Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 9 - Velociraptors, Bugs and Talking Swords


Thirdmonth 13

There was finally land today. I was so happy to see it, I nearly jumped off the boat to swim in. We put down the anchor in a little cove and went to explore. The whole thing was a little surreal. I had the feeling I'd seen jungle like this before recently, but I couldn't put my finger on where. We set off into the jungle and were accosted by a group of giant lizards that Soern called “Velociraptors!” Upon seeing them, I had this terrible moment of déjà vu. These were the creatures in my vision that had killed Soern! I was not about to let that happen. I charged two of the beasts with Rellik, but they ran around us and attacked Blank and Soern. Soern got hit by a pretty major blow, but seemed to be okay. I ran back towards them and beset the first velociraptor I came to. I hit it, but Soern got hit again. He wasn't looking too great at this point, but he was still standing. I ran back to Soern. I wasn't entirely sure what I could do, but I couldn't let him be mauled to death by one of these things like I'd foreseen. I put my hand against him and tried pushed some of my life energy into him. I was surprised that it worked. It tired me, but he did seem to heal up a bit. I went back to the velociraptor I had been attacking and struck it down with one more blow. I turned to check on Soern, and I saw what I had seen mere weeks before in my head. A velociraptor pounced on him and started tearing him up. I ran over and hit the velociraptor as hard as I could. Blank attacked it and I bent down to Soern. He was nearly dead, but I wasn't going to let him die again. I put both my hands on him and once again willed my own life into him. This time the fatigue was almost painful, but he woke up, still badly injured, but far from dying. I sighed. The spike of energy that sometimes hits you in battle and makes your heart race (One of my old Knight Masters called it hotblood) was pulsing through my veins at that point. The rest of the battle is a little hazy because of the hotblood rush, but I know I fought fiercely. Afterwards, we all decided to head back to the ship to rest. When we arrived at the boat, we found that a group of monkeys had climbed aboard. I climbed up the rigging and shooed them away while Blank screamed obscenities at them. They fled back into the jungle, allowing us an evening of peaceful rest.


Thirdmonth 14

We had a long day of trekking up the jungle covered mountain. No one had been up this way in quite a while. I had to cut through a lot of brush and vines with the Aur Xica. It was tiring work. Sometime in the early afternoon, we stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient city. We wandered the streets for awhile, finding various artifacts. Everything was a charred, as if some great fire had roared through. I found a cloth child's doll half-buried under some rubble. It was a sad sight, all worn out and half burned. I imagined a child once played with it,before whatever terrible occurrence happened here. I tucked the doll into my belt. I don't really know why, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. At one point we stumbled into some sort of armory, where we discovered a magical bow, which had some similarities to the Aur Xica. In the center of the city, we found a building that was, surprisingly, not terribly damaged. It was a large, round stone building. Inside we found some sort of well. Soern went down in the well to check it out and told us there was a passageway, leading off in two directions. We decided we would come back here later, and we left the building.

There was a wide road out of the city to the summit. It was paved, though time and plants had destroyed and displaced most of the paver stones. After a brisk walk, we arrived at the top of the mountain. As we approached, we saw an altar. Soern went to approach the alter, but suddenly stopped. He seemed dazed, though I didn't realize why at the time. I took a step towards him and felt this strange buzzing sensation inside my head. It wasn't enough to phase me, but it was quite annoying. I looked around and finally spotted the source. It was a fuzzy black flying bug that was no larger than a bobber. It flew towards me and bit me on the nose. It stung quite badly. I flailed the Aur Xica at it, but missed. Blank sent a mighty magical gust of wind at the thing and knocked it out of the air. Unfortunately, the wind blast also hit me and I was flung to the ground with some force. Mark ran up and stepped on the bug, ending its mind-hold on Soern.

We went up to the altar and found it was right on the edge of this big crater. Soern said this was a volcanic crater, and that the mountain we were on was a volcano. I've heard of volcanoes and how they spew horrible firey rock fluid called lava, so I wasn't exactly thrilled to hear this. Soern told me that the volcano was inactive and wouldn't kill us, which made me feel a little better. We investigated around the altar and found some rocks that looked like feathers, some crystals embedded into the altar itself, and some various beads. On the altar itself sat a rather creepy looking skull with lots of carvings on it and a yellow egg-sized gem with colours that seemed to shift around inside it.

At this point, the Aur Xica seemed very excited. I unsheathed it and placed it on the altar, with its hilt against the skull. This apparently unlocked the Aur Xica's ability to speak. It spent a few minutes talking about how annoyed it was with us and berating us on our incompetence. After that we talked about the Aur Xica itself. It mostly just complained about Tai Faren, the dramojh, and us. It told us we were at the temple of the Hor Quan, but that we couldn't actually unlock its powers. It mentioned something about restarting the heart of the sea, or something like that, and how it had to do with an island with jeweled trees. Yes, an island of jeweled trees. I do hope the Aur Xica has not simply gone mad from its millenium alone in a tomb. I have never heard of such an island.

We headed back down the mountain into the city, stopping at the circular building to explore the passageways underneath. The tunnel (which the Aur Xica called a “lava tube”) lead in two directions, up the mountain and down. It was also a full head shorter than I was, and I had to duck down to avoid hitting my head. We decided to proceed up the mountain, but were soon beset by four more of the awful buzzing fuzzy bugs. I was really annoyed, so I called upon power, and was ridiculed by the Aur Xica for doing so. I believe it's comment was “You're calling upon power to squish bugs?” This just made me angrier, so I swung the Aur Xica particularly hard at one of the bugs and squashed it. My swing stopped abruptly with the Aur Xica clanking loudly against the stone wall. Soern then blasted the rest of the bugs with some sort of spell. I AGAIN was hit and was mildly injured. Spellcasters really annoy me sometimes. Hopefully someday, Blank or Soern will cast a battle spell that does not hit me. We kept going up the lava tube and ended up IN the crater of the volcano. We explored for a little while, but found nothing of interest, so we proceeded back down the lava tube. We passed under the well in the city and kept going. We eventually came out on a beach, within sight of the Ocean's Blade. After a quick walk down the beach while watching the sunset, we climbed back aboard the (monkey-free) ship.

We're leaving for Ao-Manasa in the morning. Perhaps we can ask around about the “island of the jeweled trees”. At least I'll be able to see how things are with Gannen. I feel like his arrest is my fault, and I feel I need to make things right. Hopefully we don't have any warrants out for us. I would be most displeased to step off the ship and into shackles. I have had my fill of the Ao-Manasa guard and magistrates, and not just because of my little run-in with them a month and a half ago. Let's just say, some of my Order's missions don't exactly follow Diamond Throne laws...


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