November 21st, 2003

It has been a busy week since the DRC opened the cavern to the public. For some reason the DRC closed the city up again prior to the opening. As a result the Neighbourhoods were the only public place open. The Neighbourhoods had the water turned off and the light garden lamps weren’t working, I am assuming they had rushed the restoration of these areas to ensure there were Neighbourhoods available for the influx of new people.

Members of the DRC started showing up and talking to explorers, prior to the opening they weren’t seen around in cavern, working behind the scenes instead. Michael Engberg visited one of the Neighbourhoods to chat to the explorers, his field is architecture and structural integrity of buildings within the cavern and it’s Ages. He advised people to stay away from the areas blocked off, claiming they were unsafe.
There were also reports that Rand Miller from CyanWorlds was in the cavern greeting the new explorers, alas I did not happen to bump into him which I would have liked greatly.

Whilst the DRC had closed off access to the city it seems they forgot to remove all the Nexus Books, an explorer discovered one in a Neighbourhood and took it to their Relto where they proceeded to start sharing it with everyone. Before long a large group of explorers had found their way into the city. A group was hanging out in the Kahlo Tavern when one explorer started lambasting the others for being there saying the location wasn’t safe they proceeded to report the gathering to the DRC. Engberg arrived and was livid, telling the explorers that they shouldn’t be there and they could get hurt. He eventually calmed down and apologized saying they wanted a clean safety record. He was then asked about Phil Henderson who had gone missing in Eder Kemo over a year ago which evidently made Engberg cry.
In his defense though, the Kahlo Pub is in poor condition, lots of damaged rock, missing section of ceiling, shattered floor, and so forth.

Douglas Sharper showed up a few times, he had lead the restoration efforts on Teledahn and is now in charge of restoring a bar somewhere in D’ni. He was seen in the Neighbourhoods where he was handing out some fleeces with a Great Tree symbol upon them. A lot of people believe these jackets are tied to the pub he is restoring.

Signals from Phil Henderson KI started registering in Eder Kemo, an explorer going by the name “Zardoz” bumped into him on Wednesday. I spent the last few days staying in Kemo, even sleeping there, in the hopes I would run into Phil but alas, he did not make another appearance.

Doctor Watson and Marie Sutherland also made an appearance with Doctor Watson holding a quiz of sorts and giving out T shirts to explorers who managed to ask him a question he did not know the answer to regarding D’ni and its Ages.

Today, despite the fact explorers discovered a Nexus Book and accessed the city, the DRC finally opened the city to everyone else who did not manage to get a copy of the Nexus Book for their Relto.

November 17th, 2003

Today is the day!

The DRC have officially opened the D’ni cavern and people have been making their way down. A new group of some five hundred explorers arrived today to join those explorers already here.
I’m looking forward to seeing the population increase, if we can get the city restored and have people living down here in the future…

Time to head to the city and meet the new explorers I think.

September 7th, 2003

I spent the morning studying the glyphs in “area two” of Eder Kemo, they continue to fascinate me. It’s clear there is a story being told here it’s just trying to figure out how they fit together and what the story is. As I sat there sketching out duplicates and logging where about they are located within the Age I noticed the sky darkening shortly followed by a heavy downpour of rain. I decided to run back to the Gira Book and dry my clothes off there before heading into D’ni and exploring some of the other Neighbourhoods.

I wondered through a couple of the public ones, they were empty but it was interesting seeing the differences between them. Eventually I stumbled upon a populated one. I Linked in to find a small group of people sitting on the steps leading down to the Ahyoheek table. Upon being greeted I decided to walk over and introduce myself.
They had been talking about the Fall of D’ni. One lady, Keira Benson an Archaeologist, had been studying the fall. She had apparently discovered a D’ni corpse in the Age of Kadish Tolesa as well as other bone fragments in Gahreesen and Teledahn.
I sat with them for a few hours discussing D’ni, whilst people slowly faded into the hood and out. In the end all there was left was myself, Keira, and her friend James Rofen who was an an Architect.
They asked how I had found my way down here, to which I explained that I was a D’ni Historian and had been studying D’ni for a number of years before managing to get down here. Keira said she had stumbled across some relics that had been brought up from D’ni and her interest in those items had lead her here. James said his friend had been contracted to do some work in the Cavern, upon last seeing his friend he had been told of the Cavern and had decided to come see it for himself.

Eventually the hour grew late and the two decided to retire for the day. We promised each other to meet up again before parting company.

September 6th, 2003

It was nightfall on Eder Gira when I arrived. I had Linked to an area that was clearly volcanic in nature at one point in the past. In the immediate area columns of cracked rock orange in colour reached up into a sky that was a beautiful shade of pinkish purple. The ground was riven and vents billowed steam up with a considerable degree of force. Elsewhere evidence of lava flows now solidified could be seen.
The Link in area was surrounded by a raised level of rock that fell away to a chasm of lava. Extending from this lava were metal pipes that connected to a structure upon on one of the cliff walls. It looks like it was siphoning thermal energy as a power source.

Gazing out across the landscape I could see that only a small section of the Age was barren, outside of this lava sculpted area was a lush forest that stretched out towards a village in the distance. The architecture of the village seems similar to that of the structure harvesting power from the lava from what I can see. Does this mean it is not of D’ni construction or perhaps it is and the D’ni based the style on the native populations architecture? I shall have to see about venturing out into the greater area of Eder Gira at some point.

Whilst this initial area of the Age is mostly barren there exists some manner of flora and fauna. Large bell shaped hives grow from the ground and there are spiked vines that are as thick as my leg. As well as various scrub grasses there are some plants that look somewhat like prayer plants.

I did notice that up on a ledge next to the Link in point was another one of Yeesha’s Journey Cloths. I am venturing a guess that I shall find them in the other Ages contained within the hydrants in Relto as well.

I followed a path that circled around the Link in area ascending the cliffs where it descended again slightly before reaching a large arch of rock that spanned the fissure of lava beneath it. This natural bridge connected the Link in area to the rest of barren part of Eder Gira. As I followed the path down I eventually met a pile of rocks that blocked the way just past these rocks the area opened out into an area with double waterfalls and a pond of sorts with a stream. Behind the waterfall appears to be a network of caves.
Bioluminescent fish swam around in the pond giving off a slight purple glow, they look a bit like manta rays of Earth.
All around the area are large bones jutting from the ground, a large beast caught by the lava in past years perhaps?

Removing my shoes I waded through the water, the coolness pleasant in comparison to the heat being given out by the area of this Age. Upon a large segment of bone I discovered another one of those strange Linking Stones I had discovered in Gahreesen previously. I had must have dropped the stone somewhere along the way after picking it up because it was not in my bag when I checked for it the next morning.
This “Linking Stone” seemed to lead somewhere else a D’ni location from the look of it. I have left it for now, perhaps there are others who use them I shouldn’t keep taking every one I see.

To the left of the “Linking Stone” was the large cave behind the waterfall, it was filled with wooden baskets perhaps for catching fish? There were also two lamps that draw power from thermal vents. I turned the lamps on to reveal a tunnel that curved upwards into the rock but it was entirely too dark to see and I did not have a flashlight on my person at the time.

Across from the waterfall and the pond I found an area of stone and wood that held a Linking Book. Upon inspection I discovered it was another Linking Book to Eder Kemo. Previously I had held off going to the Age, despite my strong desire to do so, in favor of seeing D’ni first but now I feel the time is right.

When I was younger I used to swim with friends in one of the several rivers that cut through my village. There was one area where the water was deep and secluded under trees which we used to frequent. My first time jumping in there I was not expecting the temperature of the water to be so cold, the initial shock after jumping in robbed me of my breath and I struggled to stay above the surface.

Stepping from Gira to Kemo reminded me of that moment in my life, the difference being the temperatures were not as extreme in difference like the water was and as I stepped upon Kemo I wasn’t gripped by panic and concerns of drowning.

I’m not sure why Kemo became of particular interest to me. Perhaps it was the sense of mystery that emanated from documents and photos brought back to the surface by others. I had heard whispers of a door with an engraving upon it that Phil Henderson eventually vanished behind, and of strange pictoglyphs strewn upon the walls of the Age.

By my estimation I had managed to map about ninety seven percent of the Age from the photographs relayed to the surface, but I was aware I was missing the key point of how the three areas I had mapped linked together. Now I have the chance to complete my work and study the glyphs I had only seen from a distance in photographs before.

The Link in point was a small pagoda of sorts which lead out over a rocky arch of a bridge. Below was the pond, an area I had seen before from photographs and one of the areas I had previously mapped. The bridge lead over to a path that cut between the eroded rock, as I crossed I noticed large black bug like creatures hanging from the top of the rock wall digging away at the surface and eating something by the look of it.

The path eventually opened up into an area I had designated “area one” during my previous mapping attempts. A pleasant grassy area with long thin trees with pancake like foliage, smooth pebble like rocks, and what looked like bamboo. The dirt path I stood upon lead down to a stone path which curved to the left out of view. Straight ahead of me was the infamous door. The path also curved to the right where it arched around the area, passing a gazebo before reaching some steps that lead to the fountain and an area with lots of pictoglyphs.

I cannot deny, the draw to those glyphs was strong. But the door…I had to see it first, if only for a moment.

The door was a little more elaborate than the counterpart found at the Cleft with an elegant carved boarder surrounding the same spiral hand symbol I had been finding everywhere. I reached out, my fingers touching the cool surface of the door, tracing the embossed edges of that hand symbol. Touching the door revealed nothing, but that did not surprise me. Upon seeing a “Journey Cloth” in Eder Gira I have come to the conclusion that the Cloths are in all the Ages that were contained in the Relto hydrants.

The area next to the door revealed more of the pictoglyphs that littered the Age. It also served to show me how areas one and three from my mapping were linked, or areas one and two as I have now correctly labeled them.

Eder Kemo

My interest in the door had be fed, for a spell. I shall turn my attention back to it when I further investigate how to open it. In the mean time I felt the glyphs warranted further study so I made my way back to the fountain area.
The glyphs in this area seem to represent some of the other Ages. Indeed I am pretty sure one of them is Kadish Tolesa, and there is one that looks like Gahreesen and another that looks like Teledahn. I cannot fathom as of yet what story these glyphs are trying to tell, who are the figures?

I decided to spend the rest of the day chronicling the glyphs, drawing them in my journal and taking photos of them and noting down their locations and any other details about them that could be helpful in the future.

I feel like there is a larger story to be told by these images, I had felt overly drawn to the Age from the moment I first heard of the “Garden Age”.

Chief among my many questions is…Who drew them?

September 5th, 2003

I awoke in pain and a stiffness of joints, the floor of the hut on Relto was not the best place to sleep. Such was my exhaustion and with the growing migraine from the heat in New Mexico I managed to make it into the hut upon my arrival in Relto and promptly fell asleep.

There is something about Relto I appreciate, perhaps its the sparse nature of the Age. It has a very desolate but rustic feel to it but there is an overwhelming sense of serenity here.
Unlike the Relto of my guide, mine contained a significant lack of Linking Books. The Book shelf was empty except for one Book bound in blue leather with a gold pattern stamped upon the spine. Taking it off of the shelf I looked upon the Linking Panel to see a view of what appears to be Bevin, one of the D’ni neighbourhoods. I had seen it before in photographs that had made their way up from the Cavern by other explorers.

Obtaining a KI must be my first priority, other explorers I had spoken too had recommended obtaining one straight away.

Leaving the hut I took a closer look at the “hydrants” outside and noticed that each hydrant contained a symbol that represented an Age, I had missed this during my first visit to Relto, the hydrants also contained the now familiar spiral hand symbol. I approached the hydrant that contained the Guild of Maintainers symbol, an ever watchful eye over a Book, and pressed the hand symbol. The base of the hydrant slid down to reveal a Linking Book to Gahreesen. I opened the other three hydrants to discover Books for Eder Gira, Kadish Tolesa, and Teledahn. Grouping them up I took them into the hut and placed them upon the shelf.

Before heading to Gahreesen I decided to lighten the load in my bag placing my spare clothing in the wardrobe, taking out my smaller shoulder bag to keep with me on my travels. As I was placing a few items on the second book shelf in the hut I discovered another leather bound book stamped with the same Yeesha monogram that I found on my Relto Book and is stamped upon the walls of the hut in this Age as well.

Teledahn

The truth of a man is found in the darkness, beneath the surface. Some light might reveal only what some men want to be seen.

Sayings of Regeltavok of Oorpah –
Book 9, Entry 221, Item 29

Gahreesen

The laws contrived by the proud are their security and their undoing. Such laws make disobedience a virtue, and obedience a sin.

Sayings of Regeltavok of Oorpah –
Book 12, Entry 32, Item 134

Kadish Tolesa

Only the way a man is when he is hidden, is how he is. A shallow glimpse can deceive. Look deep, ponder, and recognize all that is hidden.

Sayings of Regeltavok of Oorpah –
Book 9, Entry 221, Item 77

Eder Kemo and Eder Gira

When all is taken from one, the only hope that remains is what is given by another. Through this giving, both are
redeemed.

Sayings of Regeltavok of Oorpah –
Book 2, Entry 1,071, Item 54

Curious passages, I’m not yet sure how they relate to the Ages I now have in my collection but there must be a link otherwise why would Yeesha leave them here for me to discover?

I returned to that familiar well that encompasses the Link in area of Gahreesen, the warmth of the sun hitting me instantly. I walked the corridors of the Age, remembering which direction to take from my previous visit. My fingers brushing the different textures as I walked.
I had time to soak it in this time, unguided, I could dither if I pleased. I could almost see the D’ni Maintainers bustling back and forth along the long corridors going about their business.

I ducked into the first room, which appeared to be a storage area. Lockers adorned the walls filled with Books that I assume were confiscated by the Maintainers as people came to collect their KI devices. But there was other maintainer equipment strewn about as well, a helmet of sorts and several long spikes with the Maintainers seal upon the top. But most curious was a strange tablet placed in one of the open lockers. It was made of a pinkish white marble like stone with what looked like the same fabric used on the Journey Cloths covering the front. But the most surprising thing was the Linking panel upon the material…I strained my eyes to look at the little box and it seemed that it leads to D’ni judging by what looks like orange lake water in the distance.

How is this feasible? A Linking Book that isn’t a Book? What is this thing?
Unsure what to do I picked it up and placed it in my bag and took it with me as I felt it warranted further investigation.

I moved on to the next room which contained the KI dispenser. The dispenser was slightly alarming, you place your hand inside the device, and the mechanism places a KI around your hand, I was half worried it was going to take my hand off.

There was a part of me that yearned to stay within Gahreesen and continue exploring the structure. But too long had I wished to gaze upon D’ni properly, and I knew that had to be my first port of call.

After returning to Relto, I used the “Neighbourhood” Book. I arrived in a familiar location, whilst I had seen photos of this area actually being here was different. I spent perhaps an hour, maybe two walking around. I don’t know how many of those minutes I spent gazing out across the lake towards Ae’gura. Very quickly I noticed how shockingly quiet the neighborhood was, it was completely empty. The only sound I could hear was the gentle “whump-whump-whump” of the great fans circulating air in the cavern.

During my exploration I did discover what appears to be a Book room of sorts. Within were Linking Books to Gahreesen, Teledahn and what appeared to be Eder Kemo. However the most interesting Book was in the center of the room sat upon a pedestal which had moving cogs and a hand slot with the KI symbol upon it like the one in Gahreesen.

The Book took me to a small room with moving cogs, the so called Nexus. A hub which contains a great many books that can be accessed via a user interface which links with the KI. A quick browse through the interface showed that there were a selection of neighborhoods that could be visited, as well as Gahreesen and the Ferry Terminal in Ae’gura.

I selected the Ferry Terminal and Linked.

From the various documents I had read over the years regarding D’ni had left me with a mental image of the city that was akin to Rome or Greece, a city of classical architecture. But upon arrival I was shocked how different the reality of it was. The architecture is far different than I had envisioned, there is elements similar to the Art Deco movement of earth but a lot of it is just…different.
Kerath’s Arch is not composed of long fluted columns has my mental eye had formed, instead it is a huge slab of rock. In fact the documents do it a disservice, standing before it is a sight to behold indeed.

The terminal sits on the side of a large harbor area at the waters edge, everything is under lit with the orange glow of the lake. A staircase ascends the rock leading up to a DRC tent and to what is known as “the Great Stairs”. The staircase leads up to the Tokotah courtyard which is currently blocked off by the DRC. Half way up the stairs is a collapsed section of wall that leads to a tunnel, scrambling over some of the rubble I reached a doorway that was curtained off, but through the gap I could see a room with tables and chairs.
I returned back down to the Ferry Terminal to find a group of fellow explorers near the “Nexus Point”. As I approached I recognized a few familiar faces I had been in contact with on the surface. We stopped and spent most of the day talking. My visit in August was very solitary, aside from my guide of course. Meeting fellow explorers in the city was a pleasant change, it was nice to just chat and discuss D’ni society with them along with many other things.

Hearing them talk about what they’ve done and where they have been made one thing abundantly clear, I still have so much more to see.

[note:] DRC released a KI user manual, obtain a copy of it later.