Transcript of Free Your Mind
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'Skeka' is what they call me. Depending on who utters it, they either simply mean to call me 'killer', or they inject the sing-song intonation used when naming the personification of death itself. We left such trivialities behind us in the previous universe, but I can at least appreciate the witty connection. My work is vital to the success of this colony, and if that means cutting up animals to understand their workings, then so be it. We treat these animals with due care when alive, and with dignity and respect when no longer so. I have more respect for these dinosaurs than some of my fellow kin. There is no cruelty here, and I only carry out autopsies on those that have died of causes other than dragonkin. Still, I am labelled so by uneducated outsiders. It bothers me not.
A Syrtes cleric has been assigned to my team to give it 'spiritual guidance', as if that is needed. We are not unfeeling Dactyl! I feared his appointment would be added bureaucracy, or to preach at us, but I am pleasantly surprised to see that this Kranon character has integrated well and has proven to be a useful member of the team in his own right. He has even joined in on some of our more 'recreational' research. The loss of my good friend, Varanus, was a deep wound for me. To have survived all we have only to die on this new world before it could be enjoyed is an ironic cruelty. If I were on the Kindra, I would advocate for that Raksha abomination to be destroyed. It is a threat to the kin. I regret that despite all we have managed to learn of this place, I was unable to find a way to save him in time. May we meet again, my friend.-'Skeka', Aughra mystic
Kranon has been a great help in my grief, a good listener. I had always dismissed the Syrtes clergy, thinking their philosophising to be so much hot air, more so than their fire breath, though I have been a fan of their poetry for some time. We have often partaken of various substances together and talked away the night. His ideas make so much more sense to me here and now than the entire Syrtes did on our long journey here. I do not know how much of this to put down to my own state, but even his words ring true even when I am not intoxicated.
We kin believe in Skekslan, the unbroken wheel - us Aughra doubly so. Kranon has comforted me by reminding me of this, and that Varanus was a standout soul in life, and is revered in death. We may well see his like again. I am not so sure this is true, since I fear the destroyers not only ended our world and our universe, but also that cycle. My personal studies seem to confirm this fear, but it was still a small glimmer of hope for me.
The Aughra have always been a strong-willed creed. Some of us, myself included, have an innate ability to impose our will on weaker individuals, by use of subtle cues and commanding voices. Our time in the Abyss seems to have 'stretched' this ability, and since arriving here, I find I have been able to coerce even some of the more wilful kin, and sometimes when I sleep, I find my mind 'wandering'. My studies of the energies in this place led me to name this phenomenon astral projection. I see and hear things I am not physically present for. I confided this in my Aughra councillors. Maragan told me that other Aughra have been having similar experiences since arriving here and has encouraged me to move my studies into this new field. He also suggested to keep this new research secret, even from my team at the outpost. The other creeds are slower to understand and accept mutations like this. To this end, I have secretly constructed a ritual site beneath the surface of this island and requested for some of these other Aughra to form a new team.-'Skeka', Aughra mystic
My new group have been spending more and more time at the ritual site. Mostly, we just lounge around and talk, smoke, chant, carouse and fornicate, all in a bid to expand our consciousnesses. We are not Dactyl, and an ability such as this cannot be studied so scientifically. Indeed, this approach has already borne fruit.
Today, one of the younger kin brought a salamander into the site. It was one of the tiny see-through ones we use as test subjects at the outpost, given how close their physiology is to ours, limb regeneration included. He projected his mind INTO the animal and was directly controlling its actions, not just coercing them. The effect lasted only a few seconds, but it was undeniable. He had shifted part of his own consciousness into another being. This is unprecedented among the kin.
It immediately set my own mind racing with possibility, of future applications for the cosmic-based tools we are discovering every day. I envisage a device that will assist in this endeavour, and possibly one day be able to transplant any kin's consciousness into a separate being, permanently should they wish. Something like this might have helped saved Varanus, for while his body lay dying, wracked with poison, his mind remained as sharp as ever.
Such a device is going to require a lot of gold to construct, given that metal's conductive properties and ability to retain enchantment. I have reported this back to Maragan, who is working on sourcing this gold. It will take time, as all of this must be done in secret.-'Skeka', Aughra mystic