Lost, Found, and Returned: Memories, the Voice of Mahalla, and Manteekan, the Nightmare

Brennan Stormcrow was not becoming senile. He was quite certain that he had not had a conversation with Xenthos An’Ryshe and Takhre Inseira about the presence of Juur the Spriggan at the Master Ravenwood Tree. He was positive that he had never heard that snippet of song before, and that there was absolutely nothing he was forgetting that gave him a deep sense of dread. And he was not the only one. Several shadowsinger faelings throughout the Glomdoring Forest were missing things with no recollection of where they had been, and soon were missing memories of entire compositions, stageplays, and even the ability to play particular instruments.

Although this was a cause for concern, the song continued. At first, it was quiet, distant, and infrequent: A haunting tune, which many people found nostalgic, or familiar in some way, but could not quite remember how or why. This seemed to coincide with incidences of memory loss. Then, fae within the forest began to fall asleep at the sound of the song – specifically, Juur the Spriggan, Ciardha, of Shackled Shadows, and Brultk Thornblood, a redcap. Chancellor Skaza, Asphodel Ysav’rai, Exeryte Stormcrow, Tirah Mzithrei, Takhre Inseira, Iazin Stormcrow, and others would follow up leads in order to untangle the mystery. What, and where was the source of the song? What was causing the memory loss? Why were only the fae affected?

Only a few days later, the song began to spread into Ethereal Glomdoring. Queen Lhiannan Stormcrow summoned Glomdoring, expressing her concern, giving what help and information she had, and warning that Glomdoring should remain vigilant. Mother Night would protect the fae on Ethereal Glomdoring, and as far as she could tell, the song did not spill out into Faethorn. Her words would turn out to be prophetic, as less than a month later, the song would be heard within the Wydyr Glade. The slaugh, the barghests, and the redcaps were all asleep. Was this a good thing, or a bad thing? Why were all of the victims creations of Manteekan, the Nightmare? Not even these questions had available answers, only speculation, but Queen Lhiannan was prepared to assist Glomdoring in awakening the fae.

And still, the song grew. Ciardha, Juur, and Brultk informed Glomdoring that they believed the song belonged to the Voice of Mahalla, who had not been seen since the time of the Greev and the destruction of the Harbingers Guild. The assistance of Dominique Nightshade was sought to assist in tracking down the Voice, however, before she could begin, the Voice of Mahalla cried out for help.

Something, or someone, gave chase to the Voice once she gave up her hiding place and fled through the Forest, begging whatever, or whoever, it was to stop. It was this cry for help which drew the Elder God Manteekan’s attention. A vortex of howling and icy wind formed over Glomdoring shortly before icy shards of immanidivinus energies interrupted her pursuer. Whatever, or whoever, it was, seemed to abandon chase within the forest. More ice heralded the Nightmare’s return then, descending upon the First World atop a bank of swirling mist.

Wasting no time, He settled into Glomdoring to look after “His little Mahalla”, who wanted nothing to do with Him. It quickly became apparent that the Nightmare had been gone for too long. He had not been seen since before the Greev either, busy investigating something within the Dreaming. “There is evidence of another all over the Dreaming.” He explained, explicitly excluding Hoaracle the Oak Whacher. On this, he would not elaborate more. Nor did He have any answers as to what was chasing the Voice of Mahalla. The Voice could not remember who or what was chasing her either, but historically she sang only for a few reasons. The Voice of the former Elder Goddess Mahalla was given a new home, safe for now, and the Nightmare seems to be here to stay.

All is well that ends well, right? So why did everyone involved have a lingering feeling of dread?