It Came Upon Tomesmas Day

Dec 24 2027 - Day 2611

Sable and James are sitting opposite each other in James’s quarters. They are having a conversation that doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about and is about upcoming events.   Sable yawns.   Sable: Captain, I think that for tonight we can discuss things after Tomesmas.
James: I think that would be good.
  James yawns himself.   James: I look forward to your carrot cake.
  Sable smiles and goes to the door and wishes James a good night and he wishes the same. Once Sable has left, he changes into his nightclothes and goes to bed.   Once, James falls asleep a ghostly figure can be heard by him.   Ghostly Figure: [Ghostly]Not this time James.
  James gets a dream that time is running backwards in the fashion of rewinding a VHS. He sees the conversation he just had. He notices some obvious points such as moments in the Second Word War and meeting Greg in Lemon Grove. He sees the time Sable dragged him to the noble’s table and the First Word War. This continues well past him enlisting with House Lapin.   James sees the day he buys his house, he sees his days as a Redsmith and then his first day working as one. James sees that he has frozen on the spot when he left his parent’s home to go right to the Redsmith's as a teenager.   Ghostly Figure: [Ghostly] No James, don’t go right, go straight on.
  Time resumes, but forwards, James goes straight on.   Ghostly Figure: [Ghostly] That’s it, go straight on and change the world.
  James hears a malevolent laugh and is shaken awake.   James shakes awake in a bed that he was not originally in and sees that he was asleep on a bedroll on the floor of Adam’s blacksmith, rubbing his right temple; he notices that his scars are not there, perturbed by the fact he couldn’t change into a tiger. James looks around to see Adam next to him.   Adam: Good morning, James ready for another day of hard work?
  James, being slightly surprised looks at what he is wearing, he is wearing a faded blacksmith’s uniform, he looks to Adam.   James: What is the date, Adam?
Adam: It's November 2, there's a war on. Ready to get up and make some swords?
  James shakes his head wondering if being the Captain of the Owsla was all a dream and seems to break back to reality.   James: Sure thing, as long as we can have a chat at lunch?
  Adam nods and helps James up and the pair get to work. James pouring coal into a forge. Adam forges a sword when the forge is hot enough they share the same forge, making swords and other tools.     At lunchtime, James asks Adam, how he became a blacksmith. Adam informs James that he came to him when his father died.  

March 6 2021

James awakes to hear the announcement bell ring from The Warren. Sneaking out and leaving a note, that he will be along a bridge if he is needed. James makes his way to The Warren.   Announcer: House Apis has fallen. [They ring the bell and repeat their message another two times]   James appears to mouth the words to the announcement as if he somehow knows, what the message is.   Interesting, I will wait for the next bell to see if I am right again, there’s something fishy happening here, James thinks to himself.   James makes his way back to the blacksmiths and gets back to work on a gate.  

August 11 2021

James hears the bell and as before, he leaves a note and leaves for The Warren again.   Announcer: House Meles has fallen. [They ring the bell and repeat their message another two times].   Again James seems to be able to guess the House name.   The announcer continues to say that Sable, Leader of House Lapin, will make an announcement at 12 30 hours.   I’d better hear this announcement, James thinks.   Sometime later and James notices what time it is he leaves for The Warren and eavesdrops on the announcement.   Sable: After two battles and our Great House stands, our scholars have been researching [murmurs in the crowd] We need to find the Iron Tome. [Sable Pauses] The Iron Tome is what will save us from the undead. [whispers].
Sable: Your usual duties are kept, your extra activities like researching in the library are terminated, everyone needs to research where the Iron Tome is or where it can be found as, priority A. [salutes are given as a matter of respect]
  James gets the realisation of when he is and thinks, I'd better see Michael and give him what I know already.   James patiently waits for the announcement to end and peers into The Warren to see Sable leaving upstairs and looking for Michael.   Spotting Michael, James calls out to him, he looks perplexed as to why a non-member of House Lapin is asking or even knows his name.   Michael: Can I help you?.
James: Yes, Michael, I know you but you don’t know me, the knowledge you seek for Sable is in volume 243 of the governmental records, you will need to make an amulet of heat and become familiar with Dazzlikat, the mercenary. To be successful in the war.
Michael: [confused]Thanks I guess.
James: It's ok, Micheal, be sure to do it for our sakes.
Michael nod at this and James leaves.   Well at least in this timeline Michael will be the one to take the plunge to Mollusca and not me, James thinks.   James leaves for the blacksmiths.  

November 25 2022

Hearing the clamour of battle readies a cheap-looking civilian sword and a cloak. Writing a note to Adam saying he will be with Mollusca. He states his understanding that it will mean that he will have less pay.   James sneakily leaves the blacksmith and sneaks a look around a corner. Hearing a splash, James understands that it is Michael taking the plunge to Mollusca.   James runs as quietly and as sneakily as he crosses the road to go behind The Warren and sees Sable and Stretch go through a portal it lingers open so James goes through too.   Finding himself in Japan, James hugs his back with the wall so Sable can’t see him following a distance away they get to the Head Quarters of House Mollusca. Awaiting for enough time to pass so that he would not be confused to be with Sable’s group, he enters House Mollusca.   Molluscan Corporal: State your intentions, Civilian.
James: I’m from Kelowna, since Lapin fell I'd figured I would work for your house until the war is over.
Molluscan Corporal: Are you of any use to us?
James: I am a blacksmith, I can make your weapons for the impending battle.
  The Corporal looks to James with regard and allows them in. He swops with someone else and leads him to a large room, that at one point would have been a theatre room with a stage.   James is led to a camp bed that has had its blankets folded at one end and a camp pillow at the other.   Molluscan Corporal: This is what we can afford you. Your food will be bland but will sustain you. If we have work for you, we expect you to do it. Is that understood?
  James nods and makes or at least tries to make a respectful gesture towards the Corporal.   James places the sword under his camp bed, he wraps the blanket around himself and tries to get some sleep, shivering through the night.  

November 26 2022

Someone who looks like they would have originally been from Meles, kicks the metal leg of his camp bed. James doesn't stir from his sleep, so the member kicks the bed harder, making the bed move a solid 2 cm.   Meles Member: [harsh]Oh wake up. Have some food.
  Having given James a bowl of oatmeal, they use their spare hand to slap James in the left temple and is given a drink.   Meles-Member: [harsh]Do you think, I want to do this duty.
  They look James over and spot the sword under his bed.   Meles Member: [Stringent]Oh a blacksmith, they’ll have a use for you.
Meles Member: [spiteful]Oh you enlisted late I guess.
  They laugh as they leave to feed the next person. James looks pathetic as he can as so the Meles-Member, leaves him alone.   Sometime later another who looks like they could be from Northern British Columbia, comes into the room and looks around the room and appears to spot the new person, that being, James and walks other to him.   Alexis: I take it you are a blacksmith?
  James trying to be humble takes the sword from under his camp bed and gives it to be appraised. Alexis takes the sword and looks at it, while it looks like something a civilian would use for home defence from the living. It does not seem to conjure any power aspirations from Alexis.   Alexis gives the sword back to James.   Alexis: [gently]You best leave that sword here, to mark the camp bed as occupied.
  Alexis makes follow me gesture and James complies.   Walking through House Mollusca they soon walk past Sable, so he lowers his head so as to not get her attention and who she is with. Michael must be found and rescued then. James thinks.   Leaving the building they walk around the side to an obvious Japanese looking outbuilding that is open on all sides and has a forge of multiple people, mostly men, working there. They walk up to the forge.   Alexia: You will be working here to make weapons.
Alexia: [serious]You’d better get in when it gets dark if you know what I mean.
  She winks and James nods his understanding.   Going over to the other men, he is equipped with an apron and is given specifications on what to make. James takes a long piece of steel and sticks it in a forge, in the process of making a sword.

April 30 2023

James finds himself back in the final battle, having been taken unawares as with the other blacksmiths. He takes a sword he had finished which had been sharpened.   James attacks the undead to protect the others and goes over where the primary battle taking place, he orientates himself to where Sable and the others would be.   James attacks the undead the best he can and manages to decapitate and therefore kill some members of the undead. Reaching the foot of the mountain as last time, James gets blinded by the dust from the air blowing past him realising what this is he looks around to see some of the members of the undead have been restored to the houses, they were originally in.   Sometime later, he follows the crowd of members of the houses. Coming to a familiar convention hall, James takes a low profile and sits and watches at a distance. After the celebrations start James goes back to House Mollusca to sleep in his bed.  

May 1 2023

James awakes to find the same member from House Meles, kicking at his camp bed.   Meles member: Which house’s territory did you come from?
  James feeling like he must get his own back, stands up and lightly kicks him in the shin.   James: [harsh]Well if you must know House Lapin, Kelowna.
  James notices that the member didn’t take the information in. James goes to him and timidly kicks him in the other shin.   James: [annoyed]The living have won this battle, isn’t that enough.
James: [annoyed]Do I need to be more mean like you have been to me and my other civilians or can we just go back to our normal lives.
  James looks him in the eye.   James: [As if talking to a child]House, Lapin, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, North America. North West of Helena.   The Meles member leaves and in about another hour, a Molluscan comes into the door and calls a house name that is not in his local area. In the next half an hour, he hears someone say the word “Lapin” and stands up and walks over to the person ushering civilians.   James is in a group of about 30 people and is towards the back of the group. They go into another room with the other civilians who are carrying more than, James. Others look pitifully at him and he nods back.   In the room, a portal of purple opens up, and the man who ushered them here, says “Prince George”. Some people leave through the portal, when the traffic stems the portal closes and momentarily opens up again, revealing a small place with three railway tracks.   Man: Revelstoke.
  As before people leave through the portal. Other names and places come up other than the place he wanted James hears the name “Duncan”.   Sometime later, a purple portal opens up with a distinctive bridge on the other side, with a building with a burned-out roof with smoke still flying. James’ lips move before the man does.   Man: Kelowna.
  James walks forward and through the portal and turns around to see the portal close, with his fellows he walks back to the Blacksmiths.  

October 31 2024

James hammers at a sword absentmindedly and looks out the window to see a man walking with a horse. Seeing that he is a messenger James gets the hint that it is time for him to meddle again.   James leaves the blacksmiths saying he will have an early lunch but will make the time up. He follows the messenger, at a distance, with his two messages. Sure enough, he goes to The Warren, waiting for his cue, he hears Sable shouting and being snappy with other members. James hears Sable fall over flat on her backside in The Lobby of The Warren.   James walks to the doorway of House Lapin and rests his right shoulder against the door frame.   James: House Felis and Incendium have left the fealty of House Lapin.
  James walks carefully to Sable and helps her up, seeing as she doesn't know James she fights his assistance, hitting and slapping his hands away. Rolling his eyes, he makes eye contact with Sable.   James: You have a mace called Fluffy, and you miss your husband Erin, you have a Son you don’t want people to know about. [James winks]
  Sable stops slapping James and blinks confused to him. He ensures that Sable can stand correctly on her own.   James:[calmly-direct]Hard times are coming for Lapin, Mother of Bunnies, [he looks around thoughtfully], it's time you should start the Owsla, one captain and three others. You're going to need them.
  James leaves, Sable is confused and follows him to the doorway.   Sable: Whoever you are, thank you.
James: Not at all, leader of House Lapin, one other thing?
Sable: Yes?
  Knowing that Sable would not know what this was referring to, James continues anyway.   James: You’re not mean, you are authoritative.
 

Dec 13 2025

  James is upstairs with Adam, in a room that appears to be Adam’s bedroom. Adam is in bed, but James is by a window and can’t help to look outside.   The streets are full of The Undead James sees the Owsla come to tackle the threat of The Undead. James looks closer to see who has a pewter rabbit badge marking who is the Captain.   James: [surprise]Kitoypoy is the Captain of the Owlsa.
Adam: What?
James: [Innocent]Nothing.
  James watches them attack The Undead Horde and tries to look out to see if Kajetan is in the crowd. Finding him among the crowd he watches to see if both timelines match up. Kajetan fights valiantly and is alternately triumphant, unfortunately, Kitoypoy has been injured.   Having to be carried by Stretch and Gwen, with Kajetan covering them. They make it back to round the corner and presumably into The Warren.   James gets away from the window and into a bedroll that has been placed in the room for him to sleep in.  

December 25 2027 - Day 2612

James in human form is lying in bed and appears to sweat as if in a nightmare, his lips trembling. On the bedside table is a slice of carrot cake. Sable and the other members of the Owsla are there at his bedside.   Sable attempts to shake James awake clearly concerned for him.   Sable: [Concerned]James, wake up, James its Tomesmas.
  She attempts to stick the cake under his nose to wake him. Sable puts the cake back clearly her plan failing. DMStretch holds her shoulder getting her attention, he winks and Sable steps aside.   DMStretch: [Shouting Commandingly]Captain, there has been a situation in Kelowna, that needs your immediate attention.
  James, physical self flinches but his mental side has clearly not registered the information. DMStretch and Sable look at each other concerned.   Sable examines James more closely and comes to the realisation of something and looks to the others.   Sable: [concerned and displeased]That’s some freightful Literomancy.
DMStretch: What is, Sable?
Sable: James has to lead to believe in his dreams that his real life is a dream and is now living a fictional alternative timeline.
Kitoypoy: What does that mean for the Captain?
Sable: If he doesn’t choose this reality we will never speak to him again and he will be comatose forever.
Gwen: So there is nothing we can do for him?
Kitoypoy: But he flinched when DMStretch shouted at him?
  Sable hearing this from Kit, she gets an idea. Sable motions the others away from James and for them to make a circle to have a meeting.   Sable: [Whisphers]I need you all to behave like James is dead and we have lost him.
  The others nod. Sable pulls up a chair and sits by him and leans over leaning on his chest and begins to cry the others become the embodiment of despair. This goes on for a few minutes Sable gets a Sargent to leave the door open and for them to ring the announcement bell. To say that the Captain of the Owlsa has died in his sleep. Sable continues to cry and makes his nightclothes wet and a tear runs to his throat.   meanwhile   James as a blacksmith continues to hammer on a mace and begins to hear voices and someone crying, it is clear from his reaction he doesn’t know who or where it is coming from.   DMStretch: [ghostly]All that time in Lapin, it won't be the same without him.
  James hears Sable cry and Kitoypoy and Gwen speak about him, and the bells going off.   James, leaves the anvil and puts the mace back in the forge and clearly looks upset. James walks over to the table and punches the table and Adam looks around.   James: This world, is a lie and I am the Captain of the Owlsa.
  He shouts the last bit both in a dream and in reality.   Sable: [estatic]James!
Sable: [shout]You can stop now!
  The Announcement bell stops   Everyone else seems pleased that James has come back to reality. He looks over to see a person in a dark-grey cloak whose face is obscured.   James: Who’s that?
  James having sat up in bed, motions to someone at the foot of the bed. The others look at James confused.   James: Commander, your axe?
  James holds out a hand and DMStretch holds out the axe to James. He goes over to what he can see and goes over to the figure.   Reaching range to hit, James hits the figure in the shoulder.   The figure disappears leaving a cloak in James’ hands with a slash mark.   James rolls up the cloak and gives it to Sable.   James: We will speak about this after Tomesmas.
  Sable nods to James.   James: [pleased]I said, I was looking forward to your carrot cake, Sable!
  James tucks into the carrot cake, resting on the bedside table.   That reminds me of how, I was when I was younger, Sable thinks, seeing James enjoying himself.   Others hug James pleased that he is back with them   Sable ushers the others out of the room and asks James to get dressed. After James does so he and Sable and the other Owlsa go down the stairs. James is stopped from joining the others on the last decline to the lobby. As others see Sable, and the 3 members of the Owlsa. Members face the 4 and begin to lower their heads in respect to what they think is the fall of James, Captain of the Owsla, aged 36.   Sable steps forward.   Sable: This is a sad day for Lapin, not because James is dead but I don't think we have a big enough choir.
  Members of House Lapin look confused and murmur about what does Sable means. James gets his cue to reveal himself.   Upon revealing himself, people cheer and James walks down the stairs. As he comes to the crowd they part allowing him to pass. As he gets closer they close up upon him and wrap their arms around him and show their appreciation that he is alive. James makes his way to the centre of the crowd, when they do he faces back to Sable and others part making a circular hole in the crowd where James is.   Sable: Our Captain was under strong Literomancy, we had to call James back to reality …
Sable: [teary eyed] Otherwise we would lose him.
  As if on cue others closed around James and began to sing.     It came upon a Tomesmas Day
That James could not rise from his bed
For he was trapped in a waking dream
Although it was all in his head
And Sable, Stretch, and Gwenefre too
Despaired for him ever to wake
They gathered 'round his sleeping form
Yelling and coaxing with cake

Though James was trapped in his waking dream
He stirred when he heard them call
But he could not break free his dream alone
The spell upon him was not small
Wise Sable said to go ring the bells
And say that the Captain had died
And all of the Owsla put down their heads
And even wise Sable cried

Then James, alone in his waking dream
He knew that the dream was a lie
Then the dark literomancy was done
And James awoke with a sigh
So now we sing this song filked with joy
For James of the Owsla's return
There is a lesson here in this song
For those of you who can learn


  Credit to Elikwake for the Filk.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
 
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.


Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades

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