Season Two: Cobalt Reverie

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Video List[edit]


Summary[edit]

HIS LAST MEMORIES
[edit]

On June 19, a user on Twitter named Ariana D. learned of the revival of Ben Drowned. She revealed in her first tweet back after a long hiatus that she was excited to experience lots of new stories. Her first few tweets:

Ariana Tweet #1

Hello Twitterverse! It’s been some time! I had gone radio silent for so long because I felt like I wasn’t making any headway with my goals. I felt guilty and that made it so much harder. These past few months I’ve done a lot of reflection and been experiencing a lot of stories!

Ariana Tweet #2

Woah wait I missed a lot!!! Ben Drowned is back?!?!

Ariana Tweet #3

Met some new friends on Discord :) Looks like I have some videos to catch up on.

On the 18th, just two days after the upload of ':)', Thagirion's Twitter posts the following tweet:

Green Tweet #1

My Last Message...

There was a link to a text file inside the tweet titled similarly. It read as follows:

My Last Message.rtf

06/14/2020

Hello.

If you are reading this, I am gone. I do not know if it is death where I am headed, but it is not life. I do not know what to say, but I am sorry that I am not around anymore. I really thought you all as...well, I treasured the short time I got to know you. I wish it could have been under better circumstances.

This message is being set on a timer—I cannot let The Man Who Wears His Victims know that this message is going out. Once he...kills me—absorbs me—however he does it—he takes my memories with him. I am relieving myself of some here—some he cannot have.

Shortly after this file goes live, my Twitter will require bio-metric authorization to access. My bio-metrics. Not that of my shell. I may be gone, and he may wear my shell like a glove, but he will not be allowed access anymore.

Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing if my plan succeeds, so I will just have to have some faith.

There is something important I need to tell you—something that I don’t believe any of my siblings know. There was another dream I had last night—one I could not write about in my journal—I knew he would see that. Even though I tried really hard to protect it until the right time for you guys. There is another...another person from my world that is currently living in your world. I do not know much about them. I think they are on your side...our side. I need you guys to find them—consider every possibility. If they remain hidden then my world is surely doomed. They do not know their importance, most likely—I think they have been there since they were little.

I believe that you guys will know what to do when the time comes...I am sorry for leaving you with so much responsibility.

I never wanted it to end this way, but felt like it was always going to come to this. Part of me wanted to introduce myself normally and try to get your help that way—really connect with you in the ways that I wanted...but in the dreams that I had I wasn’t able to click with you like I have now. This was the best way...I just wish I had more time.

I don’t know if you will...but if you ever see Blue or Indigo...please tell them I’m sorry. I wasn’t strong enough to fight fate. I didn’t have strong enough will.

They do...I can tell that much. They have the power to change everything.

A few days later on June 24th Ariana talks with users in the Ben Drowned Discord Server, Awakening. She messages Ryan Geever and asks to collaborate on a video regarding a situation that happened a few days prior. She then uploads His Last Memories to Ryan's YouTube Channel. The video has Ariana introducing herself formally as she details receiving a hard drive containing a bunch of files that are all encrypted with passwords. A text file from Ezrael states that with the passing of Thagirion, she is to take up the mantle as Archiver for the Children of the Night. Looking through the files, Ariana is able to unlock one of the files which reveals itself as a digital memory of what Thagirion remembered before the end of the last video.

The memories pull from events of Dreamer, confirming Thagirion's previous existence as John Rein.


NIGHTVISION
[edit]

Four days after this video Ariana makes a series of tweets regarding an inheritance she has just found in her attic:

Ariana Tweet #4

I had a bad feeling there was something I was missing. So I went looking through my house. In the attic...I found my inheritance. My grandmother gave it to me when I was a lot younger. It was from my mom, she said.

Ariana Tweet #5

It was a cardboard box sealed up tight. I...never wanted to open it. I have a lot of feelings about my parents I don't like to talk about. They're no longer here, either. But they dumped me on my grandma's porch when I was only a baby, so it's hard to feel any attachment to them.

Ariana Tweet #6

Anyway, I've kept it up here and...forgot about it I guess. I opened it up finally after...lord knows how long. And...it's notebooks. Anticlimactic to say the least.

Ariana Tweet #7

I took the first few off the top. They seem to be full of notes...I think they were for some stories. I'll try to look through them in my free time since I haven't gotten anywhere with the passwords.

Ariana Tweet #8

This...is going to take a while. These notebooks are full from cover to cover and margin to margin...

After these tweets Ariana goes radio silent until the 12th of July when she tweets:

Ariana Tweet #9

It's been a rough few nights. Work has been hell and I've been driving myself crazy with these passwords. I'm just about ready to give up on them...

Ariana Tweet #10

I used to not celebrate my birthday because it usually led to a lot of looking back on memories I tried hard to move past. This year seems much more of the same.

A little over two weeks passes until the next video, NightVision is uploaded. The video launched as a YouTube Premiere that began running in reverse once the premiere countdown ended. The events detail the night of July 23rd as Ariana investigates the surroundings of her home at night, detailing strange sounds hanging in the distance. The sounds wane and seem to travel around the outside her home, growing and shrinking in intensity until she nears her closet door. She then reveals these noises have only increased since she has failed to solve the passwords on the hard drive.

On the next night the sounds only increase in depravity, and the video ends.


OST VIDEOS - WAVE 1
[edit]

Starting on July 8th -- nearly a month before the release of Nightvision, a series of videos was posted to Ryan's channel associating various themes to characters. These are as follows:

Kaito Sorano's Theme

Samael's Theme

Thagirion's Theme

And a day later on July 9th the following character's themes were posted:

Galgaliel's Theme

Allison Fae's Theme

Gardov's Theme

Then again a day later on July 10th, these were posted:

K----- Sorano's Theme

Nehemoth's Theme

The next chunk arrived a little less than a week later on the 14th, being:

Issachar's Theme

Hijack Theme

LUCAS Gray's Theme

Ormus's Theme

Scantar's Theme

There were some hints lying under the surface of these videos -- Ariana has never commented on them directly or referenced them, so it cannot be confirmed if she is the uploader.

All of these videos begin with a title card showing the name of the character the theme is representing and the title of the theme -- usually a variant on a real world song that has underlying significance for the character. Afterward, a second titlecard featuring the title "DoTA". Starting with K----- Sorano's Theme, the "DoTA" tag was cut in with frames of text saying "The Tags", implying importance in the tags of the videos.


COBALT REVERIE
[edit]

Ariana is not heard from again until the 13th of August when she tweets:

Ariana Tweet #11

FINE. You win. I'll try the passwords again. Just make my world normal again...please. This month has been too much.

Eight days later Cobalt Reverie is uploaded. It starts with a confirmation that Ariana is not the uploader of the OST videos by refusing to use the title associated with those videos, "DoTA", instead substituting her own, Cobalt Reverie, after the events of the video. The video begins detailing the events of July 27th, just three days after the end of NightVision. The sounds from before have continued to distort. Ariana reveals she hasn't been able to sleep and is suffering from the sounds constant presence. Finally, she decides to investigate outside her home -- only to find that the sounds reveal themselves to be "Paralyzer" By Finger Eleven.

Shocked at the cosmic joke at her expense she returns back inside, waiting to investigate more the next morning.

She does so, the music only increasing in intensity as she makes it outside. There's a flash of an image showing an artist's rendition of the fall of Icarus alongside a cipher code:

Pgr wuloii hrxhxvf kle vsui. jsi bgxoii tigaiu pn qhaq

This code was eventually solved on March 2nd, 2021 by Laches] and translates to the following:

Her father created the corpse. Her mother hunted it down.

Ariana continues to cross the bridge just outside before the world shifts -- returning her back to where she came from. She returns inside as the vocals keep repeating.

Footage of several hallways overlapping are cut in until footage from closer to modern day comes in -- August 13th shows that the song has continued to play on a constant loop since the end of July. Ariana receives a package with her name written on it -- a manilla envelope with a message inside from Ezrael.

It's revealed that Ariana had ditched the hard drive in an attempt to get it all to stop -- that she has to continue to solve the passwords, and that more "work" has come in for her on the drive.

As soon as she holds the drive in her hands the music stops, and she moves over to the computer to find some new files available:

Passing The Torch.rtf

So, you probably are wondering why you got this. It’d be impossible to explain if you weren’t already aware of the situation our world is currently facing. I know you’re aware of my siblings’ activities. As such, you are aware that I’ve recently lost an archiver.

It’s a terrible tragedy, but I’ve warned him time and time again about putting himself out like that. He forgot himself and got too arrogant.

I need a new archiver, and you’re the best available talent—seeing as you’re in that other world now.

Ezrael will be taking care of the documentation you will need—everything henceforth will be of her composition. I just wanted to take this moment to greet you before I return to my own work.

Father expects you to stick to your job, and try not to make the same mistakes Thagirion did.

The Highborn,

Ormus.

She continues into the DREAMS folder where she finds that archives for Nehemoth and The Man Who Wears His Victims have been added to the folder. She looks through the files she found in His Last Memories and attempts to bruteforce her way into the other archives, but is unsuccessful.

That is, until she pauses for a moment, feeling thoughts flood her mind just like they did with Thagirion's name. She inputs Andrew Cress into the password under Galgaliel's archive and it opens.

Extracting the file, she opens to find three text files -- Galgaliel's Dream, Seven Years Later, and The Time That Never Was.

Starting with Galgaliel's Dream, it's quick to see that it is a cacophany of events from Radical-9 playing through Galgaliel's mind. This is the first video to include the voice talents of Zedregex, Tikibuns, and CircleHunter.

The events portray the story and then shift quickly to Seven Years Later -- which highlight late-game elements of Dreamer and detail the tragedy behind Lindsey Berrant's suicide.

Finally, The Time That Never Was brings images to Ariana's mind, it shows a scene of Thagirion and Galgaliel as young brothers that shows Thagirion's insecurities and highlights his desire for friends. The comic itself being drawn by ErikTheArtist.


MOVING FORWARD
[edit]

Things are quiet until the end of September when Ariana sends out a flurry of tweets that imply things have turned sour:

Ariana Tweet #12

I do not e

I must

I do not exi

I have to

I do not

I need to

I need to

I need to

Ariana Tweet #13

I haven't tweeted in\\I've been tweeting all the tim\\I can't understand what he's saying\\she makes complete sense

Ariana Tweet #14

What is happenin\\ed to me\\him? I fear a coming quantum entanglement\\fear an underlying

After these tweets came a new upload -- Moving Forward. This video premiered with a 15 and a half minute countdown. After the seven minute-forty five second mark reversed audio begins to play -- this can be sourced to a talk on Friedrich Nietzche's book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".

As the countdown ends, footage cuts in as Ryan takes the stage in what seems to be an out of character update video, however, his form seems to be heavily corrupted.

Ryan begins to lifts the veil on the lack of updates in the series and that he's working hard to continue working on it. Immediately following this a second feed of video cuts in with Ryan announcing that the ARG is going to be cancelled relating to in-real-life events surrounding a figure who had previously lent their voice to the first season.

Then immediately after he reveals back in the first take that the ARG is all fiction and that it's not real--a statement that seems to hang up the feed entirely.

The two feeds can be differentiated by the different colored artifacting -- one of them having specks of green corrupting the video, and the other having specks of red.

Green-feed who was previously apologetic about not updating and wanting to update further admits that he's going to be re-uploading the season one finale without the troubling person's voice, and that the whole scenario was a large hit creatively toward the project.

Red-feed, who previously cancelled the ARG then goes on to say that Ariana wasn't real--that none of it was real.

Immediately cut in by green-feed who assures the audience that the project isn't cancelled even if the news itself is poor.

Red-feed says that it's all just fiction and you can ignore everything that comes from this point forth.

Both Green and Red feeds end their monologue with a shared hope that the data transfers successfully.

After a moment of silence, a seemingly third feed cuts in with a kind of corruption unlike the other two. This feed speaks in reverse, translating to:

"Ormus, if you've received this video, I'm not going to be around to help you any longer. Don't let them lose sight of who they are. Follow my directions exactly. Stand tall...it's time."

As the figure turns the camera off, the view immediately shifts to a fully blue hue, and the camera begins to shake before reversing to show context of its placement. The figure is breathing heavily -- the level of distortion implies it's coming from the same feed as the previous segment -- the one most removed from "reality". The clip when reversed shows them apologizing and coughing hoarsely, then there's a splice of footage back to when the camera is on the ground. The body is then dragged across the floor by an unknown entity as the camera rolls.

The view then shifts to a text document titled "Moving Forward.rtf -- where the events are being written live. The document states:

Moving Forward.rtf

The camera then shifts to a corrupted view of Z-One. It is evident that he is having difficulties as he keeps repeating the phrase "it's not real" over and over. It is currently unknown what he is referring to, but it isn't long until he climbs out from his hiding place and succumbs to whatever affliction has been affecting him. Someone else comes into frame and picks the camera up, noticing a bloody trail off view coming from his right eye socket. The person begins dragging his body across the floor of his apartment until the view cuts. He keeps on walking until he reaches the end of the bridge and the video ends. I...am left here to resolve this matter of doubles. [This is later replaced with the following:] I...no longer exist. [This is also finally replaced with the following:] I...have always existed.


OST VIDEOS - WAVE 2
[edit]

After the release of Cobalt Reverie, a few Radical-9 themed OST videos were posted on July 26th, these would end up being:

Andrew Cress' Theme

Klein's Theme

Athena's Theme

The next wouldn't be posted until August 20th, where we get the protagonist of Telos:

Gavin Daniels' Theme

And then on the very next day we would get a theme for the character Ai Nagatomi from Good People Die:

Ai Nagatomi's Theme

Interesting of note, both of these last two videos had puzzles within the videos themselves.

On Gavin's Theme, the following Binary scrolls across the top of the screen for the first minute of the video:

01001001 01101110 01100110 01101001 01101110 01101001 01110100 01111001 00100000 01000011 01101111 01110010 01100101 00100000 01000001 01101101 01110000 01101100 01101001 01100110 01101001 01100101 01110010 00100000 01011011 01100110 01101111 01110010 01011101 00100000 01010010 01100101 01110011 01100101 01100001 01110010 01100011 01101000 00100000 01010101 01101110 01100100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01011011 01110100 01101000 01100101 01011101 00100000 01010011 01110101 01101110

Shylenced was the first to translate both of these videos, and her translation was as follows:

Infinity Core Amplifier [for] Research Under [the] Sun

Then moving onto Ai Nagatomi's video, it included a vignere cipher that scrolled much the same way as the previous:

Lho abft amzcegaft wopuife gof prwadsq n lgnq hvze sgy. Prsoje dvr oeyixbvag gf dvvf ufifsefe, s smwratasd qbylsbyfngev wshu nngtrse go uoxggeuut dvr Ieksoz bs Afiwif-aaeen WPNRMS. Dvr zauhsbr uoddc hur pgwof bs iffsbvgy oidvva-cgnchnatdy doxvny axr ceouecgvag anpcezaliyb bs enebmguifg. SQNEUK ad car tamo ggbrwd riznn uoxgpvomsxsff. Al axcguej tsar vt scdsq hnveb hur walv cs nngtrse go teqwa ghw uxwirrke kbrj.

This needed the key "Sakonna" to translate to the following:

The most important machine was created a long time ago. Before the beginning of this universe, a scientist collaborated with another to construct the Vessel of Animus-named ICARUS. The machine holds the power of infinity within-constantly taking and processing information of everything. ICARUS at one time stored human consciousness. At another time it acted under the will of another to begin the universe anew.


THE VIRUS
[edit]

After these videos Ariana went silent again for about a week and a half. On October 13th, she tweets out the following -- breaking her silence:

Ariana Tweet #15

You guys won't believe what's gone on the past few days. I'll try to get a video out soon. It's...bizarre

Despite her apparent excitement to let the others know what's gone on, she doesn't update again for over a full month. On November 28th she tweets -- noticeably with less energy:

Ariana Tweet #16

I guess hiding from my destiny isn't an option anymore.

Ariana Tweet #17

A lot has happened in the last month. I can't explain it shortform. I'll try to get you an update as soon as I'm able, but my situation has gotten...well, you'll see. I won't make any promises of when it'll be out. I'm tired of disappointing as it stands.

Ariana Tweet #18

But she'll make sure it's out soon.

Almost to the day, a month passes yet again, and Ariana tweets her final tweet on December 27th:

Ariana Tweet #19

I wonder if you would have voted differently if I wasn't here.

However, it wasn't the last of any Twitter activity, as Thagirion's account changed its display name to "The Virus" and its profile description was changed to "Let's Inhabit". It then sent out a tweet almost half an hour after Ariana's second to last tweet:

The Virus Tweet #1

Let's inhabit the virus.

Ariana responds to this:

Ariana Tweet #20

It seems that this is the only way it will end. I'm...not sure I like that.

A week later, The Virus tweets out three more times:

The Virus Tweet #2

Kaomen

The Virus Tweet #3

Only a matter of time until you make it happen. You remember those passages to the past you treasure so fondly, those [memories]?

The Virus Tweet #4

Emotions are such a powerful energy that which, if harnessed, can change the world.

They also tweet out a video of a masked figure running toward a monolithic cross in the distance -- the backdrop of a futuristic city behind them. The commentary in the video tells of the figure heading home -- and that said home seems to be Tokyo, although from the year 2045.

Two days then pass as The Virus tweets out next:

The Virus Tweet #5

Very curious. The nature of emotional ties. They run through more than emotional beings.

The topic requires further prodding.

And then on the next day:

The Virus Tweet #6

I think our friend figured it out. Now it's only a matter of time.

It is at this time that the Twelve Monoliths Discord Server is brought online as a hub for players to gather and theorize. On January 7th of the new year, a new access point is created, the Bridge. This is an interactive method of storytelling where certain vignettes can be viewed between characters across the manyverse, and if players are able to obtain a Key, they are able to unlock the bridge and interact with the characters themselves to change the flow of events.

Ariana is the first to be seen within the bridge's Prologue.

She documents her recent attempts to leave her apartment--but she seems to be removed from reality entirely as hallways seem to loop on themselves. She continues until she finally makes it outside where she finds the sky is red -- further hinting toward her isolation. Going off of a new tweet from Thagirion's account -- "Kaomen" -- she discovers the password to The Man Who Wears His Victims archive. Inside is a text file called Congratulations.txt, which contains ASCII art of The Virus' face.

Then, the entity calling themselves The Virus joins the conversation, revealing that their name isn't Kaito -- but Kaomen, but only sometimes. They then hard-change to a new topic -- giving the onlookers a vote -- a new tweet arrives asking a single question:

Ariana Tweet #20

Would you like to go back in time and save Green?

The tweet included a poll which ran with 100% of the votes for "YES".

After the conclusion of this poll, The Virus finds this very pleasing, and Ariana is noticeably absent for the rest of the waypoint. The Virus ends off the chat with his signature "Let's inhabit the virus" and the chat comes to a close.

Four more days pass -- as on January 11th the Season Two Finale is uploaded to the channel, titled The Virus.

The video immediately starts with grim tidings -- as it's seemingly from Thagirion's Point of View. He thanks the players for saving him, but reveals it was all a farce. That he's the driving force behind the entity named The Virus. He's been saved the entire time.

He gloats that all it takes is a name and a face for players to get attached to for him to lie so easily. He reveals that his plans went off without a hitch -- his goal was to get them to feed their emotional energy into his exploits. Form bonds of friendship he can use for his and his siblings own purposes.

He then calls them out for believing that they're the heroes of this story--that's their role as Children of the Night, and then he confirms solidly that his siblings each originate from their own stories of the past.

He then calls back to the fate of Ryan's analogue from the player's worldline -- revealing that the third feed from Moving Forward was this analogue -- and that now only the writer -- Z-One remains.

He then reveals that he's taken Ariana's place in this worldline -- implying that she's been taken out of the picture.

He then tackles the question of Kaito -- then immediately poses the question of what the players believe the virus is.

Thagirion then reveals he would explain if he had more time, but he needs to handle some business in Tokyo, transitioning into an edited version clip that was posted on Twitter previously.

The largest change is the removal of all the thoughts after the initial "going home" message, and the replacement of a new message -- "your nostalgia is the goal".

The credits roll, accompanied by a mashup of various remixes of generally considered "nostalgic" songs from the last ten to twenty years, and then just like the first season's completion there is a post credits scene:

The Virus Post Credits Scene

I've been hearing all kinds of things about you Felix. About how you found a way to kill the creatures of the night.

We both know that's not your only goal. That isn't the only rumor you've been following.

You know what I need to do about it.

Please stop making this harder than it has to be. We both know

if shes out there she's gonna ruin everything. Is that what you want? Everything you worked for to go up in smoke?

I don't have to kill you if we can be sure that she is dead.


You're not making any sense. What other worlds? All the rest of them were destroyed in the collapse.

What exactly are your plans?

Seems like every time you come close to making sense you upend everything that I've known what to make of you.

I don't understand.

What's so important in Tokyo?

You promise you'll be back?

Don't let them get to your head.

Give him my respects.


OST VIDEOS - WAVE 3
[edit]

Two days after these events, three new OST videos were posted -- all relating to the last video:

Season 2 Credits Theme

The Virus' Theme

Quantum Theme


Important Characters[edit]

Allison Fae

Amnael

Ariana D.

Egregore

Ezrael

Galgaliel

Gardov

Issachar

Kaito Sorano

LUCAS Gray

Nehemoth

Ormus

Sakonna

Samael

Scantar

Thagirion

Z-One