Innocentia Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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"Our investigation into the possible use of a coin began when reports arrived from the city of Kendari. Many of the citizens there were claiming to have awoken from a series of nightmares about the destruction of the city and slaughter of its people during the Mekonggan conquest of Lahat, fifteen years prior. According to the histories we had, the city of Kendari had surrendered peacefully to the invaders, and had even convinced the Mekonggan priesthood that Kendari was an essential component of kosalo, the Mekonggan belief in a divine order of the world. This incongruity was more than enough to justify sending a team to Kendari to discover if one of the coins had been spent, and if so, which one.

Our team arrived several months after the visions commenced, and began to interview those who still reported regular occurrences. As is frequently the case when the coins are used, many of the impacted were rendered mentally unstable by the experience, and discerning the true details from the delusions was a challenge. Over the course of several months, a working theory arose that one Damar Lee, the commander of the Kendari defenses during the invasion, had acquired and used Innocentia. From the fragments of the alternate world that people recall, he was (in that world) adamant in his resistance to the Mekonggan invaders, which led to the eventual sack and near total destruction of the city. Few among those we interviewed had any memories of the fifteen years afterwards, and more than one told us that they were supposed to be dead. In the new history they recall, Damar Lee instead surrendered the city over the objections of the other defense commanders, and personally convinced the Mekonggan elite that Kendari must be retained as it had always been. The city was handled gently by the new regime, and retains almost complete independence to this day.

We believe that Damar Lee used the coin to expunge the guilt he felt for the destruction of Kendari in the original history. As it typical for one of the coins, it did so by rewriting the history entirely, reversing the city's destruction and replacing it with a sequence of events where Damar Lee saved the city instead, although this did not make him a hero in the eyes of the people. He was reviled as a coward and a traitor, and has since vanished into obscurity. While we were unable to interview Damar Lee himself, we did find some correspondence from around the time of the conquest. In this, he says:

'I have been haunted by dreams of the death of this city, my beloved home, for too long. I have not slept - I could not rest - I could not go on. I must save the city, so that I can finally sleep without nightmares again'

It is the conclusion of the investigation that the following should be marked upon the ledger of the Bridge - that Damar Lee spent the coin known as Innocentia to become guiltless in the destruction of the city of Kendari, and that the coin undid that destruction. The bargain was struck, the payment made, and the account is now closed."

- An excerpt from the Codex Pontis

Innocentia is one of the Aurelian coins, the currency created by the Aurelian Bridge to purchase the ineffable. Spending Innocentia is said to expunge guilt and grant innocence to the buyer. Chronicles of when it was used indicate that it typically does so by rewriting history so that whatever the buyer is feeling guilty about never happened. Like all the Aurelian Coins, this has a wide variety of side effects - while reality itself is altered, the echoes of the previous reality persist in the Dream, and many people will experience a form of existential dysphoria as they contend with the solid memories of their new reality and the vague, nebulous memories of the lives that had been wiped away.

Innocentia is reportedly a large silver coin, stamped with the face of a sleeping child on on side, and the image of the Aurelian Bridge on the reverse. Holding it causes one to think about those actions they feel guilty for, and informs the holder that guilt can be expunged at the cost of the coin. When the coin is spent, it vanishes from the hand of the holder, rewriting itself into a new location as a part of the transformation of reality. At this time, the location of Innocentia is unknown.


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