Given light of my recent experiences I think it appropriate that I begin to keep a journal once more. Having nearly two weeks of your memories stolen from you is a rather educational experience on how easy it is to become lost in our world. Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.
Resplendent Wood 10 – 20
This all begin when I arrived in the small town of Roghaw travelling south through the forests well eastern of the Beast men’s domain, I believe the date was Resplendent Wood 10. I spoke with an elderly woman who managed the mortician’s services in this village and was pleasantly surprised she was of Saijanese origin. We exchanged goods, tea, and stories. I don’t seem to be able to recall her name, perhaps due to the nature of my memory loss as well? She also told me of some possible work in my field about ten days south east in a village known as Zingma’s Tree. Supposedly the dead walked creation here. Certainly worth investigating. I have not encountered the natively corporeal dead in some time.
I headed south travelling with a man and his son who journey to sell their perfumes. If I were richer perhaps I might buy some but they were not interested in trade at all. I bid farewell with them at a road crossing of a village, stocked up on supplies for twice the duration of my trip, and headed east to my destination.
I encountered nothing up to within a day of the village, and then stepped off the path in case undead wandered the roads, lest I be caught unaware. I shortly thereafter arrived at Zingma’s Tree to discover that it’s namesake had been cut down. A mountain of a tree, lost. Surely it once had a powerful oaken spirit residing within it… Also the town seemed vacant and empty except for the sound of steel on wood further in. I was determined to both resolve the fate of the towns folk and the spirit.
Now this is very specific and I want to be clear so my possible future self, should I lose my memory can be clear. None of those I found made any direct contact with me as long as my memory held out. Also upon next awaking I did a thorough self examination and found no reason to be concerned I had contracted this terrible plague.
The long and short of it from here was the the towns folk had become infected with the puppeteer’s plague. Also just in case I have forgotten what this is in the future. This is a terrible supernatural and cursed affliction that soaks in the very bones of a person causing them to eventually animate. Commonly shaking, itches, violent urges, and strange dreams are the heralds of this disease. Thankfully, once again, for clarity, I show none of these symptoms.
After cleansing the village of those terminally ill I encountered some sort of being… but there my memory stops cold. I lost all memory from somewhere around Resplendent wood 20 all the way to Descending wood 10. I think this is an appropriate place to close the first chapter of my Journey.
Descending Wood 10
This day I awoke and found myself adrift in an unknown body of water. Barely able to maintain consciousness for an unknown amount of time. Eventually I was rescued by those on board a sailing vessel bound for Volivat! I learned the loss of time shortly after. Not only had I been pulled across hundreds of miles but I had also lost at least the last two weeks of memory and had no recollection of how I ended up adrift in the Dreaming Sea.
I was questioned, counselled, fed, and clothed by my rescuers. They were a strange bunch indeed. The crew themselves seemed content enough if the Patron (?) of this vessel was fine with my presence. A strangely dressed fellow to be sure, but I am hardly one to judge. They decided to allow me to stay aboard until they reached Volivat. They informed me that a small bird made of fire informed them of my whereabouts. Thank Ishul! She still watches over me it seems. Reminder that I should find an appropriate gift. Also a note for future self. If you have forgotten who Ishul is, travel to the elemental courts of the scavenger lands and ask of her there. She will surely be able to help you.
I professed my work as a travelling exorcist which caught the attention of a stunning young girl named Aster full of light. She asked me strange questions though of how one fights spirits, specifically a disease spirit named Gumari, or how one might track down the source of a disease. After some returned questioning I learned that this Aster and her companions had actually encountered the disease spirit himself in his physical form and had bested him. Clearly these are no ordinary mortals. They were evasive as to their means of besting him, and I could not ascertain if this was due to sorcery or otherwise. I resigned myself to sleep after this.
But that wasn’t the end of the nights trials. One of the other non-sailors on board, a passenger I assume, named Obi tried to rifle through my things whilst I slept. Thankfully I tied my case to my hand as I do when I sleep. Suspicion I can understand, however this Obi has no manners of any kind. One could simply request to search my case in my presence. I have nothing to hide. After catching him in the act I slept little more that night.
Descending Wood 11
Further interactions with my strange rescuers. Aster seems fully committed, as if crusading, against this disease spirit. I could find out neither what the reason for this quest was, nor the means with which she employed. Also both the one named Obi and the strange man dressed in yellow leathers are capable of incredible feats of agility. Their “Casual morning exercise” was up in the rigging of the ship, and their bravado whilst doing so cemented in my mind these were clearly no mere mortals. Their manner is too rampant, the secrets too strange. Further to their oddities was a shrine at the back of the ship to the unconquered sun. Perhaps the individual the ship was named after, Saitan, was their sponsor and he was an exalted of some kind? I find it astronomically unlikely that he would be an exalted of any kind, but it is a strange world.
I spoke plainly and directly with Obi during today and allowed him a uninterrupted inspection of my pack after I had secured the safety of my water logged belongings. On that note, all of my best incense was washed away by the salt water! I shall have to begin again. Even my ritual incense preparations were gone. Anyways he inspected my pack to what seemed like his satisfaction. Hopefully he feels that will be sufficient probing into my belongings for the duration of our trip.
Also I spoke at some length with young Aster again exchanging stories, and medicinal methods. She was apparently a healer of some kind and requested that she inspect me for fear of the puppeteer plague that I was investigating. Hardly I was I going to deny a beautiful girl such as herself an opportunity to observe my bare skin. Nothing excited occurred though and we moved on with the day.
That night I slept with my now dried belongings on the far side of the bunk bed.
Descending Wood 12
I think it is best to perhaps sum up the events of the day.
I spotted a ship in a fog bank fairly early on and pointed it out to the captain. They seemed skeptical at first but I was insistent that I had spotted it. A strange feeling a déjà vu swept over me, and also I could feel spirits on the ocean winds. Perhaps this was whatever had left me stranded and without my memory?
They listened to my plea’s and sailed at full speed. The vessel behind us was closing in, and the closer it got the more solid form it took, along with a second vessel. Perhaps solid is the wrong word because these two vessels were made of Fog and Water, one of each. On board, creatures that swam in their ship, or creatures made of Kelp or Bronze stared out at us. Fair folk to be sure. Suddenly my gap in memory made sense. I must have been on a vessel that had been lost to these creatures and they had stolen my memories. I have to imagine it took all that I was just to escape their clutches, or perhaps I was left there as bait for other passing vessels.
Unfortunately our Captain was only so skilled, and the wind only so strong. Eventually after about eight hours of pursuit they closed in and boarded our vessel. The kelp creatures aboard the ship of fog poured on board while their Bronze overlords watched from the vessel. If this battle lasted long enough for them to close to battle we would surely be lost. I breathed deep the air of the Ocean and breathed out the flames of Ishul. I conjured the Brilliant Raptor as I had been taught, invoked some of my own power to quicken the casting and then let the brilliant flames consume the fog vessel and the Bronze fair folk on board.
We certainly struggled after that with dealing with the lesser kelp folk but the ships patron, a man dressed in yellow tights with a cape, was indeed stronger than first appeared. His blows killed at least several of the creatures at a time, or flung them out to sea. He certainly pulls his borderline supernatural strength from somewhere.
But then our battle with the water vessel was yet to come as they had only circled like a hungry predator during our battle with the fog ship. Well here is what happened then…