warden, Kara Fahran. He shows the artefacts of Kavili to Map, including a compass. However he reveals that the compass is a fake, the real one having been stolen centuries ago. In fact all of the artefacts are replicas. Disheartened Map wonders what to do. Fahran suggests that he should go to see Opantid, the God of Madness. To get there Map and Litik Rjingi must take the resonator, a lift that flies through the air using sound. They bid farewell to Nayarak Poyi and, though fearful, they leave Loch Kavili.
Kavili Pt 2
Litik Map looks up at a carving in the wall, probably the oldest depiction of Kavili and yet still not within her lifetime upon the planet. It's quite detailed and by no means any kind of simple cave-painting. An expert craftsman must have buried their chisel into this rock - creating a wonderful bust of thew god. Time has softened the rivets and the colours have faded a lot. The white of eyes is completely gone while the body is now pink, probably once red or purple. She only has two arms in this bust carving and they're both raised above her head, palms together.
Below her carving is a display case and Map sits opposite them with a thin towel thrown over his shoulders. He's dropped his armour on the floor and sits there, half-musing and half-sulking. He doesn't understand the visions he had and he's annoyed that he couldn't control The Unwritten Realm better.
Kara Fahran: "Was there a specific artefact you were looking for, little boy?"
Litik Map: "No. I was sort of hoping I'd just see something useful and know..."
The old kara sweeps his hand over the display case.
Kara Fahran: "Well, here you are. See away."
Map sniffs, unhappy that he's going to have to move. He wiggles his dry toes and glances down at his bare feet. The rock of the crater is warm from the volcanic currents under the earth. The volcano has lain in this state ever since Kavili left the planet, slowly turning to dormancy and yet clinging to the barest semblance of its former life. Dotted around the museums are small foot-pools, filled with water to help Indrans keep their feet from becoming dangerously dry. For now he's fine. He gets up and totters over to the display case, holding the big towel over his shoulders tightly. His skin-tighter undergarments are enough to preserve his modesty with just him and the old kara - not that Map has much modesty.
He looks down into the case. It has an incredibly thin layer of sutade to protect the artefacts from air damage. The artefacts all appear very unusual. Talismans, magical gadgets, a knife, a handkerchief, a jug. He has no idea what any of them do or if they're useful. He points to a compass and Kara Fahran looks down at it.
Kara Fahran: "This compass will show you your heart's desire. It won't lead north, just to whatever it is you desire most."
Litik Map: "That sounds useful! Maybe that would help!"
Kara Fahran: "Yeah..."
He reaches into the sutade, much to Map's surprise, and takes the compass out. He waggles it and then taps it against the wall, horrifying Map.
Kara Fahran: "It ain't nothing but a replica, see? It was stolen centuries ago. Bugger knows where the real one is. Probably buried in some tomb somewhere."
He puts it back.
Kara Fahran: "In fact, sorry to say, they're all replicas. There's not a single true artefact to be found in all of Indra. Sorry to disappoint you. It has been... a long time since Kavili was here, you know? The last true artefact was the jug. It would forever fill up with blueberry-ade. She made it for a kara that refused to drink anything but the stuff. Unfortunately the real one was used at a party two hundred years ago - topping up their punch I think. Someone wound up smashing it over the head of a rival love interest, I think. Such a shame..."
Litik Map: "So our journey here was wasted..."
Kara Fahran: "Seems so!"
Litik Map: "You know, you're not very kara-like. Where's my sage advice?"
The old man shrugs.
Kara Fahran: "Always remember to brush your teeth."
Map whines up at the carving.
Kara Fahran: "She's not going to help you now. The only person who might know where is she is Opantid. She watches the stars and guides the planet through the cosmos."
Map looks at him dubiously.
Kara Fahran: "Hey. The planet's still here, isn't it? No cosmic disasters? Have more faith in your gods, whippersnapper!"
Litik Map: "Whipp-- Who actually says that? Either way they also say that Opantid is the god of madness. I really don't want to have my brains sucked out through a straw, thanks."
Kara Fahran: "What our simple minds perceive as madness could be the work of a mind so vast that we cannot comprehend it."
Litik Map: "Yes. I've read plenty of papers saying. I've also read plenty of papers saying she's just plain bonkers."
Kara Fahran: "Well then. Sit here and whine instead."
He shuffles off and Map wonders how in the world such an old kara was able to defeat a demon so readily. Clearly the old sod is more than he looks. Map almost imagines the man is probably running laps around the place when nobody is looking.
Map shuffles after the kara, lifting up his light-weight armour as he goes - keeping his towel up with one hand.
Kara Fahran: "The only way to reach Opantid is to take the resonator."
Litik Map: "I didn't say I was going."
Kara Fahran: "Of course you're going."
Litik Map whines.
They reach the gate and Map starts to put his armour back on. The last thing are his boots. Fahran stops him from putting them on and nudges him back over the threshold. Then he gives him the boots.
Map decides not to grumble and finishes getting dressed. Once in his armour he feels better, more capable. Going to visit the God of Madness. All in a day's work!
Kara Fahran: "Good luck. Don't go mad."
Litik Map glowers at him.
Litik Map: "Yeah. I'll try that. Good luck catching boot thieves."
With that little banter the litik leaves.
Litik Rjingi looks pensive and this makes Map feel more confident. Seeing someone else worrying so much always makes Map feel like he's braver than they are. He rocks back on the balls of his feet as they wait.
Nayarak Poyi: "I hope you know what you're doing."
Litik Rjingi: "Hardly. I think we must be a bit mad to even consider going. And to use the resonator..."
Litik Map: "I'm sure Jitarayara will watch over us. It was built by him after all."
Litik Rjingi: "He and Kavili. And Kavili is gone. Nobody watches this thing. Nobody maintains it. Do you know how many have been lost riding it?"
Nayarak Poyi: "More people die from food poisoning..."
Litik Map: "See!? We'll be fine!"
Nayarak Poyi: "And cancer. And drowning... stabbing--"
Litik Rjingi: "Okay, okay. We get it. Thank you Poyi."
Nayarak Poyi: "It'll be worth it if you save the planet."
Litik Map: "What do you mean if? We will!"
Nayarak Poyi: "Two litiks riding the resonator to find answers from the God of Madness... not the most confidence-inducing tale..."
There's a low throbbing sound and they all stand away from the clearing. They look up to see a pinprick in the sky, getting larger and larger. The sound becomes louder and louder. Map winces and plants his hands over his ears.
The box hurtles down, suddenly, as the sound vanishes and crashes straight into the sand - sending the fine yellow grains in their direction. Coughing and spluttering the three of them emerge from the copse to stare at the box. It's big enough for the two litiks, at least. Rjingi shakes his head.
Nayarak Poyi: "You're going to die when the world blows up anyway. You may as well die saving us all."
Litik Rjingi: "I don't see you getting into the box!"
Litik Map: "Stop being such pessimists! It'll be fine! I trust Jitarayara!"
Map tugs at a handle on the door and it flips open. He half falls in, the box being bedded in the sand, and Rjingi carefully tries to climb into it. As soon as they are in lights sparkle to life and the low throbbing sound starts again. They realise that within the resonator the sound isn't as strong. Outside, however, Poyi has his hands clamped to his ears. Then he's gone. The whole island is gone and there's nothing but the night sky.
Litik Map plasters his face against the glass to gaze down at the land whizzing below them.
Litik Map: "If we die now, at least it'd be awesome!"
Litik Rjingi: "Don't jinx us, idiot!"
Litik Map: "You get narky when you're scared."
Litik Rjingi: "I'm not scared..."
Map looks at him.
Litik Rjingi: "I'm friggin' terrified!"