Anesidora: By the Light of Artemis season 1, episode 2, originally aired on the Maze Arcana twitch channel in 2017. It was played by Kailey Bray as Anik Deora, Avril Ilejay as Vesper, Ryan Omega as Dalexo, Jessica Lynn Parsons as Gem, and Neal Fischer as Sandor Angelslayer.
The group, consisting of Anik, Dalexo, Vesper, Gem and Sandor find themselves locked within the inner areas of Artemis for 40 cycles as the night winter passes. They plan to set out for the angel’s grave after the storm that follows sunrise passes.
Because of how the inner workings of Artemis are set up, everyone in the group becomes very disoriented. Only Dalexo manages to keep track of the cycles as they go from light to dark much faster than everyone is used to, going dark for several hours in each cycle to indicate when its time to sleep. The others are used to daylight lasting for 60 cycles before another 60 cycles of darkness, and this rapid change messes with them. Vesper in particular, as an exiled who doesn’t even really follow cycles that closely, is shaken by the hard and fast adhering to the time cycles of the Ancients clocks. She also uses her scrying bones and gets strongly negative energy about the room and how unnatural it is.
During these cycles blending together in confusion, everyone in the party one night cycle has different horrible nightmares. When they wake, they freak out about their particular nightmare scenario. Sandor points his gun at Vesper, while Gem runs to the door and starts freaking out, trying to leave. Anik herself goes to barricade the door and fairly quickly snaps herself out and starts trying to calm Gem down, and Gem discloses that someone is chasing her and she is terrified of staying in one place for such a long time.
Meanwhile, Vesper seems terrified of Sandor for more than just the fact that he’s pointing a gun at her, and Dalexo gets them to calm down by trying to get across that it’s all just been a dream. Sandor, instead of talking, just starts up one of the magical screens in the room and starts flipping through computer files. He finds no proof that what happened in his dream happened in real life, and sends a message out for someone to “check on them” without providing any hint to the rest of the group who “them” is in his message.
Shortly after this incident, they are let out of the inner sanctum of Artemis and begin their journey to the fallen angel. Outside, the soldiers of Artemis are preparing huge snow plows that as the storm breaks will head along the north roads to Calydon, clearing the snow, and then they will move on through the areas of Artemis until all the roads are sufficiently plowed.
The group prepares to follow the plows to the north, with Vesper and Dalexo concerned about Gem’s leg and convincing her to ride on boo-boo and Anik taking rear guard to protect them.
For about three cycles they are basically driving through Artemis’ “suburbs”, a wooded area surrounding Artemis that’s kept safe and it is fairly peaceful as they travel. Sandor keeps watch and meets back up with Sirene, Gem and Dalexo do some dancing lessons with Vesper wanting to join in as well, and Vesper really interested in Anik’s god-city tactical vestments because they’re so different from what she’s used to.
One dancing lesson devolves into Gem and Vesper shipping Anik and Dalexo and both of them shooting that down real fast but its not stopping the two girls.
Meanwhile, Anik checks through Dalexo’s cart for junk to fix her gun with, but doesn’t find anything useful.
After the “suburbs” they reach a large bridge over a wide river, made of ancient metal and stone, and a sign saying 3 cycles to Calydon. Below that is a handwritten sign advertising an inn. As they cross the bridge they notice the ice cracking a bit as the planet warms up and comes out of winter.
On the other side of the bridge, the tree are not quite as big and the road starts to looks cracked and broken. They reach a fork in the road, with one end going higher into a cliffed area up to the God’s Metal Inn. Though Dalexo wants to stay at the inn, the others do not and they simply continue pushing forward along the plowed road. They make it to the great valley of Calydon without incident, an area of black and grey dirt and very little vegetation. The Calydon boar which the knights of Artemis ride on are from this area. Sirene changes her color to blend in, from white to mottled grey.
As they look towards the mountains in the distance, they can see giant pieces of metal that have imbedded themselves into the sides of the cliff. Something obviously came down near here during The Fall and scattered the metal debris.
It takes 4 cycles to get to the city of Calydon and through the valley area. At this point, they have been traveling for 16 cycles altogether since Artemis.
Calydon is a mining town, looking very much like Helm’s Deep, and has lots of small towns along the mountain range within its reach. There’s also a huge tunnel that goes straight through the mountain range to the other side.
The name of the city if spray-painted in the style of the ancients above the great metal tunnel. Gem, as the only member of the party who hasn’t been through the tunnel before, asks how long it will take, and the other explain that it’s about 100 miles, and that in fact trade is conducted sometimes in the tunnel, as well as having a few people live there. Anyone trying to go North passes through easily, but there’s much more security for those trying to travel South towards Artemis.
On the other side of the tunnel, there’s a huge metal gate and portcullis, and just outside is a huge amount of refugees, mixed together god-city citizens and exiled, all trying to get through the closed gate. This is new - Dalexo didn’t see if last time he came through Calydon Pass.
As the group prepares to move through the gate themselves, they get the sense that the guards feel like its a North problem and as long as they don’t let the refugees through Artemis will be fine and protected from the increased changeling attacks in the north, and the supposed exiled war. They come up with a plan to distract the refugees so they don’t get attacked with their cart full of supplie, Sandor going out first on Cyrene and luring the group away from the gate itself with promises of free food, while Dalexo holds his rifle and looks threatening riding on top of boo-boo as they pull the cart through the refugee camp, Anik with her swords drawn walking beside and clearly protecting it. They manage to get through without incident.
When the group reaches the next fork in the road, they choose to take the more circuitous path to Redgrass and eventually the Angel’s Grave because of an exiled sign put on the path, warning of plague in the White Forest. The ride on northwest to Stillvalley, an area of rolling hills and low grass just starting to peak out through the snow. Around the city too is a huge encampment of refugees.
While Dalexo and Sandor move into the city proper to trade, Gem and Vesper decide to try and gather information from the refugee camp and Anik trails behind them worriedly.
Vesper, who speaks yuling, is speaking to a group of them and finds out they were attacked by changelings with magic weapons, and that they fight with tactics like those of the soldiers from god-cities. There is a rumor they’ve made a pact with a demon in the woods.
The group learns a little more about the changeling tribe, how it has been getting more aggressive over the past 10-15 years, and getting better armed as well. How the changelings kidnap children and use them in their army, killing anyone who refuses to fight for them. Anik says mysteriously that she’s repaying an old debt and gives them a god-shard to help them obtain needed supplies.
Gem tries to connect with Vesper but is rebuffed, and doesn’t get very far trying to explain their similar situations.
Meanwhile, in town, Dalexo finds that supplies are inflated right now because of the refugee crisis. He ends up having to spend a lot of god-shards to get everyone back up.
Luckily, the group gets to spend a cycle in an actual inn instead of just camping outside for once, though Sandor chooses to camp.
Vesper ends up having another prophetic dream, and upon waking is extremely distraught and tells everyone she simply doesn’t trust Sandor.
Dalexo goes to get him so they can have a discussion. It is fairly tense but Sandor does apologize for pointing a gun at Vesper, saying it was “a mistake”, that he thought Vesper was someone else entirely.
Because Vesper’s dream was about seeing an angel, the group discusses angels a bit and Sandor explains what he knows, including what they look like, how his grandparents gave their lives to kill the one that attacked goldenfields 50 years ago, and they used the god-shard sword he carries.
Vesper and Sandor shake hands, mostly smoothing over their differences and issues, and Sandor promises to do everything in his power to protect her and the rest of the group.