The College of the Stars requests escorts and aides to help a research investigation into a patch of flux a few miles south of Margush, which is seemingly defined entirely by the beliefs of local children.
The party initially head to Margush, arriving in good time and with little trouble on route. In Margush they see refugees from Liarus, which has recently been occupied by the Serradic Empire. The Liaran refugees are refused entry into Margush, and only Mark Carter’s quick intervention prevents violence breaking out and provides the refugees with sufficient provisions to attempt the long journey to Acryn.
Having received further directions from their contact in Margush, the party head into the Flux. Almost immediately disaster strikes, as a snowstorm appears from nowhere and separates mark from the rest of the party. Once found it is discovered that he is frozen solid, although strangely still alive. The party journey further into the flux, meeting golden geese, angry drunks, and traders of improbable items, before entering a village under attack by strange shadow creatures. The strangeness only increased by the village being made up of consensus children, flux talking ponies, and one consensus talking pony wayfinder.
Once the monsters are defeated, the party speak to the ponies and children. Curiously, the children admit that most of the ponies are new but insist that Dream-Chaser (the Wayfinder pony) grew up with them. The ponies are keen to explain to Mark that his only real chance (now that his heart, and everything else) has been Frozen is True Love, much to the disgust of everyone else who overhears. When questioned the ponies also provide details on how to find the snow-queen, how to avoid the bad-place, and the magical benefits of friendship. Dream-chaser confirms that the bad-place is where the children came from, and is different from other areas in the nearby area (something which the party interpret as being consensus). In the meantime, Ragnar convinces the children to follow him in order to track down their parents.
Having eaten, the party head towards the bad-place, convinced that anything interesting about the area will be found there. They arrive to find a consensus village, but also a number of old magical defenses designed to keep them out. The fight against the defenses is pretty difficult, with wounds appearing on the party that they do not even remember receiving. When the defences are finally dealt with the party look around the village to see a number of teenagers coming out to see what the noise was, a large column of black, a pile of (fresh looking) corpses, and a larger number of scattered skeletons. While the teenagers are initially hostile, they are talked down, and it becomes apparent that these are also residents of the village. Between the stories that have already been teased out of the children, the more detailed knowledge of the teenagers, and investigation of the village itself, a rough course of events is established.
Just before the upheaval, a group of strangers entered the village. They killed the adults but just locked up the children. They then prepared the defenses and conducted a massive ritual. The size of the ritual is estimated as several hundred mana crystals worth, perhaps even a thousand. The column of blackness is the epicentre of the ritual, and the ritual killed most, but not all, of the participants. When the children finally got free they found that the rest of the world was “gone”, replaced by the unreal (the flux). Investigation into the ritual shows elements of most of the recognised rites, but also at least one here-to undiscovered rite.
During the investigations, several members of the party interact with (and are swallowed by) the column of black. Mark Carter exits with his body restored but otherwise fine. Ragnar, Francesco, and Gideon Scar all exit with no obvious effects, but all feeling somewhat different. Eventually the party move on towards the palace of the “Snow Queen”, considering this to be the last element of the area which needs to be studied. As they head there, they meet a number of brightly coloured small bears who seem intent on leading the party somewhere, something which the party briefly go along with before coming to their senses. Ragnar seems particularly upset by the creatures, leaving the now skinned corpses strewn around the surrounding area as he leaves with their furs.
The party eventually reach the palace of the Snow Queen, finding their way through to the Palace’s owner. The meeting is initially tense, but seems to settle down as it becomes apparent that Mark is in the process of seducing her. The party stay a few days in the palace before making ready to leave.
On their way out, they are assaulted by a man of Serradic descent and a number of magical constructs. To everyone’s confusion, he assaults the party using magic while declaring that he will not let agents of Frederick Dines get their way. After a close fight, the party eventually overcome him, stripping him of his magical accoutrements and (after a brief discussion of how effective binding are likely to be) holding him down as he wakes up. Eventually the party convince the man that they are not in-fact agents of Frederick Dines, his rage seems to leave him and he starts to cry. Slowly the party tease out his story: Frederick Dines, Kyros (the Serradic Binding mage), and Charles Santos had recognised that the world was ending. That the world was falling to stasis and soon change would be impossible. So they had hatched a plan to reset the world, return it to a world of pure-potential. It went badly wrong. At least three of the dragons hold some sort of hatred against humanity, and something about the world prevents them from acting freely. With the world gone these dragons were free to act, and humanity burned. Only the apparent spontaneous reconstruction of the world prevented the true end of humanity.
Eventually the party decide to let Kyros go, after establishing that they will be able to find him in the event they need to speak with him. They then mull over the startling news, that the architect of the upheaval -Frederick Dines- is alive and likely active in Acryn.
After debriefing back in Acryn, Mark returns to his Queen’s castle, spending time reshaping the land around the castle to ensure that only those seeking friendship should be easily able to find their way. He then begins to investigating the nature of himself, Sunset Chaser, and his Queen. There isn’t much that can be said for certain, wayfinders do not seem to be any different from any other consensus human (even Sunset Chaser), while the Queen seems to show no difference to any other flux creature (bar her ability to continue to exist away from any stabilising influence). However, using the additional insight gained while in the column of potential, Mark does get a slight sense of some purpose to his and Sunset Chaser’s existence: the safekeeping and protection of the consensus.
Sometime later, Mark and the Snow Queen visit the village, where Mark attempts to move the corpses of the villagers to a specially prepared mausoleum. Frustratingly, he can find no method of shifting the bodies. After some discussion with the Snow Queen she grasps what the problem is and what you want to achieve. With a wave of her hand a flood of snow flurries around the bodies, subtly changing them (Loosely Self Defined, Outside influence shaping, altered). You both then move the bodies back to the castle, interring them in the mausoleum below the palace.
Back in Acryn, Ragnar Thane begins to train the orphans he picked up during his journey. While initially sceptical of his offers, the children seem to respond well to his speeches and are quickly becoming incredibly dedicated to him.