Last time on “Legend of the LAOA”, Sierra learned her character class and bonded with a flying horse, and Tasha took the crystal cat back to Aldenmor for research purposes. What crazy magitech hijinks will they get into? Find out after the cut.
Back at the Crystal Keep, Tasha is trying to record the crystal cat’s “musical signature” onto a data crystal with her magitech iPhone. We finally get a description of how these data crystals work: Tasha records stuff with her iPhone, and the data is beamed directly into the data crystal. So it looks like everyone outside of Earth figured out the whole wireless data transfer stuff before we did.
AND THIS IS WHY THE PARTY SHOULD TELL EVERYONE ON EARTH ABOUT MAGIC. But they don’t, because reasons.
Anyway, Tasha is interrupted by Raelda, who contacts her via magic mirror. Tasha makes a brief status update on affairs at the Garden: her research team has found lots of interesting magitech research in the ruins of the Dark Sorceress’s lair, she has cataloged all the magical animals in the Garden, and she’s working on a mage manual and a series of lectures on the LAOA. Raelda asks about Tasha’s new apprentice, Dorchester (occasionally referred to as Dorie), and offers to send a care package of pumpkin cookies before hanging up.
And speak of the devil, Dorchester shows up. He’s kind of a sour little goblin: he is really annoyed by all the talking magical animals, and he doesn’t believe that the crystal cat is really an LAOA. In fact, the only thing he cares about are his reports. Today he has three to show to Tasha: a catalog of troll artifacts, a shipment of food and grooming supplies from Ravenswood, and a draft of the mage manual. Of course, this progress update is interrupted by Ozzie’s cousins Schmoot and Tonin, who ask Dorchester for more data crystals to record The Legend of Ozymandias, Part 8 and some food.
Meanwhile, Tasha finally scans the cat with her magitech iPhone and discovers that the cat is half-animal, and half-magic jewel. The cat then formally introduces himself for the first time … but his name is in the “ancient language of Avalon” — i.e. a spellsong. Tasha settles on calling the cat Lyric, which makes it easy for me because I don’t think I can type musical notation here.
Lyric notices the magic mirror Tasha used earlier, and explains that portals are a much better way of communicating. Dorchester tries to explain that you can’t just plop a portal anywhere — that’s not how you think with portals. But apparently crystal cats, like Lyric, can create permanent portals. It turns out that the secret to permanent portals, along with other awesome magic / magitech knowledge, was guarded by the LAOAs after they escaped from Avalon. And the LAOAs will only pass down their knowledge to “good” mages. But dark mages — yes, there are other dark mages out there — are hunting Lyric so they can find the other LAOAs. And knowing how dark mages work — what with the whole killing-bonded-animals-to-use-magic business — this isn’t a Good Thing.
Tasha figures out that, if she and everyone else at the Garden can help Lyric make a portal to the LAOAs’ world, the dark mages won’t be able to track him. So everyone heads out the Fairy Ring to make a portal. Drake, who is bathing outside, decides to help out, too.
Once at the Fairy Ring, Tasha uses her magic tracking app to track the LAOAs, and Lyric creates a portal with everyone’s magic. The portal initially settles on Ravenswood, which gives Tweek an opportunity to show up and help everyone with the portal. Then, the portal shifts to a dark world full of werebeasts — those wolf-things from Part 2. The werebeasts pull Dorchester into the portal right when it shifts to another location. So Dorchester is stuck flying around other realms — including one filled with “mothmooses”, whatever those are — until the portal settles on a big blue fuzzy thing.
It turns out that the fuzzy thing is Bluebell, one of Lyric’s LAOA friends. Everyone stabilizes the portal, and voila! There’s a permanent link between Aldenmor and the LAOAs’ world. Lyric returns to his world, and Dorchester is reluctantly sent back to Aldenmor. And Tasha thinks that she and the party will see more of the LAOAs in the future….
AND HOLY CRAP I’M ACTUALLY DONE WITH ALL THE AVALON BOOKS AND SIDE-STORIES.
Other Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
The Garden is now the bestest magitech research facility ever, thanks to its archive of data crystals on magic, and its collection of charms, amulets, and enchantments.
Raelda has a herald who announces her presence on all mirror calls. His name is Twon — which, for some reason, reminded me of Tuon from Wheel of Time.
So why did Tasha catalog all the animals at the Garden? Well, after Emily helped pair all the merfolk with sea dragons at the end of Heart of Avalon, all the other humanoid races decided to join the mage bandwagon and get bonded animals of their own. Tasha mentions that there are some candidates from the Fairy Realms who want to become mages. Maybe we’ll see them in Shadow Warrior…?
Crazy theory: the Avalon: Web of Magic series exists in the Avalon universe as The Legend of Ozymandias.
Schmoot and Tonin ask Dorchester to fetch them bubbleberry shakes and grain tacos. Bubbleberries appeared in Jewel Riders, usually in pie form. As for grain tacos … are they tacos made with grain tortillas, or are they tacos filled with grain? If they’re the latter, then … eww. (Also, the latter is more proof that elves are vegetarian … which means they probably made Drake a vegetarian, too.)
Hey, wait! Unicorns can make portals, too! But Lyric explains that unicorn portals aren’t permanent — they close after a unicorn goes through it.
There are hints that Dorchester may have bonded with Bluebell. He immediately misses Bluebell after returning to Aldenmor. Also, Bluebell seems to be a blue Phelonius.
We see two other LAOA species: a Ki (some sort of orange-green bird) and a Thundercloud Pegasus (a horse with blue crystal wings).
Ms. Roberts hinted in her interview with us that we are going to see more of the LAOAs in Shadow Warrior. I’d like to see where this is going next….
Next time: YOU GUYS CHOOSE WHAT I DO NEXT!