Lore Submission Thread

Isme’s Journey entry #4

Journal Entry #4

Is just gets worse and worse. I was getting prepared to go swunting to replace my depleted ped. I headed to Crystal Beach to look at supplies……. I hopped in the televator and went down. The items I wanted were no longer available so I decided that some perhaps My luck would change if I took in some clean fresh air and used the climb up those long stair cases as a way of clearing my mind and maybe changing my luck. As you know I am not a normally superstitious person but I am starting to get desperate. I will try anything that’s free and wont kill me.

It had started to feel good. No wonder the big exercise equipment companies never had a chance here., all these stairs!

My mind started to clear and I was returning to a genuine feeling of hopefulness. Then while I was glancing up briefly at some passing birds…. I missed a step.

Then I missed a whole lot of them… as I fell ALL THE WAY down.

I don’t remember hitting the last few steps. When I opened my eyes the doctor said it was a miracle I didn’t end up at at revive terminal with permanent damage. Even my armor was not badly damaged.

I am very sore. My head feels funny too. The doctor said it will for awhile. The actual physical injuries were healed by my pulse unit, but it will take time for all the nerves to settle back into regular activity and the overly stretched muscles to resume their normal shape.

Maybe its just the pain in my head still but everything seems somehow different. Like someone turned up the volume on the colors…

Maybe its just the knock on my head, but I keep seeming to sense people or at least a something that seems to be watching me? I dunno. I guess only time will tell.

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Isme’s Journey #5

Isme’s Journal entry number …… I think 5?

Well I am trying to write things down. I think this is the 5th one. My head…well it doesn’t feel bad any more, just sort of different. Maybe not bad different but different.

My now Extreme dislike for stairs is not fading. And I never noticed, really, how many stairs are on this planet! The televators were being serviced yesterday (yes I know its been like a week since I wrote in this journal last- and why do I talk to this book like I am talking to other people?)
Really Isme….

Any way- my calves were aching so bad! The upside is the cramped muscles made me look a bit like I was wearing high heels even though I wasn’t. My legs don’t look to bad if I do say so myself!.
If I can get back on the financial level again, I am gonna get one of those new Next Island Bikinis.

Down one
________________ I go
____for. Then on a landing, I am standing, Half way up or half way down?
______________of times
___________________________Misty cave not up not down but forward and back.

I think of that cave a lot lately. Not sure why. Especially since I don’t remember there being any stairs there.

Ugh enough about stairs.

I went swunting piglets yesterday. Surprisingly my aim was better then its ever been. I ended up with a lot of tails. You would think that anytime you went hunting you would get a tail per piglet… but that isn’t how it works out. Weird right?

Also I would often feel like I was being watched by something. Maybe I should go back to the orpheous cave. That Haruspex Elder is always so kind. One of the few beings on this planet that know me and still like talking to me.

Wait? How did I go from piglets to the cave? I am losing my mind.

Piglets- so ya, I had the best hunt I have ever had!! lots of shrapnel, and oil, and tails!

I even got a few screechers! Yay!!!

Oh and a minor editor of the Next Island Herlad contacted me. He had heard about my fall, wanted to interview me on the conditions of the stairs in the Crystal Bay area. He even asked how I was feeling and sounded like he was actually glad to hear that I was. Does that make 2 beings on this planet now?
Maybe if I can swing this right I can get a job there? and more importantly a friend!!!

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Hi, I am known as Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson. I am the High Prophet of the Church of Tommy (A pretend/for fun church in EU). My character has made a pilgramage to Next Island to share the word of Tommy and research Next Islands Fascinating wild life as well as its characters. I have five Lore submissions and I would love to post my thumbnail and banner image (but new members can’t post pictures, so… work with me?) Anyway, here are my submissions, which I will submit one post at a time. I hope I am still in time to get the piece for April.

Lore Submission #1 For April
The Origins of the Papoo
Short story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

A bone-rattling explosion rocked the secret laboratory on Next Island. Screeches and howling were heard as a legion of monkeys spilled from the gaping chasm left in the lab’s now exposed interior. A bedraggled man with thin blonde hair and beard, soot covered cheeks, and safety goggles emerged in their wake spitting and coughing through intermittent pleas for the monkeys to come back. How could his experiments go so awry? Of course, what should he have expected? The papoo were even more unruly than he could have predicted. If anything, they were made wilder when he augmented them.

“The things one does to advance science,” he groaned, grabbing his throbbing head, ears still ringing from the turmoil that just occurred. If word got out that he was doing these experiments on the papoo, no doubt half of NEO and even Stel would hunt him down and end his career, in the messiest, cruelest way possible. Stel would execute him for certain. Truth be told, there wouldn’t be many who would protect him if they knew what he had done.

A month earlier, Anthro-biologist Dr. Paul Kylon was presenting his idea to his colleagues. What if man could enhance himself with biological augmentations? The settlers were used to inorganic chips and implants introduced by their new friends from Calypso, but biological ones could integrate so much better than what they were used to. Testing on Humans would be too risky, not to mention unethical, but the local papoo would be good substitutes. The grey and brown varieties were all that existed on Next Island and were mostly found in the jungles in the southeastern corner of the continent. He set out to capture them.

Once Doctor Kylon had captured about twenty of each grey and brown species, he began creating and testing his implants on the mild-mannered creatures. He took notes and soon found that the implants had benefits raising the papoo’s strength and vigor with the unfortunate side effect of changing their temperament, but the kinks could be worked out, he thought to himself. No other scientists had volunteered to help him, not wanting to be associated with such a risky program. But Doctor Kylon was optimistic. One day he discovered that his implants had changed some of them to red or yellow. This was quite a shock, to say the least. He also learned that the biological implants actually changed the creatures right down to their DNA!

As time went on, the papoo became more aggressive and started refusing to eat, smacking any food or drink out of Doctor Kylon’s hands. It was only a matter of time before they rebelled completely, they just needed an opening. And that opening came as Doctor Kylon was cleaning their cages. As he transferred them to new crates, one of them burst out of his reach and started to release all the others!

“Good God!” Dr. Kylon exclaimed, as the violent raging papoo bared down on him, backing him into a corner. One of them started to beat on his generators and it wasn’t long before it exploded magnificently, tearing a hole in the wall of the lab. The papoo were free, and Doctor Paul Kylon was in deep doo-doo. He resolved he would go into hiding. No one really knows what became of him, except maybe one soul, his favorite experiment, an intelligent papoo named Sabastian. Sabastion currently hides in an ancient temple in papoo village and tries to hide his identity by wearing sunglasses and a cap, but that will be a story for another time.


Lore Submission #2 For April
The Origins of Sebastian
Short Story by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Sebastian rubbed his eyes. For the first time in his short life, he felt conscious. Really conscious. Not just floating from place to place, eating berries and insects, fighting for survival. A kindly young man was cleaning his cage. He looked over at the young man and did what felt natural.

“Oh, hello,” Sebastian said. The man jumped at the shock of hearing a papoo speak.

“Uh, hi. Yes.” The man stuttered and righted himself. “Sebastian. I see you’ve learned speech.”

“I… think so?” Sebastian looked at his palms, which came into focus, still every bit as primitive looking as he was, but he felt more than a mere beast. “It’s hard to find words sometimes, but I naturally know what to say. It’s weird.”

The man adjusted his goggles. “Do you know who you are?”

Sebastian had to think about it. “I am a papoo. My name is Sebastian. I don’t quite know what that means, but it feels right.”

The man grinned broadly. “And do you know who I am?”

Sebastian looked him up and down. He had thin, blonde hair, a stocky figure, and a thin beard. He had seen his face many times, but hadn’t really considered what to call him. “You look like a Daniel to me. I’m not sure what that means, but…”

The man guffawed. “I am Dr. Paul Kylon. I am the reason you are suddenly more self aware. It is because of me that you can talk.”

Sebastian considered this for a moment. “Thanks. For cleaning my cage, I mean.”

“Don’t mention it, Sebastian.” The man went back to his task, smiling and humming a tune.

“So, what is on the agenda for today?” Sebastian inquired, tilting his head.

The man continued to wipe down the bars. “Today we are going to run some tests on your brothers and sisters to see how they are taking to their new organic augmentations.”

“Is the reason I can talk an organic augmentation?”

“Well, sort of. Yes. But not like theirs. It’s difficult to explain. Your implant is deep in your brain. Most of your brothers are augmented in their arms or legs or backs.” Dr. Kylon pointed to each of those places on his body as he said them. “You are special, Sebastian.”

His heart filled with pride. Special. He was special. Sebastian had never been special. In fact, until today, he didn’t even know special was a thing. But it felt good. He wasn’t sure, but he felt that today was going to be a good day…

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Lore Submission #3 For April
Papoo Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Forget everything you thought you knew about the papoo! I’ve been deep inside their territory for many months and have gathered much intelligence on them. The various different papoo are partial to different gemstones, for one thing. You find Rhodonite on Grey Papoos and Azurite on Brown Papoos. Most of the time they steal it from other creatures, including Humans. The grey papoo especially are prone to picking up all manner of gems, which is why you will rarely find one yourself without taking them from these creatures. Of course, other creatures have been known to hunt the papoo, ingesting them gems and all.

The papoo is very curious, but has an equal measure of aggression, so approach at your own peril. They have been known to swarm unfortunate island settlers at certain points across Next Island. Their biggest natural enemies are the Screecher, the Island Boars, and Chimera, though Drakes have also been known to hunt them from time to time. They do congregate in jungles and fields, but most of them hide in trees or behind rocks until they see that they have the advantage and proceed to ambush. These apex hunters consider Humans to be on their menu, but usually eat insects and berries as well as the occasional screecher chick. Screechers are especially not fond of papoo, as the browns will frequently steal their eggs, chicks, and gems. More on the relationship between the screechers and papoo in a later document.

Papoo are such a nuisance to Settlers that several bounties are available to cull their population, which keeps growing by the day. Papoo used to give one live birth per pregnancy, but lately they seem to be birthing triplets or even quadruplets! They have litters of 7 sometimes! Also, they mature rather quickly, going from birth to adulthood in a matter of days. There never seems to be a shortage of the beasties. It appears the male papoo tries to impress the females by bringing them gifts of whatever gems that species of papoo like.

Papoo are prized for their tails, palms, and hearts. They also drop various oils, and, of course, gems. Rewards for culling the papoo include loot pills that change you into one (how do you think I’ve been able to study them up close?) and fuel. Definitely worth stopping to collect while you are visiting! The haunting song of the papoo fills the air here at Crystal Peak, especially at night. They’re actually good singers, believe it or not, but I suppose that is subject to one’s tastes. In fact, the yellow’s mating ritual requires the males to sing to the females.

Speaking of papoo song, be sure you avoid an area where the howling is strong, as this may be a warning from lurking papoo that you are too close to their territory. However, if papoo is what you want to hunt, I advise you listen closely. They are not subtle. I hope, dear reader, that you gleaned some useful facts about the papoo from this. They are absolutely fascinating creatures that deserve a look over while you are visiting Next Island! Tah tah for now!

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Lore submision by: Nakor of Boreft.

I love Ancient Greece and i believe some characters are very interesting and have a lot to tell you. Name this guy here…he looks to be just a simple city guard, but…Oh well. He can tell you his story much better than I can

Part 1
Hello, stranger, you caught me at my break. Grab a chair and let me tell you my story. My name is Aléxandros and I’m a guard here in Thebes. I have a wife called Berenice and a daughter called Chloe. She truly is the apple of my eye, though I fear the day she grows up. Such a strong-willed child she is.

When I was but a boy, my father, who was a stonemason, apprenticed me to a weapon-smith. My master was a really good smith, and he supplied the garrison here at Thebes. I, however, though I learned to appreciate fine craftsmanship in my time as his apprentice, was never any good at working the forge. I can still hear my ears ring, so often did he box my ears for ruining an almost finished sword. Oftentimes, I had to deliver the weapons to the garrison here. Seeing the soldiers practice with them and the splendid armors they wore, was all this boy needed to know this was where he belonged. So, long before it became time for my masterpiece, we both thought it was best if I didn’t ruin any more iron ingots and did what I wanted to do anyway. Use the weapons and armor!

I went to the garrison, where they already knew me, and became a guard. That was the easy part Then the training began! Let me tell you. It’s nice to look at men training with their swords and spear for a few minutes. It’s very different when you are that man, wearing armor too and having to train for hours on end! It was exhausting and most of the boys I started with didn’t make it. Accidents happened almost daily, the winter a cold one, and a lot of boys couldn’t handle it anymore. But I succeeded!

Ok, It’s time for my next round. Thebes market. It’s always busy there with lots of people and lots of purses for pickpockets to snatch. See you later stranger.

Part 2
Hello again, stranger. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you here. When I first started as a guard here at Thebes, it was very uneventful, but over the last couple of years, with more newcomers, it’s gotten quite busy! Don’t get me wrong, I like it this way. At least it’s never dull anymore. Even this morning while patrolling Thebes market, we caught 2 pickpockets and had to break up a crowd. It seems one of the new shop owners put a dragon’s head above her stall. Can you imagine! People just stood there gazing at it. I don’t know if it was real or not. I’ve never seen a dragon in my life!

I think it shook me more than I’d like to admit, but a little later, I swear I saw Berenice at the market. All dressed in her dark green cloak. When I looked again, she was gone. She knows I patrol the market at this time, so if it was her, she would’ve come over and given me a kiss, I’m sure. It’s strange when your mind lets you see things that aren’t really there.

Anyway, dragon’s heads, bear heads, you newcomers bring a lot of new things into our lives here. That helps keep our thoughts from worrying too much over other things that have also been going on. Monsters have become much, much more active over the last years. In greater numbers too! We can keep them at bay and fortunately, you newcomers are strong and love to hunt them. Still, I feel it’s only a matter of time before they become brave enough to come into the city. It’s a good thing they’re all different types of monsters and still relatively small groups. If they got a strong leader that could unite them, we’d definitely be in trouble.

Anyway, time to get back to work for me. This afternoon, I stand guard at the palace. Nice and quiet after a busy morning round. See you later stranger.

Part 3
Hello again, stranger. Have you heard the rumors? There’s been talk of the monsters uniting under one leader for some time now. Those rumors have only gotten stronger. More attacks have been reported over the last couple of weeks. No attacks close to Thebes yet, all were south from here. I hope the rumors of the monsters having a leader are false. Our king sent scouts and they should report back any day now. We can handle one or two of them at a time, but the thought of a horde of them attacking us scares even me! Truth be told, we guards are just ceremonial. We can’t fight like you newcomers can!
What do you say? Pull it together? Yes, yes, You’re right. Even if it turns out as we fear, we’ll be alright. We have allies. Knights and heroes will come to our aid. Thank you, that calmed me down. We’ve just seen so many mysterious and new things in the last months. It’s very different from when I was a boy. Sometimes, I lie awake in bed. Wondering what Chloe’s life will be like.

She’s not like the other girls here. She’s strong-willed and more interested in my throwing knives than in making a flower necklace. And she’s skilled at throwing them too! Part of me is very proud of her and part of me is deeply saddened. What man would ever want a woman like that? Berenice, her mother is doing her darndest to raise her like a proper lady, but she runs off whenever she gets a chance. Last week, we even caught her next to the training grounds! She’d been imitating the recruits all afternoon! When I found her I just saw her throw her knife at a frog. I’ve never been able to hit a moving frog at that distance! My heart swelled with pride. I did have to scold her for running off and not picking flowers like she was supposed too, of course.

Part 4
Hello again stranger. Yes, Thebes is bustling with activity right now! Remember last time I told you our king had sent out scouts to learn more about the monsters uniting? Well, they returned not long after our last talk. At least, some of them did. Some, it seems, were turned to stone!

The king shared a lot of information with us. Well, shipping an army won’t go unnoticed anyway. It seems the monsters are uniting under one leader. She calls herself the dark queen. She’s a very powerful Gorgon. One of those snake creatures. And she has the power to turn others to stone!

Her base should be o the south, southeast from here. The king ordered all of our ships to sail out with an army. They’re leaving today. That’s why it ís so busy. Soldiers from Thebes are known throughout all of Greece for their bravery and fighting skills, so I have no doubt they will be victorious!

They’ll come back with her head and a magnificent parade and feast will be held in their honor. You’ll see a stranger! All of the monsters will crawl back under the rock they came from in fear of the men from Thebes! Things will return to the calm and safe way everything was, you’ll see!

Ah, we’re not like you newcomers. There are always newcomers hunting the Arges to the north, or even the Myrinian to the east. Killing them by the hundreds with your devastating weapons! We’re just not like that. All we want is a peaceful life! Many of the men setting out today, I’ve known for all of their lives. There’s Ajax, who I wrestled with as a kid. Gregorios with his sister Euthalia. He was not as watchful as his name implies. She was the first girl I kissed. I hate to see them go and I hope to see them again in this life. Anyway, enough reminiscing. Remember this day well stranger. You’ll never see a bigger fleet of brave men set sail to fight for their loved ones.

Part 5
Hello stranger, As you can see, Thebes has seen brighter days. The impossible has happened. Our brave soldiers have been vanquished. Incense is being burned all day and all night to ask the gods for mercy on their souls and to let them pass into the underworld. All of our women are dressed in black. Fathers mourn their sons. Young men mourn their brothers. Their friends, their fathers.

We don’t know what exactly happened. A retreat is not an option for the brave soldiers of Thebes. When we hadn’t heard from them in a few weeks, the king sent scouts looking for them. What they told us, chilled us to the bones! All of the ships lay at anchor but not a single man was seen! All of them have disappeared! The scouts searched where they could. That island swarms with very strong and aggressive monsters, o the scouts couldn’t search everywhere, but they found nothing! Not even bones and armor! We can’t be sure of the ill fate that became of them, but we think they’re all dead. Maybe we hope they are for their sake.

Since they left, we have seen fewer monsters and fewer attacks have been reported, but we all fear what the future has in store for us. Many of the people here have fled to other cities. My wife Berenice and daughter Chloe went to her parents far, far in the north in Cyzicus. I hope they will be safe there.

If the monsters do regroup. If our brave soldiers did not manage to strike a fatal blow to this monstrous gorgon calling herself Dark queen. I too fear for the lives of all men, women, and children in Thebes and in all of this world. If Thebes falls it will only be the beginning. Please help us, stranger. You and more of you newcomers. Save us. Deliver us from the dark queen.


Auberon Night Night

Lore submission - All 5 parts for April contained in one post.

Aeon and the Guardians

Part 1 - The chase

As the tiny ship broke free of the gravity of Mirsk and entered space itself, Aeon took a moment to orient himself and activate the warp drive before even leaving the system. It was dangerous to do so, but he had little option. Gravitational forces from planets so close could alter his course just enough to see him fly into a planet or even a star.

Anger, frustration, anxiety and fear flooded his mind as the ship accelerated to light speed, barely missing a few asteroids before reaching full speed following the trail of the guardian mother ship.

Though it was only a small two-seater ship meant for interplanetary travel, it was fitted with a small but powerful warp drive and well armed, making it well capable of damaging or even destroying a mother ship.

“I was too late. Dammit! I have to catch up before they jump!”, Aeon thought, berating himself even though he was fighting forces far more powerful than he was.

For what seemed like a hundred lifetimes he has been chasing the guardians and their creator, Kaijun.

The guardians who invade and enslave planets. Then using the local life forms to make new guardians and so expand their forces. Using the brain and spinal cord of a biological life form combined with a crystalline robotic exoskeleton controlled through a link to the central mind resulted in very versatile and powerful workers and soldiers. This they would do until finally no animals or humans of any kind is left alive, only plants.

With hundreds of planets already conquered; stopping them seemed impossible, but Aeon succeeded thus far in destroying dozens of mother ships and nearly half of their colonization force, severely limiting their rate of progress.

But now it seems they found a way to leave this dimension through a rupture in time and space created by sentient beings from another world.

As the mother ship became visible to him, he realized they had already reached the rupture. A bright blue light shone for a few moments followed by an electromagnetic shock wave as the mother ship entered the rupture. Aeon screamed in frustration and anger as he fired at them and followed blindly into the rupture in the hopes of destroying them and closing the rupture.

Entering the rupture, his red Equus jet was battered by the forces within such an unstable portal and thrown about like paper in the wind and so was the mother ship. Spinning end-over-end and having parts ripped of its fuselage, the mother ship did not look like it would make it. Aeon smiled.

“This is a good day to die” he thought, as he engaged his thrusters and rammed his ship into theirs while firing his weapons. His final view was a bright red and orange explosion before it all turned black.

Part 2 - Landing

The giant mountains of his home reached so high up into the sky; they were always covered in snow. The cold air would cut into the unprepared persons skin like a scalpel and could lead to your death easily and quickly. But Aeon was used to the cold, having been born here, hunted here and fought here for many years. It sometimes even felt warm, just as it did now.

The warmth on his face felt like it was sticking to the side of his face and forehead. The usual dead silence of the snowy mountains was pierced by a sharp but distant sound like a ringing that sounded almost rhythmic, repeating over and over. Slowly the sound grew louder and pierced through his consciousness until he realized it is the ships alarms sounding.

Regaining consciousness with blood all sticky wet and warm over his face from the cut on his head and his ship spinning as it was plummeting towards a planet he did not recognize. Drawing on all his willpower and sheer stubbornness, he focused on the console; closing the one eye covered in blood, and took control of the damaged ship and adjusted his entry into the planet’s atmosphere.

“Too fast. TOO FAST!” he thought as he tried to slow the rate of descent with only limited success.

Had anyone been there to see the jet scream through the air at an impossible angle and crazy speed, they would have heard the double boom of the sound barrier being broken and the screeching of air over damaged wings.

With a final desperate reversing of the engines and all flaps opened, the forward speed of the ship was finally controlled and slowed but that resulted in the ship stalling and going into a flat spin. The ship fell almost vertically from the sky and instead of hitting the ocean as he was aiming to do, the ship slammed into the peak of a steep mountain near the ocean.

This should have been the end of it. This should have been where Aeon died. And in fact - he did.

Already injured from going through a dimensional rift and crashing into a mother ship, this crash left him virtually dead and he could feel his life slipping away. As his last breath left him, the essence of his being drifted away to return to the origin, where all life comes from, when a soft hand touched him.

Even in his current form he could feel the touch. A bright greenish-white light surrounded him and a voice whispered softly:

“We need you to be strong a while longer Aeon.”

“The guardians survived and we cannot fight them. We are peaceful. We need you.”

“Who are you?” Aeon asked.

“I am Kirke, goddess of the Haruspex.”

“I am sorry for having to do this. You have fought so long and deserve the rest, but we need you. Please forgive us and help us.”

Her voice was soft and warm and sounded almost melancholic.

And with that the light surrounded him, his ship and his broken body and returned his essence to the body it had just left. Within the light itself he could feel life return and a renewed strength and purpose with it.

Part 3 - A new home

Waking up brought back the sensation of pain but much reduced from his last memories. It was morning and the sun rising over the world brought a cascade of colors from red to orange and violet - with so many shades in-between. To Aeon who had known only white and gray from his icy cold home for so long, this was like a riot of color in a dreary gray world.

For a few moments all he did was sit there in his now destroyed ship looking out over the ocean, enjoying the view. As the sun rose, the heat came and he had to get out and start life on a new planet with no ship, no weapons, no knowledge of the planet and aware that the guardians were out there.

A few fleeting thoughts of someone touching him and speaking to him floated in his mind, but it seemed unlikely and as a practical man, a soldier; he dismissed the images and set to work.

Salvaging what he could from his plane including a piece of wing he fashioned into a small knife.

Climbing down the mountain he found a beautiful white beach and the carcass of a giant sea creature reminiscent of the megalodon stories told on his home world from the days when the oceans were higher and the sea creatures much much bigger.

It must have died and washed ashore. The scary thought was, what could kill something this big though?

Using his rough knife, he cut a section of the jaw bone and fashioned a type of long sword similar to what his people used to call a claymore. By cutting into the carcass deeper and deeper he found some flesh still unspoiled - so he had some food at least.

A weapon, some food and a will to survive. He was ready for what may come, even though they may not be ready for him.

Walking along the shoreline he set out looking for a good base with fresh water nearby.

After a few hours of walking he reached a stream that ran into the ocean and followed that up to the hills where it came from, where he found two small natural lakes and two beautiful waterfalls. The sight itself was enough to fill him with hope and a sense of serenity in spite of the looming task of finding and defeating the guardians.

On the side of the lower lake there was a small hidden cave entrance that once inside opened up into an emerald green cavern of various levels, with a small pool of water right at the bottom. Water flowed into the cavern from a break in the rocks from the side of the lake, but seemed to drain away into the rock again.

This would be his home for a long time. This hole in the ground with walls of phosphorous green moss on a world of warmth and bright colors so far from his home, would be where he would live alone until his death.

But that is a story for another day.

Part 4 - The Guardians

After months on this world - having seen no human or guardian - only a creatures that look like big flightless birds or monkeys or pigs, Aeon had set up a good base with a small crafting station and storage space. Every day he would venture out and hunt, becoming more and more skilled with the sword he made until it felt like an extension of his arm. His skin was now a golden brown from the sun, a far cry from the pasty white color he was when he arrived. All indications of his extreme injuries and death was long gone and he was able to fight for hours on end and run nonstop and without slowing down around the entire edge of the island he was on.

He was ready to start exploring the rest of the planet in search of the guardians. Packing food and basic supplies and his trusty sword he set off to the west crossing the narrow channel surrounding this island onto another island and across another channel to another island. The channels were narrow but deep with only a few rare shallow crossings.

The walk itself felt good and even the animals feeling brave enough to attack him was not a challenge and served only to feed him.

Trees became large umbrella like shapes and the landscape had a few extremely high rocks piercing up into the sky, like a finger from some unknown god.

This land was untamed and beautiful. It was paradise.

After a long walk and searching, he crested a hill and found some strange looking animals that looked like a cross between a lizard and a man wearing pants. Keeping slightly north of them he finally found the guardians.

And that was when the scout found him. Only a small one could be a level 5, so Aeon decided that he would have to kill it before it was able to sound an alarm.

Jumping down, he ran at the small guardian and attacked. His sword singing through the air as he swung it, striking the robot before it can block against the attack. Again and again his sword would sing as Aeon lunged and attacked then rolled and attacked again. The robot was unable to defend at all and it was clear Aeon was by far the better fighter. But the sword did little damage to the crystal exoskeleton. After what seemed like hours, he finally destroyed the guardian robot. It was clear he would need a stronger weapon. And some armor as well if he was to face any of the bigger ones.

But he knew where they were; and they did not know he was here. All he needed now was a stronger weapon and armor and to scout the borders of the guardians’ territory.

This war was his to win.

Part 5 - Reflection

After a lengthy scout mission of the guardians’ territory, Aeon knew he had a massive task at hand.

Sitting at his camp that night, Aeon worked on a strategy while enjoying the beautiful sunset and the brilliant night sky after. The night sky on Mirsk is clear and picturesque, in part due to the cold clean air that does not refract the light in any way. The night sky here, while very different, had a similar quality. When looking upwards he felt almost as if he could reach out and touch the stars. While all alone here on this strange planet, it felt like home to him. This feeling of home strengthened his resolve to defend it against the invasion.

While sitting there his strategy began to take shape. The guardians has taken over a large area and are increasing that incrementally by absorbing the native animal species - creating more guardians.

His first task then, would be to deny them access to these by ensuring a large area free of animals surrounding the guardians by hunting them out. So he would apply a scorched earth strategy as done by the ancient armies of his world, when war was still commonplace.

An additional benefit would be that the resources from this he could collect and store for future use to maybe create better armor and weapons and at the very least will supply him with food.

It also occurred to him that he had been on this planet for years and seen no other sentient life - only the animals and the guardians. So his second task would be to try and find others and would mean he had to expand his exploration into the north of the planet and complete his map and understanding of the planet and its resources. Maybe some of the local wildlife could provide him with materials for a very strong armor. So this expedition would be for both gathering intelligence and finding allies.

One other thought stayed in his thoughts like a shadow. Who was Kirke and the Haruspex? And why has he not found her or them? For a long time he has been focused on survival and finding the guardians in order to destroy them, but now he needed more information. His questions has been piling up, his thoughts plagued by them.

Where was the mother ship of the guardians?

Did he really die or was that a dream?

Where was the people who opened the rupture that caused him and the guardians to be here?

With more questions than answers but at least having a working strategy he went to sleep looking up at the clear inky night sky, filled with stars and dreams.

More to follow next month


Back at it again! Let’s gooo!

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #80


An empty camp is an empty camp, however, a makeshift tree-top watchtower is not what I was expecting these Resa to be using to shoot at me from. I was expecting this to be more of a Haruspex style of structure, with their love of the woodlands and hiding in strange places.

I ran as fast as I could across the swamplands to get to cover but their position was good, they could see me wherever I tried to hide. My skyripper got clogged up with mud and wasn’t in flying condition, so I guess I had to start running zig zags for my life. The fact that a Loyalist skyripper was going to fall into the hands of the Resa was the least of my concerns while I was getting bombarded by enemy fire.

This next part of my entry is shortly after I got captured and they let me access my datapad:

While running, I think I tripped and hit my head because I don’t remember being captured and left in a tent by myself. Also, I am pretty sure I got knocked out during the chase because my head feels like I got hit by a cyclops club.

As I was sitting there in the middle of the tent gathering my thoughts, 3 Resa scouts came in and inspected me for any kind of hidden weapons. Still in my confused state of mind, all I could really do was sit there as they started throwing question after question at me.

“Here we go again”, I thought. Another situation where my encounters with another faction are due to me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. These Resa are much more aggressive and cold-hearted than the ones I’ve met around Morion. The only reason why they actually allowed me to use my datapad was to transfer to them all data I had on their rival faction, which I had to do or they would have left my fate up to the snakes of the bog.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #81


It has been some weeks since I’ve been rescued by a Loyalist task force and I am currently still stuck in a bed at some medical cabin at First-Wave Settlement without much to do. Most of my adventures seem to end up with me returning to Loyalist territory with a bite taken out of me.

Well, the physician has ordered me to stay in bed for the next few days to deal with my high fever and weak body. Does this give me some time to summarize and document the several weeks that I could not make entries? If you do not know me by now from my journal entries, you should read them again, as by now you should know how important this method of documentation is to me.

Several weeks ago, while in captivity, I was treated with the worst hospitality in history, which I assume was due to the territorial rivalry between these Resa and the neighboring Haruspex to the east and the NEO outposts to the west. I don’t blame them, I think continuous skirmishes with rival factions non-stop would also drive some of our Loyalist troops to act defensively and cautiously as well.

Compared to my time actively engaging in dialogue with the Resa of Morion Outpost, the Resa of the bog were less talkative and just wanted me to sit around and every time I asked if they needed any help with gathering food or resources, they told me to stay in the tent.

I think I had enough around the third week of captivity and decided to hatch my plan to escape. During my time staying in the tent and my limited time walking around their camp, I figured out that the Resa of the bog are periodically attacked by the native daudaormur, and while defending the camp, will not pay attention at all to my tent. I too, would not pay attention to a sole tent while my settlement was being attacked on all sides by snakes.

I will continue my story on the next entry, I feel nauseous from sitting up and staring at my datapad. In a few days, the doctors will be able to discharge me from their care, hopefully, it comes soon, as my next adventure awaits.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #82


Day 8 or 9 of staying at the medical cabin and I am staying longer due to vision problems. The swamplands of the planet or the food that the Resa of the bog ate did not fit well with my body it seemed, and now I get to be stuck in bed for another 2 long nights. I believe I still owe the readers of this journal the rest of the Resa escape story so I will continue below:

While the Resa were being attacked, I saw an opportunity to sneak into the tent where my stuff was being stashed and took it. For the Resa, it was “all hands on deck” and the bog was filled with sounds of laser weapons, hissing, and yelling.

When I sneaked into the tent, there was no one there and it was just several locked crates. Thankfully, the locks on the crates were just key locks and not biometric. There was a bundle of charts on one of the crates held together by a clip, so I started getting to work picking the locks. Time was not on my side, as I knew the attack on the Resa outpost was not going to last forever and someone would eventually come in. It only took me 2 crates to find my stuff.

The first thing I grabbed was my datapad, and… it was out of battery. A quick glance around the tent yielded no good news on any kind of charging port or battery replacements. In that case, I grabbed one of the Resa comm devices and put a message to be broadcasted on a loop to Loyalist comm frequencies. I just really hoped the Resa tech had good enough broadcasting range to compensate for the fact that we were out in the middle of nowhere and away from any kind of Loyalist outpost.

While trying to find a good place to hide the comm device, I heard less and less fighting outside and heard someone coming into the tent. I didn’t have any time to hide the comm device and threw it out of the tent, which I thought was foolish after a Resa soldier saw me out of my tent and dragged me back to it. I really just hope the device didn’t sink into the bog and my opportunity was wasted, or no one receives my call for help.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #83


The Resa were not happy with me after I left my tent and saw that I opened the crate with my stuff. I think this was where my health deteriorated and why I’m stuck in this medical hut since they started giving me fewer rations and started ignoring me completely whenever I wanted to ask anything.

This led to some of the weirdest hallucinations, with talking snakes, a view of an excavation site, and the sun shining down on Ancient Greece. I was also running a high fever, and could barely walk straight. Another few days of this terrible experience passed and one day I heard explosions, screaming, and wind gusting. Another snake attack? But wait, snakes don’t fly. Struggling to get up and leave my tent, I finally did and as I looked outside, the Resa were occupied with putting out returning fire towards figures swooping down and destroying Resa supplies and buildings.

My vision was blurry but those were definitely not dragons, but skyrippers! White skyrippers harassed the Resa who were frantically putting up a meager defense while trying to figure out who was attacking. In the distance, I saw heavy guns and Loyalist artillery rushing towards the outpost, I was saved!

Some strange feeling, as if I was in a trance, compelled me to start stumbling forwards towards the Loyalist forces coming to attack, and shortly after, I remember collapsing and everything went black. After everything went black, I woke up in this bed where I have been stuck for the past while.

That is it for my story of escaping Resa captivity. Based on the reports I’ve read of the rescue raid, they ended up capturing the outpost and took whatever intel and data they could find from the Resa camp before leaving. When I was grabbing the clip that was holding together some charts, that bundle of charts caught my eye, so hopefully, the rescue forces took those with them when they left. I have a feeling those charts hold more information than I think they hold based on my quick glance.

Name: Captain Hector Draken, EEF
Entry: #84


My lengthy stay at the medical hut has ended and I am finally discharged from their care. The stay did push back my schedule a bit but I know a bit more clearly what my next move will be. The reports from the raid said that the seized intel and data from the Resa were being held at a research facility at Shepherd’s Beach, so I plan to go there to see what those charts can lead me to.

When I arrived at Shepherd’s Beach, there were a few military officers and other Expeditionary Force members hanging around also trying to get access to the Resa intel and data. It seemed I wasn’t the only one who had the idea that the Resa had some good info that could be of use.

The close proximity between the Resa and the Woodland Haruspex gives them enough exposure to whatever the Haruspex are up to with their magic and being also neighbors with the New Elysia Order, we can also get access to their findings on what new technologies that NEO has developed.

It took a bit of pushing and shoving but I ended up with the charts I wanted and proceeded to go back to hiding in my office at Paradise Landing to study them. Pouring over the contents of the bundle of crumpled and scuffed charts, I noticed they were in fact surveys of the land in Ancient Greece and it seemed that they were taken from the Haruspex. This reinforces the idea that the Haruspex do actively go through Orpheus’ Cave and now I have another reason to go back to the past.

The charts show that the area west of Thebes is rich with resources. I have already explored the area around Thebes on my first trip to the strange land and never got a reply for my mining proposal, which I think would give our faction an edge among the factions we always compete against. I will bring up my previous proposal while writing a new one, but if my superiors do not see the value in the resources that are lodged in the land of Ancient Greece, I will have to take matters into my own hands.

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Lore Entry for April #5
Daudaomur Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Darkest minions of the Gorgon, the Daudaomur are a grave menace to the continued existence of Next Island and Ancient Greek Settlers. Rumors abound how these monstrous serpents were created by Gorgon to spread death and destruction across time and space. Daudaomur subsist entirely on the flesh of Humans and can go months between feedings, which makes them especially dangerous foes. Simply starving them is a monumental feat. Daudaomur are tremendously venomous, venom even seeps out from pores on their scaly bodies, affecting anyone unfortunate enough to get near them.

Daudaomur do not reproduce the same way other creatures do. There are no males or females. Instead, they are borne from Gorgon’s head. They pop out and slither down, then they begin to grow rapidly. It takes a matter of hours, less than a day, for a Daudaomur to grow to its full size. One that is older than a week old becomes the more advanced forms of the creature. Daudaomur enjoy warm, wet environments like the aptly named Daudaomur Bog in northern Next Island.

Like a shark, Daudaomur teeth regrow when they fall out. It is believed that they don’t really even need to feed on flesh to survive, but that they do so anyway because they enjoy it. It is said that if you find the grotesque shed skin of a Daudaomur, it is a bad omen, your life is forfeit, and you might as well get your affairs in order. No doubt this is because where there is a shedding, the creature is likely nearby. Some people have claimed to see these beasts propel themselves forward by shooting jets of venom from their backs like some sort of profane rocket.

I really did not like this research assignment. Getting close to the Daudaomur was frightening and I saw my life flash before my eyes several times over! I hope this report was enlightening. May your hunts be profitable and may the Lord Tommy smile upon your loot returns.

Lore Submission for April #4
Screecher Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

I can’t tell you just how many pecks and bites I received bringing this data to you, the Next Island Settlers. The screecher is indeed a magnificent bird, albeit a flightless one. However, I did see one fly pretty far when it was kicked, but I digress. And don’t expect beautiful birdsong from these guys, as their name suggests, they aren’t good singers. Screechers differ from male to female. The males have brilliant blue plumage, while the females sport drab, dark plumage. The males must impress the females with a combination of their color presentation, a catchy dance, and presenting them with an azurite stone or other gem, though they seem to appreciate azurite most, since it is blue, like the males. Screechers seem to have a thing for blue… anyway. It appears the wily papoo tends to steal the azurite from them, at least the brown ones do. Add this to the fact that papoo like to steal their eggs and chicks for supper and you have a fair amount of bad blood between the screecher and the papoo.

I mentioned screecher breeding, well, they seem to breed in one place specifically to my knowledge, and that is a large cave near Riverside View. They migrate there constantly, as though it were some kind of traditional laying ground for them. The screecher’s egg is almost as big as they are, making birthing the egg a rather uncomfortable process I would imagine. I never got the chance to ask a screecher mother what it felt like. All I know is that much of their interior area is taken up by the egg as they are gestating it. Rather like the diminutive kiwi back on Earth, really. Listen to me, reminiscing about home.

Screechers are a menace to settlers, especially around Crystal Peak. Although some industrious settlers have found them quite useful sources of vibrant sweat. Almost daily sweat circles can be found at the foot of Crystal Peak and they are quite lively at times. Of course, vibrant sweat is valuable here on Next Island since it makes a few things such as Lesser Elysia. Perhaps the humble screecher is far more intelligent than most give them credit for, because with enough time and patience, they can be taught to mimic Human speech, even other creatures’ sounds. I’ve observed one charming individual fend off a regiment of papoo by mimicking a papoo’s territorial cry.

Screechers dine on insects and small lizards, but I’ve seen one pick off a papoo or two for some “fast food,” if you know what I mean. They have also been known to swallow gems to help grind up their food in their gizzards. That’s all I have for screechers for now. There may be a part two if my field research turns up any more juicy tidbits. I’m going to help cull the pop if you know what I mean. See you in Racc’s den!

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Lores Submission for April 2022
Writing my own experiences in Next Island
Posting all 5 post/parts in one submissions

Return to the Next Island

Part I

Again, I am flying in dark space. Starting to doze off while auto-pilot is on.

I must say that I still enjoy the travel, I consider as a time of relaxation. Just flying in the space with my Sleipnir with classic music I am used to.

Many have told me they hate flying to the space with their own vehicle. “It takes too long”, that’s what they say. I do get how they feel, when you want to get to the place for fun time then flying seems to be the pointless and wasteful use of the time. But, I do enjoy just reading the new information about the planet I go to next.

Me “It seems like many thing has changed and added”

After all, last time I was on Next Island, I only did new player missions and mined a little.

There are many missions I should work on… at least should finish the Driving Test. The driving Strider is not one of my best skilled thing to do. I am sure I failed the test at least 10 times, flipped the vehicle on the hill, go off the course, spin off, and time limit reached before passing the goal line. It is not only the Driving Test mission, I should complete, there are many I should now try to do as there are enough missions for lower level players now.

Before I do all missions, I must do my duty I promised my disciple.

K(Disciple) “So, why are you taking me?”

My disciple in the back seat pull me back to the reality.

Me “Because, you are finally graduating!”

K “I know, I am graduating… but, why are you taking me to different planet? I can graduate anywhere right?”

I thought I explained the reason more than one time to her, but often, she only hears what she wants to hear at the time.

Part II

Me “Because you said you want the best armor you can get from graduating, and that will be Next Island.”

K “What kind of armor does Next Island give?”

Me “It is called Atlas armor, and I think it is one of the best armor to get from the graduation. Also, it looks better than many other armors.”

K “Ah yea, appearance matters!”

Me “You will see what I am talking about when we land.”

I forgot to explain why I am flying to Next Island, and I may have mislead many of you that I was just flying by myself to pick up on where I left off. In the truth, it was my disciple who made me decide to fly to the planet. Yes, I did promise her I will fly to any planet of her choice to graduate and I was certain she will be picking Next Island for the armor. Many veterans know already, but Next Island offers Atlas armor, which I believe is best graduation armor for animal mobs. It gives balanced out cut, impact, stab protections while providing some acid and burn coverage. I understand there are many other armor sets you can get with variety of the protections, but personally, I did not need any other protection than basic three (cut, impact, stab) and maybe acid for entry level animal mob. It was my natural choice to recommend her Atlas armor, which didn’t exist at the time I graduated. Always good to have the one in the trend, even though classic sets are still nice.

Me “What do you plan to do after graduating?”

K " I want to continue hunting. Is Next Island good planet for new hunter?"

As a brand new player just graduating from the mentorship, some planets can be difficult as choice of mobs and missions can be limited. Next Island, even though their real estate may not be large as Calypso or Arkadia, the planet has good size of area to explorer as well as to hunt and mine.

Part III

I was surprised when I was on Next Island last time, it actually had good developed environment where new player to veteran players can enjoy the activities. Also, as a hunter, it would be good to check on the daily missions they have. Even if you are new hunter, Monkeying around would be a great mission to do every day. Yellow Papoo is very easy mob to hunt even you don’t have much dps but at the end, provide 2 ped Papoo Guardian Mob Pill which has good value both in ped and the entertainment.

Me “Yes, would be good to start with killing a lot of monkey.”

K “Monkey? Like one in real life?”

Me “Yea, they do move and sounds like ones you see in the zoo so you will find them no problem.”

K “That’s exciting, I will be looking forward to it.”

It may sound very odd but I should work on same daily mission as my disciple K. I believe those daily mission benefit anyone who is willing to spend time doing it, the reward is just that good. One more thing added to the list of things to do.

Me “Oh, there are many others ones too like killing piglets, cyclops, even fruit walking missions if you are out of the pd”

K “Nice, so there are plenty of things to do for new player!”

Me “Yea, I think so”

Even in the different planet, I hear some mission or activities about Next Island. Yet, most of word I hear is about new armor plate drops or crafting mission they added. That just sounds like it limiting the level or activity of many players, but I think it is enjoyable for all level of player. Of course, I won’t know if it is true for high ends folks, but with Gorgon waves and other instance, I think it provides a reason for them to visit also.

Me “Ok, we are landing soon. Make sure to buckle up.”

This is how my return to Next Island started, with my disciple K hoping many exciting adventures awaiting for us ahead.

First Thing First

Part I

Me “Ok, K. We have landed in Next Island. Now you can finish your mentorship and you should get your own set of Atlas armor.”

K “Sounds good, I am graduating… now.”

As she finish speaking, bright yellow swirl wraps around her with celebration music from the distant. It was definitely great to see, specially because I forgot graduating gives the Hall of Fame effect to the player. I am sure it was first time for her to see huge swirls with the sounds.

Me “Congrats, K. Now you can explore and enjoy the time in Next Island. Let me know if you are lost are in need for a help. Just letting you know, you can go down the stairs over there to the beach in order to start the beginner mission for first timer in the planet.”

K “Thank you, I will explore and see what I can find.”

I waved her and watched her go down stairs for her new adventure. It will be good for her to explore Next Island, she has a lot to find. Now, I can’t see her anymore. It is time for me to do my own thing. Even though there are many missions and activities to do in the planet, there is one thing I wanted to do when I decided to return to this planet. First thing for me to do will be definitely that mission. Many may already guessed easily, it is the Driving Test. The mission, I failed over and over and still did not achieve. May I a bad driver? Maybe. A driving in the car or boat was not bad as I know how it can maneuver, but Strider is a different story. I am not sure if it is just how that vehicle works or my driving technique, the vehicle slips without reasons I can see or find. Maybe there is a function where if I go faster than certain sleep on the slope, it flips itself. After all, I just didn’t figure out to control the beast yet. I failed many time on this driving test, but I love this kind of the mission. It is not just killing with a cold heart, walking for hours to find a specific ore, nor make hundreds of products over and over. I am not saying those missions are not fun, but it is something I do to reach the goal. The reward or gain in the profession to become better at what I do. The driving test is the mission that involves no long term goal for me. I can relax and enjoy even I fail to complete, it is just fun to drive and race against the time.

Me “I think K is already at the beach. I should get moving.” with the excitement I can’t hide, I have hastily walked to the driving course. The driving course is located in the Paradise Landing area also. It is downstairs and easy to find when you just go left after getting down.

Part II

Me “Hi, Greta. I am back to do the test.”

Greta “Hi Balam, just wait until the other is done with their test.”

Me “Ok, thanks.”

Greta is very nice person, who always greet me nicely no matter how many times I fail on the test. Never shows the frustration about me taking the test many time. I am sure that it is easy to recognize a person who takes that same test over and over in a same day.

Boooooom… I hear the sound of a Strider coming close. It must be other person who is taking the test. He is still far away, but I see it is just 1 minute and 30 seconds passed. The test course must be run through within 2 minutes and 25 seconds in order to pass the test. The guy who is taking the test was definitely a veteran driver, with sharp turn and sensitive acceleration work he was right on track. Now he is coming close, almost passing where I stand to wait. As we makes through last curve, I looked back for the timer.

Me “How does he do this…”

The timer has stopped as he cross the goal line, indicating his wrap time was 2 minutes and 20 seconds. He still has 5 seconds and already reached the goal. I couldn’t resist myself to go talk to him. Maybe get a tip or two for my test.

Me “Hi, nice run. How many times did you try on the test?”

Driver “It was my first time, I am glad I finished the test.”

Me “What? It is your first time? What is the secret?”

Driver “Just go easy on a gas, and make sure you don’t over steer. It is not that hard, you should be able to reach the goal without an issue.”

Me “Thanks, I will try my best.”

It is definitely easy to say than done, or else I should have passed already in the past.

Me “Well, at least it will be the first time trying for this visit.”

Placing my Strider on the start line, I firmly gripped the handle and took deep breath.

Harriot’s lore for May

Charlotte’s Return
Entry #125

It had felt like an eternity since the last time I had seen Charlotte. We hadn’t parted on the best of terms. I had become convinced she forgot all about me and Next Island. There was nothing stopping her from going back to her life on Calypso as if nothing ever happened. She had no real reason to come back, at least I had never given her a reason to come back. Over the years it became second nature to keep everyone at a safe distance. I had never needed anyone, so why did I care so much whether she was coming back or not.

Back at the cave Shiny was practising his sword skills, he glared at me when I interrupted him. I didn’t have time to explain, before I knew it I was throwing things around. Since Charlotte’s departure the cave had ‘acquired’ more things. There was a big pile of clothes and scrap metal lying around. I tried my best to make the place look semi decent. Shiny seemed to take the hint and started to help fold clothes and move the heavier objects. With Shiny’s help the cave was looking more like a home than a dragon’s lair.

Shiny had dragged over a couple of chairs I had spent my free time crafting. They weren’t anything special but it was better than sitting on the ground. I sat down to wait for her, Shiny took up a post closest to the cave entrance. Since Charlotte had gone he had stood there every time I came home, either to protect me or as if waiting for Charlotte to walk in.

A chilly wind suddenly swept through the cave and I found the nearest blanket to wrap up in. It must have been an imported blanket as it was far softer than anything you could find on Next Island. I must have fallen asleep as the next thing I remembered was one of the loudest ‘whirl, click’ that Shiny had ever done.

On instinct my sword was drawn quicker than I could wake up. A look of surprise seemed to settle on her face. I was still half asleep and her image at the cave entrance was something I hadn’t seen for a long time, it felt almost as if I were still dreaming.

“I see you haven’t changed much. At least Shiny knows who I am.” Her laugh seemed to echo through the cave as the realisation settled in. I tried to play it off like I had always done with her.

“I see you still like alerting the whole of Next Island of our location.”

She let out a soft laugh.
“Sorry I didn’t realise I was being so loud, I forgot how much this cave echoes. Looks like you’ve been busy since I’ve been gone.” She seemed to have grown more sarcastic from her time on Calypso. Her accent was slightly different than when I had seen her. Her outfit was also very different from the first time I had seen her. It was almost as if she had come prepared this time for Next Island’s harsh environments.

Charlotte’s Return
Entry #126

Charlotte was carrying the largest rucksack I had ever seen as if about to hike up the tallest mountain. In no time at all she placed it by the cave entrance and made herself at home.

“These are new. Did you make them?” Charlotte was looking at the chair as if it would break at any moment.

“It’s not going to break, if it can take Shiny’s weight you’ll be fine.” Shiny seemed to let out a sound of protest at my words.

“It’s rather cold here, I don’t remember it ever being this cold before. Pass me a blanket.”

The one I had been using had slipped to the floor before she arrived. I picked it up and handed it to you. She seemed to smile when she saw it.

“What rich merchant did you steal this from? Never mind, I don’t want to know.” Her smile seemed to fade as her eye’s fell to the ground. There was something different about her, something I couldn’t quite place. She was fumbling over something in her hands. On the Chair she placed a small shiny golden key. It was an odd looking thing; the handle of it had the Haruspex symbol clearly stamped.

“What’s this?”

“So, you know I went back to Calypso. Well I had in my time on Next Island forgotten what I had left behind and well, you see. The thing is…”

“Get to the point Charlotte.” She seemed to twist her fingers around a loose thread on the blanket I had given her.

“Well it turns out I had quite a bit of ped saved up. Enough to buy that.” She pointed at the key as if I should know what she meant.

“You bought a key?” My confusion at the small key was hard to hide.

“No, it’s not the key per-say but where the key leads to. Oh let me show you you’re going to love it.”

Charlotte led me to a place in Ancient Greece. She was fumbling with the key when we drew close to a few houses, rather large houses in Ancient Greece. She finally stopped in front of one. Outside it had a massive courtyard and an impressive building attached to it.

“This is the one.” Charlotte seemed proud for a moment until she noticed my expression. Before turning the key in the lock she gave me one long look.

“I told you I’d buy a house for us.” The door swung open as if it were inviting her home. She seemed nervous, I could see her take a long deep breath before entering the house. She sent a smile back my way.

“Well, what are you waiting for, this is as much your place as it is mine.” When she saw I wasn’t making an effort to move she pulled my arm into the house.

Charlotte’s Return
Entry #127

The place was warm, almost too warm. I found myself having to take off a few layers in fear of overheating in this house. Inside there were a few bits of Next Island furniture dotted around. They looked brand new and better quality than my little chair. Clothes seemed to be dumped on both the floor and the furniture. Charlotte seemed flustered for a moment. She began to scoop up the clothes and dump them in a pile.
“Sorry, I haven’t had time to move things in yet and we still need to pack up and bring the things from the cave here. I’ll give you a tour if you like, it’s smaller than my Calypso place so there’s not much to see, but it’s big enough for 2 people dont worry I made sure of that.”

The house itself was a slightly smaller space than the cave, though I had made myself at home in only a small part of the cave. It had been many years since the idea of living under a roof again had come to mind. As a child we usually spent our time in tents and temporary shelters. Only the adults really spent time in the buildings. It was to teach us children at a young age how harsh the Next Island landscape could be. Well at least that’s what they told us.

Charlotte seemed to stop for a moment by one of the sofas. She looked almost as if there was something weighing her down.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” under her breath she muttered the words ’before they arrive’. “You’d better sit down first.”
I found myself wandering cautiously over to the sofa, the more I thought about it the less I seemed to know about her. I knew for a fact she was from Calypso and was an archaeologist. But I never knew she was actually rich, from the way she had always acted around me she never gave off that vibe. It felt as if she was hiding a lot of things still.

“While I was on Calypso, I managed to talk to them about you. And about the fact that the ancestors of this planet trust you to protect it. And well, you see, they became curious. So in exchange for creating a pardon between you and the Stel, trust me that wasn’t easy to convince them. Well they wanted to meet you.” I found myself on my feet quicker than I could say no. “I had a feeling you wouldn’t want to, but it’s too late now. My old team mates are waiting outside.”

Charlotte’s Crew
Entry #128

Charlotte had ambushed me, I was proud and a little shocked at the same time. Charlotte had changed a lot since the last time I had met her. I had many expectations of her old team, tourists always had the same naïve demeanour and were always underdressed.

But the 2 others that walked through the door looked almost ready for an adventure, they were loaded with backpacks of which I could only imagine held rations and supplies needed. They wore thick clothes, one even had a scarf wrapped around his face as if he had just stepped out of the desert. Both were well built and much taller than me and Charlotte.
“This is Eliot and this is Carlos, I managed to meet up with them when I got back to Calypso. And this as you both must have realised, is Harriot.”
Elliot stretched out a hand towards me. When I didn’t shake it or respond he shrugged it off.
“Charlotte has told us so much about you, in fact it was hard to get her to shut up at times.” I gave them my most intense glare, I didn’t know them. Okay Charlotte trusted them but I didn’t even trust Charlotte at first. “She doesn’t talk much does she?” Charlotte seemed to glare at me while whispering into my ear. ‘Play nice’.
“So, are you both archaeologists too?” My words fell coldly into the air. They seemed to share a knowing glance before answering.
“Something like that.” Charlotte seemed to shy away a little at Elliots words. “So I hear you helped the spirits of Next Island find peace. Not an easy task as I can imagine.” Elliot seemed curious about my story and kept bombarding me with questions, I kept my answers short and to the point. No way was I going to let this person I barely knew have more to use against me in the future.

Suddenly the questions stopped and Elliot stood up from the sofa, he had something in his hand which he placed on the table.
“Do you know what this is?” I shook my head, it looked like an ancient gold medallion with empty slots as if waiting for gemstones.
“This was discovered on our last trip here, we found it just before Charlotte’s disappearance, we feared the worst that the ‘curse’ had taken her so we left without investigating. But rumour has it that a second piece of this necklace has been found. And being that you have the will of the ancients on your side we thought you could help protect us from any ‘curse’ the Island can throw at us. This relic is something that should be seen by all. I’m sure a resourceful person, like yourself, could help us”

A New Adventure
Entry #129

All 3 sets of eyes were looking at me expectantly as if I had the answer. Though it had piqued my curiosity, my hand edged towards the medallion. Something about it was fascinating as if somewhat familiar. Before I could feel it one of them snatched it away. Elliot seemed to have a smile on his face. Carlos up until now had remained silent but he stepped forward in that moment.

“If you help us I’m sure Elliot will let you see the necklace again. What we need you to do is find out information on the piece that has been found, it would be a shame if the ancient inhabitants saw this in pieces right?” Carlos’ demeanour was far different to Elliots; he was almost too sweet to be hanging around with the likes of him and me for that matter. They gave Charlotte a long hard look before leaving. She didn’t speak for a few hours, I had a feeling she was ashamed of what she was asking from me.

“You don’t have to help us if you don’t want to. I should have told them to not ask you anything. I didn’t expect they would be this persistent.”

I let out a sigh I had been holding onto for far too long. Logically, I was a smarter choice than any outsider to find information and I even wanted to know about this ‘necklace’. I had only seen it for a second but the image was seared into my brain. But to get information for an outsider that even Charlotte seemed ashamed about just felt wrong somehow. From the way they acted there was something different about them, something I couldn’t quite place.

“I’ll do it but just know I don’t trust them one bit.”
Charlotte and I spent the rest of the day moving things from the cave to our new Ancient Greece home. Most of the stuff I had was hoards of crystals and clothes I had acquired over the years, none of which Charlotte had ever questioned me about. Shiny looked almost as happy as anything to be returning to Ancient Greece. Shiny hardly ever expressed his emotions so it was hard to tell other than the fact he was dancing and packing up things quicker than me and Charlotte could manage. Once everything had been moved none of us felt like doing much of anything.


Lore for May

Tittle: The Walking Pest


After what the Man-Bear explained to me, I decided to find out first hand, so I went back to the Thebas Market…
I was hesitant about appearing at Queen Penthesilea’s court, when I overheard a casual conversation between a shopkeeper and his customer:

Transcript of the conversation.
-Yes, Temocles… as I told you, several have died there in the town near Larissa.
-Come on, man, with the artifacts of the visitors, no one dies anymore… No doubt Hades will be worried about the lack of souls that he will have, ha ha ha…
-Yes, yes… that when they went to resuscitate they writhed and died in excruciating pain… The one who brings me the merchandise told me, and I swear to the gods that guy doesn’t lie…
End of Transcript.

So apparently it all started in Larissa… Curious… I should definitely go for a walk around that town…
I approached the TP, and in a big flash I was dematerialized and reappeared in Larissa.

Still blinded by the lights of the TP, I took a step forward to trip over something and fall rolling on the ground… Gods, what the hell was that?..

“That” was a corpse at the feet of the TP… His lifeless eyes with petechiae, his hands clasped, in an unnatural posture… Since the Revives, he hadn’t seen a corpse in years…

I left the vicinity of the TP and took the road towards the town… As I got closer, the smell began to be indescribable… The smell of a corpse… And my fears were seconded when I got to the town…
A ghost town, with some bodies on the ground, and I imagine more in the houses…

A noise startled me… Turning my head I saw several survivors looking at me… They were haggard, hungry no doubt…

-Foreign!!! Can you help us? –Said one of them with fear in his eyes.
I cautiously approached while activating the air filter of my mask… luckily the Viceroy was a very airtight armor, so I was reasonably protected from possible viruses.
-What happened here? - I asked for.
-We don’t know… just that a few days ago some of us got sick and died between fevers and convulsions… then the Sky People Artifact was not able to revive them – She answered with a shadow of pain in his eyes.

A girl next to him tugged on his robe.

-No dad, they came back to life… but badly… They writhed, screamed and really died.

I looked at the girl…her eyes were afraid.

-Why didn’t you run away? -I asked for.
-We couldn’t… The village chief blocked the Artifact’s exit, and the roads have been unsafe for days… A band of very ferocious Arges has appeared and is prowling around and preventing us from leaving… We are going to die here…
-No man, we can do something to…

I couldn’t finish the sentence… The guy stared at me and suddenly the veins in his pupils burst… he opened his mouth and just collapsed dead…

We were all shocked… the body dematerialized and suddenly a strong light appeared in the nearby revive… The guy was going to resurrect…

He opened his eyes and… An animal scream pierced the air… his spine bent to unsuspected limits and his fingers caught like claws… Seconds later he remained motionless, dead…

The rest of the survivors ran out screaming… the fear of getting infected made them flee…

Well, the TP wasn’t working back, so I decided to take my Quad and fly to a friend who could help me… Doctor Borward.


I arrived at Pearl Cove and asked for Boward… They sent me to the upper floor, to the famous laboratory already known to me… there he was with his assistant Peter preparing, you know the Gods I experience…

In a few minutes I brought him up to date on what had happened… He looked at me in disbelief, unable to believe what I was telling him.

-But Dante, that’s impossible… The Revive works thanks to the DNA banks, and all the people here were scanned when we implanted the technology… Including Greece, thanks to the fact that Queen Penthesilea saw the advantages… So that doesn’t make sense …
-Okay, okay, come with me and check it out…

It took me a while to convince him to come with me… Boward had been a good soldier, but he had been a scientist for a long time now… Anyway, from his locker in the lab he pulled out a dusty old suit of armor from the days of the ancients first Elysian settlers and placed it.

From the laboratory he took out a series of devices, samplers and other scientific accessories and placed them in a briefcase… Once equipped, we went to the PT and, with a blinding light, we appeared in Larissa.

Boward’s face of surprise when he saw what happened was priceless… he moved carefully, as if some unknown danger was stalking him… yes, he stopped being a soldier a long time ago…

We approached the Revive and there was still the guy who died in front of me… Boward came over, opened his briefcase and started taking the equipment out of it…

For the next hour, Boward was busy examining the body and taking samples of all kinds… He filled various test tubes and other containers with fluid and tissue samples… He looked at me and nodded… Time to go…

It’s been several hours since we got back… Borward locked himself in the lab with Peter and they didn’t come out for anything, not even to eat… finally, when he was about to go in and ask, they both came out…

-Damn Dante… I can’t figure out what’s going on with this!!! -exploded.
-What’s going on? Have you found out anything? -I asked for.
-Let’s see… It is clear that it is something viral, since fevers appear and certain indicators in the tissues that imply viral activity, but… That the resurrection does not work? That depends on the DNA of the people, and this is correct, I don’t see anything in their DNA… I don’t understand.

Borward looked dejected… Not knowing what was happening had left him depressed… I decided to give him some encouragement.

-Come on Borward… if you haven’t been able to, at least you have results and tests over and over again… Maybe in another laboratory they can…

He looked at me… he nodded silently, he knew I was right…

-Okay… We should seek help among other more technologically advanced factions… I know people between the Loyalists and the NEO… You know they don’t get along very well with each other, but we could ask… I would go first to see some scientific friends I have between them. The Loyalists, let’s see if they can get something clear with the material that we are going to bring them…

No sooner said than done… It wasn’t too far, so we gathered what we needed, put the coordinates in our TP Chips and with a flash we disappeared from the lab…


Our visit to the Loyalists did not produce results: after several hours of tests, not even with their laboratory and Borward’s help were they able to obtain a possible reason for the deaths…
Borward and I went back to Pearl Cove… We had no idea what was going to happen…

Boward, what do we do? This is beyond us… Maybe we should talk to Chief Socrates – Really, I had no idea what to do…

Dr. Boward looked down…he could almost hear the gears in his mind: If we let Chief Socrates know, and with something as serious as a deadly pandemic, the Central Government of Calypso could quarantine the planet, declare Martial Law, or send the armed forces to prevent possible revolts… We did not know…

On the other hand, we could try to keep looking, but time was against us: If the epidemic spread from that town to the rest of Greece or Next Island and it was found out that we were aware of it and did not notify… Well, we would spend a long time in the Rocktropia Prison-Planet.

-Dante, I think we should go back to the town and continue taking samples, but… if we see something strange that indicates that the epidemic is spreading from there to the rest of the planet, we urgently notify Socrates… okay? -He told me, as a last option…

Said and done, we took the closest TP to Ancient Greece, and we appeared in Thebes Market… The deafening bustle surrounded us… We looked around and… I saw something that left me perplexed…
A girl was coming from one of the streets… barefoot, dirty and with her clothes in ruins… I recognized her… She was the girl from the village… the one whose father died before my eyes… How did she get to Thebes???

I nudged Borward, who didn’t know who that girl was… I was going to explain when I heard a scream that made my blood run cold: The girl was screaming while her pupils were bathed in blood, and she fell to the ground dead…

People were hardly scared or surprised… nobody knew what was happening, but the fact that whoever died in the Entropy Quadrant came back to life meant that people were no longer amazed at any death…

The girl dematerialized and reappeared in Revive…

What no one had foreseen is that the girl would die again in front of her eyes, in an unnatural position, with her hands hooked like claws… she was a FINAL DEATH, and people were not prepared for that…
The epidemic had left Larissa and was going to spread throughout Ancient Greece…


That’s it: The pandemic had left the town… We didn’t know how, but the girl had escaped from the town, eluding the Arges gangs and through the fields, since the town’s TP had been blocked.

Within a couple of hours, everyone knew something was up: Thebes market was deserted, and Queen Penthesilea had sent a couple of squads of hoplites to see what was going on…
Borward and I hid near the prison…

-Dante, how is it possible??? The pandemic is here… - Boward was terrified, and it was not for less…
-Let’s see, we must keep a cool head… Two state-of-the-art modern laboratories have not found anything… Maybe the way we do things is not correct… - An idea was brewing in my mind…

Borward looked at me without understanding… Let’s see how I explain…

-Look Borward… This is Ancient Greece, thousands of years ago… There were different diseases than we have today, with different symptoms…
-And what do you mean? – Borward did not see my reasoning.
-Well, maybe it’s a disease of those times, with microorganisms or viruses of those times and that we could still need a doctor of those times… - I looked doubtfully at Borward…

Once again the gears of his mind started moving… And suddenly he saw it clearly.

-TRUE!!! Let’s remember how Smallpox was eradicated at the end of the 20th century, or how AIDS was eliminated in the 21st century… today nobody would know those symptoms, nor a remedy against them… -A smile lit up his face.
-Exact!!! Maybe this was a known disease in those days, which was later eradicated or simply disappeared and did not reach our days…
-So we must look for a doctor from this time… And in that case…-he looked at me cautiously…
-Come on, Borward…
-That in these times, the legends told about a famous doctor, who was also one of the teachers of those ancient heroes… what were they called?.. ah, I remember… Ajax, Achilles and Jason… his teacher It was the Centaur Chiron…

A CENTAUR!!! But how the hell are we going to contact a Centaur??? As soon as we get close to their territories, they will come in flocks to kill us… They are very warlike, and there is no news that relations between centaurs and humans have improved lately…

But there was no other choice… We should approach Knossos, and from there enter Centaur territory beyond the place of the Gorgon…


We dodged the hoplite patrols and approached the TP… In a flash we appeared at Knossos, as memories of our great adventure with the Gorgon flashed through my mind… We mounted Borward’s Quad and traversed the island…

We landed in a clearing in the middle of Centaur territory, although we didn’t see any in the place… We looked around us warily…

-Dante, I don’t see anyone… Where are they? – Borward looked scared…
-Don’t worry, I’m sure they’re already watching us… Besides, they don’t usually live in large groups, so I don’t think…

The sound of a horn interrupted me… And from a nearby forest appeared about two dozen Centaurs… They approached us at a light trot…

-Borward, don’t worry, there are few…

Why did I say anything… More appeared from a nearby cave that we hadn’t seen… and several more had been hidden behind a huge boulder…

We were surrounded… They looked at us with their reddish eyes… Their muscular torsos protruded from the lower part of a horse’s body… Horns adorned their heads, and when they opened their mouths, fangs gleamed… Honestly, they looked menacing…

And suddenly, simultaneously, they unsheathed curved swords similar to Falcatas… Each one carried two swords, using the style that, much later, would be baptized among the gladiators of Rome as “Dimachareus”…

-Dante, I think we have a problem…- Borward said as, suddenly, between screams and clashing swords, the centaurs charged at us…

What the hell!!! An angry mass of centaurs surrounded us and came at a furious gallop, swords drawn…

Well, we have two options: Either we fight, or we get killed and appear in the Revive of Knossos…
As he decided on the best option, a loud howl could be heard even above the noise of the Centaurs galloping…

They screeched to a halt… Their paws tore up clods of earth and grass as they stopped abruptly… They looked around as if searching for something…

In the middle of one of the groups of centaurs a figure emerged… It was a Centaur too, but something different… It had esoteric symbols painted on its torso, it did not carry swords but a staff, and the mane that came out of its head was braided…

With a majestic step he approached us… He looked us up and down, noticing our armor and weapons…

-Foreign!!! What are you doing in our territory??? – His voice was stentorian, but at the same time there was a hint of education…
-Excuse me, we come from Thebes and we are looking for… -I said
-Stupid!!! No one enters Centaur territory and lives to tell the tale…unless the gods have sent you…is that right? He stared at me with his reddish eyes…

Borward chimed in:

-Sir, we are not gods nor do we come from them… There are problems in Greece and we need help…

The being looked at us from landmark to landmark…

-In that case… If Greece needs help, it’s because the gods have abandoned you… Why should we help? - With a threatening gesture he pointed to us with the staff…
-Wait, wait… I see that you are the head of these Centaurs – I said, trying to intervene and prevent them from killing us… - Who do we have the pleasure of speaking with?

The being looked at me mockingly and replied:

-Who are you talking to? My name is Chiron…

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Removed to avoid copys

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Isme Gotitt lore submission for May

Isme’s Journey entry 6

Isme’s Journal #6

Look at me go! I remembered to write something in my journal!!

I was reading today that a good way to build up skills is to swunt low level creatures while not wearing any armor. Lets face it, I need all the help I can get so I am gonna try it! The article also said its a good way to save money because since your not wearing armor- you wont have to pay to fix it!! I like that idea!

I have all my supplies together and I am gonna try my hand at swunting mountain boar piglets maybe even get in a few screechers. They are pretty easy so I think I can pull it off! I will finish this entry this evening.

I DID IT! I swunted piglets, with no armor on, for 7 hours! Of coarse, I spent a lot of time resting at the reclaim terminal, but…. During the last two hours I died SO MUCH LESS!

I am proud of my work today! It was interesting, I thought I would learn to understand the piglets, or to develop a sort of extra sense to know when to move, where to move ETC. But WAS I WRONG!!!

Its the PAIN! Wowzers, there was lots and lots of pain. Especially the first dozen or so piglets I tried to swunt. The first couple of piglets gored me, the next group gored me and trampled me! Sometimes the piglets would gore me then call in the screechers to peck me while I was down….

I got so the thought of getting gored again made me jump away from anything looking like a tusk! I think I even stopped thinking of it as a pig tusk. It became more like Flashing white object= MOVE, and Move FAST!

I wonder if the Flashing white = move will translate into swunting other creatures, not all critters have white tusks to catch the light…

I think I will sleep on that question.

Isme Gotitt

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #7

Wow, I am SOOOO stiff! I have been swunting with out armor now for a week! I am getting enough from hunting to pay the bills so I’m gonna keep going! Hmm Maybe I can submit a piece to the Times or the Herald as a Freelance writer on this process? Could be a thing.

Anyway, I am dodging those piglets pretty good now. I even got through swunting 4 of them with out even needing to use my 10 pulse unit. So this grind is paying off! If I can learn this much in a week, what can I do in a month?

Tomorrow, I am gonna really lay it down on that field of Breakfast-on-the-hoof. I heard some people talking at the repair terminal about how Boring swunting can be. I guess I can see that.

They need to look at the BIG picture. I was, and probably still am, a total wuss when it comes to fighting. I mean I moved to this planet thinking I was gonna be some star reporter and all, not a hunter.

But I look at where I am now and compare that to where I was a week ago, 2 weeks ago and I improved by miles!!!

Is this what they mean by paying your dues? A sort of walk before you run? Maybe?

I dunno. But I like the direction where its going!!!

Could I ever take on that god from Ancient Greece again? Maybe with out even wearing armor???
hahaha probably not, or at least with armor on, but its fun to think about!!

Isme Gotitt- Super hunter- I like the way that roles out! “Is-me Got-itt, SUPER hunter!”

Hopefully that isn’t when I get hit by that Anvil sized fist again.

All daydreaming aside, I think this epic grind is going to lead to bigger and better things!!

I can’t wait to see what I can do next!

Isme’s Journey

Isme’s Journal #8

Helllloooooo Journal!

I got a mission today for.…? .guess? Hunting Mountain Boar Piglets!!!

I got the mission from a friendly Papoo named Sebastian. He asked me kill some mountain boar piglets- 200 to be exact. That is a lot of piglets. It was a crazy amount of piglets.

SOO many piglets I will hunt them and swunt them in my sleep tonight!

I got all 200 thought! I hunted half and swunted half. I am practically dead on my feet!

I feel so accomplished! I had 2 piglets attack me at the same time and I lived! I swunted one while they both attacked and then when the one ran out of sweat I killed them both. My first hunt I would have been in revive in short order.

Piglets, piglets far and wide
out to get my sorry hide
sweat and toil
shrapnel and oil

piglets piglets far and wide
out to get my sorry hide
fighting fast, fighting quick
brings my skills up a tick

Piglets piglets far and wide
out to get my sorry hide
fewer times at revive
I might actually survive!

I keeping learning so much! Who knew grinding skills on low level creatures would teach me so much!

What had I been thinking when I went to Ancient Greece that first time. I know what I was thinking, I was thinking – how hard can it be to fight something in either a toga or chiton? I am in a full suit of armor.

HA- shows me what I knew doesn’t it!!

Also I had that feeling again today, like I was being watched. I am not sure what that was about. It didn’t feel malevolent so I decided I am just going to carry on.

I wonder if all papoo are friendly like Sebastian? Maybe when I get good enough at piglets and screechers I will explore a bit and see what the papoo are like? If they are friendly It could be a really fun way to spend my free time.

Okay enough blabbering for one day, as I write this I can feel my eyelids starting to close…

Its also getting harder __ to__ hold ___ the___ pe__ n __cil~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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A Next Island Love Story by Pope L’Brung

Book 2, Chapter 1

It was early evening when I arrived on Next Island. Initially, I had intended to return to my home on Calypso but now I was determined to find Jihkanna, the Haruspex girl I met at a festival on Toulan. I knew she was from Next Island but she kept her details mysterious. I would have to search for her.

‘Welcome to Next Island,’ read the giant sign at Paradise Landing. The tropical air was warm and inviting. I had been to Next Island only once before. It was years ago - I visited this planet to scout for a rare mineral called Dark Lysterium. The findings were scarce, as was the population back then.

Now, the island seemed more vibrant and populated. The locals were friendly and offered guidance to the new arrrivals. I had travelled by myself and didn’t know anyone here. I was appreciative of the help.

Following a suggestion, I ended up at a place called Caroline’s Bar in Crystal Bay. The staff were locals but the patrons seemed mostly like tourists. I sat at the bar and ordered a Haimoros tea. The bartender was Haruspex so I asked her if she knew of a girl named Jihkanna. She shook her head and apologised. I felt awkward and guilty for even asking. Was my plan to just approach ALL Haruspex people and ask them to help me find a girl that I barely knew? This was going to be more difficult than I expected.

I slowly sipped my tea and surveyed the bar. My goal was to secure lodging for the night and gather any information that might help me locate the girl who stole my heart. It had been a long weekend and I needed some rest.

“Pope? Pope, is that you?”

I looked through the crowd toward the voice calling my name. I smiled to see a familiar face. It was an old mining buddy of mine from Calypso.

Book 2, Chapter 2

I nodded and motioned to my friend as he navigated the crowd and sat next to me at the bar.

“What in the world are you doing here?” he asked. “Probably searching for that Dark Lysterium, I reckon,” he added.

I chuckled and then told him about the girl I met on Toulan. I told him that I had made a spontaneous decision to travel to Next Island to look for her.

“You sly old dog,” he replied as he winked and made a thumbs-up gesture. His fingers were covered with various shiny rings. “Chasing a girl across the universe, eh?”

His name was Gus but everyone called him ‘PK’. He’d earned a reputation within the toxic mining zones of Calypso as a ruthless hunter of unsuspecting miners. He caught me once, years ago when I was a kid. Thankfully, he let me go. That’s how we met - I remember asking him how he found me and he just laughed and told me it was my brightly coulored purple clothing and that I could be spotted hundreds of metres away. He suggested that I would be more successful at avoidance if I camouflaged myself to match the terrain. The advice was followed and a friendship was born.

PK asked me where I was staying and what my plans were. I told him that I was without plan nor place.

“Nonsense!” he laughed gregariously. “I’ve rented lodging here on Next Island for a week. You’re welcome to stay with me.” He leaned over from his barstool and hugged me tightly with one arm. “What’s mine is yours,” he declared as he ordered us another round of tea.

We drank and chatted about exaggerated mining stories. It was a relief to meet an old, familar friend. I was appreciative of the help but my mind was still focused on finding Jihkanna.

Book 2, Chapter 3

PK and I walked down to the beach from Caroline’s Bar. I followed him to the tent he had rented for the week. It was spacious and well-decorated inside. He pointed me to the guest room and I tossed my backpack onto the bed.

“Thank you,” I told him. “I really appreciate this.”

“Don’t mention it, mate,” he replied with a smile.

We reconvened in the lounge and had some more tea. I could see that there were maps laid across the round coffee table in front of us. I noticed they were geological maps - the kind that indicated elevation, terrain, and resources.

“You see that, Pope?” my host began. “That’s why I’m here!” He pointed to a large area on one of the maps. It was shaded red. He started to tell me about a mysterious toxic mining area that he’d come to explore.

“I don’t think there are any toxic mining areas on Next Island,” I stated unassured.

“Correct!” he interjected. “But the portal to the place I seek is located somewhere here on Next Island. I intend to find it.”

Her eyes were like…portals.

“Do you beleive in time travel?” he asked.

I’d heard rumours of time travel since I was a child. The idea was intriguing, but I remained mostly skeptical because I had never witnessed any evidence of it. Only stories.

“I don’t know. Not really,” I replied, shrugging my shoulders.

“Well get ready to believe, my friend. Time travel is real and I’m going to prove it.” He possessed such a confidence.

I listened to him tell me about a normal planetary teleportation portal that supposedly led not only to a different place…but a different time. It was said to have the ability to send travellers back to the past, specifically Ancient Greece.

“The key is with the Haruspex,” he continued. “They are the ones who know how use it.”

Book 2, Chapter 4

I laid in bed, exhausted but restless. My mind was focused on finding Jihkanna. She was the reason I had come to Next Island and I was determined to see her again.

Earlier before I retired to my guest room, my host had disclosed a plan to locate an alleged time portal. He was convinced of the idea and had asked for my help. He believed this portal could allow people to travel back to the time of Ancient Greece where a volatile mining area existed. He trusted me and recommended that I help research it with him.

Normally, I’m always up for an adventure. Especially if it involves mining in unique areas. I told PK that I would give him an answer in the morning and excused myself to my room.

His plan was to meet up with a Haruspex guide he recently been introduced to. He said this guide had knowledge of time travel and could help direct us to the specific location of the teleportation portal. If successful, it would transport us back in time.

I hatched a plan. I decided that I would help PK on his mission to locate the supposed ‘time portal’. I was doubtful that it even existed but saw no harm in tagging along with him to explore Next Island on his crazy, adventurous mission. I was also interested in meeting his Haruspex contact. Perhaps I could ask him for help with locating Jihkanna. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Sleep eventually came and again I dreamed of her. I saw her beautiful face and enchanting eyes. She didn’t speak, she just smiled at me. My soul craved her and my heart demanded her. In my dream it felt as if I inhaled her. I could sense her essence coursing through my body like a magical frequency. I held my breath as long as I could.

Book 2, Chapter 5

I awoke the next morning to the sound of PK rummaging through his mining gear in the lounge. He owned several different resource finders and excavators. It seemed he had amassed just about every type of specialty mining tool available.

“Good morning, my friend,” he called out as I entered the lounge. “I hope you slept well. Today is a big day. Have you made up your mind?”

I nodded and told him that I would help him. To be honest, I was intrigued with the idea of time travel and mythical mining locations. Who wouldn’t be? I privately suspected it was just a fabricated myth used to attract tourists. I was more concerned with meeting the Haruspex guide. I wanted to see if he knew how to find the girl I sought.

PK finished loading his equipment into a large rucksack. I spotted a few weapons mixed in with his mining gear. High-powered weapons.

“Do you think we’ll need those?” I asked.

“Better to have them and not need them…” he smirked, “…than to need them and not have them.”

I hadn’t considered the idea of needing to arm myself. I typically carried a small pistol with me just to scare off curious mobs that interrupted my mining runs. I wasn’t highly skilled in weapons or combat like PK. I took the opportunity to check my pistol and ammo just in case. They were neatly tucked away in my small backpack along with my simple mining finder and excavator. I didn’t have fancy mining equipment. Never needed it.

After our bags were packed, PK made us a small breakfast. He advised me that we would be meeting his contact at a Haruspex outpost near The Enchanted Forest. The guide, called Ayinde, would then lead us to the teleportation portal that supposedly altered time.

Isme’s Journey #9

Isme’s Journal #9



This is my 9th journal entry…. I know I am not very good at this but I need to write something down or I will go crazy!!!

I went to see some more papoo today. Sebastian seemed so nice I wanted to meet the friends I kill piglets for. UGH if only I could put on this paper how much I am seething right now.

SEEMED is the word here. You know what he really is? He is the front man for an evil monkey army!!! OH SURE he is nice and friendly, offers you a reward for killing piglets. He wants you to kwill the evil piggies so his wittle friends will be safer!!! Safer indeed so they can grow in numbers and take over!!!

HA! Its a plot!
I know its a set up.
I went to see what his friends were like after killing my 200th piglet TODAY…… grr

Those little blankety blank blank creatures attacked me as soon as I was close. Then while I was healing 6 of them jumped me! Can you believe that? I ended up in revive!

Its not so much that I had to go to revive as it is the total sense of betrayal. That feeling of being played a fool! I have been through a lot since coming to this planet, and it wasn’t to be a patsy for a talking monkey!!!

I have to review what I know about the factions on this planet. If there is one that hunts, especially hunts papoo…. I am gonna see what I can do to sign up! While I am waiting for acceptance into said faction. Maybe I will write a new article called “Beware of Talking Papoo” and I might follow that with a book “Next Island- an Honest Guide to its Flora and Fauna” and its going to include a line about “Papoo are evil. Start a farm and raise Mountain Boars. Its a good source of supplies and will reduce your chance of being attacked by papoo!!

That Papoo army is going down!

Lore Entry #1 for May, 2022

More Screecher Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Aloha, my fellow wildlife enthusiasts! We’re back with breaking new information about the mysterious screecher! This bird is simply full of surprises! For example, did you know they take a great amount of care when it comes to their plumage? Or should I say fur? Yes, that’s right. A screecher’s feathers are more hair-like than feather-like. I was amazed as well! But what’s even more amazing is some screechers keep hair spray on them at all times so they can keep their fur nice and bouncy, not to mention plastered to their bodies. It gives them such a velvety sheen, too! This may be another tactic males use to attract the females. Oh, but you might be wondering where they keep their hair spray? You probably didn’t know, but screechers have a sort of pocket in the front of their breast area, sort of like a kangaroo does. Be sure to search that pocket thoroughly, if you’re hunting them! Who knows what else they are keeping safe in there?

Speaking of the mating rituals of the screecher, I’ve noticed something somewhat disturbing. There are only about 1/3 or less the amount of males as females. This is no doubt due to over-hunting of the males, since they are the only ones counted for the containment mission. But it may also be because two thirds of eggs that hatch seem to be female. It’s a compounding problem! I hereby officially enter a request to make the containment mission count females as well.

There are a couple more things I found out about the screecher. First, since we are on the topic of breeding, it appears that after the chicks hatch at the nest, they are taken to either the beach at Paradise landing or to the boar enclosure near papoo village. The ones taken to the boar enclosure actually receive some protection from the boar piglets, which act like older siblings and watch out for the chicks. After the chicks reach some level of maturity, they migrate over to the beach at crystal peak. There may be other places, too, but I haven’t stumbled upon them yet. After the young screechers reach adulthood, they eventually migrate to Screeching Hollow, where the life cycle repeats as males woo females with their mating ritual.

That’s all I have on screechers for now, friends. I am sure there is still much more that can be said about this captivating creature, and I will find out what it is. Until next time, may Tommy bless your every endeavor.

~Your friend, Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson, the High Prophet of Tommy

Lore Entry #2 for May, 2022

Chimera Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Dear journal,

I have been studying the enchanting creatures of Next Island and recording the facts for everyone’s enlightenment. I have known about the Chimera for some time, but never really got a close look at them until the last few weeks. I have been out in the field, north of Oasis Outlook, collecting data about these strange animals.

The chimera is unlike any other creature on Next Island, aside from maybe the desert crawler, its closest relative. What makes these critters unique is that they display attributes of both reptilian and mammal species. What makes them like reptiles is their scaly body and almost turtle-like beak. What makes them like mammals is they have some fur and mammary glands and teets, which I am sure they use to nurse their newborns. I am still unsure whether Chimeras give live birth, lay eggs, or have some other way of birthing their young. There are a lot of possibilities, and I haven’t ruled any of them out yet.

I mentioned their turtle-like heads. They have no teeth, but instead have a serrated beak, like a turtle, or bird. This suggests they have a uniformly carnivorous diet. A lot of creatures on Next Island can subsist on insects and other small fauna for food, but chimeras must hunt large game based on their equipment. I believe the boars that litter the planet are a plentiful source of energy for them, but I haven’t witnessed a chimera eating, so this is only speculation. I have, however, seen the remains of people near chimera, which suggests they have eaten Humans. Unfortunately, I needed to kill a few of them to get close enough to examine their physiology. Chimeras are very short tempered and territorial. They see most other animals, especially Humans, as a threat and attack if you get within 50 meters give or take. At least, that’s my experience with them.

I am certain there is more to know about the mysterious chimera, so I am going to continue to record more about them. I sincerely hope this information finds its way into the right hands. We need to know about the animals of Next Island so that we can respect them and be good stewards of this planet.

Time for me to wrap this entry up. I hear a noise coming from outside my tent.

Lore Entry #3 for May, 2022

Cyclops Facts
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Unless you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, you have probably heard about the mythical Cyclops. They hail from Greek mythology, so it is appropriate that they can be found in none other than Ancient Greece. Of course, the Ancient Greece we visit on Next Island is NOT the same Ancient Greece that was on Earth. It appears to be a parallel version that has similar locations and names, but has creatures that I am almost certain didn’t exist on Earth. Perhaps this alternate Ancient Greece is the source of the legends Earth’s Greece had, but I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

Cyclops are big, brutish Humanoids with dark amber skin and one, single, almond-shaped eye. Their dress is primitive leather and loin cloths and they all seem to wield crude clubs. Cyclops, as one could imagine, don’t have the best eye-sight. They often stumble around and get stuck in trees or bushes, becoming unreachable if you are hunting them. To get them unstuck, simply get them to start hitting you. They usually get unstuck themselves.

Another oddity about Cyclops is that they carry hair spray when they are completely bald. Believe me. There isn’t much hair on them. I checked many dead ones over to verify this. It is my theory that they are inhaling the spray to get a sort of high from it. They probably get the stuff from passing hunters after they kill them. This theory also supports their disorganization and clumsiness as well as their general lethargy as they trudge through the hills of Ancient Greece.

There are a few tribes of cyclops. There are the regulars; the Cyclops. Then there are the Arges, who are stronger and more warlike. Finally, we have the Brontes, who stand head and shoulders above the other tribes and often bully and exploit them. There is a bounty on all Cyclops heads. See Hiresh at Kamba Outpost for one mission. I am told the other mission requires a bit of convincing of one of the factions here on Next Island to do.

What other mysteries do the Cyclops hold? I will find out if it kills me. Until next time, my friends.

Yours, Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson the High Prophet of Tommy

Lore Entry #4 for May, 2022

The Blue Baobab Tree
Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Next Island is not only home to unique creatures, but also is home to some very interesting plant-life. One such plant is the sizable blue baobab tree. A baobab is a tree that has a very round and thick trunk that is wider near the base. Baobab trees on Earth have similar leafage as most deciduous trees, but the blue baobab has leaves that more resemble the petals of the magic flower. It is my theory that the magic flower and the blue baobab have some common connection. Perhaps they are evolutionary cousins. Maybe the magic flower is actually a blue baobab sapling! Wouldn’t that be extraordinary! It’s possible. Because of the demand on magic flowers causing them to be picked not long after sprouting, they wouldn’t have the time to become their adult forms. Magic Flowers will be a topic for another time, though.

The blue baobab has bluish green hued leaves that sprout from the top in a fan-like fashion. Their trunks are long and fat, especially around the bottom. The bark is rough and forms in gray rock-like scales. The trunk is also very bumpy and dented, almost creating a twisting look. I have examined several specimens and found that every one of them is virtually identical. Perhaps they are all clones of each other? Wouldn’t that be fascinating! There’s another tree nearby the blue baobabs that I hypothesize are distant cousins of the blue baobab. I call them woolly baobabs, and I will have to research those more next.

They all seem to grow in very specific regions. The ones I took notes on are North and North-west of Oasis Outlook. They don’t appear to grow near water, but I could be mistaken, since my sample size was so small. Judging by the dryness of the areas they are found in, I’d almost consider them a large succulent. Their leaves certainly resemble the succulents back on Earth. Perhaps the magic flower too is a succulent? This requires further investigation.

That’s all the information I have right now on the blue baobab tree. I am certain there is more to know about them, but it will require a few more months of research; at least a month more. I think it is just as important to know the flora of Next Island as it is to know the fauna. Perhaps the plants are less profitable, but there are some that the native critters either call home or use for feeding. As far as I am aware, nothing eats the blue baobab. We’ll investigate further and get back to you guys.

Thanks for reading my report.

Your friend, Fatty, the High Prophet of Tommy.

Lore Entry #5 for May, 2022

The Woolly Baobab Tree

Research by Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson

Despite the name (which I coined, actually), the woolly baobab is not a good source of wool. Sorry, that was a bad attempt at humor on my part. Indeed, though, the woolly baobab has earned it’s name for its shaggy appearance. The leafage on this plant resembles the hair of a woolly mammoth, a long extinct elephantine mammal from Earth’s Pleistocene Epoch. If you’ve seen a picture of one, you’ll know what I mean. I believe the woolly baobab and the blue baobab are close kin to one another. Perhaps in the same family of plants, a divergent genotype. I won’t bore you with scientific jargon, though.

The woolly baobab, like other baobabs, has a thick trunk, much wider at the bottom than the top. It’s bark has long, horizontal striations, not unlike a palm tree. The bark is white and decidedly bitter. Yes, I cut off a piece to taste it, and I am still alive, which is a very good sign. From all of my research into the animals of Next Island, I have yet to meet a critter who can reach the leaves of the taller trees, although the shorter ones’ leaves can be reached. Still, I do not know a single animal who’s diet has this plant in it. Even so, I am sure the woolly baobab plays an important part in the ecosystem, though what part exactly is up for debate.

When the woolly baobab reaches a certain height or age, the crown, where the leaves are, splits into multiple segments. Each segment’s base resembles the trunk. This very well could be how the plant reproduces, since I did not notice any reproductive parts (such as flowers, seeds, or fruit). My hypothesis is that the woolly baobab reproduces asexually by growing these extra segments and then waiting for them to fall off. Once they fall off, they establish themselves as new trees. This is not entirely uncommon in the plant kingdom, so it is very possible.

Truly a splendid plant, the woolly baobab is. I wish I could report more about them, but I literally just discovered them myself! I’m sure many people have walked by this tree not thinking too much about it. It’s just sort of in the background. For most people, this tree doesn’t seem to play a noticeable role in their lives, but I think it plays a much more important role than we think. We shall see. If you’re looking for this tree, go to Oasis Outlook and go North-East, down the valley.

Yours truly,

Fatteus “Fatty” Thorsson, the High Prophet of Tommy.

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