The Ancient Files

The Annotated Aztlan Annotations  By Ancient History

   Following a fine tradition, this is annotation is a placeholder while I work on the forthcoming Blood Magic page.  The ideal purpose is to enlighten those who haven't read all the books to understand some of the nuances and hidden meanings contained in the Aztlan sourcebook.  Please note that these are all my own deductions, but I stick to canon sources for my points as much as possible.
    A note: unlike my previous annotated works, I'm annotating annotations, which are necessarily concerning the main text (which I'm not typing out), scattered, and varied in length (like my own annotations).  So, I'm going to add my notes at the breaks between notes.
     For reference, the year of these annotations is 2056.

   For starters, this is by all appearances an on-line meeting between several of the shadowy powers-that-be in Shadowrun.  Specifically, very ancient powers or descendants of them.  Let's go over the line-up:

The Big 'D'
is the Great Dragon Dunkelzahn, as revealed by loose comments and prior posts he has made in other sourcebooks.

The Laughing Man
is the immortal elf mage Harlequin, recognizable from his personality, various later comments, and the fact he's posted under that handle before.

is the immortal elf and Prince of Tir Tairngire Ehran the Scribe.  The name, coupled with his animosity at times with Harlequin, is a dead give-away.  This was later proven by a conversation in Portfolio of a Dragon.

Hecate is a mystery.  The Lone Gunman in Threats believes she is Sheila Blatavaska, the head of the Atlantean Foundation.  Lou Prosperi commented that she was Alachia, who ran the Atlantean Foundation under the guise of Sheila.  Personally, I've always harbored the notion that she is the immortal elf Aina, both for her quips with Harlequin and intimations of her history.  Re-evaluation of all her comments are leaning me towards Alachia, however.

Lady of the Court is assumed to be connected to the Elven Court Tir na nOg.  Given her gender, youth, and nigh-equal treatment with such ancients as Harlequin, it has been assumed that she is the relatively young and presumably immortal elf Queen Brane Deigh of the Seelie Court.

Jungle Cat is rather an enigma.  Violently opposed to the Aztlaners and a representative of Amazonia by his (referred to as male by Wordsmyth) statements, Jungle Cat's only clue to racial identity appears to be a later reference to Awakened jaguars.  This supposes he is either a Jaguar shapeshifter serving Amazonia, or as later theories suggest some form of other shapeshifter, like a drake or a feathered serpent.  There is nothing more than passing hints to imply Jungle Cat could be either Mujaji (Rather less likely given the sex) or Hualpa.

Umsondo the Watcher.  Very quiet, and given a measure of respect.  Umsondo is a color for the cattle raised by the aboriginal tribespeople of South Africa, which gives rise to the theory that Umsondo represents Azania.  It seems likely that Umsondo is representative of Azania or the College of Heavenherds there, rather than the Xhosa shamans who serve the Great Feathered Serpent Mujaji or the Trans-Swazi Federation.  It is unlikely Umsondo serves/represents Mujaji the Rain Queen, as a later comment on her elicits an odd response.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Good evening.


:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Please use common English.  My interface includes a real-time language translation and I'm afraid it cannot handle the old tongues.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] What is the meaning of this??

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Bravo!  Outfoxed by the Dark Wyrm!  True Deviltry!

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I was not told others would be at our meeting, dragon...

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Nor I.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] It seems we have all fallen victim to the same ruse.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Wondrous irony, that we who prefer to be at each other's throats should be tricked into meeting after all.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] The subterfuge seemed necessary to accomplish my ends.

:::::[HECATE] Tell me your reason for this <UNTRANSLATABLE> or I will leave.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I want all of you to read something the humans call a compilation of files.  This particular collection is about Aztlan.


:::::[WORDSMYTH] Is the Watcher attending to this?

:::::[UMSONDO] I am here.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] And giving away nothing, as usual.  In your honor I shall eschew any further humor or wit.>THE LAUGHING MAN SNIGGERS

:::::[WORDSMYTH] What makes you think this compilation contains anything we don't already know?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Oh, I suspect he knows you know what we're going to see.  He just doesn't think you've thought about what you know we'll see.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Ah, so the dragon knows you well, "Wordsmyth."

:::::[WORDSMYTH] And what could have been the reason he chose to bring you here, "Lady of the Court?"

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Know three things, my friends.  First: I am, by virtue of a friend of mine, your technological master here, in a manner of speaking-not that I wish to overstress this.  Any of you are free to leave whenever you wish, but given the importance of what we are here to consider it may be slightly difficult for you to leave before we have exhausted the possibilities for discussion.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] A sly wyrm, isn't he?  Well, I will not try to slip his bonds, if such they are.  This may be amusing for a time. <chuckle>

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Second, each of you is here because of who you are and in most cases who you represent, be it country or other interests.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] ELVIS VOICE -> Uh, thank you very much.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Also curteousy of my technologically gifted friend, you checked your personal animosities at the-what is the word-"virtual gateway" when you entered.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ah!  Is Brightlight among us then?

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I think not.  He has better taste than to cast his gifts carelessly at the feet of beasts.  He has not come through the "virtual gateway" spoken of.

:::::[HECATE] Leave him be.  He has earned his arrogance.  You have not.


:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Must I forever by compelled to associate with juveniles?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Put aside your will will.  I will enforce civility between you if I absolutely must.  It would be better if we behave like reasonable creatures wishing to survive and pursue our interests and pleasures.  Could we  please agree to this?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Who could disagree with such sweet reason?

:::::[Wordsmyth] <sigh> "What does a ten-thousand-year-old dragon do?"


:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] The Wordsmyth cracks a joke!  Surely it is the Sixth World!

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I don't understand.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] He is paraphrasing an old joke about gorillas.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I don't know that one.



:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Ah.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I will tell you the third thing you must know when we finish reading this.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Wonderful.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I bet I know what it is!

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You will receive the full text of this "Aztlan" document simultaneously in real time.  Comment freely on anything that strikes a chord.  You may also find it illuminating to discuss what you read among yourselves.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Dun.. Big 'D', I have better things to do with my time.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I doubt it, Lady.  I am confident you will agree with me when you read this.  More important, I believe you will want to hear what the others have to say.

:::::[HECATE] I will stay.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] As will I, for now.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Count me in!

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] If I may learn anything new about our ancient foe, then I will remain.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I suppose I must stay, too.

:::::[UMSONDO] I remain and observe.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Then we shall begin.



Aside from bandying about insights as to who are players are, there are a few things that bear mentioning:

Dunkelzahn's "technologically gifted friend."  An unknown quantity, this may be Jane-in-the-Box, who is a decker in his employ, or anyone or anything else.  Laughing Man automatically jumps the gun by asking if Brightlight has provided Dunkelzahn's technical advantage, but is told by Lady of the Court that he is not present.
    Brightlight most likely refers to the immortal elf genius Leonardo, first seen in the novel "Black Madonna."  Leo has a fascination with light, the Matrix, and otaku in particular.  His technologies would be more than advanced enough to provide for this meeting.  An alternative once suggested is that Brightlight is none other than Liam O'Connor, the founder of Tir na nOg and author of "Walking to the Light."  But in this is the case, Laughing Man's comment is rather unusual and out of place.  Later references lend weight to the prior theory of Brightlight's identity.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Because their vile masters pervert their magics so they cannot use it to heal the land.  Paejaki!

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Watch your language, there are children present.  They might not understand what you mean.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Oh, be quiet.

:::::[UMSONDO] Cat is not so ill-advised to speak.  Barrenness is fertility.  Destruction sows the seed of vile growth.  Why else are we hear to speak?

This was in response to a note of how poor the soil of the Yucatan is.  Jungle Cat's statement is odd, but can be understood if you have a little Earthdawn magical lore tucked away: blood magic could be, and was, used in the distant pass to improve the fertility of the soil.  It was used in the Blood Wood to a great extant, and elsewhere.  The Amazonians used powerful magics to regrow the rainforest.  A serious corruption (or lack of knowledge) indeed if the Aztlaners cannot use their magic to increase the fecundity of their land.

The quip between Laughing Man and Lady of the Court is in reference to her relatively young age.

Umsondo speaks a revealing riddle, but it can be interpreted far too broadly on many levels to be useful.

:::::[HECATE] Pobre?  Anyone we know?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] A lesser, by my reckoning.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Perhaps in form, but not in spirit.

:::::[UMSONDO] Judgment in this instance is hampered by the power of mask and illusion.  That which seems is not, and scrutiny reveals naught but deception and change.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] The Watcher cannot see!  Our host is misguided and reproved.  Are apologies in order?

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Laughing Man should hold his tongue if he has nothing worthy to say.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] In this instance I do not take offense.  Let us continue.

This is in regards to the feathered serpent leading the Yucatan rebels, Pobre.  Dunkelzahn believes him to be an adult dragon (that is a Lesser as opposed to a Great Dragon).  Umsondo's comment is cryptic, but can either mean that Pobre is not a lesser dragon as believed, is a different lesser dragon, or perhaps that his actions are a mask for his intentions.  Laughing Man simply makes a bad joke.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Such simple distinctions, yet important.

Jungle Cat refers here to how Pobre asserts himself as a Mexican rather than an Aztlaner.

:::::[HECATE] Truth or not?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Do we look stupid?

A confusing piece, this is in regards as to whether or not Amazonia is aiding the Yucatan rebels.

:::::[Wordsmyth] Sounds too much like Utopia.  The truth doesn't quite match the telling, eh, Jungle Cat?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I will admit there is intolerance, but we do not carve the hearts out of our brothers to power our arts.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Much...

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Not funny.

In response to Amazonia's supposedly benign designs behind aiding the Yucatan rebels.  I'm not sure if Jungle Cat's "intolerance" refers to the treatment of the native descendants of the Yucatan, or of something else.  The Utopia comment may suggest the intolerance is to Amazonia's interference or dictatorial rule...but then, Wordsmyth would be literally calling the kettle black.

The minor exchange between Jungle Cat and Laughing Man  reveals that the Amazonians use blood magic too, in a way that mirrors Aztlan's own on some level.

:::::[HECATE] Truth or not?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I suppose that's to me.  We are not unsympathetic to the plight of the rebels.

:::::[HECATE] And you, Lady of the Court?

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I'm afraid I'm in no position to comment on our political dealings.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Yeah, right.  Are Watchful eyes et in this direction?

:::::[UMSONDO] My gaze is cast in all directions.  Laughing Man knows assistance is subtle and indirect when given.  I follow the Lady's wisdom.

This is in regards to what other nations are helping the rebels: Wordsmyth confirms Tir Tairngire provides limited aid while Umsondo does the same when Lady of the Court tries to stonewall (incidentally, some believe Umsondo is also claiming Azanian aid in this passage).  It is interesting that Hecate asks this, because if she were Alachia then her knowledge of inner politics in both Tirs should preclude her asking the question.

:::::[HECATE] Truth or not?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I do not know.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] This tells me much.  Cat should know and if he says he does not then my suspicions are roused.


:::::[UMSONDO] Wait.  This suspicion is logical.  But Wordsmyth does not consider that some may be unhappy revealing that they do not know what others feel they should.  Few are content to reveal uncertainty.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] How can one be in doubt about such a matter?

:::::[UMSONDO] This is foolishness.  Such death crafts a mask around a scene.  It is hard to discriminate the mask from the true face of desecration when there are many who have an interest in sustaining the appearance.  Hecate cannot be given a true judgment here.

This response is in regards to a question on the veracity of a story: a unit of Aztlaner soldiers were captured, sacrificed in a magic or religious ritual, they blood drained and their flesh consumed by some of the rebel troops.  Such a ritual would be a very heinous act of blood magic, and the cannibalism smacks of wendigo-like practices.
    Umsondo's statement is twofold:
:::::[Wordsmyth] Such ignorance...

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Part of my point.  How are they to know, except by slowly discovering for themselves?  And by then, it is too late.

This is in regards to post that while the Great Ghost Dance and Aztlaner blood magic are both forms of blood magic because they draw on the life force of the donor, the two are different because the donors for the Dance volunteered.

While that may be confusing, there are a few explanations:
:::::[JUNGLE CAT] The obvious is such a potent weapon.

A comment following a poster trying to discern the location of the Yucatan rebel's camps from their names.  If you can find hidden meaning in it, you're a better man than I, Charlie Brown.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] And the concept of a proto-culture never occurs to them?  I sometimes sympathize with The Big'D's (I feel so silly writing that...) desire to tell the truth, but most of the time I look at the short-sightedness and willful ignorance of the people of this era and cringe.  Telling them, I fear, would not help them.

:::::[HECATE] I'm amused by the reference to 8000 B.C.E. and the fact that the people of the area were the first to begin cultivating squash by then.  Very funny.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Indeed.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] It is also interesting that so many of the cultural trappings they've chosen come from a culture that is a mere 600 years old.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Yes, always best to reach back to the really ancient Celtic tradition.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] You are pushing me.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Yup. <chuckle>

Wordsmyth and Co. are commenting as to the ancient history of the Aztlan region.  Whether or not lady of the Court has a salient point with her comment is lost when Laughing Man takes one of his revealing jabs at her.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Do any of you possess information on the New Jesuits?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] My Lady, I'd have thought you'd know more about this than the rest of us.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Perhaps I do.

Tir na nOg has some troubles with the Vatican and the Jesuits, considering the troubles with the Irish Catholics.  Incidentally, this is a perfect example of how annoying Lady of the Court is: smug, fishing for information, and revealing as damn little as possible.  Truly a kid among grown ups.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Interesting, how quiet most of you were during this part.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Of course.  Those of us who cared to listen at the time remember it so clearly.

:::::[UMSONDO] Some had matters of graver import to observe.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] <sigh> Shall we proceed?

This section was on the history of Aztlan/Aztechnology through the Veracruz Settlement.  I wonder what Dunkelzahn was fishing for when he posted this.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] The dragon theory has been around for some time, hasn't it?  It's never been proven, correct?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Correct.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] And yet it persists.

:::::[HECATE] I would have thought you of all being would know whether or not a Great was in charge here.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Even we do not know who of us survived your down-cycle "hunting," my dear.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Well, I-

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] And if we knew for certain who was responsible, we might not be having so pleasant a conversation.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Of course, some of us have Greats as sworn enemies.

:::::[UMSONDO] The Rain Queen is not all of her kind.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Well, I can speak with a clear conscience, and I can also say that I have seen no direct evidence of dragon magic.  None.  I've seen and felt a great many "odd" magics, but nothing dragon.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I take it then that you could not recognize the style or form?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] No, I could not.

An interesting passage, to be sure.  We now know that Dunkelzahn had sufficient shares of AZT to sit on the board, which may be why Hecate is surprised he does not know if another great Dragon was the secret power behind the company...or not.

The case of down-cycle hunting refers to a group which appears to have attempted to exterminate dragons as they slept through the down-cycle, with some success.  Certainly this reference puts Hecate's identity a notch closer to Alachia, who hates the dragons and would be a prime suspect for such hunting.

It is very interesting that after Laughing Man's comment Umsondo responds as he does, for it hints that he(or she) is not be aligned with Mujaji.  For further reference, it has been claimed by Harlequin that some Great Dragons enslaved certain elves in the past; this may or may not have anything to do with Harlequin's appearance on Madagascar.

It is rather telling that Jungle Cat could not recognize the style or form of Aztlaner magic, and more so that none of it appeared draconic; which is at odds with the theory that some Great Feathered Serpent taught the Aztlaners their blood magics.  It could be that the culprit did not want their style recognized, or traceable back to them as a source.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] How odd.  Why would they do that when it would be so simple just to create a simulacrum or surrogate of some kind?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Personal experience again?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Atzcapotzalco has always been something of an enigma, even when he was still a public figure.  We've received clear reports that he is magically capable and quite proficient; yet when I was in Aztlan on business ten years ago (in my "guise") I actually managed to get close to him for a short time.  I felt a palpable sense of power about him, and yet no effluence of an easily discernible aura.  I thought perhaps it was a double, but all other evidence indicated otherwise.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I've met him as well, a little less than eight years ago (after Mr. "Rat Dancer" says he "cacked off").  We...had words about certain Aztechnology practices and efforts with regard o the Tir.  He was not amused.  I was not amused.  He is a man of great power, mystic power.  I would have taken him for one of us, but to all cursory examinations he appears simply human.  Inexplicable.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Never dealt with the man, or whatever.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Could he have some artifact or object?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Possible, especially considering the area.  Cat, you said that Amazonia has a Locus.  COuld Aztechnology have one as well?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Then why the blood rites?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] True.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Theirs could be corrupt.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] A curse on that thought!

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] YOU HAVE GONE OFF THE TRACK HERE.  We shall return to this.

This began in response to voiced rumors that Juan Atzcapotzalco had died nine years previously (in 2048).  Lady of the Court questioned why they would retain Juan in particular, rather than create some sort of substitute that looks just like him.  I don't know what the "personal experience" comment Laughing Man uses means.

Jungle Cat's "guise" might be his metahuman form if he is a shape-changer.

Jungle Cat and Ehran's statements point out some oddities.  For one, Juan appears to be magically capable and in the same range of proficiency as an Immortal Elf...but he appears human.  The fact that he radiates power to those sensitive to it but lacks a discernible aura is very peculiar: if he doesn't have an aura, then he must be masking.  But if he's masking, he shouldn't be broadcasting power.  One possibility may be that if cybermancy was keeping Juan alive: he would create mobile background counts as he moved but retain his masking abilities as a magician.  Or it might be something else, such as an ancient magical artifact of some sort like Lady of the Court suggests..

A Locus, or mel'thelem, is an ancient and powerful magical device of unknown origin, purpose and power; although it appears to be located at a nexus of mana lines and able to empower mighty rituals when activated.  It is unclear why Aztlan would be more likely to have a Locus than any other region, unless they are artifacts of particular inhabitants; such as Great Feathered Serpents.   For the record, Aztlan does excavate a Locus in 2057, shortly before Dunkelzahn's death.

Apparently, with a Locus the blood magics that Aztechnology makes use of would not be necessary; Laughing Man says that it may indeed be necessary if the Locus is corrupt.  I am not sure how this could be accomplished or what its effects would be (save t o corrupt magicians that come into contact with it), but as the device contains veins of orichalcum, which may be tainted by Horrors, then it is possible.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I'm really surprised that none can confirm or disprove this dragon rumor.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] That would involve facts, my Lady.  We are, if nothing else, simply a bunch of rumormongers.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I for one am beginning to believe, Lady, that your statement may not be entirely true.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] What, that I am surprised? I resent the-

:::::[WORDSMYTH] No, that no one here knows the truth.

Paranoia?  Dunkelzahn knows that he's on the board, but if another great dragon is on the board?  Who knows?

:::::[HECATE] An elf?  Is he gifted?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I don't believe the right evaluations have ever been carried out.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] His behavior says he ought to be.  Another Watcher?

:::::[UMSONDO] No.

:::::[HECATE] Laughing Man insults us!

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Must I always keep order among my children?  Let us proceed...

Hecate asks if Domingo Ramos, one of the shareholders for AZT, is an immortal elf.  Wordsmyth replies that they haven't tested him (both Tirs have developed genetic tests to determine if an elf carries the right genes.)  It is unsure what a Watcher is, or why Laughing Man would think Ramos one.  Dunkelzahn's last comment can be seen as humorous, or revealing if the rumors that immortal elves are directly descended from great dragons is true.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Cat?  Would this explain the strange magics?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] No.  There are plenty of spirits in Amazonia.  I recognize their taste, as it were.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Yes, I'm sure "as it were." Indeed. <chuckle>

:::::[UMSONDO] With all due respect, perhaps Hecate has not observed for a sufficient length of time to draw the correct conclusions.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] What?  We are all wrong and you ar right?

:::::[UMSONDO] I merely caution against conclusions based on to few observations.  I say no more of the matter.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] That was sufficient.  We will do well to think more on this.  Perhaps, after all, this meeting has some reward to add to its irritations.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] At last, I receive some thanks.  I accept them in the spirit of generosity in which they were offered.


Another allusion to Lady of the Court's relative youth, and a hint that there may be some shadowy spirits lurking in AZT.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Possible?


:::::[WORDSMYTH] Hardly.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Perhaps, depending...

:::::[HECATE] Depending on where and how the sacrifice took place.  If the ritual were conducted in a area that maintained its potency, then yes, I believe it is possible.  Likely?  No.

A question as to whether the blood spirit of an ancient Aztec priest could actually have been maintained throughout the downcycle.  Such a being could survive on the astral if at a place that maintained it's Power Site or Background Count, and if blood sacrifices were correctly done there.

:::::[HECATE] A computer?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Technically possible, but not likely under current conditions.  There are rumors, of course.  Renraku, Fuchi and Saeder-Krupp are all supposed to have one or more AIs in development.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] The Denver Nexus is said to have or be one.

:::::[HECATE] I must admit technology is my weak spot.  It is possible?

:::::[WORDSMYTH]  As I said, not under current conditions.  Possible, that one can make a machine "smart" and "fast" enough to convince a human that it is alive...

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ah yes, the Turing Test.

:::::[HECATE] The what?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] A test by which one can supposedly determine if a machine is sentient.  If in a blind test the tester cannot differentiate between the machine and another human being, the machine is sentient.

:::::[HECATE] Preposterous!

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Indeed.  I would ask, who needs to be convinced?  Anyone?  The test depends on the use of a communication channel sufficiently degraded in content and context that the discrimination becomes impossible.  The Turing Test is as much a mere sleight of hand as any trivial children's party trick.  I possess an interesting paper debunking it by one Dr. Antonio Vieri of the University of Milano, though I think we might find that the good Doctor did not exist.  As such.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Indeed.  Why would Brightlight have chosen Milan?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Well, he'd done Florence and Venice, after all. <chuckle> He bores easily.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] The point is moot, as we can now use magic to test.  And I do not believe we will see genuine artificial sentience until we have true techn-organic machines.  An expert system smart enough to fool a human?  Certainly, but it won't be alive.

This section is response to a rumor that an Artificial Intelligence is behind AZT.  Brightlight in this instance is much more identifiable with Leonardo because of the esoteric computer knowledge, and the Italian cities mentioned.

It is interesting that Wordsmyth thinks they can test the sentience of a machine with magic.

:::::[HECATE] There is your "techno-organic" computer, word-player.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Possible, but I think the task is far beyond current expertise.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Some people say that there are "entities" in the Matrix.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ah, the techno-shamanic cults.  Yes, they do say that.  Should we believe them? No.  They're among the loonier people I know.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] There is always Brightlight...

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Would he associate with these fools?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Point taken.

:::::[HECATE] Agreement between you!  The moon will rise and set a hundred thousand times before that happens again.

In response to rumors AZT is developing biological computers from disembodied metahuman brains.  Laughing Man is very aware of the otaku, and possibly the Deep Resonance, as revealed in Virtual Realities 2.0

As a whole, the IEs tend to look down on shamans ( I think it has to do with their dependence on totems).  If Brightlight is Leonardo, then he does associate with otaku...but perhaps the cyberadepts rather than the technoshamans.

For Hecate's final comment, Laughing Man and Wordsmyth have a long-standing feud.  It was the subject of the harlequin campaign.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] He saw this on a vision quest??  That alarms me more than anything else.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] The source is questionable, Cat, despite what you might believe. and blank patches in his aura that writhed??  That sounds like something of which this person should have no knowledge...

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Is it what I think it is?

:::::[HECATE] You are too young to have experienced it personally, my dear, but yes.  Is sounds like Corruption.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] You would know, my dear.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] QUIET! We are at the heart of the matter!

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I thought we might be, old wyrm.  And I'll admit this requires further investigation-but additional supposition here is pointless.  We're treading on deep dark secrets I suspect we'd rather not bring up in mixed company.  The wounds, for some, are too fresh...Oh, dear, now I'm sounding like the wordster.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Remarkably, I must again agree with my painted friend.  This sounds potentially dangerous; the implications are frightening.  But if we are only going to wander into territory that causes dissent, we should stop, acquire more information, and then speak again.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Words!  Words!  How much more time will slip past?  The cycles repeat themselves truly, do they not?  You would all stand idly by while this horror continues until you can "research" it more and "discuss" it further?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I for one will not be inactive, my friend.  Fate has already dragged me into this, I will continue my fight.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Oh, please...

On a vision quest, a young shaman high on peyote saw the astral form of a dragon with black and blank writhing patches in his aura.

Hecate is actually key here.  Alachia would have, of the whole group, the greatest experience with wide-scale blood magic and the corruption it can cause in living things.  This would in turn explain Laughing Man's comment about the "wounds, for some, are too fresh" : Aithne Oakforest is certainly still traumatized by his experiences as a Thorn Elf in the Blood Wood.

The other possibility, of course, is a Horror-corrupted dragon.  The Scourge could likewise leaves old wounds.

Harlequin has already been involved in adventures to stop the Horrors, hence his final comment.

It is interesting, however, that Dunkelzahn believes this the heart of the matter: Corruption.  His words regarding the Cycles refer to the timeline of magical events in the world; such as Goblinzation, the arrival of the invae, SURGE, and so on.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] A situation that could easily be manipulated to one's benefit.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Very true.

A comment on the weakness in loaning AZT troops to Aztlaner forces: the AZT troops wait for their own CO to give 'em orders.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Quiet?  Very well...

I think Dunkelzahn is commenting on how none of the others are commenting that the AZT pyramid in Seattle is under the footprint of no less than three surveillance sats.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Interesting and interesting.

:::::[HECATE] We all knew it was only a matter of time before that tradition was revived among the less insightful.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] And it isn't as if we haven't done it already and given them something to emulate.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I know.  I'm just beginning to see an interesting trend that I had not expected to see.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Of what?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Awareness.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] <sigh> Okay, dragon, maybe this was necessary...

As regards to the warrior orders.  Hecate and lady of the Court of course refer to the similar groups of Tir na nOg and the paladins of Tir Tairngire.  Wordsmyth is surprised at how much the Aztlaners appear to be doing on purpose (i.e. more than coincidence would allow).

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Hence the reduction of religious shackles in the rest of the enlightened world.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Faith, as corrupt as the human hand may have made it, is one of those rare things that lets a person see the world not as a place of random chaos and indiscriminate loss, but one that through the heartache and grief has a purpose beyond the tragedy of the here and now.  The decline of faith has stolen hope from the human race.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I am surprised by those words coming from you.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] We, all of us here and others, have striven to weaken the hold of faith on the human heart for generations, so that when magic returned they might be more open to it and embrace it more quickly.  I believe we have made a terrible mistake.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I don't understand.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Their loss of faith has let them see the world as a cold place built on manipulable formulae and devoid of Meaning.  They are no longer afraid of the universe.

:::::[UMSONDO] Their loss of faith and a sense of purpose on the one hand with religious belief on the other.  This is an elementary stupidity.  You do well to mention fear, wyrm.  It has too often been the weapon of those who had the hold on the human heart that you speak of-and used that hold to shrivel, weaken, and pervert courage and curiosity, strength and valor, all the better to maintain their own authority and position.  There are always growing pains; without pains there will be no growth.  I am proud of where I Walk.

This seems fairly self explanatory.  It appears that the result of the Great Ghost Dance-the breaking of the USA, or perhaps a demonstration of the power of magic-was considered necessary by many of the Powers-What-Is.  The only question is Umsondo's final comment, which is very cryptic.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] So the increased potential of the area is being managed-it's not natural?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] As I feared.  It explains much.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Preposterous.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Really?  It has been done before.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] By those far more powerful in an environment far more conductive to such behavior.  Here?  Now?  Spare me.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] You denied the danger of the Spike Point.

This is regards to a report stating the teocallis of Aztlan possess higher than usual background counts, and on purpose.  Note that this is before Geomancy came out, but I think the difference between the two is in the implementation (Darke increased the Background Count on the Astral by slaughtering children).  Whom Wordsmyth might be referring to is unknown (possibly the Therans, but it is not positive), but he seems highly skeptical that such events can happen so soon in the cycle (like the Great Ghost Dance didn't give him a clue that such things could happen?)

Speaking of the GGD, when it was cast it created a Mana Spike, which was the focus of the Harlequin's Back campaign (2055).  The danger of the Spike Point was that it would have let the Horrors across early.

:::::[HECATE] A deliberate connection to the Tir na nOg Paths, perhaps.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] If so, it is a corruption.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Could there be a connection?

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Not unless one of us is over there showing them how to do things.  I think we know how unlikely that is.

:::::[HECATE] True.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] But something of knowledge is at work here.  I've sensed it.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You are perceptive.

This is following a depiction of the Aztlaner Path of the Sun, which is being compared to the Ways and Paths of Tir na nOg (they've already got the orders, the Path shouldn't be so surprising).  It is generally agreed that Something that knew how things worked in the last age of magic are teaching the Aztlaners in this age.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Finally, some insight.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You are ignoring what is important.

:::::[HECATE] That the Aztlaners are conducting rituals in their temples??  Isn't that what they're for??

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Have you ever assensed one of their teocalli?  The degree in power of some of them is astounding.

:::::[HECATE]  So they're conducting blood rites and figured out the right way to do it.  We have no worries for some time.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You said that before the Great Ghost Dance.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] That event should not have caused us problems.  It should not have happened to begin with.  We should find out from Coleman who taught him.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] There are two possibilities-they are being taught the ancient blood rites, or they are figuring them out for themselves.  Is either less frightening?

Wordsmyth was commenting on a poster saying the Aztlan religion was a focus around which to manipulate mana.  Laughing Man and Dunkelzahn are concerned over how powerful and effective the Aztlaners are.  Hecate and Lady of the Court complain that they should have time, that events should not cause problems yet.  This is important, because it implies that the reason they are having problems stemming from the Great Ghost Dance and the Aztlaner blood rites is because someone is coordinating the Aztlaner efforts.  Which brings us to Dunkelzahn's comment, and an excellent question.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I had not realized the implications of this.  Is the Huey Tlatoani a ceremonial title, or does it carry real power?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] We have seen no evidence that any of the presidents of Aztlan have been magically active or aware.  I suspect it is simply ceremonial.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] But then who holds the real position?

The head of the Aztlaner priesthood is the Huey Tlatoani, supposedly the same as the President of Aztlan.  This may be an example of a position that actually conveys power to those who assume that title.  An example is the Black Lodge, whose leader becomes a Pure Magician.

Personally, I always figured Juan would be a good prospect for the Heuy Tlatoani.

:::::[HECATE] Is this "Vicar General" the Huey Tlatoani?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Unlikely.  A few of these have been magically active, but even they have been far to o vulnerable to truly be the Emperor of the Sun.

Rather straightforward, that.  Next!

:::::[HECATE] So the spiritual leaders of the path of the Sun bow to the powers of Aztechnology.  I had thought the corporation's control purely political and economic.

You can send prayers over the Matrix.  Who controls the preisthood's systems?  AZT.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I always considered the practice of petitioning to be a piece of sheer genius.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] We see your true stripes at last.

Not sure what to make of this.  It occurs after a few posts debating whether hermetic circles or shamanic lodges are used in teocallis.  Could be Wordsmyth is cracking a bit of a joke.

:::::[HECATE] Fear this?  Oh, please.  I hope this was not what you considered so all-Holy important,

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Pay attention, but remember.

This was after someone made the observation that Aztlaners make a nominal blood sacrifice as part of religious observance.

:::::[HECATE] A ritual execution.  Again, I fail to see the reason for concern.

Another point in favor for Hecate being Alachia: overweening arrogance.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Tzitzimine?  This subject is only briefly touched on in the material I have read.  It seemed to have little significance beyond the the usual for such things.  Is the calendar not common knowledge?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] No.  I myself am only peripherally aware of it.  But I can tell you that the earlier transitions in the calendar have no basis in truth.  The ages changed based on the whim of priests, no on fact.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Fact is not what concerns me here.

This after a short run down of Aztec religious Ages.  The tzitzimine are supposed to emerge at the end of the Fifth Sun to and devour the world.

Dunkelzahn's comment may indicate that the existence/accuracy of the calendar, rather than its factual basis, is important.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] An interesting connection, but one that could be viewed simply as an omen.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Of course it could, but the "omen" has some basis in fact.  One is the harbinger of the other.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] The time is far from right.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] You said that not too long ago, but I have seen otherwise.

:::::[HECATE] So you say.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] So you have seen!

In this case, the High Priest of an Aztlaner cult said that the inspect spirits are an omen of the tzitzimine.  Assuming the Tzitzimine are the Horrors, then this is factually true.  Harlequin's comments are well-made, as he has fought the Enemy (Harlequin's Back).  Hecate's comment is short-sighted, especially if Harlequin's last comment means this discussion takes place after the events of Worlds Without End.

:::::[HECATE] Was this a personal message, or was there some deeper meaning?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Nearly as big as they come, but not for Atzcapotzalco...

A mad cultist brought a warm, squishy and above-all fresh elf heart  to Juan's office.  No, I have no idea what Dunkelzahn's comment means, unless it was to tell the power behind Juan/AZT something.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] This description sounds like it comes from bad trid-vid.

:::::[HECATE] Based on what was said earlier, it would seem you know better...?

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Yes, I know better.  I'll leave you to find out the details for yourselves.  They are not just a Catholic SWAT team.  If that were so, there would be nothing to concern ourselves with.

:::::[HECATE] So there is more?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] The Lady does not speak...even to tell us that many are magically active, which is mundane knowledge.  <pun intended>  Brightlight's absence is again unfortunate.  It would be most interesting to know what he thinks about them.  <chuckle>

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] We might indeed find it interesting, if he were party to their activities here but I doubt this is so.  Shall we proceed?
Just for the record, the New Jesuits are one of the branches of the Catholic Church interested in magic; the article in the book suggests they do not practice magic while Harlequin's pun suggests they do.  Brightlight might have interest as Leonardo is very interested in the Church, especially magical groups related to it.

:::::[HECATE] Nothing unexpected here.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] How confident you seem against what we are learning here.

This in regards that most of the upper priesthood nominally in service to Quetzacoatl are not actually shamans of the Plumed Serpent.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] What does that-

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Quiet.


Wordsmyth was confused why a proposed story for an Aztlaner blood mage was considered false because the magician was alone (Earthdawn blood magic didn't work that way).  Dunkelzahn wants to hold that off until it is fully revealed.  Laughing Man is realizing he's seen this before, maybe.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Harl-Laughing Man, is this what you told us you witnessed on your journey through the netherworlds involving the Bridge?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I did not witness it, but others did.  They visited a Place, a post-apcoalyptic world that may have been symbolic of our own, where blood magic much like this was practiced.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Could one of your surrogates from the journey have figured it out?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] No.  We've heard rumors of this for some time, but we've never seen any proof.  I find it hard to believe that if such acts are common, we would not have known of them.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] But you did know of them.  You'd at least heard of them, if not seen them.  Perhaps they were deliberately kept concealed from you?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Why?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Because Amazonia obviously has the backing of ancient powers.  Their techniques might have been recognized...

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] This is dangerous.  It implies an understanding of blood rites deeper than I'd suspected.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] And it means there could be things going on in the temples that are far more dangerous than we'd feared...

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Yes.

Okay, here we have the reactions to Aztlaner blood magic, the metamagic technique referred to as the "Path of the Sun" (Sacrificing in current parlance).

Lady of the Court asks Laughing Man if this is what he saw on his Astral Quest to stop the Enemy (see Harlequin's Back), where the runners came across a warped world where all magic was tainted with blood magic, but the bad corp boys had the ability to sacrifice others to power their spells.

Jungle Cat has apparently been kept away from this (and possibly other) types of magic, for fear he might recognize who is teaching the Aztlaners (of course, Hualpa used to lair in the Yucatan, so this might be another case of rebellious childer or finding a cache of dragon magic.)

The actual mechanical difference between this and previous blood rites is that this is definitively Death Magic, a type known as Damage Shift (causing physical wounds to reduce drain).

Of course, if they can use one death magic, they can use others...Laughing Man and Dunkelzahn's point.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] No, this can't be!  Such techniques are forbidden!

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Forbidden to whom?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Forbidden to anyone with any sense.  This is dangerous.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Hecate, if I may call you that...You are being awfully quiet.

Blood spirits do not appear in Earthdawn, and it is unclear exactly why they are dangerous (although the DePatternization from such a spirit/magical act might be one reason.)

Hecate, if Alachia or Aina, would be skilled and experienced enough in blood magic, nethermancy and Horrors to know more of this...but she isn't speaking.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Dragon, can you speak to this??

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I know of no losses of any of my kind to this perversion.  I believe, however, that it has been attempted with lesser forms.  With what success, I do not know.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Such corruption was possible before...but now?  So soon?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Remember, they need a certain environment to be summoned, but they do not need it to endure.

Wordsmyth and Dunkelzahn speak of the fact that living beings must be sacrificed to summon blood spirits; and dragons can make the most powerful such beings.

Jungle Cat's comment indicates this is not new, but the timing is unusual in the extreme.

Laughing Man's comments are direct references to the Horrors.  What connection, if any, blood spirits have to them is unknown.  Certainly it was shown that Darke used a Blood SPirit to help him build his second bridge in the Dragonheart Trilogy.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Distressing. Very Distressing.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I say again, Hecate you are being very quiet.

:::::[HECATE] What would you have me ay?  That I find such practices abhorrent?  There, I've said it.  Pleased?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN]  No, not really.  You have a history of consorting with the abhorrent.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] ENOUGH!  Do not have it out here!  We are agreed!  We are compacted!  The past is the past!

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] The past is never behind us.  We carry it with us always.  The question is whether we remember all of it, or choose to remember only part.

This is in regards to the fovae, sorts of "holes" in astral space.  Possibly a result of excessive blood magic.

This is an interesting scene between Hecate and Laughing Man.  It works much better if Hecate is Aina, who was the paramour of a Horror and a lover of Harlequin's for centuries; but it works almost as well for Alachia, who as Queen of the Blood Wood.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] The Aztlaners know better than to contest Bogota.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Still, I'd keep my eye on that border if I were you.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] You know something?

Small talk.  Bogota is where Aztlan meets Amazonia in what was Columbia.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Cat, do you get much grief from the Corporate Court?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Yes.  I suspect for the same reasons you do.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Indeed.

Neither Tir na nOg (Lady of the Court) nor Amazonia (Jungle Cat) are very friendly to foreign corporate interests, which pisses off the Corporate Court.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Is this true?? Is Ares Macrotechnology nuclear capable??

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Yes.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Was theirs the weapon in Chicago?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Yes.

:::::[HECATE] How many of these megacorporations have nuclear weapons??

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] The capability, or a stockpile?

:::::[HECATE] Both.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Most have nuclear weapons.  Few, excepting Ares, Saeder-Krupp, and Mitsuhama, have more than a token assortment.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Lofwyr has nuclear weapons?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Of course.  Wonderful irony, isn't it?

This was a little shocker to the ladies as who has the nukes in Shadowrun.  Dunkelzahn's last statement might refer to the fact that dragons like Lofwyr now have access to weapons of mass destruction (instead of the previous age, where the highest military technology was a giant flying stone battleship, three of which together were capable of taking down a Great Dragon).

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Occidental dragons??

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I believe the author is referring to what the humans call "western" dragons.  Or perhaps simply non-"Oriental."

An odd choice of names, is all.  The section confirmed more than just feathered serpents live in Aztlan.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Do they truly not understand what's going on in their own world?  I am continually amazed.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I do not seem to remember reading any publication revealing the reality behind your nation and her magic, my Lady.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] Touché.

Lady of the Court is bitching about how ignorant the shadowposters (and Dr. Danchekker) are as regards the real situation in Aztlan; and the world in general.  Dunkelzahn reply turned into one of the requests in his Will.  Hah!

:::::[HECATE] This should be interesting...

A shadowposter asked for the clean goods on Amazonia's mojo.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I will pre-empt everyone's obvious question: no, we are not using one of the Great Rituals to empower the forest.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] You have a Locus point, do you not?  Intact?

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Yes.


:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ironic, yes, that the near-death of us all brings new life to the world?

:::::[HECATE] That was always the intent.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I will not dignify that with a  response.

The Amazonian Rainforest is regenerating insanely fast.  Jungle Cat (I assume) is saying that the rituals being used won't cause a Mana Spike; they're using some sort of ritual even though they have a Locus.  The last three lines are difficult to interpret, but make a kind of sense if they refer to the Blood Wood of which Alachia was Queen.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] This seems to imply you are using at least third or fourth stage Lesser Rituals.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Things are not easy.  Even with the Locus we must supplement the forces.  We are, however, being very careful.  Laughing Man, you will not have to repeat your actions because of us.


:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I still say we should have killed Coleman.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I do not seem to remember you being part of, or even caring about, such things then.  Besides, the outcome was required.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] But it did not need to happen that way.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] True.

This is in reference to posters commenting on the unnatural speed of regeneration and the blood magic being used to fuel it.  I have no idea what "third or fourth stage Lesser Rituals" are.  Jungle Cat's comments seem to imply the Amazonians are working to avoid creating another mana spike like the Great Ghost Dance did, so Harlequin won't have to have another Astral Quest (Harlequin's Back).

:::::[HECATE] What is an "Awakened jaguar"??

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] That would be me.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] <chuckle>

:::::[UMSONDO] And he is hardly alone.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ah, our leonine friends.  perhaps I should take a closer interest in such matters.

:::::[UMSONDO] Perhaps you should.

This singular reference points to Jungle Cat as a were-jaguar, or other form of shape-shifter.  Umsondo's comment may mean that Umsondo is a were-lion, explaining that poster's Azanian interests...but the evidence is too scanty for sureties.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] The presence of this kind of information here disturbs me.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] You get used to it, and invest more money in computer security.

A military assessment of the likelihood of infiltrating Aztlan from the Amazonian border.  Little leaks.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] I'll be sure to alert my broker.

A sarcastic comment about the economic nature of this part of the document.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] So is this civil war a Mayan versus Aztec cultural clash?  This says most of the people in the Yucatan are of Mayan descent.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] It is not a cultural war, though I have seen undertones of those feelings at times.

Not incredibly important, I think.

:::::[HECATE] Springtime in Tenochtitlan.  You waste our time.  We could have easily given this a miss.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You have missed what mattered.  You grasped at tangents but you missed the core of the matter.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Then direct our attention.  Show us the way to truth, O master. <chuckle>

:::::[UMSONDO] I kept my counsel at the moment of suggested return, wyrm.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I noticed that.

:::::[UMSONDO] It is a question of construct or substance, is it not?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] It is.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] I trust we shall be enlightened regarding this enigmatic exchange.  For my part I already see steps must be taken.  I have underestimated Aztechnology.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You will note that, from the information here, it does not appear that Lofwyr has made that mistake.  I am surprised he has not told you more of his plans.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] He and I don't talk as much as you'd think.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] <chuckles>

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] We will come back to a certain something shortly.

:::::[HECATE] You mean beyond sending them a polite little warning about being careful what hey call up?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I suspect you are being facetious, but such a warning would be all the more appropriate coming from you.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Hey, now who's being pointed?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] My apologies.

:::::[HECATE] Accepted.

:::::[LADY OF THE COURT] There are others I should tell of this.  I'd like to go, if you please.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] If you believe that you have heard all that will be said, then go, and we shall meet again.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] As will we all, and sooner than some of us suspect.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Perhaps.  I have instructed my assistant to release the isolation locks.  You are free to depart when you chose.


:::::[HECATE] This does not frighten me as it does some others.  These days are tame compared to the last age.


:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Bitch.  She has no right to be speaking with us.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN]  Ah, but the Compact!  The Grand Deal!  The "If We Don't Stop Yelling At Each Other We'll All Be Dead" Agreement!

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] I never signed it.

:::::[UMSONDO] Nor I.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] No one ever needed you to, Watcher.

:::::[JUNGLE CAT] Thank you, dragon.  My eyes did not need opening, but I have seen more today.  You will be hearing from me.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Goodbye.


:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Perhaps it is time my best friend and I followed the rest, mine host. <chuckle> But for one thing.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Many have concluded that our little conclave is at an end, painted one.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] But the Watcher remains.

:::::[UMSONDO] I always do.  Is that not the way of the Watcher?

:::::[THE LAUGHING ONE] I have not forgotten that there was something to return to.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Nor I.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] I can't see the importance of it, however.  It is not unusual-ailing men have often been "preserved" one way or another.  The Chinese have based their government on that principle. <chuckle>

:::::[UMSONDO] It is a matter of appearance or substance.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] That is not what you first said.

:::::[UMSONDO] I never use words imprecisely.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Is this a matter for a game of words?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Ha! >THE LAUGHING MAN TIPS HIS HAT TO UMSONDO< Magnificent!  My friend complains of wordplay!

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Construct or substance.  Are you absolutely precise regarding the term "construct"?

:::::[UMSONDO] Did I not say?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Then you imply that something has been created, not preserved, if we deal with construct.  This, I suspect, is the illusion.  The reality is substance.  You do not mean the substance of bodies and blood, do you?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] What??  Impossible!  There is no Locus!

:::::[UMSONDO] Did Jungle Cat say so?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] He did not...It cannot be.  It could not sustain...

:::::[WORDSMYTH] This is the point of the temples and sacrifices, wyrm.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] I am glad that those who remained have the foresight and intelligence to perceive what I had hoped they might.

:::::[WORDSMYTH] Even if your traveling tales were half true, buffoon, they would pale in significance compared to this.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Among us and cocooned with such power?  I cannot...Watcher, Truth or Not?

:::::[UMSONDO] I Watch and do not judge.


:::::[WORDSMYTH] This changes everything.  We must speak to many others.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Brightlight.  Brightlight knows, does he not?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] Was there ever anything of substance he did not know if he chose to?

:::::[WORDSMYTH] He will not have dealings outside of his own concerns.  I shall deal with those who will.  I must go at once.  You will need no deceptions or subtle coercion to speak with us again, wyrm.


:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Well, I'm impressed.  I didn't think I'd ever see that again.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] The tension was almost palpable at times.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] But the conversation light. <chuckle>  Did you choose only my friend and I to present the gift of that last revelation?

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] No.  As is happened, those too hasty to leave will have to find out from better informed sources.

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Your gift to my friend and I.  Sly, sly wyrm.  I have to say I am against our telling the mortals too much-and nothing of what you have just let us know.  They are far too untrustworthy and likely to misuse what we tell them.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] And your kind has given a better accounting of itself?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Touché.  I should go.

:::::[THE BIG 'D'] You have never told our most recent guest about his daughter?

:::::[THE LAUGHING MAN] Nope.  Grand, neh?  Adios.




:::::<Our Channels were beyond the dragon's decker.  He never felt or suspected my Presence.>

:::::<What did you learn?>

:::::<Nothing we did not suspect.>

:::::<Was the file capture complete?>


:::::<Then amend the Shadowland file with their conversations.>

:::::<They will be furious and blame the dragon.>

:::::<Then lkeave our conversation in, but delete the Names.  Let them wonder.>

I'm not sure what Lofwyr's plans are.  Wordsmyth's comments make sense because both he and Lofwyr were princes of Tir Tairngire at the time, but little love is lost between them.

The exchange between Hecate and Dunkelzahn is confusing.  If it was Aina and Dunkelzahn, it would make sense (she summoned the Horror Ysrthgrathe), but Alachia doesn't have such a history I am aware of (unless Dunkie means the wood spirits in the Blood Wood).

The compact or agreement Laughing Man refers to is unknown.  I really doin't have any guesses.

The sticking point of the last conversation is Juan Aztcapotzalco.  While many claim the term "construct" means that Juan is a Horror Construct or even a Drake; Wordsmyth seems to imply that this is the illusion.  Juan is not being maintained by cybermancy nor a construct, but is instead being maintained...apparently by the blood magic sacrifices.

Now, my interpretation of what that means is that Juan Atzcapotzalco is a being that requires a certain level of mana to maintain itself...hence the blood rituals and the Locus (of course, the Locus wasn't really activated until 2057...unless it was a second Locus).  Could be a Horror, or not.

The last bit with Laughing Man: he has Wordsmyth's daughter in his care, as his pupil.

The very final section is, from the mention of channels, a pair of otaku.  Who they work for...the Deep Resonance, Brightlight, unknown.