Spring in Hieron 38: See Where You're Standing

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

Across the long lawns below the central tower of the Last University, the grass defies itself. In the mind, a field is a million individual blades blending into one. But when Stars of the steppe arrive, they make mental category into physical reality, each blade blending with the next until the trembling, green pasture becomes blinding, fixed tract. But even this transformation, which spreads across the whole of one of the continent’s densest settlements, is minute against what occurs above. A distraught god once promised that he would do anything to hold back the Heat and the Dark. Now, he proves his intent, yet wonders to himself if he can be stopped; if, perhaps, eradication might be better.

This week on Spring in Hieron: See Where You're Standing

Taken all at once, the unearned length of my life, it is easy to call this unavoidable. After all, before I could hold a chalice, I could only drink with tooth and maw, my thirst unsated, as blood stained the ground. Before I could store unfinished thoughts on a shelf, I could only think in agitation, plans and ideas twirling forever, unending in my focus, lest they be lost to distraction. Before I could hold my love, I coveted raw connection, dreamed an I into being even as I was sent to destroy identity itself.

And so, I suspect, as the world becomes more real, more permanent, as those I swore to protect suffer in their sacrifice, even as I too dissolve and join the new firmament, I will have no champions. It will be easy to make sense of my decision this way: ‘He was always a beast.’ But that would be wrong. Writing these words is a selfish act of guilty conscience, I know. And yet I write them, because I must, because in writing them I am convinced of what must be done.

I will not steep to the vulgarity of cruel maths, a list of how many we’d already killed, or how vast the future I build might be. The suffering is real. The suffering is, after all, the motive. And so that should be first. When my father told me what had been done, to the man I’d pinned to the bottom of the world, I saw opportunity. With His final ploy undone, the well of divinity had quietly been unblocked. I needed no clever stratagem. My adversarial source could be held back in the old way, a new strata. And so I began my work, drawing in detail for the first time in ages a new world. The ink flowed fresh, no rust to knock away, no lack of new ideas. I was born to steal words, but I lived for writing them.

And then, in that vile cavern, I learned that my dreams were too humble. The ease with which I did it. Hadrian loved her as dear a companion as I did my Wizard. Perhaps, as ours in wisdom kind, theirs in strength. Thoughtless. Grotesque. If anything slithered in the Advocate’s room, it was me. It was not only in what I did Death’s Servant, though, it was that I so easily broke a promise I made to my aunt, and hid my strength from her, as I once did, so long ago.

That is when I knew. That is I felt it, in my wounds, and in my heart, and in whatever motivates the void in the deep core of every living being into glorious motion. That is when I knew that I had to bring into being a world of consequence, of possibilities irrevertible, each moment concentrated justice in its inability to be undone. No second chances. No erasure. No reconfiguration. Immanence alone. A world without us.

- An excerpt from the journals of Samot, the Unbroken Lord in Exile and Repose

Characters[edit | edit source]

Plot[edit | edit source]

As Fero and Ephrim's confrontation with Samot continues, Fantasmo leads Lem, Benjamin, Blue J. and Red Jack down his secret upside-down tower, where they find portals to other areas of the University. Benjamin heals Lem and climbs the tower with Fantasmo again to face Samot. Meanwhile Lem, Red Jack and Blue J. travel through the portals and try to save the residents of the University from the Stars.

Fero attempts to attack Samot again and again, but Samot is in control of the situation and reconfigures locally to evade harm. However, the arrival of Fantasmo shocks him. Still under the illusion that Fantasmo is a close friend of his, he lets down his guard. During their exchange, Fantasmo casts the spell Dominate on Samot and delivers an (author's note: incredible) speech on knowledge and why he joined the University. In response to this, Samot gives up.

Lem arrives in the dormitories and, looking for Emmanuel, tells the people taking refuge there to use the portal to get to safety. He finds Emmanuel attempting to fend off a Star and they return to the portal to help everyone get through when a Star appears. Before it can cause harm, Lem successfully arranges a complex pattern and stops it from getting any closer to the group still outside the portal. Just as more stars arrive, Lem and Emmanuel are the last ones left in the dormitories and escape to safety. The portal closes behind them. It is revealed that Blue J. and Red Jack have also succeeded in saving residents.

Fero, after deliberation on Keith's part, attacks Samot again and kills him with the Spring he planted inside him. Fantasmo disappears again. At this moment, the "new Spring" caused by Hella, Hadrian, Throndir and Adaire's actions in Marielda spreads and the Stars turn into plant people (similar to the ones from the movie "Annihilation".)

Severia finally arrives at the University and talks to Fero, who is upset over what happened. She mentions that she and Galenica are considering leaving Hieron.

Adelaide calls for Hella and Hadrian, who are getting onto the boat that will take them away from Marielda at this exact moment. They arrive in Adularia to find Samot there. Adelaide is unsure what to do with him. It is revealed that Samot could potentially have opened the Sword and gone to Adularia ever since he gained control of the stars mid-season, but now that Fero has replaced the star stuff in him with the Spring, that isn't an option anymore. However, Hadrian knows Samot desperately wants to go to Aubade and, working with Hella, uses his star-sword to make it happen. He states is no longer the Sword of Samothes.

Samot washes up on Aubade's beach. In the outro, Austin describes the new state of Hieron. It has been compressed and changed and is now being held together by the new mixture of Alyosha's original Spring and the new one, less and less similar to what was once Samol's body. It now grows into the Heat and the Dark instead of away from it.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Austin states that the next episode will contain drawing the new Hieron's map.

Jack composed two new tracks for this episode.