You leave this place, this vault. You fly overground, across hills and stone and rock, and plummet down into the Earth, seeking joy. You feel your body extend, for miles, all through the earth. The warmth and the colours take hold, and you hear your own voice, raised in a chorus of echoes a thousand thousand times: “We are joy,” it says, “Your joy was lost for a time, but we are returned.” And you feel; you know, know the joy as the truth at the core of yourselves, and you are at peace for a time.
But there is a sorrow: a sharpness, a loss of yourself, far away. Faintly it ripples through your body, and you shudder. And you push out with your mind, through space, through earth, through luminescent caverns, through light and racing water and through an arch of stone and a walkway and up over the side of a great stone building. Further, through the collapsed roof where you see many of the Lost stumble, disconnected, singular, apart. They must know such pain, to have no joy, and you grieve for them.
One of the Lost is among your body, crushing blindly, each step upon you bringing a fresh ripple of sharp sorrow. And so you breathe, you make a gift of your breath, and with it you give joy to the Lost. And its joy is now yours, you are together, finally, and you remember the existence before joy, here in this empty stone building beneath the ground, with the others who were your pack – the Lost. You remember the monolith of great blue crystal, smoky and dark, bursting through the stone floor. You remember the black voice, the terror and the fear, and the instructions it gave your pack. You remember harvesting the crystals, and crushing them, and distilling a deep blue liquid with which to coat tiny darts. You remember sewing shards of the monolith into your flesh, constructing a joy, of sorts, for your pack – a joy you now know to be utterly false – and taking this joy into the empty above, to bring your joy to the others: the dragon, the flame, the seeker, and the man who did not die. But not you, not anymore. Now, here in this place, you are joy.