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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pantaleon - Final Thoughts: Teledahn

The journey has been long.  What I have learned?  Nothing perhaps.  Perhaps, something greater.  No, lesser.  Nothing is as it appears.  Nothing is transparent.  Like prisons locked away, out of sight, yet still there.  When we are prosperous we are blind.  This is the weakness of this age - the unknown corruption below the depths.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry - October 20 - Departure

I've traveled throughout Ae'gura asking explorers if they had seen Adelia; giving a brief description.  It is weird, no one saw her leave Tokotah II and there is was no KI signal to locate her.  To widen my search, I called groups of explorers; I personally looked into many nooks & crannies of abandoned buildings and other areas such as the palace and library.  Days have passed to no avail.

I contacted Esto via KI to inform him I was returning from my search.  It felt right using this technology.  I was hopelessly lost in everything that has occurred over the past week.  Nothing made sense anymore.

Heartbroken & exhausted, I returned to Tokotah II.  There Esto and Dean were talking but it all seemed too dream-like for me to even understand.  I kept thinking about the last message Adelia sent me.  Had it not been for that earthquake I would have been able to respond and maybe I would know what happened.  

It just didn't make any sense.  Why would she leave Esto in the state he was in?  Maybe there is a connection between these events - and who is this Impostor Esto and Dean keep speaking about?

After sleeping for who knows how long I managed to speak with them.  There is one possible solution.  They both agree.  It is time.  I must continue Yeesha's journey.  "Seek the Journey not the Destination."  In my absence I will continue to keep my journal; if only to reflect on later.  Tomorrow I'll resume my Journey.

Esto - Picking up the Pieces

Lately I've been questioning my reason.  Over the past months I've seen things so great and vivid that I'm sure Yahvo himself was involved and yet I know how this sounds.  What's more: though I know how long these experiences occurred I find it hard to believe I have been away for so long.  Life in the cavern has gone on and things have changed.  My friend Adelia has apparently gone missing; and to think - exactly a year ago we met at the CAVCON party.  Pantaleon has organized a search party.  I would join myself, but other events have tied my hands.

I've also been met with news of death in the cavern and have aided in the identification of many of the explorers.  In the years I've been coming to this city, I've never witnessed a cave-in like this.  I hope this isn't something we have to get used to.  The DRC always seemed a pain to the explorer community, though I cannot think of an occurrence of this magnitude under their watch.  Now only a few ResEngs remain and I find myself wishing the DRC were still with us.  A GoME messenger has circulated a list of the fallen asking for help in contacting their next of kin on the surface.

As for my own family, I fear that my absence has left them in the dark.  Doubtless they would have searched for me.  I want nothing more than to return to them and assure them of my safety, but the work I've been left with here prevents me from doing so.  Should I return it is likely I would be stripped of access to my Relto; even should I manage to get it back, a second disappearance would only worry them further.  It seems cruel, but I must let them continue to think of me as lost for the time being.

I have spent a great deal of time working with Dean, or as he now prefers - MidnightSun.  We began in The Watcher's Sanctuary making copies of Words.  Upon returning to Takotah II we began deciphering the works.  These Words, I know them.  Of all things I experienced in the Star Fissure these Words permeated the space.  Their meaning: Yeesha is The Grower.  While the truth of these words is known to me I find there are some passages that elude me.  Somehow I find the answer lies in the new symbol on my shoulder.
MidnightSun tells me the journey we took was false; yet if it is false then its lies have been irrevocably intertwined with truth.  This Triple Shell motif has foundations in Words and yet, this symbol on my arm is rooted deeper.  I find myself wondering why we're here pouring over these texts when their meaning is clear to both of us.  MidnightSun's only answer has been that it is preparation for a Journey.  After months of blinding truth, this riddle frustrates me.  "The passing of time brings the path to the gathered."  I must rest in the truth of these words.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Midnightsun - Reunion

“Is it true?” Esto stammered and looked up at me. “Yeesh...”

I glanced over at Pantaleon who was shuffling things around and throwing them in a travel sack. “It’s true, Esto. Yeesha is The Grower.”

He grabbed his shoulder and flinched. “Wha.. What happened to me?”
Pantaleon blurted out, “Adelia! Have you seen her, Esto?”

I spoke up then “Pantaleon, with the exception of this bed roll, nothing here has been moved in some time.“ Confused, he asked Esto if he was feeling alright. As Esto nodded, Pantaleon grabbed his bag and ran down the hall stating he had to find her and he’d keep in touch.

"I must know", Esto spouted out. “where was I, what did you do to my shoulder?”
My attention fully on him now. “Tell me what you have experienced”.

“I saw stars... and ages... and lifetimes... The Great Tree of Possibilities and... I think... am I in Takotah?”

I looked then to Esto, "We have taken a fool's Journey. We sought the journey of the Triple Shell and were deceived.” Once again he grasped his shoulder.

“This tattoo,” I point to the newly formed shell symbol on Esto’s arm, “has brought you peace again. It is a sign of knowing the truth.” As his eyes were straining to see his own shoulder, I pulled up my sleeve so he could have a full view of my shell tattoo.

“Apparently you were in this state for weeks, I wish I would have known. There was supposed to be a girl taking care of you, Adelia?" I phrased the question.

Struggling to his feet Esto replied “Adelia? I haven’t heard from her in months but I think she said something about an expedition.”

“Are you up for a walk?” I ask. “We should be heading out. We are short on time and we can talk on the way.”

“I believe so” Esto says, as he makes his way towards the door. “Where are we heading?”
“The Watcher’s Pub. We must get you up to date on my latest findings.”
We made our way out of Takotah; a bit unsteady at first with his hand against the wall.  By the time we reached the Takotah Courtyard, Esto's strength was returning and we moved at a fair pace. Outside, the sounds of the cavern had changed.  Anxious explorers were running in and out of tents and buildings.

“She’s nowhere to be found!” Came the exasperated voice of Pantaleon. I turned to find him bounding up the great stair two steps at a time. Upon reaching the last stair he stopped and put his hands on his knees. “I think I’ve talked to every last explorer in the cavern, at least twice!”

“Wait, Adelia’s missing? It doesn’t seem like her to disappear.” Esto inquired.

A puzzled look came on Pantaleon's face, than was gone. “Yes, when I went to find Dean I thought she, being your friend, was an ideal choice.”

“You thought?” I pressed. “Ideal choice for what? Walking out on someone in need?” I certainly hope if ever I am injured he leaves me with someone more competent I thought to myself. No matter. What's done is done.

I see the distressed look on his face and add, “at least Esto has recovered; I am sure your friend will turn up. You look like you are going to fall over, why don't you rest a while?”
“I just..” Giving into fatigue, he shuffled into the nearest tent and collapsed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry - October 12, 2012

Dean and I left for Ae'gura.  The changes within him makes me wonder what effect the cavern will have on me.  What other secrets are in D'ni?  We finally arrived at Tokotah II; later than anticipated but at least back home.  Adelia was nowhere to found.  I looked around for any sign of her and soon I noticed Dean took five candles and a stone from his pack.  He set the five candles in a line beginning from the outside and working to the center saying "The passing of time brings the path to the gathered" as he set the final candle.  He spoke “Be still and the path will be made known” as he began to light the candles.

I saw him pick up the stone in his left hand; it reminded me of a worry stone; it was small and smooth.  He pinched out the first candle on the left.  "Darkness comes at the end of time."  He spoke again: "The path of the stone is toil for the gathered" and pinched out the candle on the right. What is this I wondered.  He continued: "The future is always revealed to those who wait" and pinched out the next candle on the left.  "Rest in the light."  He pinched out the candle on the right leaving only one burning.

I watched as he took the stone and held it over the flame.  “The gathered will find rest when the light comes.”  To my amazement I saw that the stone begin to glow!  He picked up the candle in his right hand, held the stone next to Esto's shoulder and blew out the final candle.

Then it happened: Esto became cognizant again.  His first words were : "Is it true?"  I watched as Dean said something to him I could not hear.  How confusing.  Where is Adelia?  I've been trying organizing a search.  So far no luck.  I must return to my search.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Esto - 4: 1-8

In the night they walk through the streets
Looking to one another for explanation;
Trying to understand the mourning that fills the city,
And prevent them from lying down.
Others ignore the wails.
They feel safe and talk as though they are immortal.
As they too succumb to death
They remember the restless nights.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry - October 10, 2012

It was time, I thought, to proceed to Ae'gura.  I was incorrect.  Dean stopped me just short of the nexus terminal and said “Light in the Darkness.  Do you believe?” The statement that caught me off-guard.

Dean took my Relto book; opened it and held it out to me.  I linked and to my surprise I found Dean waiting for me in my Relto.  He took down a book and placed his hand on my shoulder.  I found myself linking.  On the other side I found myself in the Slave Caves on Teledahn.

Dean then began questioning me, “did you see the hidden caves, and the cages?”

I respond, since I have journeyed through this age, “These cages worried me before.  Now more than ever. It is a corruption of this age.”

“Pantaleon.  Do you understand?  It is where the proud would keep the least... because the proud make the rules.... blasphemy!”  We linked back to my Relto. Dean then replaced the book, took another, and linked us through with a touch of the shoulder.

My KI said we were in Gahreesen, though I had never been to this location.  I could see trees and the sky, but the walls were familiar.  Dean then questioned me again, "What do you think of these walls?  Walls to protect what?"

These questions were confusing.  “Perhaps to protect possessions or families?”

He shook his head.  “Layers within layers” he said.  “The powerful need control and soon the guarding is yet another thing to be proud of .... To protect that which is from without.”  Dean was acting very strange.  I saw him look up.  “From where do nations fall?”  his answer spoken as he turned and linked us back to Relto.  “From within...”

Again Dean returned the book. Soon I found myself in an age I had never visited before.  My KI told me I was in Eder Kemo.  Looking up I saw stone ridges and a giant image of a strange creature.  Dean asked “What do you know of King Shomat?  Of his brothers, and gardens, and death?”

Another confusing question.  This was my first time to this age and I knew nothing of the king; this garden; the brothers; or the circumstances of death.  This creature: what could it mean? “Who created it?” I asked.

Dean responds hastily, “the works of the proud are beautiful, but they are built on the backs of the least.”  I could hear thunder growing in the distance.  “What is to become of the world when all is taken and nothing is given in return?”

Relto again and another link.  I peered down a shaft into nothingness.  Before me a massive vault suspended in a shaft; or was this a crypt?  Was there some great treasure inside?  My KI told me this was Kadish Tolesa.  Dean spoke in almost a whisper “Bones speak louder than words.  Greed is the path to destruction.”

One last link.  Darkness.  I cannot see a thing!  I asked,  “Where are we?  I can’t see anything?" Silence.  I try not to panic. “Dean!? Are you still here?”

Light. We were in a small cave.  “Light to Darkness? Do you believe?” Dean had activated what looked to be a lantern of sorts coming from the ground.  He turned and I followed.  Before long we stood overlooking a waterfall.  I checked my KI.  Eder Gira.  “You have much to learn.  You are not ready.”  He turned to me “You must seek the Journey not the Destination.  We must hurry to Ae’gura.  Our friend needs our help.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pantaleon - Journal Entry - October 8, 2012

After reading the journal my KI flashed; a message from Dean!  Come to K'veer.  Now knowing where he is perhaps we can find a cure for Esto's illness.  I took flight through the ruins of Vamen.  Unfortunately I encountered something unexpected.  It began as a minor tremor.  The tremor increased in magnitude.  I nearly tripped on the rubble on the ground.  I had to reach my destination.  What was happening?  My KI flashed again.  This time a message from Adelia.

Before I could read it another tremor caused the ground to shake violently; structures appeared on the verge of collapse.  I was almost to the boat and off to K’veer when an earthquake with intense magnitude struck.  I was pushed forward into a wall.  By instinct I raised my hands to guard my face.  My KI took the brunt of the damage; shattered on one side.  The pathway I was following had collapsed making it impossible to return by that route.  Then some rubble fell and I took a blow to the head.

When I awoke, the cavern was calm.  I could not help but feel as though the tremors and earthquakes that occurred before were intentional.  I found my boat still intact and quickly rowed to K'veer relieved to be away from a part of the city that seemed more and more like a death-trap.  Then again, perhaps it wouldn't be safe for others to take that linking book.  What if it caused other explorers to fall prey to the same illness as Esto?  Vamen district should be under quarantine until we resolve the mystery.

When I reached K'veer, Dean was nowhere to be seen.  How long had it been since he messaged me?  At the nexus terminal I had to work with my broken KI.  There was an issue with getting it into the slot to activate.  Thankfully, I finally got it working; then Dean appeared on my KI.  He had linked to the balcony.  After I rushed up the stairs I found myself face to face with my old friend.  Had it not been for what my KI was telling me I would not even have recognized him.

Dean wore a tattered cloth shirt with the symbol of Yeesha's Journey.  He seemed different; focused on something distant.  I described Esto’s condition to Dean.  He had some idea that it could have happened.  He was worried when Esto had not contacted him in the past but did not expect his condition to be this severe.  Dean also said he had changed and that his name had changed to reflect this: MidnightSun.  This was difficult for me to accept even though the changes were apparent.  How could someone change that much?

Before returning to Ae'gura, Dean said he could fix my KI but I would still be unable to respond to messages.  Still, having it work even a bit more would would be enough to continue traveling through the cavern.   At least now things are looking brighter.  Now, we can save Esto.  I suspect Dean has some idea of how to snap Esto out of his condition.  We'll see when reach Tokotah II.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Esto - 3:104-107

The rain starts and the tree will grow,
But are you the one to start it?
You did nothing but follow.
The grower is the one who leads.