Yesterday three groups of brave souls gathered together at the Bodega Explorer’s Base all ready for a leap into the gaping maw of unknown danger that is the newly discovered Nautilus continent. I joined Salazar Jack, Osprey Therian, Enjah Mysterio, Ilianexsi Sojourner & Neal Lyle at the base and Sal handed out his custom made safety suits which we donned gratefully (1). We were on the trail of the ever-illusive Magellan and this time were hot on his trail.
But soon we had exhausted the crash… I mean landing site (sorry, force of habit when talking about Magellan) and moved east along the canal bank towards the temple mentioned in the Linden’s post. At some point first Enjah then Sal & Osprey fell or jumped into the water and after a mad dash to add buoyancy upgrades to our suits we all found ourselves swimming to the temple instead.
Despite two of our party getting trapped in unstable areas of the canal wall and needing rescue and then Neal having to leave unexpectedly, we soldiered on until we found the sunken wreck of an old wooden ship. Sal theorised that it could be the ship of the famed seafaring Captain Elias Reedbuck which disappeared more than three hundred years ago.
At this point Osprey began to feel unwell and we headed up and to land for some air. It was at this point, as we set foot on the land at the base of the temple, that we experienced our first time tremor! Sal had warned us this might happen and had asked us to take notes on the sim performance. As we walked up to dry land the Time Dilation readings dropped to sub-zero numbers and we all felt the horrible stretching feeling of trying to wade through air the density of warm blue-tack.
I was separated from the others and whilst they found their way inside the temple, I managed to get to the steps that led up to the top just as the time tremor stopped.
I climbed the steps…
…and found myself in a square chamber with an enormous crystal pumping energy particle upwards through a chimney arrangement to an even bigger crystal above.
Here the energy seemed to radiate off to the four cardinal points a well as into the sky. I couldn’t begin to imagine what it was for or how it all worked (2) but by this time I had decided it was best to find the others and tell them about the crystals.
It turned out they had found several of their own inside – including a large group that seemed to be the source of the energy I had seen above and a strange pipe-organ like construction that I theorised might be some form of harmonic controller but which I simply could not make work.
Over on the other side of the main power crystals, Osprey had found a beautiful dolphin shaped submarine (which whilst looking tiny, managed to accommodate my seven foot bulk).
As we were admiring the sub (and wondering about the books on world domination laying nearby) a strange half fish-half mole Mole popped up to say hello. Silent Mole (a perfect name for the wee fella) had come to see who was in the temple (3) and mentioned that there was another submarine out to sea before he swam away giggling to himself.
Having explored the interior quite thoroughly, we moved off outside and Sal led us to a huge statue thrusting out to sea at the very front of the temple, a female Poseidon-style figure with a fish tail instead of legs and holing aloft a flaming torch and glowing orb. From the front of her plinth a crystal spike jutted out and emitted a stream of energy particles similar to those pouring from the roof high above us.
Next to the statue was a ruined pharos and although we talked long and hard about why this was the only ruin to be found in this other wise perfectly preserved temple. There was a small collection of crystal in the wreckage leading us to wonder if the lighthouse had suffered some form of fatal power surge. I still find it strange that the only structure around that would have been used to aid nearby ships was ruined…
By now time was drawing on – we had suffered another time tremor and as the third hits us, at about 10 minute intervals our rough calculations suggested (4), we made our way up to the roof so I could show the others the crystals and chimney I had spotted earlier.
And then it was time to go. Bed was calling back in RL and I had to wave goodbye. But I shall be back – there is more to discover at the temple and in this new land.
What are the crystals powering and how? Are they trying to draw ships in or repel them? Did they power the field that shielded the land from detection? What is the pharos ruined but nothing else? Who owns the dolphin craft and why are they reading books one world domination? What is the strange cyclical time dilation event that is felt in that area but does not show up on the sim stats? All these questions and more will keep me awake until I can return again and poke around for answers.
And while I’m on the subject of questions… where the bloody hell *is* Magellan? Jack Linden said at his recent office hour that the mole tank ol’ Mag arrived in is broken, so where is he now? Answers on a postcard (but to the forum please).
(1) Horizontal stripes do not suit us gentlemen, I have to say. Also, due to my horns, I had to put my specially made spacesuit over the top as it contains a nano-particle sealing system that allows my horns to jut out through a helmet without my face being sucked off. Also, I think Sal should really install some cubicles at the base – I caught Osprey peeping over to watch us fellas change more than once. I know she did because I was watching Enjah at the time.
(2) Sal’s GINI device would give him no meaningful readings through the temple but his friend Champie is working on another version.
(3) That’s his story – he may well have been reporting us to Blue for all we know…
(4) Rough calculations = two of us looking at the system clock at the previous time tremor and then again at the following one and then struggling to remember what the first time was and then trying to do the mental arithmetic needed to work out what 2:26 to 2:35 was and then fudging the answers a little to compensate for several factors that included but were not limited to: doing several things at once, needing answers typed before people walked out of range, trying to work with odd numbers, filtering in and then out the various time differences, sunspots, a gimpy leg, fleas and the needed to wee but having no bag in the bloody suit.