Hinterlands, part II - Arcadia

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Just SurvivingHinterlands, part II - ArcadiaCopyright © 2000 by Sheula Ralom'pa

Marcus Jetaron here, Bashers. It's taken me a while, but I've gotten all the Arcadian entries from Mag's journal translated. She confuses me - refers to Elven gods, while other entries farther along make mentions of Celtic and Halfling gods. She seems to be able to use a halberd, and cast spells... Without delay, then.

4th Market of PivotWell, I've finally gotten my wounds all healed up. On my way to the Portal, a Spinagon attacked me. How the dumb Baatezu got out from the depths of Baator all the way to near Automata, I don't know. I scragged'im but it took me a while.

4th Low of PivotIt's nearing the end of the month. He finally paid me. I got my halberd enchanted up to +2. Got this magic item, Bracelet of Charms. It looks good, and I can hide my new toy! With all that, and two weeks' worth of rations, I'm leaving for Fortitude.

Market of CatechismFinally got out of that soddin' city. Right now I'm about a half-day's walk from there. They tried to make me go to the confessional hall. No way in Baator! That would take days, hahahah. I'm camping out, with a new friend of mine. Seems this clueless prime girl wants to get to the Beastlands. Told her it was a day away. Clueless berk!

I see a hotbed of activity another half-day's walk from here. The tower's just so bloody huge! Will set out for it tomorrow.

Guild of Catechism we got to the supposed place of the tower, there was nothin' like that there. Instead, it looked like a scene right out of that Prime myth of Adam and Eve! All the people looked strange. None of them were naked, though, thankfully. They seem impervious to anything physically harmful I throw at 'em. The land around is gorgeous. Every tree is in the right order. By that I mean, not like Arcadian trees, but in a natural way. Still look ordered though. The ground seems very sturdy, with lush grass growing in some patches. Others have groups of different sorts of flowers, or plants. Strange, though, I noticed, that plants only grow with others of their kind. I didn't dare pick any of the fruit. The natives offered some to me, and to the girl, whose name I learned. It's Talana, and she is 14 years old. What is a 14 year old doing alone like that?

About an hour has passed since the above entry, and I have had more time to look around. There seem to be no animals here. I see no way these people feed themselves, either. Yet they all look healthy and fit. I think Talana is a knight-of-the-cross-trade to be. The flask of my favorite Arborean is gone. I went to the sunflower patch and picked me some seeds. They all seem perfectly salted. It's getting to be night, and I notice that all the plants seem to glow a bit, providing a sort of natural lighting. These bashers don't seem to need torches or anything. They have been distant towards me, though, but very friendly to Talana. Their houses are like one-floor buildings, and they looked to be made of grass, although they don't look primitive, nor do the people. The land radiates an aura of civility.

ast anti-peakayed up to watch these people, if that's what they are! I saw them go toward a tree, then reach inside themselves, and pull out what looked like their hearts. Then the three hung the still beating things on a tree. The things dulled a bit, and then started to look like apples. Now I am glad I didn't have those soddin' things! Instantly they began to look more relaxed, and more alive. That's mighty contradictory, ain't it.

I can't seem to find Talana. Don't know why I am concerned for the girl, though!

Just now, I saw one of the men disrobe! His legs seem to be covered in metal. No, scrag that, his legs are metal. He just went up to one of the women, and smiled. Now they are kissing. I see Talana near them. A woman just stuck a needle in her ear. Dear Aerdrie! Something just climbed out of her ear, and its spread its long claws along her face! Now it retracts back in her ear, and she starts reaching into her chest... I cannot watch anymore.

This is too strange for me. I am out of here! Bloody scary!

ast peak got out alive. They seemed intent on keeping me in their lair. It sure seems like a lair! They all moved in unison and seemed to communicate telepathically. They tried to stick me with the needles, but I fought them. I had managed to memorize "heat metal". It didn't affect them, but they stepped away. I've been running for the better part of 6 hours. Then I lapsed into unconsciousness, just collapsed. I woke up an hour ago, drank a healing potion and ate. I'm heading back to Fortitude. Sure seems like heaven now.

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