EverQuest Diary VII: Memories Lost and Found
... you can catch up on episodes of the adventures of Sania Nightfall.

I --- II --- III --- IV --- V --- VI --- VII

I dreamt of gnomes, fae drakes, clockworks and unicorns that night. In the morning, after my usual royal jelly, bread and milk breakfast, I went back to my research routine, I sneaked the tiny clockwork spider in a pouch under my clothes, and showed it to Master Tabren in the library. He was surprised not only for seeing such a strange yet marvelous object, but also for the proof of my visit to Ak'anon.

- Dear Sania, I never thought you'd get so far on your own.

- Not on my own, Master, Marla has been a wonderful guide, she knows so much about the land. And the guard also...

- That was not what I meant. - he smiled. I looked at him inquiringly.

- You have learned quite a bit. It would be a waste to keep you inside these walls... You are truly an adventurer, just like Lady Firiona.

That was the best compliment I had ever received, to be compared to such knowledgeable, brave and legendary character.

- Master, what do you know about the unicorn?

- The unicorn? Equestrielle? - He asked, looking extremely surprised. I nodded. - Why do you ask, child? The unicorn hasn't been seen in ages, we don't even know if it exists anymore.

- We do now... - I whispered, fearing I wasn't supposed to have touched the subject.

- Are you sure? This is extremely important! Was it really Equestrielle what you saw?

- Not only did I see her, but I touched her.

- She allowed you to touch her? But... how did you find her? - He was clearly enthusiastic about this, although I didn't know why.

- I didn't, she found me. Marla said it was a blessing.

- Praise Tunare! Not only the unicorn lives, but she has chosen another. These are indeed good news!

I had no idea what he meant, but he hadn't been this happy and excited in a long time. He wanted to convoke a meeting with the other Elders right away, to tell them about what had happened. I was afraid it would bring consequences to both of us, to me for going outside, to him for covering for me, so I managed to calm him down for the time being.

- What is so important about Equestrielle, Master? Why does it mean so much that she touched me?

- Your friend told you it was a blessing. What else did she tell you?

- She said the unicorn only appeared to those who are pure of heart, who have a powerful magical aura, and who are trustworthy.

- True. But did you know Equestrielle was Lady Firiona's very best friend? - I shook my head. - Yes, Equestrielle's magic helped Firiona in the search for her memories. She cannot leave the forest, but she hasn't been seen since Firiona returned searching for Galeth.

So the Champion of Tunare had Equestrielle for companion, and this same companion had chosen me... but what for?

- My dear, Equestrielle has chosen you for something that you might not even know what it is yet. Maybe you should leave and find Firiona. Perhaps you have questions needing answers...

My origins, my purpose... I've always wanted to know them.

- ...and the Mother is the only one who can give you those answers. Find Firiona and I'm sure she'll help you find Tunare. Equestrielle is a synonym of the quest for truth, thus you must go on a quest of your own.

There was a problem. My leave had to be communicated to the council, which meant explaining how did I come to meet the unicorn. I couldn't just leave, because in two days, a ceremony of initiation would take place, and all priests were supposed to attend. Disappearing wouldn't be a good choice, more than likely they'd send a squad looking for me.

Master Tabren then sugested we kept certain facts hidden from the council, therefore we agreed on a few things: to leave Marla out of the story, including our nightly escapades, and to leave Master Tabren out of it all.

But there was a bigger concern. The Council had unfailable means of discovering the truth, they were experts on that, and to lie was nearly impossible.

- What do we do then?

- There is a way... the wizards have brought a new artifact from the Temple of Solusek Ro. It's called the Crystal of Kyntaz, and it can selectively erase memories. We will have to erase certain things of your memory so you can convince them that what you're telling them is the truth.

- What about your memories, Master?

- Elders cannot penetrate another Elder's mind. A magical barrier protects us. I will be fine. You however...

- That means I'd have to forget about Marla and all I've seen and learned outside...

- You'll need to forget about your friend, yes, but the knowledge you have acquired outside can be stored as a false memory, just as if it all had been read in books from our library.

- I must see Marla once again....

- Very well, child. I shall see you tonight then.

I couldn't believe I'd have to forget my best friend in order to protect her, myself and Master Tabren. I promptly wrote her a note. A wood-elven bard had come to deliver some mail, and I caught him before he left, and handed him my note along with a gold piece.

- Sir, please deliver this message to the druidess Marla of Kelethin as fast as you can. It is imperative that she gets it before sunset.

- As you wish, my lady. - He bowed to me and immediatly left the premises.

I waited nervously in my room, staring at the little clockwork on my desk. Marla came that afternoon, long before the sunset.

- I came as soon as I read your message... - I noticed she had been crying.

- I'm so sorry... - was all I could say.

- It's not your fault, there is nothing to be sorry about. After all, you'll have plenty to do and to think about, you're one of the chosen.

We hugged each other for a while.

- I have brought you a small gift. - she said, handing me a silver chain.

- What is this for?

She pulled a silver chain with a pendant out from under her tunic. I looked closer... the clockwork spider was attached to it.

- You can wear yours like I wear mine. As long as we both have them, we'll still be friends. - With a needle, she carved her name on my spider, and my name on hers. - Maybe someday you'll remember. Good luck sister. Maybe we'll meet again somewhere.

- When we do, please forgive me if I don't remember you - I tried to smile.

- May the Mother guide and protect you. Farewell, Sania.

And that was the last time I thought I would see her.

As the sun sank into the horizon, I left my room to meet Master Tabren in the library.

- Are you ready, child?

I took the silver chain and placed it around my neck, holding the clockwork in my hand for a while.

- I am now.

- Follow me then.

In a circular room, there were three pedestals, each with a different symbol engraved. Master Tabren pointed to the one in the middle.

- This way, just step on the red stone.

The magical portal took us to another building, the wizard's guild hall. We walked through narrow halways towards a small room, where a beautiful crystal rested on a marble altar, its glow filling the room with a soft light.

- Here it is.

- Will I ever be able to remember Marla again?

- Tunare willing, you shall recover your memories.

He placed his hands on the crystal and mumbled a few words in Eder Elvish, which I couldn't quite understand. Then he turned to me, took my hands and made me touch the crystal.

I don't know how long did I lose consciousness for, but it felt like I had been sleeping for days when I finally woke up. I opened my eyes and saw two guards.

- Princess, are you alright?

I looked around. I was outside the gates... how did I get here?

- What happened? - I asked. - What am I doing here?

- Patrolling guards found you near Lesser Faydark, your highness.

Then I remembered. I got up in a flash.

- I must speak with the Elders! - I was about to cross the inner gate when a wood elf ran towards me.

- My lady, you have dropped something! - she yelled, waving at me.

I turned to see who it was. She seemed familiar, but I didn't know her. Maybe I'd seen her somewhere before.

- Here - she said, handing me a book.

- Thank you - I replied, but she was already walking away. I didn't pay much attention to the book at the time, so I left it in my room and almost ran to meet Master Tabren.

- Master, I must meet with the council right away! I have found the unicorn.

In an hour, the Council and almost everyone in the palace was gathered in the Hall of Truth.

- Sania of Felwithe, what brings you to our presence?

- I have met Equestrielle, Master.

The room was filled with whispers and exclamations of joy.

- The unicorn? How did you manage to find her? And what were you doing outside in the first place?

I told them I had gone to take some food and water to the guards at the gate and the weary travellers who passed outside, when I distracted myself following a faerie and ended up in Lesser Faydark. I wandered the forest for a while until I realized I got lost, and that was when a beautiful white unicorn approached me and touched me.

- I don't know how I got back to the gates, the last thing I remember was running my hands along the back of the unicorn.

- By Tunare! - the Elders exclaimed.

The paladins in the room almost fell to their knees and bowed to me. The princesses glared at me, some in disbelief, others with pure jealousy.

Master Tabren was extremely proud. The Council gathered in a circle for a couple of minutes to reflect upon the matter. They whispered and occasionally glanced at me.

- The princess speaks the truth. It comes as a clear sign of our Great Mother that the time as come for Sania to leave on a quest of her own.

The paladins raised their swords in a respectful and silent salute. The Chairman of the Council asked Master Tabren a few questions about me, the last concerning my progress in my priestly functions.

- Sania has learned a great deal about priesthood, about the outside world and above all, about herself. - he stated.

- It is decided then - the Chairman announced outloud. - All hail Sania the chosen!

Corbin had listened attentively savoring each and every word of my story. But he seemed as if he wanted to ask something.

- I know what you're thinking... How can I be telling you my story if my memories were forced out of my mind... - He nodded. I continued. - After the ceremony, while I packed a few things for my trip, I noticed the book that the stranger had given me. There was a page marked with a dried flower. I opened the book and read that page.

"... and tomorrow Sania will have to lose her memories of our adventures in order to protect me. But I know there is a remedy for this, and I will help her get her memory back, even if it kills me."

Below, there was an envelope attached, addressed to me. I opened it, and inside there was a message that said "Meet me at the Lesser Faydark zone tonight. Marla".

That was Marla's diary I had in my hands. And no, I didn't read more than that marked page and the note with my name on it.

I met her that night in Lesser Faydark just as the note said, and she told me to follow her while she tracked something. She did this for quite a while, and then she finally stopped at pointed at something I couldn't see.

- Over there. She is waiting for you.

- Who is? - I was so confused at the time, letting a strange girl guide me to na unknown creature in the heart of the forest.

- The unicorn. Go to her.

I moved forward and there she was, glowing in the night. I heard a soft voice speaking to me, inside my heart, inside my mind.

- Touch me. - the voice said - Free yourself.

I reached for the unicorn's horn and as soon as I touched it, na explosion of blue and white lights envelopped. It was like standing in the middle of a sphere of flames, only these didn't burn.

All of a sudden, I remembered Marla, our travels and the Crystal. A flood of flashes and images kept washing over me for what seemed hours but were actually seconds. When it stopped, the unicorn had left and Marla was helping me getting up.

- It's alright now. - she smiled, hugging me - We'll be alright.