Bhael's Diary

17th of Resplendent Earth, RY 768

[This entry has been written in Rock Tongue]

Dear diary,

Sometimes I wonder about this gaggle of compatriots I wander around with at the moment. I mean, I initially began traveling around with them because of the fact that Loxodon seemed interesting enough. Now though, we have some kind of three way dance between Lady/Lord Bright Feathers, Ryu Firebottom (or whatever he mentioned his surname was) and the scorpion kid. Ryu doesn’t like the scorpian guy, Bright Feathers is a little bit disgruntled with the scorpian guy and the clawed crusader doesn’t seem to like anybody. I’m surprised he wasn’t modeled on a crab. Sigh. Anyway~

Apparently I haven’t managed to earn anyone’s ire yet, but I did seem to confuse or worry them at some point. While I was doing a spot of investigative work, Bright Feathers chased me down. Not entirely sure what everyone is so skittish about. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume it’s either because of the fact I still don’t have those silly tattoos or perhaps it’s due to the fact that they’re worried that the cult is far more dangerous and aware than I believe it to be. Also – judging from the strange looks I got – fishing is now one of the activities that will get you considered to be a slight touched. I’ll bear this in mind. Maybe the ability to fool the others into thinking I’m some kind of madman might come in useful.

I wandered out today and fetched a book on romantic poetry. I’m somewhat disappointed the others did not get to see me doing so, I thought that my actions on the whole would amuse them terribly to see Ryu’s own socialite skills utilised by myself to overwhelming success. I think they all believe I was born under a rock and stayed there for most of my existence. Actually, scratch that. Technically I did live under a rock for the past fifty odd years. Ha! Either way, I was fairly charming – or so they said. I even arranged to perhaps meet with a couple of the young ladies at a later date for more dancing and intrigue. I suppose I should maintain the mysterious angle, occasionally showing my towering intellect or perhaps my skill with the flute.

Ahem… where was I? Ah, yes! I mentioned the cult briefly. Well, due to the banter in the Rickshaw I have reason to believe that our clawed amigo intimidated the poor young lady in an attempt to gather information. Quite uncouth and, more irritatingly, he may have exposed our throats to the lions. Perhaps I’ll break off from the group for a few days. I’ve got a few ideas on how to make the attempt… If those cultists have a Theurge with even lackadaisical knowledge of the Art of Astrology then we might have a scrying attempt on our tails (I’m fairly certain I read they could do that sort of thing). More to the point, for all of Bright Feathers claiming that he was merely a guard hired for the night, should they discover otherwise our whole party will be exposed.

Double sigh.

Anyway, we’re pulling up to the mansion now. I’ll speak to you later.

Bhael

14th of Resplendent Earth, RY 768

Dear diary,

I have some amazing news! I’ve managed to coax the group into taking me to Ssaaneth, which was the historical Dragon King city many moons ago. Obviously now it’s home only to imposters who seem to be unaware of their deception. I’ve raided their tomes of knowledge and drank deep of their history, but I have not as of yet managed to find a distinctive link back to the Dragon Kings. Oh, but this wasn’t the amazing news I was talking about-

I’ve met this person, and no it’s not in a Lady/Lord Bright Feathers kind of way. He’s apparently going to take me to see some real Dragon Kings, so I’ve come back here to quickly gather what little I’ve got and wait in eager anticipation. I doubt I’ll be able to sleep much. With that being the case, I suppose I have plenty of time to go over what I’ve been doing and thinking about lately. It will keep my mind active and help me to digest what I’m learning anyway.

We arrived in the library at about mid-afternoon I’d say and I immediately got to work copying down local maps. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about civilisations, they keep really accurate maps of their local surroundings. Just imagine if all of these minuscule scraps of information could be made into a map the size of the world? I might as well begin compiling one, as I plan to venture all across the land anyway. After that I moved on to accounts of this land as told by its people, in other words their history. Once that began to run dry, I started taking stock of their legends and myths. You can tell a lot about the way a society operates from it’s fairy tales, I think. In an aspirational sense!

Unfortunately Loxodon managed to oust me the other evening, continuing to work until the next morning skim reading pages while I fell asleep on a particularly large tome. It was comfortable, but I am slightly perturbed that he would stay awake all night. We’ve got an awful long time to digest information, by my estimations, and there wasn’t really anything particularly remarkable in this library from what I could tell. Mostly just my kind of lore, which is no problem to me! I guess I will come back here at some point, seeing as thought the locals seem to like us so much.

Oh, yes. They had a festival too, which I took some notes down on. They appear to worship the Unconquered Sun during the time of light and switch to praising Lunar as the first light of the moon caresses the stone of the city walls. A fairly standard affair, with criminals being sacrificed during the day. I questioned a few people about this, asking whether there had ever been any catastrophic or cataclysmic events transpire during or after any of these events but the locals replied in the negative. I suppose something must appreciate these tainted sacrifices. If I were so vulgar as to want anything sacrificed in my name, animals would do thank you very much. Well reared, cared for and loved animals. That’d be it, I’d say. One really has to question the ideals of a civilisation that sacrifices its own people, even if they had done wrong. I suppose it creates some kind of additional fear behind the act of committing a crime though. Mmh. I could ponder this all day, but at the end of it all I’m only here to observe for now. You wouldn’t go into another man’s home and claim he was doing things incorrectly, especially not after he’s been so nice to you and offered you hospitality!

Loxodon went a bit mad, it seems. I watched him undressing in full purview of the Snake People before dashing off into the forest screaming something about the grace of Lunar or something else silly. I thought he was civilised too… honestly! A snake woman wearing some kind of white wrap-around garment was pulling on my arm at one point as I was trying to walk through the square. I didn’t really quite take to the look in her eye, so I managed to dislodge myself and escape unscathed! Phew.

I really hope I get to speak with this Crouching Panther person quite a lot. He seems to know I was here looking for the Dragon Kings, and more importantly he knows actual living examples of the species. I’d be impressed to meet with them and see what they think of their poor imitations. More importantly, I’d like the real story as to how this place fell. Perhaps they can shed some light on which of the Myths I’ve copied into my consciousness are true and which are wild fabrications.

Well, my wrist is cramping a little from all the writing, so I’m going to stop here.

Goodnight, Diary!

Bhael

12th of Resplendent Earth, RY 768

Dear diary,

Sorry I haven’t written in you for quite some time, old friend, but things have been fairly hectic these past few days. After traversing this land Westwards to get to An-Teng, I happen to meet a strong minded group of Lunars who immediately wanted to bring me somewhere else for my own benefit. Quite benevolent of them, but I wonder if it’s just a ruse of some sort.

Over the past week I’ve managed to get a good lay of the land. I’ve even produced a map of all the lands between An-Teng and an area known as The Silent Crescent Forest. It really is a skill I’ve never had to practice much, map-making. I hope my scales prove to be more or less correct, but I see no reason to doubt – everything I’ve judged has been exceedingly accurate thus far. I couldn’t help but notice some interesting pieces of history ingrained in certain locations we’ll be traveling by. Perhaps I could convince my companions to let me stop and make some notes – perhaps perform an excavation.

Oh, I knew I was forgetting something! I mentioned the group, but haven’t really said much about them.

Well, there’s Loxodon – he’s a Lunar with similar passions to myself it seems. He seems intelligent enough and even appears to have knowledge of some kind of sorcery. I wonder what my mentor would make of him? Loxodon seems to like talking, and I have learned quite a few interesting things from him. I’m not entirely certain whether to trust this person, though. He was fairly pushy about wanting me to get my caste locked in place with tattoos and I’m always apprehensive of people who want to convince me to do things when I don’t have all the information. Strangely, these tattoos demonstrate an abnormal gap in my knowledge.

Then there’s Lady (or perhaps Lord?) Bright Feathers. I’ve seen her appear as both male and female, which is quite an interesting trick! It seems (s)he is some sort of courtesan, and while she tries to play herself off as being prim and proper I believe I’ve seen her true face. (S)he is beautiful though, heartbreakingly so. I’ll have to be wary of that one. I can imagine many a person has been ensnared by the way (s)he acts. I don’t seem to have much in common with her, which is probably just as well as it seems she’s much more manipulative than Loxodon.

Ryu is an exceedingly eccentric one – perhaps more so than any of the others. He’s also extremely rich, and I’ve noticed on the odd occasion he’s been giving Lady Bright Feathers googly eyes. Sometimes I’m only pretending to read my books, you know! He seems to know something of the Mountain Folk, which was a bit strange. Moreover, he wished to visit them at some point and plunder their knowledge. Perhaps I spoke too much – the fool talks while the wise man listens after all. Ryu seemed to be particularly apt at showing off while he fought, but at least he did the job well enough. I wouldn’t like to be on his bad side, especially not with all those esoteric affects he seemingly keeps creating.

Then there’s a Lunar whose name I do not yet know. I’ve seen him appear as a giant scorpion and I’ve seen him crush Bangi Flies with his bare… claws? All I know about this person is that he appears to want to travel with us, but not speak to us. Ahh well, no harm in that. Especially when he’s as tough as he appears. There’s something off about him, but I can’t quite put my finger on it as of yet.

That’s mostly my first impressions for now. I’ll likely write more once I meet this Crouching Panther and see just what he has to offer in the way of knowledge.

Either way, I doubt I’ll be getting these tattoos unless someone shows me a convincing enough argument. So far, it just seems like it’ll keep me safe from the Wyld whilst restricting my abilities. I’m perfectly capable of staying out of the Wyld myself, thank you very much. The frustrating thing is that I probably know more about that place than the rest of the party put together. Nevermind though.

I should be getting to sleep now though, so goodnight Diary!

Bhael

Bhael's Diary

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