Quest Climb Every Mountain

Charm's group investigates Fog Mountain

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

Climb Every Mountain

Postby Liminal on April 20th, 2013, 4:09 pm

Continued from here

The path that led toward the mountain started out in the same lush jungle that had marked the other path. However, within half a mile, the grade had steepened markedly, and outcroppings of dark volcanic rock began to pepper the landscape.

The air was still and oppressively heavy, so humid that the travelers' clothes were quickly soaked through. Drops of water pearled on the tips of leaves and ran in trickles down vines and trunks. As they walked, the omnipresent fog that gave the mountain its name began to appear in streaks.

Charm was in excellent shape for a woman of her age, but she still wasn't going particularly quickly. Her breathing was heavy, but there was fierce determination in her eyes.

The mountain was eerily silent. One would expect birds, lizards, perhaps even small mammals -- but there was nothing. Only the footsteps of the small party broke the deep quiet.

As they rounded a turn in the path, they were greeted by an unusual sight. It was a slab of the black rock, but one that had clearly been put there by someone. It was polished, so much so that they could see their reflections clearly in its surface, and on it, with near-mechanical precision, was inscribed a single word -- not in the strange script of the map, but in Common:

REMEMBER

Charm came to a dead stop and gave a low whistle.

"And what's that all about?" she asked of no one in particular.
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Climb Every Mountain

Postby Ayatah on April 22nd, 2013, 5:24 pm

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The jungle was a welcome sight for Ayatah, having grown up in Falyndar and amongst the jungle there. But this was different; it was not her home, and that damn mountain was annoyingly steep.

Still, she trekked on, a mixture of stubborn refusal to give up and genuine interest in what lay atop the mountain feeding her footsteps. She paused every so often, stretching her limbs or cracking her back, but she never stopped long. Being left behind might mean being left on the island forever.

This is all too silent… She thought, looking into the trees and expecting to see birds. There weren’t even insects… What jungle doesn’t have bugs?

In fact, Ayatah was so deep in her puzzling thoughts that she didn’t realise the party had come to a stop until she almost walked into the person in front of her. The Kelvic, she recognised, though before she could muster up an apology their party leader spoke.

And it was then that she looked at the strange black stone.

Remember….

”Someone must have been here since that map.” She suggested, then shrugged her shoulders and explained her thinking, ”either that, or the map-maker could write in Common, but wrote his map in a made-up language or one that has become extinct since he was here.” It seemed a rather fanciful idea, though; even Ayatah realised that. But languages did not become dead quickly or easily, so common sense told her that it was the first suggestion that was more like to be true.

”Anyway… It’s a suggestion,” she said, shrugging once more and giving a sheepish smile.


|| Ayatah's speech || Ayatah's thoughts || Others' speech ||
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Climb Every Mountain

Postby Besnik on April 23rd, 2013, 9:35 pm

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Besnik

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

It escaped the Kelvic’s notice that the group of four had diverted from the rest of their companions to head up the mountain until he realised that the others were already gone as they stepped into the jungle. As soon as he’d stepped ashore, Besnik had taken in a deep breath with a huge grin, glad as scents other than that of sea and salt assaulted his senses. The scent of the island shore was different to any other place he’d been, but that was to be expected; especially, he realised, as humans probably hadn’t set foot here in a long while. Even the most barren places he’d travelled to still had the occasional traveller pass by, leaving a trail of their own no matter how faint. “This is better than being cooped up on the boat,” he spoke as they joined the path through the trees. The canine within him wanted to bark and run in circles, failing that to shout out in human form and sprint. He suppressed it, though for a short while looked fairly on edge as though he could take off at any moment; they had a quest to go on and he wasn’t a careless pup anymore. He had some sense of self control.

Even so, he was able to ignore the strange feeling that coursed through him as they made their way through the jungle. He hated being confined, and though a boat was fairly open there was still a sense of being stuck in one place in the middle of a large stretch of water. The sheer fact that there were no walls here, which he knew of, was enough to reveal the excited glint in his eyes. Besnik was glad to have Charm with them, suspecting that with her age came experience that would be helpful in the challenges they could come across. He was also grateful that Miles was in their small group, as he’d enjoyed hunting with the other and had wished to befriend him further. He sent a grin in direction of the man, tilting his head in a question of how the other felt about where they were. The animalistic action may go unnoticed by the human, but he was well enough accustomed to their ways to understand that instinctual signs he knew weren’t known by men.

The Kelvic turned his attention to the woman with them, Ayatah he believed her name was. He hadn’t had the chance to speak with her and wondered what her story was, why she was with them and where she’d come from. His inquisitive side, much like a lot of his more flamboyant characteristics, was being suppressed. Perhaps he’d eventually have the chance to converse with her, get to know if she was a pleasant person. As juts of dark rock began to emerge from the ground, a reminder that they were in fact on a mountain rather than a flat jungle trek, the feeling that sent a shudder down his spine grew stronger. He frowned uncharacteristically as he looked around them, then took in a couple of short breaths with his mouth partially open, as though tasting the air. His expression quickly took on surprise, then a nervous suspicion, as he realised what was wrong. “Where are the animals?” he whispered in a much quieter tone than usual. Had he been in dhole form, his tail would have been tucked right up beneath him and his ears flat against his head. It wasn’t natural that they hadn’t seen anything, far less so that even with his sense of smell there were no traces.

The imbalance of nature was the first time the canine realised that something truly frightening could be happening on the island. He looked at the others, wishing to know what they thought about the lack of living creatures and if it worried them as much as it did him. Nonetheless, they pressed on through the hot jungle. Sweat soaked him and for once he was glad that he’d not given in to the urge to change forms. Not only would it not have been useful, but his near orange, thick fur would have made travelling in the heat nearly impossible. Luckily his stamina was maintained between forms and barely a drop of the sweat could be contributed to weariness. In fact, a long walk was something he’d not been able to do on the boat and something that made him feel even more cooped up. Being able to stretch his legs was a nice change, although he kept pace with the others. Ayatah, he noticed, stopped every now and then. Though he could press on, he always lingered a little. The thought of leaving anyone behind to face whatever this jungle had to offer alone didn’t exist as a possibility in his mind.

Ahead, Charm came to a sudden stop. Besnik stopped beside her, then swivelled to look behind as the other woman’s scent drew fairly close. He stepped aside, realising she’d almost walked into him, and then looked at the polished slab of rock before them. Ayatah began to theorise on what the script upon it could mean and he narrowed his eyes in concentration. “R…Rem…em…Remem…ber,” he mumbled to himself, tilting his head as a look alike of any confused canine, trying to read the word, “…Ah! Remember.” He nodded, both proud that he’d been able to read it and glad it’d been written if Common, the only language he could read in, no matter how poorly that skill was executed. Suddenly Ayatah’s musings made much more sense. “Perhaps someone intended to come back, or marked this as they had no map?” He thought again, wondering why anyone would write this, “or it could be some sort of warning, maybe telling others to remember what happened the last time someone was here.” He grimaced a little. If only they had more information about the previous travellers, it might be a bit easier to figure out. He shrugged and looked to the others; he wasn’t the intelligent one in the group, so they probably had a better idea of what to do next.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
||Besnik|| ||4 years|| ||Kelvic|| ||Bondmate - Valo||
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Climb Every Mountain

Postby Liminal on May 7th, 2013, 4:36 pm

"Perhaps," Charm said to Ayatah. "At this point, your guess is as good as mine." The old woman shook her head, as if that would somehow help the answers to magically appear.

She turned to Besnik. "Not for the first time, I wish I knew exactly what did happen the last time anyone was here. When no one comes back, it's hard to get good answers. However, you may be right." Again, she shrugged her shoulders.

The Captain took another two steps forward, but almost immediately froze in her tracks. A sound wafted from somewhere higher up on the mountain. Given how faint it was and how quiet the jungle was, the sound was probably coming from a long distance. It was hard to identify, but it almost sounded like...

...like someone singing.

The tune was unfamiliar, and the distance muffled the words. However, it couldn't have been anyone from the portion of their group that had headed for the beach, meaning that it had to come from someone or something that was already here on the island.

"What do you make of that?" Charm asked. She was some combination of nervous and excited, and her eyes shone with anticipation.
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Climb Every Mountain

Postby Liminal on January 26th, 2015, 2:40 am

"Well, whatever it is, we have to go check it out," Charm said. And without waiting for any further reply, she walked around the next bend in the trail...

...which was the last anyone ever saw of Captain Charm Wright.

*****


Oh, they searched for her, as much as was possible. The overheard song had ceased, and there wasn't so much as a footprint further along the path. What was more, every attempt to keep going along the path simply led them back to the place where Charm had vanished. It was as if the place itself had decided that they would proceed no further.

The party was able to make its way back down to the ship, however. There was nothing further to be done, and after a handful of days, the ship and its crew returned solemnly to Zeltiva. Although the other group reported seeing humans, they hadn't been able to interact with them, and had only overheard a fragment of their conversation.

In the end, Darva was still a mystery, and it had swallowed up Captain Charm Wright herself, the last link to the Golden Age of Zeltivan Exploration.



OOC: I just wanted to post this to make sure this part of the lore concerning Charm Wright and Darva was established IC. I don't think any of the PCs involved in this adventure are still active, but if any of you are, I'll happily award you some XP and/or find a way for you to continue the adventure.
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