I found myself returning to the Festhall as much as possible, each time scrounging or stealing what coin I needed to feel the rain on my face again. The City of Doors, while not fully enclosed, didn't experience much in the way of weather or seasons. It simply existed in a perpetual way that made time immaterial. The only rain happened in tiny snatches in different parts of the city, seemingly at some greater entity's whim, and seldom where I was.
My fortunes didn't change much. I had no home, and was forced to sleep on the street or occasionally in a park. But the nightmares did not leave me. Even in this new world, as far away from the mists as I could get, the nightmares remained with me.
I had not been able to find the coin to start up my magical arts again, though my mind conceived an enchantment to protect me from the nightmares. I volunteered to work menial jobs. I begged and attempted to borrow, but every trick and measure I tried got me nothing. I even had to evade the guards after a failed pickpocketing. What little coin I could get was for food and the occasional visit to the sensorium.
On one day, barely a month since I had arrived, a lady passed through the hive in a carriage, and I smelled roses. I had not smelled them since my arrival. The vial in Rina's pendant was empty. It was not damaged as far as I could tell, but it had emptied not long after I arrived. The scent memory washed over me, and I needed to feel the rain and remember Rina all the more.
I went back to the sensorium with two coppers to my name, and I saw Annali again. I offered my coins but he shook his head.
"I cannot devalue an experience for so much, and I think you know that. However, perhaps there is another way you can make payment. You would also be able to receive some."
"What do you mean?"
"All of the stones here have been recorded by people, mostly by those in the Society of Sensation, but we do offer coin to people who record unique experiences of their own. If you can offer such, I can pay you. The more unique the experience, the more vivid the sensations and emotions, the better."
"I can record my memories here? And they'll be forever preserved?"
Annali showed me to a room, where I recorded the first of my memories, all to do with Rina and the rain. After that, I asked for another stone, and another. After the third, Annali tried to send me away.
"Please, Annali. I have lost so many memories already."
"You need rest, my friend. Reliving experiences takes its toll."
"Then take food out of that payment and let me continue."
She finally relented, bringing food and after the seventh stone I recorded, took me to a bed, telling me I could resume in the morning.For the first night in a month, I slept in a bed. In between the nightmares which woke me with a start, I had dreams. I dreamed of Alistair, Markun, Windy, Faenoth, Virgil, and Rina.