The Open-Minded
The Open-Minded

The Open-Minded

The Open-Minded

A Coterie of the Transcendent Order

Purged of any desire to return to Athas, the kreen druid Ka’Tarik’A soon got her roots firmly planted in Sigil. She threw in with the faction-lifestyle, finding the Transcendent Order to her liking. The Ciphers in turn found her interesting. She could hear the heartbeat of the planes, called the Cadence by factioneers, stronger than any Cipher she spoke to. It seemed the trick was psionically opening the mind. Ka’Tarik’A taught the other Ciphers how to open their minds to allow them to hear the Cadence more clearly.

With time and practice, a band of Ciphers following her example formed, calling themselves the Open-Minded. They’re more in tune with the Cadence than most other members of the faction, and can often be found lurking around the sensory deprivation rooms in the Great Gymnasium, eager for their next ‘fix’ of the Cadence. They’re also practically the only cutters that make regular trips to the base of the Spire on the Outlands; it’s said the Cadence is stronger still when a cutter’s camped on the slopes of the Spire itself, almost like the heart was buried in there somewhere.

But as well as becoming one with the Cadence, the Open-Minded are trying to reach out and touch that elusive voice that’s almost audible when everything else is silent. Ka’Tarik’A believes that the speaker is the collective Spirit of the Planes itself, the being who’s heartbeat is the Cadence and body is the Great Ring. None of them have yet successfully contacted this creature using psionics, so they’ve resorted to more drastic measures.

Members of the Open-Minded are precisely that: they leave their minds open to psionic contact practically all the time, in the hope they might receive a message from the Spirit of the Planes.

They’re taken advantage of all too often, however. Creatures that possess minds can tell when a cutter’s left his mind open, and usually find the temptation of an unguarded mind too great to resist. So when one of the Open-Minded starts acting strangely, Ka’Tarik’A knows it’s time to call in the exorcists again. Ghosts, fiends, necromancers, incarnates, psionicists, harrla; they’ve all been driven out of Ciphers’ heads. But the factioneers reckon the chance of speaking with the Essence of the Planes is well worth the risk…

Ka’Tarik’A herself was possessed before long, and the psychic surgery she required removed the Sorcerer-King’s charm, but by then the kreen was enjoying her new life in the planes too much to want to go back. Still, there’s no place like home, as they say, and when she finds a portal leading to Athas, the kreen occasionally goes back the indulge inthe thrill of the hunt just one more time.

See also: Visionaries—Ka’Tarik’A

Source: Ragboy (aka Paul Wolfe)

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