A Weem A Way
Jan. 10, 2021, 7 p.m.
Outside Amber - Kolvir near Amber - Warm Jungle Clearing
Comments and Log
Some time later, and the group has decided to return through the fog. It's just as difficult and horrendous a trip as always, with several false trails, a couple attacks by fog monters, and the same overarching drain leaving the group exhausted and wrung out by the time they glimpse sunshine through the other side.
Amy wilts as she stumbles out of the fog into a clearing that looks somewhat familiar. "We did it!" she exclaims. It certainly looks that way, though a closer inspection will show that the ribbon Maggie left is not there, the additions Lucafrase and Kyrie made are also not there, and the site seems to be pristine once again.
Maggie filled a pack with glass containers, a variety of sheers, canned foods, ribbon and a few can openers. Several lengths of rope are used to lash the pack together and tie it to her back. Blankets are tucked in the top with a tarp drapped over the lot. Figuring that they would get to keep about forty percent of the things she carries, she plans accrodingly. Entering the fog, she pushes through with the others, her steps measured to conserve her energy. Energy that is lost when fighting, or frightening, off the fog monsters. By the end of their journey she is drained, moving by force of will and determination alone. The glimmers of sunlight give her a boost and she takes the final few steps out of the fog with quick, insistant steps. Finally free she sinks to the ground near Amy. Looking around, she nods, "Seems so." For now, those words are all she has energy for.
Lucafrase arrives as the others do, numb and deteriorated. "Someone-- someone weave me a grass glass of scotch." Supported by a tree, she slumps to the floor of the clearing, yawning and covered in dust.
Not as adept as the others at fog travel with a purpose, Merrisol sticks behind Maggie and keeps the reds of her hair in his field of vision as much as he can while dealing with the miasma. He's lugging his usual equipment bag and harpoon across his back as well as a roll of camping supplies tied up behind the lot. That burden is quite forgotten in the drive to just take every meaningful step. The verdant new setting, its visuals and scents, seems to knock him to his knees on solid, though perhaps soft ground. It is a while before he can really appreciate any of it.
It is a big difference from the city that is for sure! It takes a few minutes to unstun, likely for everyone. The group also makes sure that they are linked together with very thick rope. Because they want to make sure they all end up at the same place. Still now that they are here, the ropes can be collected, checked over and stored until it's time to leave. In a few days. After they recover. "That hurts," Amy mumbles. "Do you think it will ever get any easier?" She looks over at Lucafrase and manages a grin. "Make that two. And doubles, yeah?"
Maggie works the knots holding her pack to her body. When they come lose, she settles the bulk of it on the ground and reaches up to rub her shoulders for a moment or two. "Sounds good. Make it three. Turning, she eyes the back, unable to summon enough energy to open it, yet. Clearly, she is not thrilled with sorting through what was left. It must be done. Maybe in another five minutes or so.
Lucafrase parsimoniously doles out dashes of water from her canteen, cleaning her face and hands, like most of the others simply enjoying the option to breathe... slowly... for a time.
Kerf unfolds and settles back with his legs stretched out and his arms propping him from behind, determined to at least drink in the scenery and feel the scrunch of grass under his hands while he recuperates. "Is this the general area you'd been before, or just something like?" he asks anyone who might possibly have an answer.
Kerf's question has Amy blink, and look around. "Clearing, leanto - it looks the same," she starts with. She starts getting up, making it halfway with a groan. "Maggie left a marker - in the leanto," she mentions. And she heads that way. It doesn't take long before she comes back looking confused. "it's not there, so maybe this just looks like it?"
Maggie looks up from the pack, apparently glad to be distracted from the chore. Turning her head in a long sweep, she nods slowly, "It looks the same." Rising a bit stiffly, she follows Amy toward the leanto. Frowning when she hears Amy's report, she turns again to look around, "If this is just a similar place, the positioning of the leanto relative to the water over there is pretty oddly on point. But I don't know. Lucafrase? What do you think?"
Lucafrase shrugs. "None of our marks, no evidence of our having been here at all? Do we have any experience suggesting a place like this isn't annihilated when we leave and recreated when we need it again?"
Kyrie went along again, though this time she's a little more prepared in case they need to make some things or handle a less hospitable climate. Things like netting. For bugs. Cause that was not her favorite thing ever. She's quiet as she watches the others and takes in the place. Looking for ways it's the same and ways it's different.
"If that was the case, wouldn't the markers be recreated as well, as remembered and expected.." Kerf says to Luca, but given this is his first time coming out with the group, it's just an idle comment. He eases the back harness onto the ground and shimmy-shrugs forward, divesting himself of the excess weight so he too can struggle to his feet. The mystery of the disappearing clearing is left to the others so he can reach the foliage and try to identify the species of plants.
The group had brought back some plants but only about 40% survived, so there are definitely a vast number here, ready to be inspected, counted and specimen carried back. There's no sign of whoever created the lean-to, no tracks, no "Beware of Dog" signs at all. The river flows tranquilly by, silent save for an occasional gurgle as it passes by a branch or a rock. A snake slithers by in the tall grass near the river, a small snake, brightly coloured, and headed away from the explorers. Birds chirp and sing, and in the distance there is the roar of some sort of predator hunting, though far off.
Amy shrugs at the question. "Don't know," she says. "This is really only our second time trying to come here. Well, trying to go back to the same place. It might be. Or maybe it's just uncannily similar?"
Kerf rolls with advantage 0 at difficulty 15, using science.
The result is a success.
Maggie remains by the lean-to for a while, just looking around with a curious and bemused expression. The roar of the distant preditor shakes her out of it and she looks toward the sound. "Hmm." Moving again, she retraces her steps to the pack. Bending, she lifts it and carries it toward the lean-to. Once there, she sets it down and frees the tarp. "Kyrie, I see that you brought netting. Let's see if we can secure the lean-to against bugs. I'm not sure when night will fall, but dusk will bring out those big beasties, I think." Her movements are still cautious, slower than they would be fully rested, but she's managing.
For the moment, Kyrie looks pretty content to let the more academic among them have their look and discuss the possibilities. It's typical for her to not even try to understand the metaphysics. She does watch for anything that might be a threat, of course. Her hand rests on the holt of her sword.
Lucafrase asks, too: "Have we settled on any systematized approach to collection? No?"
Kerf is over at the treeline, using one of the moss-grown trunks as a brace to rest against while he looks at and sometimes fondles the fronds of the nearby flora. "So far these are consistent with the variety you brought back before. Rainforest plants, mainly fern and philodendron at ground level, and tropical fungi.. and.." he peers up around the branches.. "..vines and air plants higher up. All in all, mostly generic," he mutters. Taking careful step over a bunch of rough fingery growths, he becomes a murky silhouette in search of more unique species.
Once in the brush, Kerf will perhaps get two hundred meters in before he finds fog. The area they have found is bounded by fog, and it's not very large. In fact the predator they hear seems to not even be in this small area, but lost somewhere in the fog. There's nothing showing up that is dangerous yet, but there are definitely more sounds than last time. And there are some butterflies flitting about. A tree rodent scurries across one branch, leaping out to find another, with a midair glide that haaaannnnngggggs there, before it lands easily on the next tree, and continues on its way.
Amy adds, "We did find some that I know will be useful for medicinal purposes, and I'm going to try to find more of those here. They were last time by the river side," she notes, and so she heads that way. Still tired, but recovered enough to be able to start.
Maggie finishes attaching the tarp to the lean-to, leaving a flap that lets people go in or out. She does not attach the netting just yet. Dusting her hands off, she turns to look back at the others. She is just in time to see Merrisol head off into the murk and Amy head for the river. "Well... Carp." Looking from Kyrie to Luca and back, she half laughs. "I'll go be Kerf's buddy. Someone please go with Amethyst. The other has the choice to come with me, go with Amethyst or stay and watch the camp." With that, she starts off after Merrisol.
Lucafrase follows Amy, then.
Kyrie smiles at Maggie's reaction to the pair going off in different directions. She considers those options, then follows the short ones. Perhaps just in case of predators.
Amy stops a bit away from the river, staring at it. Nothing breaks the surface or seems to be ready to bite. Other than some of those large bugs that are around, cause it's soggier by the river. She waits a good thirty count. Nothing. And then she steps forward, starting to look at the plants.
... To Be Continued ...
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