Nierest told me of a Glaive named Tuck who was given a mission by King Holva. Something about delivering a message of some sort to the king of Glavis. Normally I wouldn’t be interested in such a mundane errand, I’d much rather be exploring underground ruins, but I haven’t been to Glavis before how could I turn away the possibility for exciting discoveries along the way? It’s also been some time since I traveled with Nierest so I look forward to that. I know he’ll have my back. I hope our journey won’t be too uneventful.
HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN A TENT?! We have been traveling for about a month now. We’ve gone through forests, rocky areas and now a desert with trees. I didn’t even think to bring a bedroll. My body hates me right now. I ache everywhere. I can’t believe how woefully under prepared I am for this journey.
At the very least I’m not the only one. Tuck and even Nierest didn’t think to bring anything either. Nierest is about as done with the wilderness as I am but Tuck doesn’t seem to mind. I haven’t heard him complain once, though he has said very little thus far. I’d talk to him more, but I fear offending one who could oh so easily snap me in two. He’s incredibly intimidating. Nierest seems comfortable enough with him. They’ll sometimes talk away from the rest of the group after we set up camp. I must admit I’m curious about what they discuss. I’ve often thought to try to listen in on their conversations, buuuut I’d like to make it back home without the need for a body bag.
Shiro was the only one with enough forethought to bring a tent and bedroll, and this is his first long journey as far as I could tell. He seems very stealthy. I rarely hear his footfalls and he takes to the darkness like me. He seems to keep to himself as well, he never once offered to share his tent with any of us.
To make matters worse, NOTHING interesting has happened so far. Walk, eat, drink, sleep, climb occasionally, and do it all again. We haven’t even come across a single cave I could explore to get my mind off my exhaustion. Something needs to happen soon or I may go crazy.
Ask and you shall receive! We came across a group of very aggressive nymph-like creatures today. They looked like living trees. Oh the things I could have learned from them had they been a bit more friendly.
Tuck tried to speak with them, but they were much more interested in hacking us to bits than communicating. Poor Shiro, his inexperience showed today. He was so frightened he fell face first into the sand and didn’t come up for the whole encounter, even after getting injured by one of them. Tuck valiantly ran into the thick of things and punched out one of the creatures with his bare hands. Note to self, stay on his good side or be sure to stay a safe distance away.
I managed to hold my own, somewhat. One of the enemies had swung at me and missed, but I was too distracted by it to see the second one. It grazed me. I had worse injuries. I tried to retaliate, but my new crossbow snapped its string right as I was pulling it back to shoot. I’m going to have to have a word with that hack of a weaponsmith as soon as I get back home. Thankfully, Shiro was kind enough to repair it for me as soon as he had finished his lengthy, and apparently intense, discussion with the ground.
Nierest was amazing. He used the cypher he had found from the last expedition we went on together. It destroyed all of the creatures at once, reducing them to charred….bits. Among the ash, he found a leaf, strangely unharmed, that grows cold when it points South. We both were immediately intrigued by this. Though I was very tempted to see where the leaves went, I really wanted to get to the city of Ishlav to maybe find out more about this strange leaf. I’d much rather be prepared than venture into the unknown blindly. A comfortable bed to sleep on wouldn’t hurt either.
I swear EVERY tavern in EVERY town has a “mysterious stranger.” It’s like there’s an un-written rule that all taverns must have a quota of at least one “mysterious stranger” at all times. I think they crave the attention. I mean, if you want to truly be left alone, go around dressed like everyone else. BLEND IN! But no, they insist on looking all creepy and secretive with their dark hoods covering their face. Anyway, moving on.
Nierest decided to go talk to the man, bringing Tuck with him as a violence deterrent. The stranger ever so helpfully called the creatures “forest dwellers” (scholar for sure) and said treasure awaits us where the leaves lead us. Naturally, danger accompanies the treasures, but, cyphers. And discoveries! I stayed at the bar, which was serving unlimited purple ale. I came across this in my travels before, I dedicated a whole entry in one of my last journals to this amazing ale. Admittedly, I was drunk at the time and got a good laugh out of it after going back to read it. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorites. Shiro downed seven shots of it so quickly he became incoherently drunk. Poor thing was crying uncontrollably at the bar for a time.
We decided to go see the Aeon Priests about the leaves. Shiro promptly threw up outside the door, narrowly missing Tuck. We met a rather excitable priest named Joseph. He confirmed what the tavern cliche had told us. Before leaving, Nierest tricked Joseph into giving up one of his cyphers. The man has a way with words.
It was getting late so we headed back to the tavern, but Shiro in his still-drunken stupor insisted on camping out for the night. I felt bad for him so I agreed to set up his tent for him and stayed to make sure he was alright. The purple ale takes some getting used to. But now I’m still awake in the middle of the night writing in this journal because I can’t sleep. The ground is so uncomfortable here. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Ugh my back. Sleeping on metal is about as comfortable as sleeping on rocks, even with a bedroll. Before leaving town I bought a map of the southern Ishlav area for when we go to see where the leaves led us. Tuck, being the leader of the journey, wanted to deliver the message to Glavis before going treasure hunting. I was hoping to go south toward the treasure (and inevitable danger), especially since we weren’t getting paid for this trip, but oh did we find something exciting along the way!
We came across these beautiful silver rocks. On top of that, we found caves! You’d think over a month into our journey we’d find caves or ruins before this but nope, the landscape was strangely barren of these things. In my excitement, I almost missed a man in the distance warning us of the incoming Iron Wind. The last thing we needed was out of control nanites slowly, and painfully, killing us. Shiro pushed us all into the nearest cave and just stood at the entrance for a few moments. He had his hands up like he was surrendering or something, not that you can surrender to what amounts to mechanical dust particles. Nothing happened and he turned and ran further into the cave with us.
It was blissfully dark in the cave. I turned on one of my glow globes as we traveled further in to escape the Iron Wind. We came across an orb on top of a pedestal. Nierest and I immediately went to study it. Unfortunately we couldn’t figure out what it was, not that we had a lot of time to. The floor suddenly opened up and I swear I could hear Tuck muttering curses in our direction as we fell pretty far into a pitch black room. Even my glow globe couldn’t help us see a wall right away. Luckily, Nierest still had that leaf and we followed the cold south until we finally found a silver wall.
In my infinite wisdom, I touched the wall and a being made of the same silver metal came out of it. Could have been worse, I could have set off a trap or seven. Definitely not looking to go through that again. Initial attempts at communicating with the metal man failed. He seemed to only be able to repeat what we said to it. For some reason, Shiro thought it’d be a good idea to tie the metal man up with his rope. It seemed strange to me since not that long before, it had melted out of the wall. Eventually, Nierest showed him his book on Numenera. It seemed to have been able to read and when the last page was turned, the metal man effortlessly freed himself from Shiro’s rope and melded back into the wall. When he didn’t return, we decided to follow along the wall to try to find a way out.
After some time the metal man reappeared, only looking more like us. He was able to converse with us perfectly this time. He seems to be a very powerful being. He lit up the room we were in and showed us wondrous things. With just a thought he brought up an image with seven spheres (he called them planets I think) circling a bright star in the middle. Though he looked more like us he seemed not to know of our needs, because we were unable to breathe when he showed us the image. He was kind enough to stop what he was doing, allowing us to breathe again, and let Nierest and I rummage through a box of items left behind from other visitors.
Afterward, Nierest did that thing again where his common sense goes for a long walk and his thirst for knowledge comes in and locks the door. He wanted to learn as much as he could from the being but the rest of us were getting increasingly apprehensive. It had said many others had “attempted” to leave, and that didn’t sit well with me. Luckily, Shiro promised the being we’d return after our “very important quest” was completed and we were shown the way out. I’m not looking forward to meeting with the being again, but I know my curiosity will get the better of me.