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Southern-ly Journeys, also, moss.

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Southern-ly Journeys, also, moss.

Posted by Alice belladora, 9:15am, 26 Nov, 2011

The Southern Continent! Ah, what joys it holds, all ready for stealing and running amok with. And amok we shall run, throwing interestingly shaped confetti into the sky and setting off fireworks, in the process greatly troubling the local dragon population.

Where shall i begin? for the southern continent is the very largest drifting silently upon the Sea of Improbability. Ranging from mossy mountains to thousands of miles of endless plain, then swamps, marshes.... hmmm. I've always wondered Radek, are swamps and marshes the same thing? I would expect swamps are more swamplike in every way, and marshes are decidedly greater in their marsh-ish-ness. *A pause.* ...Anyhow. To press on, as indeed we must, let me start by speaking something of the history of this most interesting bit of landmass.

In legends old, it is said that the Southern Continent was created by the third of the Four, and was meant to be a land of peace and neutrality, in order to balance out the rather extreme elements of the other Continents. You see, the Western Continent is Fire, destruction, power, Dragons and steel, and also a lot of bored looking guards standing around and conducting searches for illegal goods. The Eastern, which we have just thoroughly disemboweled, belongs to the element of Wind, airiness, thought, wisdom, and so on. The Northern embodies Water.

...And Earth, the last element, represents stability, nature, etc, and so stabilizes everything else, providing, as i mentioned above, balance. At least that was supposedly the idea, and of course, you must remember these are but legends. Still, each Continent takes its national element somewhat to heart, the Eastern Continent upholding its reputation of a place of great intelligence with equally great diligence and no small amount of, shall we say, pride. The Western Continent has pride too of course, but it is perhaps more the sort of "kicking everybody about and being rather domineering" pride.

...Hum. I think, in order to save myself a considerable amount of time and fingertips, i shall from hereon address all Continents by the capitalized letter C. So, in this vein, the Northern continent, say, will be written thusly as the NC. Hurrah! I think this will work splendidly.
...So. Where was i? Ah, yes.

Now that I've given a brief summary of the whole spirit of the thing, perhaps we shall move on to the actual Southern Continent itself. Or, to use my abbreviations, the SC. Or, to be even more specific, a particular part of the SC. I feel that we should start at the top, so to speak, and commence this little forage with an intention of moving down in a meandering fashion, possibly stopping for a pleasant cup of tea whenever the idea strikes us. It just so happens that the Nothernmost part of the SC is, to me, the most interesting. Or perhaps i simply have a fondness for moss.

~.The Southern Continent, Master of Earth, Keeper of the Seven Mirrors, and provider of Balance.~

And first off, as promised... we have...

The Mossreaches~

Named many and many a year ago by the pioneering aviator and adventurer history knows only as Captain L, the Mossreaches were known in the most ancient legends as “Luenndengard.” Almost nobody exept scholars know of this, however, and the Mossreaches will they remain, and indeed have remained for almost four hundred Dragon-Years.

*As Alice finishes her sentence, Jones emits a series of bangs, and then releases a large cloud of smoke. Alice calmly takes a conveiniently located bucket of water and pours it with some resignation over Jones. About five minutes pass as she waits for the disagreeable piece of machinery to stop hissing, and then continues as if nothing happened.*

...An area stretching almost as wide as the entire EC itself, the Mossreaches are, basically, about as descriptive as their name. Mountains, cliffs, streams and rivers in great abundance, responsible for the whole green-ness of the place. Lots of mist, too. Clinging to every crag, every leaf in every forest. And, of course, not to mention the moss, famous for the fact that some strains of it glow, not unlike a collection of fireflies, pinpoints of silver leading up and down and everywhere. This land is largely uninhabited, and few outsiders venture within. It is easy to become lost in the maze of plunging valleys after plunging valleys, and, to be honest, most valleys look alike. There are several worthy of note, though, if only for the fact that they have a name, which most landmarks in this place don't, for the reason that most of the locals think it folly to name something as if you were afraid of losing it. Which, again, is something the inexperienced are like to do, although nobody cares very much about them. Only the landmarks startling or impressive enough to be worthy of a name, get a name. Course', there are unofficial, regional names for things. But in one area a place might be known as something wildly different from what it goes by in another area, so this adds another bout of confusion to the lone traveler. *Another pause, more thoughtful than its predecessor.* Hmm... Perhaps i will chronicle some of the named landmarks and so on- although in some cases i may not be sure whether the names i list are exactly correct, and some entries may only be very short. Still! it lends an interesting note of intrigue to our investigation, wouldn't you say, Radek?

The Cloud Hills~

A pile of hills. Not terribly mighty, you understand, but swathed in the most peculiar mist. On a good day you might see about ten feet in front of you, but most days this figure is restricted to around three.
Nobody knows why such a cloud of persistence should engulf what, after all, are a rather ordinary bunch of hills, but engulf they do. It is also very cold, and nobody has much of an idea about that either. ...One other thing he told me. It is easy to become lost in the fog- and many say that there is a kingdom of Clockwork Faeries and other folk in a similar vein parked beneath the earth. This, again, is just legend of course... but even the most skeptical often bring along charms and other devices in order to placate the little buggers, if indeed they exist.

The Golem Graveyard~

A graveyard of sorts, but of sorts only. Many hundreds of Golems stand in the valley between two mountains, and stand there they have for the past thousand Dragon-Years. In legends it is told that there was a terrible war between two opposing sorcerers, one chose to command the Golems, the other chose Dragons. You may think that a fight between Dragon and Golem would be rather easy to predict- but not so. For one thing, these Golems were some of the largest and most powerful ever seen- more than likely enchanted with a variety of Magicks. By the way, Radek, my spelling of "Magicks" is only partially correct. In these lands it is spelled "Maajik", obviously with some variety across different regions. In the EC it is rendered as "Majyk", and in the NC by something completely different-
...Anyway. As i was saying, there was a war. And the Golems and their enchanter lost, to put it bluntly. Though, as i was also saying, it was rather an even match- Dragons may have flight, and fire, and all sorts of things, but Golems, especially the ones of which i speak, have (or rather, in this case, had) great endurance. History is not sure how exactly the Golems came to lose- perhaps some kind of foul play was involved. But whatever happened, and however it came about, the defeated army still tirelessly stands, although somewhat ravaged by time. Most are almost completely covered in moss and vegetation, and an unfortunate few have simply disintegrated, leaving nothing but piles of stone and rusted metal as a testament to their former glory. However, as i say, most still stand, although ninety per cent of the time you cannot see anything at all- owing to the heavy mist that descends every morning across the whole valley. My contact tells me the residual Magick, (or Maajik) left over attracts the mist, or something of that sort.
It is possible to see the fallen army, of course- simply look when the night is thick, and the mist will be lifted- though only for a few hours. When those hours pass, the mist will return with a vengeance, trapping anybody foolish enough to forget the time. Still, while it lasts, i am told it is quite a sight. Moonlight and all that business. Quite fetching. *Alice leans back in her chair, and takes a moment to recollect the next place of interest. Jones hums moodily.*

...Yes, i think i have it.

The Spiraling Way~

A way up into this particular mountain, one with an ancient temple, i believe. Carpeted with silence, punctuated only by the random cry of a Rainbow Hawk, or some other such creature- the spiraling way, well, spirals. Unsurprisingly. There are lots of daisies, too. Big ones. I think you mentioned something of that sort before, Radek. These are perhaps a touch smaller than what you described (or did you?)
but they reach towards the sky with determination, keen to soak up any hint of weak sunlight, whatever manages to penetrate through the mist. Although, the mist is decidedly thinner in this place, which leans towards the south-east, where the mist begins to tail off somewhat- though is still nothing to be sniffed at, as they say. We will venture into those parts in due course, though i have much to go through- ah, the challenges of the written word.
But anyway. I think i have told enough of this place, and indeed to be truthful i have no more to tell, as my notes seem to have dried up... blast that wizard who wouldn't say a word! *Cough.* ...Now. Onto...

Dirian's Dwelling, Located in the Deepest Depths of the Mossreaches~

Ah, how silly of me- i seem to have misplaced my notes about this particular place... perhaps you could assist, Radek? There is a lot of moss, that is for certain- a carpeting so thick as to be actually mistaken for a carpet. This is just the surrounding area, of course- the Dwelling itself has moss thicker still. Basically a cavern, plunging into the earth- lit by the particular glowing moss which i spoke of earlier, and the type to which every particle of moss in the Dwelling -and most of the surrounding area- belongs.
Uninhabited apart from the various water loving beings that, ah, dwell, within it... *A long, uncomfortable pause.* ...Huh. I... seem to have run out of the paltry sum of notes that were given to me, much more quickly than i thought. All i can remember else is that it has a stream -a supposedly Magickal stream- and, i think i once heard something of their being various ancient mechanical devices running throughout... mostly hidden by moss, of course. And that's it. I apologize. I believe i felt that more recollections would arrive, but arrive they have not. I'm sure there is something you will remember, Radek, as i said. Until you can help me, let us continue valiantly onwards!

The Sleeper’s Lake~

Sitting quietly between two of the highest reaches in the Reaches of Moss, it is said to be inhabited by a great serpent. None who now live have seen it, however, excepting those who claim to- usually after one too many beers. At each corner is a mirror, aged and rusted and coated with plant life, though still functioning, somewhat.
I am told they were once used centuries ago to communicate various messages across a long distance, to the various crumbling temples scattered across the mountains that surround the aforementioned Lake. Some of these temples have disappeared almost entirely, leaving nothing but vegetation, the forests slowly haven taken over. Also, moss. You may feel i am becoming too enthusiastic about this moss, Radek, but i do have a fondness for the stuff. Why, the hat I'm wearing now is made almost entirely out of it! *Alice tosses the gunman a very green hat.*
Impressive, is it not? *Alice nods proudly at the piece of creative haberdashery.*
...So. Just a few more places before Jone catches fire, i think.

Erran's Nook~

A haven for various merchants, gobins, goblin merchants, and the occasional small troll, Erran's Nook is a place for all these aforementioned types to rest, to drink vast quantities of a certain local alcoholic substance stronger than engine fuel and known only as "That orange stuff." Covered in green, and situated on the edge of a cliff which plunges downwards for so long that you would not be able to hear anything if you tossed an elephant off the side, the way to the Nook is not known by the average wayfarer. Indeed, to reach it requires you navigate through the earth itself, through caverns and minor subterranean lairs, no small feat considering the entire route, laid out flat, would be a distance of about a hundred and twenty miles. Naturally, though, experienced ones know of many short cuts and such, so the journey can actually be cut in half- or, you could simply climb the cliff face itself, which many goblins do, being good at that sort of thing. *Alice pauses for the fourth time... or is it the fifth? Anyway.* ...Next up?

Fuarrin's River~

A major river running though the entire span of the Mossreaches, and the less misty Southern Mossreaches beyond that which we have already chronicled. Next we have...

...Danjo Treiba, Located near the Dorcha Valley, from which continue the Lowlands~

A small mechanical pile, Danjo Treiba is known as a place where anything may be fixed. Many buildings are constructed from fallen Sky-Craft, and it is populated mainly by goblin mechanics and trolls- also a corpulent type of creature called a "Elinphent", closely related to the larger and more intelligent "Elephant." The Elinphent likes collecting junk, and so finds a comfortable home in Danjo.
The Dorcha Valley is a valley constantly in shadow, as the mountains press in from all sides but one, and the sky above is wreathed in mist. The Lowlands are the exception to the majesty of the mountains, and these lands stretch across a distance of several hundred miles, perhaps more. It is quite something to see the endless flat Lowlands from a position of height, my contact tells me.
Possibly even more fetching than the Golem Graveyard. They mark the border between the Mossreaches and the Southern Mossreaches, and are almost entirely devoid of mist. There the sun shines, and thus grow many interesting plants and such, culminating in the seldom-seen Skyflower, which reaches, apparently, over fifty feet in height.

Time's Fall~

A waterfall nearby Danjo-

*At this point, Jones bursts into flame, sending Spektor flying out the nearby open window in shock. Alice Throws the remaining water over the now extremely lively device, and kicks it off the table. It lies smoking on the floorboards.*

I think, Radek, that that was an omen telling us to conclude our scribblings, and perhaps have a nice cup of tea. I'll go and fetch my senior book-keeper, and perhaps you could start with your own recollections. Now, where did i put that confounded key?

This message was last edited on 23 Dec 2011.

Confetti! Confusion! Chaos!

Posted by Radek, 7:57pm, 26 Nov, 2011

It took me some time to get my own writer-y engine going, Alice; but you'll be glad to know(?) that after a brief return to the Southern Continent I have returned armed with flatbread, stories, and a small traveling circus that has apparently fled to cause chaos among the populace - I wish them well on all their endeavors! Anyway, that confetti looks wonderful. Mind if I take a handful?

Er. Marshes, versus swamps. Swamps... Versus marshes. i... Er... Belladora, that's a tricky question that is only complicated when you add the boreal wetlands known as taiga to the mix. If we consider that the iceflows of the Stillwaters are essentially a semiarctic swamp - uh, hrmn. Maybe the difference is in the amount of freshwater to saltwater? A question for a later time and a later date. History first!

*Radek falls silent and listens intently - this time he has brought a small notebook with him - and writes notes down with impunity, in terrible handwriting; it may not actually be in any real language but he seems to know what it means?* Right, right... Abbreviations - oh, that legend about the elements and the continents? Yes, I've certainly heard about that. Always felt it was a little farfetched. *A small smile crosses Radek's lips.* Juuust farfetched enough to contain a grain of truth. Isn't there a saying about things like that?

The SC does indeed possess a large amount of terrain types, and the best part is that verdant with lichen and moss! Not that I am a connoisseur of it, but there's something kind of wonderful about vines and plants that grow over trees, buildings, stones - all things covered with that sea of light greens and greys. And if we start at the North end of the SC - The NSC? - We'll have covered a lot of ground!.. Metaphorically speaking. And without elaborating, that is an extremely long and impressive title! Er, anyway.

The Mossreaches! *Radek grins and punches the air with his fist - the air nonverbally complains and Radek embarrassedly goes back to his writing, cheeks flush.* Luenndengard... Luennden-gard? The name rings a bell. A very small bell, perhaps made of silver. That was one of the first trans-continental skyflights, wasn't it? i know that it was a time that had aggravated the Dragons a great deal, which is probably why it's better to term them the Mossreaches for now - no need to overly aggravate Dragons, for reasons that don't need to be repeated. Ah, Alice-

*Jones misfires, and Alice takes care of the situation. Radek - who has now acclimated fairly well to Jones' rather impressive assortment of explosions, merely watches, impressed. Alice's reaction time to such events is now a fine art! He briefly pauses, pondering if that is an art or a science, then takes a bite of authentic SC flatbread. Southernly SC flatbread, that is; it tastes of ground hazel and crunch, crunch being a flavor when one cannot tell the ingredients of a specific Burnt Item.*

Ah, right. There is a lot of same-ness about the area, at least to those who have arrived for the first time. The problem is the mosses themselves; they disorient people from other continents, who are used to using large rocks or waystones as their milepoints; if the entire mountain, save pathways kept meticulously clear - and those are rare - is covered in the shivering green, it's hard to see the subtle differences... At first. The trick is to learn to look for the discolorations in each area, the crags where mist gives way to unusual rock formations, and the places trod by the feet of winged deer that have stopped on their migrations to the Northern Continent - er, NC.

*Radek smiles at Alice - he may even wink, but it disappears soon afterwords. This is a Serious Foray, after all, and he does mean to do it well.* Absolutely. Even if the information we provide are only the names that a specific village of no more than thirty people (and several goats) use to define a place, the description should be enough for would-be travelers. And the aura of mystery is what will get 'em out of the door in the first place. Plus, having returned from a short foray to such lands myself, i may be able to help fill in the blanks in some of the entries, and provide a few of my own. You can verify them if you like - like any continent, just because i saw something doesn't mean it'll be there the next time someone visits. Constant change is the one thing that never changes, as they say!..

... Ah. The Cloud Hills. Never got that far, on account of having had enough experiences with Fairies - Clockwork and otherwise - for the rest of my days. The wildlings of the Fay Folk are easy enough to deal with, but those older and more prone to strange whims... i'm superstitious, even if you don't see too many - perhaps any - of them around now. The Hills themselves - or the mounds (burial? oracular? couldn't get a straight answer out of the other travelers i met - no one seems to know) do seem to have an awful lot of significance about them. There is a sense of... Not dread, exactly. More like awe, or that feeling you have when in the presence of a beautiful monument, as well as the sense that you are somewhere you should tread lightly. Someone told me you should leave milk at the base of the hills for good luck; do you think milk thistle would work as a substitute?.. A place to visit, even if the hills are arcane and obscure.

Anima and animus - szygy. Would you believe it, you just brought to mind a quote by someone I used to know... *Radek chuckles softly to himself, although it is clear as the conversation and clatter of keys continue that he is deep in thought.* Hmn... The Golem Graveyard. Not too much to add, save that your description of the events and the testament to the battle that took place is picturesque, haunting.... A little tragic? *He shrugs his shoulder, gaze askance.*

Maybe it's just me, but the thought that even after they lost, the Golems remain inactive, tirelessly rusting into obscurity is a fate sobering to ponder. Didn't the backer of the Dragons eventually go on to create several of the Enchantments and Standard Metric for Magick (Maajk, et all) we use cross-continent today? Although those are quite useful, it is hard to look on such past events and see them as a contest between a good or evil - merely two power-hungry sorcerers, creating a great upheaval. Bah, rambling. One thing I can add, knowin' a bit about Golems! Some treasure hunters/scavengers, depending on how you look at them, come to carve off bits of Golem Enamel - the stuff is highly Dragoncraft and Magick resistant, for reasons probably obvious. You hear that the lucky ones become very wealthy themselves - and yet seem to fall pray to a variety of curses, or occasionally just bad luck!..

*His words fall silent as Radek also reflects on the moonlight and mist. His eyes cloud in thought for a moment, then tentatively gaze towards Alice. He looks as if he has something to say, but instead listens as Alice recalls the next destination for their work.*

Hah, so we've finally come to the land of daisies and great flowers!... I did describe them, didn't i? If not, i meant to and you are just reading my mind in the manner of all great writers! Ah, that was a joke. About the mind-reading, i mean. Unless you *are* reading my mind, which is all right. No secrets and all that. Where were we? Am I rambling? Yes. Daisies! The Spiral Way...

It used to be a great city, based around the temple. Not great in the sense that many people lived there - it was a sacred place, home to spirits of earth and wind, water and mist. Not the elements as we define them, but elemental beings. Still is, if you're Maajik-touched. I did manage to journey there and didn't see anything, although even a Magick-repellent person like myself can 'feel' the tension in the air. It's undescribable. The taste of tin and iron and of all things, fresh-baked bread. That wizard really should have expounded upon it - i'd have been interested to hear what someone of their skill had thought about the place.

The flowers themselves are supposed to be curealls, by the by. Don't know about the truth of that, but there's a sweet story about how a young girl saved her family from a case of the creeping plague - and a rather darker story about how flowers only cure things in return for other things, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. And, a truth for a truth - I can't say which, if either story, has any. But both are interesting and good to know for the aspiring explorer!

*Radek seems to forget his earlier reflections, or at least put them to the side as Alice brings mention of the deep undergrounds of the Dwelling - shaking his head with a sly grin, he cracks his knuckles and steeples his fingers against the table.*

Well, Alice, yer in luck! As it so happens, this is an area of my expertise; as all Old Ways are linked together, beneath the crust of the land - and being as places of nature and I seem to meet more often the not!.. A pity about your notes, though. Do you want me to help look for them while I talk? It's really no trouble, i'll just pace around - in this box here? Ah, maybe not. It looks like it's full entirely of receipts for Artefacts made of pressed Rose Gold? Heard that was quite useful stuff to have on hand, good for carrying Enchantments of a firey, explosive nature. Ah, right - Dirian's Dwelling.

*True to his word, Radek begans to pace around and look aimlessly for Alice's notes - although being careful not to disrupt anything too dangerous as he does so - all the while, talking of the Deepest Places. His voice lowers unconsciously as he does so, as if whispering to her a great secret - perhaps it is, even if they both know of it.*

... You can always find the entrance to the Deeps by following the glowing moss - it comes in small patches above the surface visible through the mist; to locals, it is known as Dirian's Lantern, and like many such things, can lead unwise explorers to an untimely death if they follow it expecting salvation. It is not as if the moss itself is deadly - but it leads travelers astray, and the Dwelling itself is old - and not entirely friendly to the peoples of the surface. For all the Old Ways lie abandoned, and untraveled - and only welcome those few that they feel share their thoughts and honor their existence.

For the Old Ways themselves are sentient, if not alive. But what does this have to do with Dirian's Dwelling?.. Once one finds the great mound that is it's entrance, one must walk in a spiral around the center, traveling lower and lower; the moss will be the only light one has, as all technological forms of light, and most Magick will be snuffed upon entry. This is a sign to the unweary to turn back; for these places are ancient in Dragon-Years, and remnants of a different time.

The beings that dwell within are often called Naiads by those that visit, although that is not their name, nor should they be confused with the fun and mostly-friendly spirits that dwell within oceans and lakes around the Continents. These are old, feral spirits - they may appear as a torrent of water or in a shape vaguely humanoid, animated by vines and moss, with eyes like the most furious of whitewater rapids. They *may* be playful and capricious one moment, or furious and unbending the next. However! They are rarely aggressive unless approached with aggression - and if treated respectfully, like all Old Remnants, they will lead the explorer deeper still.

... Hmn, the stream you speak of - I know not it's name, though my mind flickers with memories - is one such thing you will see, and perhaps the most important. If rumor is to be believed, it has properties to bring recollection and forgetfulness both, to extend life or to end it prematurely. It is also great for a brief swim followed by a sauna, or so I've heard!... That isn't a joke, i'm dead serious. *Radek really does appear to be completely serious, although given the hint of a smile..*
Ah. The river's name is Salience, and it flows with no apparent source or destination. Perhaps it will run until it falls off the world, if there were such a place.

Should you have made your way to the deep caverns that are so thick with moss as to be more green than the tombs of soil you will find in the other Old Ways, the Naiads will leave you to return to the Salience and it's flow - if they guided you there in the first place. Either way, you are now free to explore on your own. If you seek wealth, it is best to take little and be thankful for it; little will be needed for success on the surface, and to be greedy is... Not recommended, ehehehe. If you seek other things - exploration, passage, curiosity... Then it is best to search on your own.

The machines you speak of are an anomaly - since Dirian's Dwelling is so hostile to technology and machines, how do such ancient ruins still walk and work? I'd asked several sources - a mage specialized in the study of Nature Magick, and an Industrial Druid of Kaernholm - and apparently the machines were not only built aeons before, but are now mostly animated by the moss itself; organic machines that run for purposes yet as of known to our ken. And that alone is reason enough to study them! Some walk on stilted legs supplemented by hardened roots; others churn endlessly for those reasons obscure.

Although it may sound dangerous, i'd close with... Well, just mention for the traveler to be respectful and cautious, same as any destination. If they are willing to be patient and observant, it is a beautiful and serene place - with much yet unlearned. Another place that strikes the mind, isn't it? *Radek stares thoughtfully at the table, fingers tapping against the surface for several moments. After they pass, his lips curl upwards softly.*

A wonderful habit you have of making the mind wander, Alice. The Sleeper's Lake - even if it is nothing more than a myth - has a charm all it's own. Not as charming as your very mossy and wonderful hat, of course! I am quite a fan of the green stuff itself, although I also enjoy other plant-y things; for example, my hat is made of spruce boughs woven together!... Poorly, you might notice. Er, and it's less a hat than a hat-shaped series of spruce boughs. But isn't that rather festive? Er, right. Well! I think your hat is quite lovely, and that's that. Oh! One other thing about the Sleeper's Lake before you write it off - mmn, wasn't it said that the surface of the lake - like the mirrors themselves - could be used to communicate and foretell parts of the future yet shrouded in mist?... Something like that.

They're actually building a great bridge to Erran's Nook, or at least it was proposed. The goblins thought about the value of increased trade versus a lot of people traveling a very unstable bridge and decided that - in this case - erring on the safety was a good idea. Can't say I blame them, have you seen the drop? i'd rather risk climbing the cliff face, even if it's insane for someone who doesn't have more than one prehensile digit... *Radek mime's climbing a cliff and falling terribly to his doom, then coughs embarrassedly.* Right. Again, think i'm making a fool of myself. Thing is, it's worth it to get to! Like all such secluded places, the things and people you find there are worth stories all to themselves.

The Nook specializes in 'That Orange Stuff' and trinkets of wind-blown glass and clay; most are highly residual to enchantments of the earth and the wind, but come by a high price. Still, if you make it that far, it's worth browsing the goods on display even if you have no intention to buy; the sight alone of all the stalls and booths is supposedly yet another picturesque sight that, especially when the mist is high, takes the breath away.

But, even though amongst the flows of Fuarrin's River and it's frothy steam and mists there are many areas to cover - i've got a list stuffed into my coat pocket - that unexpected and rather bombastic explosion is a little much, even for Jones. *Radek frowns at the typewriter critically. If typewriters could glower, Jones' smoldering ruins would glower back.*

It's a pity too, because I had a lot to say about the Treiba - you know, they say if you ride an Elinphant to the end and find it a piece of junk it likes, you'll be lucky for a moon and a half? Maybe that's just an urban legend, though - *Radek sighs, again looking askance at Jones.*

Skyflowers and mist.

Really, we've covered a lot of ground, Alice. And even if Jones had to be doused, you did it with alacrity! Typewriter saved, mission success!... Er, relatively speaking. We can continue after Jones has - cooled down? Sorry!... Tea sounds wonderful. If you give me a few moments to clean up my own writings, i'll see if i cannot add the story of the Valyuksh and Solyuksh regions to our collected notes.

*Radek smiles as Alice searches around the room, and slowly returns to writing, a smile still faintly visible upon his lips.*
This message was last edited on 26 Nov 2011.

Tea and Bagpipes

Posted by Alice belladora, 11:22am, 23 Dec, 2011

There is tea, tea on the table. Well, not exactly on the table of course- that would be foolish indeed. Perhaps it should be said there was tea in the cup, or, rather, cups. Teacups to be precise, china, and very breakable. Which, come to think of it, is usually how there comes to be tea literally on the table. But, anyhow. Tea aside, it was a warm and cosy setting, which is what i meant when i started with my description of tea, perhaps to give a sense of this without spelling it out. Although, everything seems to be spelled out in this place, this place of many words, many... languages.
It is in Alice's study that she sits, with her co-writer Radek and his helpful suggestions. Alice often needs suggestions, for sometimes her imagination runs dry. Though not always do her ideas come directly from her mind- sometimes they simply arrive from a feeling, a whisper of a place and time unseen. Just recently these whispers have been growing more persistent, so Alice feels the need to begin a somewhat belated continuation- she apologizes for this before setting jones alight with whiskey, for this is the only way to get the confounded contraption to work these days. After emptying her last bottle of "Drunken Houseplant" over the instrument of literature, she sits down properly, sinking down in the seat with the air of someone who is not going to get up for some time, barring a fire or small, localized meteor shower.

"So, Radek. What shall i do? We've covered the Mossreaches well enough. Time, i think, to venture further downward in search of a poetic verse, or even a trying to be poetic verse. We last left ourselves with a whole world, or near enough, of land to cover. Past the Mossreaches into the Southern Mossreaches, i believe. Quite different, the Southern Mossreaches from their Nothernly cousins, though the name might be the similar but for a geographical designation. You might be wondering why they are called, specifically, Southern, and the Northern Mossreaches, as they are, are simply "The Mossreaches." Well, the reason is simple, Radek. The Southern are indeed, technically, part of the Mossreaches, but are totally uninhabited, unlike the Nothern which are slightly inhabited, relative to their size, and the inhabitants of the "Northern", even though it has never been called that, refer to the Southern as the southern because they are the only ones with the perspective of distance, owing to the fact that, as i said above, the Southern are not inhabited. At all. Except by those without the power of speech, such as silver winged lizards and tree dogs, interesting animals overgrown with vegetation, and thus well suited to a forest environment. With this in mind, perhaps i will do a touch of animal-chronicling! Why, the various species of this part of the world can be more fascinating than the ones which walk upright, and wear hats.

...By the way, i hope that made sense, Radek. I am chronically deprived of sleep of late, and my words may drift hither and yon, with barely any sense of direction or purpose... the best way to be, if you happen to be a word, i say. Still, others may find it somewhat... disconcerting.

...Anyway! I shall commence."

A Brief Overview Of The Beast-Ish Inhabitants Of The Area Surrounding And Including The Area Known As The Mossreaches, And The Southern Mossreaches, Proceeding Alphabetically.

Arylthon: A Scale covered beast with distinctive silver spikes protruding from its back. Has small, rudimentary wings- not suitable for flight, but attractive nevertheless, a fact which has not passed by various poachers, who wish to sell these appendages for a grand profit. There exists conservation groups who tirelessly patrol the Lowlands, the main habitat of the much aggrieved Arylthon. These attempts have helped somewhat, though often you will see a silver wing stuffed into the pack of a lone hunter.

Agyuyetondell: This happily unpronounceable creature is of the aquatic variety, living comfortably in various chilly, shallow waters, usually on higher ground. Deceptively frail-looking, the Amiyetonndell is possessed of a violent temper when annoyed, although this, thankfully, is difficult to accomplish. Easy going by nature, they will tolerate intruders, until of course the intruders attempt to become owners of the creature's gossamer fins. Then will the Agyuyetondell strike with uncanny precision, and the would-be hunter will be left with more than a few deep cuts, not to mention a bruised ego.

Ahtkin: A small fluffy thing, with a shimmering gold and silver pelt, the Ahtkin is powerfully magickal, and sought after for this very purpose. They are rarely sighted, however, owing to a reclusive nature. This nature is what has helped these retiring creatures prosper for so long, though their numbers have fallen somewhat in recent years. ...Still, perhaps they have simply become yet more skilled in evasion. At least this is what my wizardly friend thinks, and he is a known authority on magickal beasts great and not-so great. They live mainly beneath snow covered earth on the borders of the Aprille Tundra, their diet comprising of fireflies and Lilac Dreamflowers, not related to the Skyflower in any way, by the by.

Alluganth: A whispering breeze, the Alluganth is a being of legend, the only notification of its presence being a scent on the fringes of perception, sweet, perhaps even overly so, to those with a highly developed sense of smell. It is said that if you follow the scent you will be taken to a magickal land, and never be seen again. These are but tales, of course.

Afwkghl: Much debate has raged over how this creature's name is said, in recent years the National Southern-Continental Institute of Beasts has officially, if tentatively, listed it thus: Arf Gil. That aside, it is a much maligned creature, being so supposedly unpleasant to the senses, with its slippery scales and teeth like needles. I myself find it rather adorable, but there you go. Others liken it to a cactus that has been sneezed on, and it would surely take offense at this if it could understand our speech. It likes to live in cool, yet humid areas, where it might build a sticky nest in which to scope prey, these mainly comprising of small rodents and sluggish, flightless birds.

Artigator: Similar to the more well known "Alligator", the Artigator emits puffs of steam from its ventilation flaps as it cruises atop the glass-like surface of the Ophelia Mirror, situated in the furthest reaches of the Southern Mossreaches, on the fringes of the Aprille Tundra along with the Ahtkin. It is said that a great sorcerer of ancient times created these beings, or in some versions he allowed them to traverse across dimensions. They can only be found In and around the Mirror, giving support to this well-known myth, for the Mirror was where the sorcerer supposedly dwelled for over a thousand years, a time known as "The Millenia of The Icelands."

...Aaaand, that's it. Yes, that is the bulk of my knowledge of those creatures whose names begin with "A". Not a great number, i admit. Just the few i have heard about over the years and one or two i encountered first hand. I would move onto the letter "B", but my sudden impulse to begin writing about the Southern Mossreaches is calling me, calling like a songbird, or perhaps a Mammoth Screech Heron on a windy night.

The Southern Mossreaches, Land Of the Skyflower.

Flat, flat and upon which drifts a thin mist, thinner by far than that which drifts above and below the Mossreaches in the North. Soft grass, softer earth from which sprouts the Skyflower which lent Its name to the Southern Mossreaches’ official Title.
Occasionally aquiring a height of over fifty feet, as i believe i mentioned previously, and even less occasionally reaching a kingly stature of nearly a hundred.
In tales mostly forgotten it is said that there once was a Skyflower so massive as to become a landmark, Its stem supposedly as wide as an Elinphent is tall, Its petals casting a vast shadow over those who would choose to wander beneath it.
There were Faeries too, the sort that would take great delight in relieving a wayfarer of his belongings, and also his senses. This is why it was warned against, or so he tells me, to go unaccompanied about the Skyflower’s reach. Charms would be taken, so as to placate the Faeries. This would work, sometimes, though (crucially) not all of the time.
Wise ones stayed well away, their respectful distance keeping them in possession of that which the spindly tricksters would gladly take away. And... that is where he grew silent, my contact by which i mean. It seems he may have become lost himself, befuddled by the memory of a tale which he himself may not have been sure of.
The legendary Skyflower no longer stands, had it ever stood at all, though those people who dedicate their lives to the preserving and chronicling of tales have long searched for it.
Perhaps one day it will sprout again, all its former glory renewed. Perhaps not. Who can say? Oh, one other thing. He said that there was another part of the story, a part almost certainly myth. That if you climbed the Flower, reached the grand petals themselves, you would find a crown made of mist and then become ruler of the otherworld.

...Just a story.

And where did i begin, before i became lost in a recollection? Yes, the Southern Mossreaches. That misty old place. By the way, the S-reaches (as i believe i shall call them) are very unlike the N-reaches in that they are almost completely flat, as i say... almost. There are a few mountains left over from the N-reaches, wandering into S-reach Territory. But mostly, flatness, flatness everywhere. And as well as this, there is also cold. These lands are the beginning of the Aprille Tundra, a place which i mentioned along with the Ahtkin and Artigator, being a frozen land with an enchantment upon it. Mysteriously, no matter how cold it gets, it never becomes unpleasant, and there has been no record of anyone becoming lost and frozen in many, many hundreds of years. Perhaps never, since the records themselves only go back so far. A mysterious kind of cold, and most inriguing. Radek, have you ever been there? It seems a place you might find yourself, though why i think that i have no clue. Perhaps It’s this befuddling Tea I, and you too are drinking. I bought an entire crate of it you see, rather a mistake. But it must be drunk, otherwise that’s almost an entire sack of gold dragon statues wasted in trade! And, i think you will agree, that an unused crate of tea is a sad thing indeed.

*Just then, a knock on the... well, there’s a funny thing. It seems to be coming from beneath the floorboards! Alice stands up swiftly, trips over the cat, whose name is Cloth Ears, and crashes to the floor, the boards of which protest to such a violent attack. Alice, unpeturbed, gets up, dusts herself down, and sets about rigging up some explosives to open the floor for her guest. Meanwhile, the senior book-keeper plays the bagpipes solemnly. Floorboards are a serious business, after all.*
This message was last edited on 23 Dec 2011.


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