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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pantaleon - Time in the Tavern

There was no luck in waiting so far for Esto and Dean and no news of Adelia from other explorers. To spend some time away from Tokotah II I decided to take a stroll to Tokotah Plaza which is the general meeting ground for explorers in the cave. On my way, I passed by Gete who still hadn't heard anything about Adelia's whereabouts. Then we headed to the Watcher's Pub though on our way we came across McBeam, another devout explorer of the cavern. We all sat down and had a drink.

Gete and McBeam both left messages for Adelia and had checked nearby ages that she had visited more often. I told them that since I left on Yeesha's Journey I had not heard anything from Esto and Dean and that I last saw them at Tokotah II but there wasn't much left behind. I thanked Gete and McBeam for their assistance who said they would keep in touch if they heard anything. When I asked them about the symbols I had seen in the notes I found in the apartment Gete and McBeam told me to investigate the Watcher's Pub. They didn't say much about it though they seemed to know something more than they said.  I'll have to look into it some more soon.  After all, every possibility must be explored.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Esto - Collecting the Pieces: Part III

“Darkness again.  I walked a spiraling path and found myself standing on a gigantic leaf.  I realized that the tunnel I just walked out from was in fact an enormous snail shell; it’s inhabitant long gone.  I remember walking to the edge of the leaf and peering down below.  The height was dizzying and no ground was visible; only an impossibly large ensemble of green leaves and branches from even larger trees.  The scale of everything was staggering; I was but a sugar ant in comparison.  I sat in awe of it all and soon I heard a familiar voice.

“I looked around and saw Dean behind me riding on the back of an enormous bridled snail - Easily five times my size.”

Adelia’s expression was that of shock.  “He was riding a snail?”

“I could hardly believe it too” I said.

“That’s.  So.  Awesome” said Adelia.

I laughed a little to myself.  “Sure enough.   Dean explained to me that I would have to obtain a ride of my own if I planned on continuing the journey.  Before long I had a snail of my own and we began scaling the limbs and branches of this incredible age.  I had to ask.  How did he learn how to wrangle a snail?  From his answer, I gathered the solution of snail riding had been one of desperation.  Who knows how long he spent in this age before bridling a snail and then finally coming to get my help.

“After a great deal of searching Dean and I found something.  Etched into the bark of the tree was a symbol we each recognized.  It had been on the book that began this journey: The Triple Shell Symbol.  One symbol lead to another and then another as we found our way around the age.  Five symbols.  Each more ornate than the last.  As we studied the final symbol I heard a sound of thunder and the world shook.  I looked up.  No sign of storm, and then a passing shadow.  The thundering sounds returned again.  Suddenly I realized what was happening around me.  Dean’s expression reflected my own.  I heard a terrible screeching and my core froze.  The bird tore through the canopy and we were in free fall.  I gasped for air and reached for my relto.  The panel was inactive.  I tried to close my eyes and fell into darkness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pantaleon - Return to Tokotah II

Four pillars, four ages. All taken. All returned. For each an age forged forged from pride, taken from the least. Whatever is not given back will be taken. Thus, the nation fell D'ni, the vaults vacant, gardens desecrated, and corrupted by material wealth. Afterward, my Relto had changed. A star fissure appeared outside the hut. It led back to the Cleft. Another storm rattled the Cleft but something was different. A new set symbols resided where my journey began. Once again, Yeesha came forth providing a different journey.

All I found when I returned to the apartment were notes about Guildmaster Kadish, lines of D'ni prophecy, and various symbols. Explorers tell me that Adelia is still missing. Chris and Dean are still missing too. Their KI signals have not responded since I left on this journey. Perhaps they both went searching for her? I believe they will come back here. This place seems to be the center-point for everything that has happened.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Esto - Collecting the Pieces: Part II

Adelia seemed taken aback by my descriptions.  “Across the bubble I opened my eyes and found myself in another tunnel; behind me the path spiraled upwards.  Exiting I found myself in a truly strange environment.  Before me was sandy ground and sparse vegetation and above: a shimmering surface of water where the sky should be.  I found the tunnel I had emerged from to be a giant shell, reminiscent of Whelks and Conch shells I had found on beaches as a child - only these were massive.  The landscape had numerous shells embedded in the sand.

“Wonder and marvel at this place lead me to climb the nearest shell; from the top I reached my hand out toward the water above.  The strangest of feelings came to me and I drew my hand back seeing the ripples spread out from where I had touched the surface.”

For a moment Adelia seemed lost in thought.  “You've seen this?” she asked.

“You asked” I responded.  “and that’s not the half of it.

“Tell me more.  I can only imagine what it was like.  Please go on.”

I refocused my mind and continued.  “In the distance I saw a particularly large shell - an auger.  The form spiraled up from the sand and stretched beyond the surface of the water.  As I approached it I found the shell to be inverted allowing me to walk into it and climb the spiral.  As I climbed, I found the light of my KI to be useful as darkness came very quickly; the spiral kept climbing and climbing.  When I finally reached the top of the spiral I found another linking bubble lighting the darkness.  Knowing what to do I collected myself and walked through the shining surface.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Esto - Collecting the Pieces

MidnightSun left the cavern.  "A lot has happened" I said to Adelia.  "He must have a quite a bit on his mind."

"Esto.  What's going on?"

"I was hoping you would know." I looked around and final began fiddling with my KI.  No signal.  "Damnit."

"KI's don't seem to have signal here."  Adelia sat down on a large stone.  "Otherwise I'd have sent someone a message by now."

A smaller bahro crawled down from the wall and curled up next to her.  "At least these guys have been taking care of me."  Her expression changed.  “Other than Norm in the cavern, I never had much experience with the Bahro.”  Turning back to me “How did you wind up here?”

I sat down and thought for a moment.  “We thought we had found something special” I said.  We thought that the journey was revelation."  I took my finger and began drawing shapes in the sand.  “Dean, or MidnightSun as he goes by now, found a book about a year ago.  This book had a very peculiar marking on it.”  I finished tracing the symbol in the sand and continued.  “He vanished for months and when he returned he wanted me to join him.

“I went to Vahmen district and there I found a path laid before me.  Dean was nowhere to be found but he had left a message telling me that I would be able to follow his steps and that he believed he needed help if he was to progress further.  I took the linking book and linked to a chamber of smoothed stone.  Behind me was a tunnel that spiraled upwards eventually opening to the sky.  Before me was a mechanism that I manipulated to mimic the symbol on the book I had used to get there.

“I saw a light in the distance and moved toward it.  Before long I stumbled and soon found myself in what seem to be an impossibility.  In my captivation of the light I had ceased paying attention to my surroundings and found myself standing on thin air.  I stood back up and looked around me.  The area I had walked from was far behind me and the light I moved towards was still further in the distance.

“I cannot explain how I did what I was doing but it reminded me of a leap of faith I had made down the Great Shaft years ago.  Below me I could see only darkness, above the stars.  Before me was light, and behind was the tunnel I had emerged from.  I thought, if this was real then it must be revelation and so I continued onward.

“Reaching the light I found what actually appeared to be a bubble.  A glow emanated from it and within I saw an image of another place.  I placed my hand out toward the bubble and found a cool rush pass over my hand as it moved through.  I pulled my hand back.  I checked my Relto - it appeared to be functioning.  I took a deep breath and walked into the bubble.