Caught Between Worlds
3rd Entry James
Comparing wild venison to spoiled food, I guess we did alright with “meat-on-a-stick,” from a street vendor no less… A few more days of this and I might need to figure out if I can buy a cow. The slightly green tinted bartender apologized for his earlier behavior and gave us a second night in his beds for free. I’m not sure who got the better end of that bargain. At least I’ll have a bed to sleep in.
As a warning, this particular entry will be filled with things that do not make sense, things that violate basic laws of physics, nature, and even society. I am documenting them as I have seen them; I will not try to make sense out of it. I do need to research the manufacture of these things but that will come later. The possibility that this represents is very exciting. I am breaking the journal entry up into things that stick out to me, hence the little titles in front of each topic. I’m sure some English major somewhere will curse the ground I walk on for this, but fortunately I don’t care. Hmm apparently this world is rubbing off on me, there is no way I would have used the phrase “curse the ground I walk on” two weeks ago.
Clan rock, getting us jobs: I learned yesterday about the glowing, talking, shape changing, rock that everyone else enjoyed touching. It is some kind of group registry. It helps keep mercenary groups from attacking each other in dominance struggles and it acts like Craig’s list for work. Third parties broker the deals and line up jobs with people who are capable of those jobs. Then completing those jobs earns you points… yes points. The concept is so simple that I can see how it would work well in this world. There are also investment opportunities with clans. I’m going to look into that as I start developing resources here. Now I’m glad that I didn’t touch the rock. Not being part of the clan offers distinct advantages. I will have to watch my back a little more though, only the paranoid survive.
Weird dreams: So I’m just getting used to the concept of a spirit, that is not a figment of my imagination, living in my shield and trying to train me. Now I have to deal with strange dreams too. I had a dream that there was a door in the middle of the wall down stairs in the inn. The dream was way too vivid and lucid to be just a dream, and again things here seem to always point to something specific. Unfortunately there isn’t a door where there was one in the dream, maybe it’s a different inn?
Crazy man steals memories in trade for trinkets, possibly good business partner: His name and personality were so crazy that I can only describe him as… well crazy. He was fascinated by new things, not just new like fresh out of the wrapper but new like he had never experienced it before. Oddly enough this group of fictitious people had plenty to offer. A few of them bit into his hook, but I haven’t seen him reeling in his line yet. I caught a glimpse of the contract he was asking them to sign; anyone who has ever read a legal contract would have shunned the document like it had anthrax on it. Who knows that they actually gave up in trade for little ridiculous perks. That being said, this guy was a hell of a salesman and he seemed to know how things worked around here. I’m going to have a couple conversations with him and see how much I can string him along with various business concepts. I’d like to have him in my corner if business develops, or if things get complicated.
Ring that blows 3 glowing bubbles a day: I’m not even kidding, simple ring, nothing out of the ordinary. Blow on it and a little bubble forms just like you did as a kid in the summer time. Only these bubbles are larger than you’d expect, they don’t fall, and they glow like a candle. I could go mad puzzling out the amazing amounts of energy required to defy gravity and emit light with no source of power. That being said, IT’S A RING THAT MAKES GLOWING BUBBLES That has to be one of the most horrible, egregious wastes of time and energy EVER. It’s called a flashlight people, wake up and harness the electron.
Wand? Really? Removes stains and freshens the target, note about limited uses, good for business: Okay fantasy land just took the last step into cheesy. Apparently we still needed a Harry Potter reference so that everyone would know that things are maaagic. All fan boy annoyances aside, this did push the framework of this world into magic fantasy land for me. Wands… seriously? Again, amazing power packed into a seemingly ordinary piece of wood, and what does it do? It removes stains, makes your clothing look like new, and leaves a hint of pine. Who makes this stuff up? Who would think of that?
“Hey George, I just figured out how to turn wood into an infinitely efficient capacitor. Really Bob, that doesn’t sound possible as wood is a horrible conductor. Seriously George, I figured it out and it’ll hold enough energy to do almost anything three times per day! Three times a day Bob, you better make a really good choice on what it can do then. Yeah I know George, I just can’t figure out what I should do with it, maybe create a huge electrostatic discharge, or maybe using some twisted interpretation of relativity theory it could create a little portal into the future, I’m just not sure. Well Bob, those sounds like good ideas but that damn horse of yours stomped in the mud just as I was walking into your broken down hut and splashed mud all over my clothes. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that George, why don’t I just make this thing remove stains from your clothing and leave you with a hint of pine then? Thanks Bob, that’s a solid work of genius!”
On a side note, I want to buy it off of the Britt, it does seem pretty handy.
Boons? I need a dictionary: Too bad my iPhone doesn’t have enough charge left for me to use my dictionary app. I’m going to leave this one alone for now. Hopefully boon means something good. So we get through the interesting ordeal with the man with the confusing name and crazy behavior and “coincidentally” he is also the man who has a job for a clan with little experience. “Coincidentally” we happen to be the only clan with little experience in the area and he gladly accepts us for his job. The job is protecting a wagon caravan through an area that “coincidentally” recently just started having rumors of bandit activity. This again fuels my theories on this being a contrived world that is challenging us. I’m okay with all of this though, my dad used to said, “Coin can always be found in coincidence.” I guess he still does say that technically. Once I own most of this fantasy world I’ll have to find a way to bring him over, I know he would be impressed.
So we take a 10 day journey through various mountain passes, forest areas, you know great spots for ambush. The insane people who surround me don’t seem to notice the possible damagers, not in the slightest. One night in the mouth of a cave, “OMG WATCH ROTATION,” 10 days of protecting a caravan from possible bandit attack, not even a thought of watch rotations. I think they all simply ignore whatever parts of this reality that inconvenience them. Oddly the combat parts they seem to like, following that logic…
Ambush, how original: I could have called that one in my sleep, fallen tree and everything. Straight out of, well countless medieval based movies. It did get my blood pumping though, knowing that I was going to be tested again. Having humans come at us was new; fortunately I kicked into a sparring mindset without hesitation. Well there was some hesitation when I looked down at an arrow sticking out of my leg. I hadn’t anticipated that, it was pretty much a cheap shot. Maybe armor isn’t a bad idea if it can stop arrows. Taunting needs to get better. I’m feeling pumped up in fights but I’m not pulling them to me, I really want to face some larger challenges. In summary: Archers in the trees, very annoying. Coordinated fighting, very effective. Real combat is an interesting thrill. Pain, what an interesting concept. How far can I go?
I touched on the psychological twists earlier but things really stood out once combat ended. Turns out soldier boy beheaded his first foe. Yes, that’s right b e h e a d e d his target. I’m not sure what the Midwestern university ROTC teaches, but look out Al Qaeda. Baseball goth apparently wants to see other men nude, or he wanted more clothing, I’m not sure which. The ambushers that weren’t killed became everyone’s focus. Various ideas were tossed around from killing them to just letting them go. I really just sat back and watched this take place. People have told me that my moral compass is a little off but Jesus these people are cruel. I’m not sure how they can justify killing people even ones that are trying to kill us. It’s like they forgotten that we were in college just a few weeks ago. Well I’ll always vote to let unarmed people go, I’m not going to kill anything that doesn’t want to test itself against me, and it better have a decent shot at taking me on.
We ended the job with the ambush cleared and headed back to town; but what if there were more ambushes, why was no one concerned about Mr. Crazy after this ambush? Is there a one ambush limit that I’m not aware of? These incidents are feeling more and more like they are specific events meant to reveal another point of some deeper lesson. Fortunately, I’m very confident that I have passed the tests presented to me, and certainly in a better fashion than the others. Back to town, meeting up with Marik’a’ma’snap: I think he is starting to get to the others, that might by why I find him so entertaining. He’s cute in his own way, like a dog that can talk. His stream of logic/thought/babble is almost relaxing in a way. It reminds me of how simple people can be and why there will always be a leader amongst peers.
Another job, another species… half dragons this time… how does that even work? Bipedal body, human sized with dragon features. Let’s skip right past the concept of dragons being real and just take it for granted. Now we come to how something human sized and something dragon sized, can mate. Obviously I’m making guesses about the size of the dragon, but if there is a bunny somewhere large enough to have half human babies then maybe dragons are small here. I wonder what it would be like to bang a dragon…
Short notes… Collecting blood from a tree, not quite as hard as from a stone. Climbing not my forte. Small group tactics, not their forte. Note: I’m going to have to learn more about tactics. Blood sucking creatures also drained the pods we were harvesting, does the tree really have blood in it? Back down we go…
Sleeping under a blood tree: Again, no elaborate camp setup. After all why would we need a watch rotation with giant blood sucking insects around… More weirdness, Marik finds a cellar door… in the tree. Yeah, cellar door, in the base of a giant tree, that produces blood pods, as fruit. So ridiculous that it has to make money as a book. Down into the cellar we go, one lone room, big book in the middle, this looks familiar. I don’t want to go back yet, too much to do, too many opportunities to exploit… damn it they touched it.
Back in the library, no book, no armor, no shield, back in my designer clothes, note left on table. Email from faculty apologizing that he missed us… I’d say he missed us by more than a few minutes, or miles.
Things to do: sleep in my bed, then planning!