Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When You Least Expect It

My rescue began with an umbrella.

Fortuna, the Roman goddess of Luck, has been on my side more often then not in my adventures. I suppose if she had not been I would not be here writing this now! It is a trait shared by most Otherworld ship captains I know and I would not be surprised if it's somehow a required part of having the position in the first place. We somehow always end up where we need to be and somehow always acquire the aid we need the most. It may not always arrive in the package we had expected but it does, eventually, arrive.

As I sat perplexed as to my next move, thinking heavily about leaping off the side of the Nekomimi and trusting to my flying crystal, an umbrella suddenly appeared near me with a small note tied to the handle with a piece of thin green vine.

You never really get used to things suddenly appearing next to you. No matter how often it happens it can always be a bit disconcerting.

"Help is closer then you think. This should do the trick," was written in elegant handwriting with thin black ink. On the other side of the note was scribed, "Open it, step off, and Trust. Not necessarily in that order..."

I recognized the handwriting. Though I was sure by this point the Nekomimi was to be no threat to my person, I was delighted to see the note. I had heard it's writer had come into world as part of her Otherworld travels but this was a most unexpected surprise!

Opening the umbrella, I felt a pulse of sylvan magic extend from the handle and immediately swirl around me. Stepping off the edge of the Nekomimi, the umbrella immediately held me in mid-air for a moment and then dropped me gently a dozen or so feet. Then, with a slight tug on my arm, I began to drift northward.

Why was I so quck to trust a strange object with a cryptic note? Only one reason and that was because it was from one of my most dearest friends as well as my mentor in the Ways of the Otherworld.

So suprised and utterly delighted by this fortunate turn of events, I did not stop to realize how absolutely silly I must have looked, a dark cloaked Otherworld ship captain gliding through the clouds and being held aloft by a black umbrella! Regardless, my ever present imager captured the moment for me so I might share. It seemed to click and whir with great delight as it showed me the image later.

As I have said, I traveled northward. Below me, the landscape moved slowly along and I have since estimated I traveled approximately two counties, or sims. Only two counties? How was it possible that my course of travel had brought me so close to something involving her? The umbrella, guided by some form of enchantment, began to lose altitude and lower me toward a lush and green gardened area. Spinning slightly, we came to rest within the center of a stone circle where, at its center, flickered a small campfire. And on the edge of that, a small steaming pot of tea.

Upon landing the umbrella closed itself and I got a good chance to survey my surroundings. Her handiwork was everywhere; in the trees, the flowers, the stone pathways, but mainly the flowers. She always has loved gardening and the natural world, most magical healing dryads do, you know? I cannot easily explain the gentle flow of peacefulness which moved over me. Like a drink of cool clear spring water, the land immediately began to have a restorative effect.

And, of course, the minute I finished looking around, she was standing there near the fire and not looking like a dryad at all. Dressed casually in jeans, a black top, her silver hair pulled back, and fixing on me that penetrating mentor gaze I sometimes had the audacity to think she saved just for me, she surveyed me quickly and shook her head. Perhaps she had been there the whole time, perhaps she had just arrived. It was hard to tell with her.

"You do look a mess," said Jesa Li.

I smiled at her and gave a humble bow, "My thanks."

She smiled back but her eyes flickered over my face, the black cloth surrounding my neck, the unhealing bite underneath it, and then I could tell her gaze was shifting, looking deeper, at something invisible. With another small smile she gave me a deep hug and motioned to the stone bench by the fire. "Welcome to An Lios Gardens and Waters. First thing, tea. Then, we get you healed and rested."

I started to say something else but she fixed me with that gaze again. It was hard like the stone of the stone circle we were standing in, "tea, healing, and rest. We'll save the rest for later."

One must understand that I had little choice in the matter...

~~~ To Be Continued ~~~

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Like A Mouse

It is with an odd sort of amusement that I look around me and wonder if I have fallen into a trap. Or, in this particular circumstance, lifted into a trap would be a better phrase.

I was again having trouble sleeping. By the light of the full moon, I had decided to move a little further northward since the land appeared open and uncluttered. My way was completely unhindered and the light of the moon gave more then enough illumination in my travel. Wandering through the county of Wollaston I was shocked to see vast areas of undeveloped land. Dotted throughout these tracts were tall slender signs that rose from the ground like lonely trees. These signs appear to mark tracts of land that are up for sale to the general populace. The tall vertical structures are nearly always spinning and in some areas can dominate the landscape with their presence. At times, when coming across a field of them, I am reminded of windmills or water pumps but they harvest nothing except the occasional sale.

While walking among them I came across an odd platform. Being very similiar to the one used at Mr. Pontchartrain's station, I recognized it immediately as a transporter. Finding it near so many of the towering sale signs, I was even more curious and activated it.

And so, the trap, if it is indeed one, was sprung. However, I had not realized it.

I arrived near a lit and swirling dance floor. I was immediately approached by a floating clockwork automation in the form of an odd looking white cat wearing a rocket pack. It scanned me briefly and then went back to its station. Looking about, I noticed that the walls surrounding the dance floor were covered in colorful, sensual images of females of which all of them had feline features. Below them were small tables and floor pillows placed for what appeared social gathering and discussion. Yet, like many places I have visited, there was no one there.

I at first assumed I had stumbled onto a meeting place. Obviously focused toward a humanoid and feline race it still showed several aspects of other social meeting places I had seen on the Mainland, a dance floor (or what you might call a "viewing area" from the way I'd seen it used so far), a socializing area, a few small areas for other distractions such as the gearbox game stalls, and an area to purchase items. By walking through the small doorway which led from the room of my arrival, I came across a small plaza area which served as the area for shopping. Its many stalls seemed filled and in good operation. Many of the items were far too risque to show images of here! Again, whatever the race was, it seemed more then willing to adopt the Mainlander's attitude towards open sexuality. Though not of the caliber of that seen in my brief and tragic adventure within "Be Naughty", it was still apparent that those who came here prescribed to a certain sensual quality within their nature.

By walking through the doorway I discovered the portal was located between the legs of a massive effigy of a white cat. Perhaps the "walking through the legs" of the stature to get to the social and lounging area beyond held a certain level of importance to them. With its placement, certainly symbolic, I wondered if it gave a clue to what manner of things happened in the room I had arrived within. From a sign above the cat, which featured another young female catwoman in a coquettish pose, the place I am located is called The Nekomimi. I gathered this from the large sign which appeared over a larger statue effigy of a waving white cat.

What "nekomimi" might mean or the symbolism behind the albino cat is beyond me at this point. However, from strolling about the plaza area I was able to deduce that the race that frequents this place is cakked "Neko." I searched for more information but found none. Hoping to come across one of these creatures, I continued my searching.

Shortly after that point, I started to get an uneasy feeling. As much as I looked around, I could not find a transporter to make my way back to the ground! Checking my equipment I found the place was close to 600 feet from the ground, far beyond the use of my flying crystal. Sending my visualizer out on remote mode I was able to get a decent picture of the floating platform where I suddenly had found myself trapped. One question burned in my mind at that point, had this been on purpose on the part of the Nekos? Had I fallen prey to the teleporter device much like a bug would fall prey to an ant lion?

Upon my arrival, had I tripped some sort of alarm and soon to be the focus of several female Nekos bearing down on me with the intent to make the main sacrifice to some unholy ritual? How many other Mainlanders had stumbled into a similiar trap before me?

I looked around for bones.

Luckily, I saw none.

Of course, given the fact that what I had seen was mostly aimed to a female population, I also began to wonder if the Neko race was amazonian in nature. From the pictures I had seen so far they were perhaps not as warrior-like as the amazons but they had obviously solved the question of how to entertain themselves with no men around. Was this perhaps a trap to gather male slaves?

Wasting no further time, I contacted others on my Expedition communication crystal and simply asked if anyone had heard of a race called the Neko. Thankfully, many had and were happy to transmit to me some information they had garnered in their own experiences. I was relieved to find that the Neko actually appear to be related to the Fey and that I was correct on their sensual natures. From the information given to me, I have to assume that they are also not waiting to sacrifice me. However, I have not lasted as long as I have in this profession by being lax. I did such a thing in Be Naughty and it nearly cost me my soul.

Looking to the fact that I still appeared to be trapped in a Club designated solely for female Nekos, I do not like the fact I am trapped here. Perhaps it is nothing. Perhaps I have discovered nothing more then a small getaway for female Nekos to come and enjoy each other's company. However, what if that is not the case? What if the presence of a male, let alone a non-Neko, is punishable by death? I do not like the fact that there is no way off this platform.

I am quite sure that if a conflict arose I could deal with one to three female Nekos with my trusty wand. However, if a group were to press onto me, they might wear me out with exhaustion.

It has been several hours now and I have yet to see soul here or find a way back down.

However, by a kind roll of Fate's dice, it would appear help is on the way...

~~~ To Be Continued ~~~

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Though the area seems filled with privacy giving invisible walls, I have managed to press further northward along the coast. Hearing of my difficulties earlier, a kind Caledonian, Vulpine Eldrich advised me of a location slightly more inland which featured the beginning of an actual road. I greatly appreciated the kind gesture! Though such a thing would make my travel infinitely easier, I have decided to hold it in reserve for now. If my ground travel is blocked any further, I shall fall back to that location. I believe that a thorough survey of the Mainland coastline will prove of great import so I continue onward. As long as I can find some manner of passage forward, no matter how narrow, I will press forward.

Miss Ofeq has been gone for several days as she is quite enraptured with the stargate technology we had found previously. She last left my presence after she was quite sure I was not to turn into an undead creature of the night. I thought it quite thoughtful of her. Its been a week or perhaps a bit more and the lack of her presence is sadly noticed.

The vampiric bite wound still refuses to heal properly. I do, however, feel an improvement in my health. There is still something clinging to me like a spiderweb clinging to one's neck, felt but never seen. A combination of apathy and exhaustion pulls down my typical good spirits, goes with me from morning wakefulness to unsettling slumber. In my fitful sleep appear black featureless forms with glowing coal eyes, blood, the pounding of a drum, screams in the distance, in the night, that upon waking have no source. That it is connected to my wound inflicted on my by a cruel supernatural creature, I have no doubt. My question I carry now is how do I rid myself of it? My fear is that I cannot and will have to carry this gray weight for the rest of my life.

Travelling northwards, I have found little of note until late this afternoon. Climbing a rise, I was greeted by a view which immediately induced me to pull forth my imager. A quiet and peaceful cove in which stood a small house with two gently rocking and anchored sailboats. Behind it, some sort of rock formation in the underlying topography had created an angular rise, framing and protecting the small inlet. It is moments and views such as this that work upon me as steam upon gearwork. With this small scenic, I felt my heart lighten and I felt at ease. Enjoying the reprieve from garish paint and haphazard architecture, I sat there for some time simply drinking in the view. I felt no need to investigate the home or the boats. I had no wish to intrude into this painting, climb through its frame, investigate it, image it, explore it. No. It was enough to sit quietly and view the painting from the outside. Sometimes NOT exploring, not uncovering something is what needs to happen. For me, it was that moment.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I do not know if it is some after effect of the wound I am still trying to recover from or something else entirely which has infected me. I seem to be overcome with a sense of malaise of such great strength that I find myself unable to shake it. Perhaps it is the endless sprawl of the Mainland terrain which seems to blur with no structure or organization to it? Perhaps it is the lack of contact as I seem to be moving through an area that is devoid of population but not of structures?

The wound on my neck refuses to heal completely. My fever comes and goes but I seem able to sense its rise and take appropriate action. My appetite has not changed nor has my skin color become more pale. It is almost as if my body continues to fight some vague and fleeting infection. But, luckily, I have not been consumed to drink blood or have an aversion to sunlight.
My ship, sitting in an anchored pocket just outside of this world's horizon, reported an encounter with fierce void winds over the past few days. This led me to taking more time then usual answering to its calls for instruction via crystal. Luckily, the storm winds have been reduced and the ship has settled itself with no casualties or damage. Of this, I am thankful.

I have found little in my constant and interrupted travel northward. Much, county after county, is the same. I did just today encounter a large and well constructed treehouse. Since my time with the sylvans, I have carried a great appreciation for tree houses and their symbiotic relationship to the arboreal structure which supports them. This one seemed well maintained and healthy.

Directly near it was a towering and narrow structure. I would call it a tower except it seemed to extend upwards into the clouds, almost like a stone support pole. If so, I could not see what it supported. Perhaps a hundred feet up its smooth stone surface an area had been constructed a landing which offered a several pillowed seats, a good view of the surrounding area and a delightful hooka. Though I did not partake of the hooka, the platform gave me a good chance to consider the ongoing Expedition.

For one, I missed Caledon a great deal. The constant roll of the Mainland landscape was beginning to take its toll on me. Compared to the well organized architecture and theme of Caledon, the Mainland seems to sprawl with little or no organization to it. The Mainland, if anything, appears to be a free-for-all of jumbled buildings and structures. Occasionally, one finds something that requires deeper notice. Unfortunately, this infections seems to burn a kind of depression into my thoughts, a pull of exhaustion and thick darkness which I have to battle with daily. Because of this, I cannot seem to find anything which perks my interest. So, I continue northward in hopes that I find something truly prodigious.

Perhaps I should acknowledge that my initial quest of travelling only by foot or the occasional use of crystal should be ammended somehow? It is true that much time is being spent navigating around the invisible walls and through areas that seem disjointed and abandoned. Yet, it is only by traveling on the ground that such small areas of interest have been discovered. I find I am caught with little reason to pick one over the other.

Damn, this odd blood infection which seems to cloud my mind and my senses. I blame it as the villain to my malaise. My crew is somewhat worried for me but they know me. They know it will do them little good to coddle me. There has been no word from anyone I have contacted and I wonder if I am to be afflicted with this for the rest of my days. I also wonder if, at some point, my body will lose the battle with the infection and what will happen then? Will I die? Will I become one of the undead? I would say its not a particularly pleasant way to end an expedition.

For now, I will press onward in hopes of something beneficial happening. I do not know what awaits me over the horizon of tomorrow. There is only one way to find out.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pale Recovery

The small wound on my neck has seemed to generate a great deal of trouble. It first forced me to rest more and eventually drove me to my tent which became a small working hospital room. I seem to be wracked with a horrid fever these past few days so vicious in its intensity I do not remember much of what has transpired. My skin, growing increasingly pale, has been covered in a constant sheen of sweat dampening nearly every article of clothing I have in my possession on this expedition. For the first day or so, the wound itself was red-tinged and angry. The pain from it was more from the searing which took place to seal and purify the wound. What has been more of a concern is a deep burning pain which seemed to emanate from the wound and stretch downward, curling over my shoulder and lacing itself across my chest and back. It was as if every capillary and vein were not on fire but simply smoldering with a dull fire that could not be extinguished.

Concerned, my first mate ventured slightly northward towards a small hamlet of houses she could see from the air. The cottages appeared to be built with an old world charm and, she hoped, hospitality. In addition, a circular stargate was mounted nearby. If functional, it could lead back to Mr. Pontchartrain's station and better facilities. She was unable to find any owners or natives nearby.

Near the hamlet she also found something else. Unrelated to my illness but hearing the siren song of the nautical and maritime which afflicts all sailors regardless of what oceans they sail upon or what ship they chose to fly, she was drawn to a what appears to be a fine frigate anchored in a deep inlet. Though originally (and still) a pilot of great skill, its obvious that life aboard a flying ship allows her to indulge in both her love of things that fly and sail. I share this love of such things with her and nearly all my crew. The frigate reminded her a great deal of our own vessel and she told me as much. From what I have seen of her lines, I would agree.

If my condition worsens, the plan, from what I've heard from eavesdropping in on conversations near me, they intend to find the owners of the buidings and look for me to be stationed there until my health returns or a better establishment may be found.

Fortunately, today, I appear to be growing healthier. I still await word from those vampires Mr. Reymont had mentioned in a previous entry of his own explorations but the cold fire in my veins appears to be subsiding and my fever is gone. From appraising myself in the mirror, I can see that I am still quite pale. I startled my crew a few moments ago by stumbling out from my tent in my bedclothes and a black cloth wrapped around my neck to cover the wound. I thought for a moment they were to press-gang me as they leaped upward and physically forced me back into my cot. But, I do feel much better and have opted to try and get some word out on my recovery.

As things progress, I shall endeavor to keep all informed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Into The Nest

To my readers -- I must warn you that the following tale is not for the weak of heart or genteel of nature. What follows contains hints of dark, dangerous, and devilish things which occur upon the Mainland. Though I know the youth of Caledon have great interest as to the undertakings of not only myself but others within the Expedition, children should not be exposed to this enty.

~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~

In my past experience I have done several things which one would consider, at best, ill-advised and, at worst, dangerous and foolhardy. More oft then not, my actions of initiative have brought me into relations, scenery, and experiences not to be had by those whom do not take the bold step forward. As I write this while trying to hold a compress to my wound, I have to consider that it is quite possible I have used up what little remains of my luck in such matters.

Time ticks forward and I find that I am forced to look at my own mortality and, quite honestly, how much time I might have remaining.

I will begin with the castle.

After stowing the gear I looked across the small bay where I had spent the past two days and finally took a hard look at the structure which had piqued my curiosity since I first saw it. Activating the flying crystal I drew closer and saw that upon one wall there was an adornment featuring a silhouette of a female native. From the lines of the dark silhouette, it was obvious she was quite nude.

Coming to the doorway, I saw a narrow opening with the words, "Be Naughty" in bright luminescent letters. Having a bit of an idea what I was headed into, I checked my appearance briefly and boldly entered the establishment. I was not surprised by what I saw and yet, I was.
On one end of the floor was a large stage where three beautiful native females in various stages of shocking yet alluring undress were gyrating and moving around a central pole. The audience before them consisted of a native female and male, separated by enough space to indicate they were not together. I had, indeed, entered a native den of iniquity! Justy Remont had stumbled upon one a few weeks ago and I knew it was only a matter of time before I came across one as well. Nearly upon crossing the threshold, I was greeted by one of the dancers.

The surprise came as I walked over to the stage and saw near the center of the room what appeared to be a massive fountain gurgling with what appeared to be wine. An odd and lavish decoration, I grew a bit more suspicious when I saw the thickness of the liquid. Still holding my judgment in reserve, I turned to survey the room further trying not to stay too focused on the writhing, slinking, and sweaty bodies on stage.

The surprises continued as I noticed a small room to one side in which I saw all manner of odd chairs, devices, and wooden beams. Curious, I strode over and found a room full of such manner of equipment! For appearances, it seemed to be a room one would find in a dungeon. Let it be known that I am a knowledgeable man and I have read of some of the more intense pursuits of pleasure. Yet, here before me was such a brazen and open collection of these torturous devices! And within viewing range of anyone who wished to walk in the door! I must admit I was taken aback more then a few steps when I realized that Mainland natives actually used these devices where and as they stood!

Within the room was a sharply dressed man who greeted me with a nod and I took the time to introduce myself and my venture. He introduced himself as "Chaos. Purveyor of Porn." When I asked about the title he also added, "Builder of castles and Spanker of Monkeys." Once again, I wondered what I had wandered into? I took a moment to gather and realign, remembering that it is very important not to judge a society or culture you may not initially understand. I continued my discussion with Chaos and learned that he had, indeed, built the castle we were standing within. I did not ask about his self-titled fetish involving simians. I did not wish to know.
Upon asking him about the contents of the fountain of the room he confirmed my fear that, indeed, it was flowing with blood. He also went on to state the co-owner of the establishment was a vampire.

What had begun as a slight niggle that I could be in some small danger blossomed at this point into a cold, hard realization. However, Justy Remont had also discovered vampires and per his journal entry had described them as rather honorable and, in fact, called them "fine people" and even went so far to offer that Caledon should open negotiations with them. Remembering this, I relaxed slightly as a tall and beautiful blonde female native glid across the main room toward us as if sensing the request of her presence. I introduced myself and my venture to her and Mr. Chaos Kelly proceeded to inform her that he had told me of her vampiric nature.

At this point, things began to spiral. She did not introduce herself but, instead, began pressing me about my willingness to become one with the vampiric society. Growing uneasy that I had not stated such a thing, I replied with a smile that I was not interested at this time but with and added "no offense to any of the vampiric condition or affiliation, of course." Undaunted or perhaps not caring about my opinion, she began telling me about a secret code of communication between those of the vampiric.

Things became decidedly worse when a complete stranger who had strayed into our conversation declared, "I want to be a vampire." and proceeded to pull a large Mainland handgun and begun waving it around.

I moved quickly, drawing my shock baton, but it appeared the native's action had been merely theatrical. Upon seeing my movement, he holstered the handgun and drew forth a strange glowing blade which extended from both ends of a small central tube. I was fascinated but also charged with adrenaline about this turn of events. The vampiric owner was continuing to speak to me but my focus was on the weapons being drawn around the room.

As things calmed, I began to put the baton back in its sheath. As I did so I turned to the woman, whom I have since learned carries the interesting last name of Halberd, and had begun to explain why I was so jumpy about drawn weapons. It was my hope to apologize but as I turned to face her she was already coming at me with a snarl, fangs drawn, and fingers curled like claws in front of her!

I barely had time to react against her speed and strength! Before I knew it, she had wrapped herself around me and placed her mouth firmly against my neck. I was immediately struck with the sensation of this beautiful yet cold body squirming against me and her breath against the sensitive skin of my neck. I had managed to get one had up which somehow kept her from clamping down with her fangs at first. Still, she bucked into me and, in the chaos, managed to sink one fang into my neck. My body was tortured with the dual sensation of her embrace and the sharp pain spreading from my neck. I rose the baton quickly and struck her with it on the shoulder. The device must have had some effect on her vampiric form for she stiffened and backed off but looked ready to leap at me again.

Taking the advantage, I thrust the baton forward into her midsection and then turned and fled as quickly as possible. My only other memories of the room was a sinister smile upon the face of Mr. Kelly and the echoing voice of the stranger with the gun saying, "that was freaking awsome!" Dashing through the main room and out the doorway, I activated the flying crystal and took to the sky, flying crookedly back towards the crash site and the peace sculpture. Once there, I turned to look for pursuit but saw none. Thankfully, I sank to the ground and placed a gloved hand upon my wound.

I immediately attempted to tell others of my fate and to look for assistance upon the crystal attuned to other Explorers. Help came but it was not very hopeful. It has been suggested that I find a temple or church as soon as possible as well as a vicar or priest. Gathering a mirror out of my equipment, I was able to ascertain that the beast had only gotten a small portion of one fang into me. But still, this is not one of my areas of expertise.

Sitting myself down, I doused the area and a knife with a portion of scotch and proceeded to slice the wound to let any vile poisons out of the area of the wound. I've also been advised to sear the wound with a hot brand. Unable to do this myself, I called upon my first mate who was quite unwilling to do such a thing but was eventually persuaded to perform the action with the small end of a boot knife. The pain, I must say, was much worse then that of the actual bite. I have also informed Miss Ofeq and others of my crew to watch me closely for any signs or symptoms of vampiric infection.

At this point, I am unsure what the future will bring. I am hoping to contact Mr. Remont to see if he might be able to contact those vampires whom he had such high praise for to see if there is anything that can be done and if I am to be afflicted with such a curse. If I am, I must admit, I may have to break contact as my actions from then forward toward those that have forced upon me such a vile affliction will not be the kind to chronicle here.

Wish me well. I shall report again when I am able.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Evidence of An Older Civilization!

The underwater equipment was quick in coming. In my stores, I have a wide array of equipment and devices handed to me by the previous owner of my vessel as well as several gifts given to my by my sylvan friends. Most of this is magical and crystal based in origin which, I must say, took some getting used to in the early years. One such item was a large supply of water breathing potions which, as the name suggests, allows the drinker to breathe water as if it is air. Unfortunately, I discovered after my first attempt of the stuff that I cannot abide the sensation of breathing water. Instead, I typically use a fairly close fitting dark outfit with a circular bubble-like device worn over my head. Upon the rear of this helmet is mounted a small non-sentient sponge-like creature found by aquatic sylvans which, as part of its respiration, processes air into the helmet from the outside water. The device is not good for deep depths but, for shorter, shallower dives, it was my equipment of choice.

The dive was fairly uneventful and although the cave itself, a fully submerged chamber, was rather plain, I did find the large remains of an older culture in the form of ruins just off shore. A curving stone pillared area, perhaps an old amphitheatre, garden, or section of home awaited me just below the surface. What it actually was connected to has been lost in time but, by finding these ruins, it's obvious that a much older culture established itself here eons ago. The find was in relatively good condition and surrounded by schools of colorful fish. (Unfortunately, my imaging device is not capable of color underwater at this time.) The top curving piece of stone seemed to have shifted towards the outer curve of the structure. This is most likely due to the pull of ocean currents as well as the wearing of the tide. It is also possible that the wave action of a large storm was strong enough at some point to shift the piece slightly. The columns were smooth marble without adornment whatsoever. It was a delightful find and it prompted me to find other evidence in the area of a previous culture.

Though exploring the ocean's bottom extensively I saw no sign of any other ruins or artifacts that would match with the ruins I found. Across the small inlet's mouth, on the far shore, I did discover an interesting spring system that appeared to have been modified in some way by intelligent hands. Perhaps this was connected at some time to the remains found under the water's surface? A small area used for oceanside docking? A small center for trade and travel? The materials used certainly seemed similiar. I've marked the area on the archival maps for further research if it is deemed necessary.

Evidence of an older society is not new news. Others have found numerous artifacts and ruins that suggest that an advanced society once thrived upon the very land we walk. The only problem is that much of this society is lost to the mist of time. Most discoveries only prompt more questions. Who were they? What was their world like? Why did they build here? I always find that instances when I come across these areas are always thought provoking journeys.

As I said, the cave itself was a rather nondescript opening carved into the stone of the shore by tidal wave action. I saw nothing of any import in the cave itself other then a series of odd concrete or stone looking blocks some of which had lengths of chain wrapped around them. Perhaps used as anchors at some point, I have no idea how they might have come to rest upon the floor of the cave. The chamber offered no other exit points and appeared to be an isolated cavern. Certainly, the ruins slighty away from the cave were the real find of the day.

I came back ashore and dried myself and my equipment. After logging the find and sketching a few maps for perhaps further research, I sent my equipment to be packed back aboard the Albatross. Then, I looked across the inlet at what was to be my next adventure.

It was a tall stone walled fortress of a place with four tall towers. Rather forboding in the failing light, I knew that it would be my next destination. Perhaps, however, not one to be read about by those of faint constitution for after a brief scouting I discovered that above the doorway were emblazoned the following words...

"Be Naughty"

If what Explorer Justy has recorded as to his expedition is any indication, I believe I may be on the verge of having a simliar encounter. We shall see...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Crashsite and Hints of Things Underwater

Once the morning fog had lifted a curious sight greeted me a little further down the northern coast. It appeared at first that I was viewing one of the native's airships which had crashed at some point in the recent past. Gathering my items, I set out in that direction.

Walking along an oceanside ridge, crossing into Pinehouse county's northern neighbor, Powder Mill county, I could see that the craft had lost one of its wings in the impact against the ridge. Ootherwise, the device appeared to be undamaged. The bulk of it was supported by a metal scaffolding as if after the crash someone had come along and decided to not only put the vehicle back together but do so in a way that would maintain its original grounded orientation. This particular design of airship featured a long central body and enjoyed huge long wings which no doubt functioned much like an avian's in their ability to capture air and lift.

I was astounded to find that the reason for such a reconstruction was to create a home! Though no one appeared to greet my knocks upon the crafts metal door, I was able to wander around the premises and could see through the windows that the interior of the airship had been redesigned into what appeared to be a comfortable living space. A large deck had been built as part of the scaffolding's structure and what appeared to be a luxurious outdoor bathing area had been installed there. Climbing up a ramp, I discovered the architect had reinforced the airship's tail section so a native's version of a chaise lounge could be placed there. Placed as it was out over the ridge and facing the ocean, it awarded a spectacular view of the area. A fine place indeed to rest at the end of the day with a novel or a companion.

During this small exploration, I was contacted by Esmee Isabell who had constructed the fine frozen valley I had just passed through earlier. We spoke on several matters and I was pleased to find that, for the most part, I was correct in my assumptions of the place. I have been invited back there should I find my northward travel hampered and I look forward to a cup of tea with her in the near future.

However, the one startling bit of information gathered from my conversation with Ms. Isabell was that below the airship site it was rumored there were underwater caves. Now, this perked my ears indeed! Delight! It had been sometime since I had the good fortune of climbing into a dark and damp cave and I immediately grew excited.

Thanking Ms. Isabell for the information and cursing myself for not thinking of oceanside caves, I contacted the Albatross. I gave my position and word that my underwater equipment should be readied and delivered. I was thrilled! They returned that it would be a few hours to cross the barrier to my ship floating in outworld space and then get back. I would have some time to prepare. I travelled back southward, found a comfortable spot of ground, and have been penning this as I await my delivery.