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#14212659 Sep 20, 2019 at 11:38 AM · Edited over 2 years ago
1197 Posts
Day Zero - 5th Evening of the 1st Waning Gibbous of Autumn - Northwestern Hasla Mountain Range

After careful deliberation, I have decided that it is time to leave home. Though this comes in direct opposition to Grandfather's wishes, it is something that I feel I must do. I cannot learn anything new here without him bringing in new research materials and books. Even before he fell ill, I felt limited by my lack of real world experience.

Grandfather made it abundantly clear that The Outside is a dangerous and unwelcoming place, and his claims are well substantiated by everything I have learned. Nuia and Haranya are almost entirely at war. Auroria has stabilized and the two nations fight one another for land. Ancient forces have reawakened and plague the seas and land. Assassins and pirates are a constant threat, and even more so, ambitious nobles, royalty, and politicians vie for power, often no matter the cost. That is how my father perished.

I am not entertaining any illusions of personal safety, nor that I can make even the slightest difference in the world, but history is unfolding now, and I cannot bear the idea of letting it pass me by. There is no guarantee that there are others out there documenting what they see and hear, so that others may study detailed historical accounts further down the line. I feel that this is my duty, and my calling. Even in his darkest days, Aranzeb committed to his scholarly destiny. I believe that he would support my decision.

It pains me to disrespect Grandfather Ichal's wishes, especially after only so recently laying him to rest, dedicating his soul to the Hereafter, but I have made my decision. My trusted elk Abdul and I will depart come the morning. I feel prepared, and excited, if a little wary. I can only pray that Grandfather looks after me, despite my disobedience. I wonder what discoveries await in The Outside. What will it be like to see and meet real people? Will they have heard of me. Grandfather already brought six of my manuscripts to the outside, and four of them were published, both in the common tongues of Haranya and Nuia. They were published under the pseudonym "The Wanderer" -- which I'm pleased will no longer be an ironic name!

To an enlightened future,
The Wanderer, Vahn Draren
#14238462 Oct 30, 2019 at 07:15 AM
1197 Posts
Day Two - 1st Evening of the 2nd Waning Crescent of Autumn - Galegarden

I left the mountains yesterday, Day One, and started on my journey into The Outside. Abdul and I spent most of the day descending the mountains, and I am relieved to say that neither of us suffered any slips or falls, although there were a few close calls. Grandfather chose a nigh inaccessible area to build our home, and now I am more aware of why he would on occasion return with scrapes, bruises, and once, a sprain. It is not very easy to reach our part of the mountain range at all.

Blessed with good fortune, we reached the base of the mountain before dark. We continued on flat terrain until the sun drifted below the horizon. Were it not for exhaustion, we might have traveled farther, but I decided that it was best to set up camp for the night. I made rice over a cookfire, and had a pickled plum as a treat, while Abdul grazed on the crisp autumn grass. I felt a little heavier at this new elevation, and had intended to journal about our journey, but sleep claimed me before I could even think to reach for my pen.

After awaking at the start of Day Two, I tore down camp and resumed the journey. We found a path, and I decided to follow it, as I had yet to determine a destination. It was then that I saw my first real person ever--besides grandfather, that is. He was a middle-aged Harani man, wearing a straw hat and carrying a small scythe over his shoulder, and he appeared to be chewing on a reed. He nodded his head at me, and looked like he was going to keep walking by. Years ago, when I asked my grandfather how strangers greet one another, he told me that they bow to one another, and showed me the proper way to do so. So, I stopped and bowed respectfully to this passerby. He stopped, and asked me what I wanted. Feeling as though I must have done something incorrectly, I was at a loss for words, and he lost interest, then continued down the path.

This event had me anxious, and I found it difficult to stay calm afterwards. So I had some tea, with my medicine.

After the morning passed, Abdul grew tired and obstinate, refusing to carry on for some time. I argued, begged, and bribed him to continue moving, but he stood stock-still. At this point, there were more passerbys, but they kept clear of Abdul and I, and I was too preoccupied to greet them properly, though nobody stopped to speak with us, so it was ultimately unnecessary. He only took to music, following me as soon as I started to whistle a tune for him. When he grew tired of that, I played my lute instead.

Hours later, we reached a peculiar point in the path. We had seen several people at this point, and though I was not able to greet them respectfully with a lute in my hands, some seemed quite friendly, smiling in my direction, lifting a hand in greeting, or bowing their heads. Some also seemed to stare. I know that it is not common for a Harani to have green hair, nor are green elks native to this region, so I assume it was because of that. My medicine had been working properly since I administered it, so I was not touched with nerves from those interactions. At the end of this path, there were stone steps, leading up the slope of a cliff's ridge. I was awestruck, seeing the giant carvings in the faces of these cliffs, including the one that this village was built upon.

I was told by two armor-clad men standing on the stairs, bearing banners, that it is too difficult to bring an elk up into the town, so I was able to put to use my practice of sending Abdul to a living stable in the Hereafter. He will still need to eat, and shouldn't stay there overlong, but he will be safe and comfortable there. They also told me that this village is actually the city of Galegarden, which, according to my grandfather, was the city in which my mother was born and raised.

Though I took exactly as much medicine as I believed necessary, I quickly found myself overwhelmed by Galegarden after reaching the village gates. There were so many people crowding the town, and so many new sights, smells, and sounds all around me. I felt a sudden and overwhelming sense of dread, so I stepped aside and supplemented my dosage directly. After a few minutes, I was feeling very brave, and I was emboldened to approach and speak to people. Most were very friendly. I asked them about the history of Galegarden, and was able to take several useful notes for my current manuscript. I think I perhaps should have been more careful though, because I did encounter an altercation.

I was speaking with a young woman, maybe my age, perhaps a little older, who was wearing incredible, fine silks in many colors, and who wore golden and silver trinkets in her stark black hair. She was very personable and warm, and was patient with answering many of my questions about the region. Occasionally, she would laugh, so I think I must have been a little bit entertaining to her in some way. Before I could ask any further questions, however, four young men, also adorned in silks, as well as quality leathers and metals, approached me with hostility.

One of them ushered the woman away before I could ask her name, and the other three closed in on me, telling me that I was too bold and presumptuous. I was not certain how to quell their anger, and I merely tried to explain myself. Then, I was hit in the face. It is hard to recollect, but I remember finding myself on the ground, where they kicked me repeatedly in the back, shoulder, and gut. Then they left me there. I must have fainted.

When I came to, I found myself in a dimly lit, small house, in a cot that sags ever so slightly to the right. That is where I am writing from now. I don't feel much pain at all, but I am certain the medication is to thank for that. The owner of this household is one of the men I saw on the road, who is a rice farmer. His name is Timu, and he is very kind, allowing me to recover here for the night. He bandaged my shoulder and my head, both of which have been slightly bloodied, and is sleeping on a futon on the floor this evening. In the morning, I will see what I can do to repay his kindness, then I will return to the road. The woman I spoke with, whose name I should have asked for, told me that there are historians and books in Veroe Castle. That is my next destination.

To a speedy recovery,
The Wanderer, Vahn Draren
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