Lore Submission Thread

September Submissions for the Lore Contest
Avatar: Fatteus Fatty Thorsson
Date Submitted: 09/30/2022
Time Submitted: 9:10 AM

Entry #1
A Day in Ancient Greece – Part 3: The Blood of Gods
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Mount Olympus was shrouded in dark clouds that were buzzing with electricity. Booms rumbled continuously interspersed with loud thunderclaps accompanied by arcing bolts of lightning that carved out the landscape as it blasted away trees and rocks alike. Zeus was in a towering anger, so much so that the other Gods were trying to console him. Veins popped in his gray flesh and his eyes burned brightly, energy spilling from them. It looked as though he were crying lightning, but far from weeping, he was in a fury, having just been bested by a mortal. Hera, Goddess of fertility, having just arrived back at Olympus from a mission, stepped up to him and put a dainty hand on his massive shoulder.

“Come now, Zeus. You weren’t bested by a Human. He will meet his fate one day and it will be as though he never existed.” She said in a soothing voice. Zeus gazed up at her from his sitting position. To a mortal man, she would appear beautiful and terrible in equal measure. Her skin was as gray as Zeus’ and her eyes also burned with light, though she lacked the nimbus of crackling clouds that Zeus possessed, having not earned it. Zeus’ face contorted into a grimace.

“But I will never forget this injustice, Hera. He will meet his fate now, along with the worms he saved with his stunt.” He stormed over to the side of the stone balcony and looked down upon Ancient Greece. Hera smirked coyly.

“You don’t intend on getting your own hands dirty with this matter, do you?”

Zeus closed his eyes and sighed, the air blowing his beard. “Of course, I wouldn’t waste my precious time. But I have many followers who would do just fine.”

“But the Atom Pylis would be more than a match for your minions, your highness.” Hera stared sternly at her mate.

“I have my ways. The very blood that saved them will be their downfall.” Zeus’ temper seemed to be cooling slightly, the storm around the mountain cleared up and shafts of sunlight touched the land.

“What do you mean?” Hera asked, concern showing in her countenance.

“I will have my creations plant some of my blood into the ground, thus poisoning the land for the Humans. And…” Zeus’ eyes lit up with malice. “I will give some to HER.”

Hera gasped and brought her hands up to her mouth. “You mean that bitch Gorgon?”

Zeus laughed softly but dangerously. “Yes. You catch on fast. Gorgon was your rival when it came to beauty before you cursed her, but she still rivals even you in power.”

Hera looked skeptical of his plan. “It won’t be easy to convince her to help us.”

“True. She wouldn’t agree to helping YOU, my sweet.” Zeus perambulated to the other side of the balcony. “But she might agree to help ME. Especially if I give her true immortality.”

Hera’s face twisted in anger. “You would make HER a Goddess?!”

“Not quite.” Zeus said sedately, ignoring his mate’s growing anger. “She will be a cursed Goddess, not a true Goddess. She will not be able to die, but she will not want to live either.”

Hera’s face calmed a little and then she smiled. “Hm… I suppose I could accept that.”

In the coming days, Hera began drawing Zeus’ blood and distributing it to the chieftains of the Cyclops tribes and the warlords of the Myrinian tribes, who then followed Zeus’ orders and buried the blood deep underground. Finally, Zeus himself arrived at Gorgon’s Lair.

Zeus floated through the marshy land, past extremely life-like statues of Minotaur and men. Daudaomur worms wriggled beneath him in a disgusting display of greeting. Finally, he happened upon a cave.

“Gorgon!” he shouted into the stygian blackness of the yawning mouth of the cavern. There was a low hiss coming from inside, almost like a sleeping snake. Then several Daudaomur burst from the darkness and behind them…

“Really, Zeus. You are going to interrupt a woman’s beauty rest?” Gorgon spoke in perilous undertones, each syllable ending in a hiss, the snakes on her head, which served as her hair, undulating in a grotesque manner. She was a woman from the waist up, save for her hideous face and head, but from the waist down, she was a massive snake.

Zeus guffawed. “I’m sure it can wait for what I have for you.”

Gorgon’s eyebrows lifted in interest. “What gifts did you bring the lady of snakes?”

Zeus held out a vial of glowing, blue blood which crepitated wildly as energy dispersed across its surface. Gorgon’s eyes widened in awe.

“What is this?” She asked sibilantly.

“This is power.” Zeus said simply. “This will give you eternal life.” Gorgon snatched the vial away from Zeus greedily and coveted it in her hands. “Which should give you plenty of time for beauty rest. However…”

Gorgon glanced from the vial to Zeus, distrust plaguing her hideous features. Then Zeus continued.

“There is just one thing you must do for me in exchange.”

Gorgon looked up at Zeus winningly and smiled. “Anything for such a gift, my lord. You need only ask, and I will obey.”

“Kill Creon, Archon of Thebes, and anyone he holds dear.”

Gorgon’s eyes lit up. She knew not this Creon, Archon of Thebes though he may be. But she would find out who he was and eliminate him easily. After all, no man could so much as look upon her “beauty” without turning to stone.

Entry #2
A Day in Ancient Greece – Part 4: Gorgon’s Shade
Short Story by Fattues “Fatty” Thorsson

Gorgon slithered across her domain, which, although already dead, seemed even more desolate than normal. The land around her was withering, but she did not understand why. No matter, she thought. She would soon possess immortality and whether the whole world died around her mattered not in her eyes. She would take the vial of liquid and receive her gift from Zeus, then she would carry out his simple request. Such a simple request to kill one man and maybe a few more loved ones. Killing took but a glance for her. But how to use the gift? Was it a potion? Was it an ointment? Zeus gave her no instructions on the matter.

Gorgon settled on it being a potion which she should imbibe. She uncorked the vial, the contents were rolling and crackling like they were alive. She made a face at the stench of it. It smelled like blood, metallic and musty. Well, she thought, even if it is disgusting, eternal life is surely worth the suffering. The most bitter medicines hold the greatest cure, or so they say. Soon she would cure her mortality.

She lifted the vial to her lips, the pungent, acrid reek made her gag, but she held back her urge to vomit and instead downed the contents as quickly as she could. What followed is something she would never forget, even in an eternity. The taste was worse than the odor, if that were even possible, but what happened next was even worse than the sapor of the liquid. Her body ached; her forehead burned with fever. She felt like it was tearing itself apart from the inside. She cursed Zeus. He had tricked her! He had promised eternal life and had given her the opposite, death! Surely this was a poison!

She writhed in agony, her head felt like it was splitting in twain. Sweat beaded across her brow and dripped from her face. The snakes on her head fell limp as if dead but continued to wriggle as if they too were feeling sick. Gorgon had no senses, certainly not enough to realize that her body was indeed splitting in two; two separate Gorgons. From her arms sprung two more arms. From her head sprung another head. Then it was like she molted her skin, only this time, the molting was also alive.

The second Gorgon was one of shadow, darker and more vile than the original. Her eyes blazed red. Her countenance was even more hideous, if that were even possible. The original Gorgon lay on the ground passed out as the new Gorgon stretched her sinewy, snake-like body.

“Finally, I am free of that soft, bleeding-heart simpleton,” she said looking down in disgust of what she had once been a part of. “It’s time for me to get everything I deserve, and damned be they who stand in my way.”

This new Gorgon slithered off, vanishing through the entrance of Gorgon’s Lair. Sometime later, the original Gorgon came to. She rubbed her still aching head, which throbbed mercilessly. Her breathing had been labored but now had calmed. She remembered dreaming of a shadowy twin emerging from her, but it was so very real, she was certain that it actually happened.

Other than this, she felt mostly the same. Had she survived? Was Zeus’ concoction actually a poison meant to kill her, or had it indeed granted eternal life? She had to know. She would see Zeus and demand that he explains what just happened. Yes, she thought, if he wanted her help, he should prove to her that he had in fact helped her.

Meanwhile, out in the hills of Ancient Greece, “Gorgon’s Shade” began making a name for herself, attacking man, woman, and even beast to get what she desired. Many were confused to see Gorgon, who was normally conceited and not easy to get along with, so violent, but some were keen enough to point out that this creature was not Gorgon but appeared to be a shadow clone of her. How she came to be, no one knew, but they surmised that something must have happened to Gorgon for this monster to be on the loose and to appear so much like her. Soon the land was littered with stone warriors who tried to fight back the beast. No one was safe, and the Atom Pylis were once again called on for their assistance.

Entry #3
The Mystery of the Lost Skull
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Many don’t know this, but there is a very special skull floating around Ancient Greece. Well, not literally floating, but you know what I mean. It can be anywhere in Ancient Greece, because it keeps getting kicked along. It’s a daily mission, you know. Kick the skull. Sounds fun, right? But who’s skull is this? That is the mystery that I set out to explore in today’s research paper.

As usual, theories abound. Some believe it is simply the skull of a simple, unfortunate soul who was killed by the monsters of Ancient Greece. Some say it is a simple Greek farmer who was killed while he was plowing his field. Some think it is a person from the first wave that was among the first who came to Ancient Greece through the time portal. But could it belong to someone a little more well-known? Perhaps the missing scientist Dr. Paul Kylon’s head was taken to Ancient Greece and lost when monsters attacked the person or thing carrying it? That may seem to be the most far-fetched theory, but it is still viable at this point.

The fact remains that we do not know who these remains belong to. In my tireless search for the truth, I wasn’t able to come up with any satisfactory answers, but I fervently believe that answering this question could shed a lot of light on other Next Island/Ancient Greek mysteries that need to be solved. Perhaps forensics need to be brought in on this. If it was a murder or foul play, should the perpetrator not be brought to justice? Perhaps they already have. We just don’t know at this time. If nothing else, I hope this report has piqued someone’s interest in solving this conundrum. Only time will tell. Until we know the answers, we’ll continue to kick this can down the road… or should I say skull?

Fatty out.

Entry #4
The Secrets of the Sunken Gallery
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

The Sunken Gallery. What is it? Where is it? Why should we care? The answers will shock you! Not long ago, a strange building has appeared at Paradise Landing. It’s a very small replica of a museum. At first, some thought it was a mausoleum, due to its architecture. The Teleporter didn’t work, but speculations were rising. Finally, we are allowed to use the teleporter pad, and it takes us to an amazing place! The Sunken Gallery.

It appears to be located somewhere in the Northern Wastes of Next Island. Quite a conspicuous location, to be sure. Until very recently, you wouldn’t want to teleport from there to the nearest revival point, or you may be stranded in the middle of the desert, surrounded by monsters. Thankfully, today, the revival terminal is inside the gallery. If you flew above the Sunken gallery, you would notice one conspicuous land marker in the middle of the wasteland: a huge, natural stone arch. Most people do not know this, but there is a second way into the gallery, aside from the teleporter at Paradise Landing. Simply stand under the stone arch and ‘T’ teleport to the nearest revive terminal.

Inside the gallery, in a jocose juxtaposition to its arid surroundings, there are beautiful works of art, and the atmosphere is pure tranquility. The exhibits are still expanding, so coming check them out from time to time is encouraged. This is the perfect tourist trap for newcomers to Next Island. And if you want to create some art of your own, bring 45 PED worth of Animal Oil Residue and give it to the museum curator for a couple dozen blueprints for frames and other art gallery selections. Want to decorate your shop or apartment with new decor? This is a perfect place to start. I hope this research clears things up for everyone. If there is anything else that arises, I will be the first to let you know. Until then, pay the Sunken Gallery a visit and relish in the richness of the art.

Fatty Out.

Entry #5
About L.A.R.A
Special Report by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Chances are, if you’ve spent any amount of time on Next Island, that you’ve seen the cute, little robot called L.A.R.A. She’s been mass produced for the past few years and was actually the center of a small controversy at one point, but let’s just touch on her origins and a little bit more about her in general.

First, L.A.R.A, or Lovable And Ready Assistant, is a prototype of the later introduced C.A.R.E. (which originally stood for Comprehensive Advantages Robotic Engineer and now stands for Corrupted Advantageous Robotic Enemy), whom it turns out went rogue and now attacks travelers in parts of Next Island’s badlands. Thankfully, L.A.R.A has not gone berserk as of yet and doesn’t appear to be in danger of doing so, either. Her core is powered by chrysoberyl crystals, unlike the Amethyst Crystals which powers C.A.R.E, which are fairly common on Next Island, making the mass production of L.A.R.A possible. Her purpose is to attend to your every need dutifully.

But she won’t just attend to just anybody. She needs to be tamed first. Taming L.A.R.As can be done just a little way from Paradise Landing in the L.A.R.A training pens. Every few defeated in combat makes one willing to be your assistant appear. They will also work for people whom the original trainer designates as their master, so trading tamed L.A.R.A is also possible. As I mentioned in an older report, 20 are required to make and then tame the Asclarias. But I digress, let’s talk more about L.A.R.A’s humble beginnings, specifically her mysterious past.

There’s some debate over which scientist designed L.A.R.A. The debate ranges from little known NEO scientists to more well-known ones such as Dr. Kylon. There’s one theory that Perik, the creator of Asclarias, found a way to become immortal, traveled to Next Island in the distant future back to the present era, and designed L.A.R.A himself, knowing that it would one day inspire him to create Asclarias and other fantastic inventions. The truth may well be out there, but until it is known, we can but speculate. Personally, I think Mr. David Post, the founder of this world, designed her. Maybe one day those records will be made public.

Regardless, thank you for getting this far in the article. This is the conclusion. L.A.R.A will forever be a part of many people’s lives and live on in our hearts long after she has rusts away. Until next time.

Fatty out.

I hope you enjoy these.

A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung

Book 6, Chapter 1

I awoke in the guest room of my friend’s holiday tent on the beach near Crystal Bay.

I have come to Next Island in search of a Haruspex girl I met on Toulan a few days ago. I had run into old friend of mine from Calypso called PK. He was also searching for something. He was looking for a teleportation portal that was rumoured to send travellers back in time. We joined together to help each other on our quests.

For the last two days we have interacted with many contacts, including The Haruspex Elder. The Elder offered to help both of us if we would complete some tasks. What started as a simple trust building mission has turned into a grind. Each new contact we’ve met have been asking us to complete a separate task on their behalf.

There’s a lot of tension here on Next Island amongst the opposing factions. They don’t tell the tourists about that. Yesterday we had to kill some mutated beasts that were designed (and targeted) to attack an innocent village.

Last night, PK and I met with guards from the N.E.O. (New Elysian Order). We went to help establish a bond between the Haruspex and the N.E.O. faction. They have now asked us to help locate a lost scout of theirs, last seen near Resa Docks.

I found PK in the kitchen making breakfast and tea for us.

“How are you feeling, kid?” he asked me. “You get any rest last night?”

I actually slept well, considering the stressful chain mission I’d been attempting. I dreamt of Jihkanna again during the night and she soothed my soul. I felt a new confidence within me. I smiled and took my cup of tea. “I’m ready for Resa Docks,” I replied.

We finished our hearty breakfast and packed our gear. Our goal was to be in Resa Docks by mid-morning.

Book 6, Chapter 2

Neither PK nor I had ever been to Resa Docks before. There is meant to be a teleportation portal at Resa Docks, but we would have to fly there for the first time to add the location to our individual databases.

We were warned that Resa Docks was dangerous. The Resa are a nomadic group that broke off from the Stel faction. They are known as fierce raiders. Sacttered all over Next Island, they raid encampments mercilessly and care for nothing but their own survival.

The N.E.O. guards had given us the coordinates for Resa Docks. PK summoned his sleipnir and we both boarded. As we asceneded up above Crystal Bay, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Next Island looks in the morning. I gazed down at the landscape as we flew. The colours were amazing. It reminded me of Jihkanna’s mosaic art.

Slowly the colourful landscape started to turn from green to brown. Less grass and trees. More dirt and sand. The ground below appeared more barren and unwelcoming.

“That’s it, just over this ridge,” PK informed me on the voice intercom.

As we flew over the ridge, we saw a deep ravine below. Several hundred meters below us was an inlet of water.

“Down there,” he pointed. He banked the sleipnir to the left and began our descent into the canyon. He touched down on the docks surrounded by water. Resa Docks was literally set of docks made from wood and supported by giant rocks carved from the ravine. We exited the vehicle and touched the teleportation portal to add its location. There was no one here to greet us. Perhaps we should be grateful for that.

Our task was to investigate some recent checkpoints that that were meant to be visited by the lost scout. Hopefully, we could find the scout…or at least a clue of what happened to him.

Book 6, Chapter 3

We were now at Resa Docks. Our mission was to retrace the steps of a lost N.E.O. scout and report our findings.

The area felt cold and unwelcoming. The docks were set deep in a cavern ravine. An inlet had been dammed using large boulders carved from the ravine itself. Wooden slat pathways led in all directions and seemed like a maze. I leaned over the edge of the dock to look into the water below us.

“Shark!” I screamed.

I had never been so scared. A giant swimming beast peered out from under the dock. It’s dorsal fin harrowingly pacing in and out from just beneath us. I was absolutely terrified. Nothing could be worse than this. I tried to scream again but was unable. I couldn’t move or speak. Frozen in terror. My eyes still worked though. That’s when I saw another. And another. The water beneath us was infested with Great White Sharks. I think this might be a phobia for me. I was not able to handle this.

PK pulled me from the edge toward the middle of the dock path. “Careful, Pope. Those things look nasty. Stay away from the water,” he scolded.

It took me several minutes to gain feeling in my extremeties again. I had been literally paralysed by fear and couldn’t move. I had never experienced anything like that before. Apparently, I do NOT like sharks. I wanted to leave this place. Immediately.

PK asked if I wanted to sit inside the sleipnir while he looked for the checkpoints alone. It made me feel like a coward.

I took a deep breathe…exhaled…and tried to gather my wits.

“I’m Ok,” I replied, bluffing. “Let’s get this done. Quickly.”

“Stay close to me and away from the edge,” he ordered. “There are about half a dozen checkpoints here that we need to find. Just stay away from the water and we’ll be fine.”

Stay away from the water? We were surrounded by water.

Book 6, Chapter 4

We walked briskly along the wooden slats of Resa Docks. I followed PK with my hand on his shoulder as we hurried to the checkpoints. I kept my eyes forward and tried not to look down at the water beneath us. I was terrified of sharks.

The planks of the dock creaked as we moved along its winding paths. PK led me to various areas of the wooden docks, searching each checkpoint given to us by the N.E.O. guards. At one of the checkpoints he found an item. It was blue in colour. PK grabbed it and handed it to me. It appeared to be a piece of some type of electonic item. A transfunctioner part? I beleive the lost scout was looking for something like this. I placed the item in my pocket and carried on following PK on the path to the next checkpoint. Luckily, the checkpoint coordinates were all correct and were located close to each other. We covered the first few checkpoints quickly.

I was keeping my cool and my shark-phobia was receding…then we reached the end of a pier. The next checkpoint was across the water to separate dock that wasn’t connected to our path. Somehow we would have to get from here to…there. Across the water.

PK didn’t skip a beat. He re-summoned his sleipnir and flew us safely to the other dock with the accuracy and precision of a skilled captain. So far, so good. We quickly walked along these wooden (and creaky) paths to the next checkpoint. We found another small item similar to the first. This one was red. It appeared to be another transfunctioner piece. I think we need just one more piece.

The final checkpoint coordinates led us to the end of another pier. Uh oh. The last checkpoint was in a small wooden lifeboat wedged between a giant rock and the banks of the canyon wall. Surrounded by water.

Book 6, Chapter 5

“Stay here. Don’t move,” commanded PK.

We were standing at the end of a pier at Resa Docks attempting to investigate the final checkpoint in a series of checkpoints given to us by the N.E.O.

I didn’t have to look down into the water. I knew the sharks were still there. I could sense them. I was terrified of this whole place and wanted to leave. I wanted to be finished with this mission.

PK summoned a small hoverpod vehicle and quickly entered it by himself. I didn’t want to be left alone but I was unable to resist. He hovered across the shark infested water to the small boat beached on a jagged rock.

My skin crawled and my hands shook. I impatiently watched as he stepped from his hoverpod into the wooden lifeboat. He held up an item, smiled, and gave the ‘thumbs up’ signal. He then held up what looked to be a six pack of beer. He smiled even bigger and seemed to be more excited about the beer.

I ventured a quick peek into the water between us. Sharks. Still tons of them everywhere. I was having difficulty breathing and started to freeze up again. PK coud tell I was distressed. He sped in his hoverpod returning across the water back to me. He exited, grabbed my shoulders and nudged me closer to the centre of the docks away from the water.

He handed me the small item he found in the boat. It was a yellow piece of the transfunctioner, similar to the red and blue pieces.

We now had the three pieces that the N.E.O. scout was looking for. The original instructions were to assemble the pieces to create some type of item. If the three pieces were found, we were directed to a final waypoint.

PK and located the final waypoint on Resa Docks. After much confusion and extensive investigation, it appeared that the coordinates led to a small pier house that was only accessible by underwater.

Lore submission for the month of September
Avatar:: Nakor of Boreft

Part 1
When we left the healer’s house, me supporting Chloe, and Berenice led the way. Berenice led us to a part of Cyzicus I had never been to. The houses here were bigger and had more space between them. I carried Chloe as she had passed out from the pain, or fallen asleep from herbs the healer had given her. Berenice turned o me as she said: “Don’t judge me and please don’t tell Alexandros” Then she walked to the front door of the house we were standing in front of and opened it. It was a nice, spacious house. Much more so than the e house of her parents. Berenice directed me to a room upstairs that had a comfortable-looking bed in it. I placed Chloe in it and Berenice put the sheet over her and we left her there to rest. “Judge?” I asked her in the hallway. “For what?”.
Berenice looked at me with a sad look in her eyes. As we walked down the stairs, she told me that this was the one she lived in now. The house of Halkyone. Halkyone had made a lot of money in Sparta but had decided to come back to his hometown anyway. Berenice said she felt very lonely without Alexandros and with Chloe being away most of the time. Halkyone had offered her a comfortable life and company to keep her warm.
Hearing her tell her story hurt me to my core! Alexandros did not deserve this from his wife! Chloe did not deserve this from her mother! I did not know Berenice very well, but I had always known she felt a bit entitled to a more luxurious lifestyle. Betraying Alexandros however, I had not thought her capable of. I needed to take a walk. A walk to clear my head and decide what to do next. Not tell Alexandros as Berenice had asked. Or tell Alexandros and see him in pain for who knows how long. Or worse. He could come to Cyzicus and do who knows what.

Part 2
After my walk, I felt a bit better. My head was still a tangle of emotions, but now questions had also come up. Did Halkyone know Berenice’s husband, Alexandros, was alive? What did Chloe think of this? I decided to stay for a few more days and find out all that I can. Though I was very happy Berenice lived in this beautiful, well-taken care of, house. It is much better for her recovery than her grandparents’ house. That is not only much smaller but also colder and drafty. Like most houses here are. Halkyone’s house was made of thick walls of stone. Keeping the warmth in and the wind out.

When it became dinnertime, I went back to the house. The door was opened by Berenice herself and she let me to the living room where a man sat. She introduced us. It was Halkyone. Chloe was still sleeping she said. Halkyone looked at me. Then he said, “A friend of Berenice and Chloe is a friend of mine. You’re always welcome here Nakor”. I sat down and we started talking. Halkyone turned out to be a very friendly person and things were not as I had assumed them to be. Far from it!

Berenice had already written that Halkyone left for Sparta soon after Stelios had died. I did not think of it then, but it turned out that Halkyone and Stelios had not only been friends but also lovers. Stelios’ death had left him without any reason to stay in Cyzicus and he left for the big city of Sparta where, so he had heard, men living together were much more accepted. This turned out to be true and he had found both his fortune in the fish trade and in love. He met an upcoming artist there who turned out to be the love of his life, as well as the reason for his coming back to Cyzicus. When he told his lover’s name. My heart skipped a beat.

Part 3
Halkyone said his lover’s name was Daniel. I felt questions bubbling up, but decided to let Halkyone speak first. He told all about how he struggled when he just came to Sparta. Not knowing anyone in the big city that Sparta is, definitely compared to Cyzicus. Halkyone had first fallen in with a group that turned out to be troublemakers. What money they made during the day, got spent on drinks in the evening. When they’d had enough drink to become more courageous, they went looking for trouble.
Most evenings it was nothing more than singing loudly in the street and harassing the people that still walked them at this hour. Couples, men who went home from a visit. But then things changed.

One evening when the group had drunk enough in the local tavern, they went to the closest temple. It was a temple to Ares. God of courage, war bloodshed, and violence. There they behaved like animals life and the drink had turned them into. Knocking over statues, drinking and spilling all the wine they could find, and even punching the priests that were still in the temple unconscious.

It’s never wise to make a god angry and for sure Ares saw what happened and was very angry. A few days later, I saw a woman begging in the street. I was sure she had been a kind and beautiful woman long ago. Now, she looked like just an old woman. I remember her from what happened when I felt sorry for her and gave her some bread. I saw her stand up taller than before. Her old age faded before my very eyes. 2 doves flew to her and landed on her shoulders. She looked at me with eyes, I’ll never see eyes as bright as hers were then. The smiled faintly and said:” Thank you for this kind deed. He will not punish you now”. Halkyone looked at me with tearful eyes as he told this story.
“I honestly believe that the old woman was the goddess Aphrodite and she convinced Ares to spare my life.”He said.

Part 4
Halkyone needed a moment and a drink before he continued his story. “After my encounter with the old woman, who I still believe have been Aphrodite, I decided to better my life. That evening I went to the bar I knew they would be. I thought I owed them a warning. When I told them, they just laughed at me and called me a coward and a fool.”
He shivered at his next words: “The god Ares got his revenge on them two days later. 2 days later they were found at the south gate of Sparta. All of them were gutted by, bullmen judging from the wounds on their bodies. Normally those aren’t very aggressive and they tend to stay away from the city. There is no explanation for the men to go outside of the city in the middle of the night, nor for the bullmen to come so close to the city. But I do know they are one of Ares’ sacred animals!” Halkyone was visibly shaking when he told this.

When I saw the bodies of my former ‘friends’, I almost threw up. I could have been one of them too! I desperately needed a drink, so I went to an open bar. It was in the morning still, so not many were. When I found open one I walked inside and there he was. Standing there and looking at me, as though he had been expecting me. Daniel as I learned soon after. I must have looked like a panicked wreck from what I had just seen and realized. He offered me a drink, which I gladly accepted. He was very calm, with a soothing voice, and was impeccably dressed. A bit odd, but it just fit him. I thought he was the most wonderful and gentle man that I had ever seen. Tall, not too tanned, gorgeous brown eyes. I think I immediately fell in love with him.

Part 5
“That is how I met the love of my life, Daniel” Halkyone said. “For the next years, we lived together. Daniel was a successful painter, making paintings for those that could afford his work. Life was good for us. He painted almost all day and night. Many nights, I woke up alone in bed. When I went looking, I found Daniel awake and working on one of his paintings. In fact, every painting you see in my house here was made by Daniel. We also spoke of life and our wishes for the future often. Daniel really loved life and was a very passionate person.”

Halkyone looked more somber as he continued: “Daniel often told me there would be a time when e would be gone from my life. He never told me when or how and it seemed very strange of him to say that, but he made it very clear that he wanted me to move back to Cyzicus when that happened. He even painted this house, in this town. I could not believe it when I got back here and saw this house here. Exactly as he painted it! And he’s never been here! One morning I woke up and Daniel was gone. I went searching for him of course, but he was really gone. I decided to do as Daniel had always told me he wanted me to do when he was gone. I came back to Cyzicus. When I got here, I saw this house. Since I do not want a lot of fathers trying to get their daughters married to a well-off, older man. So when I heard Berenice ad al moved back here. Asking her, a childhood friend who knows I am attracted to men, to move in with me sounded like a good solution. I tell you all of this because Berenice told me you looked upset with her living here. I know she is a married woman and we sleep in separate bedrooms”

Character: Dalia Vivian

Month: September

5 Lore Submissions:

Entry #26

Today, Nathan and I were exploring the most northeastern area of the map. The last pieces of land are a large island and a peninsula. And then as far as our eyes can see there is nothing but the ocean.

It is admirable how the terrain is full of peculiar rock formations. On the eastern peninsula we saw a huge rock, which rises from the ground in an imposing way. But in the center, perhaps due to erosion or some other phenomenon, it has a big hole, which gives it a really unique shape.

On the large island we found a rock formation that I would say similar to the screecher cave, but smaller. Inside, as expected, there was a cave. It was in it that we placed the first clue, a broken weapon, as the Major and Alice instructed us.

And from there we start our journey back, through the dry and hot landscape. However, as we were approaching the river canyon, we passed through what must be the coldest area in the world, the snowy mountains. We didn’t venture inside, we just went around them, and still we could clearly hear the sound of the snow drakes that dominate the region. Major Hoffman said that the second clue should be placed between the snow zone and the river, so we did it. It was a NEO Holographic Unit that Alice gave us. Before we left she seemed to be picking up random items all over the place. And now that we arrived, she already had a box full of them: holograms, weapons, ammo, boots… she even got a guitar. I’m wondering what she might be planning for all these objects!

I also heard Major comment was that as for the communication ability test, he knows a gentle girl who could take care of it, and laughed that it would also be a test of perseverance.

I don’t think they will give us more details. So it looks like our work is done.

Entry #27

After all, I should be happy. At least Nathan seems a little more in a better mood now… I was getting worried.

“You were lucky to stay with the loyalists!”, when he said that on our trip I didn’t understand what was bothering him.

– No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that you were lucky with everything that happened! That was really bad. I’m so sorry for what happened… what I wanted to say is that… – now he finally sounded like the kind Nathan I knew.
– It’s ok, Nathan. Don’t worry. I get it.
– You did? It’s just… you are in a quieter place… I’m glad you can enjoy that… but please don’t use your freedom to get into dangerous things!
– Right… Things are tough here, aren’t they?
– Yes… – he sighed. – Oh! And did they treat you well there? If you got into trouble let me know, and I’ll teach them a lesson! – He said, changing the subject while posing, showing off his well-developed muscles. When did you get so strong Nathan? After so many years not seeing each other, it feels like we’ve really missed out on a big part of each other’s lives.

Today I was showing Alice my blueprints, when for the first time I saw a genuine smile of happiness on Nathan’s face. She asked him to try them all, along with a few more she had herself, and make a decent amount of materials!

Of course I wanted to stay with Nathan and also learn more about the materials NEO developed, so we spent the whole day at the crafting machine!

Meantime, Major Hoffman offered to get me a ride out of the mountain area, but he said we need to stop by his post first. So I think tomorrow is the day to say goodbye to this place, Alice and Nathan.

Entry #28

What is this place? The hexagon is here, the big wooden house is the same, everything is the same… only the name has been changed… although in reality it hasn’t been changed! Was it all my imagination? It felt like a dream so real! It’s like I keep remembering my old memories, except this time the memories weren’t mine! It couldn’t be: I was born on Earth and came to live in this world, this is where I grew up; but the memories I saw were from someone who was born in this place, grew up in a world different than any I know and then came back home… It doesn’t make sense! Why could I see someone else’s memories? And why do they seem so close to me, as if they were also part of me?

“I’ll buy sweat from you!”, was the message I received. What did he mean? I was in a different place, sweating a strange creature, very long, and it looked very strong too. It was a huge circle of sweaters around her, the biggest I’ve ever seen! But once again I wasn’t going to be able to sell the sweat that I collected with so much effort. How could someone as inexperienced as me ever get on the sellers list? There were so many people here and so fast! So if I failed again, why was someone unknown offering to buy my sweat? He doesn’t think I’m going to sell it cheap, does he? I will not! “I can agree to start the trade with him but if he doesn’t give a fair price in the end I won’t close the deal!”, I thought. But in the end the value he offered was not just the fair value, but the premium price, the same bonus payment that was offered at the event! I didn’t even know how to thank him enough for that!

I don’t know why I was dreaming about these things, but when I woke up, for a moment it was as if I could still hear that gentle man’s calm voice, and that made me feel better.

Entry #29

It’s already dawning, but I can’t I can’t stop thinking about what all that could mean…

I realized that it was not just that once that the nice man offered to buy sweat from me… or rather, not from me, me… but from the other me with whom I was somehow identifying myself…

Being her, I felt a little lost, finding everything too difficult and thinking about giving up for good. At least I was happy to see that there are kind people out there.

Someone accessible and willing to help and share what he knows. Someone who showed us this world as a nice place to be. And so that was why after so long I, or rather she, decided to come back here, to come back home.

“May I ask you why did you choose this name?”, I asked him one day. He said it took him to a period of time and history that he had always admired. I think I also studied about these people and their desire to explore the world facing every challenge. And I really understand that desire.

But then… he wasn’t there anymore… but his legacy in this place and the things he taught us will not disappear, never as long as we can remember them and pass them on to the next generations!

That day, people came from all over this universe for a memorial and that’s when the name of this base was changed.

This place feels so nostalgic to me now. A name change that apparently hasn’t happened yet. Will I be here to witness something like this in the future? No, those weren’t my memories. But I still decided that what I saw was too real to ignore, so from now on I will always refer to Warrior Peak by the name I saw it receiving: Conq Rest.

Entry #30

That place looked like a real museum, full of mysteries!

Major Hoffman told me he was going to take care of the place, and he let me visit the artefacts exhibit!

After my crafting day with Nathan I was convinced that I had learned enough about NEO and their technology. After all, yesterday we did a little bit of everything.

We started with Lesser Elysia, one of the most basic materials that can be crafted here, but still a high quality fabric to use for making clothes and other items.

We also made some System Stabilizers, making sure we used the right amounts to keep matter and dark matter in balance.

Then I showed the blueprints of the materials Dr Shepard developed as replacements when our essential supplies were missing, the Chrysoberyl Fasteners and the Dark Lysterium Cogs. Nathan said that he could give them good use, the first for crafting armor and the second for armor plates. That’s when I learned that the secret to the strong armor and plates here seems to be to use drakescales in them.

Nathan also taught me how to combine crystals and showed me the bp for Crystaline Core, which comprised several different crystal functions as a new component to use in other bps. I was able to bring one of these cores and I’m looking forward to showing it to our engineers.

Alice also insisted that we craft some of these bps that I got with Ol’ Mort and Helen, Fine Lens and Walking Sticks, although I don’t really see a use for them. But Alice said that they were interesting pieces and that the Sticks could be used in some furniture. It seems that she wants to include crafting all these items as a prerequisite for anyone who wants to achieve some sort of status within their faction.

After all this I thought I had learned everything necessary here, but now I saw all these mysterious artifacts: that armor, the ancient warrior statue and the little black pyramid… I want to know more about these things! So why did they make me leave now, so quickly?

Removed to avoid copys

Lore submission for September
Auberon Night Night
5 entries (parts)
Continuation of Aeon and the Guardians

Part 26 - How it all started

To the east of Morion Outpost is a cave that has no real reason for being there that I could see.
Shaped like a donut inside you may wonder at its odd dimensions and find yourself oddly drawn to its centre. Some time ago while hunting guardians I stumbled upon this cave and found there in the middle a little ball of light and inside it a small black cube.
The cave itself seemed to be surrounded by a forcefield that would not let the guardians in but could enter without a problem.
Seeing the item float in the middle of the cave I was curious and reached out and took it.
As soon as I took the item though the forcefield seemed to collapse and the cave was stormed by every nearby guardian and I had to fight for my life to get out.
For some time after I forgot about this small black cube and only much later while going through my loot did I see it again and realise that I had no idea what I had taken.
I fiddled with it and tried to have it interface with anything else I had in storage but to no avail.
After many attempts I stored it next to some broken tech chips and forgot about it.
A few days later looking in my storage I realised the tech chips was gone and the cube was now a golden glowing orb. When I handled it I felt myself teleported into the story I am telling you know.
I lived it as Aeon did but without the ability to change any outcome. Merely as an observer.

Having lived the story up to where Aeon met the first wave settlers I then felt myself thrown out and into the story of Kaijun. This time though as an outside observer with no direct personal experience.
And at this point I woke up in a sweat lying on the ground near a storage terminal where I had taken the orb from.
With my health dangerously low I activated a first aid pack and healed myself while wondering about all I had seen.
What was this little orb and was what I had seen real?
I held up the orb and thought, “Where did it come from and what exactly is this?”
As I thought that I was once again sucked into it and my questions was answered.

Part 27 - The observers

The golden orb in my hand was in fact a data storage device from a type of scanner that takes an exact image of all energy in its surrounds at that exact moment and stores the position, state and vector of each part of energy that makes up all matter.
A moment in time with enough data to predict the future within the space it was taken.
What a marvel this little device is but even more so it was conscious and my thinking directly at it resulted in it responding by answering as it did. By directly transmitting the information into my memory. And that I experience as a vivid almost real dream.
And this last bit explained what it was but where it came from was a much longer answer.
So just as I understood what it was and how I could see all these events I felt my consciousness being hurtled towards a new location.
The world where the orb came from.
The world of the observers.

When the elysium scientists opened the portal to ancient greece they did not realise they in fact opened the barrier between all dimensions that intersected at that point.
Billions of portals spanning every dimension within its reach opened up. Most of these eventually closed and nothing became of it.
But as we know one portal led to the world of Kaijun.
But another led to the world of the observers.
In a dark corner of this dimension where there was no sun and the planets was dark, cold and seemingly dead lived a race of beings more ethereal than physical.
Yet once they were as much solid matter as you or I.
Time on a dead dark planet however saw them change into what they are know.
Some called them elemental’s. Maybe once they were that but now they clouds of energy that to us may seem like shape-shifting gas the emits a small amount of light.
When the portal opened up near their planet it was the first outside influence felt on their planet in millennia.
This portal however was so small that none of us could dream of using it but for them it was just enough. In a matter of seconds all of the Glr, as that is how they call themselves, was aware of the portal and through telepathic communication deliberated on what action to take.

Part 28 - To observe

In what to us would be a very short time everyone of 100trillion Glr agreed that they should stabilise the portal and send through a few to observe what may be seen and to return such data to home.
As none had ever left their planet this was understood to be a suicide mission and only for those who volunteered.
Those who volunteered numbered in the millions and considered it an honor to die for their race to gain knowledge of that which they did not know about until now. Already this portal brought with it new direction and questions not thought of for ages.
To be able to gain such knowledge and return it for everyone else to grow would be honor as none had ever known.
Among them was حنظلہ. A young wen scarcely 100 years old. We would think of wen as boy or girl but as the Glr had 9 sexes wen would be more complicated to explain but for us we can stick to thinking of him as a boy.
Translated to English حنظلہ might be written as Z so to make it easier I will stick with Z. His name meant liquid light or liquid life in their language. We might say water is the closest thing we have to what they called liquid light.
When Z volunteered he did not do so for his parents or siblings or his people as a whole. He did so because he wanted to know, for himself. All he had ever know was this world of seeming darkness where small energy swirls and slow changes of matter or energy over time was studied and guided until its vibrations was like music to them all and nourished their existence.
Glr lived life slowly and deliberately. Dedicated hundreds of years to the forming of one energy swirl that would last for a thousand years after its creation. Life to them was as poetry to us. We would call all Glr artists or philosophers.
And here, for this first time in the collective memory of the Glr was something so new that none of them knew or understood what to expect.
Z wanted to know. He had to know. This would be his chance to see more. To be more.

So when they volunteered he was among the first. And when they passed through the portal he was again among the first. And when Glr started to become ill due to this different world being so full of energy that they could not survive he was one of the first to be ill.
But as Glr started to die in this dimension, Z was the first to propose a solution.

Part 29 - Something as simple as armor

When first they entered the new world, Z landed on a planet so bright from a nearby sun he could feel himself burn. So much energy in this world he could not believe it. One ray of sun could feel a billion Glr for a hundred years. But it was so much that he could feel it overpower him.
As his ethereal body began to glow brighter and brighter he could feel his life ending.
He took a long look at the sun and smiled.
If he was to die at least he got to see a sun. Even if he did not really know what it was.
Slowly drifting down to the planet surface Z could see some bipedal beings fighting. One being seemed very different from the others and seemed to be destroying them with ease.
As each body fell they would burst into crystal shards but a few had to break apart and Z fell settled down next to one. Being ethereal he had almost no mass so he settled down much like a feather would land when it fell.
As Z was ready to die he was not fighting to live or trying to find a solution but rather he was curious. He reached out and touched the dead being in front of him. It felt cold and devoid of energy. Even the energy from the sun did not touch it. It was nothing more than a shell.
A shell…….
Z pulled himself into the shell with the last bit of control he had left and was ready to die when his energy overloaded and he started to dissolve.
And then a strange thing happened. Some of Z remained intact. And with this much energy already stored in him and while inside this shell so not receiving any more energy he could rejuvenate.

For a while Z just rested and discovered the contents of this body inside the shell. He was able to revive the brain of the dead being and access its memories and so learned that this shell is called armor. So Z already learned 3 things. This world had so much energy that Glr could not live outside. But Glr could survive inside armor. And armor was available on a battlefield where there was dead beings.
So with all the power he had left he broadcast his thoughts to all Glr and told then to find armor.
That day 7 million Glr entered this world. And that day just over 6million Glr died before Z could was able to find a solution and let everyone know.

Part 30 - The lonely observer

Shortly after the remaining Glr had found armor and was able to live in this world filled with energy a vote was made. Of the remaining Glr all but one agreed to return home.
Only Z wanted to stay. Only Z, the savior of the observers, still had hope that this world could be home if they worked together.
In the world of the Glr all decisions must be unanimous so they discussed and voted again.
Again Z was the only one who chose to stay.
So again they talked to Z and again they voted and again he chose to stay.
Until the sun went down and it was night they argued with Z but he stood firm in his decision.
When night came and the sun went away the Glr saw the night sky and felt for a moment that maybe this world was not as bad as it seemed at first.
But still the vote was for all to leave while Z chose to stay.
And again a first in the world of Glr, they changed their vote from whether to stay or go to whether to let Z stay or take him back by force.
And this time, it was unanimous. The first Glr to travel to a new world all voted that Z could stay if that was what he wanted.
And so in a wave of light the Glr left their armors and returned to the portal each brushing slowly against Z in a way to say farewell. As each Glr left their shell the shell fell apart and burst into crystals and disappeared into thin air.
Until only Z remained standing on this world in an armor meant for another. Alone.
As the portal closed he felt himself lose all contact with his people. He was alone.
A being that had never known being alone as all Glr was always as one.
In a world where he could never take of his armor. Where he could never settle down.
This world was now his world.
So Z set off towards where he could see some feint light. Walking was not that hard once he got used to having limbs. But walking was slow and gave him time to look around and experience things.
When he reached the camp where the other bipedal beings were he stood far away so they could not see him and observed. He stood there watching them laugh and eat and drink and later fall asleep. They were not Glr and lived life separately. And yet he could feel they were happy.
Their energy was light.
Z felt alone in this world but seeing these beings he felt better. Maybe he could live here and be happy. And learn all he can from this world to help his people.
And so Z became the lonely observer that would show up, scan and leave.
So if ever you see a green flash and quickly turn to see who did what, maybe it was Z. And maybe Z took another name and lives among us. Whatever the case we have with us one member of Glr. Living in his armor and scanning so he can learn more and maybe one day open that portal again and return home to his people.

Harriot’s Lore for October

Saving the Drake King
Entry #150

The Drake King’s voice started once again in my head.

“Before you leave, I would like it if only one other person would know my chosen name”

“What do you mean by chosen name?” I hadn’t known whether the words were spoken aloud or I had just thought them in my head, the whole ‘talking through telepathy’ wasn’t something I had ever experienced.

“I was never given a formal name like the other guardian drakes that had been named by the inhabitants before you. I had spent many years here watching in silence, I don’t want to leave this world without someone knowing the name I chose for myself.”
“Well you better be quick”

The Drake King fell silent. It was a deafening type of silence. All sounds in the cave were muffled as if someone had placed cotton wool in my ears. The air felt thin as if someone had sucked all the air out of the cave. It felt like the world was playing in slow motion, every movement became heightened as the Drake king’s head fell to the ground for the last time.

The loudest thud of his head hitting the ground sparked everything back into motion.

“Harriot! Are you alright? That drake didn’t hurt you did he?” Charlotte was looking at me with concern in her eyes.
“His name was Prometheus, he would have never harmed me.”
“What happened, I didn’t even touch him and he died?” Elliot, his words had no sympathy in them but I could see him eying up what I had in my hand. “What’s that? Anything valuable?”

“It’s nothing, just a rock I found on the ground. Could we get out of here now this place creeps me out.” I tucked the small vial into my pocket making sure Elliot didn’t see it. Elliot stared at the dead drake.

“Well seeing as we are here we might as well get something for our troubles.” Elliot took out a knife and started scraping the scales from the dead drake. I had to turn away, if I hadn’t turned away I would have killed Elliot on the spot for what he was doing.

Charlotte stood in silence, her eyes were fixed on the wall as if trying to burn a hole in it.

“It can’t be,‘’ she took out her notepad, smiling to herself as if she had just won the lottery. “I was right, these symbols are just like the warning we found. It must be the original inhabitants’ language.” Elliot had stopped what he was doing and was by Charlotte’s side in no time at all.

“So you can translate these then?”

“From what I can tell straight away this place was built by the original inhabitants as a ‘shrine’ to the Drake King. This symbol here represents ‘Offering’. Which inturn would mean this cave has a treasure room of sorts.” Elliot’s eyes were fixed on Charlotte.

“You’d better get translating then.”

Jewels of the King
Entry #151

I had never seen Charlotte this focused before, it was as if no one was in the room but her while she worked. She had spent half a day working on the symbols without taking a break. Elliot and Carlos on the other hand had opted to nap. I was surprised every moment at what they had in those bags of theirs as they had come fully prepared with a sleeping bag and pillow. It was as if camping like this was no issue at all for them.

Charlotte had stopped writing, her hand was planted firmly on the wall as she stared at it.
“This is it…” She seemed to mumble to herself, but it was just loud enough to wake Elliot.
On the wall, there was an arch of symbols, almost looking as if it were a doorway in its own right. Elliot had come to join her at the wall.
“I don’t see any treasure room here.”
“That’s because it needs to be opened…” Charlotte was quicker than I had ever seen and human move and was rifling through the bag on the floor. She picked up the King’s Seal. “This should do it.” Charlotte hovered the seal over the wall, the symbols seemed to shimmer as she did. Till one spot on the wall revealed an indent, like the one that had led us in here. When she placed the seal in the indent the wall split in two and moved apart almost as if they were dancing. A blinding light shone out from the gap.

It took awhile for all our eye’s to adjust. For a moment, I stared in disbelief at what I was looking at. Part of me wanted to run and claim it all for myself but part of me was fascinated at what I saw. Mountains of gold coins and jewels of every colour shone out spreading glittering rainbows around the cave. There was what looked like an altar in the middle of the space, it had depictions of drakes flying, and a massive stone drake with ruby eyes guarding it.

Elliot wasted no time at all charging in and filling the bags he pulled out of his backpack. Charlotte was grinning to herself.
“I just knew it, look at this. This is the biggest find we have ever gotten. At least all in one go. It’ll take weeks to assess what’s even in here.” Charlotte was standing at the entrance taking in everything.

The Drake King’s Final Wish
Entry #152

She was about to enter the room when my arm moved before I could think. I grabbed Charlotte’s arm bringing her to a halt.
“I need to talk to you away from Elliot and Carlos.” She looked disappointed for a moment as if I had stopped her seeing a unicorn for the first time.
“Sure, discoveries can wait…” There was a fleeting tone to her voice and I knew for a fact she didn’t mean what she said.

Outside the Drake King’s cave Charlotte was looking on edge, she kept staring at the cave as if she really wanted to be back in there.
“Charlotte, focus. I don’t know how much time I have to tell you this. But the Drake King gave me his final wish and I need your help.” Charlotte glared at me when I mentioned the drake king.
“Final wish? Wait so he knew he was dying?”
“Well, I think this is the reason why he died. I don’t know much about drake anatomy but I’m pretty sure their soul is supposed to stay in their body.” I showed her the vial the drake king had given me, she instinctively wanted to inspect it.
“Fascinating, I’ve never seen a soul quite like this one.”
“Wait, you’ve seen other souls… Not the point, anyways the drake king gave me his last wish. For us to find a new ‘host’ for his soul.” Charlotte almost dropped the vial while I was telling her about his final wish. I had to be quick to grab it.
“So you’re saying, this vial has the potential to make a new Drake King?” I tucked it back in my pocket.
“Well yes, if you don’t drop it the first second we have it. But we need to find a new host. The only place I know where there are drake eggs on display is at Bustamite, with the death drakes…” My words sunk a little, I was not looking forward to going back there. We barely made it out alive the last time.
“Wait, hold up one minute. Are we getting a baby?” Charlotte had the look I could only describe as that of an expecting mother.
“A baby drake, and no I expect after it’s born it’ll go back to the other drakes.” Charlotte still had a smile plastered over her face as if she didn’t hear me.
“We are going to be drake mums, I wonder what he’ll be like. I expect it’ll be a boy as the drake king was male. I bet he’s going to be so cute and follow us everywhere.”
“Focus Charlotte, egg first then we can figure out what to do after.”

The Egg
Entry #153

Bustamite Forest was too quiet, as if the drakes had taken a vow of silence. Even when we approached them they seemed to bow their heads at us and cleared a path. We had no trouble choosing which egg as the drakes had already created a pathway to an egg that seemed much smaller than the rest. The soul showed its approval as it glowed brighter the closer we got to the egg. We stood in front of the egg both looking at each other as to what to do next.

“So, now what? I mean the drake king never really gave me instructions on this.” Charlotte took the soul from my hand and placed it next to the egg.
“I guess we let it do its thing.” The moment Charlotte placed the soul down the lid burst open, a blinding silver and gold mist floated out of the vial and towards the egg. The light intensified to the point where I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I wasn’t sure how long the blinding light lasted just that Charlotte tapped me on the shoulder.
“Did you see that? Oh my I have never seen anything like it.” She was wearing sunglasses that she wasn’t wearing before I closed my eyes
“Where did you get the sunglasses from?” She looked at me as if I’d asked a stupid question.
“I always carry them on me, you know just in case.” There was a sound I had never heard before. Like a loud cracking sound. We both spun to find it.

The egg that now had what looked like a glowing orb of golden light around it was starting to hatch.
“Is that supposed to do that?” Charlotte shrugged.
“I’ve never witnessed a drake hatch before. So your guess is as good as mine.”
“I think this is the time for us to leave, the drakes can handle this from here.” Just as I turned around to leave I was faced by drakes, they had formed a circle around us, I could only assume it was to bear witness to the egg hatching. There was no way to escape until this was over.

Once the egg had started to crack it almost felt like seconds before the whole thing split open. Sat with its head poking out from the shell was the smallest drake I had ever seen. It was unusual in every sense of the word. From head to tail each section was a different colour, it looked as though it had sections from each of the 4 drakes. It let out the tiniest yawn I had ever seen from anything.

Baby Drake
Entry #154

“Well that’s freaking adorable. Now we have to give it a name.”

The baby drake opened its eyes and stared at me for a moment as if telling me what name to call it.

“Tarquin…” It was as if the name had been spoken into my head. The drake seemed to jump up and down as if agreeing to the name.

“He seems to like it, well what do we do now? Should I pick him up?” Tarquin seemed to back away a little when Charlotte mentioned that.

‘Follow’ The word was faint but it was there. Just like how Prometheus was communicating.

“I think he will just follow us.” I couldn’t explain it to Charlotte. She’d think I’d gone mad if I said drakes were talking to me in my head. But sure enough Tarquin followed us, all the way back to the house.

I was staring at a baby drake… in my living room. This was not something I had planned on ever doing. Shiny was one thing, but he was more than ‘just a pet’ he had become my friend and faction member. But a baby drake! Shiny was staring at it unimpressed as if it were trying to replace him. He had his sword at the ready as it jumped around him.

‘Play, Tarquin play with shiny bot’ I was still uncomfortable about being able to hear the drake speak in my head.

“Shiny put the sword away, he just wants to play.” Shiny glared at me as if I had taken his sword away myself.

Eventually Shiny relaxed his posture and began using his sword to reflex a light on the floor which Tarquin followed…

“Like a cat…” The words left my mouth before I could stop them.

“You’re right he is just like a cat, not you Shiny but Tarquin.”

The door made a loud crashing sound, Tarquin ran under my chair to hide. Elliot and Carlos were back. ‘Stay hidden Tarquin’ I didn’t know if the telepathy went both ways but I had to try.

I gave Charlotte a glare, one I hoped she understood not to mention about Tarquin.

“Where did you two disappear off to? We could have used a few extra hands hauling all these treasures back.” Elliot handed Charlotte a bag. ”We still have more to go through but out of what we’ve sorted so far, this is your cut. The usual split as always.” Eliot stared at me for a moment as if he was thinking about giving me a ‘cut’ of what they found. But then turned away without saying a word.

“Hey aren’t you forgetting something?” He spun on the spot to face me again.

“You really want in on these treasures too?” I couldn’t help but get angry at the notion.

“No, at the very beginning Charlotte said if i help you you’d help me get off the ‘Stel’s most wanted list’. And so far I’ve held up my end of the bargain.” Elliot took a deep breath.

“Did Charlotte not mention it to you?” Charlotte seemed to go a little sheepish.

“I mean I have been rather busy running around, it just slipped my mind.”

“Here, I might be a treasure hunter but I hold up my end of the bargain” Elliot handed me a piece of paper. It was a peace treaty signed by the Stel elders. “All you have to do is sign it.”


Lore for October:

Tittle: “The Fourth Passenger”, 6 parts

Part 1

There was much new on Next Island… In memory of the Planet Partner who had held the concession of the planet from the Mindark Corporation, an amusement park had been built on a southern island…

Like any amusement park, it had shops, bars and a race track, as well as an instance for the seasoned hunters, and a fancy restaurant to go to with Katalina…

But ideas are not always fulfilled, because sometimes there are unforeseen events… and in this case there was also one.

I was rummaging through my closet to see what I would wear for the opening party when the InterCOM sounded… The image of Chief Socrates appeared on the screen.

-Good morning, Sir… ready for the inauguration of the park? – I told him, trying to appear calm, although with Chief Socrates you never know…

-Yes, Dante… Everything is going well… By the way, have you heard about the exhibition of beasts from other planets? -said

-No, I didn’t know… an animal exhibition? – I was interested in the subject.

-Yes… from each of the planets of the Entropy Quadrant they are going to bring the rarest specimens… Let’s see what your friend Moustapha brings… -You could tell in his voice that he was in a good mood.

-Let’s see… Well, I’m going to continue dressing for the inauguration that…

-Wait a minute, Dante… um… we have a little problem… Can I count on you?

That’s it!!! Chief Socrates is going to get me into another mess just as the opening begins…

-Tell me, Chief.

-You see… The “Kronan” came from Cyrene with a copy, let’s say, extraordinary… A Terranix female…

Terranix!!! A monster that looked like some kind of land locust… it was very elusive, only appearing occasionally at certain times, and it was so rare that it didn’t appear in official animal lists or Codex.

-Well, Chief… and what is the problem? I said with interest.

-Well, just an hour ago we lost communication contact with the “Kronan”… it is close to the Space Station, but its beacon indicates erratic movements, as if it had engine problems or something like that… Very strange. – The voice of Chief Socrates denoted concern.

-And what can I do? I asked fearing the answer.

-Dante, you and Katalina can go by Quad and investigate what’s going on… I’m worried about that ship, besides the fact that the Terranix won’t arrive on time for tonight’s Exhibition… You take care of the matter?

Well, I already had another job for the sake of Next Island…

Part 2:

Katalina and I took off in the quad in the direction of the coordinates that Chief Socrates had given us… It was not as close to the Station as we thought, but rather in the vicinity of Athena Spaceport.

Athena was a station used in the early days of exploration of the Entropy Quadrant, but it’s long since abandoned… I doubt it’s still functional.

A few minutes later we saw the “Kronan”… her movement was erratic, like in circles… Something had happened, but we couldn’t imagine what… She had no radio communications despite our efforts to communicate with them… We decided to enter the ship…

With a bit of skill we entered the Hangar and left the Quad… Everything was silent… It was very strange that none of the maintenance personnel of the ship were around, nor that any officer of the ship came out to greet us…

Most of the lights were off… Something strange was happening…

At that moment we noticed something… the cargo transport Mech from the hangar was lying on the ground, knocked over, with strange marks on its torso…

We decided to leave the hangar through the stairs that led to the habitable decks of the ship… We pressed the button to open the door and…

A huge bloodstain on the floor next to the door… Damn!!! What had happened?

Katalina and I looked at each other… something unusual had happened on the ship… With a silent gesture between us, our armor materialized around us, and a pair of EWE Purpose appeared in our hands… we were ready for anything…

We walk down the corridor… more bloodstains… and in the background, some noises near the door…

Katalina and I looked at each other, cocked our weapons and prepared to open the door… I pressed the unlock button and…

With a great movement, a form jumped behind the door and fell to the ground screaming: A technician from the “Kronan”… His clothes were torn, he had blood stains and he kept screaming and thrashing… We held his arms while he kicked with fury, and their cries hurt our ears…

Katalina was practical: with a blow from the butt of the EWE she knocked him out… In a few minutes she would wake up from her unconsciousness and maybe she can talk about what happened…

A little later the technician opened his eyes, looked at us with perplexity, shook his head and said:

-Are you… Are you the rescue team? - His eyes widened as he looked around us, as if looking for someone or something else.

-Don’t worry, you’re safe… I’m Dante, and this is Katalina… Chief Socrates of Next Island told us to come see what was happening to you… But I see that it’s serious…

The Technician began to calm down little by little… apparently the blood was not his, but someone else’s… We should have known what had happened…

-Let’s see, what’s your name? - I told.

-Ryan, my name is Ryan… Secondary Repair Officer, VSE LVL 24 and about to be promoted to pilot. - He said with a tone of pride.

-Well, Ryan… What has happened here?

Ryan looked at me with fear…whatever it was, it still scared him…he swallowed hard and answered…

-What happened? The Terranix has escaped from its cage…

Part 3:

Ryan explained to us what happened: The Terranix was able to force the lock on the cage, we don’t know how since it is a relatively unknown animal and we don’t know much about its abilities.

The animal wandered through the ship, ramming everyone and everything, and destroyed part of the ship’s electrical wiring, so that half of the lights, the Revive, the direction and the communications stopped working.

The Terranix was hunting the crew one by one, but because the Revive was out of service, it was not known where the people were appearing…

-They will probably appear in Athena, but that is abandoned… So when this is over, you will have to send a rescue expedition or those people will have a hard time. Ryan told us.

Right… The first thing is to kill the Terranix, or better, eliminate it even if Socrates is left without his animal… Then try to restore the power so that he can pick up the crew at Athena Spaceport… finally, go to Next Island…

-But Dante, we have a bigger problem…-Katalina was very thoughtful and surely she has seen a flaw in the plan – We have to manage the ship… and none of us are LVL 25 VSE…

Right… We couldn’t handle the ship… That could be solved by finding the pilot in Athena, and bringing him back… But first, we have to stabilize the ship and capture the Terranix… It doesn’t matter what order…

-Ok, Ryan… Go make the necessary repairs, but don’t go too far… That bug could be anywhere… Meanwhile, we – Look at Katalina – We’ll go see if we catch it, kill it or whatever…

Katalina and I carefully went down to the cargo hold… we saw the cage, it was huge, strong, powerful… and still the Terranix managed to open it… We got closer to examine the lock closely… It was almost imperceptible, but we saw it: A fissure in the welding of the bolt had caused that in one of the blows and swings of the creature the mechanism jumped…

-Dante, I think that with the right equipment I can repair the lock… We may need the cage to transport that bug if we manage to capture it… -Katalina was still examining the lock.

Perfect, I left Katalina looking in a toolbox for some kind of plasma, MIG or similar welder… Meanwhile, I went out through one of the gates following the trail of breakages, blood stains and everything that had caused the being…

Clack!!! A crack… My senses alert, my finger on the trigger of the gun… Heart pounding… I had never faced a Terranix before and I didn’t know if I could handle it… Another close crack…


Clack!!! Heard something, which way Dante went…Damn, I’ve got to hurry up and fix this lock…A good plasma weld and he’ll be good as new…Maybe we can lure him into the cage and bring him to the festival alive…

Without a doubt, Chief Socrates will congratulate us… With the number of people on the planet and he always sends us the most complicated missions… I don’t know whether to rejoice at the trust placed in us or tremble at the next mess he puts us into…


Clack!!! Damn, that sound is not from the ship… that thing is not very far… Well, this is already fixed… Now I have to go in the elevator to the bridge, to hit the switches… I hope that animal is not around …

Part 4:

I walked down one of the corridors following the noise… I made a mental sketch of the layout of the ship, as I remembered it from previous trips: The corridor ended at the hangar where we landed, and the lower staircase led to the cargo holds where the goods and the cage were…

If all went well, we might be able to capture the bug, but it depended on timing with Katalina and Ryan… I hit the comlink.

-Katalina, everything alright? Change.

-Yes, everything is fine… I fixed the lock, now it closes perfectly. Where are you?

-I’m near the hangar… I think it’s there… I’ll try to lure it down the hall to see if we can cage it again.

-Mmmm… could be… The cage has a separation between bars of about 60 cm… you could enter the cage followed by the Terranix, and exit through the rear bars while we close the door, but… - Katalina’s doubtful tone worried me.


-60 cms is too little to go out… maybe in profile, but you should go naked… Clothes and armor would get in the way of going through the bars.

Come on!!! Not only do I have to act as live bait, but also naked or at least with few clothes… And that reminds me that this afternoon I had bought an “Animal Print” Mankini to surprise Katalina… What little dignity for an animal rescue…

-Okay… We have to synchronize… Ryan, everything alright?

-Ryan here, everything is almost fine… I can now turn on the lights, but the revive and the TP, which share circuits, don’t work… Something else broke, but I don’t have spare parts here…

-Well… Go to the cage room with Katalina and wait there… Turn on the lights and watch the doors from the monitors… Close the doors remotely as the Terranix advances, so as not to let it out.

-Okay Dante, and you?

-I… I’m the bait. Attention…

Okay, crunch time… I take off my armor and weapons, put on only the Mankini and the Hermetic speed ring… I walk over to the gate and open it…

There it is… in the Hangar, near our Quad… He’s examining it, maybe he thinks it’s another threat like the Mech… It’s time… I pick up a metal fragment from the ground and throw it in his direction.

Clang!!! I hit near the quad… The monster turns around and sees a guy in Mankini waving his arms and yelling, I mean, me… And suddenly he decides that I’m more appetizing than the Quad… With a quick movement he turns and walks towards me …and hitting the Quad, which loses a skid and the right wing…

I almost have him on me, time to run down the hall, followed by the beast… Between the stamping of its legs and its roars I hear the hangar door closing… Good!!! Ryan has closed his exit, he only has to move towards the trap.


-I can hear noise… they’re coming down the south corridor… Ryan, keep closing doors and pay attention.

-Ok, Katalina… do you have control of the cage door?

-I send? what command?

-The one on the door… it closes remotely… If you don’t have it, you must activate the bolt manually, but when the Terranix is ​​already inside…

-But the gate is huge…

-Well, Katalina, well, we’ll push it together and close the latch later… And let’s hope everything goes well and we don’t end up dead in Athena…

Part 5:

I heard the footsteps of the monster very close… I turned my face and saw him just a few meters from me… Another closed door behind him and another open door in front of me… The cargo hold door… I ran inside as if the devil were chasing me which was basically it…

-Katalina, pay attention!!!

I saw the cage at the back, with the door open… I ran in followed by the Terranix… The cage was about 20 meters long, and I saw with regret that perhaps 60 centimeters were not enough for me…

I got to the bottom of the cage followed by the bug and I stood in profile to try to pass through the bars… Katalina is an excellent cook and I think I have overused the stews she prepares.


-Has entered!!! Now, Ryan, help me.

Ryan and I ran to the door, pushing as hard as we could… the gate almost closed, but it caught the end of one of the monster’s legs… It stopped dead, turned its huge head, and looked at us…


Something has slowed him down… Now I have to go out… A little more… From today only salads and juices…

-Already!!! I’m out… Gods, close the damn cage now!!!


-Push, push – Ryan was doing all the force he could… and with one last push, the Terranix finished turning towards us, but taking the leg out of the door… Now !!!

With a loud thud the door closed… I had just time to activate the lock when one of its legs came out between the bars and swept us, throwing us to the ground… And between roars and blows, we saw Dante come out from behind the cage … With an “Animal Print” Mankini!!!

-Dante, darling… Didn’t you have something more ridiculous to wear for this hunt?

One hour later:

-Well, the Terranix is ​​caged, the ship almost repaired except for the Revive and the TP… And our Quad is a mess in the hangar… Ryan, go and fix it… So we can go down to Next Island and ask for help… -I said, already with dignity restored after getting rid of the damn Mankini.

-Well, you see, Dante… I hardly have any welding wire left… I don’t know if I’ll even be able to do anything to it. Ryan’s tone was doubtful.

We went down to the Hangar… there was the poor Quad… Ryan approached, arranged the RK on him and began his work… a second later, greenish lights surrounded him.

-At last!! At last!!! I am already LVL 25 in VSE… I can now pilot the ship!!! – He said happily while his RK turned off due to lack of welding wire…

-Well… the welding wire ran out, and I can’t repair the Quad, but… I can now pilot the ship to Next Island… Let’s go? -Ryan’s joy was immense…

…How immense is my concern… A novice pilot in a gigantic ship; I hope we don’t crash the “Kronan”…

Part 6:


Chief Socrates was making the official presentations of the contest… The competition was very close… Arkadia had presented a Divine Kamaldon, very rare to find…

Toulan had brought a new specimen of Tab-tab but adorned with a kind of plaid pants… And the other planets and satellites also had strange animals… only Cyrene was missing…


-Well, we’ll have to do something unusual since we don’t have any landing craft or operational TP: We’ll have to land the “Kronan” on the planet. – Ryan said.

-But man!!! How are you going to land a ship of these dimensions??? We are going to crash, and there is going to be no welding wire in the entire Entropy Quadrant to repair this hulk!!! –I exploded.

-Yes, Dante, trust me… I’ve read the ship’s manual at least a hundred times… and now it’s time to put it into practice for the first time!!! - Ryan was elated.

I looked at Katalina… For the first time, he says… There is no other choice…


Chief Socrates lengthened the speech unnecessarily, worried about the lack of news from Dante and the “Kronan”… Much to his regret, he decided to cancel Cyrene’s presentation, when…

A loud buzz in the sky made everyone present look up… A huge shadow loomed over the park… The “Kronan” was descending!!! Amazing…

The ship grew larger and larger until it finally reached ground level… Unfortunately, space was limited, and much of the ship ended up in the water, kicking up a wave that hit those present, high dignitaries and Chief Socrates himself… The stage was swept away, and a lot of people were wet…

The cellar gate had been flush with the beach, and it opened… A smiling Dante and Katalina followed by another person in Technician uniform emerged from the cellar… Followed by a huge motorized cage with a large female Terranix inside.

-Don’t worry, don’t worry… Cyrene’s delegation has arrived on time… and we present the Terranix!!!.. But… what happened here? Was there a Tsunami?

The expression of Chief Socrates and of all those present was worse than the look of the Gorgon…

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journey #31

I went out for more Papoo today. The hunting was good! I got at least 2 dozen more papoo and thanks to that new move the pelts were in great shape!

I probably could have gotten more today but it was a cloudy morning and I woke up late. I have gotten into the habit of getting up with the sun. There was no sun till late morning and there was no functioning Isme till late morning either!

Its okay though. That is definitely one nice thing about no longer working for the Times – no need to punch in or out for this and that. There is also no hard deadlines, no crabby (or crappy) bosses… just me!

I wonder how long it will be before I am ready to go back to Ancient Greece? Maybe one of these days I will go and give it a try. Worst case scenario I end up at a revive terminal, right? So if I go I can see how I compare to that first fateful trip.

I think before I go back to Ancient Greece I will make sure I have that new move down to perfection.
It could be a game changer! Who knows?

I should also put some of my extra ped from the hide sales away so that I can renew or repair all my equipment before going. It would not do to have a big test run in Ancient Greece and have my sword break or my armor lose its effectiveness on the first hit.

I think I will spend my evening making a list of what I need to do before I try Ancient Greece again.
Maybe two lists, one that is absolutely necessary and one that is not necessary but would be helpful.

Once I have that list, I can start figureing out what to do to make everything on that list happen.

Yes! That is the master plan! Tomorrow will begin the next phase of ISME GOTITT SUPER HUNTER!

T.T.F.N – Ta ta for now!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #32

After brainstorming for awhile last night and coming up with a short list of necessities and a long list of maybes. My head was whirling with possibilities! So I decided to go into town for breakfast this morning. A change of scenery, and some hot food I didn’t have to make or do dishes from, sounded like just the thing I needed.

I was totally shocked when I realized that the server in my section was CHERRY!!!

It was she, the Cherry, the one who ruined my career hopes at the Times. I had to find out what happened. She didn’t recognize me at first. She came over and took my order. I watched her take other orders. She seemed a bit lost and flustered. I kinda felt a little bad for her. I ate my meal and paid my bill. I was wondering how to approach her. I heard her say to another server that she was going on break. So I took that as my sign. She had gone out of the building. So I followed her out of the building and around the corner.

As I approached her I said “ Hi, Cherry.” She looked up. At first she was startled. Then she looked at me a little closer and started to look a little afraid. My new more athletic appearance must really have changed my look, because the more she looked at me, then more fear I saw in her eyes. I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her skull as recognition dawned on her.

I calmed her, said I just wanted to talk. She breathed again. But still looked super nervous.

We started talking. I eventually came around to when did she decide to become a restaurant server. She said it was the only other job she was qualified for. As the full story came out. That stunt she pulled on me, got her noticed by some of the higher ups. At first it looked good, like they liked her initiative in getting dirt, made her the editor of the gossip column. But then she dug up too many things on the Big bosses daughter and published them without any discretion what so ever. They were not even really all that bad. According to her, the worst thing was that the daughter of a prominent editor gets bad grades in reading. Because she had also published some loosely true things on several other writers for the Times and some prominent local citizens, she was unceremoniously turned away from the Times. On the grounds that a humorous gossip column shouldn’t be a clothes line for everyone’s dirty laundry. And she was too much of a headache to keep on staff.

I wanted to say something about what goes around, comes around, but what would that make of me? A big jerk. I was feeling a little sorry for her, but instead of feeling bad about what she had been doing to people, she tried to tell me it was my fault. IF I hadn’t written that poem, none of this would have happened.

I had a moment of that “slapped in the face” feeling, then I got over it and told her how GLAD I was that it had happened. I have an awesome new life!

I left her. As I walked away, I waved goodbye over my shoulder and said “ I hope some day you learn to be kind to others and then great things will come your way too!”

I caught one glimpse of her astonished face as I turned back around the building. I guess I hope she does learn to be kind. I hope that when she does good things do happen for her.

After all of that, my day of hunting seems very unremarkable.

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #33

My head was reeling in a different way today. That whole thing with Cherry yesterday. It is a good lesson that there is not much to be gained by meanness.

I even had thought that maybe my personal efforts against the papoo army were unfounded… but then I
went for a walk and saw a bunch of papoo just attack another traveler on the road! If they had attacked me I could have chalked it up to retribution, but they just jumped an unarmed traveler! I was close enough that I could run over and be of assistance, so I did. The man was very thankful, but couldn’t understand why the papoo attacked him. He ALSO was led to believe by that rotten Sebastian that papoo were his friends and would be grateful for protection from piglets.

I told him my theory on the whole thing, and now I have my first convert! Who knows? I could start a new faction. One on a grand quest to save Next Island from being run over by evil papoo!

I shouldn’t get to far ahead of myself. I, Isme Gotitt, Super Hunter in training. Still gets her butt kicked my the higher level Red Papoo.

Aah! That something I should probably be able to do before I go back to Ancient Greece. I should be able to take down more then 1 Red papoo with out ending up at revive.

Lets see, so for the must do list that makes it:

  1. Fix or replace all armor and weapons
  2. Empty out all unnecessary things from back pack so as to not be unneeded weight.
  3. Pack food and medical supplies for the trip
  4. Be able to kill 2 or more red papoo with out dieing

I don’t really suspect that my next trip to Ancient Greece will be overly successful. It might show me where my weakest spots are though. Which parts of my hunting and fighting skills need the most work.

More hunting tomorrow. Still need a lot of papoo for those contracts I have.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #110


They were right, the stone allowed me to pass through, which made me think if I could use it again to gain hassle-free passage through the centaur territories again. Of course, I don’t believe it would be a good idea to strain the delicate relationship I currently have with them but it could make it easier to discuss with their leaders and make deals.

However, not all was smooth. As I approached Knossos, I was surrounded by a band of rag-tag mercenaries with laser rifles pointed at me. Outnumbered 8 to 1, I thought of fighting but before I could make a move, the leader of the group approached and stated:

“Hector Draken, we are here to carry out a bounty and warrant for your arrest by the Loyalist faction” he stated.

“On what charges?” I asked, having an idea of what I’m in trouble for but genuinely curious as well.

“Conspiring against the Elysian Loyalists, espionage, and… you know what, here’s the list, come with us”.

He handed me the list with what I was charged with and there were at least 10 charges on it, as well as the bounty on my head. 12,500 PED for my capture?! I was not aware that I was worth so little and was not as dangerous as I thought to them. Am I insulted? Slightly. I would put my own bounty to be at least 75,000 PED but considering they captured me right as I got out of centaur territory, I think I overestimated my own bounty worth.

Stepping off the teleporter, they watched me like a hawk and escorted me towards a gungnir. 2 gungnirs, with me in the first one, both of them dented from what I assume to be primitive stone projectiles. I pulled out my datapad on the flight and almost scared one of the guards to shoot. Pff amateurs. I can’t tell which am I more scared to be in the hands of, the Loyalists or this group of whatever they consider themselves. They didn’t even take my weapons, but knowing how bad of a spot I’m in, especially in a moving vehicle, I’d hit the ground pretty hard if we crashed.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #111


It took us somehow a whole day to get from Knossos back to Thebes due to navigation problems on the gungnirs. I should have probably tried to do a hostile takeover of the gungnir but I know my fate is sealed and if I do, I’d just be chased down again by others. Might as well just confront my fate and get it over with.

The second we touched down in Thebes, we were surrounded by a mixture of Greek hoplites and Loyalist agents preparing to receive me.

“Captain Draken, you will now be transferred to the custody of the Elysian Loyalists. You have the right to remain silent” and… my mind wandered off as they repeated the charges and told me what I could do and not do. They soon enough led me away to some makeshift jail in Thebes.

This time, the Loyalist agents were brighter than the mercenaries and actually took away my gear, leaving me with my datapad but restricted access so I couldn’t delete any “evidence” I had on it. Read and write permissions, no deleting permissions, how useful, I guess the log entries will continue on.

It was about 0600 in the morning when a Loyalist agent came and told me what was going on, how they raided and shut down my mining operation, arrested my “co-conspirators”, and have us all separated for trial.

I expected more of my “co-conspirators” or whatever they claimed we were to defend to the last man, but based on some logs from the mining site confrontation, they surrendered after hours of standoff with both sides pointing weapons at each other.

He continued to tell me that I will be sent to Paradise Landing in the afternoon to discuss my options. Considering conspiracy is a big deal, I think I will comply since trying to escape now would make my case even worse and I don’t think I have anywhere to run. Assuming the Ancient Greeks are cooperating with the Loyalists, I can’t run anywhere except into space and I haven’t ventured out there yet, into the unknown.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #112


I’m currently under arrest in a room at Paradise Landing, awaiting trial. Looking out the room’s window, I see soldiers and explorers walking about, the sun shining into the window, and the feeling of being exiled looming.

“I don’t want to go”, I thought to myself. Exile would mean abandoning my way of life and home to become another, and I very much enjoy what I have now. I’m not ready to be sent off into space and to another planet.

There was a knock on the door and then came in 2 guards and an agent. They were apparently here to interrogate me about my Ancient Greece activities.

“Do you admit to ordering a mining operation and incursion into a peaceful civilization’s territory without an authorization order?”


“Do you admit to bribing Elysian officials to finance and support your operation militarily for personal gains?”


“How long have you been doing this mining operation in Ancient Greece?”


“Are you conspiring against us with the Woodland Haruspex faction?”


“We literally have statements and messages intercepted about you cooperating with Haruspex”

The interrogation lasted for at least 2 hours with them continuously pressing on the idea that I was working against them with the Haruspex.

Realizing they were getting nowhere, they were getting up to go when I started speaking up and asking them my own questions. However, my own silent responses were reflected back to me by them with their own silence.

Another 3 hours passed with me just sitting in the room. Periodically, someone came in and told me about the status of my business partners, about their cooperation, and how I should spill my side of the story.

I chuckled and continued to stay silent. Curious to hear who throws me into the mercy of the Loyalist courts and then I will tell my side and why I did it. I have my thoughts, the military man will crack and the wealthy lady from space will just laugh and run away. All the EEF members they interview would make up lies and make the situation worse, and I think it only took about less than a day for my assumptions to fall into place and become true.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #113


“Hector Draken, you are requested in conference room 4”, a guard came in and said. I followed him and a little escort to the conference room and sat down at the opposite side of a long meeting table. Across from me were members of High Command and they were not very happy to be interviewing me at the break of dawn.

They told me everything I wanted to know. Apparently, they got word from an internal audit that a large number of troops and equipment was diverted and “lost” and at around the same time, the New Elysian Order reported some mining equipment was sold to an off-world business entity and the same pieces of equipment were seen transported by scouts.

This got the entire investigation to grow and bloom. All I could think was that I covered my tracks so well at the start, but the process of building the operation was the problem. They also said that when they sent in a task force to the other side, they were greeted by the Ancient Greeks with open arms since I set up such a great reputation for the Loyalists. I… maybe have messed up by not specifying that not all the Loyalists were cooperative with me and they should have been careful.

Knowing my plans are pretty much exposed, I asked them what they thought of it, and they asked if I was planning to overthrow the faction leadership and install myself as the leader. They also reminded me that since I was charged with conspiracy, I’m having the rank of captain removed from my titles and the severity of the charges.

“Thanks to you we have to replace our northern border force. I hope you’re happy if we get invaded” they said, annoyed that I caused such a problem.

Already knowing that they are going to find me guilty of the charges, I said “Yes, you all didn’t want to throw your support behind me to finance the growth of the faction so I took matters in my own hands. All these ‘co-conspirators’ you speak of knew exactly what we needed, and that my friends, is resources. The New Elysian Order could wipe us out at any time and we struggle against Stel and Resa raids on our supply routes.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #114


I’ve never experienced the Elysian court system. I always just follow rules and orders but this is new to me, what should I expect? What should I do? I didn’t even know we had the ability to have someone help defend and try to drop the charges until recently. This topic is never touched on and the concept is foreign to regular residents of the faction like me.

We were all transported to Shepherd’s Beach to be given the verdict. Military personnel were removed from the force, miners and workers were fired, and of course, the wealthy lady that I told you would run off did run off back to her asteroid mine. Overall it was not harsh sentencing for them, but then they all turned to me and that’s when the true punishment happened.

“Your unauthorized mission to mine out an independent territory was uncalled for and practically disobeying orders. You colluded with the Haruspex to keep the position a secret and made deals that were not approved by the Loyalist faction to keep the secret operation a secret”

“Uh actually” Before I even got to finish my comment, they continued.

“You purposely diverted military and industrial resources to carry out these plans, risking the security of our very way of life and for your own gain. I hereby sentence you to exile from the Elysian realm, from Loyalist territories, and you shall not return. If you return, you will be arrested again and sent into space to live out your days”

To say my heart sank would be an understatement. I loved Loyalist territory, it had beautiful waterfalls and beaches. Where will I go? Do they really expect me to not defect or join another faction? I guess that’s how it will go. I took the decision as final and accepted my fate. There was only one place I really wanted to be if it wasn’t on planetside.

As I packed my stuff, I noticed how little I was bringing: datapad, skyripper, a set of Atlas, a handful of weapons, and my mining finder. It isn’t much but it’s a start and that’s what I need while in exile.

After packing, they escorted me to where I wanted to be and left. Looking back into Orpheus’ Cave as they teleported away, a mixed feeling of sadness and excitement filled me. I turned away from the cave and looked towards the road and with the sun rising, I began my new life several thousand years in the past.

Isme’s Journey
Multiple submissions: entries 34-38

Isme’s Journal #34

Wowzers was I off my game today!

I got a few papoo and a few piglets but I was so sloppy. Perhaps that is another thing I need to work on. I need to not let other things distract from hunting. Things like what I am going to do with the profits from this hunt if there are any. HA HA today there will not be much, that is for sure! Things too like that incident with Cherry.

Even things like, where do all these papoo come from? I remember watching some old cartoons as a kid, where this Alien had a gum ball machine filled with green balls. The label on the machine said “10,000 martians – just add water”. The machine fell in a sewer drain and suddenly there were alien antenna poking up everywhere!

Sometimes I think the papoo and the mountain boars are just like that. No matter how many get killed everyday there are just as many the next day!

Again, I am distracted. Ugh. I think I need a good nights sleep and a good breakfast, AT HOME, and then a clear head for hunting.

Even though I am not really mad at Cherry anymore, I think I should skip that restaurant for awhile.

I wonder if I will get anymore of the pretty purple gems tomorrow. I forgot what they are called. They sure where pretty though.

UGH! Again, I am distracted. Maybe I am distracted because I am thirsty. I haven’t had a lot of water today. Did I have any today? What did I have to drink at the restaurant?

Sigh, Again distracted.

Maybe I need a large glass of water, a good nights sleep, a good breakfast at home and then go hunting tomorrow.

I was kind of cold last night, maybe my bedroom was too cold. Do I still have that extra quilt? What if I made a sort of quilt from papoo pelts? That would be warm.

Dang it, distracted again!

Okay… I need a glass of water, a good nights sleep with a warm quilt to keep away the cold, a good breakfast at home and THEN go hunting.

What about those designs for slippers I was working on……



Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #35

The blanket was a great idea! It was heavy and it seemed to calm me. I feel much more focused this morning!

My plan for today is to walk to the piglet field. While walking I am going to look for stones, magic flowers, fruit and dung for that supply order I agreed to get. Then I am going to warm up for an hour or so on those silly piglets. I want to focus on that new move, and then various follow ups to that move.

After warm up I am going to find the sensor that starts those waves of yellow papoo running at me. That will give me a variety of papoo and in different sized groups. If I can complete that I am going to move to where the brown papoo are and start practicing everything on them.

After that I am going to see where I am at for supplies and what time of the day it is.

So things went pretty well today. I had a lot of success at both the piglets and the yellow papoo!

I even got more of those pretty purple stones! I found a few pieces of fruit and surprisingly no dung even though I was surrounded by animals. Always baffles me.

When I went to fight the brown papoo, I was in good form! I made multiple clean kills with minimal damage to the pelts. I am quite proud of myself!

Magic and stones

Flowers and fruit

Until those I owns

I must stick to it!

Pelts and tusks

From animals I takes

Skills and lucks

Will hunter I makes

What a silly poem

So silly but I writes it

If I makes a silly tome

I hope somebody likes it

Ha, what a lot of nonsense!

Oh well its fun!

Well, here is to an excellent day, and maybe an even better one tomorrow!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #36

Today was an interesting day!

I woke up to rain, lots of rain. I did not check the weather last night so it was a bit of a surprise.
This planet is generally sunny but it DOES rain sometimes!

This only set me back a bit. I had to run some errands and a little rain never hurt anyone.
So off I went into town. I found a few pieces of fruit along the way and some pretty flowers. I even found one of those rare blue magic flowers! So Yay!!

It was on a regular road too. Fewer people were out in the rain so I must have been the first to see it.

I got what I needed in town and had a nice stroll back. I even spent sometime splashing in some road side puddles like I did when I was a child. He He. Good times! Good times!

When I finally got back home, I was soaked to the skin. I really should not be surprised! I mean, come on, how much water does anyone think I chiton will hold back?

So I dried off, hung up my soaked chiton and since I wasn’t going anywhere else, I got into my jammies. I decided to check my messages and have something to drink. Good thing I did too!

I had sent some sketches of my clothing ideas to a friend of mine on Calypso. She thought they were really great and had showed them to a clothing buyer friend of hers. That person thought they were so amazing that they want to get together with me to discuss a possible production run for sale in their stores!!!

I had to read the email 3 times before my brain wanted to process what I had just read!
Then I stood up, sat down, stood up again, had an another drink, sat down and read it again.

Of coarse I am going to meet with, with, the person! As I write this I can’t remember her, I think its a her, name.

This could be the next big thing for me! I could not only abandon cheap ramen all together but I could actually afford to fix my ground car and start saving for an air ship!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #37

I talked to my friend on Calypso this morning. She is talking to her friend and we are going to set up a time to conference. It will need to be remote because at this moment I have no way off of Next Island.

Just think, my journey to become Isme Super Hunter could be a journey back into the fashion world. The fashion world and the hunter world… It could be AMAZING on an epic scale!

The TIMES might even want to interview me!!! Then my new title could be Isme Gotitt, Super Hunter and Trend setting Fashion designer!!

Whoa whoa whoa back it up Isme. There is a long way to go yet.

Now that I have re-established my grip on reality, I did do SOME hunting today. I worked on the follow up moves to that new move. I should give that move a name… calling it the “new move” is getting weird. And if I keep calling it the new move, what am I going to call the next new move when I learn it? Hmm, should I call it the “slide slice”? Or maybe the “Super awesome Isme slide”? Or, how about the “Pelt Saver?” That is kinda cool. I don’t know. I will have to work on it!

One thing I just remembered. My friend hinted that RED papoo fur might be the ideal color for my designs. I am still struggling with those red papoo. One of my things before going back to Ancient Greece is being able to take down 2 red papoo in a row with out dieing. I am gonna have to step up my game a bit I think.

Tomorrow I think it will be hard core papoo hunting. I have to keep this momentum up. I think and early start and if I stick to it all day, I will treat myself to a big meal at one of the Tiki restaurants in Crystal Beach.

OK Isme girl to bed with you!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #38

Well today was fun. I think. Maybe? I started off with a few piglets, then some brown and yellow papoo. Okay if I am going to be honest here. I actually started off by tripping very ungracefully over a bit of broken branch. Then I killed a few piglets for warm up.

Then I headed over to the yellow papoo savanna and was about to take on my first papoo of the day. Slipped on some fruit in the grass. So on top of the indignity of falling, my long searched for fruit was ruined beyond usefulness.

By this time, all the nearby papoo were alerted to my presence. A large number of them headed my way!

I quickly got up and got ready for a heck of a fight!

It was an ugly fight. Anything resembling grace or poise or finesse was gone. Utterly and completely gone. I got knocked down a few times, including being knocked back at least once into the squashed fruit!

Like I said. It was UGLY. By the time it was over I was pretty ugly too! Fur, refuse ( ya, I guess they can resort to that maneuver when pushed to it) smashed fruit, mud, and who knows what else was smeared all over me. I was cut and scratched in many places and slightly dazed.

BUT, I survived! I really did! I survived! I did a tail count when it was over and there had been 14 papoo in that fight! 14 papoo against me, The girl who it seems like yesterday had difficulty fighting a potato chip bag that would not open!

I will not say it was fun, because it was not. And I will admit, for a Super Hunter in training, I started off this hunt very badly.

I will give myself credit though for fighting through it, and at least keeping enough presence of mind that I could stay alive and not end up at the revive terminal.

Now that I have written it out I guess it was a good day after all. Tomorrow I think I give red papoo a go. Then by some new clothes. This outfit is done for!

Final entries
October Lore Submissions

Entry #1
Pink Neon Bamboo – A New Species is Discovered
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or living exclusively on Rocktropia) you may have gone to the new Carnival Island here on Next Island. If so, you surely have seen something astonishing indeed! A new species of Neon Bamboo has miraculously emerged! In this report, I will go over the prevailing theories as to how this occurred, and we may even shed some light on why as well.

Neon Bamboo is not new to Next Island. In fact, you may have read my report on it a couple months back. If so, then you know a lot more than most people. I daresay most people simply walk by this bamboo without even a second thought. Neon Bamboo is difficult to cut down and impossible to eat for most creatures, us included. There is but one critter capable of eating it, and as of yet is still purely theoretical as it has yet to be captured. I speak, of course, of the Night Panda. What does this mythical beast have to do with Pink Neon Bamboo? Why, everything, of course! You see, the Night Panda is how Neon Bamboo procreates. It eats it (not a mean feat) and spreads its seeds. That’s the other thing about Neon Bamboo that I neglected to mention in the last report. Bamboo on Earth spread through under-soil root systems known as Rhyzomes. Neon Bamboo has seeds that are encased in its metal-hard shell which need to be broken down and fertilized to grow. Generally, you get several new shoots for every one shoot eaten.

But what about that pretty, pink hue? My thoughts are on the sandy soil of Carnival Island itself. There must be a property of this soil that gives the Neon Bamboo growing here (as well as other plants – don’t get me started on the magic flowers here) a pink coloration. That is the only thing that explains it. Other than that, there’s not much more I can say about Pink Neon Bamboo. I seem to have developed a bit of a cough, so I am going to lay down for the night. There will be more reports tomorrow!

Entry #2
A Day In Ancient Greece – Part 5 A New Shadow Falls
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

The sky darkened as though it were about to storm. The land cracked under her weight as she slithered ever toward Mount Olympus. Would Zeus soon rule over a dead world where nothing could live but him and his fellow Gods and Goddesses? The wind picked up in a zephyr and blew dust into her scaly, hideous face. She spat, the moisture of her spittle quickly dissolving and leaving the ground none-the-wetter. At this rate the swamp would be a desert as well.

“Dreadful, isn’t it?” the silky-smooth voice came from out of nowhere. Gorgon looked around. Then, her shadow twin appeared between two dying bushes, slithering into view like a dread wraith. “Zeus put his blood into the ground. It does wonders for beings like us, but apparently it has the opposite effect on the Earth.”

“You,” Gorgon began to speak with loathing.

“Yes, me. I am your best side. A reflection of everything you could have become if you just followed your every ambition.”

“But you’re real, not just a reflection.” Gorgon stated in breathless disbelief, still with a hint of irritation at her Shade’s presence and brazen attitude.

“Yes, perhaps. Maybe even more real than you are yourself.” Gorgon’s Shade took note of the look in her twin’s eyes and added, “but I did not come to mock you. I came to make you a deal.”

Gorgon’s features, which had begun to contort with rage, softened a bit before she responded. “What could you possibly offer that almighty Zeus has not already given me?”

“Insurance.” the shade said simply. “That your newfound eternal life is a comfortable one. I should care about you,” she added quickly anticipating Gorgon’s next jab. “We were once one together, were we not? I am you,” the shade slithered around her twin, “and you are me. Let’s work together. I have managed to give us quite the reputation in these lands. Surely this will come with its own challenges. We will need to join forces to defeat those who would rob us of the greatness which we deserve.”

Gorgon closed her eyes and meditated on this for a minute. She listened to the sibilant sounds of her shadow twin circling her and tasting the air with her tongue as all of the snakes on her head did the same. “What good is eternal life in a dead world?” she finally managed to utter in response.

“Why don’t you ask Zeus?” the shade offered.

“That’s where I was heading when we met.” Gorgon answered in earnest. “I need to know something.”

“The extent of your immortality?” her shade asked innocently.


“Fair enough question. Can we be killed? She is wondering. I too wish to know. Find out for us. I will await you at our lair.” And with that her shade had seemed to vanish as soon as Gorgon opened her eyes.

Mere miles from this rendezvous, Creon, Archon of Thebes, was in a heated meeting with the Elders of Thebes about the state of Ancient Greece.

“We must know what is causing this death and decay of the land and our crops! Creon, could this have anything to do with how you got the serum to cure us?”

Creon’s temples were hammering in his head and sweat drizzled down his face. He was also concerned that this may have been partly his doing once again. “Yes. It can be nothing else, of course.” He stood and crossed the temple room, speaking as he did so. “This must be Zeus’ judgment on us for defying him.”

“So, you believe this was caused by none other than Zeus himself?” the Elder said in disbelief.

“It’s only a hunch, of course, but I’d be more worried if it were some other all-powerful entity, wouldn’t you?”

The Elders were silent as they contemplated this point and Creon continued to pace.

“But what exactly did he do and how do we undo it? That is the question that may be our undoing if we tarry too long in answering it.” Creon looked at his most trusted advisor, Aegeus. “We will need the expertise of the Atom Pylis if we are to hasten a solution in time to save us. Our food stores are going to dwindle before too long, and there will likely not be any harvest this season to replenish it.”

“That is sound advice.” Aegeus answered. “I will call upon the Haruspex that they may travel to their world and retrieve the Atom Pylis for us. May the Gods grant them haste before we waste away like the waters in the harbor.”

“Indeed.” Creon stated stoically and he turned his back and walked out of the temple, leaving the other Elders to consider what they had discussed that evening. Creon walked toward his home where his daughter worriedly anticipated his return. “Don’t worry, Thebes. Creon is on it.”

Entry #3
A Day In Ancient Greece – Part 6 Curing the Land
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorrson

The ground broke under the weight of every step Creon took, leaving nothing but dust in his wake. The air smelled of charred trees, but there were no fires. A fire could be lit, perhaps, but could even fire survive this blight? Creon harbored doubts such as these as the Atom Pylis arrived from the door that was in Orpheus Cave. Led by the Haruspex Elder, they marched at both his sides, dressed in a variety of other-worldly garb and armors.

“These are the finest men and women I could gather from the other world,” the Haruspex recited officiously out of no mouth, it appeared, just glowing bio-mass. “They are prepared to receive your orders, honorable Archon.”

“Very well!” Creon barked and the new arrivals jumped. “We will cover every last inch of this land. We will look under every leaf and every stone. We will question every sentient thing. We will hunt, mine, and craft if we have to. Leave nothing to chance!”

The Door People saluted and one asked, “when do we start, Archon?”

“If you can find a way to start yesterday, do it!”

With that, the capable men and women of The Door dispersed, going about their business as ordered. Creon looked across at the Haruspex who led them. “These all the Atom Pylis you could muster, Elder?”

The Haruspex bounced and flashed brightly as it spoke. “The finest!”

Creon’s brow creased in worry. “I hope so. This world depends on it. Last night I had a vision. A nightmare, that the ground heaved and broke until there was nothing left but a dead crater. And in that crater, there were three shining gems it seemed, emblazoned fiery in the night. Not sure what that all means.”

“Those could be the sources of this problem, perhaps.” The Haruspex said jovially. “Three objects. Hmmm. I wonder what they could be? Clearly this was a vision entrusted to you by a rogue God or Goddess who does not agree with Zeus’ actions.”

“I certainly hope there’s a higher power on our side, because we certainly need it.”

The two moved down the path back to Thebes from Orpheus Cave in quiet reverence for the gravity of their situation as the last waves of the sea lapped at the intruding shore.

Meanwhile, Gorgon had reached Olympus at last. She slithered up the crumbling face of the mountain until she was at Zeus’ very doorstep. Her breath was labored as she looked around for that familiar nimbus cloud and finally saw it snoozing a little way down the balcony outcropping that she was now on.

“Zeus!” She called in his direction.

Zeus grunted and rose from his slumber, wiping dirt from his eyes and growing irritated. “What is it now? Who disturbs my royal slumber?”

“You said that concoction would give me power, yet I feel as weak as ever! And not only that, there’s an obnoxious twin of me running around now!”

Zeus was finally upright and scratching his beard. “Oof. Where to begin? First of all, I’ve seen you rip a man’s head clean off his neck, and that was AFTER you turned him to stone. You are anything but weak. Secondly, you now have twice the power, twice the intelligence, since there are two of you. What more could you possibly want from me? Have you killed that blight of a man, Creon yet?”

“First of all, there is something else I want, and that is confirmation. Is my immortality absolute or is it just figurative?”

Zeus splashed his face with droplets from his nimbus, irritation growing again. “I have half a mind to show you.”

Gorgon was confused, “What do you mean, show me?”

Without warning, a white, hot dart of pure plasma forked from Zeus’ right hand through Gorgon’s chest. The sensation was like getting cut open and closed up at the same time as she was blasted into oblivion by the sudden violent attack which both eviscerated her and cauterized the damage at once. In that instant, she was no more, just bits of flesh jiggling like jello on the stone of Olympus. The next moment, she was back, standing over her old carcass. She felt her body with her hands and started to laugh like a mad woman.

“See?” Zeus said in a booming voice that was both angry and jolly, joining her in the laugh. “You cannot die! Wasn’t I right again as usual?”

Gorgon sucked in a great breath and let it out with relish. “Wonderful.”

“Now let me finish my nap,” Zeus said waving her away.

“Wait! One last thing,” Gorgon said, daring rising in her now that she was truly untouchable. “Before I kill Creon and his family for you… I must know.”

Zeus raised his eyebrows again, “Hmm?”

“Can this land be saved?”

“Yes.” He said simply in reply, then elaborated, “As soon as the Humans are gone. I will bring this land back to her old pastoral beauty so that we can all gaze upon her again uninterrupted by filthy little Humans dancing in the fields or building cities too close to my mountain.” He slumped back down into his comfy, fluffy bed of clouds.

“Will it not also kill all of your other followers?”

“Maybe. But not all of them. The strong will survive. The Molochs are safely in their Depths. The Brontes are tough as nails, I’ve seen them subside on nothing but dirt before. Oh, and the Centaur have their medicines. They’ll all be fine.”

Gorgon, who normally was not too concerned about anything other than herself, didn’t quite understand his indifference to the creatures who surrounded him, but she supposed it must have been born of his immortal nature. Mortals simply didn’t matter to him. They were dust in the wind, but he was forever. Even so, it sickened her slightly, so she decided it was time to leave him be.

She left the mountain top, Zeus’ snores following her. “You would think there was thunder rolling,” she said coyly as she glissaded down Olympus.

“That’s it! OOOof!”

Back at his home in Thebes, Creon had just come to the answer as an Atom Pylis Miner presented him with a glowing vial of what appeared to be the same blood he took from Zeus. “He’s using the thing that saved us to destroy us! That crafty bastard!” Creon had bumped his head again, this time on the top of his door frame, and was now rubbing it gingerly.

The Atom Pylis Woman who mined it up flushed red with embarrassment.

Creon looked over at her and waved her off, “Never mind me, we need to report this back to the council. We now know where to look. We just need to get these vials of blood out of the ground and the land and seas should return to normal.”

Finally, Thebes’ hope had been reignited.

Entry #4
A Day In Ancient Greece – Part 7 Defeating Gorgon’s Shade
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

An unnatural dawn had come, blood red and hot. The inscrutable heat haze left all feeling dizzy. Creon and Aegeus went down the line of volunteers from the ranks of Atom Pylis. They all stood at attention; their faces impossible to read because they were all covered by black visors. The troops of Hades itself, they seemed.

“Troops, do you know what we must do?” Creon barked in military drill sergeant fashion.

The column did not answer, but they all knew.

“Dig up those vials of blood. If my vision is anything to go off of, there should be two more.” He held up a vial of the living blue liquid that sparkled in the day’s new light. The awe and reverence were palpable though it was unheard. The soldiers all saluted and took out their Finders, fantastic machines that could deploy mining probes into the ground that exploded and marked where any resources might be found and extracted. They fanned out in every direction, the ground shook with every probe dropped until they were thousands of meters away.

“I sure hope they find the other two, and that your vision was correct, Archon.” Aegeus confided in Creon.

“If the count of blood vials is off or we don’t find them all in time, we’re doomed even if we try.” Creon returned with a sigh.

“But we can die heroes for having tried anyway.” Aegeus said back confidently.

“You speak the truth, Aegeus.” Creon replied.

“Archon! Elder!” A panicked soldier, his black visor shattered, revealing the terror in his eye came skidding back to them moments later.

“What is it, soldier!” Aegeus said before Creon could.

“The Shade of Gorgon! She’s wading through our forces like a Hippo through water! She’s tearing us apart out there!”

Creon’s eyes grew wide with both fear and anger. “What?!”

Just then a body was thrown at them, nearly bowling the two over and the Shade of Gorgon slithered into view from over a hill.

“Delicious. Flesh is so much juicier than stone, wouldn’t you agree?”

Creon, who had become skilled in Mindforce before he came to Ancient Greece, had a hand lifted over his own head, and it was pulsating with energy ready to strike. “Cursed Shade! What is the meaning of this?!”

“Oh, so feisty,” the Shade cooed playfully. “I’ll savor you as well, Archon of Thebes. Daddy Zeus sent me to deal with you personally. Your toy soldiers were no match for me. Don’t be afraid, I won’t turn you to stone like I did to some of the others.”

Creon released a volley of energy attacks at her that she dodged with perfect, reptilian reflexes, joy showing in her evil features as she drew closer. And closer. And closer.

“You are certainly a fun one, Creon. I knew I’d enjoy this. But I wonder if I should finish you off now or kill your lovely daughter first and make you watch.” With that, Gorgon’s Shade cackled and trampled over Creon and Aegeus heading straight into town.

“No! Please, no!” Creon cried out in vain as Gorgon’s Shade disappeared between buildings and streets. Then, a moment later there was the shriek of a woman. “No…” Creon said as he collapsed, all will to live taken from him. It was all for nothing now. His wife was long gone, his daughter, whom he had fought so hard to save, must be dead now as well. But then.

Pffflumpfh! The body of Gorgon’s Shade had fallen right in front of him as though it were tossed like a toy to his feet. A look of shock and horror was ingrained in the grotesque visage.

“A-Ath-Thena…” it croaked and then it passed out.

“What?” Creon asked and then for answer, a brilliant light shone and there was an armored maiden in his midst. This could only be Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, Defender of truth. Thebes had been founded by her long ago, the reason many of her statues stood erect here. The Temple, though not there to honor her directly, honored her mother Metis, who it is believed was eaten by Zeus and birthed Athena inside him. Athena then escaped Zeus by bursting out of his forehead, but that’s a tale for another time. Right now, we have a Goddess to attend to.

“Creon, Archon of Thebes.” Her voice was like sweet flute music wafting on a warm spring breeze, yet it carried authority. Creon wept openly as he kneeled before her. He had never seen Athena, or any other Deity other than Zeus, but he held out faith that they were watching over Thebes.

“Do not weep, Creon. Your child is unharmed, and I am here to right many wrongs. Yes, it was I who sent you your vision of the three lights under the Earth. It was I who guided that young miner to find the first vial. Most of your miners are also unharmed, though some need attending to. My medicinal arts should restore them and strengthen them.”

“Goddess Athena. We are humbled and unworthy.” Aegeus began to say when Athena held up her palm in a motion that commanded that he let her speak.

“Zeus has done a heinous thing by polluting this land in hopes of eradicating all Humans. He thinks nothing of mortals or their contributions. See now that Gorgon’s Shade has sunk back into the Earth and has gone into hiding. She doesn’t know but I have already figured out her riddle. She intended on confusing and delaying you with it.”

“Riddle?” Creon said dumbfound.

“Here,” Athena said and tossed him a scroll of silk parchments. “You’ll find a list of all the things you need to call forth the Gorgon’s Shade to defeat her once and for all.”

Creon read the parchments, on them were three different paths, a path of The Book of The Gorgon’s Shade, a path of The Gem of The Gorgon’s Shade, and a path of The Elixir of The Gorgon’s Shade. Creon wiped his brow. “But even if we could get all this stuff, it would take days! Surely this world won’t last two more!”

“Indeed. Your assessment is correct. This world will not last two days more. But you have hope. You have a small army to assist you.

Creon smashed his palm into his forehead. “Right, I don’t know what I am saying. Of course, you know the answers, my Goddess. But why help us? What is in it for you?”

“First, I love this land. I helped to found this city behind us. And last, look at the path of The Book of Gorgon’s Shade. I do believe I may be able to get a Temple of my own out of this deal, wouldst you agree?”

Aegeus beamed. “Yes, of course! It’s high time Athena gets her own temple!”

Athena nodded and smiled. “Gather your warriors and set them on these tasks. We should have all three by the end of day today. We can attack Gorgon’s Shade and her Twin, the original Gorgon, at dawn tomorrow. We have 20 hours.”

The work was furious, all Atom Pylis, Creon, and Aegeus were tireless in their pursuit of summoning and killing the Gorgons. They received the Book and the Gem easily. They still looked for the Blood, but it had eluded them thus far. Creon approached Athena, who’s brilliant guidance made all of this possible.

“Your Majesty,” Creon said, and Athena perked up in his direction, “to get the Elixir of Gorgon’s Shade, it says we have to kill Zeus.”

“Is that a problem?” Athena said tersely, yet Creon felt that this wasn’t exactly all directed at him.

“Well, uh, he’s a God.”

“Let me tell you something about Gods, young Creon.” Athena said with the authority that scholars have when they know what they are talking about. “Gods may not be able to be killed, but they can be bested. Zeus has yet to be bested, and I have a feeling it’s about time he has. This will make Zeus fear you and he will leave you alone for the rest of eternity.”

Creon didn’t know what to say, he was dumbstruck yet again. “I don’t have the power to best Zeus, your majesty. Do you?”

Athena giggled. “Well, I did best him once as a baby, but I’m a Goddess. He needs to fear YOU, not me.”

“Does anyone here think they can beat Zeus?” Aegeus called out, partly in jest. He didn’t expect that anyone would answer.

“I do.” A warrior stood next to them. They were covered and visored. They crossed their arms obstinately.

“Well, ok, you show him then!”

“I will.” And that was all they said before vanishing.

“Who was that?” Aegeus asked Creon.

“I’m not sure… Our prayers go with them, though.”

“Indeed,” Aegeus agreed and went back to work. “You should probably follow them, though. Make sure they don’t get in over their heads.”

“Good idea,” Creon responded and went in the direction he thought the mystery warrior went.

It wasn’t that long before he found them jumping from cliff top to cliff top. “I’m going to have to meet this one at Olympus. No way I’m following that path.” Creon said under his breath as he made what he felt was the most direct route to the God’s Mountain.

It was night now. The Moon shone in the darkening sky and wisps of cloud drifted past it. The bugs were not chirruping anymore. They either died or went dormant since there was no edible vegetation anywhere to be found. Everything from the ground to the dead grass was cracking under Creon’s hurried steps.

On Olympus, Zeus was snoozing again, enjoying the quiet of a dying world. Then he had to scratch something that felt like a bee sting. He reached back and rubbed the area. It was hot and wet. He sat up suddenly and spun around in his nimbus. He saw a dark form standing 100 meters away black against the deep blue, star studded night sky. A fury was building within him, and electricity started sparking around him.

“Who are you, and how dare you shoot at me?” Zeus spoke calmly, but it only belied the storm brewing in his mind.

“The dark figure said nothing but released several more shots into Zeus. Each one stung more than the last and blue fluid began draining all over his body. Beginning to panic a little at the thought that someone was dumb/fearless enough to try and kill him, Zeus eschewed further discussion and posturing and let loose a volley of his own. Bolt after bolt hit his assailant, who shook as the shock registered with them.

“Oooooh, yeah. Harder, daddy…” The voice came back, a voice that actually sent a shiver down Zeus’ spine. The Assailant took out a box or sorts, opened it, and a light emitted from it, saturating his form with light. The figure groaned with delight. “All better. Now die.”

Many more shots came from his weapon. Some kind of blunderbuss was Zeus’ best guess, but there were no bullets. Just light. Light that dug into his pale gray skin and opened him up. The loss of his precious blood, the blood that had saved Thebes and was to doom Thebes to death, began to make him dizzy. He threw several more bolts of hot lightning at his assassin, but they all went errant. “Damn it,” Zeus thought, “I can’t aim. Can’t think. Is this the end for me? No! I am immortal!” He burst back to life and aimed one more well aimed shot, but that was deflected somehow by his assassin.

The assassin was now right next to Zeus and was whispering in his ear, “Bye bye, Zeusie.” with that another shot was sent directly to his skull. He hadn’t felt pain like this since Athena burst out of him all those millennia ago. Athena. Damn her. She had something to do with this. All faded to black. Zeus awoke sometime later, sweating profusely and babbling to himself, a blubbering mess.

“Huh? Wha? Who? Get away from me! No! No more! I’ll leave you alone! I swear! Just don’t attack me again!”

The assassin walked away confidently. When they were far enough away that Zeus couldn’t hear them, they smiled under their visor. “All in a day’s work.”

Creon couldn’t believe his eyes. Never in his lifetime did he expect to see anyone take on Zeus and live to tell the tale. He intercepted the hunter. “Hold on, wait. Who- Who are you?”

The Hunter turned their head to him, without stopping, and said, “Call me God Slayer.” With that, they vanished into the night, leaving Creon in their dust.

After a minute or two standing in his disbelief, Creon shook his head and smiled. “Well, damn. We did it.”

In the ensuing day, the warriors joined together at Gorgon’s Lair. They had to bring down the Gorgons, their final obstacle, to get the last vials of blood out of the ground without being impeded. Some miners went off to find them while the hunters distracted the Gorgons just to be as efficient as possible. Athena stood at the entrance like a guardian angel.

“Ok. We’re ready. We have the Book, the Gem, and the Elixir.” Creon listed as he pointed to each on the mystical parchments.

“Very good. You let me take care of the summoning. We have a couple Gorgons to defeat.” Aegeus said taking the items. As soon as he took them, a legion of Daudomurs burst from the crust underneath them as though they had been laying in wait. The hunters made quick work of them, suffering few casualties. Then they heard it.

A sibilant laugh/hiss emitted from around them. “Oh, poor, lost souls. Did you lose your way?” one voice said, then another, slightly different voice came from another direction. “It’s too late to turn back. You killed our pets. Now we’re going to avenge them.”

Two Gorgons crawled up from what seemed like the pits of Hades, erupting from the dead swamp floor. The Shade released a malodorous barrage of poisonous gasses that choked everyone. Her Original twin, regular Gorgon, was clawing at everyone around her. “Get out of my home, intruders!”

The mysterious assassin of Zeus stepped up and put a hand on Creon, who was using his mindforce powers to repel the two Gorgons, and simply said, “I got this.” They began shooting their amazing weapon, blazing light emitting from it tore into the Gorgon Twins’ flesh and they writhed in agony. Everyone was emboldened then and all began shooting, hacking, slashing, and bashing until both Gorgons were inevitably laying in a new marsh, one of their own blood. They would return again once everyone was gone and began weeping in one another’s arms.

“I’m so sorry, I let you die.” Gorgon blubbered into her twin’s breast. “I don’t know if I am glad we’re immortal or wish we had died. They’ll be back one day, and we’ll have to suffer again.”

Gorgon’s Shade nodded apathetically. “You’re right, but we can’t think of that now. Let’s just wait and see.” She also heard that Zeus had been turned into a blithering wreck by the Atom Pylis Hunters as well. They would get their revenge somehow. Maybe not now, but some day. The mortals would pay.

The End.

Entry #5
A Day In Ancient Greece – Part 8 Enter Sebastian
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

“It’s a fine day to be on the run, isn’t it, Dr. Kylon?” Sebastian said happily as he bobbed through the jungle on his way to Orpheus Cave. Behind him sounds of pursuers could be heard, Bounty hunters who had found Sebastian digging up the body of a man near Tanzanite View were hot on his heels. They had been told any Papoo that becomes a menace to Human society is fair game. “We’ll have to shake these simpletons first, though, won’t we?”

Sebastian ducked behind some jungle bushes and a strange pillar and allowed the bounty hunters to pass by. After he was sure they had passed, he took out a skull that still had some scalp with blonde hair stuck to it. “Close call, eh, Dr?” Sebastian moved his shades and wiped a tear from his eyes. He recalled his tragic last meeting with Dr. Kylon. The man seemed happy to see him, but Sebastian was in a towering rage at the time and didn’t notice in the heat of the moment. But now the images returned to him, and they were terrifyingly real.

Sebastian needed to get out of dodge. He needed to escape from Next Island with what was left of Dr. Kylon. He heard of a magical door that can take you to another world and another time in Orpheus Cave and thought this would be the perfect chance for him to start a new life. So, here he was at the yawning entrance to Orpheus Cave. As he entered, the world began to spin and there was a tremor, but it quickly passed, and he found himself in a large room with a stone disc in the center with the face of a Greek Goddess on it.

“So, this is the door to Ancient Greece. I bet you didn’t think you’d ever get to see this place, eh, Doc?”

Seb stepped on the stone disc and squinched his eyes shut. He felt himself getting lifted into the air and a falling sensation, then he gently touched the ground again. He opened his eyes and was still in a cave. He felt a little let down.

“Well, that was disappointing. Looks like we didn’t go anywhere at all. Huh…” He skulked over to the cave entrance and stepped into the blinding light. It took a minute for his eyes to adjust even after such a short time in the cavern, but when they did, his jaw hit the floor. This was not Next Island in the slightest. There was a harbor with Greek Ships, a town made of white marble, rolling hills with whimsical trees. Gone were the jungles and the spaceships of his home. He jumped in the air and kicked his heels together. “Woohoo! We did it!”

He continued to cheer as he ran down to the landing at the harbor. The sailors doing their daily chores looked at him curiously. They had never seen a monkey before, let alone a Papoo, let alone one wearing shades and a ball cap. Realizing this, Sebastian quickly dove for cover and made his way inland.

It truly was a marvelous place. The verdant hills and cliffs, the delicate trees, the blue sea with its white foam. Everything was overwhelmingly beautiful to Sebastian. “Are you seeing this, doc? Such a pristine and nearly untouched state!”

He roamed the land for a while until he grew tired. He sat on a rock and admired the scenery while he broke out his dinner, some paplon and bread. He munched on the sweet Paplon and smiled, his mouth full of juicy fruit. Kylon’s skull was set next to him, and at least to Seb, it seemed to be grinning as well.

Suddenly, there was the sound of trampling hooves. Thukka-thukka-thukka-thukka. Then, around a corner of a nearby cliff, a strange beast appeared. It was a horse, but with the upper body of a man. The creature grimaced when it saw the strange guest on its land, then it tamped the ground with its front-right hoof. Sebastian was stunned at what he was seeing. He thought he heard myths about such things as centaurs, but never thought they could be real.

The centaur snorted out of its nose like a horse would, which seemed silly to Sebastian since it had a man’s head and nose. Then it did something Sebastian probably should have anticipated. It charged. When it got to Sebastian, it reared up and kicked at him, but thankfully it missed. In frustration, it instead kicked Dr. Kylon’s skull off the rock perch it was sitting on and sent it flying.

“Nooo!” Sebastian cried out reaching for the skull, but it had already slipped through his outstretched fingers and fallen off the top of the cliff they were on and down into the sand below. He scurried to get it, anger at the centaur quickly being replaced by fear of losing his friend again. Then the centaur blew a horn and more centaur began to surround him. He had to run.

Sebastian made a mad dash back to Orpheus Cave, leaving behind his friend. By the time he reached the cave, he had lost the centaur. He wept loudly into his arm as he leaned on the entrance to the cave. It would seem that even this place was not safe for a poor little Papoo like himself. He had lost his friend again today, maybe for the last time. Sebastian went back to Next Island, to his own world, and remained at his hidden base near Papoo Village. It is said that the skull of Dr. Kylon is still in Ancient Greece and it still gets kicked around to this day.

Isme’s Journey
Multiple submissions entries 39 and 40

Isme’s Journal #39

I did it! I hunted some red papoo! Those things are so tough! Those must be Sebastian’s heavy artillery.
I took down 6 of them in a row! Just to be clear to my future self when I read this, that was 6 separate consecutive fights, NOT 6 concurrent ones!

It was brutal! Thankfully, not sloppy like yesterday. But it could have been smoother for sure! I even got one, nearly perfect, red pelt. I will send that to the tannery. The other pelts were a bit cut up and maybe, sort of mostly partially mangled. OR maybe its more correct to say that they were perfect in the places where they were only slightly not entirely mangled beyond all recognition. So I cut some of the longest fur off of the better pieces and I am putting it on a piece of card stock. So when I meet with the fashion buyer from Calypso I can show her a color sample at least.

And I do need to get it ready pretty quickly. She said she can meet up with me in about a week. She will message me later today with the exact day and time.

I am super excited for that! Happy Happy Isme!

Since I came in early from hunting today to heal my cuts and check my messages, I think I will spend a few with my pulse unit and then mount up that fur. I think a I will take a nice hot shower too.

A nice hot meal sounds good as well.

Tomorrow I think I will warm up and then try the red papoo again. I can always go back to the other papoo or the piglets if I get too beaten up and need a break.

Hmm, I think before bed tonight I will just pile up my drawings and the fur sample. And that nice yellow papoo hide I just got back. Good idea Isme! Now go to bed!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #40

I am off to a slow start this morning. Ugh Its 8:30am and I am still in bed. I wonder when the meeting will be with, oh why can’t I remember her name. Then meeting is going to be soon. Next week some time she said. So I better learn her name. It started with an M. I think it was Mary, no, Malinda? no.
OH I know! It is Miranda!! Miranda Farthings-gate. I remember it now. Farthings-gate made me think fashion plate.

I should check my messages and see if she has written me back yet.

Ugh I am writing this in a panic waiting for my last design to reprint. I checked my messages and plans had changed! She got called to another meeting. SO she moved other things around and she will be on NEXT ISLAND in 2 hours!

I threw on some clothes, took them off and threw on better ones. Crumpled one of my drawings and then had to reprint it. She is meeting me at 10:30 at that shopping center on Crystal peak.
Yes, the printer is nearly done. I am off to meet Miranda!

Oh. Wow.

WHAT a meeting!

I made it on time by fractions of a second! I would have been reasonably early but the televators on this planet hate me! The one at Crystal Peak was down AGAIN! Those stairs! Those horrible horrible stairs!

I ran all the way up! Miranda was very kind but talked and moved and even ate super fast! I did my best to keep up.

Yes she wanted to buy my designs. Yes she wanted to buy papoo pelts from me too if possible. Not exclusively because she felt demand would be too much for a single person. But I would first line all the time. The red fur would be perfect for the fur fringed bikini top. The Grey and brown pelts would make excellent slipper colors. Could I design more fringe-y shirts? Could tusks be made into bracelets?

When she finally took a breath she used a standard design buy contract. I read it carefully then liking What I saw. I signed it. She signed it too!

Now I am set! I am still sitting in the cafe on top of Crystal Peak. I have been sitting here for awhile enjoying my success. Miranda is gone. I have a big check coming. Everything is wonderful! I just have to get the courage back up to go down the stairs!

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Avatar: NAkor of Boreft
Lore submission for october.

Part 1
After Halkyone had told his story, I was both relieved and confused. I was relieved that Berenice was not cheating on Alexandros, her husband. I was also very confused by hearing the name Daniel again. A painter, again! And Daniel had told Halkyone to move back to Cyzicus when he was gone! And to go live in this house he painted! I was confused to the point of being dumbstruck and I think it showed on my face. Both Berenice and Halkyone looked at me with big worried eyes. When I got my thought sorted out, I asked Halkyone if Danel had painted a harbor. Halkyone looked surprised and told me that yes, Daniel had, in fact, painted a harbor. Halkyone said he was surprised by me asking that, because, as far, as he knew, Daniel had never shown that painting to anyone but him. It hung in his bedroom and he thought it was a mess. If I wanted to see it, I could. Halkyone also asked how I knew of that painting.

I couldn’t tell him the truth, of course. So I told him I had picked up a rumor in Thebes that a famous painter from Sparta had made a painting of the harbor there, but nobody had ever seen it. I told him, I was always fascinated by harbors and fleets of ships and would love to see it if I could. That part was true. The reflections of the sun’s rays in the waters in Ancient Greece is one of my favorite sights in the whole universe. I was very curious to see if this painting looked anything like the one Lady Fri had.

Halkyone stood up and led e upstairs to his bedroom to show me the painting. When I saw it, I was shocked! And part of me expected this all along. It looked exactly the same as Lady Fri’s painting!! It was definitely Thebes’ harbor with a warship in it. On closer inspection, I thought I did see a small difference. The warship had sails with a red emblem. I thought The ship in Lady Fri’s painting had a green emblem.

Part 2
After seeing the painting of the harbor Daniel had made, was left with more questions. Questions I knew I wouldn’t get answers to here. So I thanked Berenice and Halkyone and went to sleep for the night. The next morning I felt well-rested and I felt good about going back to Thebes. First, I needed to check up on Chloe. To see how she was doing. Chloe was awake and very frustrated that she couldn’t use her arm. Such a spirited young woman! I told her the world would survive her not killing Achelous for a few weeks, but she only looked more frustrated and angry after I said it. Quickly I told her, I would find some hunters to kill at least 100 every day for the next few weeks. That seemed to give her some comfort. I told her I would be going to Thebes and if there was anything she wanted me to tell her father. Chloe’s cheeks flushed red and he raised her broken arm with her other arm. “Please don’t tell him anything about what happened to me. Just tell him I like it here and that I’m doing fine. Oh, and that I miss him and Thebes, of course!” I told her I would do as she asked and that I agreed it would be best not to upset Alexandros, but on two conditions. She should not go out and fight the Achelous until he was fully recovered. And she should not go fight them alone. Fighters should always have an exit plan. Just in case anything goes wrong. Didn’t Daniel teach her that? He hadn’t. So I told Chloe that the best hunters have different armor sets, different weapons, healing devices, and vehicles for a quick retreat, and even then, they often hunt in teams.

Part 3
After I told Chloe this, she looked a bit confused. I told her I would come back in a month and explain this to her more. Leaving her a bit uncertain of herself seemed like a good assurance to not go out hunting Achelous on her own again. After telling Berenice and Halkyone goodbye, I left for Thebes. I could, of course, take the teleporter and be there in seconds, but I decided to swim and walk instead. The weather here in Ancient Greece is always nice and the water is always an excellent temperature for swimming. I decided to go south to a bit beyond Pergamon and then head west and swim to Thebes from there. This is not completely unfamiliar terrain for me and for travelers of the universe, this isn’t that big of a distance. After only a few minutes of walking, I encountered Achelous. Not a surprise. This is about where I saw Chloe fight them. But now I did start to wonder. Chloe was hunting these because Daniel trained her. In Thebes first and later, here. Daniel who also told Halkyone to move here after he was gone? I did not know if that was the same Daniel for sure but I do remember the Haruspex also asking me to hunt Achelous for them! 500 a week if I remembered correctly. Coincidence, maybe, but I got a strong suspicion there was something I didn’t see yet. But what?! My conviction that Daniel was a Haruspex, A Haruspex elder to be precise was stronger than it had been. I knew I had to find Daniel o get definitive answers. If I got them from him. If making Chloe hunt Achelous had been his plan from the start, this all showed he was a master at planning things. How had he done this? And very important, why?

Part 4
A bit further south, I saw some women walking around. Short spears at the ready. I recognized them as Myrinians. The monstrous versions of the nobble Amazons. Whereas the Amazons were fierce warrior women that only fought for the defense of others. Myrinians are blood thirsty monsters that attacked everything that is not one of them. If one e you, they all run towards you and attack. I always thought it best to avoid them, as I always do. I decided to stay at a safe distance and observe them first. Before attempting to cross their territory. As I observed their walking patterns, I thought of something. Instead of random movements, it looked almost as f they were walking patterns at random intervals. As if the were guarding something! I had never heard of Myrinians guarding something from any hunter, so I dismissed it as my imagination, but still…

After about alf an hour, I had seen the furthest they walked, so I could safely navigate around them. I knew a more difficult part of my trip was still ahead of me, but for now, I was safe at Pergamon. Pergamon, quiet and safe as it was now, Has been the place of some of the biggest battles in all of the universe. Well do most of us remember the army of Bonnie gathering here from all over the universe to fight the forces of evil here. My heart still beats quicker, thinking back to that time. All of those heroes, all of those ships. The fields here were littered with tat assembling army. And ten te onlaugth began. Wave after wave of enormous monsters came. And quick as they came here. They were mowed down by that army. Was that what the Haruspex elder meant when he said something had gone wrong with Ancient Greece? Was this what Daniel tried to prevent from happening again?

Part 5
About an hour later I saw them Hoof tracks! I knew I had come to the most dangerous part of my journey. Those hoof marks could only mean one thing. Centaurs! When the Haruspex made Ancient Greece they could have focused more on the positive side of ancient earth mythology they used to base t on. Centaurs in ancient earth mythology are fierce warriors, but Centaurs are also known for their wisdom. In Ancient Greece, Centaurs are definitely fierce warriors! If they are wise. I think nobody knows. They are incredibly fast, with their horse-like bodies, and jump very impressive distances. I started walking west-southwest from here. It went much faster and easier than I had expected. One time only, I saw a centaur in the distance and I was easily able to sneak past it. When I reached the water, I knew the rest of the journey would be easy.

From here on to Thebes, I did not expect to see anyone or any monster. I knew there was a shipwreck nearby that was guarded by sharks, but that was a fair bit to the north from here. It was a long, long swim, but the weather here is always great and I enjoy some solitude. The swim gave me time to think back on this whole adventure. I remembered meeting Alexandros for the first time only a month ago. “Hello, stranger, you caught me at my break. Grab a chair and let me tell you my story.” those words had been the beginning of a real friendship. And look what it had taught me. I had become a Haruspex VIP, learned a lot about Ancient Greece, and met interesting people like |Chloe, Berenice, and Halkyone. A sense of peace came over me as I swam in these gorgeously blue waters. O{n my left I saw an island with some huge Cyclopses on it. But they were far of and no threat to me. Next, I saw a rowboat with a man in it. I know I should have been very surprised, but for some reason, I wasn’t. It just made perfect sense that there ws a man in a rowboat in the ocean. He had something in the rowboat with him and when I got closer, I saw that it was an easel! The man stood up, turned around, and said “Hello Nakor, I am Daniel and I heard you wanted to meet me”.

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A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung

Book 7, Chapter 1

My dear readers, I would love to tell the story of my bravery - about how I swam in shark-infested waters beneath Resa Docks to help assemble the Continuum Transfunctioner. I wish I could regale the tale of how I conquered my biggest fear and completed the mission with feelings of pride and glory.

The truth is…I hid in a sleipnir. My teammate, PK, had to complete this task by himself. I am terrified of sharks.

PK combined the blue, red, and yellow electronic items we found hidden around the docks. They created a larger item called a Continuum Transfunctioner, a mysterious and powerful artifact. PK returned from beneath the docks and handed the strange item to me.

As soon as I touched it, I sensed a message in my head - a warning. I cannot return this to the N.E.O., they will use it to further their own ends, and that may displace the Haruspex! Portal travel must be done responsibly and carefully.

I told PK that we shouldn’t return this item to the N.E.O. but instead take it to the Haruspex Elder for advice. I couldn’t fully explain why, but I just ‘sensed’ it. He teased me about hiding from the sharks, but agreed with my suggestion.

We both hurried to the Resa Docks teleportation portal and I’ll confess - I was happy to be away from this place. As we began to telport from Resa Docks to Tanzanite View, I held the strange new item in my hands. Again, I had an inner sensation. The power of this artifact is exceeded only by its mystery and strangely its mystery is exceeded only by its power.

We arrived at Tanzanite View and walked along the grassy knoll up toward the Haruspex Elder. The Elder appeared in front of us. We were greeted with a feeling of suprise and mild joy.

Book 7, Chapter 2

“Hello, human friends,” spoke the Elder. “What brings you our way? Did you learn the way of the New Elysian Order, or did they elude you?”

“We found them, Elder,” I replied. “They are not evil, but they are no less selfish and arrogant for it. They sent us to find this.” I held the strange Coninuum Transfunctioner item up in front of the Elder.

“Oh dear friend, this is truly a gift.” The Elder continued, “The Demera sent its minion Resa to remove this device from our portal chamber, and they managed to grab it. It is a mysterious and powerful device. We feared it lost or destroyed. But why did you not return this item to the Order, as requested by them?”

PK nodded and gave me a look of approval. I knew it was best to bring the item to the Elder instead of taking it to the N.E.O.

I confidently answered the Elder as to why we didn’t return the item to the New Elysian Order. “That future is not what we need, Elder. Citizens of this planet must coexist, must defend each other, and must develop together to thrive. We cannot allow the N.E.O., as powerful and well intended as they are, to impose their will on other races. This cannot be allowed.” I felt confident and brave in my response to the Elder, although I wasn’t quite sure where this confidence came from.

I trusted the Haruspex. Of course I wanted to find Jihkanna, but I felt a connection with the Haruspex faction. The Elder seemed caring, wise, and compassionate toward civility. I think we did the right thing.

“Your faithfulness, wisdom, and integrity do you credit, humans,” the Elder replied. “We will strive for many of your year to continue to demonstrate our gratitude for your choices.”

Ahhh, a sense of relief. We had completed the mission that we intitally set out to accomplish. We had earned the trust of the Haruspex.

Book 7, Chapter 3

I was beaming and full of pride. PK and I had completed our mission. I came to Next Island seeking love and PK had come seeking time travel. The Haruspex agreed to help both of us with our quests if we could earn their trust.

We now stood before the Haruspex Elder. We had returned an important device to them - something called a Continuum Transfunctioner. I suspected it had something to do with time travel technology. The Elder expressed gratitude toward us and confirmed that we had gained the trust of the Haruspex.

PK smiled and gave me a pat on the back.

The Elder then spoke again. “However, in full irony, I must ask that you deceive now. Deceive the Order for us. Deceive them for all of this planet’s hope. We will give you a false copy of the Continuum Trasnfunctioner to deliver to the N.E.O.”

With risk of sounding cynical, I should have seen this coming. Our quest was NOT over. Once again, we were asked to complete another task, or link, in an ongoing mission chain. Sigh.

The Elder went on to explain that the New Elysian Order wanted to reverse engineer the Continnum Transfunctioner and that they could possibly destroy the planet while trying. He wanted us to give the N.E.O. a fake device to distract them until their true motives were known.

“The risk to you is great, but we ask that you undertake this task, this noble quest, for our future, and the future of you people on our home. Will you do this? Will you embrace this planet as your home, and help save it from zealots?”

The stakes had increased. This mission now seemed to be about something much bigger than finding a girl, or learning the secret of time travel for personal riches. This mission involved helping save an entire planet.

Book 7, Chapter 4

PK and I had been on Next Island for a few days now. We had travelled across the planet meeting various people and performing various tasks. We encoutered contacts that were helpful and some that were hostile. The pressure was rising on the importance of these tasks.

The N.E.O. had sent us on a mission to help find a lost scout. We were unable to find the scout but we did find what the scout was looking for - an item called a Continuum Transfunctioner. Rather than return the item to the Order, we opted to bring it to the Haruspex Elder. We were thanked and rewarded with trust but now were being asked to perform another task. We were being asked to deceive the Order and return a fake device to them. We were informed that the safety of the entire planet, and its people, were at stake.

We agreed.

The Elder finished the conversation with us. “Then go with our graces, warriors. Return here when you are finished, should you both live. We will greet you as members of our circle.”

PK and I walked back to the teleportation portal at Tanzanite View. We were asked to deliver a fake copy of the Continuum Transfunctioner to our N.E.O. contact. I asked him if he was comfortable with this mission.

“I’m in if you’re in, kid.” he replied.

Of course I was in, but I did feel a slight call of conscience. Was this the right thing to do? Was deception the best strategy?

We teleported to Flash Point to meet the N.E.O. guards that originally asked us to help them. They had been a bit cheeky with us when we first met them but relaxed and eventually asked for our assistance.

Now we were meeting with them again to deceive them. I was unsure of what to expect.

Book 7, Chapter 5

We walked into the building next to the Flash Point teleportation portal. I recognised the place from when we were here before.

We spotted the N.E.O. guard that we spoke with last time. PK and I approached her and greeted her. She was shocked to discover that we were still alive. I shuddered thinking about the sharks.

After a brief discussion (without much pleasantries) we informed her that we didn’t find the scout but we did find a strange item. I tried to conceal my nervousness as I handed her the fake device.

“What is thing for?” I slyly asked, trying to gain information.

“Oh, you would not understand. Do not try and contemplate its mysteries too long. You might damage whatever minimal analytical capabilities you do possess,” she replied.

Again with the cheeky insults.

To our relief, she accepted the forgery and then rewarded us with a rare blueprint that gave instructions on how to craft a piece of Arcticus armor. PK tucked the blueprint away in his backpack.

No hostility. No guns drawn. This actually went pretty smooth.

I whispered to PK, “Let’s get out of here before she asks us to do another task.”

We quickly exited the building and stepped on the teleportation portal to return to Tanzanite View.

Once at Tanzanite View, PK and I again approached the Haruspex Elder. We informed him that our ruse at Flash Point was successful. A sense of pride and accomplishment filled us both. The Elder expressed joy that we survived and gratitude that we completed the mission.

The Elder confirmed the existence of a time-travel portal and shared its location with us. PK’s eyes widened as the Elder spoke of its possibilities.

The Elder also granted us titles of Haruspex Ambassadors. He then concluded with, “Go in peace, dear friends. The path before you is set but needs your footstep upon it.”

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Character Name: Dalia Vivian

Month: October

5 Lore Submissions:

Entry #31

– “Didn’t I tell you to go home?”, that’s what I heard him say while he knocked me out. – said the guard.

– He could have meant that he was going to take the Kraka back home! – I explained.

After all, I couldn’t tell them that the man was talking to me, nor that we’d met before. They weren’t happy about the incident, so if they knew what I talked to the man I could end up in trouble. What was I thinking?

In fact, I didn’t have much time to think! Major Hoffman had asked one of the guards to give me a ride to Flash Point. We came in the same stolen flying vehicle, the Kraka. In the outpost, of course, we found waiting for us the same grumpy soldier who had been assigned there. But we had just landed when I heard a noise as if something had fallen to the ground, or in this case, someone, as I came to realize that it was that rude soldier. Someone had attacked him by surprise. The same person that seconds later was in front of me knocking out the guard who was accompanying me. And it was none other than the same man I had had met before in the Screechers’ cave!

– That stupid Stel, attacking us from behind! Coward! If I catch him… – complained the angry soldier.

– But why didn’t he do anything to you, Dalia? What did he tell you? – asked the guard.

– Maybe he realized I wasn’t a threat. He said to me: “Get away! You shouldn’t be with something that doesn’t belong to you!”. And he got in the vehicle and drove away.

– Maybe you’re right. After all, he was just recovering something that belonged to him.

I wasn’t going to contradict them, although before entering the Kraka the man had told me that its real owner was a colleague who begged him for help when he learned it had ended up in NEO territory.

Well, I think I’ve had enough rest. Now I must go, I still have a long way to go to Tanzanite!

Entry #32

I’m almost there! I’m in Fenster Landing and there’s a small haruspex building here, where I decided to spend the night. So I can stop for a while and reevaluate my decisions one last time.

Tomorrow I will be entering Tanzanite again. I can’t let myself be confused like the last time. But I need to go: I know I can learn a lot there!

Should I be scared? I mean, I think if I was it would be a normal thing! “Aren’t you afraid?”, was what the man asked me too. And now that I think about it, the last time I was in Tanzanite, the Elder also told me something about fear… my biggest fear!

Now, returning to haruspex territory was a thoughtful decision. But what happened today with the kraka was definitely just my impulsiveness speaking for me. “Take me with you!”, I asked the man, as he got into the vehicle. I went so suddenly that even the man seemed to be speechless and in disbelief for a while. What was I thinking? Of course, he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who walks around accompanied. Even less with someone he would surely consider a burden. In the end, the only thing he still babbled astonished was if I wasn’t afraid… I wasn’t, but I really should! Talking like that to a stranger… a soldier, and apparently a dangerous one…

What am I really afraid of? If I had to point out something, I think my only fear is getting stuck doing the same things day in day out!

In the end, it all leads me back to the same conclusion: if I want to keep exploring this place, I need to get stronger! So yes, I will go back to Tanzanite and learn everything I can there!

Entry #33

It’s all coming back at the same time: the water, the blue flowers, the Elder… I can’t believe that last time I actually spent 19 days here!!!

After writing my diary I kept thinking about what I was afraid of and what the Elder had told me the last time, and then it all started to come back. So I didn’t wait any longer, I grabbed my things and went on my way to Tanzanite, even with night falling.

When I arrived I went straight to talk to the Elder and he confirmed and explained everything!

So, the water of the small lake in Tanzanite has unusual natural properties. It seems that this is the main reason why the electronic terminals there have, over time, acquired a shape more harmonious with nature but still work perfectly well. The Elder explained that the water comes from a big underground river that has ramifications all over the planet. Long ago the Haruspex settled in the various places where these waters somehow come to the surface, not only here in several places near Tanzanite but also in the enchanted lands to the northwest. I was wondering where these lands would be. On my flight from Conq’s Rest to Flash Point I could see a large swamp to the west, after the end of NEO territory. Are these enchanted lands further west?

Anyway, this water seems to have effects on people and objects around it. That’s why the big blue flower has the “Do not touch!” sign. Of course, I thought it was just a joke, and since Frederic wanted so much for me to help him find those blue flowers…

– Dalia, do you feel all right? - He asked me.

Now I not only remember, but I also understand the puzzled look on his face after I touched that flower. Apparently most people die when they touch it… I mean, they don’t really die… they " experience death", I think that’s how they explained it, although I don’t know exactly what that means…

“It confronts you with your greatest fear!”, that’s what the Elder told me.

So that’s it. I think it’s been proven now that the idea of ​​being stuck in the same cycle every day with nothing new to do really scares me. But what is the advantage? If I couldn’t even remember what I was doing in the 19 days I spent here, what good is there?

Entry #34

Today was a new day. I think I can try to start over here, but this time I definitely won’t even go near that blue flower!

Just to be sure, I asked everyone to promise that this time they’ll let me know clearly and in full detail if anything strange happens again! They agreed and said they were glad I was back. I know they didn’t act with bad intentions. I think they really believed that what was happening must have some reason… I believed that it must have a cause or explanation and now I finally found it, but that it had a purpose I can’t accept.

Anyway, I’ll consider this topic finished and focus on all the other questions I have… like the underground river!

Now that I think about it, it reminds me of Millie’s Cave… I mean that’s not the cave name, but that’s what I call it, because Millie found it…

One day I was practicing target, shooting bottles of island beer on Crystal Bay beach, when Millie came running calling me. I rushed to go with her, and Jonas who saw us running out dropped his surfboard on the beach and followed us. She showed us what looked like a hole with water at the entrance of a small cave in the rocks, hidden by vegetation. But after we dived in it we realized that what on the outside looked like just a small puddle of water was growing into a subterranean underwater cave. And inside, what should be algae, rocks and other natural resources worked like the electronic terminals we know. There was also a skeleton there, and as soon as Jonas saw it, he quickly returned to the surface, stating that he would not go back in there. We laughed, but we ended up not telling anyone about that place, it was like a secret between the 3 of us.

That underwater cave and terminals resemble what I now know about the underground river. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe it means that the haruspex haven’t located all the areas where the underground river emerges to the surface after all… I need to know more about this!

Entry #35

What do I do? What should I do now? I should go?

I know I want to go! But I need to control my impulsiveness this time. I am learning and improving. So before I go… no… before I decide whether to go, I’m thinking, evaluating and writing down my decisions.

Now that I think about it, it’s been about two months since I’ve written anything. I’ve been pretty busy training…

First, I know something like this should be reported immediately. I was just walking and still thinking about the waters of the underground river. Lately I have been visiting the several areas where the haruspex have settled near Tanzanite. It was when I saw this waterfall that reminded me of the First-Wave Settlement area which is full of water and that’s where Millie’s Cave is.

I entered the cave behind the waterfall, but everything started to spin… I thought I was going to fall! In the middle I could see a small stone platform that looked quite old. I was still struggling to hold myself when lights appeared on the platform and someone materialized right in front of me. Could that be a teleporter? It had to be. But it doesn’t look like our TPs, nor does it seem to include any kind of modern technology.

I was lost in my thoughts, but I noticed a figure approaching so I deflected it… that was only then when I looked at him… yes, it was that man again:

– Hmm! You are faster now! First time here? – he laughed.

I couldn’t even respond. The man quickly turned his back on me and headed for the terminal inside the cave and began grabbing from his storage a lot of weapons, armor, and other equipment.

– You’re persistent, aren’t you, girl? I’m starting to get worried that we’re always bumping into each other!

I was getting ready to ask a bunch of questions when he walked up to the tp and disappeared again. “See you in Ancient Greece!” was the last thing I heard!

Yeah right, I don’t know what that means… But I’ll find out! “See you in Ancient Greece!”

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Lore submission for October
Auberon Night Night
Last set of lore
5 parts

Part 31 - Building a new world

If you are still with the story thus far you would have noticed it started in a straight line then veered off and covered some seemingly unrelated parts. Well these parts are important for you to understand what comes next.

While Aeon and the others worked hard to place teleportes and map the planet in preperation for what comes next.
Meanwhile the rest of the first wavers was building on the settlement now officially named First Wave Settlement in honor of the first group of pioneers who started here and also to inspire everyone who follows to go out and create more places and make this planet home for all.

Placing teleports sounds like an easy enough job but really it is hard work. Each teleport need a source of power to be buried beneath where the teleporter will be. This power source is small and very powerful so to ensure no one can simply remove it they are placed beneath the teleporter. Also keeps it away from the sun and the wind.
After the power source has been buried and the teleporter pad placed some stairs are placed so people can easily walk onto the pads. And of course a bit of a wall around the pad to make it all look great.
So placing these would take a few days each. Hard labour under the hot sun.
After placing the power source and the pad and finishing the stairs and other surroundings the teleporter must be alligned and tested so that it correctly ties into the grid.
A few test pieces are sent through. Cylinders around 1m long with various metals and organic matter inside so that a teleport test would correctly confirm the teleport works when the item is teleported correctly with no change to its internal structure or matter.

Part 32 - Technology that makes this possible

The teleporters they were placing is referred to as planetary teleporters. They are extremely powerful and uses technology that until recently would be called science fiction to even mention.
Breaking you with armor, weapons, materials and any other carried items down into their based parts and exploding you into cosmic dust before rebuilding you based on the patterns read when dismatling you. The entire process takes mere seconds but with so much that could go wrong it is a wonder no one is accidently teleported into a sun or never rebuild after being destroyed.
Because essentially this system kills you and then brings you back to life.
And that is exactly what led to another system. The settler reconstitution system. Or revive.
Modern day settlers believe in allowing nature to be as it has always been with small towns and cities and no major farming land so that animals can roam free as they have done for ages. This does however mean that sometimes people could die.
With the teleporter technology in place some of the really smart people with thick glasses and lang white hair (just joking about scientists), realised they could revive a person with his most recent memories in tact using the memory of the teleporters. But it also meant a load on that system that would be too much. So they created the revive system.
Each revive point is merely a outlet or reconstition device. The real magic lies in the mainframe deep within the planet.
Whenever a new person enters the planet they are scanned and tracked by the system.
All items on you are constantly tracked and kept in the database.
On the moment of your death the system kicks in, reviews your data and rebuils your body and items exactly as it was it the moment of death and does so closest to where you died.
Really neat but also really scary for anyone worried about privacy.
This thing will even return the wart on your left toe. Privacy has become amyth.

Part 33 - New people

Even before the planetary teleports and the revive system there was one thing that made this planet reachable. Next Island was not found using a space ship but through the process of making a wormhole. And to stabislise this they then created what is known as an interplanetary teleporter. Though to be fair this teleporter will connect you across space, time and different dimensions as long as you have a corresponding connection point to match this one.
The first wave settlers used reached Next Island via the unstable wormhole and then build the pad to stabilise the connection.

Very few will know where it is and if you read this and come to me in the game giving me this line
“Next Island was connected to Calypso using an interplanetary teleporter that is located at (fill in the waypoint). I am here to collect the prize as named within your story for the Community Recognition Program”
Then I will give you a bumpercar.
Only 1 though so the first person wins everyone else, well to bad. Must be the right location though.

So while everyone was working hard to build a town and set teleporters, revive terminals and create everything a community would need the great big teleporter whirred to life.
No one was close to it but its hum is rather loud and carries far so everyone knew right away, someone else was coming.
A few rushed over to greet the new comers and help them settle into their new life here.
This new world that once seemed so beautiful yet so big en scary was starting to feel like home.
The new people came from another world much like this one in that it is a planet colonised by people looking for a new beginning.

Part 34 - No longer alone

With the teleporters in place and the community growing Aeon, Helen, Miranda, Arthur and a few others decided its time to go hunt again.
Early morning with the sun rising slowly, chasing the stars and the moon from the sky and bringing bright light to every corner of the planet, Aeon and the team stopped on a hill overlooking the valley full or guardians.
With a scene much like an action movie start scene they stood in a group and each equipped their armor and weapons before running down the hill.
Had the guardians been able to understand what was about to happen one may have expected them to run away but since they are seperated from Kaijun and so not guided by anything more than thjeir basic programming and ability to network between themselves they went on with their tasks.
And so was not ready for what happened next.
A team of 12 hunters began attacking them early morning with the sun still rising when the first shots was fired. Even the low level guns they all used was able to rapidly despatch the guardians due to sheer numbers. As each gurdian dropped and the remains was looted so they proceeded acros the valley cutting a wide path through the gurdians.
Aeon felt exhilarated. His previous battles here has been hard work with not insignificant injuries to himself. This time, as a group, they each took little or no damage before each guardian was taken down.
This was the power of community, of being in a team. One person alone can do only so much but a group together can do so much more and so much easier.
And so Next Island was born. A new community on a new planet with a new future.

Part 35 - Hope

Next Island was born from hope. A planet found by people who felt oppressed and had lost faith in their governments and corporations around them. People who stopped to believe the propoganda and realised the truth. That the world they live in now is a dog eat dog world where the strong thrive and the weak barely survive.
Heartbroken but unable to change this world they chose to start fresh. So they left using a fantastic device that is still the envy of many. And yet the power of this device did not corrupt them they used it simply to be able to start fresh in a new world.
And not only them found their way to this planet. Many others from various backgrounds eventually found their way here. Eventually found home even if they don’t say it. Their actions confirm it.
This planet is not a ball in space with mobs and materials, it’s a home.
Home to weirdos and freako’s and some dude with a scanner with a history we don’t talk about. This is home to people who have a romantic view of the world and their place in it. People who try to help others even when it hurts themselves.
Its also home to some people with great intentions that went wrong and created things like the guardians that are out to destroy while the original action was one born from hope.
Not every action of every person on this planet is pure. Not every outcome is good. But as a group this lot of people are an amazing bunch capable of many things.
So if you take anything from this story I hope that it is this.
Next Island is home to anyone who believes in community and hope.