Progress in Ardin

I’ve been spending a large amount of time on Ardin with Steven lately, as a result several of my planned projects have fallen by the wayside.
It is hard not to stick around the Age, since our discovery in the temple by Jura we’ve been shown a large portion of the Age and learned a great many details regarding their ways, not to mention grasping their language. Steven being a linguist, picked it up pretty easily, I had more trouble but with him helping I soon picked it up, not that I would say I’m anywhere near the level he is, but I can speak to them just fine.

We’ve been building a hut near the Link in point after being given permission by the Aaki to do so, they did recommend building it up off of the waters edge for safety though.

It turns out the Link in point was the site of their previous village, many years ago. There were two “tribes” for lack of a better word, the Aaki and the Ish. Conflict eventually broke out and the Ish moved from the area and started raiding the Aaki village at night, the Aaki eventually moved to where the village is currently located, the boats and ladders are hauled up from the waters to stop the Ish from being able to breech the village.
Apparently the Ish haven’t been seen in years, but they still keep the security in place just in case.

The temple is dedicated to their deity Lah’zu, Jura is the temple keeper, looks after it, runs the ceremonies etc. It was he who discovered us during our investigation of the temple and took us to the village.
The Temple Keeper has 2 pupils who spend most of their life learning the customs so that they take over Jura’s position when he stops.

The village has an Elder who rules, with 4 “hands” who help and advise, the current Elder is Kurailin, which isn’t actually his full name as I first thought but it actually comprised of Kura (Aaki for Elder) and Ilin which is the Elders name.
The Elders and the 4 hands all have the white pearly masks we saw on the figure in the Temple. The masks are part of a rite of passage with the growing males. When they reach a certain age they are tasked with confronting a creature they call an Urbho. It is pretty much a fight to the death, if the young man wins they take the head plate from the Urbho and use it to craft a ceremonial mask, the mask is held as one of the most prized possessions to the young warrior.

The men go out each morning to collect food, be it from fishing or hunting larger pray. The women seem to keep to the village and deal with the children, teaching them as well as food preparation.

As for the village, the houses are made from vast barnacles they fish up from the oceans, they’re connected with wooden walkways and ladders, it’s a very communal feeling. We have spent a great many nights in the village and I can’t say I ever felt like I had any degree of privacy there, Steven it seems felt the same way, which is why he opted to build his hut near the Link in point.

At least I’m getting a nice tan from all this time spent on Ardin, I felt perhaps all my time in the caves in Sul was making me paler.

Photo – Negilahn Monkey

Negilahn Monkey

Ardin – Day 4

We were planning to head to the island at first light, but after discussing it we were not sure if the villagers went to the island on a daily basis or not, so we decided to wait a few hours until the time they went on the previous day to see.

The time came and passed, and we figured we would be fine to take a look. Mindful still that we may be observed we tried to sail behind the dotted rocks hoping we’d stay hidden until we reached the island.

As we approached we could see a wooden dock where they would fasten their boats, we continued to sail around the island to the back, opting to beach the raft there out of sight then walk back around.
A path connected the wooden dock to an entrance to a cave within the rock, mindful of there perhaps being people inside we carefully entered.
A flight of steps descended down into a rectangular room flanked by wooden columns, at the end sat on a what looked like a throne made of stone was a large figure. We couldn’t make out if the figure was actually made of gold or if it was covered in gold-leaf or something of that nature, but covering its face was a curious white mask carved from some strange material.

We located a recess where we could potentially stand without being seen and set about Writing a Linking Book to the temple so we could return to study it more without having to rely on the boat.

We spent about an hour there, looking around, making sketches and mapping it out before we felt it would be best if we left.

Ardin – Day 3

As evening came we heard a long deep note from a horn of sorts. With that sound the boats were hauled up and the ladders leading down from the village were retracted. Leads me to wonder if they are not protecting themselves from something?

The white glow came from the sun reflecting off of the barnacle houses, this white glow faded and was replaced with the warm orange glow of the lanterns being lit as night fell.

Things settled down and we turned in for the night, making note to check on the village if we happened to wake during the night. The gentle lapping of the shore and the calls of unseen creatures in the sea providing the soundtrack before I dozed off.

The morning was fraught with panic, we awoke late, to find masses of boats sailing towards us, for a moment we feared we had been spotted but that panic ebbed as they sailed past us and to one of the large islands that stood between the village and the Link in island.
From observing the village it looked like the entire place emptied out.

Worried about them seeing us on the way back we hid everything and retreated in between the rocks and waited, 2 hours passed before the first boats started heading back.

I stayed another hour, watching and making observations, from what we can tell they seem to be a simple fishing community. I have opted to return to Sul for a while and continue some of my other work, Steven is staying another night to continue the observations, tomorrow we plan on heading over to the other island they visited to see what is there.

Ardin – Day 2

Steven returned to the Age after our initial visit and stayed for several hours, as night fell he observed the glowing points on the distance rock turn from white to orange, speculating that the rock contained the location of the native population.

We took one of the inflatable rafts through into the Age with us along with some supplies and set about sailing over to one of the islands closer to the the glowing rock. We both felt that we should observe from a distance to see the nature of the inhabitants before trying to interact with them, if they turned out to be hostile then it would have been a lot safer for us.

The current of the sea was against us, as a result it took us a lot longer to reach one of the smaller islands than we had anticipated. Upon beaching the craft we pulled in behind the rocks and sought to set up a little observation station so we could watch unseen.

Setting up a scope we were able to set our eyes upon the rock. Before us we could see tier after tier of building constructed from what looked like huge barnacles, connecting them were wooden walkways and ladders all mounted to the side of the rock high about the seas waters.
The boats are kept suspended above the waters, then lowered down before they are sent out for fishing, not quite sure the reasoning behind that as the waters around the rock seem calm enough for the boats to be mored there.
It would seem they have cooking stoves of some sort, the top parts of the barnacles seem to be chimney stacks, several of them had smoke emanating from them.

Tonight we shall be spending the night here, continuing with the observations. Steven has said the temperature drops but it is still pretty warm at night, so sleeping outdoors will not be an issue.

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