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The Memory Chamber is the fruiting body of a giant fungus found on Serenia. The root system of the fungus produces nodules of nutrients recycled from dead organic material, and excretes them into nearby pools of water. As part of its reproductive cycle, which apparently lasts for some centuries, the plant produces a strong fragrance in its delicate inner chamber. Eventually, as the plant approaches maturity, the fumes become highly toxic, making it impossible to enter the giant flower and survive.
The Serenians claim that the nutrient nodules have the power to store the memories of their dead. They harvest these nodules, which they call "memory globes", and store them within the Chamber as they are "filled". A spiritual sisterhood, whose members call themselves the Protectors, is dedicated to this task, and to the care of the Memory Chamber.
The ability of the Memory Chamber to store memories depends on the root system being in contact with a "lifestone", which is kept in a ceremonial Root Chamber. The lifestone is a rare mineral of unknown properties found in the southern hills of Serenia, and probably serves the plant as an essential nutrient. If contact with a lifestone is broken, the fungus gradually loses its ability to remove and store memories. Ultimately the plant will die.
The sons of Atrus, Sirrus and Achenar, studied Serenian culture in their youth, and discovered a means by which a Memory Chamber could be used to extract memories from a living body.