Somehow Here Again, by Chris Hoekstra

Story name: Somehow Here Again
Author: Chris Hoekstra
Publication date: January 20, 1999

Date: June, 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep, Rickkter's rooms

Overview

Rickkter gives a tour of his rooms to Kayla, and a demonstration of onulets to Jon.

Summary

While walking through the Keep, Kayla is intrigued by the sounds of violin music. She enters a room to find a raccoon morph playing, and she stays to listen. When he finishes, he is startled to find her there, but quickly opens up to her. She is surprised to find out that the raccoon morph is Rickkter. He shows her around his room, including a chess game that he is playing against himself, his laboratory, and his library of books.

Jon enters, and Kayla quickly excuses herself, stopping to inform Rickkter of a winning chess move. Jon wonders how Rickkter brought all of his belongings. Rickkter demonstrates the powers of onulets, small egg-shaped trinkets that are actually magical containers for inorganic material.

Jon and Rickkter talk for hours about artifacts and ancient books, until Jon finally leaves. Rickkter picks up his violin and plays another sad song, in memory of the friends he lost long ago.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Rickkter: A new arrival at the Keep, a raccoon morph. He is skilled in many different fields; his room is a reflection of that. He has a growing attraction towards Kayla.

Supporting:

  • Kayla: An Intelligence worker, a skunk morph. She is embarrassed about being a skunk morph, and shies away from people as a result.
  • Jon: An amateur artificer, a deer morph.

Referenced:

  • Kevin: An Intelligence worker who sent Kayla on some errands.
  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist.

Locations

  • Rickkter's room: Although he has not finished unpacking, there are several pieces of furniture set up. In the center of the room is a table with two chairs. Other pieces include his library of two cabinets and a few bookshelves, a tapestry of a nature scene, two crates of wine, a fireplace with a couch, a chessboard, an dragon statue animated for self-defense, and a weapons locker.
    • The cabinets of the library will eventually have runes placed on them for security. The weapons locker also needs some iron locks placed on it.
    • Rickkter has several piles of books lying around. Currently on the shelf are some old journals, several reference books on mythical, biological, and sociological subjects. Among these are dictionaries for over eight different languages.
    • Rickkter's personal spell books are color-coded. The black books contain magic spells, the red books contain alchemy, and two green books contain assorted items of interest and prophecies.
    • On the far side of the room is a door. Inside there is a small lab with tables, a sink and running water, a small fireplace, and small gas outlets (which appear in the middle of the story).
    • Also on the far side of the room is a door to Rickkter's bedroom.
  • York: A city where Rickkter bought an onulet. It lies several kingdoms away from Caledonia.
  • Caledonia: A kingdom that has lasted for hundreds of years. They lost the treasured garments of their greatest king after a war; Rickkter found them in an onulet.

Historical

  • The Mysteries of the Monolith: An ancient catalog of artifacts, compiled by Muskovak.
  • Tamar Manuscripts: An encyclopedia of magical knowledge, some of which goes beyond Rickkter's comprehension.
  • Onulets are small containers capable of reducing any nonorganic material to fit inside, carried, and be unloaded at will. They look like small frosted glass eggs with a wire harness wrapped around them and two flat clear surfaces on two ends. When they contain items, they are colored; when empty, they are clear. Built by the Suleiman Empire to carry messages, they are still used in parts of the east, although the knowledge behind their production is lost. Onulets are known of in the West, but without a rare reading device, their only value is as trinkets.
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