Heritage Night 5

To briefly recap, Sharper had killed a Bahro in retaliation for Wheely’s death, but by accident had shot a good Bahro. Phil Henderson, who was NOT dead after all, returned to the cavern to explain that the Bahro Sharper shot had willingly sacrificed itself to protect us from its hostile brethren. And for the first time, Bahro had interacted personally with explorers at close range.

A month had now passed since Phil’s return, and we had seen neither him nor anymore Bahro. We were all a bit nervous about the Bahro Civil War, and the events of this week did nothing to assuage our fear.

The week began with what I think of as the March of Colors, but which was really just Phil Henderson acting really, really weird.

He showed up in one of the Neighborhoods, at the walkway above the garden, talking about colors and how important they were. Talking about how pretty colors are and how useful. And mostly worrying about whether or not “He” would like the colors. Phil was still talking about this mysterious “Him”, who he claimed was coming to the cavern very soon.

Unfortunately Phil was unwilling to tell us who “He” was–but he hoped “He” liked the colors!

The March of Colors ended in Kirel, and many of us later surmised that Phil was actually trying to tell us how important the Guilds are, since the Guilds are set apart by different colors.

Either that or he had just smoked too many Teledahn shrooms.

Cate Alexander made an appearance that day as well, but all she really said was that she hoped the Guild Pubs would be released soon.

You see, the DRC had promised to release a private pub for each Guild, and Cate had hoped today would be the release day, but we didn’t actually get to see them until the next day.

This time, when Cate came to announce the opening of the pubs, many explorers wanted to know about Phil and his mental state. However, Cate refused to answer questions about Phil. Or about the Bahro. She even went so far as to say she would not believe in any “Bahro War” until she saw it with her own eyes.

A fairly stupid statement, if you ask me. But then, Cate was never known for tact or vision.

And of course, we saw more of Phil that day, talking about colors and “Him” once more. I think many of us had come to the conclusion that “He” was just a delusion of Phil’s, but then Sharper set us straight.
Sharper came to the Watcher’s Sanctuary to talk about the Bahro War. He said that the war would probably come to the cavern, and that the hostile side might very well destroy D’ni. He told us the good Bahro were losing the war. And finally, he said he knew who Phil meant by “Him.”

Sharper had met “Him”, he said, and he knew exactly who Phil referred to, but Sharper refused to tell us the mysterious person’s identity. He just said that he hoped we would listen to “Him” when “He” showed up.

And then he told us that he was going to reopen an old area that might prove useful if the Bahro War came to the cavern.

There was an old spy room that Sharper had used during the First Restoration to spy on the DRC. In it, he’d left Phil’s stolen Relto Book.

Sharper promised that he would reopen the area soon, so that we could go there again. And the next day, that’s exactly what he did.

Phil’s Relto wasn’t the only news that day. Remember Michael Engberg, the DRC member who’d lost his daughter to the hostile Bahro? While mourning Wheely, Engberg seemed to have gone crazy at the end of Scars Week, wandering around, then suddenly muttering Watson’s name and running away.

Watson was the former DRC leader, and he had been missing in action since the First Restoration.

Well, Phil wasn’t the only person to make a dramatic return. On the same day that Phil’s Relto was made available, Engberg came back.

He appeared in Ae’Gura, and explorers were overwhelmed with joy to see him. So was Marie Sutherland, the DRC member who came to meet him once she heard he was back.

They didn’t talk long, and Engberg refused to speak about his experiences or where he’d gone. But that didn’t stop the rumors that Engberg was the mysterious “He” that Phil kept talking about.

Those rumors were wrong.

I don’t know if anyone has heard from Engberg since that day. He keeps to himself mostly and doesn’t involve himself in the cavern.

But very, very late that night, someone else returned to the cavern–someone we had long awaited.

Dr. Watson.

Watson showed up in the Concert Hall Foyer, and was soon mobbed by ecstatic explorers. He told us he was pretty sure who Phil meant by “Him”–Phil meant Watson.

Apparently the two had spent a lot of time together while they were away from the cavern–time with the Bahro. Watson said he was not as good at communicating with the Bahro was Phil was, but he confirmed the reports of a Bahro Civil War. A war which he said the good Bahro were losing.

Finally, he gave us the best news many had heard yet–Yeesha was still around, and still involved. She was on Releeshahn, with the D’ni survivors.

Watson told us he was unsure how to proceed now that he was back, and excused himself from explorers’ presence. But the next day, he was back.

After a brief visit from Sharper in the Watcher’s Sanctuary, Watson showed up there as well. He told us what we had already guessed–that the Bahro were free. The events of Myst V were more or less true.

And he knew this, because it was he who had returned the Tablet to the Bahro and released them from their slavery. He said that he no longer believed in a physical restoration of D’ni.

But he also told us to “find a way, make a home.”

Meanwhile, some explorers were on Phil’s Relto. With Phil.

There was a huge crowd of us there that day. And Phil linked in to speak to us.

Most of his words were rambling and incoherent, but there were a few things he said that seemed eerily insightful, if cryptic.

He told us, “The answers are there, man. You just have to listen.”

When we asked what we had to listen to, he said, “Her.”

I can only assume he meant Yeesha, but what answers he thought we could find in her words, I don’t know.

Phil backed up slowly. And then he jumped off the edge.

He had a new Relto Book on his belt. I can only assume he used it while falling.

I haven’t seen him since.

I hope he’s okay. I’ll always remember his words, “The answers are there, man. You just have to listen.”

The day after Phil and Watson made their simultaneous appearances, Watson came to one of the Neighborhoods and gave a speech. I won’t repeat the entire speech as it would take too long, but I strongly recommend you read the record of it that can be found, among other places, on the Uru Obsession Forums.

Among other things, Watson spoke out in support of the Guilds. Many explorers had expressed concern over the Guilds’ role in the fall of D’ni. But Watson said it was not the Guilds at fault, but pride.

He encouraged explorers to join the Guilds. He also told us to beware of pride and disunity. We had begun to fracture again, and Watson counseled against this. He told us there were many of us who needed to learn to unite, and not to fight amongst ourselves.

He said that while he no longer believed the cavern should be inhabited, he still felt that there was much we could learn from it. But those lessons, he said, should be applied elsewhere in life.

He warned us again about the Bahro, and told us that the hostile ones showed no rhyme or reason in their destruction. It was destruction for destruction’s sake.

I’ll quote what I consider to be the most important parts of Watson’s speech:

“The ‘good’ bahro protecting us have created a grand Deception for our peace of mind–an illusion that all is well here in the Cavern and the Ages….”

“We have been told that ‘destruction is coming.’”

“I believe specifically that the destruction is coming to the Cavern, but I could be wrong about that too.”

“It is entirely possible that the destruction is a great deal larger than that.”

He went on to tell us that Yeesha had been fighting for us. She had already been to hundreds of Ages, searching for some way to end the Bahro conflict, or at least to protect us when the good Bahro became too weak to do so.

But, said Watson, it was looking more likely that she would not find what she sought in the Ages currently available. That was why the Guilds were so important–we needed new Ages to explore, new Ages to search for a solution to the Bahro problem.

Because the war was coming, the good side was losing, and if we didn’t find some way to protect ourselves, we might be their next target.

Written by Carl Palmner, edited by Malfhok


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