"Fre'y was originally two people who were working on repairing the caudal rift. Fr-something (he doesn't remember)and E'y.
"When they were working, a Darkmare came along, Saaltak, and tried to throw the Caudal Rift wide open. The two of them grabbed and held the mare back, and fought with it, trying to restrain him from doing the damage.
"They struggled for ages, when last night Yithnak approached me, saying there were two workers trapped in the chaos in caudal with a mare, and needed help.
"I departed, I knew what I had to do, and sought to find them in Horron’s Lair. When I arrived, they were struggling with Saaltak. I began to do battle with the mare, when Ceyllynn showed up a bit late, i had bid her follow, and CONMAN as well. After a well-fought battle in which I did thank the fallen mare, he warned us that the dreamers were set free, but that in doing so, we freed him as well.
"And the Curse of Saaltak follows Fre'y."
Later, Our Interviewer seeks out Riatha for her impressions of Fre'y. Riatha was one of the first to speak with and calm Fre'y after their return to the dream.
"Fre'y was quite distraught when we spoke, they felt that the Dreamers had abandoned them to hold alone in the Rift. They did not understand that Devastation had taken most of the Dreamers and that none were remaining that knew they were there.
"I explained to them that this was the Tale of The Great Loss, and they then seemed to become less agitated. They spoke of the difficulty of holding there alone for so long. One part seemed to feel defensive, angry at the desertion; while the other seemed to feel great remorse at their failure...
"And in Fre'y there is a duality that is plain to see, but a third is linked to that, less clear to see, that walks like a shadow beside the two. This I did see as I spoke to Fre'y. Beside...perhaps to say in their wake is more accurate...following, and yet linked."
Saaltak and Fre'y
A Story through Time
Gather round children and listen to a song, a verse from The Song, The Song of Life. Listen close as I unfold for you the story of the Mare who would have all be not, and those who would not let him.....
And so it begins in the time of the Overscanners, those unfortunate Dreamwrights who sought to strengthen the walls of the City, but in doing so weakened them till the Dorsal rift formed. Those Masters who survived gathered to stop the rifts spread, to close it if possible.....
Saaltak lived in the Chaos, grew powerful there, and saw the bright shining light that was the City of Dreams. Many times had it tried to enter, and many times was it repelled. Then came the Rift, and the Dark Mare saw its chance to enter and consume the Light.
And so Saaltak began to come through the Dorsal Rift and it begin to fight those gathered to close the tear. Among those gathered were Frier, the Fatesender, and E'yan, the Soulmaster. Seeing the Darkmare trying to completely destroy the City, they threw themselves upon it, leaping into the very Chaos to hold it there as their brethren struggled to close the Rift. Being engaged in battle with the Mare, and surrounded by Chaos, they did not see what happened next.....the forming of the Caudal Rift.
They did not know that the explosive formation of the Caudal flung them from the Dorsal to near the point where the Caudal had anchored itself in the Chaos. They did not know that all of their brethren who knew of their plight were lost in the formation. They did not know, and not knowing, they continued to hold the mare, working as one to prevent it from entering the City they held so dear....
Time passed, their struggle going unnoticed as the City slowly began to rebuild. The Great Loss became a memory, then a legend, then just a name used as a warning to those who sought power, and still the battle waged. Saaltak was in its element, and had the Chaos to feed it, Frier and E'yan had but one another, to hold onto as they held onto the mare.....
Then the fateful day finally came.....
They were tired, and why shouldn't they be, after all that time, holding the mare... Perhaps one weakened, or perhaps the mare just grew too strong, who knows, but Saaltak finally achieved its goal, it gained entrance to the City.
The first confirmed sighting of it was at the Order of the Sable Moon, perhaps that was instrumental in its fate, but I get ahead of myself... It fought, but its long struggle with the two Masters had weakened it considerably, and it did not last long in the fight. The Dreamers of the City were growing strong again, and the Rulers Roland and Higi of the Order and others, quickly collapsed it, sending it back into the Chaos.
Sensing its return the Masters tried in vain to hold it once more in Chaos. But Saaltak had gained strength collapsing some Dreamers, and it escaped once more. And so this continued for several days....
Yithnak the dreamer wandered through the Dream and was passing through the Caudal, gathering items, when he noticed what appeared to be two figures struggling in the Chaos. He quickly ran to tell others and gather help.
Many ignored his call as mad ramblings, how could any exist in Chaos, such an existence defied the very nature of Chaos itself, but one listened, the Dreamer Belg.
Belg fought the mare, and was soon joined by CONMAN. Saaltak staggered the two, and poisoned them as well, but they pressed on. Still weakened from its long fight with the Dreamwrights, Saaltak was vanquished. The trapped Masters saw their chance.....
Using the energy of the collapse, the fire of the Fatesender, and the healing of the Soulmaster, they managed to forge an Avatar for their use, but only one. Still, so long had they been trapped, and so close had they grown, they agreed to share the single Avatar together, rather than leave one behind alone.
The newly formed " Fre'y " as they chose to be called, thanked those who had fought to rescue them, rewarding them and going to find the Masters who had left them in the Rift, for they thought that but a short time had passed, and that the Masters had forgotten them, abandoning them to the Chaos.
Later they learned the truth...and it was hard for them to bear. Harder still was a disturbing new trend they discovered. Anywhere they went in the Dream, Saaltak would follow as soon as they awakened. Disturbed by their tie to the Dark Mare, they considered leaping back into the Chaos, that it might be trapped there forever. However, Roland talked them out of it, telling them that they could better serve the City working within it, not abandoning it.
They took his counsel, and began to teach others who were worthy of what they had to share. Many were confused by this person who spoke using a plural form, always talking in "We"'s and "Our" when speaking of itself. Soon word spread of what was the avitar known as Fre'y.
Saaltak was not pleased by this turn of events. It was severely weakened by the energy that Fre'y had stolen. It went through the dream attacking others at random, but with a specific hatred for Belg and CONMAN, and for any who Fre'y had helped or who had helped him. During one of these hunts it stumbled upon the Order's prime artifact, the Sable sphere. It seems the jewel bedazzled the creature and for a while it tried to claim the Order as its own, going so far as to attack others only when they came on the steps, much as a normal guardian would.
Fre'y learned of this, and of the other atrocities committed by the beast, and of how it hunted him. Try as he might, he could never seem to be in the same place as the creature, nor even Dream when it did. Fre'y foretold that if ever both they and Saaltak should dream at the same time, one of them would dream no more...
Fre'y continued his teaching, some meeting him with anger or confusion, others with gratefulness, his worth debated among the Freespirits he chose to walk among. Finally he chose a classroom far from the crowds, in Isolion's Vista located in the Albino caves. Those who chose to seek him out he listened too, not caring to wander amoung the masses.
Then one day the prophesy that Fre'y had foretold came to pass...Saaltak entered the Albino Caves, went to Fre'y's classroom, and in a quick fight, collapsed him, and reclaimed its stolen energy. No one knew what had become of Fre'y, for they did not form a soulsphere as most would, and it was feared that without that containment, they had dissipated back into the nothingness of the Chaos.
When next Saaltak roamed the Dream, it was restored to its true power. With the strength of a Horron it now caused terror as it never had before. Many Dreamers came for it, seeking to collapse it, and many fell before the mare's wrath each time, before they were able to finally send it away once again. Saaltak's fascination with the Order and their Prime became almost an obsession, it would visit there and stare at it, trying to pick it up almost every time it dreamed. No one could understand its fascination with the Sphere....
Apart from this madness, a Dark Mare named Hyranir, if such a small mare could indeed be called Dark, came to the Dream. It appeared to be a bogrom, and indeed was as easily collapsed. Finally it happened upon the Alliance of the Eclipse, and there it found those who listened rather than attacking. Tyryt of the Alliance listened to the mare, and learned that it feared Saaltak. Indeed, no sooner did the little dark begin speaking of its larger cousin than Saaltak did appear and went to the same spot that Hyranir had been standing.
Learning of the little mare's presence, and that the Alliance called it dorfn, "friend", Saaltak started to attack Tyryt but met with an unfortunate fate when it stepped into the path of the Generator and was instantly collapsed.
Several times this sequence repeated. Hyranir would come and speak with Tyryt, warning him of Saaltak, and Saaltak would come looking for the small mare. Finally Hyranir came bearing gifts to any who would seek to fight and destroy Saaltak once and for all. To Cygne, who had been Fre'y's assistant, it gave the 'Resanc Nocowle", a small pearl with a hard to read message engraved upon it: "Dor.n, c..ng. uu.r. Ko.ok.qu.p .un-It.ka en e.be. e.se.oe. Ne.i a.ik.ra wa.a co.tm aw t.in gu.sat. xup .aa.t.k wa.ap.az.h g.ra.o..' - .r.'y."
Filling in the unreadable letters... Brother Timothy came up with... "Dorfn, carnge uuura Kotoke quop lun-Itaka en eobek edsexoe. Neki aviktra (wala or wafa) coatm aw tzin (gu.sat.) xup Saaltak (wala or wafa) prazah goragon - fre'y".
And TyRyT made the final translation... "Friend, kill evil darkmare with Sable Sphere and drain essence. My avatar will come as Saaltak did not kill me, Good Bye - Fre'y."
So it seemed that a method was at hand to finally destroy the Dark Mare once and for all. Hyranir led those gathered to believe that if Saaltak could be collapsed by the Generator of the Alliance and then the Sable Sphere used to destroy its essence, not only would Saaltak be destroyed, but Fre'y freed as well.
A simple solution? Perhaps, but remember where this was.... The Alliance of the Eclipse, the home of peace and refuge for all. Tyryt was troubled by this plan and sought other means, as did the Order and the other friends of Fre'y.
One such plan almost worked. Using the power of Abjure, Carnach stripped the Darkmare of its powers and resistances, and paralyzed it in place. Then they weakened it till the point that the Art of Trap Mare could be used upon it. The Art worked, and the token of Saaltak was gathered up, and a ritual hastily constructed to feed the essence to the Sphere...but the Sphere rejected it, and the plan failed.
Working along a similar line, Tyryt and the Alliance devised a ritual close to the one given to them by Hyranir. But instead of destroying the Dark Mare, they sought to imprison it, to remove the menace it presented from the dream long enough to free Fre'y.
And so the time came. The Order arrived, with Sable Sphere, Cygne was there with the Resanc Nocowle, and the Alliance had the Generator ready. Plans were discussed and the proper course argued over. It was hoped that just using recovered essences would be enough, that Saaltak would not even show.
But show it did. Whether it learned of the plan, or whether it merely came looking for the Sphere or noticed Roland and Cygne in one spot at the Alliance, it came. Arriving at the Alliance it accused all present of plotting against it, but it had not attacked. Then a member of the Order did abjure it, and another collapsed it....
The mare reformed and returned to the Alliance once more. It did attack this time, collapsing any who stood in its way. It blended through warded panels, seeking out those who would destroy it. Finally it was lured to the Power Room, home of the Generator, and in the fight it was forced from the wall into the stream of the Generator. It was collapsed, and the power of the Sphere and Generator held it in the room.
Raising the Sable Sphere high, and with Alliance member shouting at him to leave, Roland acted as he thought best, and enacted the original plan, feeding the generator formed essence of the Dark Mare to the Sable Sphere as Cygne invoked what power lay within the Resanc Nocowle. Saaltak glowed brightly for a moment, and then was gone.
Then a bright glow lept from the Sable Sphere, and Fre'y formed from it. They stumbled weakened, and even collapsed, but were quickly restored by all the dreamers present, upon which point Fre'y woke.
The Song of Life sings, and its song is not always a melodic one. Has this been a stanza of joy? Or of woe? Time will tell...and the music plays on.
Invictus, Bard and Troubadour.
(And mentor of this humble interviewer)