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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry: September 25, 2012

After reaching Vamen, the middle-class district, I explored the area common houses and empty ruins; the only remnants from the past.  There was not a book to be seen.  I soon located the library.  My spirits lifted when I saw the rows and rows of shelves,  however, there were only cobwebs on each shelf.  Such a great wealth of knowledge now remains lost to time in the deep.

In spite of the lack of books I went to the second floor so observe the entire library from a different perspective.  From the second floor it was easy to recognize three pillars in the center of the library which upon closer inspection had a symbol scribbled upon them in what looked to be sharpie.  The symbol was a simple singular spiral design which somehow seemed familiar.  Reopening Esto's journal I searched for that symbol.  Esto witnessed a similar symbol in June shortly before his disappearance.  It also seems that he was becoming restless and prone to strange nightmares at that time.  This must be the correct path.

I inspected each pillar further.  They appear to be on a rotational system.  When a pillar is rotated the shadows on the floor change.  I can only wonder what the three symbols on the middle of the pillars mean.

I have considered how the three symbols may connect.  If my hunch is correct then the answer to this puzzle must lie in them.  The amount of combinations of these three symbols is finite, however, it is rather difficult to ascertain which combination is the correct one.

A shape, is now forming on the floor from the lights and shadows.  I will continue to rotate the pillars till it is completed.

Still no luck.  Time seems to pass quickly during my experimentation amongst these pillars.

A symbol has formed on the ground.  Each spiral has affixed itself toward a central point creating a whirlpool-Shell symbol.  The alignment caused a stone shelf to move, revealing a stone table with two books.

One is a linking book with this new symbol on the cover; the other is Dean's journal.  The journal speaks of Ghen's treachery, Atrus's willingness to learn, and Yeesha the one who learned from her brothers’ treachery.  Dean had planned to embark on a new journey.  The Shell symbol must represent something important dealing with these circumstances.  Is it possible that Dean is in the age with the new symbol?  Before I take that risk I need to return to Adelia and see how Esto is doing.  I hope its not been too hard on her having to watch over him.  I will take both the linking book and journal and store them somewhere safe back in Tokotah II.  Thankfully, I now hold a clue of why Dean vanished from the excerpt left at the end of his journal:
This shall be my last journal entry for the time being.  I will be unable to write about what is ahead of me.  All I can say is I am about to take a huge step for the D'ni civilization.  My research has taken me in a whole new direction; for I have uncovered something truly extraordinary.  I must not speak of it to anyone and keeping a journal is far too great a risk.  I am leaving this journal behind with hopes that my words will be a guide to those who have yet to find their way to the city.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dean - Journal Excerpt, January 10, 2012

Driven: a state of mind that ten months ago was beyond my comprehension.  I was wrong in those early days.  It was never about how the cavern was changing me; it was more about what the D’ni civilization had awoken within me.  So different I am now than who I once was on the surface.  How was it that I was drifting through life with no meaning; no purpose?  Why did I never stop to think about the direction my life was headed?  Sure, I succeeded at most tasks but I never put much effort in doing so.  My way of thinking was "Why work hard and do something right, when it is so easy to just slide by?”  
My thoughts tonight are on Ghen and wasted potential.  Ghen was able to teach himself the art of writing, without the background and structured learning.  This left many holes in the true understanding of what he was actually doing.  Rather than writing a link to an age as the D’ni did, he saw himself creating the worlds.  I consider how Atrus became aware of his father's corruption, at such a young age - watching his father move further and further away from what Atrus himself felt to be the right path.  How was he so strong not to follow after his father?  Everything was right there for him to reach out and take.  Power over so many worlds could have been his.
Greater power lies within mutual respect, not in proving your supremacy.  In this, son and father were separated.  Not just with Ghen and Atrus, but also with Atrus and his sons; Sirrus, Achenar.  Atrus took his sons with him on many expeditions to ages and showed them how you could help people better their lives through new ideas and modifications to their technology.  When Atrus's grandmother passed away he buried himself in his work, leaving Achenar and Sirrus to learn by themselves from the Lesson Ages.  This separation from their father along with a sudden freedom, opened the door to self-indulgence.  They pillaged their father’s ages of wealth, exploited the people with promises of changes they would bring (if the inhabitants did as they asked) and finally betrayed all trust, burning the linking books.  Such a trend only ceased when they succumbed to their own greed and fell prisoners in their father’s prison books.
Few people reach their full potential in life.  Ghen was selfish and thoughtless.  Atrus involved too little of himself in his sons.  Achenar could not keep reign on his emotions yet grew to enjoy the torture of peoples he reigned over.  Sirrus had far too much greed and arrogance.  Among this family there was one, who achieved more than anyone could have dreamed.  Atrus’ daughter, Yeesha.  Taking the knowledge and wisdom instilled in her by Atrus and the dreams and visions from Catherine, she yearned to breathe life back into the cavern.  There were others such as the DRC wishing to restore the city, but Yeesha sought more than just rebuilding fallen structures. She longed for the culture, the heart, the very soul of the city to be brought back to life.  With the downfall of D'ni and the destruction of so many ages in the years to follow, Yeesha has been the light and hope bringing The Called to the ancient URU. 
Even now as I am as I am preparing for this next journey, I am already beginning to miss the cavern; the people I have meet here; the friends I’ve made.  We together are helping to bring Yeesha’s dream to life by making D’ni our home.  I hope that by doing my part in helping around the cavern I can contribute to the deep.  I have been having dreams of late about being congratulated in front of many people, for some honor that is unclear.  I feel odd every time I wake up. I have never been one for large crowds and being the center of a group is not my forte.  I never do something with the intent of being praised for it.  I enjoy doing helpful tasks for people from behind the scenes and keep to myself.  Yet in my dreams, people come to me for assistance and commend me for my help.  Perhaps something big is on the horizon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Esto - 3:1-8

Like a tree they spread.
Like a tree they unite.

Like a tree they spread.
Like a tree they unite.
It repeats over and over,
And brings fits to my sleep.
From many to one,
And one to many.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry: September 16, 2012.

I cannot waste any more time wandering aimlessly around the cavern; but I have no clues on how to begin the search.  I found myself at the D'ni Library.  This is truly a magnificent place and should inspire my imagination to where Esto left to before this illness befell him. Everything seemed lost.  How could I possibly figure out what happened to Esto?  To prevent a memory overload I am going to record any findings in my journal.  From there I should be able to review my data to find something.

Wait a second.  A journal!  Didn't Esto carry a journal with him!?  Perhaps this is the key.  Would that be located in his Relto or perhaps.... yes.... that place would viable.

I rushed back to Bevin post-haste to where I had found him and there I found his journal!  It was hidden underneath a desk close to where I found him.   Perhaps, even in his maddened state a part of him realized that he had to leave a message.  The journal he left behind should tell me what I need to know.

On April 27. 2012 Esto made contact with Dean.  He writes that he would be meeting with him in the Vamen District of D'ni which is in the city proper.  To reach it I will have to take a boat across the lake.  The likelihood of other explorer's coming out this far should be slim.  Vamen district is not easy to access.  I cannot imagine what I’ll find there..

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adelia - The Broken Chain pt. 2

I had lost awareness of how much time had passed but I assumed it was something in the neighborhood of several hours.  The pain in my leg had become a dull ache.  Every breath became more difficult.  There was a stabbing in my lungs as I fought for a breath of fresh air.  Keeping my eyes open was nearly impossible.  I managed to call "Help!' but it came out as nothing more than a futile whimper.  I laid my head down against the cold stone, ready for the end; ready to embrace death.  My heartbeat slowed and I was lost to the darkness.  My consciousness began to slip away. 
A figure appeared beside me although I would have never known it but for the faintest brush of another presence in that tiny space.  The figure was glancing over my failing body, consumed with a sense of urgency.  A limb hovered over me as if inspecting my condition, followed by a sound which I had never heard before, but felt entirely familiar to me; a soft, comforting warble.  I lifted my head to try and make out the shape, but whomever was there was obscured in shadow save a startling pair of crystalline eyes.  I reclined against the rubble and made myself as comfortable as I could manage. With a curious frenzy of whirs and deep-throated purring noises, the figure touched my shoulder.  Slowly, my wrist started to glow.  ......... I looked down and saw my KI was lighting up!  A spark of hope lit up my eyes and I looked back to thank the figure, but it was gone.  I fell unconscious again.
The next thing I remember was the waking up to the soft touch of silk under my fingertips, a blanket cast over me and the heavy smell of various herbs permeating the air.  The Hall of Healers.

JP was sitting across from me, awestruck...a few moments passed before any words were said.   "You were rescued by a Bahro, Miss Adelia?!" he shouted, I quietly hushed him.

"I don't want it going around."

"Why not?" he asked, "thats the coolest thing ever!" he laughed.  Truth was, I agreed with him, but I was still on edge by the whole incident; I wasn't entirely sure of the repercussions of having an encounter with a Bahro. "Oh! That reminds me!" said Pantaleon, "I need your help!  Can you walk?" I nodded hesitantly.  I wasn't sure where he was taking me, but he shared with me what had happened in my absence: how Esto had gone to solve a mystery but when he came back, the Esto he knew was gone.

"I was able to track him down in Bevin..." he sighed.

"Where is he now?" I asked.

"Now?" Pantaleon replied, "now he's sleeping," there was a sigh of relief.  Just then, we walked through the door of the little apartment where Pantaleon had been keeping Esto.  It was quaint, with a desk off in the corner, a few lit candles and a minty smell in the air.  Esto was sound asleep in a carved alcove on the opposite side of the room.  His arms were bandaged and his hair disheveled.  This was a far cry from his usually composed and put-together manner; it was difficult to see him like this.

"What do you need me to do?" I asked, turning to him. 

"I need you to watch over him," Pantaleon replied, "I need to find out how this happened, but I can’t just leave him here alone.  Maybe if you’re around…”

“What is it?” I asked.

“Recently, Esto's become very..." Pantaleon paused, his voice lowering, "...dangerous."  Indeed, it was hard for me to believe that my best friend could be thought of as dangerous.   He looked so peaceful in his sleep.  “Maybe if you’re around things will change.”

"Alright," I agreed.  "I'll watch over him."  Pantaleon's face lit up.  That night, we shared supper and managed to have a few laughs before Pantaleon departed to solve the mystery of what happened to our dear, beloved friend.

Adelia - The Broken Chain pt. 1

Another day in the cavern, I thought as I reclined in my chair.  I looked out over the lake scanning the surface out beyond Kerath’s Arch.  I was idly thumbing through my journals, scrutinizing past entries, when my oh-so-normal day was quickly interrupted.

"Adelia! Adelia!" I peered out from the shadows of the tent where I had been lounging and I saw Pantaleon dashing across the plaza.  I would never forget his face.  "Adelia! You're back! Where have you been?!"  Laughing, I put out my arms to stop him from crashing into me.  I waited until he was catching his breath so I could manage to get a word in.

"I was a little... delayed."

"I heard you were in a cave in!"  There was no hiding the frown on my face.  Obviously there was no fooling Pantaleon, his eyes were already looking at my leg which was still bandaged up.

"I suppose there's no keeping secrets in this city." I sighed, sitting back down.

"What happened, Adelia?" Pantaleon asked in a low, shocked whisper.  I dipped my head, cringing; trying to remember.  Thinking about the accident made my leg throb.  I decided I would share my journal entry of the event with him.

All-consuming darkness was all I was able to feel to the point of suffocation.  My wits came back to me.  A prison.  I was in a rocky prison.  I felt as though I was barring the door to my soul while the reaper himself was trying to take me down that path to which there was no return.  The fear and anxiety were more chilling than the harshest winter, making every hair on my body rigid and on edge
The faint light of the lake algae could not make its way down the tunnel to where my team and I had been trapped.  I was surrounded by a prism of stones - huge boulders that were only inches away from crushing my body.  The belly of the beast.  My body trembled as those words floated across my mind.  The jagged edges surrounding me resembled the mouth of some ravenous beast. 
I heard mournful voices calling out for those lost and separated by the cave in.  No prayer on this planet is strong enough to wipe that sound from my memory.  I wanted to rip my heart out, hoping and praying to God that it would end soon.  My name was the next called among us who had fallen prey to the shaky ramparts of the tunnel, and the others that were taken by the cave in, no answer was returned.  I was terribly afraid of the dark but I still had a grasp on my sanity.  I was able to manage to laugh at myself: someone afraid of dark and enclosed spaces coming down into a cave.  I felt a hot, sticky thread weave down the side of my face.  I reached up and touched my forehead.  Straining my eyes was just enough to make out what it was and the in shock of the amount of blood on my fingers I fell into unconsciousness.
I'm not sure how much time passed but when I woke all had an eerie calm.  No wailing; no sound of rocks collapsing; no names were being called.  I managed to arch my neck enough to get my bearings.  I tried to twist my body around and without realizing it, my leg brushed up against the boulder it was pinned under.  My leg was lifeless. In that moment there were no words in human or in D'ni that could have described the pain that shot through my body.  My lips parted in a voiceless scream as I collapsed, my leg still helplessly pinned.  I tried to keep my eyes open; the tears rimming the corners of my eyes were mixing with the heavy dust that saturated the air.  Hopelessness started to take me.  Was this the end for me?  Was the rest of my team dead?  Did they forget about me?  Will they come back for me?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Esto - 2:107-116

What is this invasion?
For the fourth time, they come.
Two come to war;
Two run from war;
Two die;
Two live although they kill.
All of them;
Above whom are none
They Believe.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pantaleon - New Hope

It has been long and difficult week.  Esto's condition has neither improved nor worsened but there is no one available for a few weeks to be his caretaker.  I ask every passing explorer for their help with no luck.

During the times when Esto has fallen asleep I ponder what will happen.  I do this at the staircase overlooking the docks.  It's peaceful watching the glow of the lake while hearing D’ni life stirring.  I’ve heard that it took a lot of patience for the D'ni construction, laws, and other grand marvels to be created.  If the D'ni had the patience to create all this then I too can learn from their patience.

Luck at last!  An explorer friend of mine, Adelia Rosehart, agreed to be caretaker for Esto in my absence.  I have not seen her in a some time.  It seems she's had problems of her own preventing her from moving about D'ni.  I am very grateful.  Now I can begin searching for Dean.  I thanked Adelia multiple times before leaving, knowing full-well that Esto is in capable hands.  Now to search for clues to find Dean and restore Esto’s health!